BIG RAPIDS, Mich. - The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) awarded second place to a student engineering team at Ferris State University in the System Selection category of the 2010 ASHRAE Student Design Competition.

Team members included Nathan Cazee of Louisville, Ky.; Dewayne Collins of Nashville, Tenn.; Ryan Dibble of Muskegon, Mich.; Sarah Kelley of Ann Arbor, Mich.; Nathan Toland of Cincinnati; and Ben Quist of Grandville, Mich. The team analyzed, engineered, and selected a full mechanical system for the Ginsburg Tower of Florida Hospital’s Orlando campus.

The $255 million facility, which opened in 2008, contains 440 patient rooms, an emergency room area nearly the size of a football field, and a cardiovascular institute. Additionally, the 15-story building is currently the tallest of all Florida hospital buildings. To complete the requirements of the competition, design teams in universities around the world were required to examine the pros and cons of three systems and recommend the most appropriate system for the application.

The Ferris State team weighed their systems against the safety and comfort of hospital patients and staff; ASHRAE standards, local standards, and codes; energy consumption and cost; equipment installation, maintenance, and replacement; impact on the local environment; the United States Green Building Council’s LEED green building rating system; and synergy with architecture. The student team decided on solar absorption chillers and a Series III Desiccant Wheel system working with chilled beam terminal units to mitigate the high heat load in this nearly all glass structure with high power density throughout.

“Participating in the competition was one of the several reasons I chose to attend the HVAC program at Ferris,” Cazee said. “It was a great learning experience that has helped in preparing me for the position in which I now have. Being a part of this team was the highlight of my career at Ferris. It was interesting learning about new technologies and finding ways to apply them to the hospital.”

Ferris associate professor and ASHRAE advisor Mike Korcal said, “In my opinion, this has been one of the most complicated buildings the Ferris HVACR students have had to work on since first competing in the ASHRAE design and equipment selection competition. The students spent a considerable number of hours of their own time working on this 14-story critical care hospital in Orlando, and I am very proud with the work they did and how they represented Ferris State University on the international stage.”

The Ferris State team is slated to accept their award at the 2011 ASHRAE winter meeting in Las Vegas.

Publication date:10/25/2010