July 18, 2022
As a member of the mechanical team at Ross and Baruzzini, each new day brings its own excitement and challenges. Recently, the most pressing project for my team here in the Kansas City office has been designing the HVAC system for a new football operations center for the University of Virginia.
We create our plans from a model in Revit. As we make changes to the model throughout the day, all the notes and callouts on the plan become a jumbled mess. It is much easier to do design work when the existing plans are easy to read. So, a typical day for me on this project starts with tagging and organizing to make the plans nice and neat for myself and my fellow engineers. Then, depending on the day, I dive into positioning and sizing ductwork, boxes, pipes, and other parts of the system.
Later in the day, I might work on a load calculation. Load calcs are all about figuring out how large your equipment needs to be. If it is too small, you end up with a building that gets cold in the winter or hot in the summer. If it is too large, your client has wasted anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars because of your recommendation.
First, I gather all the information I can get about the building: location, materials, intended use of rooms, and lots more. Then I make and document assumptions and carefully put all of them into a computer program that tells us how much heat enters or leaves the building depending on the weather. We can then use that information to help design the system.