Case Studies

One of the best ways to plan a project is to learn from the experiences of others. Here you will find several case studies of past projects at schools. Please let us know if there is something you want to do that is not represented—chances are someone has done something similar in the past!

Cambridge Isanti Reduces Energy Bill by 30% in 5 years: In 2004, Cambridge-Isanti Independent School District #911 joined the SEE program, a five-year energy
conservation and efficiency program designed to raise awareness, educate building operators, and increase
adoption of energy efficient behaviors and practices by building occupants.

South Washington County Schools Embrace Energy, Cost-Savings Using Schools for Energy Efficiency: It was fall of 2003 when Hallberg Engineering approached Mr. John Doth, Director of Facilities with Independent School District 833 of South Washington County School, regarding their new concept, the Schools for Energy Efficiency Program.

Efficiency Schools Pay Off in Proctor: Since the beginning of their performance contract with Johnson Controls, Proctor Public Schools has avoided over $414,00 in energy costs-almost $150,000 more than the amount guaranteed in their contract. The impressive amount of savings has been the result of numerous energy efficiency improvements in a variety of areas.

Murdock Elementary Energy Study: Reworking an Existing Facility: Stan Simon, an independent consulting engineer from Kerkhoven, MN, took the opportunity to help a local elementary school realize its potential for energy efficiency by conducting an energy audit for the school, identifying areas where energy efficiency could be improved.

Cleaner Air and Efficient Schools in Brainerd: To improve the air quality in the school, Johnson Controls, the Brainerd School District, and the Minnesota Department of Education initiated a pilot program at the Nisswa School. The goal of the pilot project was to bring the school into compliance with the ASHRAE standard adopted by the Minnesota Department of Education.

Bemidji State University Replaces HVAC Energy System: Bemidji State University received $8.3 million in funding from the state legislature in 2006 to renovate their science building, Sattgast Hall. Funding from CERTs provided financial resources for evaluating the existing ventilation system and for creating a proposal for evnergy and money-saving improvements.

Concordia College Builds the First Certified Passivhaus in North America: On November 2nd, 2006 the Northeast Regional CERT team toured what was described by one of the pioneers of the blower door test as “the tightest building in the U.S.” The Waldsee Biohaus Environmental Living Center outside of Bemidji is truly a marvel of green building design.

West Central Research and Outreach Center and Morris: A Real-life Demonstration Project: The West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, Minnesota is an excellent model of a community-scale project incorporating research and demonstration of renewable energy.

University of Minnesota Duluth’s North Shore Wind Study in Full Spin: Northeastern Minnesota is not a region of our state usually touted for its wind resources, but a dedicated group of researchers in Duluth are beginning to measure what they hope is the North Shore’s hidden wind energy potential.

Park Rapids School District #309: Uniting a Community Behind Educational Wind: The Park Rapids School District is conducting an integrated wind study to measure the wind speed and is moving ahead with plans of erecting a wind turbine at the K-8 Century School, which is also located near the High School in Park Rapids.

Carleton College’s Wind Turbine: The planning process for a Carleton College wind turbine started in mid 2002 with a meeting between the Northfield School District, St. Olaf College, the City of Northfield, Carleton College, and Renewable Energy for a New Northfield, a non profit working to make Northfield less dependent on non renewable sources of energy an to move to a more sustainable, efficient use of locally owned renewable energy resources.

Pipestone-Jasper School District: Wind Energy and Education: In Fall 2001, the Pipestone-Jasper School District, perfectly sited on Minnesota’s Buffalo Ridge, was awarded one of Xcel Energy’s RDF grants to construct a wind turbine. They harnessed the power of the wind to supply some of their energy needs, and built the wind turbine into their environmental science curriculum.

Onamia School District Saves Energy and Money with a Geothermal System: The Onamia Elementary School in Mille Lacs County, completed in the mid-1990’s, was the first large geothermal school project in Minnesota.

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