Innovative technologies such as natural ventilation, the use of grey water and phase-change materials characterized the winning projects in this year's ASHRAE Technology Awards.
The awards recognize outstanding achievements by ASHRAE members that incorporate innovative building design elements in the areas of occupant comfort, indoor air quality and energy conservation. They were presented during ASHRAE's 2007 winter meeting held in Dallas immediately preceding the ASHRAE Expo, opening today.
Winning projects have applied the association's standards for effective energy management and indoor air quality. The winners included:
First Place, New Health Care Facilities - Matt Younger, P.E., principal of Stantec Consulting, Seattle, Wash., for his design for the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs, Retsil, Wash.
Younger's fully naturally-ventilated building featuring large, independently-operated windows that aid with a passive cooling system, is predicted to save more than 45 percent over Standard 90.1 requirements. Younger used intensive thermal modeling as a critical design tool on this project. Through testing of different design parameters, a whole-building integrated design solution was developed.
First Place, New Industrial Facilities or Processes - Pierre Roussel, P.E., vice president, mechanical division, and Jacques Lagace, P.E., vice president, innovation and major projects, Bouthillette Parizeau & Associates, Montreal Quebec, Canada, for their design of the thermal plant at Montreal's Pierre-Elliot Trudeau Airport.
To deal with the challenge posed by the project's proximity to the air traffic control tower and the possibility of the smoke plume from boiler combustion gases interfering with traffic control activities, the team designed a system incorporating measures such as running the boilers' flue gases through a direct contact economizer to cool them using grey water. This also allows the system to reclaim the heat and creates efficiency of up to 99 percent.
First Place, Existing Industrial Facilities or Processes - Daniel Pare, project manager, IBM, in Bromont, Quebec, Canada, for his design for an IBM semiconductor packaging facility in his hometown.
Pare's use of a thermal energy system with phase-change materials combined with free cooling, a variable frequency drive chiller and predictive algorithm control is a first in North America. Phase-change materials are substances that can accumulate and release energy during phase change. In this case, a change from liquid to solid.