Eastminster Child's Play and Learning Center
About the Project
Eastminster Child’s Play & Learning Center (ECPLC) assists families with the development and child care of children from the ages of six weeks to five years. This non-profit center in Bexley, Ohio was built in 1954 and still holds many of the original units and features of the building. These outdated elements are not able to withstand the extreme weather conditions in the winter and summer months. If the classrooms cannot maintain a specified temperature range, the center must shut down. As a result, five families have stopped sending their toddlers and infants to Eastminster. ECOS is working to improve various aspects of the child care center through small-scale-volunteer projects, as described below.
Opportunities for Industry Involvement
After evaluating several different improvements for Eastminster (described in detail below), such as reflective roofing, dropped-ceiling, and blanket-wrapped insulation, ECOS has come to the realization that we cannot complete this project alone. We are turning to local Columbus engineers for feedback, suggestions, and general input.
In order to continue this project, ECOS is currently searching for grants and seeking the generous help of local companies.
If you or your organization would like to make a contribution, please contact us at EcosOsu@gmail.com.
There are many sources of energy loss throughout the building. As much as ECOS wants to help Eastminster renovate the entire center, we must realistically take small steps towards improving the environmental conditions and tackle one of these sources of energy loss at a time.
Since 2006, Eastminster and ECOS have been working together to find sustainable, energy efficient, and cost effective methods.. We originally looked into building a trellis or a louvered awning along the south wall. During the summer of 2009, ECOS completed calculations to prove that a trellis or awning would greatly improve their overheating issues. However, ECOS has established that the plants for a trellis would be difficult for the center to maintain. Also, by shading the south wall of windows, this does not necessarily improve the lack of sufficient heat in the winter months. Therefore, we have shifted our focus to the roof and insulation. We have found that improving the roof and/or insulation, we can better prepare Eastminster for extreme temperatures. Our hope is to slowly develop this project one classroom at a time, minimizing construction time as much as possible.
The roof consists of corrugated metal with a thin layer of asphalt on top. Many of the rooms have little to no insulation; however, we are not planning to replace the entire roof. Rather, we want to add safe, effective insulation.
In the past, Eastminster has had to combat overheating by placing a hose on the roof to lower the temperature.
There are two boilers located in the basement: Weil McLain (“newer one”) and American Standard (original with the building – 1954). Both are heated by gas and serviced before each winter season. Our goal is to replace these outdated boilers, as they could fail at any given time.
Air Conditioning Units & Heaters
Most of the rooms use window air conditioners, and almost all have been removed for this winter season. However, there is one particular window A/C unit that has been has been built into the wall using cracked wooden boards. The poor construction is causing another source of heat loss in the Toddler room. Although they have not installed this, Eastminster has another readily available air condition unit with the following specifications:
- Each unit = 18,000 BTU
- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) = 10.0 BTU/W*h
- Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) = 9.6
The radiators that lay below the windows are separated from the outside by a thin sheet of metal. Some of the radiators are not transferring any heat. Therefore, Eastminster has recently placed two new heaters into two of the classrooms on the first floor, which is most prone to lack of heat. This has shown to help so far to warm the rooms; however, Eastminster has not yet experienced additional extreme cold to validate this observation.
All the windows on the first floor are single pane and are causing much of the energy loss. During the summer of 2008, Eastminster and ECOS placed the Gila Platinum Heat Control Window Film along the south wall of windows to help reflect the sunlight and heat.
Playground door and windows are equipped with weather-stripping Windows have been re-caulked recently Vent filters for the wall units have not been cleaned for approximately 2 years.