Wayzata Public Schools Buildings and Grounds department strives to be a conscientious steward of resources by exploring and implementing energy conservation initiatives. The department has targeted conservation efforts for electricity, water and natural gas through education, routine energy management inspections, reduction of use, installation of energy efficient equipment and participation in the high demand/load reduction programs with electric and gas utilities. At the top of the plan is the district’s web-based Building Automation System (BAS), which schedules, monitors, alerts and controls the status of temperature, lighting, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and operation of equipment remotely throughout the district.
In an effort to save costs and energy use, the district has been involved with ongoing lighting improvements to reduce electricity usage. The district has been engaged in retrofitting fluorescent lights in its buildings to lower energy usage. In addition to these improved fluorescent lights, the department is switching to Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) when possible and installing Light Emitting Diodes (LED) in parking lots and buildings. Buildings and Grounds staff also regularly educate staff on the benefits of shutting of lights in empty rooms, closing blinds, shutting down and unplugging equipment during unoccupied times. These devices and efforts conserve energy, they also save the district hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in energy costs.
The buildings and grounds department’s effort to conserve water includes the installation of low-flow devices in bathrooms and kitchens as well as automated faucets and flushers. The district’s two main athletics fields are turf, which require no water usage. Lawn and smaller field irrigation systems include rain sensors to control water usage. Buildings and Grounds routine energy management inspections also function to catch and control water leaks throughout the district as they are discovered.
The district hedge funds the purchase of natural gas to ensure low costs despite market fluctuations. By purchasing a percentage of its natural gas for the year in the summer months, the district is able to take advantage of lower prices to heat the buildings in the winter. The district has developed and is working on a plan to install more efficient boilers in its buildings. Eight high efficiency boilers have been installed as part of this plan to date. Natural gas use in the district is directly monitored by the district’s BAS to ensure efficient use throughout the buildings. All district boilers are dismantled, cleaned, inspected and adjusted on an annual basis by buildings and grounds staff to maintain peak and efficient performance.