Florida District Saves $7 Million in Energy Costs with Facilities Automation Tool
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CLIENT: St. Lucie County School District
GEOGRAPHY: Fort Pierce, Florida
VITALS: 47 campuses, 40,000 students
CHALLENGES: Integrating facility management systems to cut down on employee time and money
RESULTS: Increased productivity, significant energy and time savings with facility automation for events
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS: Eliminated need for outside contractors
Using Dude Solutions, St. Lucie County School District sees significant energy savings and increased productivity
With 8 million square feet of educational space and over 2,000 community events held each year, it was critical for St. Lucie County School District to integrate its facility scheduling and building automation system (BAS), which controls the HVAC and lighting systems, to save energy costs and employees’ time. Without the integration, this data transfer had to be done manually by Sean Murray, Energy Manager, and Jose Vega, Building Automation Technician. This daily process was both error-prone and lengthy, taking about 40 hours per week.
The district began focusing on increasing efficiency and streamlining processes. Sean looked to Dude Solutions for advice since St. Lucie was already utilizing Dude Solutions Work and Asset Management. Dude Solutions Event Management, and Facility Automation, were the answers that Sean was looking for. The integration ensured events scheduled in Dude Solutions Event Management communicated with the district’s BAS, through Dude Solutions Facility Automation, to automatically coordinate lighting, heating and conditioning of facilities as needed for each event.
Now with Dude Solutions Event Management, faculty and community requesters can submit event requests, and the team can deliver HVAC and lighting services in a targeted manner with Dude Solutions Facility Automation. This reduced the district’s energy consumption by over 30%, saving $7 million over 7 years. The implementation of Facility Automation also opened up 35 man-hours that can be refocused into making the district’s processes more efficient. “[With Dude Solutions Facility Automation,] my role switched from reactive data entry to proactive energy planning,” said Jose. “We have more time to focus on things that will have a lasting impact on the district and improve energy consumption.”
With this time, the team created more HVAC zones which allows them to heat and cool only the facility space that is being used for after-hours events. St. Lucie has maximized its energy efficiency by using the minimum number of zones needed to properly condition event spaces. This strategic management of facility space has positively influenced their peak demand rate and plays a role in the $1 million energy savings seen annually
Utilizing both solutions in conjunction with one another has also created time for professional development. With a more knowledgeable and well-trained staff in-house, the district has reduced the need for outside contract workers. St. Lucie has also been able to restructure technical support contracts and use them in a more proactive way. Now, the support contractors complete preventive maintenance and teach the in-house team as they go.
“It’s crazy to think about the far reaching effects one system can have,” said Jose. “Overall, we’re very happy with our Dude products,” added Sean. “The results we’ve seen are far better than we ever expected!”