usually consider being close to the ocean a good thing, but such a location is
no day at the beach for mechanical equipment. Ready for some retrofits and
looking for new design options, this Florida
college embraced a frictionless chiller and upgraded its piping and cooling
towers. The result? A sea change in noise and performance.
From earthquakes to upgrades, the home of the Washington State Legislature has seen a lot of activity in recent years. The rumblings kickstarted the retrofit process, and the resulting improvements have represented a tectonic shift in the overall systems' capabilities. Check out the myriad of chilled water improvements across the Capitol campus, plus the savings that no longer falls through the cracks.
Optimum Manufacturing Corp. is a very precise machine shop that specializes in complex, critical-tolerance components, CNC jig boring, and parabolic mirror housings. Using the most modern and precise machines, the company manufactures optical housings, mirror blanks, and optics-related prototypes for customers serving a wide range of industries such as aerospace, scientific, medical, communications, and defense.
A coal degasification plant used to stand in this space. Then it was an abandoned, contaminated lot. The transformation to a new 12-story biotechnology headquarters with a Platinum LEED rating took a substantial amount of design creativity and about $140 million. Lithium bromide chillers, free cooling, redirected sunlight, adjusting setpoints and fan speeds on cooling towers, and integrated life safety are just a few of the distinguishing elements of a sustainable project with many positive after-effects.
In a move sure to get the attention of other high-pollution areas, some California districts are adjusting boiler emissions requirements. Some facilities face retrofits in order to comply. Get the details on the scope of the more stringent rules, the low-fuel exemption, and the consequences for common multi-boiler applications like hospitals.
When it came to the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis, the project team was the one delivering the goods. Given the daunting task of preserving flexibility for a facility that could research anything from alcoholism to RFID tags, the team responded with a high-efficiency design led by an underfloor air distribution (UFAD) system. See how the versatility of UFAD solved some problems but its relative rarity invited another. It wasn't done overnight, but the end product met the challenges for supporting tomorrow's innovations.
What if you adjust the hours, not the load? What if you focus less on a setpoint and more on the ideal working relationships between equipment in a system? Why is the flow distributor a critical part of an above-ground TES tank? This California facility asked and answered all that and more as it tore down its chiller plant and bet its energy budget on thermal storage and an unorthodox controls philosophy.
When the University of Minnesota decided to centralize its chiller system, it immediately faced a tall task: retrofitting an existing building to handle its new life as a central plant. Elsewhere, the project also meant tasks such as installing piping and switching to a variable-volume approach. However, as the staff meets with early success and reaps benefits like improved data collection, they're glad they decided to Gopher it.
Hotels are some of the most difficult buildings to renovate, because there is never any downtime. Visitors can be found in the lounges, corridors, and guest rooms 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, leaving little time for engineers or contractors to repair broken equipment, let alone install new mechanical systems.
Seasonal occupancy and district budget pressures are two hurdles in the average school's quest for good IAQ. Add stodgy design attitudes, or outside air arriving in adequate amounts but receiving inadequate conditioning, and the assignment gets even tougher. Here, several industry experts weigh in about the perpetual problems and sensible solutions.
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.