Buffalo Public Schools
CHALLENGE: Buffalo Public School 64 wanted to upgrade its air handling unit but avoid the expense of demolishing 18- to 30-inch-thick walls in its early 1900s-era school building. The challenge for Air Enterprises was to find a way to optimize space in the school’s basement area to avoid having to purchase multiple smaller air handling units. For institutional cost and energy savings, a 100 percent outside air handling unit was also needed. This would enhance building air quality for students and help minimize the institution’s energy use.
SOLUTION: Air Enterprises’ engineers assessed location options for the air handling unit in the basement area. After reviewing all design options, Air Enterprises decided to field-build the unit where a main building support column was located. The team carefully positioned the air handling unit so that the penetrating building column would not conflict with the unit’s internal components or system airflow.
In addition, Air Enterprises broke the air handling unit down into crates, performing rigging through a small opening to the basement. The 30,000 CFM energy recovery unit was then field erected in place. Overall, the air handling unit and components consisted of dual plenum fans for supply air and exhaust air, steam coil, filtration and a 10-foot-diameter energy enthalpy wheel.
RESULTS: The energy effectiveness of the enthalpy wheel was more than 75 percent, saving the client more than $35,000 per year in operational costs. Because air handling for the institution was also built around an 18” x 18” structural building column, which penetrated vertically through both decks of the unit, the newly renovated Buffalo Public School 64 avoided large construction expenses and can expect decades of reliable, worry-free performance. The unit was tested on site and recorded less than 0.5 percent leakage. The field test assures the owner of long-term energy savings on its air handling unit and overall system.