When designing a high-rise building, besides all other things, you also need to think of the HVAC system for that space. Be it a residential complex or a commercial one, the air conditioning, and ventilation system is of utmost importance because it ensures superior comfort of the people inside the building. And therefore, you need to know everything about the HVAC system of a high-rise building before investing in it.
What Makes High Rise HVAC Different?
An HVAC system functions quite differently in a high-rise building than that in a building with fewer stories. As the air temperature outside the higher stories decreases significantly while the height increases, the system needs to work intelligently to keep the temperature the same throughout the building at all times. A high-rise HVAC system should be able to cope with the ever-changing temperature inside the building to ensure proper ventilation and maximum comfort.
If you don’t install an efficient HVAC system in your high-rise building, there is always a considerable risk of uneven airflow throughout the structure.
Types of HVAC Systems for High-Rise Buildings
1. Central Water-Cooled System
The “central water-cooled system” is the most demandable HVAC system for modern high-rise buildings. Equipped with a central cooling tower and a boiler, this unit has water-sourced heat pump units in each apartment to maintain optimal temperature throughout the building. With this system, you don’t have to worry about proper ventilation or comfort in your skyscraper.
But then again, this HVAC system has its downsides too. As this chilled water system uses water pipes that run through the various walls in the building, it might result in expensive damage in case of any water leak.
Also, as this air conditioning system requires placing cooling units in each apartment, it might create serious space issues, especially for smaller living areas.
2. Four Pipe Water System
This HVAC system for high-rise buildings has pipes for both air-cooled chillers and boilers to provide hot and cool air simultaneously in your apartments using indoor fan coil units in each apartment. It is extremely energy efficient and effective.
However, the benefits end here. It is extremely expensive to install and also makes it difficult to measure the energy consumption of each individual apartment.
3. Packaged Units
In the past, the packaged units were the most popular HVAC systems for high-rise buildings, as there weren’t many options available. These units are still used in modern times too, but only in those buildings where there is a restriction in drilling new holes in the walls. As these air conditioning systems can be installed through an existing wall opening, it is still popular in landmark buildings.
One drawback of the packaged HVAC units is that they are super noisy and don’t provide the comfort as many other modern HVAC units do.
4. Individual Split System
As the name suggests, an individual split system consists of individual units for each room in an apartment, rather than one large unit for all the living spaces in a high-rise building. And as these units are smaller in size, they are inexpensive to install too.
This system includes two parts to work seamlessly. The condensing unit is placed under a window or balcony, while the indoor fan coil unit is mounted somewhere up in the room to circulate air perfectly.
But then again, you might have to forgo closet space or lower the ceiling height for this system to work properly in your room.
5. VRF System
Variable Refrigerant Flow or more popularly known as the VRF System is one of the newest HVAC technologies to use in high-rise buildings. It is gaining rapid popularity among the users not only because it is extremely efficient but also because it ensures superior comfort. It provides customized heating or cooling to each of the apartments so that you can enjoy the most suitable temperature in your living space.
Moreover, as it offers customizable airflow, it can deal with the varying temperature demand between upper and lower floors like none other.
We have discussed everything you need to know about high-rise HVAC systems so that you never feel clueless while talking to your contractor. It will help you to understand the nitty-gritty of the system and determine what air conditioning system would be the best choice for you.
See the summary of this content in this infographic – HVAC for High Rise Buildings [Infographic]