Housed within a brick masonry building constructed in 1952, Hollis Primary School (HPS) has served its community for generations. But after decades of use, the New Hampshire school needed to be retrofitted to improve its thermal comfort and provide a sustainable, energy-efficient educational environment.
Prior to the modernization, the facility had no insulation, and the walls had an R-value equivalent to that of a single pane of glass. In keeping with 1950s-era design trends, the school featured an abundance of windows to maximize natural light, but these windows also resulted in excess solar gain and heated masonry, leading to uncomfortable temperatures well into the winter months.
These conditions challenged both educators and their students, but the project team had a plan to resolve their discomfort. A new spray-foam envelope for insulation, solar panels and Mitsubishi Electric Zoned Comfort Solutions® proved essential to delivering the energy-efficient comfort that the school needed.
HVAC equipment was selected strategically to fit within the school’s renewable energy goals. Heating and cooling is provided by Wall-Mounted Indoor Units installed in each of the retrofitted 900-square-foot classrooms and connected to variable-capacity MXZ Multi-Zone Outdoor Units. These heat pumps use only the precise amount of energy needed to keep each zone at its setpoint which mitigates the challenge of using variable sunlight to power the units. The outdoor units are also equipped with Hyper-Heating INVERTER® (H2i®) technology to help maintain performance during New England’s cold winters.
Paula Izbicki, principal of HPS, commented, “The experience has been great. When you set the units to a certain temperature, the room just stays at that temperature. So, we’re comfortable and we don’t really think about the system. The kids are energetic and much happier. The learning environment has improved dramatically because it is so much more comfortable.”
The retrofit has transformed HPS in terms of both comfort and efficiency, and has helped offer an improved learning environment for students and teachers alike.
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