When the City of Tallahassee and Leon County collaborated on a consolidated public safety complex to deal with local emergencies, the stakes were high and the need for robust yet adaptable HVAC was, too. Another collaboration within the design — chilled beams and pump technology — represented a key component of the mechanical system as it stands ready for severe swings in occupancy and weather alike.
The assortment of standards, variety of technologies, and evolving weather patterns don’t make it simple. However, humidification and dehumidification strategies that suit the facility’s location and address some spaces’ specialized demands are worth the effort.
The codes and standards aren’t what they used to be when it comes to ventilation requirements. It might also be time to reconsider real-life occupancies with regard to design demands. Is there room to tighten up and boost efficiencies while maintaining adequate airflows?
A pre-retrofit report card helped this major Chicago health care facility chart a smart course of treatment for its HVAC. After improvements for chillers, cooling towers, refrigerants, pumps, and more, the hospital’s central plant upgrade now looks forward to long-term savings, cleaner operations with streamlined maintenance, and better reliability.
This month, a consultant and NFPA committee chairman looks at the major items involved in a hospital’s life safety design. Like the fire risks themselves, the assorted relevant codes are evolving with regard to specifics like smoke dampers. HVAC wall penetrations, alarm zoning, and response plans are just three other aspects to consider in this demanding design environment.