Sunday, February 19, 2017

SCS Environmental Club tests efficiency of our new D wing windows

One of our most active SCS clubs is the Environmental Club headed by Peg Rosenau, and just this week they came requesting access to the new wing in order to do some testing on the efficiency of our new windows.   Here is the report that they sent to me as a follow-up - nice confirmation of achieving our goal of increased efficiency in the midst of making a beautiful new wing!   

The middle school teams about to move into the newly renovated "D" wing will have many reasons to celebrate their new beautiful space, not least of which is much improved climate control.  Members of the 6-8 grade Environmental Club have been wondering just how much of an improvement new double-pane insulated windows can make in regards to regulating temperature and increasing energy efficiency.  

The IR thermometers that VEEP loaned us for a couple weeks to do this and some other studies

Armed with infrared thermometers borrowed from VT Energy Education Program, students took a series of measurements of the nearly completed D wing and compared them with the 1967 windows that are still in place on the soon to be renovated "E" wing.  

The team testing our new D Wing windows - first impression was "you can feel the difference!"
On a cold and snowy day with an outdoor temperature of 28 degrees, measurements were taken along a gradient starting immediately adjacent to the window pane and extending 12 feet into the hallways.  The results were obvious and dramatic.  The old E wing single pane windows yielded readings averaging 49 degrees on the interior pane, and 57, 66, and 70 along four foot intervals.  

Testing the 1967 windows and the temperature gradient moving away from them
The readings and color-coded visual displays on the thermometers made it clear that a lot of heat is being lost to leaky windows on the E wing, resulting in increased time that the boiler needs to run in order to maintain the ambient temperature.  
A view from outside of our old E Wing windows - we also expect efficiency from replacing above and below!

When the students entered the newly renovated space however, the significant improvement could be detected even before the thermometers were turned on: one could just feel that the new windows were making a difference. 

Testing on the interior of our new D Wing windows - with a nice view of the playground as well

 Indeed, the measurements along the new double-pane windows showed a marked improvement, 64 degrees were measured at the pane and there was very little change along the same gradient: 65, 66, and 66 degrees at four foot intervals.  The visual display indicated virtually no leaks along the seams.  
The new exterior - insulated brick below and insulated metal panels above (not installed yet here)
Clearly it is huge improvement that will yield savings in energy costs, not to mention eliminate the currently unpopular but necessary habit of wearing one's coat in the classroom in winter months.    And they look pretty nice as well - a wonderful bonus!

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