Erickson is a national developer/manager of campuses for middle-income individuals and families over the age of 62. While other developers rely on two-pipe ventilators in multiple unit residential buildings, Erickson's standard HVAC specification requires the more efficient water source heat pump system. At one of 15 Erickson communities, the 103-acre Ann's Choice, Warminster, PA, the project's consulting engineer increased the efficiency as well as indoor air comfort, by water source heat pump methodology. Farshad Kassiri, vice president of Towson, MD-based Kibart Inc., a mechanical/electrical/plumbing consulting engineering firm that handled recent construction phases at Ann's Choice, added DRY-O-
TRON® make-up air units by Dectron Inc., Roswell, GA. These units feature reverse cycle heat pump, modulating hot gas reheat and variable heat pump capacity options to deliver an additional 10% or more energy savings to the ongoing project, which was designed by Marks, Thomas Architects, Baltimore, MD.
"Both Erickson and their residents have a stake in the energy bills, so energy efficiency is a high priority,"
Each phase, which consists of five residential buildings and a clubhouse, has its own self-sufficient and independent central water source loop. Besides the heat pumps and make-up air units, additional equipment consists of two Baltimore Air Coil, Baltimore, MD, cooling towers and two Tranter PHE Inc., Wichita Falls, TX, plate and frame heat exchangers. Five Bell & Gossett, Morton Grove, IL, vertical split-case pumps are used for the cooling tower loop (two pumps) and condenser water closed loop (two pumps), with one pump as a standby.
In the Ann's Choice new 55,000-square-foot clubhouse, Kassiri uses heat pumps in smaller spaces, and two higher grade Dectron DKV Series HVAC units with dehumidification capabilities serving a large auditorium with high occupancy rates. The dehumidification capabilities of the HVAC units are especially critical because the summer month humidity loads are too great for conventional air conditioning to overcome. The clubhouse also houses the central plant that accommodates four residential buildings and a chapel. The first clubhouse at Ann's Choice also uses a separate Dectron DRY-O-TRON dehumidifier custom designed for the high humidity loads of the facility's indoor swimming pool.
Based on their current success at Ann's Choice, Kibart and Erickson will continue to push the envelope for indoor comfort and energy efficiency. Dectron is accommodating Kassiri's new designs that will incorporate plug fans for more directional flexibility in ducting out of the make-up air unit, plus variable frequency drives for additional energy savings. "You can't always provide state-of-the-art designs to a client by using off-the-shelf equipment,"