Overall, my HVAC strategy is to only supply cooling to the buildings through an air based system. This is because Colima, Mexico is known for a hot to mild climate year round with little to no cold weather. During the colder times of the year, the daylighting supplied by the high percentage of glazing will provide enough heat for occupant comfort. Moreover, concrete is known for its potent thermal mass which will release heat into the buildings at night. On the single-floor building, there are no air terminals towards the south side because the dining area will be regulated through natural ventilation only. This is to promote a connection to nature and to the outdoor seating/garden area. However, this is the only naturally ventilated area of my project.
My air handlers are placed on the roofs of the buildings. The capacities for the two story buildings’ handlers are much greater than the single floor building in order to account for the greater demand for cooling. My concern during this process was that the shaft for the connection between the first and second floors is not aligned with what I originally planned for the mechanical room space. This will force me to reevaluate my design as it intersects through the center of the buildings.
Although the HVAC system I chose is not innovative in itself, the naturally ventilated dining area and the fact that the building only provides cooling will allow me to reach my overall objective of net zero energy.