Leisure Sector

BMS in schools and further education

We work with schools and colleges to ensure that their M&E infrastructure is controlled effectively and efficiently, providing a healthy learning environment for students and teachers.

Over 75% of energy costs in many schools is made up of HVAC, hot water, interior and exterior lighting and approximately 25% of this energy is typically wasted. Energy costs are often the second highest expenditure in schools. Professionally optimising Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) can have a significant effect on reducing energy waste and provides a quick payback period for the schools, academies, colleges, universities and trusts.

Challenges, considerations and priorities for the schools & further education 

  • Nearly 60% of a schools’ energy costs is used in space heating. Secondary schools tend to have higher energy costs because they have longer hours and more students. These students also use more electrical equipment in ICT, science, sports and crafts lessons.
  • Schools have many activities and furniture is constantly rearranged to accommodate students’ needs which means radiators and vents are often obstructed by equipment.
  • People work best at a temperature between 16°C and 24°C (source NEU). With students often rushing to different classrooms and doors being left open, large glass windows, it can be difficult to maintain optimum temperatures.

Common problems with heating and ventilation schools & further education

  • Heating system controls are often old and can be inefficient and problematic.
  • Lifecycle upgrades are recommended because they can pay for themselves very quickly through energy and cost savings.
  • Schools with swimming pools and leisure centres have the added challenge of maintaining the swimming pool conditions correctly to ensure swimmer comfort, as well as protection of the building fabric. Swimming pool water is usually heated to 28-30ºC, and to reduce condensation, the air temperature should be 1-2ºC above the water temperature. Maintaining these conditions is energy intensive, and therefore operating efficiently and effectively is key to reducing energy usage.
  • Budgets and Funding in schools is often tight, and Intech can work with education organisations to budget and plan for energy initiatives, providing ROI figures, recommended roadmaps, and a realistic approach to works – we won’t recommend something that wont bring an energy saving.

Typical BMS projects for schools & further education

  • Generally many schools we visit have old, inappropriately set, broken or faulty thermostats and timers which means school BEMs systems tend to be very inefficient – if they exist at all.
  • With a relatively small investment of approximately £5-10k in many cases, boiler controls can be replaced or installed leading to a reduction in school heating costs by up to 21%. The initial cost will be paid back within just four years providing year on year savings.
  • We also work with many schools providing Pre Planned Maintenance (PPM) which includes checking seasonal settings are correct and reduces the inconvenience and possible downtime waiting for reactive call-outs.
  • Under school lifecycle replacement programmes, we also upgrade many schools to modern BMS controllers taking the opportunity to revisit the original control strategy design, and often improving the operation of the building at the same time as reducing the energy consumption. Please visit our energy services page.

BMS benefits for schools & further education

  • Reduced energy costs year on year because our sensors detect empty classrooms, windows / doors left open and other wasted energy.
  • The reduction in wasted energy means that school energy managers are meeting their carbon targets.
  • Students will be working with optimal temperatures helping them to concentrate with smart learning.
  • Health and wellbeing of students will improve.

“Did you know? A typical 600 pupil school with a heated pool may have an energy bill of around £30,000 a year. A quarter of this could be a result of heating the pool.” 
(Source: The Carbon Trust).


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