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Trane: Delivering a Mechanical System that Meets LEED Certification

April 02, 2015

Contractors and developers may face various challenges throughout the construction of a new building. Missed construction milestones and bad weather delays are a couple of the multitude of issues that a developer must be prepared to deal with.

Yet, the most important issue that developers oversee is the efficient design of a building’s mechanical system, which impacts an environment’s overall comfort level and its operating expenses.

In Houston, a nationally renowned innovator in the energy-efficient building industry faced a design issue related to a new building’s mechanical framework.

The issue: Meet LEED certification to complete construction of a new medical office facility.

The solution: Partner with Trane to deliver an effective, efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) solution.

Known for its commercial real estate developments across the United States, Jacob White Construction designed Katy Medical Plaza to be a next-generation medical office that would meet the highest standards. Meeting those standards — low-operating costs, optimal indoor air quality and, most importantly, LEED certification — required establishing multiple partnerships to deliver for the facility.

“We need systems that were going to come on every morning at 6 o’clock, reach cooling capacity in a very short duration, shut down in the afternoon and come back on the next day. We just cannot afford failures, period,” said Jay Gabrhel, president of J & S Mechanical, which worked as the design/build mechanical contractor on this project.

J & S partnered with Trane to complete mechanical design work and install HVAC equipment for the building. Trane has been one of J & S’s primary suppliers since the company began business in the Houston market.

“We found, over the course of the years, that Trane seems to be the most responsive, not only from a design/build standpoint, but also from an engineering and support standpoint,” Gabrhel said.

A Trane 140-ton air-cooled RTAC chiller was selected for the building. The chiller is engineered for low life-cycle costs and reliability through design simplicity.

Indoor air quality is particularly important to the medical-related tenants of the Katy Medical Plaza, and essential to the productivity and well-being of building occupants. A Trane Performance Climate Changer was installed on the roof to ensure stringent outdoor air standards were met.

Because of these product installations, Katy Medical Plaza achieved the objectives established for an energy-efficient, LEED-certified building — providing high-quality indoor air and low operating costs.

With the new Trane mechanical system in place, paired with the tight construction of the building, Katy Medical Plaza is saving approximately 40 percent to 50 percent in energy compared to a similar size building in the Houston market.

What upgrades does your building need?

Are you managing the construction of a new commercial property, or planning to retrofit your existing HVAC systems environment? Learn about the potential efficiencies that could be gained by installing Trane solutions in your next project.