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And About Efficiency – Energy

Efficiency of building systems translates directly to the operational bottom line. Today, this is more relevant than ever as energy costs continue to skyrocket.

In high tech and cleanroom design energy conservation and efficiency are often overlooked or sacrificed in the name of maintaining process integrity. Process operations often require a strict focus on maintaining tight, year-round temperature and relative humidity set points and high ventilation rates driven by fume hoods and other energy-demanding equipment. Conventional wisdom assumes a general design approach will only compound energy loss and inefficiency. In today’s world, however, conventional approaches are no longer considered sustainable or acceptable.

Sterling has provided custom designs since our inception, matching system design precisely to the spaces and loads they are intended to serve, thus reducing overall energy loss and reducing unnecessary costs to the project. This is the first step towards providing energy efficient systems. The second step is energy recovery.

Sterling finds many of our clients have begun looking more carefully at the efficiency of their existing building systems both as a component of current and planned construction projects and as a standalone improvement program. Indeed, some of our clients have undertaken entire projects with the exclusive purpose to take well-functioning – but expensive – systems or equipment and retrofit energy recovery solutions to lower operational costs by directly reducing their utilities expenses.

Whether the client was industrial, institutional, or life sciences, ROI drove the decision-making and helped inform the design and construction process. With Sterling at the table from the beginning we have been able to consistently identify solutions that not only address improvements in performance, safety, and reliability, but also efficiency.

Case Studies

Case Study 1

North Carolina (RTP Area)

As part of our design of a 14,600 SF renovation project for this North Carolina based R&D facility we were directed to design and integrate energy recovery systems to reduce size of major equipment, their associated components, and overall operating costs of the facility. This was accomplished utilizing two different systems.

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Case Study 2


Three sets of redundant exhaust systems serving a high-tech production facility required fan replacements. One dedicated system for each type of exhaust; corrosive, solvent and heat. This presented our client with an opportunity to incorporate a fully integrated, retrofit liquid refrigerant overfeed energy recovery system. Energy recovery coils were designed into the existing exhaust systems and a local make-up air handling unit. Energy recovery is obtained year round by reversing the refrigerant cycle. This reduced overall operating cost while restoring some additional capacity to the make-up air handling unit. Our design also resolved a long standing problem with snow entrainment at the make-up air handling unit.

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