The South Mountain Company has provided us with a detailed analysis of renovation work needed for the Charter School.
Executive Summary South Mountain Company (SMC) has performed the work comprising the scope of services described in our 08.03.16 agreement, as detailed below. The building is structurally sound but it needs some significant upgrades to improve the comfort and usability of the building, and to reduce the use and cost of energy. The primary strategies include 1) thermal enclosure upgrades (including window upgrades and insulation/air sealing/moisture barrier work in the crawl spaces and basements) to reduce drafts and air infiltration, 2) substantial replacement of the ventilation system and 3) converting the heating system to electrically driven air source heat pumps to enable better temperature control and more efficient operation. Additionally, a significant upgrade in the electrical service is needed, a new water heating system is recommended, and there is a great opportunity to begin to employ solar photovoltaics to offset some of the energy costs and carbon emissions. At the end of this report are estimated costs for the recommended improvements. We have broken them down by scope of work and also provided a prioritized phasing scheme if all funds are not immediately available.
Tasks Performed To date, South Mountain Company (SMC) has performed these tasks under our contract: - Located as many of the past construction documents as possible - Obtained and analyzed past usage of electricity, oil, and propane - Performed a walkthrough (crawl-through!) of the building and its foundation areas - Documented the type of mechanical systems serving each phase of construction - Identified staff issues with building usage - Started to understand how the building is operated and maintained - Performed building area take-offs and constructed an energy use model in synch with the thermal fuel data - Started the process of identifying potential electrical energy savings - Performed an initial assessment of solar electric feasibility - Developed a preliminary set of recommended thermal enclosure and mechanical upgrades
Building Description The first portion of the building was built approximately twenty years ago; subsequently there have been a series of additions. The construction is timber frame with stress skin foam panel thermal enclosure and cedar shingle cladding. The roof is asphalt shingles with the exception of a small low slope membrane roof area. The bulk of the windows (66) are single glazed double hungs with exterior storm windows. In the last two additions the windows (32) are more modern double hungs with insulated low-e, argon-filled glazing. There are seventeen double-glazed
skylights. Doors are insulated steel and generally operate properly. Drafts from windows is a primary complaint.
The heating systems are forced air with floor registers. The original building has a Buderus oil-fired boiler which heats water for the kitchen and original bathrooms, and supplies hot water to three fan coil air handlers. The air handler serving the offices also has a cooling coil connected to a five-ton condenser outdoors. The additions are each heated by a propane-fired furnace, five in all. The air distribution systems are made from fiberglass duct board and insulated flexible duct rather than galvanized steel, so they may be more airtight than typical (this needs testing). The systems in the last two additions include zone dampers to allow each room to be a single zone. Proper operation needs to be verified. There are ongoing complaints about inadequate temperature control and often rooms are too hot. Lack of functional room by room zoning of the heat is the likely cause.
Ventilation is accomplished by fourteen heat or energy recovery ventilators (energy recovery means moisture is also recovered from exhaust air). Eight of these are older technology and should be replaced. The remaining units need to have their operation and control verified – at least four of them are not operating – and need repairs.
Hot water for the additions is provided by two electric water heaters.
The school has a small commercial kitchen with a gas-fired range, commercial dishwasher, and a total of four commercial refrigerator or freezer units. There is also a walk-in cooler located outside the school.
Lighting has been largely changed out to LEDs, with some remaining fluorescent lamps in the pendant fixtures. Minor lighting control upgrades should be done, such as some occupancy sensors, and providing every room with its own switching.
The school has its own commercial kitchen with an outdoor walk-in cooler; two freestanding upright refrigerators and two freestanding upright freezers; a steam table; and a commercial dishwasher. The stove and ovens are propane-fired. There is a commercial range hood over the stove. The energy usage of the kitchen needs further investigation.
There is a substantial amount of power going into equipment in the IT basement which needs to be quantified.
Observations on Energy Usage The electrical usage is about 70% of the energy cost and warrants detailed investigation. The annual consumption is about 8 kWh/ft2, which is higher than other schools of similar construction we have examined. It is noticeable how little electrical usage drops during the summer months – the baseline usage remains at 8-9,000 kWh/month. We suspect that there can be significant savings simply by turning off unnecessary loads. We noticed a substantial amount of computer equipment in the east basement and want to verify the usage of this area, which has lights and cooling as well. As an initial effort, we installed a current datalogger on the main service panel for one week, to look at load patterns. What we observe here is that even over the weekend the building is drawing approximately 11 kW on a continuous basis. We propose to look more carefully at the kitchen energy usage and the assemblage of computers, servers, and switches in the IT basement.
Integrating System Improvements to the Charter School
When the state allowed for the creation of charter schools in 1993, the community united to establish one on the Vineyard. OIE immediately began exploring suitable sites and ultimately decided on the property at 424 State Road in West Tisbury. OIE purchased the land and built MVPCS in 1995 after securing donations and bank financing. It has leased the property to MVPCS ever since, essentially acting as the school’s landlord.
As the school’s popularity soared, OIE boosted its fundraising efforts and raised money to add more classrooms, parking spaces, playground equipment and basic athletic facilities. It also updated required technologies, including alarm systems. More recently, it used a sizable donation from philanthropist Robert A. Day and funds from others in the community to build the newly-opened, state-of-art Vernon Jordan Science Center.
OIE NOW FACES ANOTHER CHALLENGE
The school’s expansion during the past two decades took place in an ad hoc fashion. OIE wants to connect and upgrade the systems of all the school’s disparate parts. It also is committed to renovating the original school building and some of its aging additions. The goal is to insure the physical integrity of MVPCS for the coming years.
OIE hired South Mountain Company to analyze the property’s deficiencies, recommend the necessary fixes and itemize the related costs.
Here are some of the highlights:
· Window and skylight replacement
· Crawl space and basement insulation
· HVAC upgrades
· Electrical service upgrades
· Solar installation
This is phase one of our three-year plan to fulfill the needs of the school based on programmatic needs. In addition to the upgrades and renovations outlined above, OIE aims to eventually build a “Great Room” that students can use for theatrical events, school exhibits, all school meetings or other purposes. Our hope is that the Great Room will one day serve as a place for community gatherings as well. The over-arching goal of this multi-year plan is to insure the continued success of a cherished institution.