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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

North Trail Elementary
5580 170th Street
Lakeville, MN 55044
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North Trail Elementary, located 30 miles southeast of Minneapolis in Farmington, Minnesota, is an elementary school serving Kindergarten through fifth grade students. Built in 1997, the 101,000-square-foot building is one of 10 buildings that comprise Farmington Area Schools (ISD 192). In July 2008, the district joined forces with the Schools for Energy Efficiency? (SEE) program to reduce its overall energy use and save related costs. Since this partnership began, North Trail Elementary has reduced its energy use by 4 percent, improved its energy performance rating to 83, and lowered its energy use to 72 kbtu/sqft. The SEE program focuses on no- and low-cost behavior changes to reduce energy use and strives to turn SEE strategies into more efficient, permanent habits. 


Classroom tip sheets and other visual reminders are placed throughout the building to help the North Trail Elementary staff, students, and community members stay on track with their energy savings. The Site Team, composed of the Principal, a staff volunteer, and the Building Operator, meets with the district Energy Efficiency Coordinator on a quarterly basis to discuss the building's energy use and how to improve efficiency. All utilities are tracked by the SEE program so problem areas and successes can be identified.


Students at North Trail are involved in energy monitoring groups called SEE Squads and spent time this fall learning about energy use from the Alliance to Save Energy's Energy Hog. In addition, the school takes part in an annual District Energy Week, an entire school week focused on avoiding energy waste both during and after the school day.


Building Operators and custodial staff are trained by SEE to implement strategies that increase efficiency and avoid waste. Additional and ongoing energy management system (EMS) training helps identify issues with the systems and supports Building Operators in their ability to use consistent and creative scheduling as part of their efforts.


Energy awareness and the SEE program have a link on the front page of the district Web site so community members, parents, and staff have access to current data and events related to the program. Weekly SEE Moments are sent to all staff as short reminders or trivia related to energy efficiency. Twice monthly communications and quarterly reports are sent out to the district through the District Energy Efficiency Coordinator.


"The efforts to save energy, and with it, district funds have become imperative in this economy. The fact that students and staff in our district work together to change behavior rather than rely on expensive building upgrades  creates not only a sense of personal responsibility and ownership, but increases our savings potential."
-- Jeff Priess, Finance Director, Farmington Area Schools

Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by Farmington Area 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.

Service Provider:
Schools for Energy Efficiency

Building Owner:*
Farmington Area Public Schools

Property Manager:*
Farmington Area Public Schools

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2009 (82)

Facility Type: K-12 School

Total Floorspace: 101000 sf

Year Constructed: 1997

Contract Type: None

Technologies Used:
   Stage 1-Recommissioning