Comfortable, safe, green educational environments enhance student performance and academic achievement
Today, school systems are concerned about raising test scores, increasing average daily attendance, boosting teacher productivity, and satisfying the educational needs of their communities. Parents want schools that are comfortable, safe, and attractive — schools where they want to send their children and where their children can perform favorably. Communities want schools that not only function well academically, but are clean, green, and environmentally friendly.
In short, people want schools that work. Studies show that school buildings that are comfortable, well-ventilated, well-lit, and safe – and that make use of the latest information and learning technologies — are more conducive to academic achievement than buildings without such characteristics. In addition, they promote student, teacher, and staff health, so absenteeism is reduced significantly.
Working with Johnson Controls, Buffalo Public Schools is modernizing 65 facilities and is expected to generate $71 million in energy savings. The savings are helping to the district transform all Buffalo schools into first-class learning environments. What’s more, sixty school districts on Long Island, NY are partnering with Johnson Controls to upgrade more than 400 buildings. The energy and operational savings improvements are designed to save the districts a combined $350 million over 18 years.
Finding the right solution
Johnson Controls listens closely to administrators to determine their needs and to deliver a customized, fiscally responsible solution for their district with solutions such as:
- High efficiency heating, cooling and lighting systems to reduce energy consumption and provide comfortable, well ventilated and well-lit environments.
- Our Metasys® building management system which controls and integrates key mechanical and electrical building systems to optimize efficiency. And when combined with online scheduling software like SchoolDude.com, it can simplify the management of multiple technology platforms.
- Efficient lighting systems including sensors that automatically turn lights on when classrooms and other spaces are occupied and off when they aren’t, to avoid unnecessary electricity consumption.
- State-of-the-art security systems to protect school assets and secure building environments for students and staff.
- Renewable energy solutions to reduce operating costs and serve as an educational tool for students.
In addition, we offer educational resources to heighten student and faculty awareness and engagement on how to make their school, homes, and community more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Making schools work with limited funding
The challenge facing most school districts and boards of education is how to make schools work better when funding is limited. Every year, they are asked to cut budgets or, at the least, maintain them. As a result, they have to make tough choices between retaining teachers and educational programs, or renovating facilities to create quality learning environments and more energy-efficient schools. Ideally, this should not be an either/or proposition.
One way to improve their buildings without sacrificing educational resources is through performance contracting. Performance contracting makes it possible to invest in energy efficiency upgrades and use the energy and operational savings from those upgrades to offset their cost and pay for other improvements. But that’s just one approach. We also work with customers to identify alternative sources of funding such as grants and bonds.
To learn more about how school districts are improving their facilities and academic achievement, read our case studies. To find out how Johnson Controls can help make your school work, contact us, or try our operational and energy savings calculator today.