Send in the engineering troops: HVAC and plumbing

Military facilities present an army of challenges—exacting codes and regulations, stepped-up security issues, and budgetary concerns. HVAC, ventilation, and plumbing systems are discussed.

07/24/2013


Kevin D. Bomboy, PE, LEED AP, Chief mechanical engineer, STV Group, Douglassville, Pa. Courtesy: STV GroupDavid Callan, PE, CEM, LEED AP, HBDP, Vice president, McGuire Engineers Inc., Chicago. Courtesy: McGuire EngineersRobert L. Crance, Mechanical engineer, Black and Veatch, Overland Park, Kansas. Courtesy: Black and VeatchJoseph H. Talbert, PE, ARM, Project manager, Aon Fire Protection Engineering, Lincolnshire, Ill. Courtesy: Aon Fire Protection EngineeringWilliam Valdez, Northwest justice and civic sector leader/principal, DLR Group, Seattle. Courtesy: DLR Group

Participants:

  • Kevin D. Bomboy, PE, LEED AP, Chief mechanical engineer, STV Group, Douglassville, Pa.
  • David Callan, PE, CEM, LEED AP, HBDP, Vice president, McGuire Engineers Inc., Chicago
  • Robert L. Crance, Mechanical engineer, Black & Veatch, Overland Park, Kansas
  • Joseph H. Talbert, PE, ARM, Project manager, Aon Fire Protection Engineering, Lincolnshire, Ill.
  • William Valdez, Northwest justice and civic sector leader/principal, DLR Group, Seattle

CSE: What unique requirements do HVAC systems in military facilities have, and how have they changed in the past 1 to 2 years?

Crance: HVAC systems for military facilities do have unique requirements associated with providing a minimum level of protection from certain threats for the occupants of the facility. HVAC systems must be capable of maintaining positive pressurization during normal operation scenarios as well as being capable of whole-building isolation to provide shelter-in-place capability. Although the base requirements for system performance have not changed recently, the control practices and components required to achieve the expected performance have become more common and accepted. A military facility often has unusual design and operational criteria associated with the specific mission objectives it supports.

Bomboy: There is a requirement to be able to isolate the air intake system via dampers in the event that a CBR attack would occur. This is manually activated through an emergency response push button.

CSE: Describe the use of fans and ventilation equipment in a recent military facility project.

Bomboy: Typically the ventilation is achieved using a dedicated outside air system (DOAS) with an energy recovery wheel. Energy is captured from the building’s exhaust systems, such as toilet exhaust, and transferred to the incoming ventilation air without actually mixing the two airstreams. In spaces that don’t require strict temperature control, ventilation fans can be used to gain free cooling.

CSE: Have low-flow plumbing fixtures become the norm in your military facility projects?

Crance: Low-flow plumbing fixtures have become the expected standard of design for our recent military facility projects. Project requirements establishing water use reduction expectations for new construction to achieve LEED Silver certification are driving the use of low-flow fixtures. Advances in product performance and a growing understanding of the required operation and maintenance of these fixtures are making use of low-flow fixtures acceptable to nearly all project end users. The use of low-flow fixtures is also extending the available capacity of treatment, distribution, and collection systems at certain installations.

Bomboy: Low-flow fixtures have become the standard in all facility designs, including military facility design. Low-flow toilets with dual-flush options are commonly used. Waterless urinals are gaining acceptance in military design. Low-flow showers and sinks are standard design as well as sensors that only turn on the water on the sinks when hands are under the faucets. Rain water and gray water harvesting for use in flushing toilets is becoming more cost-effective.

CSE: Discuss chiller and/or boiler plants in a project you recently worked on.

Bomboy: The use of multiple high-efficiency condensing style hot water boilers is a common practice to achieve maximum efficiency. This is teamed with a boiler control system that sequentially stages the boilers “ON” to achieve the maximum efficiency. Chilled water system designs are using multiple air-cooled chillers. Air-cooled chillers have low maintenance and do not require makeup water and chemicals as do water-cooled chillers and cooling towers. Another recent trend is to use chillers with magnetic drive compressors, which have high efficiency and have reduced maintenance requirements. Recent chilled water plants have been designed to support mission critical operations. The significant challenges for these systems include providing high system availability, high energy efficiency at varying load conditions, and first costs aligned with program budget constraints. The chilled water plants have successfully incorporated use of condenser water economizer capability, condenser water free cooling capability, heat recovery capability, and modular design strategies. The use of variable flow chillers and variable flow distribution networks has also helped these projects achieve their energy use goals. Cooling tower storage basins and chilled water storage tanks are used to achieve system availability requirements.



RICHARD , NC, United States, 08/06/13 06:56 AM:

I am always interested in keeping up with IAQ. I am a retired engineer who likes to remain knowledgeable.
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.