With the recent approval of a New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Energy Savings Improvement Plan (ESIP), the Hackensack Board of Education will begin energy improvement projects valued at $12.5 million, without utilizing its capital reserve or impacting taxpayers.
The proposed improvements will ultimately result in cost savings of nearly $11 million over the next 20 years and reduce Hackensack’s carbon footprint by 5,146,261 pounds of CO2 annually.
As architect of record for the district, DMR brought the ESIP program—designed to provide public entities a funding option for energy-related improvements using the value of the energy savings that result from the projects—to the BOE’s attention as a sustainable way to pay for the much-needed upgrades. Projects include:
- HVAC upgrades at all schools including 53 classrooms at Hillers School and Hackensack Middle School, which will also receive ventilation upgrades;
- Unit ventilators, steam traps, radiators, boilers, transformers, air handler and chiller replacements across facilities;
- The replacement of more than 10,000 lighting fixtures with LEDs;
- Solar panels on all buildings, a project that will save $206,000 annually;
- Weatherization of all building envelopes;
- Upgrading building controls to enterprise management systems
“This milestone is the next step forward in implementing important projects that will increase energy efficiency, reduce energy consumption and improve the educational experience for all students and staff,” said Hackensack Superintendent Robert Sanchez.
“The HVAC and window replacements are particularly timely as the board prioritizes ensuring that students, faculty and staff are returning to healthy buildings,” said Donna Coen O’Gorman, AIA, LEED Green Associate, Project Manager for DMR Architects.
According to the Environmental Defense Fund, the average American car emits about seven tons of CO2 a year.
“In essence, we are reducing carbon emissions similar to if we took nearly 370 cars off the road while also benefiting everyone in Hackensack but without costing anything to our taxpayers,” continues Mr. Sanchez.
Construction on the ESIP projects will begin in summer 2021 and continue through summer 2022.
In addition to management of the ESIP program, additional architect of record projects underway including: window replacements at Hillers School; restroom renovations at Jackson Avenue School and Fairmount Elementary School; elevator additions at Jackson Avenue School and Fairmount Elementary School; and a new portico at Hackensack High School.
Pictured above, solar panels at Hackensack High School. Photo courtesy of EZNERGY.