HVAC – Heating, Ventilating, & Air-Conditioning
Romtec designs and supplies public restroom buildings both with and without HVAC systems. HVAC broadly classifies systems designed to change air temperature in a building to be more comfortable or functional. In restrooms, HVAC can be provided in cold climates to keep the restroom warm or in hot climates to cool the building. It is not uncommon to simply use passive ventilation, however, without actually using an electrical system. When providing HVAC systems in a restroom building there are a few major considerations. Here are some things to think about.
One of the biggest consideration associated with HVAC today is energy efficiency. More and more, building codes specify high levels of energy efficient design for public buildings. With HVAC, energy efficiency can affect your building design in a couple of ways, and these can also affect the building cost.
First (and this is the big one) is insulation. When an HVAC system is used in a building, the building becomes a “conditioned space.” The entire building must then be insulated to prevent the conditioned air from leaking to the environment. Typically, Romtec provides walls of R19 and roofs of R38 insulation, depending on local code requirements. Sometimes the slab foundation will need to be insulated as well. In some cold climates, heaters are added to the mechanical room to prevent pipes from freezing. This used to be a common practice, but today in many regions, even this freeze prevention heater creates a “conditioned space.” Check with your building department to see if your building will need to be insulated in freeze protection scenarios.
The second way that energy efficiency can affect your building is the type of HVAC system you use. There are several types of HVAC systems from simple wall heaters to ductless mini-splits. Choosing the right HVAC system will impact the initial cost of the unit and the day to day energy consumption of your building. You should also consider inspections. In some regions, HVAC systems must be inspected by an independent company to ensure it is installed correctly. Finding out the requirements for your state or region before settling on an HVAC technology is smart way to proceed.
HVAC systems can add to the comfort and functionality of any restroom building, and Romtec recommends looking into the requirements from your building department to make sure there are no surprises while designing your restroom. Romtec has many options for designing your restroom. We will work through your project to provide you a great restroom building and one that will meet the standards of your building department every time.