What are the Priorities in HVAC Design?

12/01/2021

Priorities in HVAC design are about comfort, indoor air quality and costs. Although costs can be effectively managed to optimise operations and preventive maintenance, it’s still important to be careful about the system design in the first place.

What are the priorities in HVAC design?

Having an optimal design starts with the requirements of the building and end users. For instance, requirements in the acceptable levels of temperature and humidity might be different in a shopping centre compared to an apartment complex. Perhaps in a residential building the temperature levels are relatively consistent while those in shopping centres, workplaces and commercial areas are highly variable.

As a result, the choice of the right system and HVAC equipment is crucial in achieving the desired environmental conditions and comfort levels inside the buildings. In addition, each site could be unique because of the number of occupants, the flow of air inside the building, the presence of heat-emitting equipment and the sensitivity level of the spaces (e.g. laboratories and medical facilities will have specific and strict requirements).

Aside from choosing the right system and equipment, it’s also important to optimise the positioning and placement of the HVAC units. This is to optimise airflow and ventilation as well as ensure a uniform temperature level in the different spaces and sections in the building. This is also important in maximising efficiency and cost savings because optimised positioning may require fewer units to be installed in the first place.

Also, the design and construction of the entire building heavily influences the HVAC design and its energy efficiency in the first place. HVAC is not just about the heating and cooling systems, but also on the materials used for the building and how it was designed and constructed. For example, the building’s orientation and glazing can significantly affect HVAC loads and the building’s energy costs.

In other words, it’s about considering several different factors to achieve the desired outcome while minimising costs. HVAC design requires a detailed approach and often an interdisciplinary mode of thinking, which is why only experienced professionals should handle it.