Newtown North Public School – Cooler Classrooms

Ryan Wilks carried out this project as part of the NSW Governments Cooler Classrooms Program Initiative. 

Whilst the project seems simple on the surface as it only involved the fitout of some 14 classrooms, the challenge for our project team was working afternoon shifts with no impact on the school operation and education of the pupils. A challenge that we accepted and are pleased to say conquered.

The works involved the of new split type, ducted air conditioning systems and new fresh air fan in to each classroom. The new air conditioning systems have been designed to be as economical and environmentally friendly as possible, and to provide an optimal learning environment for students.

To do this each classroom is fitted with its own A/C control panel which incorporates an INNOTECH smart control PLC system, linked to CO2 sensors  and common outdoor sensors.  When the outside air conditions are favourable a green indicator light on the panel illuminates to advise the teacher (and the students) that they can open a window instead of turning on the air conditioning to cool the classroom.

The CO2 levels within the classroom are constantly monitored, if the levels are to high a yellow indicator light will light up to advise the teacher to either open a window (if the green light is on) or turn on the air-conditioning system which will also start the fresh air fan and reduce the CO2 levels. In the event that the air conditioning is left on when occupants leave the room the system will automatically turn off after 2 hours.

As these buildings are heritage listed we made use of the existing ductwork system in the basement and ran our new copper pipe to minimise the installation impact. Due to the school’s heritage status we positioned all of Block A’s new condenser units on a new concrete plinth which is enclosed by fencing. The drain line off the condensers will water the garden next to the concrete plinth.  The new fencing matches the existing school gates / fencing and the new refrigeration pipework and cabling were installed in duct which was painted to match the existing walls.

An additional 12.8KW Solar System was installed to assist the two existing 6KW and 8 KW Solar systems in bolstering the schools renewable energy levels. The School also saved some money on their electricity bill.

All the project team are happy with the final installation, but more importantly the School and the Department of education are extremely satisfied with the quality of the installation. We thanks the Department of Public Works Advisory (Department of Planning, Industry and Environment) for allowing us the opportunity to display our total turn key solution on this project.