Canada, California, and Florida teams top winners In ASHRAE student design competitions

Students from eight countries put their engineering skills to the test to design and select systems for a government building in China, as well as for a competition requiring them to “think globally, act locally.” Both competitions are held by ASHRAE.

The 2016 Student Design Competition focused on a new two-story municipal government building in Beijing, China. The Applied Engineering Challenge for 2015-2016 required students to plan, develop and enact solutions to sustainability issues in their local or regional areas. Forty-eight teams entered the competitions.

First place in the HVAC Design Calculations category is awarded to the University of British Columbia. Team members are Alexander Brosky, Samarth Joshi, Aubrey McNeill, Silvia Odaya, Cheng Yang and Ziran Yu, all from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia. Faculty advisors are Nima Atabaki, Ph.D., P.Eng., and Steven Rogak, Ph.D., P.Eng., while the industry advisor is Ali Nazari, P.Eng., BEMP, principal, Integral Group.

The total system peak loads are 1,095 MBh for cooling and 398.9 MBh for heating. The team designed air cooled chillers with ice storage and natural gas boilers to serve three air handling units that feed variable air volume terminal boxes. Students selected the design based on life cycle cost analysis. The system allows a cooling plant to be downsized while taking advantage of cheaper off-peak energy costs.

An independent computer room air conditioner maintains server room environmental requirements.  Photovoltaic and solar thermal panels have been sized and selected as energy conservation measures.

First place in the System Selection category is awarded to California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Team members are Miro Zaroukian, mechanical engineer, California Energy Designs Inc., La Canada, Calif.; Asped Khachatoorian, mechanical designer, California Energy Designs Inc., La Canada, Calif.; Christian Garcia, Fontana, Calif.; Sevan Hovsepian, mechanical engineer, Integrated Engineering, Consulting Engineers Inc., Los Angeles, Calif.; and Tade Mirzakhanyan, mechanical engineer, RBM Conveyor Systems Inc., Pomona, Calif. Advisors are Henry Xue, Ph.D., and Richard L. Gilbert, P.E., California Energy Designs Inc.

After comparing several options, the team chose a hybrid variable refrigerant flow with outdoor heat recovery unit. They determined it is safe, reliable and efficient, and able to maintain the building at optimum conditions at all times.

In addition to the main building, a server room split system with a dedicated outdoor air system was designed to meet cooling loads. The system also generates potable hot water. An automatic ventilation system operates fans and mechanical louvers in the garage to ensure toxic gases are removed.

First place in the category of Integrated Sustainable Building Design is awarded to a team from the University of Central Florida. Team members are Logan G. Harrell, nuclear engineer, NAVSEA, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va.; Gerald Hornik, applications engineer, Addison HVAC, Orlando, Fla.; Austin B. Christianson, Melbourne, Fla.; Travis Kalikapersaud, mechanical engineer, Thermotech Enterprises, Tampa, Fla.; and Jeremy Palavecino, associate engineer, NextEra Energy, Miami, Fla. The faculty advisor is Muthusamy V. Swami, Ph.D., and the technical advisor is Nathaniel B. Boyd, P.E., CPMP.

The owner provided a set of floor plans to which the building must be designed around, including compliance with ASHRAE/IES/USGBC/ICC Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High Performance Green Buildings, a budget of $200 per square foot, a life cycle of 50 years and inclusion of all the rooms specified and designed to specify indoor environmental conditions and building schedule.

The team chose a water source variable refrigerant flow system with an optimized geothermal water loop. The system was chosen based on its part load performance with high performance variable speed compressors in the main condensing modules.

For the Applied Engineering Challenge, recipients are from the University of Regina, Saskatchewan – Bradley E.R. Lulik, mechanical engineering-in-training, MacPherson Engineering Inc., Regina, Saskatchewan; Eva Rennie, pursuing a diploma in business administration, University of Regina; and Brent Yeske, gradworks contactor, system integrity and standards, TransGas Limited, Regina, Saskatchewan. Their faculty advisor is Adisorn Aroonwilas, Ph.D.

The students conducted an energy audit and mechanical system redesign for Little Souls Daycare at Souls Harbour Rescue Mission. The facility had concerns about building ventilation and safety of occupants (ages 10 and under), specifically that there currently is no ventilation in the summer months, which results in a stale and humid environment. Souls Harbour wanted to improve the inefficiencies at the lowest possible cost while improving the health and safety of the building, making it habitable for the occupants.

The students provided a list of recommendations to be implemented over 10 years, including high efficiency HVAC systems for the daycare, administrative officers and the gym area, skylights and insulation, and windows.

The projects will be shared at the ASHRAE 2017 Winter Conference, Jan. 28-Feb. 1, Las Vegas, Nev. Held in conjunction with the Winter Conference is the ASHRAE co-sponsored International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition, Jan. 30-Feb. 1, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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