Extreme Makeover: The Plainfield NH Elementary School

This small New Hampshire town was faced with a host of issues with its 35,000 sf school. Key areas included IAQ problems, lack of temperature control, obsolete HVAC equipment, and high energy bills. A small group of volunteers proposed a radical solution: take one classroom as a prototype, disconnect it from the central plant, super-insulate it, and install a cold climate heat pump and an ERV. The monitored success led to a step-by-step Deep Energy Retrofit of the school, the removal of all of the oil-fired plant and fuel storage, and ultimately a 155 kWDC solar electric array to power the school. This case study details the strategies and reports the results.

Session Speaker(s): 

Session Chair(s): 

Event Time: 

Thursday, August 13, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

Room / Location:
Harbor II

Experience Level: 

1 (no prior experience/knowledge needed)

CEU Information: 

BPI 1.0 hour
GBCI BD+C, ID+C, O+M, WELL 1.0 hour
MA CSL 1.0 hour, Energy

Learning Objectives:

  • Know how to retrofit current technology HVAC systems into a building enclosure with severe spatial constraints (slab on grade construction, no attics, modest ceiling heights)
  • Reduce heating loads with air-sealing and super-insulation insulation in a phased retrofit of a multi-zone building
  • Use cold climate heat pumps to successfully heat an institutional building in a harsh climate that experiences temperatures as low as -25F
  • Use a comprehensive approach to deliver excellent indoor air quality, comfort and durability throughout a phased retrofit of an existing building

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