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AE Services for Central Heating and Refrigeration Plant

Location: Washington, D.C. Client: US General Services Administration

JMT developed energy-efficient upgrades to the HVAC, Plumbing, and Electrical systems at this plant supplying conditioning for the Smithsonian and over 100 Federal operational facilities in downtown Washington, DC.

DC's Central Heating and Refrigeration Plant serves over 120 federal buildings in the heart of downtown Washington.  Much of the critical heating equipment in this 75 year old building was original and in need of significant upgrades to efficiently heat and cool these landmark buildings.  A challenge to the design and construction process was that no interruptions in the equipment operation were acceptable, as this facility provides conditioning for the Smithsonian Museum buildings as well as over 100 Federal operational facilities. 

JMT was responsible for design, program and construction management efforts related to HVAC, Plumbing, and Electrical upgrades to the plant.  The key to analysis and design resolutions developed by JMT was to assure that wherever existing equipment had to be preserved, design solutions were established to maximize equipment performance while minimizing impact.  The most extensive example of such was the development of an alternative cooling system for the bearings on the critical boiler support induction and forced draft fans, boiler feed water pumps, and steam driven turbines that generate the electricity to operate this critical facility.  The existing cooling process simply took domestic water through these bearing cooling processes and dumped it to the sewer system.  JMT proposed a process which directly coordinated with the 17,000 ton cooling tower water makeup system to reuse water to meet cooling needs, assuring that the plant could operate at a higher efficiency without wasting domestic water at 1/3 of cost of what GSA had budgeted for that project.

JMT also developed a 60 KW Photovoltaic (PV) solar panel design to provide the maximum capacity of renewable energy while maintaining the historic nature of this building.  JMT's challenge was to develop a solar panel design on a very complicated existing roof structure in order to provide for optimum solar harvesting with no impact to the historic nature of this facility.  The design was completely coordinated with the Assistant Secretary to the U.S. Commissioner of Fine Arts to assure that the historic preservation of this facility was maintained.  JMT was also involved with upgrading the roof repair design program to be sensitive to LEED® related concerns for heat island effect.

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