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  • Location: Fredericksburg, Virginia

The Fredericksburg City School District has an ambitious climate-action goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2035. In partnership with ABM Building Services, B&N conducted initial investment grade audits for three schools within the district: Lafayette Upper Elementary School, Walker Grant Middle School, and Hugh Mercer Elementary School. Following the audits, B&N worked with the School District to leverage funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and design tailored, eco-friendly solutions for that create healthy, sustainable environments conducive to learning.

At Lafayette Upper Elementary School, B&N identified the outdated chiller plants as an opportunity for improvement. A high-performance air cool chiller replaced the existing plant, optimizing efficiency. The innovative design includes a conversion from primary and secondary pump systems to a variable primary pump system equipped with variable frequency drives, flow meters, and differential pressure sensors. Coupled with direct digital controls (DDC), this integrated approach is designed to enhance peak energy performance while extending equipment longevity.

Walker Grant Middle School benefitted from similar energy-saving solutions as Lafayette, with improvements to its gas-fired boiler plant. B&N retrofitted the boiler plant with a natural gas-fired system with peak efficiency of 92%. The updated variable speed pumping system will minimize the school’s carbon footprint while offering significant energy savings.

Hugh Mercer Elementary School’s needs were unique, revolving around its three existing modular built-up, split-system air handling units. B&N strategically replaced the electric heat-resistant heating coils with modulating natural gas heat exchangers to reduce the load on the school's overextended electrical service. This efficient solution eliminates the need for an expensive capital overhaul while reducing energy costs and carbon emissions.

In addition to energy improvements, B&N improved air quality by incorporating bipolar ionization into Hugh Mercer’s air handling system to ensure a healthier environment. This technique propels ions to bond with airborne particles like dust, smoke, and even bacteria and viruses, making them easier to filter out. This state-of-the-art method improves the air quality, creating a cleaner and safer atmosphere for students, staff, and visitors alike.