Battling Budget Cuts with High Performance School Buildings

Funding for education continues to face large cuts across the country – currently, there is an estimated $46 billion budget shortfall in K-12 facility funding.


But even as budgets continue shrinking, schools and universities face expectations to keep providing students with state-of-the-art staff and technology.


Due to this, campus maintenance is often delayed or ignored entirely in favor of other expenses. School buildings and campuses remain old, using outdated heating and cooling systems. Lack of updates often leads to increased repairs and money wasted on maintaining inefficient installations.


REHAU radiant heating and cooling is an energy-efficient solution for schools and universities, allowing campuses to rein in escalating maintenance costs and exercise more control over the temperature and sustainability.


A Toronto-area high school achieved comfort and energy efficiency with REHAU radiant heating and cooling. The school achieved LEED Silver based in part on energy savings of 42% in comparison with conventional buildings.


Reduce building operating costs


Buildings with REHAU radiant heating and cooling typically see at least 30% reduction in operational costs and offer facility managers better control of individual spaces through low-cost hydronic zoning strategies.


Hydronic radiant piping networks installed in floors, walls or ceilings circulate warm or cool fluid to condition interior spaces. Air is essential for ventilation, but water transfers energy much more efficiently than air. This lowers operating costs – and frees more money and resources for other important educational materials.


A REHAU radiant heating and cooling system was installed throughout the entire facility, including all classrooms and offices, the cafeteria and the gymnasium.


A REHAU radiant system further contributes to cost savings by reducing HVAC system maintenance. Unlike in air-based systems, with radiant systems there are no filters, belts and pulleys that require routine maintenance.


Investing in the future


JSF High School, a French language high school in the Toronto area, used a REHAU radiant heating and cooling system in the sustainable facility construction. In addition to securing LEED® Silver certification, the building is now a comfortable and sustainable learning environment for students and continues to note considerable energy cost savings.


With less than 5-year ROI on most REHAU projects, radiant heating and cooling systems deliver exceptional energy efficiency and have the potential to save school districts thousands in energy and maintenance costs when integrated as a building’s primary heating and cooling source.


It seems in the future even more budget restrictions are in store for schools. This makes it even more important for districts and buildings to invest in sustainable solutions now, so remaining budgets are used as efficiently as possible in the years ahead.



By Ryan Westlund, senior manager, radiant heating and cooling