Ohio school's AC upgrade aims for cool learning environment
It’s a common fact that school students flourish better in comfortable learning atmospheres without distraction. According to Daikin, the company recently provided comprehensive HVAC solutions to create such an environment at Hudson City Schools’ East Woods Elementary.
The progressive, energy-aware northwest-Ohio school district serves 4,600 K-12 students and consistently ranks in top academic percentiles. Hudson City Schools sought to provide an even more productive learning environment by adding air conditioning to the original section of East Woods, built in 1962, across 35 classrooms in a two-story building.
In 2014, Daikin conducted a technical evaluation of East Woods.
“With the help of the Daikin engineering and support team, we investigated the conditions and equipment to determine we could replace the existing unit ventilators (UV) with new Daikin equipment and install a chilled water system to provide the cooling we needed,” said Chuck Schilling, supervisor of facility services at Hudson City Schools.
“We were awarded the project based on their needs and our ability to provide ‘best value’ under a federal cooperative purchasing contract with Hudson City Schools,” said Eric Swain, C.E.M., client solutions manager for Daikin in Cleveland, noting that the company has served the school district with HVAC solutions for more than two decades.
In summer 2015, phase one of the mechanical retrofit began with a complete two-pipe changeover. Daikin provided design and installation of the primary and secondary piping system supported by a new hydraulic air/dirt separator. Daikin also supplied five inline pumps with VFDs to distribute water to each UV installed in the 35 classrooms during phase two.
Trailblazer air-cooled chiller, UVs, and ancillary equipment upgrades were made in summer 2016.
“The Daikin face-and-bypass UVs accommodate fluctuations in occupancy levels and environmental conditions to bring consistent and precise humidity control,” said Bob Ambrose, P.E., C.E.M., regional business development manager. “Additionally, the chiller provides industry-leading efficiency with excellent part-load performance.”
Daikin’s turnkey solution also included replacing the facility’s boilers with two new condensing boilers. Under Daikin’s guidance, a custom BAS was installed to manage the energy and comfort output of the new chiller. To meet project deadlines, Daikin coordinated with many other trades and contractors to overcome unexpected infrastructure issues.
“When expectations are high and budgets are tight, you need a business partner who can provide practical solutions that leverage existing assets. The Daikin team was receptive to our ideas and constraints. They engineered a solution that fit our needs and goals for comfort, energy efficiency, and operational efficiency under extremely tight timelines,” said Derek Cluse, business manager at Hudson City Schools.
“Because of the fast-track project schedule, Hudson City Schools’ staff and our Service Group worked around the clock to meet the tight deadline,” Swain said.
The project finished on August 15, 2016, and in time to start the East Woods 2016/2017 school year.
According to officials, the Daikin solution provided a long-term upgrade to HVAC equipment and added air conditioning to East Woods Elementary, giving students and teachers in 35 classrooms improved indoor air comfort during the critical summer and fall seasons in the muggy Ohio climate.
“With our contemporary methods, we’ve provided East Woods Elementary with the ability to easily and economically switch from heating to cooling within four hours when they need to do so,” Ambrose said.
With little or no distractions from open windows or electric fans that were once necessary, students who attend East Woods Elementary are benefitting daily from the improved comfort and more productive learning environment.