Comfortable living is primarily dependent on the efficiency and continued long-term performance of MEP systems in living spaces, whether they are residences, offices or commercial areas. Efficiency levels are influenced by a building’s energy consumption, which will then impact global consumption and ultimately affect the environment. Optimising HVAC system performance can significantly benefit energy consumption and living standards. Enabling this level of performance requires intelligent MEP engineering design. In this article, we look at what efficient HVAC systems duct design require and how we can move forward with them.

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Heating, ventilating and air conditioning services are known as HVAC services. Energy efficiency in HVAC systems generally works on the principle of using less and making the most of what is available to save expenditure. HVAC energy costs are a major chunk of overall energy expense. To better comprehend the efficiency of HVAC systems, it helps to understand how the different services of HVAC work.

Different HVAC Systems

Heating results by increasing the temperature of air within a confined space or heating occupants directly (e.g. use of radiators or floor, ceiling or wall radiation)
Ventilation involves maintaining the required HVAC specialists Telford mixture of gases in the air, controlling odours and removing toxins or contaminants from spaces through natural ventilation or fan-powered mechanical distribution systems.
Air-conditioning involves the control of air temperature and air humidity. Air cooling is controlled by transferring between spaces, for example with a water loop heat pump, or by sending warm air outside through air-cooled or water-cooled equipment. Condensing the moisture in air on a cold surface results in dehumidification. Air can be cooled by evaporation as well.

How can HVAC be designed for higher efficiency? Typically, energy efficiency is measured with the Seer-Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio in BTU (British thermal units) for cooling systems, which is the ratio of cooling output (in BTU) divided by electricity usage in kilowatt hours. The higher this number is, it has a greater level of HVAC energy efficiency. Some of the most important features for general HVAC efficiency are:

Sustainability Principle – Sustainable design promotes reduce, recycle and reuse. It is desirable to use every resource of HVAC design the maximum number of times before it becomes necessary to discard or replace that resource.
Using Site Potential – Natural advantages of a site can be used for more efficient building performance. Natural sunlight and wind currents can be harnessed in a building, considering its orientation. This will enable efficient heating, cooling and ventilation. Solar energy for the occupants’ HVAC requirements can be generated through the installation of solar panels.
Material Use – Use of material with optimum heat-transfer coefficients can reduce the burden on HVAC systems, depending on the building’s orientation.
Indoor Air Quality Improvement – Air curtains and fresh air handling units with heat recovery options can reduce thermal exchange through a building.

HVAC Energy Performance Deciders

Several factors can affect HVAC energy performance goals. A reduction of almost 30 percent in annual energy costs can result from using high-performance HVAC units. Higher savings can be achieved through natural ventilation in summer and the use of highly insulated warmer wall and window surfaces during winter.

When design goals are decided early on, the design teams know what to work towards well ahead of the construction documents phase. Design team communication can also be prioritised.

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