7 Steps To Create Bespoke HVAC For Commercial Buildings
With bespoke HVAC, corporate office spaces have changed over the last few decades.
The open floor plans have replaced the traditional rows of cubicles and corner office models. Now, the workspaces are designed for specific activities; team lounges for collaboration and pods for quiet concentration.
Thus, it is more important than ever to develop the HVAC system for a more productive and comfortable office while saving your money in the long run.
How can you create bespoke HVAC design for commercial buildings? Let’s delve in deeper and expound on how to design the right HVAC system tailored for your project.
1. Design your space for maximum HVAC energy efficiency
The HVAC system consumes a significant amount of energy than most office appliances. Therefore, you must design your space to reduce HVAC loads and save energy costs.
Install insulated walls, windows, and floors to control the office temperatures. Add more daylight to your design to reduce heating loads in winter.
However, it would be best to consider using the tinted low-e-glass to reduce increased cooling loads due to solar gains in summer. A design that allows for more daylight is good for the health and well-being of your employees.
Then, if most of your office working hours are during the day, you do not require high energy-consuming bulbs. Instead, opt for low-consuming ones to reduce your HVAC system cooling load.
2. Create zones
Create independently-controlled HVAC zones in your office. This is because some spaces have special needs for humidity and temperature control.
For example, rooms that host your computers and servers have special humidity and temperature control; thus, they need to be zoned separately.
Meeting and conference rooms need to be zoned individually because they are less often used, so cooling and heating sessions are not frequent.
On the other hand, the impact of weather on perimeter spaces is more than on interior areas. Therefore, they need to be controlled separately.
A zoned system will allow you to concentrate humidity, cooling, and heating where most needed. Moreover, it will enable you to maintain a comfortable temperature for each area.
3. Choose the right ductwork for your HVAC system
Air ducts come in different shapes and materials because each of these ducts serves other purposes and has different strengths and limitations. You might have heard HVAC experts discuss round vs rectangular ductwork.
What is the difference? Well, the round ductwork is the most common one. Their initial installation cost is less, and they are easier to install, have less friction and allow for better and more efficient airflow.
Moreover, the round ducts are ideal for medium to high-pressure systems and have less noise pollution. However, they take up much height space, and with them, it isn’t easy to connect the fan coil to the main duct.
On the other hand, rectangular ductworks are better for low-pressure systems, take up less height, and quickly secure the fan coil to the main duct.
However, their initial installation cost is higher, and they tend to have more noise pollution. Your duct’s choice is dependent on your budget, space, and the velocity of your HVAC, to mention a few. It would be best to consult an HVAC expert to guide you on the best duct for your office space.
4. Take advantage of sensors
In recent years, sensor technology has grown quite popular thanks to its efficacy. Integrating sensors with your HVAC design will be a great way to save energy.
For instance, light sensors sense the amount of daylight in your office and adjust the light accordingly. You can integrate the light sensors into your HVAC system to adjust heating and cooling accordingly.
Also, occupancy sensors sense the number of people in a given space and send a message to control cooling accordingly.
5. Choose the right size for your HVAC system
Installation of larger than required HVAC systems in the offices is not uncommon. Some office owners do it intentionally, thinking that bigger is better, but that’s not the case.
Instead, the oversized HVAC system results in short-cycling problems by turning it on and off frequently. Therefore, the HVAC system will not run long enough to remove humidity and unclean air from the office space. The office space will have stale air and be damp with hot and cold spots.
This space will be very uncomfortable for your employees, not forgetting all the health problems that can arise from poor air conditioning. More notably, an oversized HVAC system will also increase your monthly energy bills.
When obtaining the right size for your HVAC system, you’ll need to think about more than the office square footage. Use computer simulation tools to account for other factors such as the building material, lighting design, daylight, and activity patterns.
Well, we would advise you to contact an HVAC professional to perform the calculation for you; this will ensure that you get the ideal size for your modern office space.
6. Think about underfloor air distribution
Most traditional offices have always used overhead systems to distribute hot and cold air. However, the overhead HVAC system will be less effective when used in the modern open-air plan and more so if they have high ceilings.
You’ll need to consider using the modern under-floor air distribution systems. In these systems, diffusers are usually installed below a raised floor.
They then deliver conditioning throughout the office space. The system works by moving warm air towards the ceiling and replacing it with cooler conditioned air.
As a result, the indoor air quality is maintained, and your employees enjoy consistent comfort levels.
7. Improve air quality with ventilation
An HVAC system is not only ideal for thermal regulation but also ventilation. It should control your office humidity and eliminate dust, odors, carbon dioxide, viruses, and bacteria that can potentially cause ailments.
Indoor air quality levels play an essential role in the promoting the well-being of your employees at work. Thus, when designing your modern office HVAC system, it is imperative to consider ventilation.
The points we have covered above are a few strategies for HVAC system design for your modern office.
Remember, discussing your HVAC system design options with a professional will help deliver a bespoke solution that should save you energy costs.
It will also guarantee maximum comfort and efficient functionality of the systems.