SCHOOLS DIRECTED AC
The Department's Schools Directed AC (SDAC) program enables school leaders to initiate the AC process by requesting an official electrical assessment from the Office of Facilities and Operations to determine where there is sufficient electrical capacity for AC in classrooms. The assessments are being done under existing heat abatement contracts using no additional funds.
Once assessments are completed, schools have a range of options to move forward, including starting to budget for the project, partnering with community groups for equipment donations, engaging area lawmakers, or seeking funds through the Department’s legislative budget request. Unlike some of the complex solar-powered systems designed and installed under the "cool classrooms" initiative, HIDOE is only allowing energy-efficient window AC units under the SDAC program to help control upfront costs and future maintenance. Learn more here.
These are vents that enable hot air to be vented out of classrooms allowing cooler air to come in. Since hot air rises, most of these are installed either on roofs or high up on walls or windows. Additional benefits is that these are powered by the sun and do not need electricity.
These are essentially high efficiency skylights that allow light into the classrooms without the heat generated by electric lights. In many cases, on sunny days, you don't need to turn on any lights.
Since 2005, the Facilities team has increased the insulation in roofs and walls to reduce the amount of heat gain in DOE buildings, helping to reduce the temperature inside our classrooms. These improvements were done in conjunction with needed repairs such as reroofing an existing building.
CEILING FAN INSTALLATION
As part of a Race to the Top-funded facilities effort in the
Zones of School Innovation, ceiling fan installation was targeted for classrooms that (1) were not already air conditioned, (2) did not already have ceiling fans and (3) are used for student instruction.
ROOF COATING SYSTEM
By painting roofs with heat reflective fluid roof coating system instead of the basic black or gray materials, a temperature reduction of up to 5 degrees is possible. This system includes solar reflective properties and sometimes additional layers of insulation material to help reduce heat transferring into the classroom. This is more than a change in coloring for the roof. It has specific properties to minimize the impact of direct sunlight.
The estimated cost of installing AC at all DOE schools is $1.7 billion. This figure was a snapshot of how much it would cost to install full-school AC systems like that at Pohakea Elementary, completed in 2010. This number will fall as a survey of HIDOE schools is completed to grasp how many classrooms/offices have AC now, and how many are still waiting for cooling retrofits (either heat abatement measures (listed above) or installed AC if needed).
The annual electricity bill for HIDOE schools and facilities is $48 million. This amount would increase as high-energy AC systems are installed.
New schools will incorporate smart, efficient and modern design principles that take into account the natural environment and exploit ways to cool facilities using less energy. Ho'okele Elementary, which opened in School Year 2015-16, is an example.
Frequently Asked Questions