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  • Location: Lake County, Ohio

After receiving $5 million in funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Lake County, Ohio, contracted B&N to analyze and replace outdated and inefficient HVAC systems in two historic County buildings: the Circuit Courthouse and the Annex Building/Post Office.

Cooling System Improvements

At the Circuit Courthouse, B&N replaced the existing water-cooled chiller plant in the basement mechanical room, which was a 1990s addition to the original courthouse. Confronted with space limitations in the small room, the team developed a solution for a modular water-cooled chiller plant. Because these are known to have significantly lower fouling factors than typical chillers, B&N also provided a sub-micron filtration system to remove particulates from condenser water, protect the chiller and cooling tower and simplify maintenance. The new chiller plant will have a variable primary pumping scheme through the installation of variable speed drives on new distribution pumps, further improving energy efficiency and overall chiller plant optimization.

The Annex Building/Post Office contained a combination of Air Handling Units (AHUs) that use either chilled water or direct expansion (DX) systems for cooling. B&N replaced the DX units with chilled water coils to improve overall building efficiency. These will be tied to the new air-cooled chiller plant, which is now appropriately sized for the entire cooling load. The new air-cooled chiller is provided with an integral buffer tank and variable-speed pumps.

Heating System Improvements

In both buildings, B&N replaced the existing non-condensing boiler plant with new cast iron condensing boilers and provided N+1 redundancy to improve overall building resiliency and energy efficiency. Both buildings received a new hot water plant with a new variable primary pumping scheme. B&N also provided new Direct Digital Control (DDC) systems for new and existing HVAC equipment to optimize control of all equipment, improve reliability and building resilience and reduce building maintenance.

At the Circuit Courthouse, the entire electrical system is on a backup generator, allowing us to remove the existing glycol loop from the heating system, improving energy efficiency and overall boiler plant optimization. At the Annex Building/Post Office, the hot water plant will be provided with MERV 13 filtration, needle-point bipolar ionization, variable frequency drives and modulating two-way control valves.