Project Highlights

Price Products Used: Underfloor / Displacement

Location:  Folsom, California

Project Type:  Commercial, New Construction

Project Cost:  $140 Million

Year Completed:  January 2011

Square Footage:  278,000 ft2

Architect:  Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects

Mechanical Engineer:  Frank M. Booth, Inc

Price Representative:  Norman S. Wright

California ISO Headquarters

Staying Cool and Comfortable while Keeping the Lights On for 30 Million Californians

The California Independent System Operator (California ISO) is a corporation that manages one of the world’s largest and most advanced power grids for the state of California. Maintaining a balanced grid as the power demands of 30 million Californians fluctuate is only one of the daily challenges facing the organization. California ISO is also responsible for managing the wholesale energy market, ensuring fair pricing, transport and accessibility. The newly constructed ISO headquarters in Folsom, CA represented an opportunity to demonstrate environmental stewardship. The 278,000-square-foot building is split up into three distinct functional wings: a 150,000-square-foot office space, a 60,000-square-foot mission-critical operations center, and a public-functions wing.

Due to the various spaces, a number of different ventilation technologies and strategies were utilized to best serve each space. Price worked with the team at Frank M. Booth to develop a unique strategy that involved the use of a displacement diffuser with heat/cool changeover capability to allow for perimeter heating during the winter months. This close collaboration with the design team resulted in a project that surpassed their initial performance goals.

The Challenge: Leading by Example

The fundamental goals for the complex were to demonstrate energy leadership by example and provide a work environment that would position California ISO as the employer of preference for technical and engineering professionals.

To demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, the design team set a goal to achieve 25% less energy usage than outlined in California’s Title-24 standard, and targeted LEED Platinum certification as a benchmark. Achieving high indoor air quality and thermal comfort while maintaining an architecturally pleasing aesthetic was also an important consideration.

Design Team Profile

Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects

Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects is a highly respected design and planning firm in Northern California. Founded in a Modernist tradition, sustainable design-creating lasting and efficient buildings-has been a guiding design principle from the beginning. With over 60 years of experience and having received over 90 regional and national awards for design excellence, Dreyfuss & Blackford continues to remain on the cutting edge of innovation.

Frank M. Booth

Frank M. Booth consists of three uniquely positioned companies operating under one strategic management team; providing unmatched design build, mechanical, and architectural sheet metal contracting services in California and Nevada. With nearly 100 years of contracting experience, Frank M. Booth services span across a wide variety of sectors, from correctional and healthcare facilities to high-tech data centers and high-rise office towers.

Price Solution: Price Displacement Ventilation and Underfloor Air Distribution

The building featured a raised floor, and as a result, UFAD was a natural choice. UFAD could be integrated into the existing raised floor system. Additionally, UFAD provided the flexibility to adapt to layout changes and churn rates (i.e. reconfigurations within an office, which is a common reality in commercial environments). Price UFAD systems can easily accommodate these movements by simply adding, removing and relocating diffusers, making these internal relocations less costly, less disruptive, and quicker to implement for the organization.

Price’s UFAD system also helped the project achieve LEED Platinum certification, both in the areas of energy efficiency and personal comfort characteristics. The UFAD diffusers offer occupants the ability to individually control their personal environments by varying the diffusers’ air flow rates, which results in customized comfort and increased productivity.

Due to the building’s layout and various functional areas, DV was used in conjunction with UFAD. For example, in the office space, a displacement diffuser with a heat-cool changeover capability (Price DF1L-HC) was zoned at the perimeter with variable air volume to allow for perimeter heating during the winter months. Recessed displacement diffusers were integrated into the walls of large conference rooms (Price DF1R) to seamlessly integrate into the architectural design of the room, while UFAD (Price RFDD and RFTD) was used throughout the mission control and office areas to maximize the use of plenum air.

By using a hybrid system of UFAD and DV together, the full benefits of a displacement air pattern could be realized, resulting in superior indoor environmental quality. By introducing slightly cool (around 65°F or 18°C) ,low velocity supply air at floor level, relying on the natural upward stratification of air, both thermal comfort and indoor air quality were optimized. DV is a common choice in California, due to the higher supply air temperature requirements of DV and California’s temperate climate, the ability to take advantage of the economizer mode (free cooling) for a large portion of the year significantly reduced energy costs. Energy efficiency involved all aspects of the HVAC system, which included low velocity ductwork, ultrasonic humidification and a heat recovery system.

Having worked with Price UFAD and DV products in the past, Price representative Norman S. Wright Mechanical Equipment was instrumental in collaborating with the design team at Frank M. Booth and ensuring that the architectural vision for the campus remained intact while exceeding the project’s performance goals.

Based on energy modeling, the savings between a conventional Variable Air Volume (VAV) system and the DV system are approximately 9%. The California ISO Headquarters is projected to operate 40% more efficiently than California’s Title 24 standards and 35% over the ASHRAE 90.1-2007 baseline, with the building capturing nearly 20% of its annual power consumption from on-site solar panels.

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