Climate control – Meeting ever more complex demands

Occupancy Comfort through HVAC Strategies
November 11, 2019

As architects design more and more imaginative buildings, so the world of building environment management needs to keep pace. Climate control in some of the world’s newest buildings is as much of a challenge as constructing the building.

Take for example the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Not only is it the tallest building in the world, but it sits in an area where the average daily temperature is 41°C. So the task for the climate control engineers is how to keep the building and its occupants cool.

The secret lies in using ice water. During off-peak hours, the central water plant creates an ice slurry that makes the water colder than a chiller could manage. This chilly water is sent through the tower in a series of pipes to heat exchangers. Once the cold water has cooled the air for the air conditioning unit to use, it is sent back down to the central water plant again.

This innovative approach to climate control is better for the environment as it allows the building to save money on energy use and it reduces the amount of space needed for dedicated cooling equipment.

Another innovative approach to climate control is being taken by Amazon’s office in Seattle. Unlike the Burj Khalifa, they need to heat their building to fend off the winter climate in the Pacific North West. They do this by harnessing the waste heat generated by a data centre.

What’s even more interesting is that the data centres aren’t actually owned by Amazon. The heat is collected from the building across the street owned by Westin. This is a double win, as it helps Amazon to save energy and gives Westin a good way to sustainably deal with waste heat. 

The heated water is piped from the data centres to the Amazon central plant and is put through heat-reclaiming chillers. This is then used to supply the office’s heating needs, with the now-cold water is sent back to Westin to help cool their data centres. Amazon is set to save 65 million pounds of coal’s worth of CO2 emissions over 25 years with this approach. 

These are of course two very different and creative ways of sustaining climate control in large buildings, but the challenges remain no matter the size or design of your building. 

Our experts can help you find a cost-effective and sustainable solutions to your climate control needs whether this is in amazing new structure or in existing buildings and estates. 

In fact, it is in existing builds or refurbs that some of the more interesting challenges occur as estate managers are having to find more energy-efficient ways to control the climate in buildings that could be 50 or even 100 years old.

Whatever your climate control challenge, no matter how complex, we are here to help. Talk to us today. 

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