School’s Lighting and Infrastructure Upgrades Reduce Energy Costs, Noise Levels from O’Hare

Ridgewood High School

Administrators at Ridgewood High School in Norridge, Ill., expect recently completed lighting and infrastructure upgrades to reduce energy costs by 18 percent while significantly reducing noise levels from Chicago O’Hare International Airport which is located approximately 6 miles from the school.

Administrators at Ridgewood High School, Norridge, Ill., expect recently completed lighting and infrastructure upgrades to reduce energy costs by 18 percent while significantly reducing noise levels from Chicago O’Hare International Airport, which is located approximately 6 miles from the school.

Ridgewood High School administrators expect recently completed lighting and infrastructure upgrades to reduce energy costs by 18 percent while significantly reducing noise levels from Chicago O’Hare International Airport which is located approximately 6 miles from the school.

The infrastructure upgrades implemented by Trane, a global provider of indoor comfort solutions and services and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, were selected for their energy saving and noise abatement capabilities.

District leaders funded the improvements with a noise abatement grant from the Federal Department of Aviation and Chicago Department of Aviation. The energy saving infrastructure upgrades and lighting improvements also reflect the district’s commitment to sustainability.

Upgrades at Ridgewood High School included implementing a building automation system that provides centralized control of lighting and infrastructure systems and enables remote access.

Upgrades at Ridgewood High School included implementing a building automation system that provides centralized control of lighting and infrastructure systems and enables remote access.

The school is on track to receive silver-level certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and has adopted the Illinois Sustainable Schools compact which features best practices that K-12 schools can voluntarily pursue to help lead the way to a greener, cleaner future.

In recognition of the district’s commitment to energy, operational efficiency and sustainability, Trane presented the district with the “Energy Efficiency Leader Award.”

Energy-saving improvements at Ridgewood High School included installing double-pane windows and a multi-layer roof structure to reduce  noise infiltration and conserve energy.

Energy-saving improvements at Ridgewood High School included installing double-pane windows and a multi-layer roof structure to reduce noise infiltration and conserve energy.

“We’re pleased that the upgrades improve the academic environment for students, teachers and staff while reflecting the school’s commitment to sustainability,” said Robert Lupo, superintendent for Ridgewood Community High School District 234. “It’s even better that the improvements positively affect the school’s bottom line – leaving more money to focus on the school’s most important mission, educating our students.”

The upgrades, which were completed in August, represent a major step in transforming the district’s facility into a high performance building which ties to its educational mission. High performance buildings take a whole-building approach to performance while creating spaces that are reliable, safe, healthy, comfortable and efficient.

High performance buildings meet specific standards for energy and water consumption, system reliability and uptime, environmental compliance and occupant comfort. All standards are set to deliver established outcomes that help building owners and occupants achieve their educational missions.

A new vegetative green rooftop garden at Ridgewood High School, which students helped design, helps with sound abatement, stormwater run-off and energy efficiency.

A new vegetative green rooftop garden at Ridgewood High School, which students helped design, helps with sound abatement, stormwater run-off and energy efficiency.

Prior to beginning upgrades, DLA Architects, Ltd. completed building assessments to determine which energy conservation and noise abatement solutions would best meet the school’s needs. DLA Architects and Consolidated Consulting Engineers used energy modeling software to identify the best solutions for the school and predict energy savings.

Improvements included installing double-pane windows and a multi-layer roof structure to reduce noise infiltration and conserve energy. Two sections of vegetated roof were installed, built to a student’s design. The project team replaced all building lighting with highly efficient T5 or LED lighting.

Upgrades at Ridgewood High School included five staged chiller units that work on an as-needed basis, going into multiple stages on high-demand days.

Upgrades at Ridgewood High School included five staged chiller units that work on an as-needed basis, going into multiple stages on high-demand days.

Valves, faucets, and flush mechanisms were replaced with low-flow versions. Bottle filling stations replaced water fountains to help reduce waste and use of plastics. Sun shades were installed on south-facing exterior walls to reduce solar heat and glare in classrooms.

Enhanced commissioning services helps ensure that all mechanical systems run at optimum performance. Each building improvement was planned to improve the academic environment as well as optimize resources.

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