Faith Technologies Project Spotlight: School District of Rhinelander Lighting

When the School District of Rhinelander, located in northern Wisconsin, reached out to Faith Technologies’ energy efficiency group to do a lighting upgrade throughout its six facilities, their goal was to improve energy efficiency and make aesthetic improvements over dated fluorescent fixtures. Due to our expertise in the industry, we were able to check both of those boxes.

The project began with a thorough assessment of the district’s current energy usage and costs. Custom solutions were then designed that were best suited to the customer’s needs, room by room and building by building, with occupant comfort at the forefront.

Lighting Plans to Meet Occupant Needs and Remain Budget Conscious

Lighting color and intensity can be adjusted

In classrooms, hallways and areas of high visibility, troffer lights were replaced with new LED flat panel fixtures. Classrooms received two zones of dimming capabilities, so that rows closest to the whiteboard can be dimmed independently from the rest of the room. In special needs classrooms, color‐changing panels were incorporated so that both the color and intensity of light can be adjusted based on the needs of the students and staff.

Throughout the facilities, areas with high bay lighting were replaced with dedicated LED high bays for maintenance savings as well as energy impacts. Keeping the district’s budget in mind, the most efficient and economical updates were made in low visibility areas such as mechanical/electrical rooms and closets. Energy efficient lamps and ballasts were installed to contribute to the project’s overall return on investment (ROI).

Manufacturing, Logistics Contribute to Efficiencies

Faith utilized its manufacturing partner, Excellerate, to make this project as efficient as possible. Panel fixtures were assembled in a controlled environment, and were then transported in baker’s racks to the job sites on wheels. Incorporating Faith’s strong logistics program also added to the productivity of the project. The onsite logistics specialist (OLS) managed all material shipments, ensuring materials arrived on site in a just‐in‐time (JIT) basis, which saved onsite storage costs and increased efficiency. The OLS obtained and staged materials in each room before the installation crews arrived and followed up behind to clean up waste materials when work in the area was complete. This allowed installers to maximize productivity and keep labor costs to a minimum.

Job site cleanup was also supported by the work of Excellerate, with materials being unboxed at the manufacturing facility to save packaging waste and dumpster needs on the school sites. Sustainability was at the forefront; all materials that could be recycled were, with old lamps sent to a lamp recycler and old fixtures recycled by the school district.

Results Speak for Themselves

Faith Technologies’ energy efficiency team works hard to provide the very best solutions to our customers, and no two projects are the same. Each scope of work is customized to suit owner and building wants and needs. Within this overall project, the scope for each building was different, based on current systems and future needs. In addition to occupant comfort, the numbers speak for themselves:

  • 347 light fixtures removed, due to efficiency of new lights
  • Annual energy savings of more than $43,000
  • Focus on Energy (FOE) incentives of more than $77,000 received by the school district

In total, the energy savings realized in this scope of work was 565,764 kWh, equivalent to 400 metric tons. Based on calculations provided by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the project provided some impressive and important environmental savings:

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 992,600 miles or 86.4 passenger vehicles driven for one year
  • Reduced CO2 emissions equivalent to 45,012 gallons of gasoline, 46.2 homes energy usage for one year, or more than 51 million cell phones charged

The school district’s lighting upgrade consisted of more than 500,000 square feet of project space and was completed in less than five months, beginning in June 2019 when school was dismissed for summer break. When school reconvened in late summer, the project team transitioned to after-school hours to avoid disruption of classes. They also worked closely with the school district’s facilities staff to review school events and activities, to schedule work around them appropriately. The project was completed in just under 5,000 manhours with no safety incidents, reflecting on Faith’s uncompromised focus on keeping people safe.

Faith Technologies was proud to be part of this project for the School District of Rhinelander, providing energy‐saving, aesthetically pleasing lighting upgrades that will contribute to the continued success of the district’s students and staff.