The Community Music School occupies a historic 40,000 sf building and is dedicated to providing high quality music education, arts instruction, and performing arts presentations. However, the building’s circa 1930 low-pressure steam system and 40 year-old air conditioning system were inefficient, unreliable and expensive to maintain. The failing HVAC system was replaced with an ultra-efficient energy recovery chiller. The advanced technology utilized incorporates a hybrid geothermal/solar thermal system, high efficiency, low emission condensing boiler technology as back up heat, and high efficiency hydronic fan coil units using existing ductwork where feasible.
The new hybrid system has reduced energy use by 55%, curbed carbon emissions by roughly 75 tons, trimmed maintenance costs by an estimated $10,000 per year, improved comfort and air quality, and increased usable space in school by 15%. The energy savings achieved offset the loan payments resulting in a cash flow neutral financial impact. The result is a sustainable model of repurposing historic structures in urban areas.