By Joel Scanlon
This semester, a North Carolina school district scores high in energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR labels have been presented to thirteen buildings from Henderson County Public Schools this fall, after a complete verification by Morrisville-based Southern Energy Management (SEM). This project includes twelve elementary, middle and high schools, besides involving the district's Information Technology Center.
Fletcher Elementary School is one of 13 buildings from Henderson County Public Schools to earn the ENERGY STAR label this fall.
The Environmental Protection Agency stated that Henderson County Public Schools was included in the list of seven North Carolina school districts that won ENERGY STAR labels for their buildings in 2011. Dave Lyons, School district energy manager assisted in organizing the buildings for the ENERGY STAR process, with preparations like internal audits such as fitting lighting retrofits before SEM's review. He also asserted the importance of minimizing the school's energy usage.
SEM’s verification process for buildings is based on its energy usage, followed by the announcement of results in the EPA's Portfolio Manager with Statement of Energy Performance. Final review was carried out on each building by one of the SEM's Professional Engineers to ensure that the building satisfied the strict guidelines of EPA.
SEM building Science Engineer, Meghan McDermott says that SEM associates with the students of the Henderson County Schools by drawing their attention on the significance of sustainability, and the process of achieving it. Each building accomplishes the high standards of air quality, efficiency, lighting and comfort.
The ENERGY STAR program for plants and buildings varies from the standards for residential homes. This particular validation is concerned with existing buildings, instead of verifying new constructions.