ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 32

Conclusions
In this competition, VAVR was the clear winner versus
ACB+DOAS. VAVR had much lower first costs, much lower
energy costs, and similar floor-to-floor heights. These conclusions strictly apply only to the analyzed systems and this building, which is in a relatively mild climate. However, in the last
five years the authors’ firm has conducted detailed life-cycle
cost analyses comparing several ACB variations to VAVR for
several buildings across the country and has yet to come across

a single case where ACB was more efficient or lower cost.
The authors’ firm has also reviewed life-cycle cost analyses by
other firms that appear to have gone out of their way to make
VAVR look bad by using unnecessarily high design flow rates and
static pressures, single maximum zone controls with high minimums, fixed supply air temperature, etc. A common technique to
inflate the VAVR energy use is to make it minimally compliant
with Standard 90.1-2004 or 90.1-2007, conveniently ignoring the
facts that 90.1 has raised the bar for VAVR since 2007 and that
a good VAVR design can far exceed 90.1.
A well-designed VAVR system (including
dual maximum zone controls, supply air
temperature reset, duct static pressure reset and CO2 controls in high density spaces) is hard to beat. Many others engineers
have come to similar conclusions.9
It is possible an ACB design with low
primary airflow and with medium temperature chilled water and a waterside economizer might be more efficient than VAVR
in some applications, such as a building
with high sensible loads in a more extreme
climate where outdoor air economizers
are not as effective. But, it is doubtful
ACB can ever compete with VAVR on a
first cost or life-cycle cost basis. The added costs of the piping and beams for ACBs
are simply too high and well-designed
VAVRs are simply too efficient.

References

www.info.hotims.com/44632-33

32

ASHRAE Journal

1. Simmonds, P. 2013. “To beam or not to
beam?” Engineered Systems (1).
2. Hastbacka, M. 2012. “Emerging Technologies: DOAS, radiant cooling revisited.”
ASHRAE Journal (12).
3. Rumsey, P. 2007. “Chilled beams in
labs: eliminating reheat & saving energy on
a budget.” ASHRAE Journal (1).
4. Weidner, S. 2009. “Cooling with less air
using underfloor air distribution and chilled
beams.” ASHRAE Journal (12).
5. Taylor, S., et al. 2012. “Dual maximum
VAV box control logic.” ASHRAE Journal (12).
6. Taylor, S. 2007. “Increasing efficiency
with VAV system static pressure setpoint
reset.” ASHRAE Journal (6).
7. ASHRAE RP 1515, Thermal and air
quality acceptability in buildings that reduce energy by reducing minimum airflow
from overhead diffusers. Center for the Built
Environment, Taylor Engineering LLC,
Price Industries. In progress.
8. Livchak, A. 2012. “Don’t turn active beams
into expensive diffusers.” ASHRAE Journal (4).
9. Murphy, J. 2011. “High-performance VAV
systems.” ASHRAE Journal (10).
May 2013



ASHRAE Journal - May 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASHRAE Journal - May 2013

ASHRAE Journal - May 2013
Contents
Commentary
Industry News
Letters
Meetings and Shows
Feature Articles
VAV Reheat Versus Active Chilled Beams & DOAS
A Stable Whole Building Performance Method for Standard 90.1
Technology Award Case Studies:
PSU Design Build Project
Passive Cooling for School
Standing Columns
Building Sciences
InfoCenter
Refrigeration Applications
IAQ Applications
Engineer's Notebook
Products
Data Centers
Emerging Technologies
Classified Advertising
Advertisers Index
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - ASHRAE Journal - May 2013
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 2
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Commentary
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 5
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Industry News
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 7
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 8
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 9
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 10
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 11
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 12
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 13
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Letters
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 15
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Meetings and Shows
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 17
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - VAV Reheat Versus Active Chilled Beams & DOAS
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 19
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 20
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 21
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 22
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 23
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 24
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ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 26
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 27
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 28
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 29
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 30
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 31
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 32
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - A Stable Whole Building Performance Method for Standard 90.1
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 34
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 35
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 36
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 37
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ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - PSU Design Build Project
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ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Passive Cooling for School
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 55
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ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Building Sciences
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ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - InfoCenter
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ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 73
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 74
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Refrigeration Applications
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 76
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 77
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - IAQ Applications
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 79
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 80
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 81
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 82
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 83
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Engineer's Notebook
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 85
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Products
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 87
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Data Centers
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 89
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 90
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 91
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Emerging Technologies
ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - 93
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ASHRAE Journal - May 2013 - Classified Advertising
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