Port Huron, Michigan
The Saint Clair County Community College (SC4) North Building was built in 1920 and is two stories with an area of 58,885 gross square footage and 52,574 net square footage. The building houses faculty offices and instructional classrooms.
The design team’s challenge for SC4 North Building was to retrofit a 1920 building with the latest technology in the HVAC industry. Adding to that challenge: the North building is located in a dense city setting where locating new HVAC equipment is very difficult.
The MEP engineering design team incorporated a central water-to-water heat pump system to provide heating and cooling to the building. The water-to-water heat pump system utilized seven 35-ton water-to-water heat pumps connected together where one end of the heat pump system provides chilled water for cooling the building, and the other end provides hot water heating. All seven heat pumps have the capability for reverse cycling. Depending on the building load, one heat pump is dedicated to heating or cooling. The six remaining heat pumps can either heat or cool to meet the building demand.
New direct buried slinky coils installed under a new porous pavement parking lot are utilized as source water system for a water-to-water heat pump system. The surface area of the parking lot was 97,590 square feet, the slinky coils were buried an average depth of eight feet, well below any frost condition. The horizontal ground source geoexchange gains heat from the earth in the winter and rejects heat to the ground in the summer.
The SC4 North Building utilized the most energy efficient systems such as ground source water-to-water central heat pump system, variable air flow energy recovery air handling units, carbon dioxide sensors in every space (demand ventilation), variable flow hydronic pumping systems, high efficient lighting and lighting occupancy sensors to achieve overall building energy savings of 30% over its previous HVAC system.
All mechanical equipment has direct digital controls monitored through the Energy Management System. The EMS monitors run times of the mechanical equipment as well as static pressure drop across unit filters. This allows for preventative maintenance scheduling based on unit operation. The EMS system notifies the users of any sudden changes in the system, such as loss of temperature or pressure. Alarms aid in system troubleshooting and quick responses before a serious event occurs.
A detailed value engineering and energy analysis was performed on the SC4 North Building. The cost-effective design with major annual energy and operational cost savings results in an 8-year payback for the added investment of the energy efficient systems over less efficient conventional boiler, chiller and air handling systems. The SC4 North Parking lot was slated for a complete replacement which factored into the attractive payback.
Saint Clair County Community College utilizes the geoexchange central water-to-water heat pump system as a teaching tool for its students and displays the technology of the system on monitors and through the Web to show the College’s commitment to the environment.
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