ASHRAE Journal - August 2021 - 58

ENGINEER'S NOTEBOOK
COLUMN
Nathan Ho
Streamlining
Electrification in Support
Of Decarbonization
BY NATHAN HO, P.E., MEMBER ASHRAE
Our industry has increasingly focused on the electrification of building utilities
coupled with low-carbon electricity to support the global decarbonization effort.
Examples include the University of California's system-wide ban on the use of on-site
fossil fuel combustion in new construction and major renovations, and the City of
Seattle's recently passed measure to prohibit the use of natural gas for space heating
in new construction and major replacements of heating systems in commercial buildings,
as well as for water heating in new hotels and large apartment buildings. This
column presents an approach to integrating the production of domestic hot water
with an electric heat-recovery chiller plant as a streamlined solution.
The following two case studies, involving a stand-alone
building utility plant and a plant that ties into a campus
chilled water system, demonstrate the flexibility of this
approach.
Case Study 1: Southern California Medical Office Building
The first application is based on a new-construction
125,000 gross ft2 (11 600 gross m2) outpatient medical
office building located in the coastal region of Southern
California. This project required local, dedicated HVAC
and plumbing utilities. The author served as a member
of a design-build team to evaluate various HVAC and
plumbing design options to determine the best-value
solution based on merit. Figure 1 illustrates the baseline
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ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org A U G UST 2021
design approach to which our proposed approach,
shown in Figure 2, was compared.
The baseline approach was developed according to
prescriptive and qualitative requirements stipulated
in the owner's request for proposal (RFP) package.
This included the requirement to provide an electricpowered
utility plant that incorporates heat pump and
heat-recovery chiller technology to produce heating
hot water (HHW), chilled water (CHW), and domestic
hot water (DHW) utilities for the proposed building.
Heating hot water and chilled water are produced from
a string of four modular heat-recovery chillers sized to
meet building heating demands combined with three
Nathan Ho, P.E., is an associate principal and engineering group leader with P2S Inc., in Irvine,
Calif. He is the chair of ASHRAE SPC 110.
http://www.ashrae.org

ASHRAE Journal - August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASHRAE Journal - August 2021

Contents
ASHRAE Journal - August 2021 - Intro
ASHRAE Journal - August 2021 - Cover1
ASHRAE Journal - August 2021 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - August 2021 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - August 2021 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - August 2021 - 3
ASHRAE Journal - August 2021 - 4
ASHRAE Journal - August 2021 - 5
ASHRAE Journal - August 2021 - 6
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ASHRAE Journal - August 2021 - Cover3
ASHRAE Journal - August 2021 - Cover4
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