School has saved district $100,000 in energy costs
WINCHESTER, Ky. (Oct. 21, 2015) — George Rogers Clark (GRC) High School has earned the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR certification, a national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy performance, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet has announced today.
A certificate, signed by Gov. Steve Beshear, was presented to school officials during the Tuesday Clark County Board of Education meeting.
“We are committed to continuous improvement in our classrooms with staff and students and in our facilities,” said Clark County Schools Superintendent Paul Christy. “Our district continues to take steps to reduce energy waste and lower our energy consumption to save our district tax payer dollars and, most importantly, to reinvest those savings into teaching our students.”
The newly constructed high school has saved the district $100,000 in energy costs within its first year of operation, said Clark County School energy manager David Nichols
“GRC High School was built with energy efficiency as a goal. It’s energy utilization index (EUI), or the amount of electricity used per square foot is 37, well below the state’s average EUI of 60.8, and is considered among the top 25 energy efficient schools in Kentucky,” said Nichols.
Energy efficient and sustainable design features of the school include: natural daylighting that utilizes tubular skylights to bring daylight into interior spaces; solar shading devices that direct and control daylight to mitigate glare and minimize solar heat gain; highly efficient lighting; a highly insulated building envelope; two vegetated roofs that help keep the building cool and minimize storm water, the larger of which also doubles as a valuable outdoor learning laboratory for the adjoining science classrooms; and an integrated rainwater harvesting system that utilizes rainwater runoff for the irrigation of rooftop plants.
“The most unique feature at GRC is its innovative chilled-beam heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system,” said Stacy McChord, marketing director for Ross Tarrant Architects and member of the district design team. “Upon the building’s completion, GRC became only the third—and the largest—public educational facility in Kentucky to utilize this technology. This innovative HVAC system is credited with helping the district achieve substantial energy savings—an especially admirable achievement given that the new building is 100,000 square feet larger than its predecessor.”
With the addition of the Clark County high school, Kentucky is currently home to 292 ENERGY STAR certified K-12 public schools, a significant increase compared to just 12 schools ENERGY STAR certified in 2008.
EPA’s ENERGY STAR energy performance scale helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a 75 or higher on EPA’s 1-100 scale may be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification. GRC High School earned an ENERGY STAR rating of 87 which means the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide.
Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and are responsible for 35 percent less carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere.