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The following article was published in ASHRAE Journal, June 1997.

© Copyright 1997 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers,

Inc. It is presented for educational purposes only. This article may not be copied and/or distributed electronically or in paper form without permission of ASHRAE.



Typical dormitory room with integrated radiant panel bulkhead.

Dormitory Renovation Project

Reduces Energy Use by 69%
By Michael J. Kokayko, P.E. The renovated Baldwin Hall has a
Member ASHRAE hydronic heating system with a high-effi-
ciency modular gas boiler plant. A perimeter

“integrated radiant panel bulkhead system”
aldwin Hall is a three-story, 46,000 ft2 serves to conceal and route ventilation duct-
(4 273 m2) dormitory on the campus of work, heating piping, control tubing, and
Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa. The data/cable wiring throughout each floor and
building was originally built in the 1950s; an room. Radiant panels in the soffit of the bulk-
additional wing was added in the 1970s so that head assembly provide heat to the rooms. A
is has about 37,000 ft2 (3 437 m2). The build- diffuser in the fascia of the bulkhead supplies
ing contains approximately 100 double-occu- conditioned ventilation air to each room. Air-
pancy student rooms; three common bathroom to-air energy recovery was integrated into the
groups per floor; central study, lounge, and design of the ventilation system. Each central
computer areas; and a laundry. Design for the
renovation started in the winter of 1993; con-
struction took place in the summer of 1994. About the Author
The major goals of the renovation were:
(1) to replace the entire building heating sys- Michael J. Kokayko, P.E., C.I.P.E , is the
This project won in tem (central boiler plant, distribution piping, engineering project manager for the Phila-
the category for and room heating terminals); (2) add a venti- delphia office of Burt Hill Kosar Rittel-
Institutional lation system within the building; (3) upgrade mann Associates. Kokayko has been
Buildings. the building electrical system; (4) provide involved in HVAC engineering projects
computer data cabling and cable TV wiring to and energy research for 8 years. He has
each room; and, (5) improve room and hall- bachelor’s degree in architectural engineer-
way lighting and finishes. ing from the Pennsylvania State University.

June, 1997 ASHRAE Journal 33

Author Michael J. Kokayko (second from left) with his
firm’s president, John Kosar, AIA (third from left). Others
(from left) are college officials Ken Hanna, director of fa-
cilities and construction; Robert Egmond, director of phys-
ical plant; and Thomas Cardman, vice president of finance. Boiler plant has four high-efficiency, modular gas boilers.
The modular plant allows operation in the event of failure.
rooftop ventilation unit has a cross-flow plate heat exchanger The DDC control system rotates boiler firing to provide
which uses the bathroom exhaust air to preheat the incoming even equipment wear.
ventilation air. The building control system is a hybrid DDC/
pneumatic control system. All major equipment (boiler plant selecting a boiler module approximately equal to the service
and heat recovery ventilation units) are controlled by local water heating load, applicable provisions within the standard
DDC panels. Room radiant panels are controlled pneumati- were met or exceeded.
cally. The building is connected into the campus DDC network Ventilation System: For the building to comply with
for centralized monitoring. ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor
Energy Efficiency Air Quality, approximately 3,600 CFM (1 699 L/s) of outside
air is brought into the dormitory. Due to architectural con-
Design for the new Baldwin Hall mechanical system straints, three units supplying one third of the total ventilation
needed to be energy-efficient, cost-effective, reliable, and pro- air are located above the bathroom cores at each wing. Close
vide good occupant comfort. The college was interested in proximity of exhaust and ventilation air streams allowed air-
exploring energy-efficient options if the were financially fea- to-air energy recovery to be considered. Analysis showed the
sible. Applied technologies needed to make sense from an eco- payback for incorporating heat recovery to be less than two
nomic standpoint; they were not to be incorporated simply for years. Cross-flow plate heat exchangers are incorporated into
technology’s sake. All systems were designed to meet or the ventilation units. Since the building is not air conditioned,
exceed the requirements of ASHRAE Standard 100.5-1991 sensible heat recovery is used in lieu of total heat recovery.
“Energy Conservation In Existing Buildings -- Institutional.”
Boiler Plant: Several alternate boiler plant types were stud- Indoor Air Quality/Comfort
ied via computer energy simulation, and by life-cycle cost The building is designed to comply with the Ventilation
analysis. Based on these studies, use of four high-efficiency, Rate Procedure of ASHRAE Standard 62-1989. A 100% out-
sealed-combustion modular gas boilers was determined to be side air ventilation system ducts air to each room in the build-
both the most efficient and least costly option. The simple pay- ing. Due to the residential occupancy, the ventilation system
back for the upgrade to the high-efficiency boiler plant was operates continuously. Each dormitory room receives 30 CFM
estimated to be three to four years. (14 L/s) continuously. At each central ventilation unit, the
Service Water Heating: A semi-instantaneous heat incoming outside air is brought through pre-filters and an 85%
exchanger operating from the boiler hot water system virtu- final filter to remove airborne particulates. These units also
temper the ventilation air to a neutral temperature (~72°F).
ally eliminates the standby losses associated with storage Duct lining was not permitted within the ventilation ductwork.
water heaters and storage tanks. Additionally, domestic hot A linear supply grille introduces the ventilation air to each
water was required to be supplied at 120°F (48.9°C) to room. Linear grilles were selected to provide good air mixing
reduce the potential for scalding. By eliminating the “stag- within the room (via jet expansion and room air entrainment)
nant” storage volume of low temperature hot water (less than thus maximizing room “ventilation effectiveness.” Diffusers
140°F [60°C]) Legionella pneumophila colonies can not were selected for proper throw at the relatively low air vol-
develop in the service water system. Use of a combined space umes of the ventilation system.
heating/service water heating system must meet the provi-
sions of ASHRAE Standard 100.5-1991 (Section 8). By See Kokayko, Page 36

34 ASHRAE Journal June, 1997

Advertisement in the print
edition formerly in this space.

June, 1997 ASHRAE Journal 35

Graph shows consumption of natural gas before and after
renovation. Computer model of integrated radiant panel bulkhead.
The bulkhead conceals duct, piping and wiring. Radiant
Kokayko, From Page 36 panel in the soffit provides heat to rooms, and a diffuser in
the fascia supplies conditioned ventilation air.
Each dormitory room is provided with individual thermostatic
control of the radiant panels. The system can maintain occupant Heat recovery ventilation units are monitored for air filter
comfort within the comfort zone as defined within ASHRAE Stan- replacement (differential pressure sensing) and for fan belt
dard 55-1992, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human breakage/slippage (fan motor current sensing). Additionally,
Occupancy. Use of ceiling radiant panel heating greatly improves all of the 85% final filters are fitted with good quality pre-fil-
the occupant comfort by increasing the radiant temperature of all ters to prevent early dust-loading and lengthen filter life. The
surfaces in the room (affecting an increased Mean Radiant Tem- building DDC system reports all warnings and alarms back to
perature) regardless of furniture placement. the campus network for immediate attention.
Innovation Cost-Effectiveness
Due to very constricted floor-to-floor elevations, the rout- The Baldwin Hall dormitory renovation has resulted in a 69%
ing of piping, ductwork and data cable was problematic. Bulk- reduction of energy usage (145 MBtu/s.f./yr. before the renova-
heads within the corridors had to be minimized both tion to 45 MBtu/s.f./yr. after renovation). This translates to a
dimensionally and in quantity. To solve this problem, a perim- saving of approximately $20,400 per year. This reduction was
eter bulkhead system was conceived. This “integrated bulk- achieved without significant architectural improvements in the
head” contains all services (mechanical, electrical, and data/ shell. Therefore the saving due to energy use reduction is solely
communication) that are routed to each student room. Compo- the result of the mechanical system design.
nents within the bulkhead are accessible for service or modifi- Energy use reduction is seen despite the continuous introduc-
cation. The entire assembly is rugged enough to withstand the tion of 3,600 CFM of 100% outside air to meet ASHRAE Stan-
wear and tear associated with the dormitory environment. dard 62-1989. Ventilation air was not provided to the building
Active radiant panels make up the bottom of the bulkhead. prior to the renovation. Applied air-to-air energy recovery on the
Inactive panels serve as the bulkhead fascia. Heating piping, ventilation system serves to offset the energy penalty associated
ventilation ductwork, and pneumatic tubing are located within with the continuous introduction of outside air.
the bulkhead. A cable tray for data and cable TV wiring also is An interesting note is that the college actually received a
located within the bulkhead. Inconspicuous portions of the credit from the contractor for incorporating air-to-air energy
bulkhead are perforated to ensure that the ambient temperature recovery units in the renovation, in lieu of using separate ven-
within the bulkhead does not exceed the data cabling maxi- tilation and exhaust equipment. As a result, actual payback for
mum temperatures. Vandal-proof fasteners in the bulkhead the heat recovery units was immediate!
fascia can be removed with special spanner wrenches to permit
access to all concealed services. Acknowlegments
The “integrated radiant panel bulkhead system” proved to The contributions of other members of the mechanical design team
be a durable, cost-effective, quickly constructed, and aesthetic cannot be overlooked. Those members were Douglas Ellsworth,
solution to the architectural problems posed by the building. Alvin Jefferson, John Johnson and Paul Scanlon. „

Operation and Maintenance

Please circle the appropriate number on the Reader Service
The building system has been operating for over one year. Card at the back of the publication.
No problems have been experienced with the mechanical Extremely Helpful ........................................................ 450
equipment. The modular boiler plant allows operation of the Helpful ....................................................................... 451
remaining boilers should one (or more) boilers fail. All pumps
are provided with standby pumps in the event of failure. The Somewhat Helpful ....................................................... 452
DDC control system rotates boiler firing order and pump oper- Not Helpful................................................................. 453
ation to provide even equipment wear.

36 ASHRAE Journal June, 1997