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Is HVAC Important to Building Architecture?

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Most people think about structure and design when planning a building’s architecture. While these two components are vital, other minor and mostly forgotten inclusions, such as heating and cooling systems installation, are also crucial to the buildings’ functionality. Unfortunately, most architects and engineers realize HVAC’s importance quite late, after heating and cooling problems have emerged. Below are a few reasons why HVAC considerations, with the help of Thomas and Galbraith heating and cooling experts, are important to every building’s architecture.

1.  Ensure HVAC Needs of Every Room are Met

Mapping out the building's general architecture without prior HVAC considerations can lead to serious problems, especially when it comes to constructing proper ducting systems. While traditional ceiling-cassette and wall-mounted HVAC systems are an option, you shouldn’t consider them because they negatively affect the buildings’ interior aesthetics.

The space available to install an air conditioning closet may be insufficient, making HVAC installation complicated or impossible. Living in a building with heating and cooling inefficiencies is uncomfortable. Tenants and homeowners will have to persevere through tough hot and cold conditions throughout different seasons unless they install ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, and portable aircon to regulate indoor temperatures.

However, the HVAC unit’s functionality isn’t limited to regulating indoor temperatures. They also regulate indoor humidity and filter incoming air to trap dirt, dust, and potential allergens. Buildings without HVAC units predispose occupants to allergies and illnesses related to poor indoor air quality.

2.  Performance and Aesthetics

A functional HVAC unit doesn’t necessarily reflect good interior aesthetics unless with a proper architectural plan. While a building’s aesthetic appearance is subjective, homeowners and tenants can enjoy HVAC units’ cooling efficiencies and aesthetic indoor appearance if architects and building constructors consider HVAC design.

With proper system layout, heating and ventilation won’t be a problem throughout all rooms. Proper planning can help hide common bulky HVAC components, such as ductwork and heat pumps, during construction. Without a proper plan, it becomes impossible to balance aesthetics and cooling efficiencies, especially since practicality is often prioritized over aesthetics if HVAC installation is done later.

3.  Determines Window Placements and Room Heights

HVAC considerations are also important in determining window placements and room heights. Windows highly affect HVAC efficiencies. Homeowners can also choose window designs that help reduce HVAC unit workloads and save energy. While windows should be placed strategically to provide natural light and ventilation, they also guide architects on the best place to position vents and heating ducts.

On the other hand, architects should consider room and ceiling heights to maximize HVAC efficiency. Generally, air conditioning systems depend on large airflow for proper performance. Architects should figure out how staircases, doors, and room positioning affect airflow across different floors.

Endnote

HVAC units are a crucial installation for most buildings. Unfortunately, it took a while before building designers and architects realized the importance of making HVAC considerations when designing these structures. Poorly designed HVAC can cause several problems down the road by necessitating reconstructions to accommodate HVAC components, excessive noise to building occupants, poor indoor air quality, or poor functionality.

partnered post • cc-licensed photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash 

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