When Assessing Trends There’s a Lot to Consider
Today’s cutting-edge technology is tomorrows Beta recorder. What’s a Beta recorder? Exactly my point. So there’s a lot to consider when assessing trends in building systems. Kramer Engineers constantly filters data on the newest systems, equipment and controls. Because “the newest” may not always be the best option.
Considering Multiple Factors
Although energy efficiency is at the forefront of our designs, environmental comfort weighs in just as heavily. You have to research results before making an expensive recommendation. If you choose equipment that hasn’t been tried and tested, it could result in a failed renovation. A systems design needs to make financial as well as long-term functional sense.
For example. The Department of Natural Resources previously contracted KE for a facility-wide system assessment and comprehensive feasibility study. The Veterans Administration was considering adding a woody biomass (wood chip) boiler. The biomass system would supplement their existing boiler plant which served the 1 million square foot Chillicothe VA hospital campus.
A woody biomass boiler plant is a renewable and environmentally friendly energy source. It can produce heat in the winter, power AC during summer and generate electricity. The process is also considered “carbon neutral” energy because the CO2 produced during wood burning is re-absorbed in nature by plants and trees.
Choosing to go Green
Kramer Engineers did extensive research on facilities in Vermont, Pennsylvania and northern Ohio that ran biomass systems. The final study and preliminary criteria design involved utilizing 600-HP heat, 400 PSIG power biomass steam boiler & a 400-KW generator for cogeneration.
The VA took our recommendations and used our preliminary criteria design as the basis for the decision to move forward. The project was completed and the Chillicothe VA Medical Center (VAMC) was among only 14 federal projects awarded the Federal Energy and Water Management Award in 2013.