The procurement process used by the U.S. government (or its contractor) can follow one of several different paths. Usually, an equipment specification is written that contains performance criteria and other requirements. A solicitation is then released and potential sellers competitively bid for the work.
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.