The first tour of the year was Awesome!
F.E.S.T.I. – Fire Emergency Services Training Institute – Is an 8 year old building that functions as a training facility for fire fighters around the world. With state of the art technology perfectly engineered to work with the HVAC system, there was a lot to see and a lot to be impressed by.
The front right sloped part of the wall shown above is a solar wall that heats the air behind it and through simple convection, feeds into the outdoor air of the HVAC system. This lowers the delta T (temperature) for the system, and reduces the overall energy needed to heat the conditioned space.
The white tower like structures are:
Left – stairwell using free lighting through opaque R-20 fibreglass wall.
Right – a solar chimney that helps move excess warm air at ground level into the HVAC system.
The ceiling in the building was designed using Thermodeck. This concrete prefabrication has connecting holes in it that allow the conditioned air to flow through it to the desired (and controlled) spaces. While doing so, it heats the floor and ceiling (which warms that area as well) and once it gets to its destination, flows into desired rooms like regular ductwork.
This picture shows the regular ducts work bringing the conditioned air to the specific Thermodeck where it works it way through a network of engineered holes covering the largest surface area possible, then being released into the space.
Because of the thermal efficiency of the building, the size of the boilers needed for this 36,000 sqft space is very small. They are also able to run the entire hot water heating system off of these instant hot water heaters (they have a high need for showers due to the fire training). These hot water heaters will only run when there is demand for them to, and rarely reach the maximum design output of having all five running (the farthest to the right is the controller). They sequence between the five of them to create desired water temperatures using Natural Gas as their energy source.
Something that was integrated into the building design was a very neat floating stair system. It works based on balancing the weight of the concrete stairs with an overhanging deck, where study areas are.
Two days were offered for the tours. Each group had a great time and learnt quite a bit too!
Thanks for participating! We hope to see more of you at our next event!
Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any tour, events or speaker ideas.