Gorham elementary school

The Gorham Elementary School is the first school building in Maine to be entirely heated and cooled with a geothermal system-which circulates water deep in the ground to extract the earth's heat. The system is estimated to save 20 to 30 percent of energy costs over conventional systems.

Lyndon Keck, a project manager and designer at PDT Architects in Portland, Maine explained in a nutshell how the geo-exchange system works: it is simply using the earth as a heat sink during hot weather and pulling the heat back out into the building in the winter.

Keck chose an UltraCool Englert Series 1300 Hemlock Green standing seam roof profile to cover the rambling building's 56,000 square foot roof. "We chose this profile for its known performance and durability in our harsh "Snow, Ice, Rain" climate with high winds and rapidly changing temperatures and where metal roofs are longer lasting and less maintenance."

Keck also specified 26,100 square feet of bone white Englert H-16 Wall Panel with ribs uniformly spaced at 4" on center with a fastening leg, and lock, that is Englert concealed. Like the roofing material, the wall panels were coated with an ULTRA-Cool™, Kynar 500® paint finish. Both the roofing and wall materials are LEED and Energy Star compliant.

Keck also selected 4,200 square feet of Englert B4000 bone white soffit material and 2,000 square feet of Alpolic bone white rain screen material as panel for the front entry of the building. All of the material was fabricated and installed by the IRC Industrial Roofing Co. of Lewiston, Maine.

He noted that at some future time, the school may elect to install solar photovoltaic panels or other onsite renewable power systems to produce the electricity to run the geo-exchange pumps or other systems. Meanwhile, the pumps have the capacity to move heat or cooling resources from zone to zone as people move from classrooms into the auditorium, cafeteria, etc.

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