Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences

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The Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences (TCES), a collaboration between Sierra Nevada College and the University of California, Davis, provides a world-class center for scientific research in the understanding of alpine lakes and watersheds and their environmental preservation. TCES was the first lab in the United States to use chilled beams to eliminate reheat. The $33 million facility opened in 2007. (Photos courtesy of Chris Talbot, talbotimages.com)
In this project, TROX USA provided active chilled beams for laboratory cooling. The HVAC requirements of a laboratory are different from that of a typical commercial office space. Labs require a fixed amount of ventilation air to maintain safety, but air change rates, size of ducting and air handlers are all typically determined by cooling loads. In most labs, as is the case at TCES, air systems can be dramatically reduced if chilled beams are used to handle the cooling requirements and ventilation air is the only air supplied to the room through active chilled beams. The benefits of chilled beams in this lab reduced the ducting and air handling systems and eliminated reheat. Because the cooling is accomplished with pumped chilled water instead of blown cold air, considerable energy savings can be achieved. Annually, at least half of the cooling is accomplished by the coil in the chilled beam.
Installing TROX active chilled beams in the TCES facility reduced the size of the outside air handlers and ductwork by 40% and reheat was eliminated completely. With the help of the energy savings provided by the TROX chilled beam system, the facility achieved a LEED ® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating of Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Platinum certification for TCES was the first of its kind in the state of Nevada and one of only 26 facilities in the world to have earned the highest tier of recognition under the LEED ® program for New-Construction (LEED-NC).

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