Project Delivery Method: Design-build (D-B)

Owner Team: Laboratories complex management; owner representative (consultant); project manager of capital projects; facility manager (outsource staff); finance manager; third-party commissioning consultant (CxC); and third-party testing, adjusting, and balancing (TAB) technician

Project Delivery Team: D-B project manager, utility company representative, and research grant representative

HVAC Project Team: HVAC D-B engineer, automatic temperature control (ATC) D-B technician, building automation system (BAS) technician (outsource staff), and energy engineering consultant (EEC)
Application: 2019 ASHRAE Handbook, HVAC Applications — Laboratories, Chapter 17; Energy Use and Management, Chapter 37; Owning and Operating Costs, Chapter 38; Building Energy Monitoring, Chapter 42; and Supervisory Control Strategies and Optimization, Chapter 43

Systems & Equipment: 2020 ASHRAE Handbook, HVAC Systems, and Equipment — Central Cooling and Heating Plants, Chapter 3; Liquid-Chilling Systems, Chapter 43; Centrifugal Pumps Chapter 44; and Motors, Motor Controls, and Variable Frequency, Chapter 45

Project Type: Infrastructure lab room retrofit with individual chilled water metering, chiller metering, pump metering (primary-secondary chilled water system), and energy audit and retrofit

References: Refer to the codes and standards located in the back of each ASHRAE handbook for additional reference

Other References: ASHRAE Procedures for Commercial Building Energy Audits, ASHRAE Fundamentals of Design and Control of Central Chilled-Water Plants, ASHRAE Standard for Commercial Building Energy Audits, ASHRAE Standard 202 (Commissioning Process for Buildings and Systems), Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), and ASHRAE Guideline 22-Instrumentation for Monitoring Central Chilled-Water Plant Efficiency.


  • The HVAC system selection and design intent are based on the process outlined in ASHRAE Handbook 2020, Chapter 1, HVAC System Analysis and Selection. It includes the owner building program goals and additional goals, system constraints, and constructability constraints. Reference is made to ASHRAE Handbook 2020, Chapter 3, Central Cooling and Heating Plants.
  • A complete energy audit of the primary-secondary chilled water system from central chiller plant to individual laboratories within the research building that make up the 24 laboratories, each individually funded.
  • Automatic controls shall include new chilled water system flow monitoring and Btuh energy metering at the central plant and individual labs. Energy data will be converted to cost for chilled water as well as other energy meters to capture the total utility cost to operate these individual research labs.
  • The interface of new with existing temperature transmitters, pressure differential transmitters, gallons per minute (gpm) flow metering transmitters, pump controls, and BACnet interface and internet interface with a new building automation system (BAS).
  • For program and project goals, refer to the functional goals: (Chapter 1, 2020 Handbook). Budget goals are utility operating costs as well as energy consumption reduction and life cycle cost.
  • Management goals include property management, outsource mechanical and electrical services, and mechanical/electrical operation and maintenance management.
  • Utility availabilities: electrical power, central plant chilled water, and BAS system.
  • Existing conditions include two water-cooled, variable-speed compressor chillers; two draw-through cooling towers; and two plate-and-frame waterside economizer heat exchangers. Existing pumps are a combination of split-case horizontal and vertical-based mounted and with variable frequency drive (VFD).


  • The HVAC design criteria shall be in sync with the project delivery method and owner’s project requirements.
  • The design criteria shall be based on an energy audit of the central chilled water system distribution followed by financial reimbursement analysis and also an energy conservation analysis of existing air conditioning conditions, associated operation, and proactive maintenance management in sync.
  • Based on the proposed retrofit project, a lab continuous monitoring utility cost analysis shall inventory the chilled water flow meters and Btuh energy metering to determine potential grant funding associated with each research lab.
  • The addition of a new BAS computer system with remote monitoring and management shall be overlaid to the existing cooling system to capture operating cost and enhance operation and maintenance of this primary-secondary system.
  • The existing utilities shall include electrical power and central chilled water distribution with flow meters and Btuh energy metering as the cooling media leaves and returns from each lab and from each primary piece of cooling equipment as well as each chilled water pump. This energy retrofit project shall follow ASHRAE Guideline 22, Instrumentation for Monitoring Central Chilled Water Plant Efficiency.
  • The D-B HVAC design engineer shall provide system flow diagrams with associated automatic energy management control and sequence of operation.
  • The D-B project manager shall include estimates for all costs associated with the design, build, and warranty of the project.

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