ATLANTA - The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) announced the winners of its 2009 ASHRAE Student Design Competition and noted that the competition saw the largest number of entries to date.

This year’s Student Design Competition involved a 15,650-square-foot office building with first floor parking, second floor retail and office space, and third floor offices. Thirty-two schools submitted entries.

First place in HVAC System Design was awarded to Craig Allen, Brian Sybesma, Chan Kim, William Raschefsky, and Elyse Widin of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Calif. Their faculty advisor was Jesse Maddren, Ph.D.

The students chose a ground-source heat pump (GSHP) with an energy recovery ventilation system for the building, citing the benefits of a GSHP’s minimal energy use and long lifespan.

“The primary driving factors for the GSHP system were its low life cycle cost and minimal energy consumption,” the students wrote. “Combining GSHPs with an energy recovery ventilator reduces the size of the equipment needed, thus lowering the strain on natural resources and keeping energy costs low.”

First place in HVAC System Selection was awarded to Kelly Griffith, James Newman, Phillip Podlasek, and Darren Rottinghaus of Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan. Their faculty advisors were Fred Hasler, P.E., and Julia Keen, P.E.

These students also selected a ground-source heat pump, with each heat pump piped in a direct return loop, rather than reverse return, in order to save on the amount of piping used. The GSHP also utilizes variable frequency drives to control the hydronic pump, which would decrease the energy consumption of said pumps.

“The option is the most efficient and has the lowest environmental impact throughout the life of the building,” the students wrote. “The [building] owner will be very pleased because of the system’s highly green design and the number of LEED points that can be achieved through its design.”

ASHRAE stated that this year’s large number of entries may have been due in part to the new Integrated Sustainable Building Design (ISBD) category, which encouraged collaboration between engineering and architectural students. Students who chose to participate in the ISBD category were asked to redesign the office building to their own local climate, with the ultimate goal being a zero-energy building.

First place in ISBD was awarded to Troy White, Edward Wood, Jaime Gonsalves, and Ivan Fernandes of Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Their advisor was Filimon Tsionas.

The students designed an office building that would be made up of 5 percent recycled materials collected from abandoned buildings on the construction site. A solar wall, curtain windows and chilled beams would be utilized for heating and cooling. The building would also feature an open concept atrium, acting as a solar chimney to reduce the number of ducts necessary, and in turn the number of fans and energy needed to power them. Grey water collected in a green roof would be used in sinks, toilets, and irrigation of landscaping.

“The design group feels that the product of this design problem has been greatly influenced by the solution methodology and the end product exceeds that of a more conventional approach,” the students wrote of their collaborative experience.

A representative from each winning team will be presented with their awards at ASHRAE’s 2010 Winter Conference, to be held in Orlando, Fla., in January.

Publication date:09/07/2009