When Geary Community Hospital (Junction City, KS) underwent a $34 million expansion, it was promised a cutting-edge HVAC design that would reduce maintenance costs, increase energy efficiency, and provide unprecedented IAQ.
There are no industry standards for rebalancing HVAC water systems, so it got me thinking about the topic and I came up with several questions pertaining to rebalancing chilled water, condenser water, and hot water heating systems.
When the facilities management staff of Mount Vernon Hospital completed an assessment of its central chilled water plant, it became evident that while the original chillers had served the hospital well since its opening in 1975, they were ready for replacement.
A Mississippi clinic needed above-average design on a budget. The equipment was nothing unusual. However, creativity and attention to detail uncovered opportunities to fine-tune the design and exceed ventilation benchmarks for less.
Engineers’ daily challenges include calculations for outside air, supply air, and return or exhaust air flows — all while balancing mandated code requirements with owners’ expectations for performance, equipment first-cost, and future energy costs.
The Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, TX, comprises over 5 million sq ft and includes a central utility plant, steam production, and CHP capable of producing 14,800 tons of chilled water capacity.
Day-to-day operations and the occasional renovation create two sets of distinct threats to IAQ and patient health. From monitoring stations and magnehelic pressure gauges to multiple resources for design and O&M guidance, the author points to recent projects and current wisdom to create a valuable resource.
The special nature of the occupants and activities in these facilities create special IAQ requirements, and the concerns only multiply when fire and smoke enters the picture. See how current codes and designs employ a combination of active and passive strategies, building on past approaches to minimize future incidents.
Leaning on experience and data from various K-12 cities and projects, the author pursues some less conventional design approaches. They may revolve around radiant heating and/or cooling, but depending on school size and other factors, the smart use of heat recovery, DOAS, and improved central plants could also put a project on the HVAC honor roll.