British Columbia and Saskatchewan students win ASHRAE Design Competitions

Students from eight countries put their engineering skills to the test to design and select systems for a government building in China, as well as for a competition requiring them to “think globally, act locally.”

The 2016 Student Design Competition focused on a new two-story municipal government building in Beijing, China. The Applied Engineering Challenge for 2015-2016 required students to plan, develop and enact solutions to sustainability issues in their local or regional areas. Forty-eight teams entered the competitions.

First place in the HVAC Design Calculations category was awarded to the University of British Columbia. Team members were Alexander Brosky, Samarth Joshi, Aubrey McNeill, Silvia Odaya, Cheng Yang and Ziran Yu, all from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia. Faculty advisors were Nima Atabaki, Ph.D., P.Eng., and Steven Rogak, Ph.D., P.Eng., while the industry advisor was Ali Nazari, P.Eng., BEMP, principal, Integral Group.

The total system peak loads were 1,095 MBh for cooling and 398.9 MBh for heating. The team designed air cooled chillers with ice storage and natural gas boilers to serve three air handling units that feed variable air volume terminal boxes. Students selected the design based on life cycle cost analysis. The system allowed a cooling plant to be downsized while taking advantage of cheaper off-peak energy costs. An independent computer room air conditioner maintained server room environmental requirements. Photovoltaic and solar thermal panels were sized and selected as energy conservation measures.

For the Applied Engineering Challenge, recipients were from the University of Regina, Saskatchewan – Bradley E.R. Lulik, mechanical engineering-in-training, MacPherson Engineering Inc., Regina, Saskatchewan; Eva Rennie, pursuing a diploma in business administration, University of Regina; and Brent Yeske, gradworks contactor, system integrity and standards, TransGas Limited, Regina, Saskatchewan. Their faculty advisor was Adisorn Aroonwilas, Ph.D.

The students conducted an energy audit and mechanical system redesign for Little Souls Daycare at Souls Harbour Rescue Mission. The facility had concerns about building ventilation and safety of occupants (ages 10 and under), specifically that there currently is no ventilation in the summer months, which results in a stale and humid environment. Souls Harbour wanted to improve the inefficiencies at the lowest possible cost while improving the health and safety of the building, making it habitable for the occupants. The students provided a list of recommendations to be implemented over 10 years, including high efficiency HVAC systems for the daycare, administrative officers and the gym area, skylights and insulation, and windows.

First place in the System Selection category was awarded to California State Polytechnic University, while first place in the category of Integrated Sustainable Building Design was awarded to a team from the University of Central Florida.

Both competitions were held by ASHRAE. The projects will be shared at the ASHRAE 2017 Winter Conference, Jan. 28-Feb. 1, Las Vegas, Nevada. Held in conjunction with the Winter Conference is the ASHRAE co-sponsored International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition, Jan. 30-Feb. 1, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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