06/01/2008

4 Alternatives to Traditional HVAC

Explore chilled beam systems, geothermal, night-sky cooling, and thermal energy storage as some new HVAC possibilities

 

HVAC is a necessity in every building. Whether you're heating, cooling, or ventilating, you need to have systems in place that will do the job efficiently, effectively, and comfortably. But, there's not one system that will do the job for every facility. As technology develops, green becomes status quo, and people demand healthier, more comfortable places to live, work, and play, you may want to investigate other HVAC options.

If your HVAC systems haven't caused you big problems or complaints, why should you give them a second thought? The 2-20-200 rule is a good reason. Consider this: In a typical U.S. commercial building ...

  • Roughly $2 per square foot is spent each year on energy.
  • The cost of construction, amortized over 25 years, equals about $20 per square foot per year.
  • Overhead costs, salaries, etc. to keep occupants in the building total around $200 per square foot per year.

When you're able to increase occupant productivity by just 1 percent (the equivalent of about 5 minutes per day per person) via better indoor air quality or better temperature control, that increase pays for your building's energy use for an entire year. And, if you're able to increase occupant productivity by 10 percent, you could pay for your building.

If your HVAC system isn't cutting it anymore - or even if it is - check out some of these alternatives: chilled beam systems, geothermal, night-sky cooling, and thermal energy storage systems.

An example of night-sky cooling in use:

Located on Stanford University's campus in Stanford, CA, The Carnegie Institute for Global Ecology, built in 2004, makes use of a night-sky cooling system. Chilled water is supplied at between 55 and 60 degrees F. using only 0.04 kW/ton, and using approximately half as much water as a traditional water-cooled chiller.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF DPR CONSTRUCTION

An example of thermal energy storage in use:

The Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, VA, uses thermal energy storage; its system has been in operation since 1996. It utilizes a 2.2 million-gallon, above-ground chilled water storage tank that stores 40-degree F. chilled water to supply cooling to various airport locations. The stored water is also available for fire suppression.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF FACILITY ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES

An example of chilled beam systems in use:

In late 2009, the Constitution Center in Washington, D.C., will be the first large-scale building in the United States to use chilled beam technology. Chilled beams were chosen to overcome duct-distribution issues and offer comfort for tenants. The chilled beams serve the primary office area (floors 2 through 10). Conventional systems serve the entrance, lobbies, conference areas, etc.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF SMITHGROUP

 

 

An example of geothermal in use:

For the Killbear Provincial Park Visitor Centre, which opened in June 2006 and is located in Nobel, ON, the nearby Georgian Bay waters provide a cost-effective, energy-saving source for heating and cooling. A closed loop of condenser water using food-grade glycol sits 15-feet below the water's surface. The loop feeds 11 high-efficiency heat pumps inside the building and eliminates the need for a supplementary boiler or cooling tower.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF HOK

Leah B. Garris (leah.garris@buildings.com) is senior associate editor at Buildings magazine

 


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com

 
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