The HVACR Training Authority™

Home Journal Madison County Schools Retrofit HVAC Systems While Maintaining Limited Budget

Madison County Schools Retrofit HVAC Systems While Maintaining Limited Budget

The project is expected to save the school district more than $5 million in energy and operational costs.

Madison County Schools is a public school district located in Danielsville, GA. Ensuring a comfortable learning environment for their students is critical.

The ABM Building Solutions division of ABM, a provider of integrated facility solutions, has been selected again by Madison County Schools to improve students’ learning environment through energy upgrades and financial solutions. This is the third set of schools utilizing ABM’s Bundled Energy Solutions in the last 11 years, and the Madison County School district is expected to save more than $5 million in energy and operational costs. To coincide with the start of the 2012–2013 school year, major renovations were expected to be completed and new equipment installed and operational by August. Total synchronization of the buildings’ control systems is expected to be finished by October.

ABM’s relationship with Madison County Schools spans more than a decade. The school district first turned to ABM in 2001 to provide solutions to address aging infrastructure needs in Madison County High School.

Madison County Schools recently were experiencing major issues with humidity, IAQ, and comfort conditions while many of the HVAC systems were beyond their lifespans. With a very limited budget, they were unsure all the necessary upgrades could be made. After meeting with ABM, they discovered the necessary upgrades and repairs could be made with no upfront cost and remain budget neutral.

The main focus of the renovation project is four elementary schools in the county: Danielsville Elementary, Colbert Elementary, Ila Elementary, and Comer Elementary along with minor renovations to Madison County High School. In addition to the initiative to save energy, this project focuses on improving the indoor environmental quality within the buildings, including comfort conditions, lighting levels and outside air ventilation. With the amount of time students spend indoors learning, problems with a school’s IAQ can trigger a host of health problems that increase absenteeism and play a major role in academic performance. Improving a school’s environmental quality can enhance students’ academic performance, as well as teacher and staff productivity and retention.

Plans included retrofits of new high-efficiency HVAC systems, high-performance lighting technologies, high-efficiency water-source heat pumps and an energy-management control system. At Colbert Elementary, a new high-efficiency heat pump loop boiler is expected to be 25% more efficient than an existing boiler.

Danielsville Elementary is also taking a big step forward with new technology. A six-panel solar power system is expected to double the SEER on certain equipment. The solar modules help supplement the power needed to operate the system and transfer any excess power generated back to the school’s power grid.

Here is a look at how ABM is helping Madison County Schools make essential renovations to improve efficiency and students’ overall learning environment:

• Comprehensive design engineering;
• New high-efficiency HVAC systems;
• High-performance T-8 lighting system upgrades;
• 25% more efficient boiler for water-source heat pump loop; and
• Energy management system upgrades to allow for countywide facility control.

• Monitored energy consumption and annual energy savings audit;
• Improved indoor environmental quality including comfort conditions, lighting levels, increased supplied fresh air and controlled humidity;
• More than $5 million in savings of energy and operational costs; and
• District-wide facility improvements entirely self-funded.

“We are once again honored to work with Madison County Schools to address their aging infrastructure challenges,” said ABM Building Solutions Project Developer Sean Reed. “Since this program is self-funded from the existing operating budget, we are able to provide the equipment replacement and upgrades without additional taxpayer burden. This program will drastically reduce energy consumption while improving the learning environment within the schools. The students, faculty, staff and taxpayers of Madison County can now be assured that these schools are operating at peak efficiency for years to come.”

For more information, visit

RSES is the leading education, training and certification preparation organization for HVACR professionals. RSES publishes various comprehensive industry training and reference materials in addition to delivering superior educational programs designed to benefit HVACR professionals at every stage of their careers through instructor-led training courses, online training for HVAC, educational seminars, interactive CD and DVD products, industry-related reference manuals, and helpful technical content through Service Application Manual chapters, the RSES Journal, the RSES Journal archives and feature articles, as well as web-exclusive features.

Beginning with basic theory and extending to complex troubleshooting, training courses covering refrigeration and air conditioning, heating, electricity, controls, heat pumps and safety may be conducted in a classroom environment or though self study. RSES publications may be purchased by schools, contractors, manufacturers or any other industry group wanting to conduct comprehensive training programs. Seminars covering air conditioning troubleshooting, electrical troubleshooting, compressor training, condenser training, refrigerant piping practices, DDC controls, and more are held in various cities across North America.

Select training programs offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and NATE Continuing Education Hours (CEHs).

In addition, RSES offers industry certification preparation materials for refrigerant handling (EPA Section 608), R-410A and North American Technician Excellence (NATE) examinations.

RSES’ monthly magazine, RSES Journal, serves HVAC contractors, service technicians, students, operations/maintenance managers, engineers and technicians who work in the residential, light commercial, commercial and institutional markets on air conditioning, warm-air heating, refrigeration, ventilation, electrical, ice machines, chillers, hydronic heating, piping, refrigeration control and energy management, building automation, indoor air quality and duct cleaning, and sheet metal fabrication equipment and/or systems.
©2011 RSES. All Rights Reserved.