Switenki is a mechanical engineer with Arup (San Francisco), a global engineering and consulting firm. He has served as the mechanical project engineer throughout the construction phase of the new California Academy of Sciences, and has applied his strengths in low-energy HVAC system design and multi-discipline coordination to health care and arts and culture projects. He also has experience with all types of commercial, educational, and institutional facilities. He is also a member of both ASHRAE and ASHE.
When visitors enter this academy’s new home, they won’t only see thousands of specimens and creatures on display. An overtly sustainable design approach - including HVAC that smartly blends natural ventilation and radiant systems - will be on display as well. The way the system adapts to recent and current conditions is as much a key as the equipment itself, so follow it from the CFD to the details adjusted on-site.
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.