Lab HVAC Systems and Control Strategies: Designing for Redundancy and Power Loss

Brandon Fortier, IMEG Corp.

Science and Technology facilities often contain critical operations required to function every hour of every day. When faced with this condition, system redundancy can be critical to maintaining both a safe environment and reducing downtime in the event of both planned and unplanned loss of power.

This presentation details a process to evaluating the key components of HVAC and electrical systems and reviews how to plan system redundancy without overdesigning.
Strategies to be reviewed are:

  • How to achieve N+1 redundancy on air handlers and improve energy efficiency.
  • How to connect fan array's to emergency power and normal power so electrical distribution systems can be serviced.
  • How to address duct smoke detector alarms and the closing of smoke/fire dampers.
  • Hot to shut down and start up air handling units in a manifolded configuration.
  • How to minimize pressurization issues when airside systems fail.
  • How to size a generator when accounting for airside system load.
The presenter will provide specific examples from completed designs.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify minimum HVAC needs during a power outage;
  • Explain temperature control strategies that maintain safe building conditions during a power outage;
  • Describe an air handling unit redundancy strategy that minimizes equipment cost and saves the Owner energy; and
  • Describe a power distribution strategy that maintains HVAC system operation during routine electrical maintenance.


Brandon Fortier, PE, LEED AP, is a Project Executive for IMEG Corporation in Naperville, Illinois and is the National Leader of their Science & Technology market practice. Brandon's experience in managing technically complicated projects with the unique requirements driven by research-based spaces allows him to guide clients through the process of building design and construction.


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