Promoting Excellence in the Heating & Cooling Industry
Design and Sizing
The first task in engineering is the "right sizing" of systems and equipment. This means performing accurate and detailed estimates of the heating, cooling, and ventilation loads, then adding an appropriate and agreed-upon (with the client) level of safety or redundancy margin before picking the equipment. This is fundamental; among other things, it helps you get your costs right and gives the owner the right cost for the right scope.
The next most important issue is system selection. We conduct an extensive study of the building and really listen to the owner and/or the Chief Engineer. We typically put together a comparison matrix of first costs, operating costs, and other parameters and then involve all the design team members (especially the owner) in the selection process.
Load Calculations and Ventilation
In the area of load calculations, we've been encouraging architects and general contractors to specify and budget for the more expensive "low-e" glass. This isn't just to save on cooling capacity, but also to reduce the infrared radiant component of solar gains, thereby increasing comfort by lowering the mean radiant temperature in the exterior spaces.
Next is paying attention to the ventilation requirements for the building. This means strict adherence to the building code ventilation requirements and, in many cases, to the higher requirements of ASHRAE Standard 62. In particular, we take pains to ensure that the outdoor air quantity remains constant as the supply volume varies in a VAV system. The building code, is the minimum requirement and sometimes "just good enough" isn't, so we use the higher standard.
Noise level is also an important factor. The key to handling this issue is complete prevention. We deal with this by having good acoustical performance built into our design standards (for example, in diffuser and VAV terminal selection). An acoustic consultant is hired to our team when the job is acoustically sensitive.
We go the extra mile to ensure that everything operates correctly and is installed in accordance with our design intent.