Optima Engineering

Spring Creek Middle School

Wayne County, NC

Project Summary

The Twin School to Grantham Middle, the Net-Zero Energy schools designed for Wayne County School District. Each school is 95,000 SF and will serve 600 students, with core spaces designed for a total student population of 850, allowing future expansion.

Project Highlights

95,000 SF
600 Students Capacity
2,400 roof-mounted Solar PV panels

The schools will combine energy conserving building practices with on-site renewable energy generation to produce 40% more energy than the annual operation of each school requires. These “Net Positive” schools will be equipped with approximately 2,400 roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels oriented for optimum solar gain. Solar panels will be visible from the street, providing a noticeable cue to the energy generation capabilities of the school. The school HVAC system is a ground source heat pump system utilizing wells beneath the earth as their heat exchanger.  Classroom wings use dedicated outside air systems to provide constant neutral ventilation air to the spaces when occupied.  Air to air energy recovery ventilators are used to use toilet exhaust to precondition outside air in the DOAS systems, and for the water source heat pumps serving the gymnasium and auditorium.  The stage, gymnasium, and cafeteria use CO2 based demand controlled ventilation to match real time occupancy to the amount of ventilation air provided.  The project also uses the Indoor Air Quality ventilation air compliance path within ASHRAE 62.1-2007.  This method permits a reduced amount of ventilation air to the building, as cabinet style air cleaner filter cabinets are utilized. In addition, the project is using an integrated automated controls approach, where the Building Automation System controls the lighting, mechanical, and domestic water heating systems directly.  This system is also setup for enhanced energy management, both for display of building energy use and production, and for ongoing maintenance and intelligent services.  The schools will also be equipped with high-performance glazing and extensive use of LED lighting.