4 Alternatives to Traditional HVAC
June 15, 2008
Appeared in Buildings.com
HVAC is a necessity in every building. Whether you're heating, cooling, or ventilating, you need to have systems in place that will do the job efficiently, effectively, and comfortably. But, there's not one system that will do the job for every facility. As technology develops, green becomes status quo, and people demand healthier, more comfortable places to live, work, and play, you may want to investigate other HVAC options.
If your HVAC systems haven't caused you big problems or complaints, why should you give them a second thought? The 2-20-200 rule is a good reason. Consider this: In a typical U.S. commercial building ...
Roughly $2 per square foot is spent each year on energy.
The cost of construction, amortized over 25 years, equals about $20 per square foot per year.
Overhead costs, salaries, etc. to keep occupants in the building total around $200 per square foot per year.
When you're able to increase occupant productivity by just 1 percent (the equivalent of about 5 minutes per day per person) via better indoor air quality or better temperature control, that increase pays for your building's energy use for an entire year. And, if you're able to increase occupant productivity by 10 percent, you could pay for your building.
If your HVAC system isn't cutting it anymore - or even if it is - be sure to check out the following links, where our sustainable experts help describe some of the alternatives: chilled beam systems, geothermal, night-sky cooling, and thermal energy storage systems; and offer some of the benefits and drawbacks to each.