Otowi Building Revitalization – HVAC Upgrades Project

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Otowi Building Revitalization – HVAC Upgrades Project

Otowi Building RevitalizationClient: Los Alamos National Laboratory

Location: Los Alamos, NM

Lopez Engineering, Inc. (LEI) provided engineering services for the 180,000 GSF (est) Otowi Revitalization – HVAC Upgrades Project for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Serving as the basis for this project is LEI’s LANL Otowi Building Systems Upgrade (FEMP Funded) that was awarded the Department of Energy’s Prestigious 2004 Energy Management Achievement Award.

LEI’s initial project was an energy project feasibility study that identified all energy efficiency opportunity based upon a ten-year payback threshold. The estimated cost for this project was $500,000 and the projected annual savings was $165,000. The study’s scope included evaluation of lighting systems and lighting control, evaluation of occupancy loads, assessment of HVAC efficiency and control, and evaluation of existing solar hot water and cooling tower systems. The building analysis utilized PowerDOE software as a basis for the building model. PowerDOE results were base-lined by comparing to monthly meter consumption and continuous electrical load recordings over time to establish the consumption profile.

The Energy Retrofit Design Scope consisted of refurbishment of the solar hot water system, retrofit of the cooling tower, installation of plate and frame heat exchanger for free cooling installation cooling, installation of state-of-the-art DDC energy management system with VFDs, replacement of the inefficient air filter system with a high efficiency system, upgrade of lighting controls, occupancy sensors, and switches for control of nonessential electrical load in offices when unoccupied. Drawings included equipment schedules, floor plans, enlarged floor plans and detail of both electrical and mechanical systems. Extensive control diagrams of the energy management system included sophisticated sequences of operation and a comprehensive points list.  The feasibility study was used as a basis to secure grant funding.

LEI’s current Otowi Revitalization Project-HVAC Upgrades Project is divided into two phases. The first phase identifies a preferred alternative for the desired improvements and develops a design description and scope of work for the project. LEI is designing upgrades and improvements for the Otowi Building that improve building infrastructure services and building comfort while extending building service life by 20 to 30 years. LEI, with its sub-consultant Burns and Roe, performed a comprehensive evaluation of the existing central station and other HVAC system components, including but not limited to Air Handling Units (AHUs), Heating Hot Water units (HHW), Variable Air Volume units (VAVs), pumps, HVAC controls, and the electrical system to meet current codes and standards and to provide a modern HVAC System able to meet the needs of the building occupants.

The evaluation included a walkdown and evaluation of the existing HVAC and Electrical Distribution systems, load calculations and recommended design and construction alternatives for the building infrastructure upgrade. By evaluating the controls, LEI determined whether to modify or replace the systems entirely. LEI is also modifying the lightning protection system as required to protect new roof-mounted HVAC units. To select the best upgrade alternatives, LEI developed and supervised a joint selection process of a preferred engineering solution that included input from the design team and from the client, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Criteria used for decision making included: general information, scope of study, evaluation criteria, list of evaluated alternative, and recommended design solution.

Once the evaluation was completed and LANL selected the upgrade options to be pursued, the LEI team began design of the building modifications necessary to implement the agreed upon upgrades. This design effort, which is ongoing, will include primarily HVAC, controls, and electrical system upgrades. However, it will also include architectural, structural, and Fire Protection as required. Currently this project has completed the 65% design phase with 95% design effort soon beginning.

The final product of this first Task was a 65% engineering Title II design submittal, which was completed by the end of Fiscal Year 2010. The objective of the second phase is to complete the engineering design.

Otowi Crew