Across the country, manufacturers and contractors are coming together to find zoning solutions that increase efficiency and comfort for consumers. The following zoning projects provide a telling showcase for zoning and the benefits it can provide within the HVAC marketplace.

The Greggton United Methodist Church

The Greggton United Methodist Church in Longview, Texas, was replacing its heating and cooling equipment and needed an easy solution to help further reduce its energy costs. With the notably hot climate in Texas, the summer months are long and use the bulk of the HVAC energy load.

Church leaders solved this problem by installing a Web Comfort wireless platform, which enables the team to save energy and money by controlling heating and cooling equipment, lighting, computers, and plug loads. Scheduling events and other occupancy needs can also be managed via the Internet on any Web browser using the 365-day, 24/7 calendar.

The installation at Greggton United Methodist Church utilized 18 thermostats for its 55,500-square-foot facility. The church utilizes a flexible heating and cooling calendar to schedule services, events at the church, and group meetings. This 365-day scheduling capability gives leaders control over the heating and cooling system based on when and what areas of the building will be occupied. As a result of the Web Comfort installation, the Greggton United Methodist Church experienced an $863 monthly electric bill reduction with a total savings of $3,454 throughout the summer. The church recently replaced the gas furnace in the facility with electric heat, which impacted the savings potential in the winter months.

“We did not expect the colder months to show a significant reduction based on replacing the gas heat with electric heat, but, being in the Texas climate, the summer is when we really saved money,” said pastor Ricky Ricks.”

The flexibility and scalabilty of the Web Comfort Energy Management System allows the church to easily add lighting, plug load, and computer controls if the need arises in the future.

Miami Marlins Stadium

MLB’s Miami Marlins moved into a new stadium, Marlins Park, in 2012. The Marlins had shared a football stadium with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins since the team’s inception in 1993, but decided to move to a facility of its own.

The $515 million dollar construction job boasts unique architectural features, including a retractable roof, VIP suites, aquarium backstops, and a high-end clubhouse for the Marlins.

The HVAC contractor for the New Marlins’ Ballpark, United Sheet Metal, Pompano, Florida, installed Duro Dyne’s cable-operated dampers as a way to balance airflow through the face of a diffuser. This proved to be an important task because more than 300 of the dampers were installed on the Marlins job site including on each linear diffuser inside of the Marlins clubhouse. The damper is installed upstream of the diffuser with the control cable inside the airstream and is accessible from the diffuser grille. The airflow is adjusted by pushing or pulling on the core wire that changes the damper blade position. This allows the service contractor to balance airflow without having to go into the ceiling and minimizes the service contractor’s time at the job site.

Sycamore School

The Sycamore School in Indianapolis provides a full-time educational environment for gifted children with the hope that young people who attend will make major positive contributions to their communities and the world. The school’s campus, which included one 56,000-square-foot building, was purchased in 1996. Recently, administrators approved an expansion that would more than double the size to 118,000 square feet. Old HVAC equipment was cooling the air faster than it could remove humidity. To solve this problem, school administrators turned to Indianapolis contractor DEEM, which recommended the smart solution of Honeywell’s Spyder™ Controller.

The Sycamore School was historically equipped with oversized HVAC equipment that cooled the school’s air faster than humidity could be removed. The result was humidity levels that ranged 80-90 percent or higher on most days. In fact, the inside humidity lagged two days behind the outside weather. “Potpourri was rehydrating, and papers were curling up,” said LeRoy Richins, the school’s plant manager. A change was obviously in order, but the school’s administrators wanted to fix the problem at an affordable price.

Richins looked at various options before settling on the Spyder Controller. “Each contractor recommended something different,” recalled Richins. “From sealing the air holes to installing return ducts to insulating the return plenum, we heard it all, but nothing addressed the problem completely, and most of it was too expensive.”

One contractor even suggested replacing the old system and installing an individual air conditioner in each classroom, he said.

Finally, Richins approached DEEM with the problem. “DEEM had just won the bid on our other contract work, so I decided to pitch the issue to them,” Richins said. “The Spyder was the best solution at the most affordable price.”

DEEM chose Spyder Controllers for two simple reasons, said Erik Merz, project manager for DEEM. “Spyder is much more affordable than other unitary controllers, and it’s limitless in the amount of programmability it offers,” he noted. Merz worked closely with Honeywell contractor development specialist Roger Rebennack to develop a value-driven solution using the technology and innovation only found in today’s Spyder controller. The five Spyders that were installed allowed individual monitoring of classrooms to ensure each space was the ideal setting for productive learning and creativity.

“Replacing the existing rooftop unit was an unnecessary cost when we could just add the Spyder and control the equipment run time that way,” Merz said. And, DEEM knew they could return to the school and make adjustments, if needed, with the Spyder.

“This was our first installation of Spyder Controllers, and it was very successful,” said Merz. Only two DEEM employees were required for the job — one to install the equipment and the other to program the controls. Five Spyders were installed on one rooftop unit to control four zones. DEEM programmed the controllers using the WEB controller and installed several D2 Series zone dampers to help further manipulate the air conditions in various
areas of the building.

“We knew programming the system for the Sycamore School may be trial and error, but we were able to increase the compressor’s run time without overcooling the building, and we eliminated the need for a dual-bulb thermostat by using four T7770C1002 wall modules,” noted Merz. “The teachers are all very happy with the humidity and the temperature in their classrooms now.”

The installation of a Honeywell Spyder Controller solved the problems at the Sycamore School. The humidity levels now range from 50-60 percent, creating a more comfortable environment for the students, teachers, and administrators. Best of all, the school was able to have the Spyder system installed at an affordable cost that allows them to keep humidity down.

“It’s been so effective that the administrative air conditioning unit has now been wired into a Spyder, and we’re looking to install more units around the campus to control our other buildings,” said Richins. And, with everything from plenty of inputs and outputs to built-in DC power and programming flexibility, the Spyder controllers at the Sycamore School will give them cost-efficient control for years to come.

Publication date: 5/18/2015

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