Babel Buster Network Gateways: Big Features. Small Price.
EMAIL INTERVIEW - David Angello & Ken Sinclair
David Angello, account executive for New York State, Johnson Controls, has 18 years experience in the industry, with 15 years at Johnson Controls. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering and Management from Clarkson University and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
School Safety and Efficiency Take Priority in Buffalo, New York
Together, they embarked on a $1.4 billion project in the fall of 2002 to
modernize buildings and equipment. This included updates to the heating and
cooling equipment and lighting, the standardization of all building systems, as
well as significant security upgrades.
Sinclair: Tell us about the Buffalo Public Schools project and the infrastructure and security challenges that needed to be addressed.
Angello: Serving 37,000 students in nearly 65 facilities, administrators at the Buffalo Public School district were faced with aging facilities and the need for enhanced security. The district partnered with Johnson Controls, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., to develop a project plan and financing model that would enhance infrastructure efficiencies in the schools, while addressing deferred maintenance. Together, they embarked on a $1.4 billion project in the fall of 2002 to modernize buildings and equipment. This included updates to the heating and cooling equipment and lighting, the standardization of all building systems, as well as significant security upgrades. A lack of funding had led to deterred maintenance and outdated equipment in some schools.
Sinclair: In today’s challenging economy, how did the district approach financing?
Angello: State government in New York supported the plan with a 93.7 percent building aid reimbursement rate to cover the majority of the planning, implementation and product installation costs.
To finance the remainder of the costs, Johnson Controls suggested a performance contact, where the remaining 6.3 percent of the project costs would be offset by energy cost savings. Project savings would be redirected into project costs, which would guarantee $20 million for the district over the next 20 years.
Sinclair: How did the administration address and prioritize their needs?
Angello: Because very few of the district’s 65 facilities performed efficiently, it was necessary to develop a strategic process to identify all needs and what required the most urgent attention. Working with the district’s manager, a team from Johnson Controls, now known as Innovation Services, facilitated multiple workshops with architects, teaching and administrative staff, members of the community and the joint construction board. During these workshops, more than 100 participants worked together to prioritize the facility-related needs that were necessary to support the learning environment.
Sinclair: After the workshops, what decisions were made?
Angello: From there, Johnson Controls and the district developed a multi-phase approach. The first phase of the project focused on upgrades to more than 20 schools, including lighting retrofits, HVAC equipment and controls upgrades, building envelope improvements, steam traps, insulation and pool covers, and the installation of a Metasys® building management system at 10 of the 65 schools.
Additionally, Johnson Controls worked with design engineers to completely renovate the Stanton Academy, one of the district’s grade schools, helping it to achieve the Silver certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. The school now serves as a model for the district’s future efforts in sustainable design.
The second phase of the project included the expansion of the Metasys building management system, lighting retrofits, replacement of burners, boilers and steam traps, installation of boiler controllers and new interior storm windows at an additional 13 schools. The third phase extended these same initiatives to an additional nine schools.
In order to best manage multiple security vendors and product providers, Johnson Controls offered a Technology Contracting™ solution that provided a single point of responsibility for installation and integration of a fire alarm system, security management system, IP video surveillance, HID card readers, clocks, bells, public address, auditorium sound systems, temperature controls and a master antenna system for nine schools.
Sinclair: In addition to the facility improvements, how was the need for enhanced security addressed?
Angello: The district really focused on improving student and staff safety, and deterring break-ins at all of the facilities.
The security initiative included district-wide installation and integration of 3,000 video cameras district-wide, which will be strategically placed to provide maximum visibility to major spaces. An additional 1,800 cameras will be installed later this year and a Digital Vision Network (DVN 5000) system will be used for recording, archiving and retrieval of all activity captured by the cameras.
The main offices at each school are equipped with 42” plasma monitors so that camera activity can be viewed in real time. The monitors can be used for visual identification of all school visitors, before they are granted access into the facility. Additionally, a district-wide burglar alarm system is integrated with the DVN 5000 system. If an alarm is triggered, cameras automatically point to where the disturbance occurred so that activity can be recorded.
The security systems are integrated into a P2000 security-management system, which is managed by administrators in Buffalo’s city hall building.
Sinclair: Was there any resistance from the unions regarding the surveillance system?
Angello: In developing the plan for the surveillance system, Johnson Controls and the district both recognized how it important it was to be sensitive to union agreements and stipulations regarding privacy. To address these concerns, Johnson is currently developing a comprehensive policies and procedures manual, which will clearly define how the system will and will not be used, provide camera locations and the purpose for recording there, and ensure students and staff understand how the system works in emergency situations.
The manual will also explain the process for providing archived footage to police and emergency responders, if needed.
Sinclair: With such extensive facility and equipment upgrades, how were staff members trained?
Angello: Under the project’s service agreement, a Johnson Controls onsite building environment specialist supports all installed equipment and controls access for the district. The onsite specialist conducts customized training programs for all staff members including administrators, teachers and engineers, and acts a liaison for the staff regarding the transition from installation to operation.
Sinclair: What has the outcome of the project meant for the district?
Angello: The multi-faceted approach and strategic financing model resulted in significant savings for the district and ensured that all of the facilities work to ensure that all students have access to safe, quality learning environments.
Additionally, within one year of the project, the district was awarded an Outstanding Achievement Awards in Public/Private Partnerships for the city from the United States Conference of Mayors in 2003.
To read the full case study about Buffalo Public
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