Until now, design professionals have had to rely on adding off-the-shelf actuators to standard windows to provide automated natural ventilation in a building. With this as the only available solution, there have been several problems.
The average hospital uses three times the energy of typical commercial buildings, and U.S. medical facilities spend $8.8 billion annually on energy. Between lighting, medical equipment, HVAC, and plumbing, energy consumption in medical facilities outpaces any other type of building. For large hospital systems, annual costs can reach into the tens of millions of dollars—no small amount in an industry of thin margins.
Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) HVAC zoning and geothermal systems are two of the most energy-efficient options for heating and cooling available—now, new hybrid assemblies combine the two. This article provides an overview of geothermal (or water-source) with VRF zoning technology and its advantages compared to traditional geothermal systems, air-source VRF zoning systems and conventional HVAC systems. In addition, the article will discuss considerations for specifying water-source VRF zoning systems and provide case studies of successful applications.
New technologies can provide optimal natatorium environmental control and energy savings. Today’s indoor pool dehumidifiers and outside air ventilation systems technology has changed so much over the last decade, a new or retrofitted natatorium stands to save millions of dollars in energy costs over the 15 to 25-year lifecycle of the equipment. Equipment comes with reduced refrigerant charges of up to 85-percent, compressor heat recovery for free pool water heating, exhaust heat recovery for preheating outdoor air, modulating controls for pinpoint temperature and humidity control, glycol heat rejection to dry coolers, and web-based microprocessor monitor, alarms, and control for factory technician review.
The Cigas Machine Shop in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, is located in a building previously owned by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, with parts of the structure dating back to the late 1880s. Back in that era, Bethlehem Steel was involved in the production of fabricated components used in the construction of the Golden Gate and many other familiar bridges.
A transpired solar collector system utilizes perforated metal wall cladding to heat outside fresh air via sunlight. This technology can help reduce winter heating costs by approximately 30 percent, qualify for government grants and incentives for renewable energy, and generally has a payback of three to eight years. These types of systems have been used on a wide variety of facility types, in both new construction and retrofit applications. Buildings with a large volume of air to heat, and/or requiring a high number of fresh air exchanges are excellent candidates for a transpired solar collector.