Posted by: Green Building Hawaii, 09 Sep, 2015
During the summer break, buildings and classrooms at Carden Academy of Maui received new lighting, cooling systems, and other modifications, all designed to create optimum learning environments and healthier classrooms, while also reducing electricity costs. The project was spearheaded by John Bendon, a Carden board member, parent, and the founding principal of Green Building Hawaii.
As an example, three outdated window air conditioning units in the kindergarten classroom were replaced with one split A/C unit, saving energy and reducing noise caused by the older units. The old A/C units will be replaced with brand new, insulated, heat reducing windows, to bring in natural light while reducing passive solar heating.
Formaldehyde-free insulation, certified for school environments, was installed in many classrooms. Several windows also received tinting, which will reduce heat transfer and result in improved energy efficiency. Lighting was another big focus for the summer project. Each classroom had the lighting optimized to support student learning by providing more uniform light distribution and optimal light levels for classroom environments. LED lights replaced fluorescent ones and energy use for each fixture was nearly cut in half while light levels were increased. The campus already had photovoltaic solar panels in place, and the new changes bring the school closer to their goal of running at net zero for energy use.
According to Nellie Foster, the kindergarten teacher, the changes are significant. “My classroom gets cool quickly now, and stays cool throughout the day.” Now that school is back in session, the students and teachers will not only be enjoying their cooler, more energy efficient classrooms, but will be working the project into their curriculum, analyzing and reviewing the changes as part of their science and math courses.