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©2016 This excerpt taken from the article of the same name which appeared in ASHRAE Journal, vol. 58, no. 10, October 2016

Frank Shadpour, P.E., HFDP, Fellow ASHRAE; Jeremy Clifton, P.E., Member ASHRAE; Joseph Kilcoyne, P.E., Member ASHRAE

About the Authors
Frank Shadpour, P.E., Jeremy Clifton, P.E., and Joseph Kilcoyne, P.E., are principals of SC Engineers, Inc., in San Diego.

Safety and security is a top priority of the San Diego Community College District, and each college has built or upgraded police substations to have a meaningful physical presence with clear student access.

Miramar College’s campus in San Diego has more than 13,000 students, and its police substation serves as the central hub for campus safety and security, way finding, and parking permitting. It includes a reception area, conference room, break room, offices, locker rooms, and a secure suspect processing area. The parking structure can accommodate 815 vehicles.

The 5,300 ft2 (492 m2), one-story police substation and adjacent 270,770 ft2 (25 155 m2), four-story parking structure incorporate elements such as variable refrigerant flow HVAC systems, a solar chimney for natural ventilation, and night flush.

The project used a design/build method with sustainability at the forefront of design and construction. The original target from the owner was to achieve an energy-efficiency performance at least 10% better than California Title 24-2005, Building Energy Efficiency Standard for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings, and an additional 12% energy savings beyond a similar facility using ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, for the police substation.

Modeling software was used to simulate performance throughout the year using ASHRAE design conditions and local utility rates for San Diego (DOE Climate Zone 3B). The final results of the energy model predicted a 45.6% savings compared to California Title 24-2005 and a 47.5% savings compared to Standard 90.1-2004 over a one-year simulation period.


HVAC Systems

The HVAC systems designed for the police substation are variable refrigerant flow (VRF). The condensing units are located on the rooftop of the facility, with the indoor fan coils located within the ceiling space. A single outdoor condensing unit with multiple indoor units and premium efficiency direct-drive fans for space cooling and heating serve the common areas of the substation. The system allows heat recovery between multiple zones and simultaneous heating and cooling for maximum efficiency. Return air from offices, conference rooms, and other nonhazardous areas are fully ducted back to the associated indoor unit. Zone temperature control is accomplished with a temperature sensor.

A single outdoor condensing unit serving two indoor units, each with 100% outdoor air for space cooling and heating, were provided for the locker rooms. The locker rooms are served by a dedicated VRF system separate from the building’s other conditioned spaces to meet the unique demands of occupancy and allow for maximum efficiency. All air-conditioning systems and exhaust fans have direct digital controls (DDC). Indoor units are internally controlled to manage the heat recovery functions, and the entire VRF system has output to the building DDC system.

The police substation is mechanically ventilated with ventilation rates designed in accordance with ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2004, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. All the building’s outdoor air is introduced through 17 VRF fan coil units, with airflow monitoring provided by each. In addition, CO2 sensors are supplied in the breathing area of all densely occupied spaces.


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