Doug Snyder, Principal
The central issue at any school when it comes to building systems is operating costs. We strongly believe you should not promote a system concept that the Board is no position to maintain and operate. As attractive as some of the technologies out there are, you can’t leave a board with something they can’t use and control. Efficiency comes from having good design they can maintain and control. We helped the Board make an informed decision from the onset because you can’t correct down the road.
All our modern high schools in this Board have the same system; a four pipe, fan coil system with central air dry chillers. This enables them to compare efficiencies from school to school and allows for real predictability for those maintaining the system.
Mechanical systems are generally either all air or hydronic. The 4 pipe fan coil system is hydronic and moves energy with water. Because you are moving water through a small pipe instead of a large air duct, the floor to floor heights in the school are maximized. While it is a premium operating system, there are offsets in total building cost which is why this is a strategic decision not only in terms of operating costs but integrated design thinking.