Case Study: Grandview Prep – Alan Stob, COO
Grandview Prep is a small, private K-12 school in Boca Raton, FL. The school just finished its 20th year and has always been committed to the philosophy that education is a personal endeavor. The teachers, staff, and administration focus on timeless ethics and modern thought to help prepare students for college.
Grandview Prep has long taken a broad and progressive approach to reducing waste and increasing sustainability. In recent years, the school has upgraded to eco-friendly plates and utensils in food service, provided students with water bottles to reduce waste, and focused on improving recycling efforts. With a large campus situated on more than 9 acres of beautifully landscaped land, Grandview Prep COO, Alan Stob and his team are responsible for managing the ever-increasing importance of water conservation in the context of the school’s broader sustainability goals.
While the school already had an irrigation system in place when the UgMO team first made contact, Stob was intrigued by how this fully customized, smart irrigation solution might further improve the efficiency and performance of the existing system.
Unlike the industry standard of relying exclusively on weather forecasting for irrigation control, the UgMO team presented Stob a completely different approach to smart irrigation. The UgMO platform is based on the idea that knowing how much water your soil needs by measuring is better than guessing. Soil measurements are the most effective way to reduce water usage and are imperative to solving this problem.
“Frankly, this was a concept and technology that I was unfamiliar with,” says Stob. “But as I began to truly understand the UgMO value proposition, it became clear that this concept tied closely to what we see as our environmental responsibilities. Not only would our installation have an immediate impact on our campus, but that would soon trickle into the community and even to the broader global issues that we face.”
While Alan saw UgMOs potential to help meet the school’s progressive sustainability goals, any new technology he’d consider would also need to be budget-friendly. UgMO offered a guarantee that the school’s annual savings would exceed annual system costs.
“I was immediately sold from a budget standpoint, but the phenomenal customer service we received from the very beginning helped seal the deal,” says Stob.
With key goals of conserving water and modeling sustainability for the broader community, while staying on budget, Stob selected the UgMO solution in April of 2017.
The UgMO team quickly began the turn-key installation of its smart irrigation platform. This includes the only wireless, belowground sensors that measure soil moisture, temperature and salinity in each zone of a property. The platform then communicates the soil conditions and leverages an adaptive watering algorithm to automatically water according to the needs of each zone. And to ensure Grandview Prep achieves their ambitious sustainability goals, an UgMO technician provides personalized support.
UgMO’s adaptive watering algorithm and best management practices enabled immediate diagnosis and decision making that substantially reduced water usage while improving landscape health on the property. Additionally, the intuitive user interface has allowed the maintenance team to use any device with internet access to monitor and manage the system remotely.
Stob’s progressive approach to sustainability paid off. Almost immediately, Grandview began conserving water and reducing costs without compromising landscape health and beauty.
Using the former two years as a baseline, the UgMO smart irrigation solution has helped Grandview conserve thousands of gallons of water and reduce its water costs by 48% since installation.
In addition to these savings, smarter watering has allowed the Grandview team to optimize its fertilizer usage and decrease standing water, which attracts mosquitoes and other pests.
System automation has also proven to save valuable human resources. The solution’s collection of incredibly accurate, near real-time data, analytics and remote access also saves the maintenance team significant time and energy. UgMO’s one-of-a-kind underground sensors measure actual soil conditions to remove any guess work and ensure both water conservation and landscape health. The system also identifies and alerts the team to irrigation system issues, like nozzle failures, to enable the fastest possible response.
Stob also notes the outstanding customer service his team has experienced from his first conversation with UgMO through today. He’s been continually impressed with the respect and support he continues to receive from the UgMO team.
“This has been a great opportunity to help the environment through significant water conservation. We hope to continue to do everything we possibly can to increase sustainability and eliminate waste and be a model for our community,” said Stob.