HVAC System Strategy
An HVAC central unit was allocated on the building's last floor and brought down to the different levels inside mechanical rooms carefully planned on each floor. The number of supply and returns ducts was calculated considering the necessary supply airflow required for the space occupancy (which can be later diminished since it impacts the cooling strategy of the building). Even though the width of the ducts changed, diminishing more in relevance with the distance it had to the central vertical duct, it maintained a relatively large size to account for the constant height of 12" throughout the system. This allows the air to flow more easily without compromising the aesthetic of high ceilings.
To avoid conflicts, the return and supply ducts were configured at different not overlapping heights and brough together (in verticality) so they could stay inside the mechanical room's design. Also, zone controllers were collocated on the design for level 5 (even though they should be considered thought out the different spaces) to allow for heating and cooling regulations in the areas thought to be of more importance at the office level.
Heating Strategy and Cooling Strategy
Considering the site location in Mexico City and the building specifications, the design analysis report showed that more cooling was needed rather than heating for the building. This is understandable considering that the majority of the cooling loads are the consequence of the functionality of the building and the number of people that it will hold.
To contrast this, more shade could be created in the building and the surrounding facades could also have a coating that prevents, even more, the entry of solar rays into the building. Also, considering the main cause of HVAC needs, the occupancy loads expected could be diminished; this would most certainly have a bigger impact on the necessity of cooling in the building's facilities.
As a last resource, the air terminals could be increased in size or technology to provide for more than 500 cfm each. This would help out to diminish the amount of work in the HVAC design as well as improve the overall aesthetics of the building since it is now completely covered by air terminals to supply the necessary amount of air flow (specially on level 5 where the conference room is located).
HVAC System Challenges
The challenges presented were mostly related to the different layouts the building has on every one of its levels and the lack of uniformity in them. Because of this, the HVAC elements could not be easily replicated but carefully thought through each one of the spaces created per floor.
Also, the necessity of a big amount of air terminals and the small size of the building (specially on the fifth floor) complicated the design of the HVAC system.