Harvard University Biology Lab HVAC Upgrade | Pumped Glycol Energy Recovery System

Project Name: Harvard University Biology Lab HVAC Upgrade
Architect: Perkins & Will
Mechanical Engineer: Rist-Frost Shumway Engineering
Mechanical Contractor: J.C. Higgins
Equipment: Pumped Glycol Energy Recovery System and High Plume Laboratory Dilution Fans
Manufacturer: KonvektaMK Plastics
Size: 144,000 CFM
DAC Sales Engineer: David Goodman

Project Overview:

This project replaces the Biolabs’ aged HVAC infrastructure with new energy-efficient systems capable of meeting the needs of a modern biological lab for years to come.  The major mechanical spaces of the building were consolidated into a centralized mechanical room on the 5th floor, and new air intake, exhaust fans, and horizontal duct distribution were installed at the roof level.  The replacement of existing systems were phased over a two year period to minimize disruption to research activities throughout the building.  A high performance pumped glycol system was deployed that included a snow melt coil in the OA plenum.


Hydronic Module with 2 pumps on VFDs and 2 plate and frame heat exchangers


Snow melt coils

MK Plastics Laboratory dilution fans

The pumped glycol system as the Basis of Design was provided by Konvekta.  The air handlers include a reheat coil by Konvekta supplied with a 3-way control valve to reheat the air and provide humidity control.   Liquid temperature probes and liquid control valves were included in the Konvekta system.

While the system design is over 90% effective in Winter Recovery, the hydronic module also included a pair of tube and shell HW heat exchangers which allowed the Konvekta glycol ER loop to meet all the heating needs of the building.

Konvekta screen shot at startup

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New Software Tool Helps Design Efficient Buildings

MIT researchers develop inexpensive way to perform full lifecycle analysis of design choices as buildings are being planned

Typically, when architects or engineers design a new building, it’s only at the end of the process — if ever — that a lifecycle analysis of the building’s environmental impact is carried out. And by then, it may be too late to make significant changes. Now, a faster and easier system for doing such analyses could change all that, making the analysis an integral part of the design process from the beginning.

The new process is simple enough that it could be integrated into the software already used by building designers so that it becomes a seamless addition to their design process. Read complete MIT article here.

Please contact us to discuss your energy efficient applications.

Related Blogposts:

Highest Performance in the Smallest Space — Konvekta’s New Generation System Controller Eiger 
ASHRAE Design Guide for Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems (DOAS) 

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Thermo-Composite Casing Hygienius Construction

Thermo-Composite Casing – Annexair’s Superior Corrosion Resistent Construction

Featuring Annexair’s Thermo-casing, the Hygienius construction represents the best option for healthcare centers, educational institutions, greenhouses, pools and any other buildings requiring corrosion resistance, high quality and hygienic HVAC requirements.

This revolutionary concept offers the best of both worlds:  unsurpassed quality and economical pricing similar to conventional steel units.

Thermo Composite Panel

  • Double-wall polymer core with foam insulation, aluminum skin on both sides, and PVC trim
  • 2-inch thick with R-14 insulation factor
  • Certified foam made of special polystyrene with 30% recycled content
  • Exterior and interior finished with a PVDF 3000 hrs salt-spray resistant coating
  • Monocoque construction to avoid internal mold or mildew grow

View complete brochure here:  HygieniusConstruction Flyer 2018

Please contact us to discuss your Thermo Composite applications.

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Inside the Making of A Modular Mechanical Room

A Look Inside the Making of a Modular Mechanical Room

Modular Mechanical Solutions is transforming the way businesses think about prefabrication by solving the challenges of time, space and quality with customized modular solutions. See how it is done here:

Please contact us to discuss your Modular Mechanical applications.

Featured Manufacturer:
Modular Mechanical Solutions

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Advanced Manufacturing Process

Excellent Systems Lead to Excellent Products

Ingenia Technologies is an industry leader in custom air handling unit production.  A state-of-the-art manufacturing plant and leading edge engineering technology are utilized to provide creative custom air handling unit solutions and high quality product.

Take a look at what it takes to make a consistently high quality product: (video 4 min)

From modular air handlers to ultra-quiet acoustical performance systems to energy recovery solutions to complex customized designs, Ingenia delivers.

Please contact us to discuss your Ingenia applications.

Featured Manufacturer:
Ingenia Technologies, Inc.

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ASHRAE Design Guide for Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems (DOAS)

Are you thinking about designing a dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS)? 

Make sure you have comprehensive guidance from industry experts to simplify and optimize DOAS design, installation, operation, and management. The ASHRAE Design Guide for Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems consolidates existing material to focus on the major issues while referring to supplemental sources for more specialized or in-depth information.

A DOAS uses separate equipment to condition all of the outdoor air brought into a building for ventilation and delivers it to each occupied space, either directly or in conjunction with local or central air conditioning units serving those same spaces. Before you consider getting any other systems, make sure you get a Central Air Unit Installation first.

A DOAS system:

  1. improves humidity control
  2. reduces energy use
  3. simplifies ventilation design and control
  4. uses heating and cooling equipment that doesn’t provide ventilation and/or dehumidification (e.g., radiant panels or passive chilled beams)
  5. reduces installation cost.

See our blogpost on DOAS Systems by Swegon

New Look DOAS Units – less space, less noise, less cost

Comprehensive guidance from industry experts can simplify DOAS design, installation, operation, and management

DOAS is growing in popularity but is still a relatively new technology. The lack of DOAS exposure and experience means many systems designed and installed today don’t take full advantage of all the benefits DOAS can offer.  The ASHRAE Design Guide for Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems consolidates existing material to focus on the major issues while referring to supplemental sources for more specialized or in-depth information. 

Click here for your guide
152 pages / 2017 / $69 ($59 ASHRAE Member)

Guided by the information in this book, HVAC system designers will be able to optimally incorporate DOAS into their projects. Architectural designers, building developers and owners, maintenance professionals, students, teachers, and researchers may also find the contents useful.

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Oil Free Chillers are Smardt

Why Oil in Chillers is Old School

Oil as a lubricant in a chiller makes for a significantly more complicated machine.  There is a complete system that is designed and maintained to allow oil to lubricate a chiller.

Check out this video which explains how the oil needs to supplied and maintained in a typical chiller.

Wow, that’s a pretty complicated system that creates significantly more maintenance requirements and possibilities of chiller failure.

Get Rid of Oil, Get Rid of Problems

Magnetic bearing, oil-free centrifugal compressors avoid significant maintenance and fail points.

Oil-free centrifugal compressor technology boosts energy efficiency, cuts operating costs and is now well-proven worldwide.

Smardt oil-free centrifugal compressors use magnetic bearings and variable-speed drive to deliver a quantum leap in IPLV efficiencies compared with conventional oil-lubricated centrifugal, reciprocating, scroll and screw compressors.

The totally oil-free Turbocor technology achieves the highest part-load efficiencies for chillers and chilled water systems (including water-, air- and evaporatively-cooled applications).

Proprietary magnetic bearings replace conventional oil-lubricated bearings, eliminating high friction losses, mechanical wear and high-maintenance oil management systems to deliver chiller energy savings of 35 percent and more over conventional chillers while ensuring long-term reliability.

Read more on Smardt Oil-Free Technology

For additional information, please contact us.

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Highest Performance in the Smallest Space — Konvekta’s New Generation System Controller Eiger

Energy Efficiency at its Peak!

System performance and energy recovery rates of 70-90% are achieved with the new generation “Eiger” System Controller!

The special design of Konvekta’s high-performance coils with headers on both sides of the coil ensures cross-counter flow and achieves almost pure counter current. This is a prerequisite for high energy efficiency in energy recovery systems. At the same time, this minimizes coil depth and saves space in the air handler.

Recent developments in computing technology have made simulations of complex operating systems both possible and affordable. The latest generation system controller “Eiger” uses the most advanced technology making it the perfect solution for high performance run-around energy recovery systems (RAERS). The “Eiger” controller is specifically ideal for the complexity of multi-functional network systems. The “Eiger” provides continuous automatic operation
of the system as well as continuous efficiency monitoring. Based on actual operating conditions, the “Eiger” will continuously calculate optimal system settings to maximize efficiency. The “NOMINAL” values are compared to actual measured values and all deviations are reported. Only the comparison of the “NOMINAL” value with the actual measured value will determine if the system is running optimally.

System Controller “Eiger” uses Performance Maps of Heat Recovery Coils

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AHU – Replace or Refurbish?

Air Handling Units — Replace or Refurbish?

Related Blogposts:

Project Snapshot | Boston College – Air Handling Unit Refurbishment
Five reasons to Refurbish an Existing Air Handling Unit
Air Handling Refurbishment – A Viable Solution

Featured Manufacturers and Companies Associated with Unit Refurbishment:

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Project Snapshot: John Hannigan Elementary School | Thermo-Composite DX Units


Project Name: John Hannigan Elementary School
 Architect: Turowski2 Architecture, Inc.
Mechanical Engineer: Griffith and Vary
Mechanical Contractor: KMD Mechanical
Equipment: 5 Rooftop Units with DX
Manufacturer: Annexair
Size: 6,050, 7,285, 10,200, 4,000, and 6,100 CFM
DAC Sales Engineer: Pat Will

Project Overview:

The students in the northern part of the South End peninsula are now walking through the doors of the brand new 74,000 square foot John Hannigan Elementary School which, unlike the one built in 1919, has a state-of-the-art cafeteria, gymnasium, and an art and music classroom.  Children at Hannigan had been attending the Sea Lab on Portland Street since 2006 when the roof collapsed at the old Hannigan.  The original Hannigan school was demolished and rebuilt with modern features that now serves 400 elementary students and houses the Family Learning Center, classroom sizes of 20 students for lower grades and 26 per class for higher grades and two pre-K classes.

HVAC Highlights:

  • Hot Water Coils
  • DX Coils
  • Enthalpy Wheels
  • Thermo-composite panel system

The units at the John Hannigan Elementary School were supplied by Annexair and incorporated their Thermo-composite panel system.  The design looked for replacement units that would weigh the same as original and provide 30% more capacity.  Weight was a key design factor.  The Annexair units are 30% lighter than traditional steel units.  So we were able to satisfy the design criteria with a lighter unit.  Additionally the units come with a lifetime warranty against corrosion.  Best of all they are the same cost as traditional steel units.

Take a look at the specification for key features:
UNIT HOUSING SPECIFICATION (Thermo-composite) The unit housing shall be no-through metal with 2’’  Thermo-Composite and foam panel construction – interior and exterior. No-through metal construction will be inherent to all the component construction in the assembly. All panels and access doors shall be double wall construction with R14 foam insulation for every 2” of construction. All foam insulation must be Greenguard certified®. Unit casing will have no exterior condensation at interior AHU temperatures down to 43F while unit exterior conditions are maintained at 95 F dry bulb / 85 F wet bulb. The panels shall be tested in accordance with SMACNA and ASHRAE 111 to have a deflection of no more than L/1150 at 10’’ and withstand air pressures up to 8” w.c with less than 1% leakage. Fire resistance of the panel will be in compliance with UL 94.

Thermo-Composite panels with aluminum interior and exterior liners shall be provided for the entire unit construction, including but not limited to, walls, doors, floors, roof, interior partitions, and electrical compartment. The frame shall consist of anodized extruded aluminum profiles which incorporates a thermally broken construction; welded together for reinforcement and insulated for superior thermal performance. Base structure shall be fully welded and have integral lifting lugs which can be removed once the unit is installed. All roof and side wall seams shall be positively sealed to prevent water and air leakage. Panels will be non-load bearing type. Access doors shall be provided to all major components to facilitate quick and easy access. They shall be made from the same material as the unit casing and incorporate thermal break construction. Access doors shall be provided with open door guard locks shall have Allegis type latches. If access doors do not open against unit operating pressure, provide safety latches that allow access doors to partially open after first handle movement and fully open after second handle movement. Removable panels provided for equipment pull out for coil(s) sections shall have key tooled threaded insert fasteners and a minimum of one handle. Hinges shall be Nylon hinge type designed to open 180 degrees.

Outdoor units shall have a rain gutter above each access door and a watertight roof shall be provided with a white TPO UV-reflective membrane. Unit shall have the entire exterior finished with a PVDF coating designed for UV resistance. Panels shall be painted Annexair standard color. Panels shall pass ASTM B117 3000-hour salt fog resistance test and ASTM D4585 3000-hour moisture condensation resistance test. In addition, paint must meet AAMA 620-02 standard for color, chalking, gloss retention, and abrasion resistance. The air handler unit casing shall be provided with a lifetime warranty against corrosion resistance under normal use.

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