The Norristown Area School District in Norristown, Pa. has completed a $23 million dollar performance contract with a member firm of the InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance, an international alliance of independent building automation contractors. CM3 Building Solutions, Inc., based in Fort Washington, Pa, implemented several energy conservation measures throughout the district to help offset the cost of new air conditioning systems required at two middle schools.

Due to the scope of work necessary to accomplish the task, the Norristown Area School District determined that a performance contract through CM3 Building Solutions was the most effective way to address their needs. Performance contracting is a turnkey solution designed to increase the energy and operational efficiencies of buildings that also provides a means of executing a large volume of building upgrades under a single project. Improved facility efficiency, occupant comfort, financial management and environmental protection are among the long-term benefits of performance contracting.

“It would have been too difficult for our district to execute an undertaking of this magnitude in an efficient period of time by any means other than a performance contract,” said Anne Marie Rohricht, chief financial officer of the Norristown Area School District.

“InsideIQ member firms are dedicated to creating the best inside working environments for customers, whether installing a BAS or completing a comprehensive energy saving project,” said Mark Balent, president of InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance. “InsideIQ Members, like CM3, offer advanced energy solutions that help customers achieve their conservation goals, such as lowering energy expenses and reducing environmental impacts. Our experts will benchmark a facility’s energy consumption and identify ways to improve its efficiency while keeping building occupants comfortable and productive. InsideIQ firms can implement energy saving upgrades on time and within budget, with minimal disruption to facility operations.”

Through the performance contract, CM3 was able to install new air conditioning systems and upgrade the building automation systems in two middle schools. They also added state of the art lighting throughout the district as well as new energy efficient windows and roofs in several schools, among many other improvements. The building upgrades increased energy efficiency while reducing energy consumption, allowing the district to pay for the project through energy, operating and capital cost savings.

Located in historic Montgomery County in Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Norristown Area School District serves the communities of East Norriton Township, West Norriton Township and the municipality of Norristown. Approximately 6,800 students in grades K-12 attend 11 campuses, including six elementary, three middle, one comprehensive high school and a smaller alternative high school.

In addition to the energy saving benefits the school district receives through this project, CM3 and Norristown Area School District also focused on using local labor to complete the building upgrades, providing a boost to the local economy.

“We take pride in making the greatest impact on the greatest number of people when pursuing a project,” said John Hollister, vice president of Energy Services at CM3. “By using local labor to complete a performance contract, not only do the district and its citizens benefit, but also local businesses that boost the economy. This project has not only provided long term financial advantages to the district and community, but also had a positive impact on learning environments which will benefit students for years to come.”