There is a continual transformation going on in modern office spaces. From the traditional point of view, these spaces included a specific number of private offices surrounding the perimeter of the space, with specific forms occupying the center. Nowadays, it is obvious that companies are choosing an open office plan, which needs to include an HVAC system design.
Natural light is very important for both the health and comfort of the employees. That is why traditional offices are slowly fading away. Areas for quiet concentration are starting to replace the cubicles found in the center of traditional offices. But how do these changes affect the HVAC system design? In this article, you will find some important techniques that you can use to better arrange your office. Boost comfort levels in an open office space with these HVAC system design strategies
If you are undergoing a renovation session for your office, it is mandatory to take into account the HVAC system within the early stages. Avoid all the expenses that can come over time by following these simple but efficient tips:
Build an energy-efficient space by reducing HVAC cooling loads
Compared to other appliances that are usually found in an office, you need to know that HVAC systems have higher rates of energy consumption. Therefore, it is important to save money over time and reduce HVAC loads. There are many things to consider here, besides the insulation process for the walls, floors, and windows.
To reduce heating loads during the cold season, you need to pay attention to the daylight when designing the work space. The use of tinted Low-E glass is a good idea if you want to keep away the heat that comes from the sun in the hot season. The majority of the working hours are done during the day, so there is no need for high-consuming bulbs. Instead, opt for dimmable lighting systems. It would be much easier to reduce the cooling load if you combine these tips with cooler types of lighting.
Choose the right design and size for the HVAC system
It can be a simple mistake to install an HVAC system that is much bigger than you need. Therefore, it is important to calculate the loads for the HVAC system design carefully.
Bigger appliances do not necessarily mean better appliances, especially when it comes to HVAC systems. Numerous inconveniences can arise after installing oversized air conditioning equipment. Humidity is practically hard to remove from the working space since the HVAC system is turning on and off constantly.
You need to think about more than square footage to obtain the right size for your HVAC system design. Choose the right materials, see the optimal daylight and select the right lighting design by taking advantage of all the modern computer simulation tools. In the early stages of the design process, the design team needs to talk with HVAC experts to come up with the best solutions.
The need for several independently controlled zones in your HVAC system design is mandatory if you want to obtain high energy efficiency. The reason behind this idea is simple: each area has different requirements to sustain a comfortable temperature. Let’s look at some examples:
- The impact of the weather on the perimeter spaces is different from the interior spaces, so you need to control them individually
- Rooms that host computers and other appliances have special needs for temperature and humidity control, so they also need to be treated separately
- Conference rooms also need to be treated individually because they are not used too often so the cooling sessions are less frequent
We emphasize the importance of having an HVAC system design expertise in your plans. The reason is that it is not easy to obtain all of these strategies in a building with traditional walls.
Don’t forget about sensors
In modern times, sensor technology has gained a lot in popularity. Below you will find a couple of the most important sensors that you can use in your HVAC system design:
OCCUPANCY SENSORS – the application of these sensors is to control the cooling function wirelessly. This is because they can detect the number of people in a room at a given moment.
LIGHT SENSORS – as their name suggests, they are used to control the lighting within a certain area. You can tie these sensors to the HVAC system design. You can then control the temperature and cooling function according to the plan.
Don’t neglect the air distribution from under the floor
Most traditional buildings use overhead air distribution. Nowadays, buildings are constructed with high ceilings, so such an HVAC system design can be quite inefficient.
They can benefit from stratification techniques that can push hot air toward the ceiling. That is why modern floor air distribution systems are gaining in popularity.
Pay attention to indoor air quality
Thermal comfort is important, but it is not the only aspect that you need to address with designing the HVAC system. The health of the employees can be subject to air quality due to contaminants. They include viruses and bacteria, dust, and other contaminants that cannot be seen with the human eye. Choose a plan that can control humidity and eliminate nasty smells.
The system that you choose should be able to combine the outside air with the conditioned air provided by the HVAC system. So, by following all these tips, you should avoid all the unnecessary expenses that can arise over time.
Let the experts plan your HVAC system design
When looking to renovate or create a plan for your office from scratch, be sure to contact a team of experts that can design the best possible HVAC system plan, which can offer efficiency in energy consumption and comfort for all your employees.