Wyandotte School District works hard to be green
Johnson Controls, Inc. With more than 4,700 students, Wyandotte (Mich.) Public Schools has a high school, middle school, six elementary schools and three administration facilities totaling more than 900,000 square feet.
The district, one of the lowest-funded in Michigan, also is one of the greenest. Photovoltaic panels provide clean energy, and classroom curriculum is helping students learn about how solar energy works.
The Wyandotte administration is committed to reducing energy and operating costs in all of its buildings while improving comfort and investing in new technology. A grant from the state has enabled Johnson Controls, Inc., in cooperation with the municipal utility, to install a 10-kilowatt photovoltaic system at Wilson Middle School.
In addition to sun power, the panels are generating interest in renewable energy as students learn about alternative fuel sources in their classes. Wyandotte eighth-graders are participating in the Academy of Solar Energy Education, an educational program developed by Johnson Controls and the National Energy Foundation.
The foundation trained three middle-school teachers, who now expand their lessons through hands-on science projects. For instance, to find out about the electromagnetic spectrum, students conduct experiments on how different colors and materials absorb solar energy. And video cameras mounted on the roof bring images of the solar panels directly to school laptops.
"Our children are growing up to believe they must do this, and I think having it as part of the school district and modeling it is essential," says Patricia Cole, superintendent, who is considering expanding the program districtwide.
Select the May 2009 issue RSN number 156 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.
Alumni center reduces utility costs with HVAC upgrade
McQuay International. The McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota is designed as a campus showplace. With its granite-covered geodesic-shaped exterior and 85-foot atrium, the 231,000-square-foot structure, owned by University Gateway Corporation, Minneapolis, is a combined visitor and conference center, as well as office building for university staff. Because of its many functions, the center is open during day and evening hours and on weekends.
Despite its ultra-modern architecture, the building relied on a single 550-ton chiller for cooling during its first six years of operation. That's because the mechanical room was built for the single chiller only — leaving little room for chiller failures. An ultra-modern HVAC system had to wait until chiller technology was developed to the point where smaller machines with adequate capacity would fit in the room.
When frictionless chiller technology — with its small footprint — was introduced, Jon McCombs, Alumni Center operations manager for NorthMarq Corporate Solutions, the property management firm, recognized the opportunity to add redundancy to the HVAC system.
"When McQuay introduced the 300-ton frictionless chiller, it gave us both the size and small footprint we needed to redesign the HVAC system," says McCombs. "In addition to redundancy, our goal was to reduce energy and provide significant life cycle cost savings to the building's original chiller plant."
The result is that the 300-ton chiller runs about two-thirds of the time; the 550-ton chiller provides redundancy and carryies larger loads.
Select the May 2009 issue RSN number 160 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.
Orbit Industries/UMI. Orbit/Evergreen's new B180 solid brass pathlights have shades that can be switched out to coordinate fixture styling with the landscape or architectural design. The Model B180 stem accepts six different shade designs in a range of styles and sizes, including fluted shades with cut-out patterns, shades with hammered detailing, or geometric and pagoda options. The low-voltage B180 fixture is offered in three finishes: antique brass, antique bronze and architectural bronze. Brass shades vary in width from 5.5 to 8.5 inches and attach with a screw-top finial.
Select the May 2009 issue RSN number 150 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.
Frank J. Martin Company. The four-dial Combi-Cam has been added to the three-dial product line. The secure, all-metal combination cam lock replaces any ¾-inch keyed cam lock and has 10,000 possible combinations that can be reset easily within seconds. To reset the combination, simply have it on the opening combination for the cam and push in the reset button. The four-dial Combi-Cam is available in 5/8-inch cylinder length and chrome finish.
Select the May 2009 issue RSN number 151 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.
Improved hand dryer
Mitsubishi Electric HVAC. The improved, high-speed Jet Towel hand dryer provides restrooms with a more economical and sanitary option that dries hands in three to six seconds. It is offered with or without a heating function. The heated option is equipped with an instant hand warmer that is triggered as soon as hands are placed inside. Both versions now feature an updated hyper-nozzle design that combines rapid drying with noise reduction.
Select the May 2009 issue RSN number 152 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.
Wall box controller
Watt Stopper/Legrand. The DRLV1 0- to 10-volt wall box controller can be used to dim or switch lighting loads or raise and lower shades. It is the first such device to include an input allowing automatic control by an occupancy sensor when used for lighting control. The device is RF-enabled and can be incorporated into a wireless scene-control system. When combined with a power pack, it can control up to 100 ballasts.
Select the May 2009 issue RSN number 153 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.
PublicSchoolWORKS. The Custom Crisis Management Training Module enables institutions to create district- and school-specific courses that tie directly to a crisis-management plan and reinforces required periodic drills. The system, which is Web-based and automated, also sends out notifications of trainings due, reminders, and notices to administrators when employees fail to take and pass the courses.
Select the May 2009 issue RSN number 154 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.
SICO. The new 3-in-1 convertible table can be reconfigured easily to meet various applications: bench mode for auditorium seating; a single-unit bench with tabletop for testing and seminar applications; and a cafeteria table by linking two tables together. Front-mounted wheel locks are easy to engage, keeping tables securely in place when in use.
Select the May 2009 issue RSN number 155 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.
Videx. Two new additions to the CyberLock family of access-control products are a Mini Keyport and the WebStation, which are used to pass information between the access-management software and electronic keys. The Mini Keyport offers another option for users that want to update keys from a remote location. It is durable and weather-resistant for outside installations. WebStation is a docking station for the CyberKey that can be used to connect directly to a desktop computer or to a network.
Select the May 2009 issue RSN number 157 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.
Neopost. The new IS Series of intelligent mailroom systems deliver enhanced productivity and sleek, ergonomic designs. With the ability to "load and go," manual sorting is eliminated; envelopes of various sizes and formats can be placed into the mixed-size, self-aligning feeder. Once the start button is pressed, mail is sorted by size, thickness and weight, processed, and automatically sealed at up to 150 letters per minute. Managing ink also is simplified with long-life cartridges featuring a "Click 'n Snap" design for faster cartridge insertion.
Select the May 2009 issue RSN number 158 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.
Firestone Building Products Company, LLC. The redesigned online Technical Database is designed to provide commercial roofing professionals with easier access to specification and installation information. The site, accessible at www.firestonebpco.com, provides key technical information, including guides, detail drawings, product data, quick specs, additional product application information and recent updates. New to the site are a search function, file cart, cool roofing section, and a tool where users can set up an account to subscribe to monthly site updates and view their download history.
Select the May 2009 issue RSN number 159 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.