Grand Prairie turns to NetX to save on its capital equipment costs and gains energy savings in the process!
The Grand Prairie Independent School District, GPISD, serves more than 29,000 highly diverse students within Dallas County in Texas. This school district is large and boasts 41 campuses, including:
- Two early education schools 22 elementary schools
- Six middle schools
- Three 6-12 campuses
- Three high schools
- Two early college high schools
- Two alternative education schools
- One charter school partnership
The school district employs more than 4,500 staff members and offers a variety of services and programs designed to help students succeed.
The Deputy Superintendent of Facilities for GPISD had a problem that was disrupting the ability to achieve the student goals. Throughout the school district, the HVAC system would randomly shut down an entire building. If room temperatures exceeded 78 degrees within a 2-hour window, the building is required to close. When the school is closed, the students and faculty are then bused to another school where classes would continue in the cafeteria or the library. With only 187 education days, this disruption created a major issue for the school district. The usual cause of a building shut down was HVAC control equipment related. Despite continued GPISD investments year after year, the existing vendors only alternative was a $3.5 MM building automation replacement with a $30K/year subscription service contract. The IT Manager for Networking and Hardware, Tony Hawkland, was asked to do discovery to find a solution to the problem.
An exhaustive study was performed to better understand the energy problems GPISD was experiencing. Tony’s white paper concluded that the existing technical network was not being utilized and that the current vendors had no incentive to replace the status quo. The challenge was to find a solution that could be supported by a technically lean environment and a small group of facilities employees in the district.
Tony was then tasked to search for a solution, which led him to Network Thermostat (NetX). That same month, a NetX pilot program was conducted in the most problematic area of HVAC failure: the school daycare program. This NetX pilot lasted 45 days without a single building shut down. GPISD decided to implement NetX across the entire school district, covering 5MM sq. ft. of space - and the results have been nothing short of spectacular.
The installation of NetX at GPISD avoided $3.5MM in capital equipment costs, with actual savings of $2.3MM. The current vendors were no longer needed. Additionally, There was no need for maintenance contracts or subscription agreements, saving over $30K/year. No additional staff hires were required as the existing technical staff of five people maintained the NetX equipment. The old controls were abandoned and now the classrooms' temperature, humidity, and run-time are monitored through secure wireless devices. More importantly, GPISD is now able to control and maintain the classroom environment consistently which is conducive to student learning.
There has not been a building shut down since NetX was implemented. GPISD also benefited from an unexpected bonus… additional energy savings over their old BAS systems of more than 15% in usage and 25% in peak demand. Grand Prairie ISD views NetX as a partner in this remarkable story.
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