Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dedication of Dominion Conservation Classroom at the State Fair of Virginia

James River Air was honored to be invited to participate in the dedication of the Dominion Conservation Classroom at the State Fair of Virginia yesterday. Below are some pictures of event along with a description of the classroom.

James River Air installed the geothermal heat pump, solar system, and energy monitoring systems. If you're at the fair, stop by and check it out!

Dominion Conservation Classroom
Presented by Virginia Carolina Buildings

The Dominion Conservation Classroom is a classroom for year-round learning about best practices in environmental conservation. It models the latest in energy-efficient construction: both energy conservation and energy generation technologies.


Ø Construct a model building to demonstrate best practices in energy conservation in the building trades.
Ø Build a classroom to conduct year-round educational programs and to promote conservation-education.
Ø Centralize a variety of existing and planned conservation-education programs in one site at The Meadow Event Park.

Audience / Users

Ø 1,600+ 4th Grade students from Hanover and Caroline counties who take part in Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience training each spring, sponsored by the Hanover-Caroline Soil & Water Conservation District.
o Planning meetings by the Hanover-Caroline Soil & Water Conservation District staff to plan these classes.
Ø Seminars for small groups of farmers conducted by The Hanover-Caroline Soil & Water Conservation District.
Ø Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other youth groups to use for merit-badge, education, and general meeting space.
Ø State conservation agencies (VADCR, VADOF, VADGIF, etc.) for year-round meetings, conferences, seminars, and other conservation-related activities.
Ø Meeting and classroom space for Virginia’s Agricultural Extension Service along with local 4-H & FFA clubs.
Ø Small-group meeting space for trade show promoters.
Ø Heritage displays (African-American, Native American, etc.) during the annual State Fair of Virginia (11 days at the end of September).
Ø Staff meetings, board functions, and other SFVA-related uses.

Specifications of the Classroom

Ø A 24’ X 40’ steel-framed, steel-sided pavilion, built in 2009, was converted into the Classroom.
o A bathroom and a porch were added to the back to enable students to view the North Anna River to the west.
Ø Icynene® foam insulation, the most advanced and best performing insulation system available, was sprayed inside the walls and inside the roof of the Classroom. The insulation expands and fills gaps and potential air leaks, creating a tight building envelope, contributing to significantly lower electricity usage for winter heating and summer air conditioning.
Ø The Classroom is heated and cooled, in part, by the natural temperature of the earth (which is between 50° to 60°F year-round) through geo-thermal pipes buried 6’ in the ground; a high-efficiency geothermal heat pump transfers energy through a 3.0 ton Westinghouse 23 SEER super heat pump. A sealed and insulated duct system distributes the air throughout the Classroom.
Ø An array of twelve (12) 250-watt photovoltaic solar panels (3.0 kW total) collects solar energy and converts it to electricity, which is then used to power the Dominion Conservation Classroom. Unused electricity generated through the array feeds into the grid at The Meadow Event Park to reduce electricity purchased from the electric utility, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative.
Ø Interior lighting in the Classroom is provided by LED standard keyless light fixtures with screw-in LED light bulbs. LED stands for “Light-emitting diode,” invented in 1962. While more expensive to purchase than incandescent light bulbs, LED’s present many advantages: lower energy consumption, longer lifetime, improved robustness, smaller size, faster switching, and greater durability and reliability.


The Classroom is made possible through grants from The Dominion Foundation and The Cabell Foundation along with donated equipment and services by area companies.

Project Design & Management by
James River Air Conditioning Company, Inc.

The Cabell Foundation
Creative Conservation, Inc.
The Dominion Foundation
Harris Electric Co. of Virginia, Inc.
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative
Virginia Energy Services, Inc.


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