Fairfax County Public Schools

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Challenge Commitment
26.5Million Square Feet
Goals Progress
20%Reduction in Energy Intensity15%Cumulative (vs. Baseline)

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is the 10th largest school district in the nation and maintains over 220 facilities comprised of 197 schools, 11 centers, and other support buildings.  Energy use efficiencies to date have been achieved through renovations, HVAC upgrades, operational improvements, and behavioral changes by staff and students.  As a result, FCPS has 146 schools which earned ENERGY STAR certification in 2015, the most of any school district in the nation.   

FCPS’ Better Buildings Challenge commitment is to achieve a 20% reduction by 2023. The district has expanded its comprehensive education and sustainability program into a systemic collaboration driven by students, staff, businesses and the greater community across many domains. FCPS has established special programs to educate students and staff in environmental stewardship responsibilities. A cross divisional Sustainability Team is driving programs such as the NWF Cool School Challenge with students performing energy audits and executing action plans for first hand involvement and education. Additional plans to achieve the reduction commitment include equipment upgrades, building shell improvements, operational changes, and adjustments in occupants’ behaviors. A strong emphasis is placed on operational and occupant/staff driven improvements. Energy Specialists are conducting energy audits, overseeing equipment and operational schedules, and working to improve occupants’ energy use behaviors. Energy Management department personnel are fixing EMS system issues as quickly as possible, minimizing equipment downtime. One third of every project dollar is directed toward improvements in energy efficiency and sustainability. Among equipment upgrades during renovations are: variable frequency drives (VFDs), water source heat pumps (WSHP), energy recovery units (ERUs), variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems, automatic temperature control (ATC) systems, green diesel technology, and cool roof installations.