Understanding High-Performance HVAC

Very high efficiency dedicated outdoor air systems (VHE DOAS) is a promising opportunity to improve commercial building HVAC efficiency that is not yet well-understood in the Northwest. To begin building regional understanding of this system, the alliance partnered with Puget Sound and Portland-area utilities, as well as NEEC (Northwest Energy Efficiency Council), AIA Portland, high efficiency heat recovery ventilator (HRV) manufacturer Ventacity, and distributor Johnson Barrow to deliver, for the first time in the Northwest, training on ventilation for high-performance commercial buildings. The training, which was developed to increase supply chain expertise in design, specification and installation of VHE DOAS, generated considerable interest in both the technology and the alliance’s specification from attendees. Over 125 people participated in the three training events, almost half of whom were utility engineers and staff.

VHE DOAS applies the concept of separating heating and cooling from the ventilation system, which allows for optimal control of each of these critical building functions. VHE DOAS pairs a high efficiency heating and cooling system with a very high efficiency heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or energy recovery ventilator (ERV). This efficient system improves air quality, increases comfort and uses less energy than conventional rooftop units.