The college and university market is expanding rapidly. More students than ever are pursuing an education beyond high school. In the next 15 years, there will be an increase in the population at higher education facilities. An even larger increase in population than the Baby Boom generation will be graduating from high school and heading off to a college, university, or technical school. Are facilities ready for Generation Y? This article will discuss issues for planning a new or renovating an existing central cooling plant. It will also discuss some central cooling system design issues.
During the onset of planning, define a budget. The budget should be determined from a conceptual cost estimate. The conceptual cost estimate is determined during the master-planning phase. There are several ways to determine a conceptual cost estimate. Some rule-of-thumb numbers for chiller plants are featured in Table 1.