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Oakland, CA

Case Study: Oakland Unified School District

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If your comfort limit is 78°F (25.5°C), it can be 83°F (28.3°C) in the room and you're still within your comfort threshold thanks to the air movement from the Big Ass Fans. I'm definitely keeping these fans in mind with future projects. Brent Eubanks, LEED AP Mechanical Engineer

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Problem

La Escuelita Education Center, in the Oakland Unified School District, was designed and constructed to meet the district’s “green school”standards following the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CA-CHPS) Criteria for healthy, high performance schools including ASHRAE Standards 55 and 62.1 and the state Title 24 Energy Code. The design team took careful consideration of building orientation, lighting and daylighting design, and employed an innovative thermal comfort strategy that capitalizes on Oakland’s climate.

Solution

The design employed a comfort strategy that paired thermal mass, natural and mixed mode ventilation and large-diameter, low-speed ceiling fans rather than compressors. Engineers at Big Ass Fans® created a mock classroom at the company’s lab to tailor a fan that met the exacting criteria and could then be used at other schools. Building orientation and construction materials went hand in hand with environmental impact and occupant needs to satisfy CHPS requirements. The fans keep students and staff comfortable and help maintain the impressive green credentials of the school, which include net-zero status.

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