Sustainability is a high priority, but selecting HVAC means meeting the needs of a facility efficiently and effectively now and well into the future.
Selecting an HVAC system type for any building can be a simple or complex process based on the purpose or function of the building and the guiding parameters for the project. Projects can run the spectrum from being straightforward applications such as a shipping warehouse that can typically be driven by low initial cost or reduced maintenance concerns, all the way up to complex applications such as hospitals and laboratories that carry an increased level of demands, a variety of required thermal conditions, and a requirement for reliability. While most design situations might already have a preferred HVAC option based on the project type or building owner preference, these may not provide the optimum solution for a specific project. That optimum solution is a high-performance HVAC system.
When the words “high-performance HVAC system” are mentioned, building owners may automatically think of an isolated focus on energy efficiency and sustainability. While a high-performance system will seek to maximize sustainability, that is not always going to be the top priority. A high-performance HVAC system is one that is optimally designed not only to meet the day one requirements but to remain a strategic solution through continued operation and maintenance.
The design function of buildings as workplaces plays a major role in helping organizations achieve their mission. Building owners can benefit from a high-performance design approach that can effectively evaluate and communicate the trade-offs associated with design strategies and technologies to reach an optimal solution. Design that truly performs for the building owner arises from a collaborative and integrative design approach that leverages the knowledge and experience of all project team members including building owners, facility staff, and end-users, as well as designers and builders. High-performance design energizes collaboration and integration across all the design team disciplines to deliver a project design that is not only environmentally conscious and can create environments that address the wellbeing, comfort, and productivity of its occupants but one that truly fits with the owner’s financial and operational needs.