Geothermal, Chilled Beam Save School 35% on Energy Bill

August 22, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

SEMCO energy manageThe new 300,000-sq-foot George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester, Ky., uses a geothermal-based chilled water loop combined with SEMCO chilled beams and dedicated outdoor air systems for its heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

The building is recording 35 percent less monthly utility costs versus the 30 percent smaller conventional high school it replaced. The school’s advanced indoor air quality helped contribute to a district-wide 1.5-percent attendance increase last year, which earned a $200,000 government-awarded attendance incentive. Furthermore, the school is bigger than most high schools nationwide and ranks as one of Kentucky’s largest, but is recording a 31.9-k/BTU energy use index (EUI), significantly less than the 68-k/BTU EUI of an average sized US school.

SEMCO awarded the school its Center of Excellence award for its sustainable and energy cost-reducing green design (pictured).

The district now plans to retrofit an older district school with chilled beams, but because of the facility’s circa 1970’s thinly-insulated envelope, potential condensation will be proactively controlled with recently-developed chilled beam pump modules.

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