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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

Oakton High School
2900 Sutton Rd
Vienna, VA 22181
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Oakton High School in Fairfax County, Virginia is the academic home for more than 2,200 high school students and nearly 200 staff members. The students are known for their high academic achievement, top notch music and arts programs, DECA teams, and their championship sports teams.

The energy efficiency of the building however, did not match the students? high level of performance. Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) facilities managers knew the energy use could improve, but it would take large capital investments to reach their goal. The more than 304,700-square-foot school was built in 1967.


In 2003, Oakton High School was included in the first phase of an energy performance contract with Noresco, an energy service company, along with 14 other high energy consuming schools. Based on the success of the first phase of this program, the performance contract was ultimately implemented at 107 FCPS buildings over a three-year period, making up 10.4 million square feet of space and a total investment of $19 million dollars.


At Oakton High School, the performance contract included retrofitting T-12 fluorescent lighting with magnetic ballasts to T-8 lighting with electronic ballasts. Metal-halide gym lighting fixtures were replaced with high-output T-5 fluorescent fixtures, which dramatically improved the lighting levels and quality - a bonus that was appreciated by the physical education department and sports teams. Occupancy sensors were installed in rooms to automatically turn off lights when the spaces are unoccupied. The energy performance contract also included replacing all of the original steel-framed, single-pane windows with new, double-pane thermal windows.


In 2011, the capstone energy efficiency project replaced original hybrid pneumatic/electronic building control system with a state-of-the-art Trane direct digital control (DDC) system. The project was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as part of an energy efficiency and conservation block grant to Fairfax County from the U.S. Department of Energy.


The new system included replacing HVAC unit controls, hot and chilled water valves, and outside air damper actuators. Classrooms have adjustable thermostat sensors so teachers can adjust room settings to their individual comfort level within a few degrees of set point, which improves occupant satisfaction. Carbon dioxide-based sensing in the gymnasium, cafeteria, and auditorium is utilized for demand control ventilation. Motion sensors were installed in classrooms and other spaces and integrated with the DDC control system so that HVAC units are indexed to a standby mode when the room is not in use. In standby mode, the temperature set point is allowed to drift up or down slightly, the fan is cycled on demand for heating or cooling, and the outside air intake damper is closed. In addition to saving energy, controlling outside air using carbon dioxide- or motion-sensing controls has improved humidity levels within the school, which had long been a problem during humid summer months.


In January 2012, Oakton High School earned ENERGY STAR certification. In June 2008, the building had an ENERGY STAR energy performance score of 63. By March 2012, the score had climbed to 89. Overall annual energy use at Oakton High School has declined about 25 percent from 80 kBtu per square foot in 2001 to 61 kBtu per square foot in 2011.


Fairfax County Public Schools, located in northern Virginia, is the nation?s 11th largest school district with more than 177,500 students attending more than 190 schools and centers. FCPS is projecting a growth in student membership of 11,500 students in the next five years, further straining facility and energy budgets, making energy efficiency more important than ever. The Energy Management section within the Office of Facilities Management ( ) is responsible for minimizing energy and water utility costs through development and implementation of conservation programs. FCPS has had an active energy management program since 1978.






Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by Fairfax County Public Schools or a representative of this facility. Other building information was verified and submitted to EPA at the time of application. Building energy performance, operating characteristics, and ownership/management may be subject to change over time.

Building Owner:*
Fairfax County Public Schools

Property Manager:*
Fairfax County Public Schools

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2012 (81)

Facility Type: K-12 School

Total Floorspace: 304777 sf

Year Constructed: 1967

Contract Type: Performance Contract

Technologies Used:
   Stage 2-Lighting
   Stage 3-Load Reductions
   Stage 4-Fan Systems
   Stage 5-Heating and Cooling Plant