South / Regional Reports

Georgia School Uses DDC To Go Global

November 7, 2001
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Staefa Control System has been awarded a contract for a conversion to a DDC

(direct digital control) building management system in Georgia's DeKalb County.

For 20 years, the DeKalb County school district had utilized a radio-frequency

energy-management system using Ergon panels, said the manufacturer. Two years ago, when the district decided to tie the Ergon panel management system into five new schools, they

realized that the panels had become obsolete. As a result, Staefa Control System proposed to convert the current system to DDC.

Control Concepts Inc., of Atlanta, GA, the local authorized Staefa dealer,

suggested Version 2.1 of the MS1800 Building Management System. The DeKalb County School District agreed to install one Staefa control system at Avondale Middle School.

If the school was dissatisfied with the DDC control system's functionality compared to the former Ergon panel system, the Staefa dealer offered to replace it at the dealer’s expense, according to the manufacturer. However, if the district liked the control system, it would allow the Staefa dealer to upgrade four more schools.

The DDC control system was installed and programmed to interface with the district's Ethernet configuration on a Windows-platform. According to Staefa, the school was satisfied with the DDC control system, and Staefa procured a $1.7 million contract to install control work for 13 additional schools.

According to the manufacturer, the biggest advantage of the MS1800 Version 2.1 DDC control system for the district is its global command ability. This includes command of scheduling, adjustment of set-points in classrooms, including the ability to schedule commands up to 52-weeks in advance, said Staefa.

"So, for instance, we could enter a command that would allow us to turn on the lights in every schools' gymnasium on a particular night for a specific amount of time," said Earl Bryant of the DeKalb County School System Plant Services Department. "It is a great time- and energy- saving feature. And more efficient scheduling reduces run times and requires less manpower."

A troubleshooting feature allows a wild-card search and additionally offers a tie-in to the

school's pulse meter (that is provided by its local power company), so the

district can perform demand-limiting commands.

Publication date: 11/12/2001

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