In September of 2000, the York County School Division completed its first geothermal renovation at Tabb Middle School. The subsequent energy savings achieved at that site prompted similar renovations throughout the school division. Today, more than one third of the school buildings in the division have been converted to geothermal heating and cooling systems. These renovations have reduced site energy consumption by up to 40%.
Best Practice - Geothermal Heating and Cooling
Beginning in 1997, the York County School Division has upgraded light fixtures in every classroom, office and hallway from T12 fluorescent to T8 fluorescent, reducing lighting costs by nearly 40%.
Best Practice - Lighting Upgrades
Since 2007, nine school gymnasiums received lighting upgrades from HID fixtures to more efficient high-bay T5 fixtures: Bethel Manor Elementary, Coventry Elementary, Dare Elementary, Grafton Bethel Elementary, Magruder Elementary, Mt. Vernon Elementary, Seaford Elementary, Tabb Elementary and Yorktown Elementary.
Two cafeterias were also retrofitted to high-bay T5 fixtures: Bethel Manor Elementary and Magruder Elementary
"I just wanted to take a moment to let you know how big of an impact the new lights in our gym have made. The gym is one of our students' favorite places in our school. Before, the gym was very dark and almost dreary...now with the addition of the new lights, the gym is bright and cherry. The fitness posters and motivational banners on the walls can be easily seen and all the students have a well lit area in which to play. Thank you for making our gym an even better place to be!"
- Jennifer Goodwin, Assistant Principal, Tabb Elementary School
Most classroom, office, cafeteria and gymnasium lights in the school division are controlled by occupancy sensors which save energy by automatically turning off lights when the areas are unoccupied.
Best Practice - Occupancy Sensors
The York County School Division uses an enhanced building automation system (BAS) that is installed in all of the division's buildings. This BAS system incorporates a wide array of software tools to manage building and equipment operation and reduce energy consumption which include:
Best Practice - Direct Digital Controls
The York County School Division uses heat wheel style energy recovery units. These units cut energy consumption by reducing the amount of energy needed to condition fresh air entering the building. Schools that utilize heat wheel style energy recovery: Tabb Middle, Tabb High, Bethel Manor, Yorktown Middle, York High, Queens Lake Middle, and Bruton High.
When possible, the York County School Division has upgraded windows to thermal pane double insulated windows. Examples from the recently renovated York High School's new windows.
The York County School Division employs a three-person energy management team, each dedicated to different areas of the energy conservation program.
The York County School Division employs a two person preventive maintenance team to maintain all HVAC equipment. They service the equipment on a continuous preventive maintenance schedule to maximize efficiency and indoor air quality.
Best Practice - Preventive Maintenance Team
The York County School Division has installed ozone water treatment systems to treat the cooling tower water on schools which have closed circuit evaporative cooling towers. This process began several years ago when it was discovered that a water treatment system had not been specified or installed on two 300 ton evaporative cooling towers at one of the schools. After a thorough investigation the division elected to install an ozone system on these two towers rather than a standard chemical treatment system. This decision was based on the following factors:
Some of the environmental significant benefits of using ozone water treatment systems on the cooling towers are:
The school division has also continued to make further cuts in water consumption and preventing bay contamination by completely eliminating cooling towers during school renovations and installing geo-thermal heating and cooling systems.
Best Practice - Ozone Systems