Laura Eder
Contributed by:
Laura Eder

AIA+2030: Right Sizing Equipment and Controls

Want to know what goes on in an AIA+2030 Series session? Here are highlights from the 7th installment in our series, Right Sizing Equipment and Controls.

Big Ass Fans has been a fantastic contributor to the AIA Dallas 2030 Series, and John Bunch has attended every session, not only as a sponsor, but as an active participant of the program! Did you know that using a fan can offset cooling by adding airspeed to a room and this affect our perception of thermal comfort?

Linda Morrison with Ambient Energy encourages designers to start looking at passive strategies from Climate Consultant.  You can download it for free here: Within Climate Consultant, you can look at the loads of the building that will be the largest energy consumers (most of the time it will involve the HVAC system). Additionally, you can study your weather data and investigate resilient design for your specific site.

Rick Eicher and Ryan Evans with Henderson Engineers gave information on why you don't want to oversize your equipment. As it turns out, the transient latent and sensible capacity cycle may be off and wasting more energy than you really need. Additionally, cycling happens more often and then the space doesn’t ever really get the moisture removed from the air. If the room doesn’t get to the ideal relative humidity, then there can be issues with harmful contaminants in the air. Personal controls and automatic controls that measure more than the temperature can help prevent issues with oversizing equipment.

Rick Vance with Viridian discussed the variety of controls that are available for our energy systems in a building. Monitoring, Alarming and Diagnostics are important in designing smart buildings, but the alerts need to be real and addressed by building staff. Occupancy sensor integration will help reduce load when spaces are not in use, demand control ventilation only uses energy when the space is occupied as well. Rick presented a case study twhere a damper was broken on one supply grill and without the alarm. If no one had fixed this issue, it could have cost the owner $8,600 more in energy that year to run the room at the same temperature due to just one broken damper! Hearing stories like these makes you want to double check all of them!