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©2015 This excerpt taken from the article of the same name which appeared in ASHRAE Journal, vol. 57, no. 7, July 2015

Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E., HBDP, Member ASHRAE; Rich S. Conyers, Member ASHRAE; Bradley M. Poe; Charles M. Kibby, Member ASHRAE

About the Authors
Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E., is senior mechanical engineer, Rich S. Conyers is senior mechanical designer, Bradley M. Poe is mechanical estimator and Charles M. Kibby is CAD/BIM manager and senior designer at AC Corporation in Greensboro, N.C.

Mini-excavators and small tractors require enormous amounts of energy to fabricate, paint, assemble, and test. Caterpillar’s new 826,000 ft2 (76 738 m2) state-of-the-art heavy manufacturing complex in Georgia reduced overall facility energy use compared to a traditional facility using creative, interdependent solutions including those related to ventilation loads and exhaust.

The project was completed via a design-build delivery model on a greenfield site. Integrated building design methodologies were applied to the facility construction and facility services work results. This project was delivered on a fast track model and required early release of major equipment. Iterative solution development occurred prior to and parallel to construction activities.

Scalable solutions were developed to support intial move in (DAY-1), intermediate growth (DAY-2), and full production (FINAL DAY) sequencing of a five-year master plan.


Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency was a critical project fundamental at the heavy manufacturing complex because of the relatively large process energy loads. Realizing these energy use reductions required optimization of multiple component and system solutions, iterative analysis was used to determine project-responsive configurations.


Component and System Solutions

The mechanical system was designed to use only electricity, the only available energy source on the island. This enabled the design team to arrive at a target energy budget for the project to meet the site‘s potential PV generation capacity EUI of 65 kBtu/ft2• yr (205 kWh/m2• yr). The project uses the following energy-efficiency measures and achieves an average EUI of 87.7 kBtu/ft2 • yr (276.7 kWh/m2 • yr). The design complies with the local 2009 Washington State Energy Code that is more stringent than ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007. The energy modeling software “eQuest” was used for the early design energy model to support design decisions.

The project uses passive design strategies that provide for load reductions and facilitate natural ventilation. The major program functions are housed in a series of bars that are oriented along the east-west axis programmed by load intensity. A conscious effort was made to reduce cooling demandresulting from building envelope and plug loads. The orientation allows for controlled penetration of sun for passive solar heat in exam and waiting areas. Unwanted heat gain is minimized on the east and west exposures. Heat gain from solar is further controlled with the use of appropriate overhangs. Roofs are sloped to the south allowing for future installations of solar collectors.

Natural ventilation works with the narrow floor plan and the orientation to prevailing breezes. A high-performance envelope was specified and carefully detailed to minimize heating and cooling loss. Glazed areas were reduced to less than the allowed 30% of wall area (Figure 1). Windows are high-performing wood-framed units.

A major contributor to energy reduction was the use of decentralized systems sized to specific loads. This approach allows systems to be tailored to the individual needs of each program area. The emergency department and spaces use four pipe fan coil units to decouple heating/cooling from ventilation loads, which significantly reduces reheat. Public spaces and outpatient areas have radiant heating systems and natural ventilation with fan assist for cooling. Mechanical and other facilities spaces are served by two pipe fan coil units. The surgery and inpatient bed spaces use a VAV system.


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