Xlerator hand dryers pass the sustainability test.
When longtime principal Lawrence Berte of Longmeadow High School, Longmeadow, MA, reached retirement eligibility, he opted to stay on board with the school to see the new high school construction through to completion.
“We sat with the architect for a year and a half to design the building, and the build itself took a year and a half,” Berte said. “The students wanted to have this new building be modern and up to date, and we wanted a facility that implemented environmental best practices.”
One of those best practices was the installation of high-speed, energy-efficient Xlerator hand dryers from Excel Dryer, East Longmeadow, MA.
The Xlerator has a dry time of 8 sec.— tested to guidelines from the Global Hand Dryer PCR published by UL Environment— and it uses 80% less energy than conventional hand dryers, according the Excel. It represents a 95% cost savings when compared to paper towels, eliminating their labor, maintenance, and waste, the company said.
A peer-reviewed (ISO 14040 standards) Life Cycle Assessment of the dryer confirmed it reduces the carbon footprint of hand drying by 50% to 75% compared to traditional hand dryers and even 100% recycled paper towels. It is BuildingGreen Approved and helps facilities qualify for several LEED v4 credits and Green Globes to satisfy corporate and government sustainability goals.
The cost savings was an important factor in choosing the units for Longmeadow High School. With 1,000 students, 100 teaching faculty, and a support staff of about 25, the dryers have allowed the school to realize a substantial reduction in paper-towel costs and eliminated a majority of restroom maintenance needs.
“With a building that has 1,200 people coming in, you not only have the use of paper towels, you also have disposal and maintenance costs. The Xlerator was an easy option for us. And our facility managers are thankful they’re not cleaning up a paper towel mess every night,” Berte said.
Paper towels are still used in other buildings in the school district, but Berte points out that they don’t last long. “When you pull the papers out, sometimes 10 come out instead of one; they fall on the floor or someone might think it would be a pretty good joke to clog up the sink and let it overflow or throw them in the toilet,” he said. “A high school is a high school. We have those things eliminated going the dryer route.”
Dryers were installed not only in the restrooms, but also in other areas that waste a lot of paper, including locker rooms and science rooms. “Anytime we could reduce paper with an Xlerator, we did so,” explained Berte.
The whole-building process was used as an educational tool to teach the students about the importance of sustainability.
“We had a lot of discussion about how we were going to make this an environmentally friendly school,” said Berte. “Those green initiatives and environmentally sound practices have been incorporated into our curriculum work as well. For example, we have a course called “Community Service Learning” and students took on an entire recycling project for the school.”
The school itself has received positive response from the community. “The faculty loves the flow of the school and the way things work and the students are thrilled with it. We came from a very old building that lacked space, technology, and light. All of those things come with this new building, so we’re really pleased,” Berte said. “Plus, the kids have a different attitude here. When they see the dryers or any other new products in this school, they tend to take care of it.”
Excel Dryer has partnered with Green Apple, an initiative from the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Washington, to create custom-covered Green Apple Xlerator hand dryers that are available for any facility to purchase. A portion of all proceeds support the Green Apple program. The program works with conscientious companies and organizations to transform schools into healthy, sustainable learning places. Hand dryers can be customized to include school logos, colors, mascots, or a specific sustainability message. The Eco model uses no-heat technology to dry hands fast using only 500 W.