Overby-Sheppard Elementary in Richmond, Virginia, needed more than an HVAC upgrade, but with tight budgets and minimal state funding, it didn’t seem likely. The 40-year-old building needed a full overhaul to provide students with a healthier, distraction-free environment.

For more than four years, Richmond City Council member Ellen Robertson had been pushing for $25 million in capital funds to start from the ground up on a new school. Unfortunately, only $4 million was allocated for the project. The school administration was determined to make the most of the earmarked $4 million.

After several meetings with different architectural firms and initial estimates exceeding the amount allocated, Richmond Public Schools contacted Daikin to provide an estimate for the project.

Working with National IPA to utilize the best public procurement practices, processes, and procedures, Daikin officials said the company was able to get the best value on this project for Overby-Sheppard. The Daikin Building Solutions Virginia team was selected as the project’s general contractor with a promise to keep the project on time and budget.

“I was unconvinced with how much work could be done with $4 million but impressed with how Daikin has transformed the school,” said Robertson.

The project required a long list of stakeholders to fully provide a solution to meet the school’s needs within their budget. This included representatives from Richmond Public Schools, TEC Mechanical & Fire Protection, Lowman Electric, Joseph’son General Contractors, ACES (Daikin’s representative), and ACES BAS Controls.

The school’s 40-year-old, all-electric HVAC system was inefficient and leaking cost. In addition to rising energy and maintenance costs of an aging system, the HVAC system created a learning environment that was distracting for students and teachers alike. The team turned to Daikin’s Maverick® II gas rooftop units with Intelligent Equipment® controls. The rooftop units deliver efficient temperature control and can all be managed by the school’s building manager with Daikin’s cloud-based Intelligent Equipment featuring real-time performance data.

Improving IAQ with a high-efficiency HVAC system met a critical need. Yet, fully meeting student and teacher needs for a healthy learning environment required upgrading the building’s physical infrastructure as well. Daikin’s Virginia team was able to solve the full challenge by installing a new ductwork system, new interior doors, walls and flooring, new LED interior and exterior lighting, an underground water line for the new fire protection system, and new exterior windows and doors.

Daikin partnered with Overby-Sheppard to provide a complete building solution on a tight budget.

“Our goal was to update as much of the school with our budget as possible to give Overby-Sheppard students and staff a learning environment that was safe, clean, and quiet,” said Scott Conley, Daikin Applied Richmond district manager. “At the grand opening, it was clear the difference the renovation had already made in this community.”

At the conclusion of the project, Daikin and its subcontractors donated an additional $17,500 to the school for the teachers to select school supplies for their classrooms, a nod to the true partnership and respect that these teams formed over the course of the renovation.