Central Montcalm recognized as ‘Energy Efficiency Leader’

By Lori Hansen • Last Updated 10:51 am on Thursday, February 23, 2012

Central Montcalm Public School received the Trane Energy Efficiency Leader Award on Monday for the district’s environmental, sustainability, energy and operational efficiency. Pictured, from left, are Doug Landman, comprehensive solutions account manger of Trane; Superintendent Jake Helms, school board President Doug Bowen, John Atsma, area manager for Trane; and Ryan Polter, contracting project manager. — Daily News/Lori Hansen

STANTON — After completion of a two-year energy-saving infrastructure improvement project, the Central Montcalm Public School District is not only saving in energy and operational costs, the district also has earned an “Energy Efficiency Leader Award.”

Representatives from the heating, ventilating and air conditioning company Trane presented district leaders with the award at a presentation Monday afternoon at the Central Montcalm Middle School cafeteria.

“It is truly an honor to receive the award,” Superintendent Jake Helms said. “It has been a two-year project that began when Doug Landman (comprehensive solutions account manager for Trane) showed up at an ordinary school board meeting.”

The $911,264 project was started in June 2010 and was completed in December 2011, “with very little tweaking,” said Landman.

Detailed energy studies on the district buildings were completed using advanced building modeling software to demonstrate the energy and financial impact of potential improvements. Based on these results, the board selected energy conservation measures that best fit the financial and strategic initiatives.

“We recognize the difficult economic times and the growing environmental concerns,” Landman said. “The high efficiency upgrades should save the district $68,000 annually in energy and operational costs. In 2011, the district also received a $61,000 rebate for completing the improvements from Consumers Energy.”

The district replaced the 45-year-old boiler in the high school/middle school with two energy-efficient condensing boilers. Lighting retrofits included installation of energy-efficient fluorescent lamps and fixtures with occupancy sensors in gymnasiums, classrooms and common area hallways.

Heating and ventilation systems were enhanced along with upgrading building control systems. The district also installed a roof-mounted wind turbine and solar panels which generate enough energy to offset the cost of lighting the football stadium during the fall season.

Also added was a Trane Green Dashboard, which tracks electricity use in each of the buildings, charts the effectiveness of the upgrades and other district energy efficiency programs. It also indicates the output of the wind turbine and solar panels as well as actual energy use. The dashboard also can be used as a learning tool to enhance the science curricula.

“Leaders make a big footprint in their commitment to achieve sustainability and  to improve the academic performance of the district students in their journey to create high performance buildings,” said John Atsma, area manager for Trane.

High performance buildings take a whole building approach to performance while creating spaces that are reliable, safe, healthy, comfortable and efficient, all while meeting standards for energy and water consumption, system reliability and uptime, environmental compliance.

Correspondent Lori Hansen is a Greenville-area resident.

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