Teachers Control Comfort At the Keyboard, Not the Blackboard

KISSIMMEE, FL — Teachers dealing with classrooms that are too hot or too cold usually resort to calling maintenance and waiting…and waiting…and waiting.

But thanks to Echelon Corp.’s LonWorks technology and Jack Joyner Heating & Air Conditioning of Clearwater, FL, one school district in Florida is finding that the solution may be as close as the nearest computer keyboard.

For the Osceola County School District in Kissimmee, Joyner was able to upgrade the district’s building automation system (BAS) using Echelon’s 1000 Internet Service and a control product from Circon Systems Corp. The change allows teachers to control temperatures in each classroom through a password-protected Web browser.

“The most prohibitive problem we pinpointed in the original BAS was that it was not open or interoperable,” said Rick Joyner. “Consequently, the system could not be expanded to serve the requirements of a big-growth school district such as Osceola. New, improved products from multiple vendors were needed to control systems such as hvac, security, lighting, refrigeration, and power.

“However, the products were not able to communicate over this closed network. We chose to use a LonWorks-based system in order to give the customer everything they wanted.”

Noted Jim Danico, maintenance foreman for the district, “Teachers can control temperature over the Internet. With the addition of an icon to the desktop of each teacher’s Internet-connected PC, teachers could now link directly to a Web page and adjust their classroom temperature.”

First installed in one school, the project has since expanded to include three schools in the district. Installation is expected to be completed by August 2002 and school officials are considering expanding the system to incorporate lighting, card access security, and other systems.

Publication date: 01/15/2001

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