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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

Grafton High School/Middle School
403/405 Grafton Drive
Yorktown, VA 23692
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The Grafton Complex, part of York County School Division (YCSD), was built in 1996. It is a two-story, 277,000 square-feet building with high school and middle school wings. Many high performance building features have been added, including:

Designed and constructed a large atrium in the center of the building that allows day light to flood interior classrooms. This feature greatly reduces the need to operate fixed lighting at 100 percent.
Installed tinted, double-pane, insulated windows during construction that have gaskets and a thermal break between the inner and outer frame.
Used high-efficiency T-8 fluorescent lights throughout the building, with the exception of the gymnasiums. Incorporated bi-level switching into classroom lighting to provide teachers the ability to adjust light levels as needed.
Constructed the built-up roof to include multiple layers of insulation to decrease cooling and heating loads. The entire roof is covered with a white cap sheet, boosting the reflectivity of the sun and greatly reducing solar heat load on the building.
Used low-flow plumbing fixtures.
Installed two high-efficiency natural gas water heaters.
Incorporated an ozone water treatment system to condition the cooling tower water, minimizing scale build up and maximizing tower performance. This system also cut excess water consumption by the cooling towers.
Included a Direct Digital Control (DDC) building automation system, which provides:
Individual building automation controls for each classroom, enabling the occupant to adjust the temperature up or down 3?F and override the "off" schedule in 1 hour increment
Heating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system shift to setback temperatures at night and on weekends and holidays
Start and stop times for HVAC equipment that recalculate daily based on room temperature and outside air temperature 
 Load shedding to curtail electrical demand peaks 
Lighting control
Records of temperatures, alarms, and equipment run times to verify proper operation
Installed a water sourced heat pump style heating and air-conditioning system for this building, which includes:
199 high-efficiency heat pumps
Two high efficiency 100 horsepower circulating pumps
Two closed circuit cooling towers
Two natural gas fired boilers
Dedicated fresh air make-up systems
Four desiccant wheel heat recovery units

The building was initially benchmarked in 2001 and after reviewing the results, YCSD decided to implement further energy and cost saving features over a period of years. First, the 100 horsepower main circulating pumps were retrofitted with variable frequency drives and automatic water shutoff valves were installed at each heat pump in 2001. Two years later, occupancy sensors were installed in all classrooms to turn off lights when rooms are unoccupied. In 2006, the occupancy sensors were interfaced with the building automation system to reset room temperature set points when the rooms are empty. In 2007, the building staff was rewarded for their efforts when the school earned the ENERGY STAR.


Many representatives from other school systems, architects, and professional engineers have toured the Grafton Complex to see a sustainable building design in operation. When this building was first benchmarked in July 2001, its ENERGY STAR energy performance rating was 64. Through the sustained efforts of the school division's energy conservation staff, school faculty, and students, the rating continued to rise until it earned the ENERGY STAR. The success of YCSD's ENERGY STAR qualified building has been presented at multiple conferences. The school division hosts a "Green YCSD" web site which details energy conservation efforts and the activities of various "green" clubs throughout the county schools. YCSD also participates in various Earth Day activities and the EPA's ENERGY STAR Change a Light campaign.


"Grafton Complex students and staff enjoy a beautiful, spacious school building with superior indoor air quality and an outstanding teaching environment. The annual operating cost of Grafton Middle/High School ranges around only $.78 per square foot per year while the average utility cost for schools in Virginia is approximately $1.25 per square foot per year. The lower utility costs make capital available to enable the school division to hire more teachers, purchase materials to support the curriculum, and replace older computers. The division is committed to providing the best learning environment possible and providing it in high performance, sustainable buildings."

-- Mark Tschirhart, York County School Division, Supervisor of Resources & Security

Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by York County School Division 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:*
York County School Division

Property Manager:*

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2007 (75)
2009 (98)
2010 (97)
2011 (96)
2012 (96)
2014 (93)

Facility Type: K-12 School

Total Floorspace: 290458 sf

Year Constructed: 1996

Contract Type: Single Turn-Key Contract
Financing Type: Public Bond

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