Case Histories (Real-World Solutions)

HVAC Technology Transforms Space


Randolph Community College transformed a neighboring outdated factory into a high-efficiency, LEED Gold facility with help from innovative SEMCO products.

Randolph Community College (RCC) in Asheville, NC, recycled a neighboring industrial factory into a LEED Gold showcase using the HVAC industry’s most innovative equipment.

Transforming the former 46,000-squarefoot, $850,000 Klaussner Furniture Plant’s un-insulated brick shell into a high-efficiency educational facility proved challenging for two Raleigh-based firms, consulting engineering firm Progressive Design Collaborative (PDC) and architecture firm Smith Sinnett Architecture.

With the encouragement of RCC’s Director of Facilities Cindi Goodwin, PDC thought well beyond convention and designed one of the nation’s first combinations of active chilled beams with an offpeak hours ice storage/chilled water loop.

The foundation of the Continuing Education and Industrial Center’s (CEIC) cooling system is 184 IQHC active chilled beams and two Pinnacle dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS) — both products manufactured by SEMCO, Columbia, MO. The combination of chilled beams and DOAS provide air movement, noise abatement, energy efficiency and a tight tolerance of indoor air quality in terms of temperature and relative humidity. The environmental conditions provide an unprecedented learning environment of quiet, indoor air comfort for RCC students.

The ceiling-mounted two-pipe chilled beams, which range from two to 10-feet in length, supply all of the $7.6-million facility’s cooling. Air cooled by the chilled beams descends to the occupied space and pushes warmer air up to be chilled again in a perpetual air displacement strategy. A 130-ton air-cooled chiller with scroll technology and an ice storage system supplies the chilled beams’ water loop.

In addition to perfect indoor environmental conditions, the CEIC’s comprehensive energy savings result provides a quick six-year payback of HVAC equipment costs.

This article originally appeared in the issue of .

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