Level Solutions Improves HVAC Efficiency for Henry Clay High School

Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky had a serious efficiency problem, having the worst performing HVAC system in the district. Not only is HVAC efficiency important for creating a healthy and comfortable learning environment, inefficient heating and cooling systems consume significantly more energy. Inefficient systems also increase utility costs for school districts with already overly extended budgets.

Henry Clay High School

Henry Clay High School has 2045 students and operates in a building that was constructed in 1970. The school, named after statesman and Lexingtonian Henry Clay, is the oldest public high school in Lexington. At its previous location on Main Street, the school first opened in 1928.

Upgraded Multizone Heating and Cooling

The high school was originally designed with multizone RTU (Roof-Top Unit) HVAC systems. Multizone RTUs are designed to provide heating, ventilation, and air conditioning to different areas or zones within a building. They consist of a centralized unit installed on the roof or ground level, which distributes conditioned air through a network of ducts to individual zones.

When improvements were needed for the facility’s efficiency, local engineering firm, GRW, Inc. was brought in to assess the situation. When the initially proposed plan for the upgrade of the HVAC system did not meet the project goals, GRW enlisted the help of Level Solutions. 

Season-4 Three Deck Multizone Units Selected

To replace the inefficient units, our team selected Seasons-4 Multizone Three Deck DX Rooftops with hot water heat. In addition to offering the benefits of a US made product, the installation would be easy because the units were an exact match for the project requirements.

Three deck multizone units meet ASHRAE STD 90.1 by not allowing heated and cooled air to mix even when running simultaneously. Heated air combines with bypass air, and cooled air combines with bypass air, but the heated and cooled air never mix. 

These units rely on Emerson/Copeland digital scroll compressors and variable speed scroll compressors to provide modulation down to 30% of the lead compressors capacity, where there was very little if any modulation in previous options. 

Seasons 4 takes the three deck multizone unit to the next level by adding variable speed drives to the supply and return blowers. Because energy consumption is directly related to the speed of the blower motors, reducing the speed of the blowers during off-peak conditions can dramatically reduce energy costs.

Project Requirements Were Met On Time and Within Budget

The requirements for the Henry Clay High School HVAC upgrade stipulated that the existing footprint, as well as the hot water and electrical penetrations must be matched. Also, the school district needed the project to be entirely completed during only the summer and fall break periods. 

The original budget, proposed before Level Solutions was brought into the project, was very high and the schedule would have taken a long time to finish the complete remodel. The Level Solutions plan came in at a much lower cost, and a total of 26 units were replaced and brought to full operation within budget. 

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