Expansion Solutions solved a problem for the American Institute of Architects San Antonio Center for Architecture with a customized HVAC system.

Equipped with variable-refrigerant-flow technology, the new system offers energy efficiency and easy design, installation and maintenance compared to traditional systems, Direct Expansion said.

“Our challenge was to create a functional and sustainable system that will efficiently provide a high level of comfort in a multispace building,” said Thomas McLaughlin, a principal at Direct Expansion. “Our creative solution uses VRF technology to enable climate control of individual spaces such as large meeting areas and smaller offices, maximizing efficiency and minimizing energy costs.”

 Alamo architects collaborated with others to provide the architectural design, and worked with engineers Cleary Zimmermann, which designed the mechanical, electrical and plumbing building systems. The company also worked with Gillette, the mechanical contractor, to install Daikin variable-refrigerant-volume systems, with a mix of indoor ducted and ductless units.

“Some of our goals for this project were to create a space with a low-energy footprint and low operational costs, especially since the space is used for a variety of purposes, including offices, meeting space and large events,” said Nishant Kanapilly, Cleary Zimmermann’s director of building analytics. “We kept initial costs down by reusing most of the existing duct work, partitions and equipment in our design. Additionally, demand-controlled ventilation using (carbon dioxide) sensors allows the amount of outside air required to be reduced to a minimum when the spaces are not being used.”