Client: Moore County Public Schools
Mechanical/BAS Contractor: Systems Contractors
Category: Educational Institution
Gross Square Footage: 296,000
Completed: August 2019
In July 2019, Moore County Public Schools in North Carolina sought the services of Systems Contractors, a Fidelity Building Services Group company, to upgrade its building automation systems (BAS) for nearly 300,000 square feet of building space, which included three of the district’s elementary and middle schools.
This upgrade was part of a larger renovation to prepare these buildings for the 2019-2020 school year, which included paint and flooring upgrades.
With a timespan of five weeks, the Greensboro-based mechanical and building automation contractor immediately put into place an actionable plan that addressed all factors related to successfully completing this project, including a limited timeframe, working in spaces occupied by summer school staff and students and strategizing around other building renovations.
The objectives of the project were to upgrade the antiquated BAS system to one that increased building energy efficiency and provided the school district with a web-based program that would give building managers access to the buildings’ BAS systems from any browser, without compromising its cyber security system.
After the July 4th holiday, Systems Contractors got to work on the installation and programming of the updated system, which included installing new Trane Synchrony Systems. With its expansive knowledge of old and new Trane products, Systems Contractors was able to understand the intricacies involved in executing the upgrade. While there were hundreds of pieces of equipment and material used to complete the projects, the main ones included three Trane Tracer SC+ and 110 Trane UC400 Programmable Controllers.
To meet the project’s objectives, the building automation team designed a detailed plan-of-action that included replacing all old sensors, actuators, and controllers. The original systems included constant volume air handling units (AHU) with direct expansion (DX) cooling, no humidity sensing, and on/off controls related to outside air dampers and hot water reheat, which is less efficient and harder to maintain temperate control as compared to modulating controls.
During the renovation, systems were upgraded to include humidity control readings and modulating outdoor air dampers as well as heating valves.
A web-based system was installed to allow the maintenance teams, as well as Systems Contractors, to use a standard web browser to access and monitor the systems using trending and alarm data. Being able to use any standard browser over a secure connection allows the school district to review issues before a service call is placed. This gives Systems Contractors the ability to review and diagnose remotely before dispatching a technician, ensuring the correct Team Member is assigned to the service call.
Ensuring a safe environment is of the utmost importance to Systems Contractors, for both the buildings’ occupants — including those contractors working on other parts of the schools’ remodeling efforts — as well as its own Team Members. To ensure everyone’s safety and to minimalize disruption to the summer program, Systems Contractors worked evenings and weekends, both on- and off-site. Not only did this extra step keep everyone safe, but it allowed for timely completion of the project.
By the end of the project period, Systems Contractors had all air conditioning units up and running and met all objectives related to energy savings, program accessibility and cyber security. Those specific results included a 30-35% energy savings for the school district, as well as improved access to the web-based program that allows for needed adjustments that will further these savings efforts. By using modulating controls, Systems Contractors was able to tune the systems to control temperature and humidity, which also results in higher energy savings and an increase in comfort level for students and staff.
“From the onset, Systems Contractors took every aspect of their job seriously, including the physical safety of our staff and students, as well as that related to our cyber security,” says Anthony McNeill, Moore County Schools Energy Manager. “It was a pleasure working with this group of professionals, who take just as much pride in their work as they do care of their customers.”