Sometimes, what seems like a need for more cooling capacity could be the need to take a hard look and fine-tune the existing chiller plant. With a hospital expansion coming up, the team on this UMass Memorial Health Care project avoided adding up to 120 tons of capacity with tactics that included attacking inefficiencies in piping, valves, cooling towers, and controls.
Plenty of potential ventilation crises await many otherwise unassuming buildings, thanks to
nothing more sinister than truck accidents, emissions from nearby buildings, or unavoidable
natural disasters. However, by pairing a clear basis of design with HVAC response strategies,
building owners can apply some forethought and preparation to avoid worst-case consequences.
Start by asking the right questions about your facility.
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.