In early January, the Dallas Chapter of ASHRAE recognized RWB Consulting Engineers for notable HVAC design of two projects: Richardson’s Lake Highlands Freshman Center, now called Building H, and Arlington ISD’s Agricultural Science Center. Both projects earned the chapter’s Technology Award in the Existing Building and New Construction – Educational Facilities category.
The ASHRAE Technology Awards recognizes prestigious buildings with innovative HVAC designs. Criteria for the award include:
- Energy Efficiency
- Indoor Air Quality
- Operation & Maintenance
- Environmental Impact
RWB is proud to achieve two new Technology Awards for educational projects. RWB previously won the 2020 ASHRAE Technology Award at the Regional level for Denton ISD’s Ray Braswell High School for New Construction – Educational Facility.
The Winning Projects: Details
Lake Highlands Freshman Center
The Lake Highlands Freshman Center (Building H) now provides a comfortable learning environment for students who attend class in the building. Built-in 1997, the building served as a freshman-only campus for Richardson ISD students in the area. With the original equipment nearing failure, the building required a major HVAC upgrade. When voters approved the 2016 bond for improvements, RWB examined and addressed multiple performance issues by re-zoning the building from an east/west to a north/south configuration. Updated equipment was installed and scheduled accordingly for space utilization.
Some of the performance issues include:
- Lack of diversity in zones
- Lack of heating, or inadequately sized heating in the building, especially at the perimeter
- Poor air distribution and complicated air delivery design in the gymnasium
- VAV Air Terminal Units that were completely inaccessible for maintenance
- Complicated air distribution systems with poor energy performance using VAV Terminal Units on constant volume Roof-Top AC Equipment
Based on the evaluations of load calculations, RWB improved performance while downsizing the MEP equipment in this building.
Arlington ISD Agricultural Science Center
Arlington ISD’s new 28,000 SF expansion of the district’s Agricultural Science Center is uniquely designed as an indoor/outdoor facility. As part of the expansion, classrooms, administration areas, animal pens, open-air barns, and a metal shop were added.
The building opened in 2019 to students and faculty offering the opportunity to experience hands-on learning as it relates to agricultural education.
The Arlington ISD Agricultural Science Center is a net-zero energy building, producing more energy than it consumes, which is tracked by the Energy Management System (EMS) tied to all the mechanical components.
Some energy-efficient items that were included in the design are:
- A photovoltaic (PV) array
- Wind turbine
- Rainwater storage collection tanks
The PV array and wind turbine help with energy production while the rainwater storage collection tanks help with irrigation and other internal barn uses.
ASHRAE Dallas Technology Award
In December each year, The Dallas Chapter of ASHRAE accepts nominations for their Technology Award competition. The program recognizes multiple MEP engineering firms in different categories ranging from Commercial to Institutional and Residential facility types.
As the winner of the Chapter award, both projects will move to the Regional competition for a chance to compete at the Societal competition.
Nathan Hart, P.E. leads the mechanical team on the Lake Highlands High School Freshman Center HVAC Upgrades Project.
Joseph Proctor, P.E. leads the team on the Net-Zero energy design of the Arlington ISD Agricultural Science Center.