An old, complicated HVAC system at the Nueces Canyon Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) was causing repair and maintenance issues that often made students and teachers relocate their classrooms into other school buildings. Problems included poor lighting, disruptive noise from the mechanical systems, and poor air quality.

DALLAS - The Nueces Canyon Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) in Barksdale, Texas, completed more than $1 million in facility upgrades to improve building operations and comfort, while enabling the district to better control utility costs. An old, complicated HVAC system that was causing maintenance issues was among the problems faced by the district.

The central system served the district’s two main school buildings; any malfunction would affect at least one entire building, often resulting in comfort problems for an entire school and sometimes making it necessary to move classes.

Because the district is in a rural community, more than two hours west of San Antonio, it was difficult to get contractors to come out to perform service, and parts for the aging system were hard to obtain, according to building automation manufacturer TAC. Meanwhile, the district’s utility costs continued to rise. Other problems included poor lighting, disruptive noise from the mechanical systems, and poor air quality.



MULTIPLE BENEFITS

TAC designed a program that addressed all of these needs for the district. As a result, Nueces Canyon CISD will save almost $16,000 in utility costs and the district qualified to receive a rebate of more than $11,000 from AEP Texas, a unit of American Electric Power, the local electric utility company, said TAC.

The facility improvements included a complete HVAC system upgrade to improve comfort and create a system the district could self-maintain. TAC replaced the old water-source heat pump system with individual HVAC units that have programmable thermostats. In some areas, the company replaced a single, shared unit with individual units for each room.

To reduce noise, the company moved the unit that cooled the auditorium stage, put supply ducts into the ceiling of the band hall, and installed new air ducts in both gyms, which also improved airflow. Ductless HVAC was installed in the district’s server room to keep it cool without running the larger units when the building was unoccupied.

Finally, TAC cleaned the HVAC coils, brought units up to code for the introduction of outside air, and upgraded the total power capacity for the school buildings.

“Students, faculty, and other staff members at the Nueces Canyon schools … no longer have to shuffle classes due to HVAC problems, and the introduction of outside air improves building health, while sufficient and uniform lighting provides for a better learning environment,” said Wes McDaniel, vice president of TAC Energy Solutions.

“By reducing noise in many areas, the HVAC can be run during games, performances, etc., making these events more enjoyable,” said Russ Perry, superintendent, Nueces Canyon CISD.

“Behind the scenes, the upgraded power supply ensures the district can meet future electricity needs and because we can self-maintain the HVAC, we will not struggle with service issues anymore.”

Publication Date: 08/06/2007