In early 2009, the Comal School District in San Antonio, Texas began exploring the meaning of high performance schools. Working with SHW Group Architects, it was planning a 87,300 square foot elementary school – Kinder Ranch – and its vision was a green, energy-efficient campus. The goal was to achieve significant energy savings as well as maintenance benefits, cost savings and the ability to meet a range of custom needs in the classrooms.
Comal School District contacted CMTA Consulting Engineers, an engineering firm known for its high performance, green projects to support the project.
Tasked with creating these cutting-edge, landmark schools – some of the most advanced K-12 buildings in Texas – CMTA focused first and foremost on the building’s energy efficiency.
Comal School District moved forward with recommendations from CMTA and installed smart lighting and lighting controls technology from Acuity Brands both inside and outside the building, which surpassed CMTA’s high performance criteria.
Through a custom nLight® technology lighting controls solution from Acuity Brands, the school utilizes scene selectors, graphic wall displays, preprogrammed controls, daylight harvesting and occupancy sensors.
The smart lighting controls integrate seamlessly with 2’ x 4’ Lithonia Lighting® SP T8 fluorescent troffers and 2’ x 4’ WRT T8 fluorescent troffers, allowing the school to customize lighting for school activities such as quiet time, unused classrooms and projectors. Gotham® 8-inch AF compact fluorescent downlights were installed in common areas for architectural downlighting.
On the exterior, Lithonia Lighting WST series luminaires were used for decorative wall mounts above outdoor entrances and hallways. Lithonia Lighting KSF2 luminaires were used for area lighting in the parking lots. All outdoor lighting was programmed to turn on and off based on the astrological time clock.
Installed in classrooms and corridors, Lithonia Lighting T8 fluorescent troffers offer a long life span and make changing lamps simple.
In addition to exceeding ASHRAE standards, the school is operating at half the cost of other schools with similar floor plans in the same district. The energy savings was approximately $54,000 for the school district when compared to their similar facilities.
Kinder Ranch Elementary successfully began its 2011 - 2012 school year as a high performance school.