Energy-efficient HVAC design is a fundamental of green building, for good reason:
The scale of the issue: HVAC is responsible for more than a third of energy use in commercial buildings in the U.S.
The scale of returns: Smart designs can easily save upwards of 40% of that energy, often with strategies that offer instant or short “payback.”
The human impact: Discomfort from spaces that are too hot or too cold, and lack of adequate ventilation, are an epidemic. Good design that fixes these problems supports healthier, more productive occupants.
Don’t make the all-too-common mistake of thinking of HVAC design separately from building envelope design. Over-glazed buildings lead to oversized mechanical systems, increasing costs on both fronts. A tight, well-insulated envelope may cost a bit more but can pay for itself with less mechanical equipment.
Build Equinox and Minotair Ventilation Inc. (MVI) have updated their heat-pump-based energy recovery ventilation systems, providing better control of humidity, heating, and cooling in a smaller footprint.
Thermal energy storage uses ice to shift daytime cooling loads to nighttime, when electricity costs are lower. You may be able to reduce the size of chillers as a result, saving money and energy and lowering the environmental footprint of a building
Ductless split systems using heat pumps and variable refrigerant flow offer an energy-efficient alternative to conventional heating and air-conditioning systems for a variety of settings, from homes to hotels and schools. Three major manufacturers-Daikin, Mitsubishi, and Sanyo-offer the greatest variety of products.