HVAC Design and Analysis


Upcoming dates coming soon!

Take this course when it’s offered next!

Course Overview

Topics for this course will include and expand on subjects just touched on in the Fundamentals of HVAC course. It is recommended that the two courses be taken in sequence, unless the student has previous HVAC design or facilities operations experience. Subjects covered in this new course include ASHRAE standards, cooling loads, duct and pipe sizing, fan laws, CFD modeling, CAD and BIM.

Learning objectives:

  • Sizing and layout of piping and ductwork
  • Specification of materials and equipment
  • Calculate and evaluate cooling loads
  • Understand and apply CFD studies

Who Should Attend?

  • Designers looking to learn to perform engineering calculations and system layout
  • Mechanical or electrical engineers transitioning into HVAC from other disciplines
  • Design-build contractors involved in the sizing and selection of HVAC equipment
  • Facilities managers looking for more details than found in an introductory course

Course Outline

Day One

 Welcome and Student Introductions

                   Review of HVAC Fundamentals

  • Abbreviations, units, and references
  • The need for environmental controls
  • Properties of moist air
  • Sensible and latent heat
  • Air handing units and distribution
  • Hot water and steam heating
  • Vapor compression refrigeration
  • Chilled water system components

 Duct Design and Fan Selection  

  • Ductwork
    • Materials specification
      • Ductwork
        • Steel and aluminum
        • Fiberglass and fiberboard
        • Flexible and fabric
        • Ductwork plenums
      • Ductwork specialties
        • Turning vanes and fittings
        • Dampers and access doors
        • Grilles, registers and diffusers
        • Screens, louvers and hoods
        • Sound attenuators
      • Layout and distribution
        • Sizing methods
        • Aspect ratio and fittings
      • Static pressure calculations
      • Sample problems
        • AHU example 2-1
        • Exhaust workshop 2-2
      • Fan selection
        • Fan performance
          • Fan laws
          • Fan curves
          • Parallel fan operation
        • Selection procedure
        • Fan options
          • Fan types
          • Fan arrangements
          • Fan discharges
          • Motor positions
        • Room air distribution design
          • Air diffusion patterns
          • Supply air outlets
          • Return air placement
          • Exhaust air grille selection

 HVAC Equipment Selection

  • Motors, drives, and motor controls
    • Motors
      • Types and options
      • Motor selection
    • Drives
    • Motor controls
      • Disconnect switches
      • Starters
      • Variable Frequency Drives
    • Packaged equipment selection
      • Packaged equipment sizes / capacity ranges
      • Using packaged equipment catalogs and selection software
      • DX coil / condensing unit selection
    • Coils
      • Coil performance
      • Air and fluid side equations
      • Fluid properties
      • Coil types, options, circuiting
        • Coil sizing and selection
      • Other terminal equipment
        • Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems
        • Radiant heating and cooling
        • Radiant / convective heating devices
      • Radiant heating / cooling systems design
        • Radiant panel performance
        • Design steps
        • Layout options
      • Chilled beam design
        • Design steps
        • Primary flow example

 Day Two

Pumps and Pipe Design 

  • Piping
    • Materials specification
      • Pipe and fittings
      • Valves and pipe specialties
        • Balance valves
        • Control valves
        • Pressure control valves
        • Pressure relief valves
        • Makeup water valves
        • Glycol fill systems
        • Flow meters
        • Expansion tanks
      • Layout and distribution
        • Pipe sizing
        • Parallel flows
        • Reverse return
        • Primary / Secondary layouts
      • Head pressure calculations
      • Sample problems
        • Hot water example 3-1
        • Chilled water workshop 3-2
      • Hydronic pumps
        • Pump performance
          • Pump curves
          • Parallel operation
        • Pump selection
        • Pump types
        • Sizing hydronic specialties
          • Expansion tanks
          • Pressure relief valves
          • Make-up water valves
          • Control valves

 Heating and Cooling Loads

  • Introduction and energy
  • Heat transfer in buildings
  • Weather data and solar heat gain
  • Internal heat components
  • Infiltration and ventilation
  • CLTD / SCL / CLF method
    • Example 11 on page 28.54

 Load Calculations

  • Work session – sample problems
    • CLTD / SCL / CLF method
    • ASHRAE tables
    • Spreadsheet data
      • Sandwich shop sample problem 7-1
      • Hotel room workshop 7-2 (homework)
    • Hourly Simulations
      • Using hourly load simulation software
      • Trane Trace 3D Plus
        • Features and options
        • Input process
        • Output reports

 Tab 7 – Energy Code Compliance Paths

  • Overview of compliance paths
    • IECC prescriptive
    • IECC performance
    • ASHRAE 90.1
  • Portions of the prescriptive energy code
    • Building envelope requirements
    • Simplified HVAC compliance
    • Prescriptive compliance
      • Fan power
      • Duct leakage
      • Lighting
    • Building performance simulation paths
      • Performance Cost Index
      • Building Performance Factor

 Day Three

 Tab 8 – Computational Fluid Dynamics

  • What is CFD?
  • How do you do CFD?
  • Turbulence
  • Ventilation and CFD
    • Examples - Healthcare
    • Examples - Laboratories
  • Outdoor CFD
  • Wind tunnel testing vs. CFD

 Building Information Modeling

  • Floor plans and sections
  • Equipment schedules
  • System layout and sizing
  • Revit load calculations

 Design Tools & Processes

  • Coordination
  • Visualization
  • Laser Scanning
  • Facilities Management
  • Generative Design


"Filled in all the gaps, great review for someone 18 years out of school. Duct and pipe calculation tools from Gene are great."
—Shana, Project Engineer, AMS Mechanical Systems, Inc., Naperville IL 

"Subjects I wanted to be covered were covered. Got more than I expected. BIM was very informative. I feel I learned a lot and will better the work I do in the future."
—Corey, WT Group, East Dundee IL 

"I wanted to build my knowledge base now. All of this is useful for my job."
—Erik, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos NM

"Great overview for someone not in the design field. Will be helpful for understanding what the other departments do that I deal with on a daily basis."
—Paul, Planner/Inspector/Analyst I, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI

"The content was excellent and I have a new respect for the design industry and the data that the customer receives, and does not receive, and why."
—Charles, Controls Shop Work Leader, Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, North Chicago IL 


Sagar Rao

Sagar Rao is a Co-Founder of NeuMod Labs in Madison Wisconsin, with a background in building physics, data engineering, and software development. As a Building Performance Consultant, he has successfully delivered over 50 high performance buildings for a clientele that includes federal agencies, state authorities, prominent healthcare systems, renowned universities, financial institutions, and national laboratories. Sagar provides leadership to several ASHRAE, International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA), and Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) committees.

Brian Clark

Brian Clark, PE is a registered mechanical engineer at Affiliated Engineers in Madison, WI. He began his career over 20 years ago designing plumbing systems, and now focuses on HVAC design of health care and laboratory buildings. Brian’s experience is very broad and includes fully decarbonized laboratories, indoor waterpark resorts, clean rooms, a glass globe, and everything in between. With a passion for high performance buildings, his designs often incorporate the latest energy saving strategies and technologies. Brian received his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Kyle Hansen

Kyle Hansen leads the BIM (Building Information Management) group in Affiliated Engineers, Inc.'s (AEI) Madison headquarters. Since joining the firm in 2004, Kyle has been instrumental in expanding the technical capabilities of the BIM software suite and related design technologies. He has been the BIM Lead for many of AEI's most prominent large-scale, technically complex projects involving coordination of extended multi-firm project delivery teams, primarily in the national healthcare and research markets. Kyle's firsts for AEI include: first use of Revit Server model sharing and the implementation of owner/contractor asset tracking for the UWHealth's The American Center facility, first use of the subsequent BIM 360 simultaneous design platform, and first use of virtual reality for the Caltech Tianqiao & Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience. He is a member of the National BIM Standards Committee. 

Mark Malkin

Mark P. Malkin, PE, is a program director in the Office of Interdisciplinary Professional Programs in the College of Engineering at UW-Madison. He is a registered Professional Engineer with over 25 years of experience in university facilities project management and HVAC systems design. His course offerings include HVAC, plumbing and fire protection fundamentals, building code reviews, and design and operation of science labs, data centers, museums and libraries. Mark received his bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, and his MS in Mechanical Engineering from UW–Madison.

Dave Meinzer

David J. Meinzer, DES, is a Sr. Project Design Engineer in the Science/Technology and Healthcare department at Ring & DuChateau, LLP (Ring & Du) Madison office, focusing on Laboratory and Heathcare HVAC design. Dave is a registered Designer of Engineering Systems (in the state of Wisconsin) with over 24 years of experience in HVAC systems design, including coordinating and collaborating design concepts with clients, other disciplines, and contractors. He has been leading or co-leading the mechanical design of Lab research projects for the last eight years. Dave is fluent in Revit modeling (including revit BIM 360), load calculations, and systems design.

Gene Nelson

Gene Nelson, PE, has 44 years of HVAC design experience with a mechanical contractor and two engineering firms. He has completed over 40 major projects (over 8 million square feet) located in cities coast to coast in the United States and in the Middle East. Projects included commercial, industrial, healthcare, pharmaceutical, and research and development (R&D) facilities. Gene is a Life Member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and was President of the Madison ASHRAE Chapter from 2007 to 2008. He has been awarded ASHRAE’s Energy and Technology Award twice at the regional and society levels (1981 and 1994). Gene received his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Wisconsin.

Duncan Phillips

Duncan Phillips, PhD, PE, is a Senior Consultant at RWDI and firm-wide Practice Area Leader for the technical teams using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to solve building design problems. His post-graduate work involved experimental methods to assess how building HVAC systems interact with people. As such, he approaches any numerical modeling with a healthy level of suspicion but an understanding of how powerful CFD can be. He has over 20 years of experience applying CFD to building air flow problems. He will present the segment on CFD modeling and stack effect in tall buildings. The CFD segment will cover the background of what CFD is so that participants understand the capabilities and limitations. This background will be a pragmatic discussion of how CFD works, not a discussion of the equations.

Upcoming dates coming soon!

Take this course when it’s offered next!

Program Director

Mark Malkin

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