Up to the Challenge: New Killeen High School Aligns with Global Sustainability Initiative

By: Sean Elliston (Director, Sustainability)

Killeen ISD High School #6 was designed with the future in mind.  Featuring flexible learning spaces to accommodate personalized teaching and instruction, and CTE labs in which students will earn credits toward professional certifications, the school will complement innovations in education for generations to come. And those are just the features you can see.

In addition to being a state-of-the-art environment for learning and teaching, High School #6 is also cutting-edge in regard to sustainability and energy efficiency.

There will be no fossil fuel consumption on site for the 432,000 ft2 High School #6, which aligns with the Architecture 2030 Challenge, a global program designed to achieve a dramatic reduction in the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of the built environment and advance the development of sustainable, resilient, equitable and carbon-neutral buildings and communities. In addition to the more common energy-efficient measures of LED lighting and a high-performance envelope, the school steps up to this initiative by installing water source heat pumps (WSHPs).  These HVAC systems are efficient in both cooling and heating modes by taking advantage of ground temperatures.  WSHPs provide several benefits by reducing electricity costs, requiring lower maintenance costs and not adding to the cost of water consumption.

The WSHPs are combined with outside air rooftop units that are designed with enthalpy wheels to reduce energy consumption even further.  The ventilation requirement for schools, especially in the Texas environment demands high cooling and heating loads with respect to the other loads present in the school building.  Enthalpy wheels are highly effective devices for the Texas climate to reduce design ventilation cooling loads by approximately 75% and design ventilation heating loads almost completely.

Killeen High School #6 is projected to open in 2022. LEAF Engineers is proud to work with Killeen ISD on this HVAC system design that is taking the next step forward towards better energy-efficient school buildings.

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