Design Assistance and System Specifications

AEA is experienced in providing design assistance and installation specifications for mechanical and HVAC systems, including retrofit applications in existing and occupied buildings. Because no two systems are the same, AEA provides customized specifications and solutions for each client, guiding you through the design phase and providing a final inspection of installed systems. The AEA team is capable of ensuring that the system most appropriate for the property is installed and that the system is operating at peak efficiency. We specialize in high efficiency equipment, optimum set up of controls, and distribution systems.

Design Assistance

Boiler plant retrofits and replacements

AEA has extensive experience in the retrofit or new installation of high efficiency central heating hot water (hydronic) and central low pressure steam (one pipe and two pipe) systems. Care is taken to make sure that the system is appropriately sized for its specific application using engineering calculations and control strategies are recommended for optimum functionality to ensure occupant comfort while maximizing energy efficiency.

Central domestic hot water system retrofits and replacements

In many California buildings, central domestic hot water systems are the first or second highest user of site based fuels, but opportunities in these systems can often be overlooked. AEA specifically addresses this issue by focusing on central domestic hot water retrofits and replacements including high efficiency water heaters, optimized controls, distribution efficiency, and recirculation systems.

Ventilation system retrofits

Multifamily buildings pose some unique ventilation challenges for design teams. One of the primary challenges is the simple fact that the living spaces are in such close proximity to one another.  This proximity readily allows for the transmission of odors and contaminants from one apartment to another. Multistory apartment buildings commonly have centralized ventilation systems. These typically consist of exhaust fans on the roof that draw stale and/or moist air from apartment registers in the kitchens and bathrooms up through ducts and out of the building. If these systems are not functioning properly, as is often the case, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) will suffer.

It is a fortunate coincidence that in many multifamily buildings improving the performance of the ventilation system will often have the dual benefit of improving the buildings IAQ while also significantly reducing energy consumption. In many cases the systems may be drawing very large volumes of air out of the building, but are not drawing it from the spaces that are intended to be ventilated.  These excessive ventilation rates lead to an increase in heating and cooling loads.  In addition, the fans drawing air in and out of the building may be working harder than necessary to do the job effectively.   If so, there are energy savings to be had, both electrically and thermally by tightening the ducts, balancing the airflow and adjusting or replacing the fans.

AEA specializes in the retrofit, balancing, and duct sealing of mechanical supply and exhaust systems, including central riser systems. Because ventilation system issues vary dramatically from one building to the next, AEA employs site-specific and creative results-based solutions that will provide adequate ventilation air while addressing any moisture, mold, or odor concerns.

Lean how our design and engineering teams can improve the efficiency of your  multifamily properties you manage by upgrading or repairing central heating, hot water, and ventilation systems.  Contact Andrew Brooks at abrooks@aea.us.org.

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