District Consolidates its Controls

Minnesota's Robbinsdale Area School District, located just outside of the Twin Cities, has a tradition of academic excellence. For its schools and administrative buildings to be as progressive as its students and personnel, the district decided to automate its building-control systems over a six-year period to save money on energy and operating costs in conjunction with building renovations.

03/01/2001


Minnesota's Robbinsdale Area School District, located just outside of the Twin Cities, has a tradition of academic excellence. For its schools and administrative buildings to be as progressive as its students and personnel, the district decided to automate its building-control systems over a six-year period to save money on energy and operating costs in conjunction with building renovations.

The challenge was to purchase an affordable system that could be automated and controlled from one central point. The district's administrators were planning a new HVAC system, and wanted to monitor and control their energy usage.

After studying and analyzing alternatives to address their automation needs, the district's personnel and consultants selected a system that would allow them to control a range of devices from various manufacturers with one system. This way, the district could not only incorporate their disparate existing control systems into one interface, but they would have the flexibility to explore a number of possible systems and manufacturers on future projects.

Additionally, district administrators were pleased to be able to limit the expenses associated with training employees on numerous operating systems.

The new automated control system was originally installed in one building in the district, with six more being integrated last year. Over the next few years, the rest of the facilities plan to join the others.

"We wanted one operating system with one software, and that's what was provided," said Jim Gerber, lead associate for facilities and maintenance for the district. "This system plan will continue to play a key role in our efforts to automate our building-controls system."

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