Texas School District Saves with Fluorescents

San Antonio’s Comal School District says it will save about $54,000 per year in energy with help from Acuity Brands lighting and controls solutions.

Kinder Ranch, an 87,300-sq-foot elementary school, is the first in the district to feature a high performance lighting solution.

The district installed 2’ x 4’ Lithonia Lighting SP T8 fluorescent troffers and 2’ x 4’ WRT T8 fluorescent troffers in classrooms and hallways. Gotham 8-inch AF compact fluorescent downlights were installed in common areas for architectural downlighting.

“We wanted to have a maximum of three lamp types in the building so maintenance only has to have three lamps in stock at the facility,” said Zachary Schneider of CMTA Consulting Engineers, which assisted with the project.

As a way to further maximize energy savings, nLight lighting controls from Acuity Brands were installed to customize lighting for school activities such as quiet time and projector usage, as well as controlling occupancy sensors and daylight harvesting. But teachers can override the lighting controls, driving the lighting up to 100 percent for activities such as testing, when they need a higher light level.

Exterior glazing as well as daylighting windows were placed high towards the ceiling to drive natural light into classrooms, and shelves were installed on the inside and outside of the windows in order to eliminate glare.

To address energy savings outside, Kinder Ranch utilized a combination of Lithonia Lighting WST series luminaires for decorative wall mounts above outdoor entrances and hallways and KSF2 luminaires for area lighting in parking lots, entrances and exterior hallways.

Kinder Ranch Elementary completed the 2011-2012 school year as a high performance school, exceeding the ASHRAE standard, with total energy usage of 24.5 kBtu per square foot per year. Comparing Kinder Ranch to other elementary schools in the area, the district saved about 45 percent on utility costs. For the 2011-2012 school year, the energy savings was roughly $54,000.

Comal School District is using the Kinder Ranch Elementary high performance school model to construct an elementary school, middle school and high school.

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