Building 11, HVAC Replacement
Owner: Alachua County Public Schools
Total Construction Value: $573,708
This building was suffering from aged HVAC systems that were underperforming, including a non-functioning 100% Outside Air Unit that was causing negative building pressure and high humidity. To solve this long-standing problem, CSEI implemented a state-of-the-art custom design using a robust, long-lasting custom Air Handling Unit served with heating and cooling by a new premium efficiency variable refrigerant volume condensing unit plant.
The actual scope of the project was both detailed and complicated. All existing ceilings were removed and replaced with new grid and tile necessary to permit the installation of new duct systems. In conjunction, all existing lighting was upgraded to LED with new digital controls. The existing seven (7) split system DX units (condensing and air handling units) were replaced with a central custom AHU served by two variable refrigerant volume system condensing units which utilizes a custom controls logic to optimize the system tonnage, delivering extremely high system efficiency and low energy costs. The new AHU was provided with a new VAV zoned supply duct system (one zone per classroom) and a fully-ducted return system. All areas were provided with new supply diffusers and return air grilles and each classroom/zone now has a dedicated thermostat with setback control. All new systems were integrated through a new Honeywell Building Automation System including programming and an IP addressable frontend interface.
Budget and schedule are always leading factors in scope design. Instead of using the easy option of a direct, in-kind replacement, CSEI spent the time to brainstorm alternates and sought feedback from Users and maintenance personnel to understand past performance and system needs for this building based on actual usage. This led to a completely original system design that can now serve as a prototype for future projects.
Campbell Spellicy does not believe in taking the easy route or following first assumptions. Because of that commitment to design thinking and digging deeper to find the optimal solution, a system was provided that is district-leading in energy cost per square foot, while staying sufficiently under budget to permit a full ceiling and LED lighting replacement as part of the project. Counterintuitive to many Owners, this project proves that increasing efficiency and controllability of systems does not necessarily have to increase system cost. The best approach to efficiency comes first and foremost from proper unit sizing and optimization of unit controls logic and staging such that the absolute minimum heating, cooling, or airflow are provided at any given time. That is CEI’s goal with every system, and achieving it is far more about the thoughtfulness of the design than the price tag of the equipment.
This project was yet another successful partnership between CSEI and Alachua County Public Schools, which is a relationship for which we are extremely grateful.