WAI takes pride in developing innovative engineering solutions in concert with the development of the architectural design. Below are just a few solutions we frequently use and have found to be successful.
The use of photovoltaic technology has been a proven success in saving energy costs. WAI has recently completed the design of a 40 KW photovoltaic system for the Smithsonian Institute’s National Zoo Asia Trail II project. The system uses a 2,500 sq. ft. photovoltaic array to generate approximately 10% of the project’s energy needs.
WAI has designed geothermal systems for a number of different building types. For each project, the decision to utilize a geothermal system was based upon a life cycle cost analysis in which the geothermal system was one of typically four system options. All geothermal well fields have been designed using test results from an in-situ test typically performed on two well locations in a proposed well field array.
Michael Weigand, PE, LEED AP, presented at the Ground Source Heating and Cooling for Residential and Commercial Properties on Ground Source Earth Coupling Design Principles on February 20, 2008. Please see attached his presentation. WAI - GEOTHERMAL CONFERENCE 2008
Load leveling ice storage system used on many of our projects provides several advantages, including: reducing first cost, reducing operating cost, lowering life cycle cost, and improving indoor air quality (from the lower relative humidity available because the system provides more dehumidification).
WAI designed a load level ice storage plant for Drew Freeman Middle School. This system was life cycle cost with a computer model and was not only the least expensive from a life cycle and operating cost standpoint, but was also $12,000 less expensive than a conventional chilled water plant.
On projects with marginal available incoming water pressures, we have performed iterative hydraulic analysis coupled with comparative economic studies to determine the feasibility of over sizing fire sprinkler mains to eliminate fire pumps and associated supporting systems. WAI accomplished this on one recent project with a net cost savings in excess of $120,000.
One method WAI has utilized for aggressive first cost reductions is the implementation of high Delta T system designs (with chilled water temperature differentials of 16°F and hot water differentials of 30°F). These system designs have achieved first cost reductions in piping, pipe insulation, pumps motors and associated electrical power distribution systems; as well as operations cost savings.
Similarly, WAI has utilized low temperature air delivery systems to increase the cooling capacity of existing HVAC forced air systems and to fit ductwork into previously un-air conditioned spaces and buildings.
In order to protect information and prevent the loss of memory and data in critical equipment such as computers, servers, system processors, data and computer centers during the electrical power outage, Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) Systems will be used.
UPS Systems are available in small, medium, and large capacities with similar or different input and output voltage. Each system also provides: different filters to reduce Harmonic Distortion on downstream and upstream, appropriate protection devices, network communication adapter and other necessary accessories. Considering the size and weight of battery compartment, a UPS Systems is normally used to maintain power supply for 15-20 minutes.
Another system to maintain power supply during the electrical power outage is Flywheel Energy Storage (FES). FES works by accelerating a rotor (Flywheel) to a very high speed by electricity and maintaining the energy as rotational energy. The energy is converted back to electricity by slowing down the flywheel. FES System is typically used in temporary power outage situation (less than 30 seconds). Using FES Systems in combination with UPS Systems will reduce the size and capacity of battery compartments in UPS Systems. Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems have been utilized by WAI in all data/computer center projects.
WAI understands the importance of Green design and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). They have been involved with multiple projects that have been or are in the process of being LEED certified. WAI are experts at incorporating energy conservation into their projects. Some of these features include: high efficiency envelope development and ASHRAE 90.1 compliance, high efficiency lighting (~ 1 watt/s.f. average), occupancy sensing switching control, multiple level lighting control, day lighting, automated exterior lighting controls, high efficiency motors, variable speed motor drives, low water consumption fixtures, energy recovery HVAC systems, variable air volume and hydronic systems, occupancy based resetting of minimum outside air volumes, ice storage systems, demand limiting control features, high efficiency equipment, and the use of energy management control systems. Below are a few select projects that have involved Green designs:
- Asia Trail II, The Elephant House and Habitat at The National Zoo: WAI provided mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and fire protection design services for this design build project. This project anticipates a LEED Gold certification.
- Pentagon Renovation of Wedge II: WAI provided the plumbing design for this 1.6 million sq. ft. LEED Gold project. The plumbing design included the following sustainable features: low water consumption fixtures, waterless floor drain trap guards, and an energy saving domestic hot water generating and recirculation system.
- University of Maryland University College, Student & Faculty Services Center Renovation: WAI provided the design and integration of the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems of a major renovation to a 140,000 sq. ft. existing building, including a complete replacement of the mechanical central plant. The Center houses office space, classrooms, computer labs, a cafeteria, etc. This project achieved LEED Gold certification.
- Deer’s Head Hospital Center Kidney Dialysis Unit Addition & Renovation:WAI is performing electrical engineering design work for a new state-of-the-art 7,804 sq. ft. Kidney Dialysis Unit addition to the main hospital and a 7,128 sq. ft. renovation and reconfiguration of the existing Unit. The addition anticipates LEED Silver certification.
- Seven Locks Elementary School Modernization, MCPS: WAI provided mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and fire protection design services for this new $18.7 million, 64,350 sq. ft. elementary school. This design includes a geothermal water source heat pump system, dedicated ventilation systems, and heat recovery and achieved LEED Gold certification.
- Avalon Elementary School, PGCPS: WAI is providing the design and integration of the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems for a new 54,802 sq. ft. elementary school. This project is anticipating LEED Gold certification.
- Henry Ferguson Replacement Elementary School, PGCPS: WAI is providing the design and integration of the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems for a new 55,392 sq. ft. elementary school. This project is anticipating LEED Gold certification.
- Hyattsville Replacement Elementary School, PGCPS: WAI is providing mechanical, electrical, and fire protection design services for this new 93,000 sq. ft. elementary school. This project is anticipating LEED Gold certification.
- Oxon Hill High School Renovation and Addition, PGCPS: This project involves the demolition and reconstruction of the majority of the school. WAI is acting as a commissioning agent for the LEED for Prince George's County Public Schools. This project is anticipating LEED Gold status.
- Thomas Farm Community Center, City of Rockville: Although this building did not pursue LEED certification, WAI’s design was based heavily upon available points on the LEED Project Checklist v2.2. Specific areas of MEP consideration were: water use reduction, optimal energy performance, enhanced commissioning, measurement and verification, outdoor air delivery monitoring, increased ventilation, construction IAQ management plans, controllability of thermal comfort and lighting systems, thermal comfort design and thermal comfort verification.