Case Study: Performance Contracting

Berkeley County Schools

Berkeley County Board of EducationMartinsburg, West Virginia

Over $1,500,000 ABOVE Guaranteed Energy Savings in the First 3 Years

Located in West Virginia, Berkeley County is the second-largest school district in the state and their fastest growing school system. The Berkeley County Board of Education partnered with CMTA to renovate 35 buildings across the district, comprising more than 2,543,000 square feet – one of CMTA's largest renovation projects. The project included seven schools that received completely new geothermal HVAC systems.

The Challenges

  • Managed the scope and scale of the project without sacrificing our attention to detail
  • Achieved enough energy efficiency to fully fund the project through guaranteed energy savings
  • Completed renovations in an occupied school building during fall and spring semesters with disruptions
  • Completely renovated 7 schools during the district’s 9-week summer vacation
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Hiring CMTA was one of the best things we have ever done as a school district. Created with Sketch.

Dr. William Queen, Chair, Board of Education

Berkeley County Schools, Martinsburg, West Virginia

The Solutions

When CMTA partnered with the Berkeley County Board of Education to overhaul their energy systems, we knew we wanted to do more than just help them achieve new levels of efficiency. We wanted to establish Berkeley County as a sustainability leader in West Virginia. More than 40 CMTA team members contributed to this 35-building renovation project, wringing out every ounce of wasted energy across the school district. 

Berkeley County school district had limited funding available to perform major upgrades. This meant that their renovation project needed to be fully funded through their energy savings. CMTA was able to fully renovate seven buildings with geothermal heating and cooling, provide substantial renovations for five buildings and make meaningful improvements to all 35 buildings in the school system to generate excess savings and supplement the school district’s budget. 

Budget wasn’t the only constraint on this massive project. It was also important that we completed the major renovations over the school breaks and had the schools clean and operational for the first day of school. The project was divided up into two consecutive summer breaks. 

The Project Schedule

Summer Break #1 - (9 weeks on site):

• 3 school renovations • 25 miles of pipe installed in the ground 300 tons of heating and cooling installed • 150,000 SF of old HVAC removed and replaced with geothermal • 110,000 SF of new ceilings installed • 10,000 LED light fixtures installed

Summer Break #2 - (8 weeks 5 days on site):

• 4 school renovations • 26 miles of pipe installed in the ground • 310 tons of heating and cooling installed • 145,000 SF of old HVAC removed and replaced with geothermal • 105,000 SF of new ceilings installed • 12,000 LED light fixtures installed • Both phases were completed on schedule, with no delay whatsoever in the start of school

The Results

During the construction year, Berkeley County realized a savings of more than $1,300,000 and received $300,250 in rebates. The guaranteed savings level in future years is $1.7 million for the school district which will fully fund the project. Savings to date have exceeded the guarantee substantially. In the first 3 years of the project alone, the project has returned over $1,500,000 ABOVE the guaranteed energy savings levels. Berkeley County retains 100% of the EXCESS savings, none of which is shared by CMTA.

Thanks to the massive improvements we were able to implement, energy in the geothermal renovation schools has been cut by 75% and overall district energy has been cut by 43%. Our geothermal renovations are in the low 20 EUI range – extremely low for a renovation – putting the Berkeley County School District among the lowest in the nation for renovated schools. In fact the 6 geothermal renovations scored a perfect 100 in the ENERGY STAR program, meaning these schools are in the 100th percentile for energy efficiency. These 6 schools are the first in the state of West Virginia to score in the 100th percentile, making them the most energy efficient buildings on record in the state.

Additionally, we were able to significantly improve the school learning environment. Background sound levels, indoor air quality (carbon dioxide levels) and light levels were all documented before and after the project and were shown to substantially improve. Ultimately this affects the teachers and students in the county and greatly enhances the core mission of Berkeley County schools, provided a substantially improved learning environment.

All in all, the Berkeley County School District was made more efficient, more cost effective and more environmentally friendly.

Berkeley County Schools District Energy Use

What does this data mean?
Baseline: The annual energy consumption before the project
Guaranteed: CMTA's guaranteed energy use for the client post-project
Actual: The measured energy use after the project