Catoctin High School – Feasibility Study
Project Quick Facts
Alban Engineering, Inc. provided mechanical and electrical engineering services for the evaluation and study of the existing HVAC system replacement for the facility. A portion of the building was renovated in the year 2000 which also included an addition to the building. In these areas a conventional water source heat pump plant was installed utilizing a cooling tower to reject heat during the cooling mode and electric boilers were utilized to add heat during the heating mode. The remainder of the building utilizes original 1969 HVAC equipment. This equipment is typically split direct expansion type air handling units with electric resistance heating coils.
The purpose of the study is to develop multiple HVAC system alternatives to replace the existing 1969 equipment as well as develop alternatives to convert the existing water source heat pump plant to geothermal as well as provide a solution for the entire building to be served by a geothermal type system.
Systems analyzed included standard water to air heat pumps with both an upgraded water source plant as well as a geothermal option, a variable refrigerant volume (VRV) or flow (VRF) refrigerant based system both as air cooled and with the geothermal option and a standard fan coil unit (FCU)/air handling unit (AHU) option which creates a new mechanical equipment room for boilers and chillers or under a geothermal option the use of water to water heat pumps used to create chilled water during the cooling mode and low temperature hot water in the heating mode. This system concept is similar to the 2000 addition/renovation project as well as the basis of design for the new Frederick High School. A similar hybrid approach was utilized at Westminster High School performed under a previous employer where electric heating unit ventilator systems were replaced with 4-pipe fan coil unit system with supplemental boilers for heating and chillers for cooling.
The study included descriptions of existing conditions, evaluation of existing systems, descriptions of each alternative listing advantages and disadvantages of each, description of phasing requirements, structural modifications needed and estimated construction estimates for each alternative.