Priority Energy Auditors Recently Completed Energy Saving Pilot Project and Facility Upgrades at several KinderCare Learning Centers in Chicago.
January 6, 2012
Chicago, IL-Ten KinderCare Learning Centers recently implemented energy efficiency upgrades, with improvements projected to save the organization 30% or more on annual utility costs. Chosen to lead the Chicago initiative, Priority Energy’s Building Performance Institute (BPI)-certified professionals performed comprehensive energy audits and retrofit work that also enhanced the warmth, comfort and air quality for the children and employees.
Knowledge Universe (KU), the largest early childhood education provider in the U.S., and parent company of KinderCare Learning Centers, launched an energy saving pilot project earlier this year to reduce the organization’s overall energy consumption, lower utility costs and improve the facilities. The initiative spanned the middle of the U.S., targeting 28 centers across 5 climate zones from Minnesota south to Texas. Focusing on the centers with the highest utility bills, the organization sought to pinpoint exactly why and where certain buildings waste energy and money. Priority Energy, with its staff of certified BPI energy auditors, was selected to perform audits at six centers and lead the retrofit projects at ten selected centers in the Chicago area.
"We are extremely proud to have worked with an organization like KinderCare and Knowledge Universe,” said Rob Schildgen, owner of Priority Energy. “It was evident from the beginning that their foremost priority was in the children’s care and in providing the most healthy and comfortable environment possible. The improvements they made will provide much cleaner, better circulated air in the buildings, and at the same time distribute hot and cold air more evenly to all the classrooms. As a parent, this focus resonated with me; we were proud to be a part of this project."
Priority Energy’s certified auditors performed thermal envelope assessments on the buildings, known as energy audits, as requested by the KU team. The measured results, with the use of specialized equipment and software, located exactly where the buildings were leaking air, and also outlined the savings associated with each recommended improvement. To attain their savings goal and to enhance the learning centers, the organization chose to install Aeroseal duct leak sealing, Lifebreath Heat Recovery Ventilation systems (HRV), insulation upgrades and other weatherization measures. Priority Energy quickly made these installments, testing the results at every step, to make certain all systems were working properly and safely.
BPI certified auditors and Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) certified raters are specially trained in the building sciences. Jacklin Kingen, Knowledge Universe’s on-staff LEED AP BD+C, who headed up this country-wide project, chose Priority Energy for its nationally recognized certifications and accredited BPI and RESNET training credentials. Priority Energy worked closely with Ms. Kingen to develop the best solutions for each location and to put together a work schedule that would not disrupt the children or the operation of the centers.
Why Choose a BPI-Certified Energy Auditor?
The Building Performance Institute (BPI) is a nationally known organization recognized for their approach to upgrading the performance of existing homes – an approach proven to reduce home utility bills by 20% or more. Considering the similarities of construction between homes and light weight commercial structures, BPI standards are useful in the commercial sector as well.
Why Choose a RESNET-Certified HERS Rater/Auditor?
A Home Energy Rater, (HERS), certified by the Residential Energy Services Network, (RESNET) conducts an analysis of a new home’s construction plans and performs on-site inspections. The Rater uses an energy efficiency software package to perform an energy analysis of the home’s design. This analysis yields a projected, pre-construction rating on the HERS Index. The HERS Rater will work with a builder to identify the improvements needed to ensure the house will meet ENERGY STAR performance guidelines. Unlike a Building Performance Audit or a weatherization assessment, a home energy rating is a recognized tool in the mortgage industry and for certain government incentives.
About Priority Energy, LLC
Priority Energy, a full service energy solutions company, has performed HERS ratings, energy audits and retrofit projects for countless homes, both old and new, plus schools, theatres, and museums. The company has a staff of BPI and RESNET certified energy auditors with backgrounds in engineering and building sciences. An accredited RESNET and BPI training provider based in Chicago, Priority Energy offers certification courses throughout the entire Midwest. Their additional services include air duct sealing, with the award-winning Aeroseal technology, Lifebreath Heat Recovery Ventilation system (HRV) installations, and auditing equipment sales.