We almost always think about the BAS as a tool that is a critical part of energy management, so these systems are typically focused on those systems that directly use energy — notably the HVAC and lighting systems.
A pre-retrofit report card helped this major Chicago health care facility chart a smart course of treatment for its HVAC. After improvements for chillers, cooling towers, refrigerants, pumps, and more, the hospital’s central plant upgrade now looks forward to long-term savings, cleaner operations with streamlined maintenance, and better reliability.
Are we headed for a scenario reminiscent of big-budget disaster films? Maybe not. But when it comes to water usage, it’s time for engineers to put down the popcorn and embrace a new role: designer of more responsible data centers. Optimizing cooling towers, boosting the CoC, and considering your WUE are just three steps for maintaining the flow of information while minimizing the flow of H2O.
Circumstances converged to construct a pair of plants on campus in a short timeframe. However, these projects weren’t identical twins by any means: different needs, locations, and other factors drove some major differences, from cooling towers to standby power.
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.