Green technology

California district goes green, saving money in the process

Dell. Antioch Unified School District (AUSD), Antioch, Calif., was searching for a green technology solution. The main objective was to control its power usage, benefit from available energy rebates by the state’s leading electricity provider and put the savings back into the classroom. The district serves 19,000 students from 24 schools, totaling more than 4,200 endpoints managed by the IT team.

The IT team at AUSD frequently alerted users to shut down nightly across the district to save on energy. Despite its best efforts, IT had a difficult time containing an after-hours power drain when students, teachers and faculty headed for home and left computers on. AUSD decided to take control of the situation and carry out a green IT initiative.

“We reminded people to shut down computers when not in use,” says Bennie Driskell, supervisor of technology support for the district. “However, even after the end of the school year when teachers and students had been gone for a month, technicians would find countless computers and printers powered on in classrooms and computer labs—a waste of energy and money to the district.”

After evaluating the available options, AUSD selected the Dell KACE K1000 Management Appliance to manage the district’s computers because of the appliance’s ease of use, affordable pricing and ease of deployment. In addition, the appliance offered a wide scope in feature set and functionality, ensuring a seamless integration into the existing system, requiring no outside servers or support for deployment.

One feature that stood out to Driskell and her team was the integrated power-management capability. The district would benefit from lowered power bills and would qualify for power-saving rebates from Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). In addition, the district saved money indirectly by reducing PC wear and tear and by cutting down on the heat generated by idling computers—reducing its need for air conditioning in its buildings during the hot summer months. By reducing electric bills, AUSD could put more useful resources back into the classrooms for the students.

In time, AUSD plans to expand its use of the Dell KACE Management Appliance beyond power management and use the technology for software distribution, added security against malware and also for remote management work.

Select the July 2012 issue RSN number 159 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.

On Display

High school uses room dividers for art shows and science fairs

Screenflex. Each year, more and more art departments are discovering that FREEstanding portable room dividers are an important piece of equipment for their art programs.

Cedar Crest High School, Lebanon, Pa., purchased two 6-foot by 13-foot, 1-inch (seven-panel) FREEstanding portable room dividers to use mainly for their annual art shows and science fairs. Every year, the school hosts art shows and a science fair, and the dividers display the work neatly and conveniently. The dividers can hold around 78 square feet of materials, and that’s just on one side. Panels are tackable and can accept push pins, tacks and staples easily.

When not being used for art displays or science fairs, the acoustical dividers are used to create temporary classrooms, block off areas under construction, and even serve as a backdrop for a school play.

When the dividers are not needed, staff can fold them up in seconds and store them in a space about 2 feet by 3 feet. The walls are available in various heights, lengths, colors and options.

Select the July 2012 issue RSN number 160 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.

Dry erase paint

IdeaPaint. The company has introduced CLEAR, a certified low-emission, virtually odorless, LEED-compliant dry erase paint. It can be applied over any type and any color of interior paint to achieve a dry erase think space that seamlessly blends with any decor. IdeaPaint CLEAR can transform any smooth surface into a functioning “whiteboard” or “colorboard,” providing users with a limitless canvas for creativity and collaboration. It also offers roller or spray application options, and has a 10-year warranty.

Select the July 2012 issue RSN number 150 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.

Air-conditioned computer cabinet

MovinCool. The new Uptime Racks ECC13 air-conditioned computer cabinet, manufactured by Computer Room Uptime, is cooled by a MovinCool CM12 air conditioner built into the cabinet’s base. The cabinet is the result of a collaborative effort between the two companies. The compact, self-contained CM12, which needs no external refrigerant lines and operates on standard 115-V current, originally was designed to fit into the cramped crawl space above a drop ceiling, making it ideal for this application. The unit delivers 13,000 Btu/h of cooling capacity directly to the IT equipment housed in the cabinet, resulting in high energy efficiency and saving valuable floor space.

Select the July 2012 issue RSN number 151 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.

Nesting chair

National Office Furniture. The Jiminy Nesting Chair hops into action whenever needed, then flips and nests for convenient, compact storage. Jiminy is compatible with WaveWorks Flip/Nest tables, making it ideal for spaces such as training rooms, education environments and meeting facilities as well as in offices, labs, libraries and cafes. Its sleek, modern profile features a sturdy design adding durability to its versatile nature. Jiminy has adjustable arm depths and a mesh flex back for supportive, long-lasting comfort.

Select the July 2012 issue RSN number 152 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.

Digital learning tool

Vanerum Stelter. The Lighthouse is an innovative digital learning tool for classroom environments that promotes hands-on, active learning and engages students. It encourages students to learn through play by transforming the floor into an interactive playground using an NEC digital projector and interactive software. It also helps students work with technology at an earlier age.

Select the July 2012 issue RSN number 153 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.

Certified flooring

CBC Flooring. Two of its product lines, Sequoia and WELS Sheet offered under the CERES brand, have earned FloorScore certification. Both Sequoia and WELS Sheet are PVC-free and offer low VOCs for better air quality. In addition, both have low-maintenance features—using less water, chemicals and energy—adding to their environmental benefits, and can be thermally recycled, as they will not release harmful dioxins. Sequoia flooring is mineral-based and chlorine-free and contains 38 percent pre-consumer recycled content. WELS Sheet is polyolefin- and mineral-based, contains no plasticizers or stabilizers and comes in 28 colorways.

Select the July 2012 issue RSN number 154 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.

Top-fill universal soap dispensers

Bobrick. Two new chrome-finish automatic, top-fill soap dispensers are available for open-market, non-proprietary bulk liquid and bulk foam soap. Top-filling eliminates undercounter servicing cost and inconvenience. Bulk soap reduces soap costs by 80 percent compared with proprietary cartridges at locked-in prices. Unique Activation System defines a precise “dispense zone,” eliminating hand waving and false dispensing. Portion control adjustment from 0.4 ml to 3 ml lowers soap usage. Post-consumer waste is reduced by 57 percent over cartridges.

Select the July 2012 issue RSN number 155 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.

Lamp recycler wins award

Air Cycle. The Bulb Eater was named a 2012 Money-Saving Product by Buildings magazine. Finalists were based on the money-saving qualities in areas such as energy consumption, water savings, lighting, envelope improvement and maintenance. The Bulb Eater can reduce lamp recycling costs by 50 percent or more, typically between 10 cents and $1 per lamp. It holds up to 1,350 4-foot fluorescent lamps in one 55-gallon drum, reducing storage space requirements for the same quantity of boxed lamps by 80 percent.

Select the July 2012 issue RSN number 156 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.

Energy monitoring kits

Obvius. Three new Energy Monitoring Kits were created so small- to medium-sized facilities could launch pilot programs to monitor energy as an important step in meeting energy savings objectives. The kits come in three standardized packages—Building Dashboard, Industrial Energy Monitoring and Commercial Energy Monitoring—to provide a low-cost, entry-level solution that can be installed easily and will work with virtually any existing electrical services. The kits consist of electricity monitoring for up to 18 electrical loads and a one-year software subscription. All of the kits are scalable and can accept additional meters such as steam, gas and water in order to increase the opportunities for savings.

Select the July 2012 issue RSN number 157 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.

Collaborative learning tables

Steelcase Education Solutions. The company has launched Verb, a table-based collection of classroom furniture that creates an integrated learning space with personal-sized, one-of-a-kind whiteboards throughout the classroom for instantaneous collaboration. The easy-to-access whiteboards provide a note-taking surface for students during group projects. In addition, the whiteboards serve as space dividers during test time to ensure privacy. The whiteboards are made of e3 ceramicsteel, a patented material that is smooth, prevents ghosting and is virtually indestructible. The three other components of Verb include an instructor station, student tables and board display.

Select the July 2012 issue RSN number 158 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.