Turkey Foot Middle School

Fort Wright, Kentucky

Turkey Foot Middle School was the second Zero Energy school to be built in the United States. CMTA completed this design project shortly after we completed the nation’s first Zero Energy school, Richardsville Elementary School. CMTA used those lessons learned and design strategies for the new 133,000 square foot Turkey Foot Middle School.

The solar photovoltaic (PV) system was designed and installed in two phases to offset the total utility demand and make Turkey Foot a Net Zero facility. The 521 kW solar array was primarily installed on the roof of the school, as well as the adjacent bus shelter. At the time of project completion, this school's PV system was the largest in the state of Kentucky. This PV system, along with the energy-efficient school design, saves Kenton County Schools substantial amounts in utility costs.

Getting to Zero Energy in a large facility like Turkey Foot Middle School requires right-sizing of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems throughout the building. It’s part of our Zero Energy Philosophy: first achieve drastic energy results, then consider options for renewable energy. Past projects for Kenton County Schools, such as Twenhofel Middle School and Caywood Elementary School, integrated multiple features to reduce energy consumption. At Turkey Foot, dual compressed heat pumps were utilized because of their energy performance during part-load conditions. A distributed water pumping system was designed in lieu of a central system, with only half the power needed to pump when running at full capacity. Walls were constructed using insulated concrete forms, which reduced building infiltration. LED lighting technology was integrated into the school to further reduce utility demand for the campus.