Resilience in HVAC Design

By District Energy posted 12-19-2018 00:00


Eric Nyenhuis and Ken Robinson, Facility Executive


Rome was not built in a day, and neither is resilient HVAC infrastructure. It requires vision, focus, and collaboration bringing together varied expertise around common goals such as efficiency, reliability, ease of maintenance, and lowest total life cycle cost. Resilient infrastructure provides the ability for an organization to carry out its core mission despite a shock to its energy systems. For example, facilities located in regions which experience storm surge would install key mechanical systems at an elevation above expected surge levels. Resiliency for hospital facilities might involve installing a natural gas generator in addition to standard diesel to provide fuel diversity and redundancy to its generation fleet, or the installation of mechanical flywheels to ride through brief power interruptions that might force reboot of critical equipment such as MRIs or mass spectrometers. Companies with solar photovoltaic (PV) generation might install battery energy storage in reaction to changes in peak time-of-use rate structures by utilities.

This dynamic plays out in every organization as they seek to update their facilities. This can be seen with the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) and its nine Southern California based campuses, which has been executing a bond program in response to the demand for cost-effective college education in the state. 

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