Selecting an Air Handling Unit
Every building is constructed of many individual components that work together as a whole to determine its overall quality and performance. Air handling units are just as vital to a building’s performance as the lunges are to the human body.
There is a seemingly limitless combination of air handling unit components that can be arranged to properly filter heat, cool, dehumidify, humidify, and deliver the conditioned air throughout the building. The panel construction methods and materials offered differ for each manufacturer. This is why it is so important that the right design team is chosen to properly select the air handling unit to meet the building’s ventilation requirements and project budget.
The selection process of an air handling unit is a collaborative effort between the entire design team, the owner, and the maintenance department.
- The mechanical engineer calculates the required airflows, heating capacity, cooling capacity, filtration requirements, humidification requirements, and selects the system components to match. The mechanical engineer is also responsible for meeting with the owner and maintenance department to discuss the preferred manufacturers, construction materials, project budget, and overall current and future goals of the HVAC system
- After researching the power requirements of the air handling unit and verifying the capacities of the existing electrical systems, the electrical engineer is responsible for providing the proper electrical connections to the unit.
- The architect and mechanical engineer coordinate the building’s envelope to optimize energy usage and minimize equipment sizing. The team also coordinates the mechanical room layout to confirm that proper equipment clearances are provided for maintenance.
- The structural engineer and the mechanical engineer coordinate the physical size and weight of the equipment to provide the required structural supports, equipment pads, and duct openings.
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