Product Application: Energy improvements help district jumpstart facility upgrade

Officials at Glenbrook High School District 225 in suburban Chicago decided to redraft their facilities master plan and update their two campuses in Glenview and Northbrook with at least $60 million in improvements.

Administrators had to think creatively about finances to fit a project of that size into the district's budget. They decided to seek a performance contract to help pay for energy-related improvements. The district awarded a 10-year, $8.6 million contract to Siemens. It called for upgrades in indoor comfort, air quality and lighting levels in more than one million square feet of space.

Specific measures included a centralized, campuswide building automation system, retrofitting of numerous lighting fixtures to high-efficiency models, major window and door replacements for improved comfort and insulation, a new chiller plant, extensive HVAC technologies and technical support services.

"By replacing many window a/c units with new chillers and greater overall air flow, we gain considerably more control, and the students have a more comfortable environment," says Jim Quinn, plant operator for Glenbrook North High School.

The district also will receive electricity and gas procurement consulting services as part of the agreement.

The contract guaranteed the district savings of nearly $800,000 a year.

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