Would you want to stay in a sweltering-hot building?

Definitely, no one would want to be in that situation. Commercial and industrial building owners and managers often face complaints from tenants and workers when the air conditioning system does not work well and efficiently enough to provide indoor air that is comfortably cool.

Comfortable Indoor Air
Hence, keeping the climate indoors comfortable for the people inside the building is high on the facility manager’s lists. They need to ensure that their HVAC systems are delivering the indoor air quality demanded of the building.

What Is HVAC?
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. An HVAC system consists of the heating and cooling equipment including furnace, boiler, condenser, compressor unit and heat pump, and the appropriate ductwork that are necessary to provide “conditioned” air indoors from the fresh outdoor air.

The HVAC system delivers three functions that are often combined into one system in today’s homes, commercial and industrial buildings or facilities. The HVAC system could also be responsible for diluting interior airborne contaminants such as odors from industrial chemicals, volatile organic compounds, etc. A properly designed HVAC system will provide a comfortable indoor environment year in and out with proper maintenance and upkeep.

Roof-Mounted Or Ground-Mounted
Depending on where it will be used, HVAC equipment may be mounted on the roof, or on a slab base in the basement. Contractors typically estimate the capacity, engineer, and select the HVAC systems and equipment for smaller buildings.

On the other hand, the HVAC systems for larger buildings are estimated, analyzed, and designed by the building service managers and engineers, and mechanical engineers. Fabrication and commissioning are usually performed by specialty mechanical contractors.

For the HVAC systems in industrial facilities and commercial buildings, placement of the equipment plays an important role especially in terms of efficiency and cost savings. They can either be roof-mounted or ground-mounted.

Benefits Of Roof-Mounted HVAC System
For industrial facilities, the typical HVAC system design requires a packaged rooftop HVAC unit due to a number of reasons including:

  • Space Saving
  • Cooling and heating in one
  • Pre-assembled and easy to install

Space Saving
The roof is usually the ideal and best place for the HVAC systems to be installed.  Obviously, every space in a manufacturing facility or commercial building is accounted for various important functions relevant to the operations. And since all the components in larger HVAC units are put into self-contained cabinets, and the roof space is the unused space, a roof-mounted HVAC system frees up floor space in the building which could be used for other manufacturing functions.

Credit: Aidan

One System For Cooling And Heating
Roof-mounted HVAC systems are often configured to contain all the cooling and heating needs for an industrial facility or building, eliminating the need for separate systems. Aside from being convenient, this also allows for easier maintenance and repair of the units without disrupting other functions and activities in the building or facility.

Easy Installation
Installation of roof-mounted HVAC units is easier and much simpler as it only requires the installation of appropriate vibration isolation rails for the HVAC in self-contained cabinets to eliminate vibration, lower the sound level in the occupied space and mask off the sound from the equipment. Adding and installing new systems will pose no major disruption in the building’s operational activities.

Drawback: Regular Maintenance Required
Because of the exposure, roof-mounted HVAC units receive from natural elements such as rain, dust, sun, snow, and hail, it’s important and critical for the HVAC units to receive regular maintenance in order to keep the system working efficiently.  In many cases, ground-mounted HVAC systems don’t require as much maintenance as the roof-mounted counterparts.

In your manufacturing facility or commercial building, are the HVAC units roof-mounted or are they on the ground?

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