Mt. Washington Elementary School can be seen at the following link on the Department of Energy’s website as a National Showcase Project:
This began when District Energy Manager Kimberly Joseph met with DOE representatives Jennifer Singer and Crystal McDonald of the Better Buildings Challenge during an APPA: Leader in Educational Facilities conference in Nashville, TN.
“After presenting on our district energy program, Ms. McDonald said she'd love to work with us if we had any big projects coming up,” Joseph explained. “I discussed MWES and Maryville Elementary School with her.”
Mt. Washington and Maryville Elementary were two of the older elementary facilities with a 1970’s design that included very few windows and doors. Classes were separated by partitions.
Joseph said DOE wanted one project and MWES was chosen since Maryville had already been Energy Star certified pre-renovation.
“We thought MWES would have a bigger chance for energy use improvement - with all the changes being made,” she said. “I typically have quarterly calls with DOE officials and gave them access to our Energy Star Portfolio Manager account - with our utility and water use data. I also provided information about what the overall project at MWES entailed.”
In just over 1½ year, the rooftop HVAC system was replaced with a geothermal system which included dedicated outdoor air units and wireless controls, which are tied into the district’s centralized building automation system.
In addition, improvements were made to the interior and exterior lighting of the facility such as upgrades from T-8 fixtures to LED lighting.
Annual energy usage was reduced from 142 kBtu/sq. ft. in 2015 to 77 kBtu/sq. ft. in 2018 for a savings of 32%. The annual energy cost has decreased from $75,000 in 2015 to $47,000 in 2018 for a savings of $28,000. These are dollars that return as an investment in resources to the classroom.