Improving learning environments for a rapidly growing student body
At a Glance
- $4 million — Projected energy and operational savings from energy efficiency improvements and facility management services over ten years.
- 10,000 — Total students enrolled in for-credit and non-credit courses.
- 29 — Full time Johnson Controls employees on site at Weatherford College.
The challenge: Upgrade aging buildings to reduce operating costs and continue providing a quality learning experience
Weatherford College, located 30 miles west of Fort Worth, Texas, was founded in 1869, making it the state’s oldest community college. In the fall of 2010, Weatherford enrolled 5,708 for-credit students, up from 4,000 in 2007. Including those taking non-credit courses, that brings the number of students served up to 10,000. Over the years, the combination of rapid growth and aging facilities has driven up operating costs, forcing Weatherford to put off much-needed building efficiency improvements to classrooms, labs, living quarters and athletic facilities across the 90-acre, 3-campus, 20-building college. Weatherford brought in Johnson Controls to replace and upgrade inefficient equipment and manage their facilities so that they could create higher quality learning environments, operate efficiently, lower energy costs and focus on what they do best: Education.
The solution: A comprehensive program of energy efficiency and water conservation improvements, facilities management services and on-site maintenance
Johnson Controls began working with Weatherford in 1998 to replace old, malfunctioning heating and air conditioning equipment. That relationship worked so well that, in 2003, the college engaged Johnson Controls to make additional energy efficiency and operational improvements. All the work would be done under performance contracts which guarantee savings from the improvements are used offset the cost of the projects. Johnson Controls also has a maintenance and facilities management staff of 29, including a project manager, on-site fulltime to keep all systems and buildings up and running at maximum efficiency.
Energy efficiency improvements include:
- Replacing heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems — some 30 years old — with more efficient and reliable equipment to provide consistent temperature control and improve indoor air quality.
- Replacing existing lighting with more efficient lighting at all buildings on the college’s three campuses to reduce energy consumption and costs and deliver better light quality.
- Replacing electric hot water heaters with more efficient natural gas heaters.
- Installing the Johnson Controls Metasys® building management system in all college buildings so that all buildings across all campuses are monitored and controlled to operate at their best.
- Installing low-flow toilet fixtures and other water saving equipment.
Results and benefits
The improvements are projected to save Weatherford College $4 million dollars in energy and operational costs over the ten year performance contracts. Given the savings to date, they are on target to exceed that projected amount.
With the help of the savings and improved facilities, Weatherford is able to meet the needs of a rapidly growing student body with environments that foster a high quality learning experience.
Johnson Controls continues to be an integral partner in the advancement of institutional initiatives here at Weatherford College. The company provides professionally trained staff that would be extremely difficult for us to find and retain. Even more important, they have significantly reduced our maintenance and HVAC expense.
– Andra Cantrell, Vice President of Financial and Administrative Services Weatherford College