St. Joseph Catholic School Indoor Air Quality Improvements

Lincoln, Nebraska

Geary Engineering, Inc. provided the mechanical and electrical engineering for the indoor air quality improvements for St. Joseph Catholic Church.  The project began as an evaluation of the existing HVAC systems.  Evaluations of the existing systems resulted in recommendations to replace the old two- pipe heating and chilled water system with a geothermal heat pump system.  Energy calculations indicated a payback period of about 12 years based on the energy savings of the geothermal system.  The recommendations presented to the Building Committee were accepted and Geary Engineering, Inc. was selected to complete the engineering design for the new HVAC systems.

The existing boilers, chiller, pumps, fan coil units and unit ventilators were removed.  The new HVAC equipment was designed to go into the spaces vacated by the existing equipment.

The geothermal heating and cooling system was designed for the existing classroom areas of the building.  The well field and main piping was sized for future classrooms to be connected to the system.  The well field consists of 90, 200 feet deep geothermal wells.  Horizontal heat pumps were used above the classroom ceiling where possible.  Unit ventilator type heat pumps were used in some locations where ceiling access was not possible.  Vertical heat pumps were used to replace existing air handling units.

New roof top units were designed for the gymnasium to replace the obsolete units.  The new units are designed with a sound isolation roof curb to eliminate the noise in the gymnasium.  Out door air dampers are designed to allow outside air for cooling when conditions allow.

Energy recovery units were designed to exhaust air from the bathrooms and to distribute the air to the individual heat pumps.

The pneumatic control system was deemed obsolete and was replaced with a new DDC control system.  All of the new circulation pumps and heat pumps are connected to the new controls along with all of the mechanical equipment in the existing church.  The maintenance staff will have control over all systems within the school and church from a workstation located at their desk.  The control system also allows for control from a remote Internet site.

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