Multifamily Mechanical Design

Designing HVAC Systems for Health, Efficiency & Comfort

Watch Intro Video

Course Description

Increased energy codes, tighter construction, and internal moisture generation through occupant behaviors can combine to create the perfect storm - mold.  A recent survey of designers and developers in Virginia reveals mold is a growing concern in apartments, but some of their responses as to why might surprise you.

Learn why using conventional mechanical HVAC systems puts smaller apartments at greater risk for microbial issues.  Explore the unique challenges present with current multifamily ventilation methods and hear the latest recommendations from building science experts.  

Through examination of recent case studies and building science research, this course will present new technology designed to provide the optimum in comfort, efficiency, and health for occupants.

Learning Objectives

Learning Objective 1:  Identify scenarios where single-stage mechanical split air conditioners and heat pumps fail to satisfy latent removal requirements resulting in elevated humidity and dangerous conditions for occupants and buildings.

Learning Objective 2:  Discuss specific occupant behaviors that can result in excess moisture build-up inside dwellings.

Learning Objective 3:  Examine various residential ventilation strategies, along with the advantages and limitations of each, in order to determine the most appropriate strategy for multifamily housing applications.

Learning Objective 4:  Examine unique considerations when designing mechanical systems for rental properties versus owner-occupied properties.

Useful Resources

Here are a few of our recommended resources:

• Comparative Performance of Two Ventilation Strategies in a Hot-Humid Climate, FSEC-CR-2058-17, Florida Solar Energy Center, February 2017

• Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Residential Buildings, ANSI | ASHRAE Standard 62.2

• Commissioning Buildings in Hot Humid Climates, David MacPhaul, P.E. and Christy Etter, P.E. CH2M Hill, 2003

• Dehumidification and Cooling Loads from Ventilation Air, ASHRAE Journal, Lewis G. Harriman III, Dean Plager, Douglas Kosar, 1997

• Balancing Act Exhaust-only ventilation does not work An edited version of this Insight first appeared in the ASHRAE Journal. By Joseph W. Lstiburek, Ph.D., P.Eng., Fellow ASHRAE, August 2016

• Measure Guideline: Supplemental Dehumidification in Warm-Humid Climates Armin Rudd Building Science Corporation October 2014, US DOE

• HVAC in Multifamily Buildings, Building Science Digest 100, Joseph Lstiburek, October 2006

• The Perfect HVAC, Building Science Corporation Insight, John Straube, rev June 2011 

• A New Approach to Ventilation of High Rise Apartments, Proceedings of the Eighth Conference on Building Science and Technology, February 2001

Course Curriculum

Module 1 - Building | Structure
Module 2 - Occupants
Case Study - Senior Housing
Module 3 - HVAC Systems
Case Study - Two-Stage Heat Pump with Variable Speed AHU
Module 4 - Environment | Ventilation
Module 5 - The Ideal HVAC System for Multifamily Housing

What's included?

5 Quizzes
2 PDFs
7 Presentations
Ron Revia
Ron Revia
Technical Sales Manager

About the instructor

Ron Revia is a twenty year veteran of the HVAC industry having worked as a licensed contractor, distributor sales manager and manufacturer's representative. Most recently, Mr. Revia has spent the past several years working with architects, engineers and contractors who design and build multifamily properties to prevent microbial issues in apartments.

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