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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

Alamogordo High School
103 Cuba Avenue
Alamogordo, NM 88310
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Located in south-central New Mexico, the Alamogordo Public School District (APS) serves a population of 40,000 with 6,300 students and stands at an elevation of 4,350 feet above sea level. The area's high ambient temperatures can cause excessive heating and cooling loads, and before the district undertook its efforts to improve efficiency, many of the district schools were using conventional refrigerated cooling, which is less efficient in this climate. Alamogordo High School is a 328,845-square-foot high school that serves 1,660 students in a single building. The school was constructed in phases, with the main structure being built in 1946. By 2002, the building was conditioned by six different types of mechanical systems with corresponding control technology. 


In 2003, APS embarked on a search to determine more efficient options for heating and cooling and evaluate the return on investment (ROI). An energy service company (ESCO) familiar with school environments was brought in to perform an investment-grade energy audit and ROI study and determine the feasibility of ground-source heat pumps for the facility. The study showed a 10-percent ROI could be achieved for a district-wide project including heat pumps, energy recovery ventilation, digital controls, and lighting retrofits.


In 2005, APS entered in to a performance contract with Energy Control Inc. (ECI) to install a ground-source or geothermal heat pump (GHP) system for partial control of Alamogordo High School. The GHP system incorporates water-source heat pumps designed with larger condensers to accommodate for wider temperature swings on the ground loop, as well as higher efficiency compressors. Temperature controls were retrofitted with direct digital control (DDC) using BACnet?, and designed to optimize daily and annual schedules while allowing interoperability with legacy controls. The DDC system provides individual classroom control for a high level of student/teacher comfort. T12 fluorescent lighting was also replaced with efficient T8 lamps and electronic ballasts.


The high school saw an 8-percent drop in electrical consumption and a 50-percent drop in natural gas consumption. The building team also achieved operational and maintenance savings by removing mechanical systems that were beyond their useful life and had excessive maintenance requirements. The GHP systems simplify maintenance and operation requirements.


In 2007, the school district voted for a $6,000,000 bond to expand the GHP to encompass the entire high school facility. The high school saw an additional drop in gas consumption, bringing the total decrease from baseline to 83 percent. ECI performs operation and maintenance services to ensure the system is operating effectively, meeting savings goals, and receiving proper maintenance. ENERGY STAR provides benchmarking analysis and measurement and verification of the energy initiatives. The high school applied for and was awarded the ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance in 2010.


In October 2004, the project was featured in the ASHRAE Journal "Reading, Writing, and BACnet," which discussed the system integration and ground-coupled heat pump system.

In August 2005, the District's move to ground coupled heat pumps was featured in the Alamogordo News "Schools Cool" and plans for additional systems were featured.



Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by Alamogordo Public School District 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:
Energy Control Inc.

Building Owner:*
Alamogordo Public School District

Property Manager:*
Energy Control Inc

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2009 (92)
2011 (97)
2012 (97)

Facility Type: K-12 School

Total Floorspace: 328845 sf

Year Constructed: 1946

Contract Type: Performance Contract
Financing Type: Guaranteed Savings

Technologies Used:
   Stage 1-Recommissioning
   Stage 2-Lighting
   Stage 3-Load Reductions
   Stage 5-Heating and Cooling Plant