Albany School District Reduces Energy Consumption and Carbon Footprint

Energy ConsumptionA school in New York State was able to improve their energy-efficiency and reduce their energy bills with the help of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

The school

Hackett Middle School in Albany County, New York, planned an extensive renovation in 2008. The school was one of the first junior high schools in the U.S. when it was built back in 1926. It became a middle school in 1974. It expanded further in 2000 when grade six students were admitted.

These expansion plans necessitated extensive renovations. The school now had 720 students and faculty in a building which was designed in the days before energy efficient lighting, windows, heating, and water systems.

The school planned to renovate classrooms and science labs, to renovate music and art rooms, to upgrade the library/media center, and to improve the gymnasium and swimming pool. The school’s two cafeterias also needed renovating. The staff areas were part of the upgrade: a nurse’s suite, faculty work areas, and administrative support areas were part of the plan.

The school wanted to be energy-efficient, and to reduce their carbon footprint.

The energy saving project

NYSERDA used Einhorn Yaffee Prescott, A&E (EYP) and L&S Engineering to analyze possible ways to improve energy efficiency for the new construction project. The final design for a High Performance building exceeded code by 34.3%. The design work was done by Envision Architects and Excel Engineering, with input from EYP/L&S.

The project implemented a variety of energy-efficient designs, which included:

  • Heating and cooling systems.

Upgrades included a variable air volume ventilation system, a variable speed fan in the cooling tower, a dual fuel hot water boiler system, and a high-efficiency chiller system.

  • Lighting systems

High-efficiency lighting and lighting control systems were installed to use less energy but maintain good lighting for the students

The savings

These energy-efficient designs are estimated to result in the new Hackett Middle School using 35.3% less energy.

The school will save 811,735 kWh of energy, and will save 163.4 kWh of summer peak demand.

The total energy cost savings will be more than $262,604.


This upgrade was made possible with an incentive from NYSERDA of $272,863.

Sources used in researching this article include NYSERDA: New Construction Program

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