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“I have worked with Mark Robbins on several projects, most recently a Comprehensive Sustainability / Clean Energy Plan the for the eleven (11) buildings on The Foote School campus.  MHR has been a valuable resource – providing exceptional planning and project development support.” – The Foote School

*Electric & natural gas savings based on utility validated savings

232,360 kWh*

(43% reduction)

5,350 Ccf*

(12% reduction)

420,970 gallons

(22% reduction)

Following completion of the Sustainability and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Project, MHR was hired to implement a mechanical fresh air system and enhance IAQ of the school's North Building.

Utility Incentives and

Long-term Utility

& Operating Savings

Upgraded HVAC Systems

and Campus Wide

Control Network

Approximately 215 tons

Annual CO2 Emission Reduction

HVLS Fans for Perceived Cooling and Heat Destratification

Improved IAQ and

Enhanced Air Filtration


Building Envelope

and Ceiling Insulation Upgrades

Architectural LED

Lighting & Homogeneous Color Temperature

Touchless, Water


Plumbing Fixtures

Independent School: Deep Energy Retrofit

The Foote School, established in 1916, is a nationally recognized independent school in New Haven, CT.  The school provides education for kindergarten through grade 9 students, with a special emphasis on a connection to the environment.  The campus consists of 18-acres with 11 buildings built between 1959 and 2012, totaling approximately 90,000 square feet.  The school’s architecture and plan reflects an emphasis on the outdoors and a progressive approach to learning. 

As part of a comprehensive sustainability program, the school completed a deep energy retrofit to be showcased in their curriculum through project-based learning programs.  The scope of the sustainability project included water conservation, environmental controls, natural gas and electricity reduction measures as well as indoor air quality (IAQ) and lighting improvements.

MHR provided project development and implementation services for this multi-measure energy retrofit that received over $100,000 in utility incentives.

Over 20 separate energy conservation measures (ECMs) were implemented in this project. 

Project Scope: Architectural LED Lighting

The school completed a campus wide interior lighting retrofit with the installation of light emitting diode (LED) lighting with occupancy sensors.  Converting to LEDs eliminated mercury containing fixtures, reduced maintenance costs associated with periodic bulb replacement, and resulted in quieter operation due to elimination of the hum produced by fluorescent ballasts.  Additional project goals included establishing homogeneous light color temperature and achieved code required lumen levels for school lighting for each building. 

Additionally, the school also upgraded exterior lighting for safety, to reduce glare, and to bring the color temperature (Kelvin) for compliance with historical district for outdoor lighting.  Upgrades to exterior lighting also included:

  • Implementation of LED pathway marker bollards

  • Parking lot lights with motion activated dimming control

  • Replacement and reparations of faulty steps lights

  • Upgraded exterior security lighting (e.g., Gymnasium & Middle School)

Project Scope: Heat Destratification Systems

The school installed four high-volume low-speed (HVLS) fans in the Old and New Gymnasium to achieve thermal destratification and perceived cooling.  Heat destratification fans push the hot air down from the high ceiling for better efficiency during the heating season (winter).  The installation also included integration to the new building management system (BMS).  HVLS fans installed in the gymnasiums include:

  • Two 10’ diameter air foil Big Ass Fans (BAF) Essence fans in Old Gym

  • Two 6’ diameter BAF Pivot 2.0 propeller fans in New Gym​

Additionally, four HVLS BAF Haiku fans were installed in Library to replace the existing paddle fans.  The new occupant sensing fans are equipped with ultra-violet (UV) light technology and were installed in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Project Scope: Architectural Window Tint

Spectrally selective window tint providing 99% UV protection was installed in various locations of the Lower School, Milikowsky Building, and the Art Extension of the Main Building:

  • Milikowsky: Hallway and two classrooms

  • Art Extension: Southern facing windows of stairwell and one classroom

  • Lower School: Classroom windows facing south and southeast

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the school converted a classroom in the Art Extension into a new Health Office room.  For privacy, the school applied white frost tint to the the windows.

Project Scope: Heat Recovery & Fresh Air

Lower School: Installed nine energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) in classrooms with architectural enclosures.  The ERVs provide fresh air and use exhaust air to preheat / pre-cool the fresh air that is supplied to the building.  Integrated existing gas furnaces, boiler, and mini splits into campus control system.

Kindergarten: Integrated the condensing boiler and three heat pump / ERV units into FX-80 control platform located in Lower School.

Maintenance Shed: Installed an ERV with air filtration for proper ventilation and enhanced indoor air quality (IAQ).

Project Scope: HVAC & Controls

Campus wide controls upgrade to allow maintenance staff to monitor and schedule setpoints remotely involved implementing a Johnson Controls FX-80 multi-building management system (BMS) control integration to a centralized platform.

Art Extension: Replaced two end-of-life rooftop units (RTUs) with new high-efficiency multi-stage RTUs with integrated CO2 control.  Connected the building to new campus wide BMS.

Gym / Theater: Installed occupancy sensors and CO2 sensors for three existing heat recovery units (HRUs).  Implemented six variable frequency drives (VFDs) to efficiently modulate supply and exhaust of HRUs.  Connect three HRUs, make-up air unit (MUA), and boiler plant to campus BMS.

Milikowsky: Upgraded existing Alerton controls system to a new Johnson Controls FX-80 BMS.  Installed seven duct-mounted CO2 sensors.  Performed retro-commissioning of building HVAC equipment and controls for programming and optimization.

Middle School: Converted existing Delta controls system to new FX-80 for integration to central platform.

HVAC - Gym & Theater – VFDs.02.png

Project Scope: Envelope Insulation

The school implemented upgraded insulation in the ceiling of the Middle School and in the Maintenance building

Middle School: Installed 5,758 ft2 of foil faced (vapor barrier) 10” thick fiberglass batting directly over drop ceiling.  Ceiling was previously uninsulated (R-0), R-value with the new insulation is R-49.

Maintenance Shed: Installed 945 ft2 of foil faced (vapor barrier) 10” thick fiberglass batting in open rafters.

Previously uninsulated (R-0) with no drywall on the cathedral ceiling, which left the framing completely exposed with no thermal barrier.  The R-value with the new insulation is R-30.






Project Scope: Envelope Sealing & Weatherization

Miscellaneous building envelope sealing and weatherization:

  • Reflective insulation jackets on several domestic hot water (DHW) heaters: North Building, Lower School, and Gymnasium

  • Pipe and duct sealing and insulation (insulate copper piping, etc.)

  • Spring-loaded door sweeps for egress doors to minimize air infiltration

Project Scope: Domestic Water Conservation

The school implemented an array of innovative water saving plumbing fixtures that resulted in the reduction of domestic water use and corresponding consumption of natural gas in connection with water heating without compromising comfort.  The new plumbing fixtures are operated with motion sensors; touchless lavatory fixtures increase sanitation by helping prevent the spread of germs and are easier to clean because they have fewer parts (i.e., no handles).  In addition, the school installed of foot pedal operated faucets for sinks in various classrooms to eliminate the need for handles and thus reducing the spread of germs.

  • Faucets: Installed 40 new 0.5 gallons per minute (GPM) hydro-powered faucets.  Faucets that run on self-generating hydropower don’t require batteries.  No batteries mean no waste from battery disposal and lower maintenance costs.  The flow of the water spins the internal turbine to create power that is stored in rechargeable cells that power the faucet valve actuator

  • Foot Pedal Sinks: Installed 48 foot pedal operated sinks

  • Toilets: Installed 37 new toilet flushometer valves between 1.0 and 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF)

  • Urinals: Installed 10 new 0.5 GPF urinal flushometers

  • Corresponding Porcelain Parts: Installed 30 new toilet bowls and 2 new wall-hung sinks in Middle School first floor Girl’s Room

Project Scope: IAQ Enhancement

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, various passive, mechanical, and electronic measures were implemented to address building hygiene and occupant health.

Upgrades to the air handling systems improved filtration of airborne particulates including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), bacteria and viruses.  The project scope and measures were informed by best practices as outlined by the ASHRAE standards as well as recently issued guidance by the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

MERV-13 Filters: The school performed a campus wide filter upgrade from MERV-8 to MERV-13 filters.  The below chart compares the efficacy of the two different levels of filtration.

Bipolar Ionization: Units installed in various air handler units (AHUs) to improve air filtration and enhance IAQ and occupant comfort.

Bipolar ionization uses an electronic charge to create a plasma field filled with a high concentration of + and - ions.  As these ions travel with the air stream they attach to particles, pathogens and gas molecules.  The ions help to agglomerate fine particles, thus increasing the efficiency of the existing filtration system.  The ions can also kill pathogens by robbing them of life-sustaining hydrogen.  The ions breakdown harmful volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) into harmless compounds like H2O.

Water Conservation
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