Notes From the Field: A Mixed Reuse Project with LoadMatch Single Pipe System
In Cincinnati a former tin can factory transformed into New York-Style Lofts, with residents enjoying indoor air comfort provided by a Heat Pump-LoadMatch® Delivery System. Lets take a look at the project implementation and technologies deployed to meet unique, sustainable urban opportunities with enhanced energy efficiency for tenants.
The former American Can building, which at one time had been the site of the largest aluminum can manufacturer in the U.S., had been abandoned since the 1990s. It took Ohio developer Bloomfield/Schon + Partners over six years to redevelop the property in light of the serious difficulties posed by environmental contamination at the site and the economic downturn.
Today the American Can Lofts‘ 110 apartment units are at full occupancy, and residents enjoy efficient indoor comfort provided by an HVAC delivery system comprised of ClimateMaster heat pumps in combination with Taco LoadMatch® circulators in a single pipe system.
The project developer Bloomfield & Schon + Partners and the Cincinnati Air Conditioning have selected a LoadMatch system as a very cost-effective solution in terms of materials needed, the installation savings it affords, and its energy efficiency in operation. The single pipe system utilizes small, low kW circulators in a self-balancing system that assures the required flow to all heating and cooling units at all times while requiring less pipe and fittings, fewer control valves, and no balancing valves, thereby reducing first-costs. Lower pump head and operation of pumps to match the load reduced operating and maintenance costs.
The fast-paced project schedule meant that the design engineer Ray Fischer only had five weeks to design and size the system instead of a typical timeframe of 2-3 months. As a solution, he has utilized the Taco’s Hydronic System Solution® (HSS) software design tool proved to be of great assistance.
“The HSS tool saved me a lot of time,” says Ray, who sized all equipment using HSS. The software allows design engineers to size plant and equipment, calculate loads and flows automatically, and make design changes quickly and easily while reducing the chance of errors and time spent on recalculations. Because there were over 30 apartment configurations in the American Can Lofts, a building with two ceiling heights (all above 10 ft.), plus lots of exposed brick, exposed ceilings and window glass, proper sizing of the heat pumps was critical to the eventual comfort experience of tenants. Some apartments with two exposures and lots of glass also required auxiliary duct heaters for added heat in winter.
According to Bob Stiens of Cincinnati Air, piping was a challenge in this project because there are actually two joined buildings, with one built earlier than the other (1907 and 1921 respectively) and at different levels. With the LoadMatch system the team was able to find a way to route across the older building and into the newer building on a similar level and feed all of the apartments.
Powering the HVAC system for the building comes from equipment installed in a rooftop penthouse mechanical room. This space was a small, former elevator machine room in the former factory, and the tight space required close coordination to fit all of the necessary equipment. In it are twin Thermal Solutions gas-fired condensing boilers at 1.5 million BTUs each, supported by four Taco KV and KS Vertical In-line pumps, a Taco Plate & Frame Heat Exchanger and a 4900 Series Air Separator.
Opened last November, the American Can lofts building is a key element driving the Northside neighborhood’s revitalization. Learn more about the project’s success, including technology solutions for efficiency, cost savings and better comfort, visit the project profile website page: http://bit.ly/HeIgKj