Over the years, reporters covering football in South Bend became accustomed to two constants: strong teams and stifling heat. The journalists’ area offered no viable A/C installation, sandwiched between VIPs above and fans and field below. Finally, the university embraced a VRF cooling strategy in a few places, rescuing students and staff elsewhere on campus as well as our colleagues in the once-oppressive press box.
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.