Subscribers: You may be signed out when moving throughout the website. If you experience any issues seeing content, please verify you are signed in. When signed in, your username will appear in the upper right-hand corner. If you continue to have issues, please contact [email protected].

0,00 USD

No products in the cart.

Sustainability in Action: Powhatan County Public Schools

NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / March 28, 2023 / Trane Technologies

We’re helping solve our customers’ big challenges by innovating and delivering solutions that are better for their business – and for the environment.

Project At-a-Glance:

The opportunity: Help Powhatan County (VA) Public Schools address deferred maintenance needs to enhance lighting; improve air quality, heating, and cooling; and upgrade inefficient systems to lower costs and environmental impact.

The solution: Developing, in partnership with the school district and energy provider, a comprehensive plan of upgrades to lighting fixtures, HVAC and water systems, and energy management, leveraging energy savings to pay for the upgrades.

Sustainability outcomes:

-Enhanced learning environment and indoor air quality
-Reduced energy costs by more than 20 percent
-Cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,500 mtCO2e

When leaders at Powhatan County Public Schools (PCPS) undertook plans to build a new middle school, they recognized that in order to preserve equity across the Virginia school district, they would also need to address years of deferred maintenance needs at their other four school buildings. To develop a cost-effective solution, PCPS partnered with Trane®, whose comprehensive auditing, energy modeling, strategic partnerships, and state-of-the-art sustainable technologies would help transform the four outdated buildings into optimal spaces for teaching and learning.

The power of planning and partnership

The older buildings faced multiple challenges: Dim, outdated lighting; poor indoor air quality; and inconsistent heating and cooling made the classrooms dreary and uncomfortable. Leaders also wanted to upgrade inefficient equipment, combat increasing maintenance costs, reduce rising utility spend, and lower the district’s environmental impact.

To begin, Trane conducted a technical audit of all district buildings and created a business case for the upgrades. Using energy modeling to evaluate potential solutions, the team compiled a list of proposed energy conservation measures and associated paybacks, recommending that the district focus on five high-impact areas:

-Lighting and water upgrades
-Building envelope improvements
-Energy management
-Equipment recommissioning
-Ongoing service

To fund the improvements, Trane and PCPS negotiated an energy performance contract with the district’s existing energy service, allowing the district to leverage future energy savings to pay for the upgrades. Trane also helped the district streamline purchases, secure better pricing, and expedite delivery by partnering with Omnia Partners®, one of the largest cooperative-purchasing organizations for public sector procurement in the country.

Comprehensive solutions for efficient, healthier spaces

The project team started with a lighting upgrade, replacing more than 10,500 internal and external incandescent lighting fixtures with brighter, more efficient, and longer-lasting LED fixtures. They also installed occupancy controls in select areas, reducing electricity use. The new LEDs lowered operational costs and the district’s carbon footprint while better illuminating the academic environment.

To address the indoor air quality and inconsistent heating and cooling, Trane refurbished building HVAC systems to ensure proper equipment operation, decreasing operational and energy costs. They identified additional maintenance requirements which were completed to help keep systems running smoothly. Trane also evaluated window and door insulation and implemented building envelopment improvements to reduce drafts and air leakage.

Installing low-flow fixtures and valves helped reduce water and sewer costs, while recommissioning the district’s existing energy management system (EMS) helped ensure proper operation and control. By upgrading pneumatic equipment controls and stand-alone thermostats to digital technologies and integrating them into the EMS, the district was able to implement energy-saving strategies such as demand control ventilation.

Finally, Trane also introduced Powhatan County Public Schools to software that gives administrators insights into their buildings’ performance and energy use, streamlining workflow, managing maintenance, and reducing energy spend. The software allows easy scheduling of rooms for classes and other events and allows teachers to make simple temperature adjustments on their laptops.

Seamless installation and ongoing impact

Trane was able to complete the scope of work during evening hours, on weekends, and over the summer, ensuring that the project never interfered with classroom instruction and was completed before the new building opened its doors, an important timing goal set by the district.

The upgrades improved indoor air quality and comfort while reducing energy costs by 20 percent and cutting greenhouse gas emissions by more than 3.3 million pounds of CO2. More comfortable, brighter rooms improved the academic environment and community morale. Students and staff responded with enthusiasm; the district reports that test scores improved following the upgrades.

“Numerous studies have clearly shown that the learning environment within a school plays a significant role in student achievement,” says former PCPS Superintendent Eric Jones, who led the district through the upgrades. “For this reason alone, our performance contracting project with Trane was a huge success. Add to this the fact that we are paying for these upgrades and new equipment through energy savings, and it is easy to see why I believe this is one of the best projects Powhatan County Public Schools has ever completed.”

View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Trane Technologies on

Contact Info:
Spokesperson: Trane Technologies
Email: [email protected]

SOURCE: Trane Technologies

Open Procurements

Latest News Releases