Two North American
consulting firms set out to investigate the safety and economic possibilities
of using displacement in hospitals instead of traditional ventilation
strategies. Here, one firm reports on testing in an ER waiting room setting
(which itself can be an infection transmission problem waiting to happen). The
research also raised a couple of unexpected questions – when does overhead
ventilation “imitate” displacement, and are air changes always all they’re
cracked up to be?
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.