Baton Rouge School Wins National Energy Efficiency Competition

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InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance Member Louisiana Controls Puts School on Top in the Battle of the Buildings

InsideIQ members, like Louisiana Controls, are experts at helping facility operators, like school districts, to achieve greater energy efficiency.

Claiborne Elementary School in Baton Rouge, La., has won the Energy Star National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings, sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Louisiana Controls Inc., a Baton Rouge-based member of the InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance, completed upgrades to the school’s facility controls and energy management system (EMS) that helped the school to cut its energy use nearly in half, enabling it to win the competition. Teams from more than 3,000 buildings across the country spent the past year competing to obtain the greatest reduction in energy use and win the Battle of the Buildings.

Louisiana Controls provides facility controls systems, mechanical services and energy management solutions for a variety of commercial customers. Like other members of InsideIQ, an international alliance of independent building automation contractors, Louisiana Controls applies the latest technology to resolve customers’ building control and energy management challenges.

Completed in 2011 for the East Baton Rouge Parish School System (EBRPSS), the 100,892 square foot Claiborne Elementary School replaced a much smaller 60 year old facility of the same name and was designed to meet the requirements of ASHRAE 90.1 energy code. The initially higher energy operating cost for the new facility was a major challenge for the school district, due to modern requirements for integrated technologies, lighting, ventilation, humidity control and other construction codes for educational facilities. During the first year it operated the new school’s energy costs were $2.07 per square foot, compared to a $1.59 per square foot average for the old school during its final four years of operation.

Aramark, a leader in professional facilities services, is the energy management partner to the EBRPSS and works closely with Louisiana Controls, one of the school district’s three facility controls and EMS partners, to support more than a dozen systems Louisiana Controls has installed for the school district. Louisiana Controls implemented the EMS specified for the new Claiborne School, which included HVAC equipment controls and energy management functions.

During the post-construction warranty period, which was the first year of occupancy, Aramark energy managers worked with the school’s principal and administration staff to schedule and operate the facility as efficiently as possible, while maintaining required comfort conditions. Louisiana Controls provided valuable technical support for training and system evaluation of the operation of the new EMS, as well as timely troubleshooting and warranty repairs.

“Once the warranty period expired, Aramark energy managers collaborated with Louisiana Controls to develop and implement specific modifications and refinements to the facility control sequences and energy management functions,” said Tommy Reed, president and general manager of Louisiana Controls. “Some of these included changes to ventilation control strategies to more closely match delivered fresh air ventilation volumes to the actual needs of occupied spaces, as well as the addition of discharge air temperature reset control during periods of normal humidity levels.”

“InsideIQ members like Louisiana Controls are experts at helping facility operators, like school districts, to achieve greater energy efficiency,” said Frank Rotello, president of the InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance. “In this case, taking advantage of the EMS’s capability to analyze, trend and quantify control functions and system operation contributed to energy savings, as did the technical expertise of Louisiana Controls to effectively implement the original construction specifications. Additional modifications and refinements to the EMS, such as adding demand-controlled ventilation and discharge air temperature reset, further improved efficiency.”

The final result of all these efforts was a 46 percent reduction in energy use at the Claiborne campus, culminating in the Battle of the Buildings award for overall energy use reduction. Annual energy operating costs at Claiborne fell from $2.07 per square foot in 2012 to $1.32 per square foot in 2013, an improvement over the first year operations and well below the per square foot cost of the old school facility.

Teams representing more than 25 different types of commercial buildings faced off in the fourth annual Energy Star National Building Competition, which motivates building owners and occupants to improve energy efficiency, reduce harmful carbon pollution and save money. Competitors tracked their buildings' monthly energy consumption using EPA's online energy tracking tool, Energy Star Portfolio Manager. Nearly 50 buildings demonstrated energy use reductions of 20 percent or greater in a single year. Together, competitors saved more than $20 million and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 130,000 metric tons— equal to the annual electricity use of nearly 18,000 homes.

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About InsideIQ
InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance is an organization comprised of independent commercial building and facility automation companies representing common automation and security system platforms. Our member firms across North America, Europe and Australia share best practices among more than 5,200 employees at over 110 locations. Members specialize in the design and implementation of facilities and process control systems, systems integration, enterprise security systems, facilities maintenance services, energy services, and the representation of other value-added products and services. The largest independent organization of its kind, InsideIQ member companies provide consistent applications, coordination, and support for commercial facility owners. More information is available online at

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Keith Hobbs

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