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Learn how covalen helped develop an innovative approach to fulfilling this school’s HVAC requirements cost-effectively.

Kankakee Valley Schools

Kankakee Middle School, grades 7 -8, 555 students

Kankakee Valley High School, grades 9 – 12, 1,056 students

Wheatfield, IN

Winner:  2010 Indiana Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence, Energy and Renewable Resources


In 2005, covalen provided a dedicated heat recovery system to upgrade the HVAC system for Kankakee Middle School. The cost-effective solution recycled the heat generated by the students, lights and computers and other electrical equipment in the school to reduce natural gas consumption. When it was time to remodel the Kankakee Valley High School, Kankakee Valley Schools was interested in a geothermal system, since the school was near the banks of the Kankakee River. However, the cost of a geothermal loop to fulfill all of the heating and cooling requirements of the school far exceeded the budget for an HVAC upgrade.


Working with Tom Durkin, of Durkin & Villalta Partners Engineering, covalen provided an innovative approach to fulfill the HVAC requirements of Kankakee Valley High School. The solution married a dedicated heat recovery chiller system with a geothermal-based compression heater/chiller. However, the geothermal loop was designed to meet just 75% of the capacity requirements, saving capital outlays and operating expenses. Additional heating was provided by high efficiency condensing boilers and an additional chiller with air cooled heat rejection.  First year operational savings exceeded $112,000. Kankakee Valley High School realized a 26% reduction in utility costs.


  • 100 ton dedicated heat recovery chiller system
  • 150 ton geothermal-based compression heater/chiller
  • High efficiency condensing boilers
  • 200 ton chiller with air cooled heat rejection


  • 26% reduction in utility costs
  • Increased heating & cooling capacity