On February 26, 2018, AEE-Sunshine Chapter and Space Coast ASHRAE Chapter hosted a tour of two upgraded Central Energy Plants at Brevard Schools. Approximately 50 members participated in the tour and luncheon, which was sponsored by Calmac, Trane, Coastal Mechanical, and Wharton-Smith.
The group boarded school buses at the School Board complex and stopped at Bayside High School and the Southwest Middle School/Turner Elementary School campus. Engineers, contractors, and equipment vendors were on site to describe the systems and the innovative designs and construction techniques. Both plants took advantage of the new ASHRAE Standard 62.1 Indoor Air Quality Procedure to reduce required outdoor air volumes by 50% by integrating air-cleaning technology using bipolar ionization. Bayside High also corrected long-standing envelope issues in the gymnasium and sealed openings. That permitted the new air-cooled chillers to be downsized, stretching the HVAC upgrade budget, and reduce energy consumption At Southwest and Turner, old central energy plants were removed and a new shared plant was installed. The old PVC chilled water piping, which was prone to leaks, was abandoned. Instead of installing conventional steel piping, which would have required trenching through the landscaped campuses, HDPE plastic piping was installed using directional drilling. Both projects had to be completed in the two-month summer shutdown and operational by August 6.
The group returned to the School Board for a recognition luncheon. Susan Hann, Director of Facility Planning and Construction, and Gary Shiffrin, Chair of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, talked about the Sales Surtax program and how it was transforming school facilities.
The tour showcased the $200M facility renewal program at Brevard Schools. It also showcased the television broadcasting program at Bayside High, which interviewed the attendees, and the Culinary Institute at Melbourne High, which catered the luncheon. The JROTC Honor Guard at Viera High also participated. The fundraising event will permit both chapters to award scholarships to local engineering students.
ASHRAE hosted a follow up meeting with Brevard Schools to explore how the chapter could become involved in the BPS STEM programs.