Friends' Central Launches School-Wide Energy Saving Initiatives
Friends' Central Launches School-Wide Energy Saving Initiatives

Friends' Central School is excited to announce the launch of an energy-saving project on both of its Wynnewood campuses, expected to dramatically reduce the School's carbon footprint. Projected to save 38% of energy used annually equal to 9,100 million BTUs, these savings are the equivalent of eliminating the carbon emissions of 3,000,000 miles driven by passenger cars or the carbon absorption of 30,000 trees for 10 years.

Friends' Central partnered with the energy conservation and services company, Ecosave, to conduct an energy assessment in the spring of 2017; the assessment identified four major areas in which substantial savings could be quickly achieved: lighting, building automation systems, replacement of HVAC equipment in Friends' Central's Shimada Athletic Center, and other initiatives that include the installation of photovoltaic solar panels for on-site energy generation.

Almost half of the savings will come from the replacement of old, inefficient forms of lighting, such as fluorescent, incandescent and HID with 10,000 LED bulbs and/or lighting fixtures throughout the 300,000 square feet of built space. With significant advancements in LED lighting technology, this update will result in a 60-80% decrease in the energy needed for campus lighting, and the lights themselves will improve light quality and last up to 20 times longer than its previous lighting.

Another quarter of the energy savings will come through the use of sophisticated wireless building automation systems, which continuously monitor conditions in all locations throughout both campuses and adjust heating and cooling for the actual outside conditions and use of the space. Data from all building energy use will be available on screens in Friends' Central's new Shallcross Student Center, which opens on the School's City Avenue campus this spring.

Fifteen percent of the overall energy savings will derive from the replacement of the HVAC system serving Shimada Athletic Center. These savings are so substantial that even with the addition of air conditioning, which will dramatically improve the functionality of the space, energy use will still be significantly reduced. The final 10% of savings will come from other initiatives, including the addition of 38 photovoltaic panels to the roof of Friends' Central's Middle & Upper School Language Building.

"This project is an excellent example of a 'Triple Bottom Line' business model: Planet, People, Profits. The financial payback is six and a half years, making this project a slam-dunk decision for the Friends' Central Finance Committee, while at the same time holding up  Friends' Testimony of Stewardship," says Miriam Fisher Schaefer, Director for Finance and Operations at Friends' Central.

The project is expected to be completed in April 2018.