HVAC Load Calculations - Tips & Tricks



Load calculations are one of the key logistics to designing a high performing building. But, how does one capture the nuance of today’s post-covid hybrid office environments? What about conference rooms that are full in the mornings, but empty in the afternoons? For those in the Treasure Valley, ASHRAE’s design temperatures have changed – we have hotter summers and milder winters than 20 years ago. The IDL will share updated weather data sources and several load calculation tools freely available to engineers. Participants will learn the distinction between ASHRAE’s different load calculation methods – (90.1 vs 183). The lecture will cover how to use energy modeling tools to predict loads in different scenarios and apply ASHRAE 55’s thermal comfort standard during the design process. Practitioners will be able to use these tools to add dynamic loads to their designs and conduct robust post-occupancy evaluations to ensure energy efficient operation and client satisfaction.

Learning Objective 1: 
Locate updated weather data for designing buildings in Idaho’s climate.
Learning Objective 2: 
Identify validated tests for measuring occupant comfort.
Learning Objective 3: 
Describe the differences between ASHRAE’s load calculation methods.
Learning Objective 4: 
Understand which tools can be used to predict dynamic loads in building designs.
Learning Units: 
1 LU
Course Status: 

Damon Woods
Director - Assistant Professor
Dr. Woods is a licensed mechanical engineer who started working at the IDL as a graduate student back in 2013. His dissertation used energy models paired with weather forecasts to predict how a radiant slab should be managed to maximize occupant comfort. His current research focus is on the integration of surface temperatures into building energy management systems. Dr. Woods has taught courses in advanced thermodynamics and energy modeling. In the office, he spends his time working on energy models and estimating savings from energy upgrades; out of the office he is usually fly fishing or gardening. Dr. Woods earned his B.S. from Montana State University, his M.S. from Boise State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Idaho.