All Collections
Building Science Insight
How To's
How to Model Multiple Mechanical Systems in cove.tool?
How to Model Multiple Mechanical Systems in cove.tool?

Suggestions for modeling multiple mechanical systems for a project

Akshay Padwal avatar
Written by Akshay Padwal
Updated over a week ago

HVAC systems come in a surprising variety of types and configurations. Single-zone systems are controlled by a single thermostat. Multi-zone systems can serve multiple spaces, each with its own thermostat. Heat can be generated using furnaces, electric resistance, solar panels, or heat pumps that draw heat from the air, water, or the ground. Some systems condition air centrally and distribute it using ducts and fans. Others heat and cool water in large central boilers and chillers, pump the water around the building, and (closer to the occupied zones) transfer the heat to air using coils. Additional options pump hot or cold water through pipes in the floor, ceiling, or specialized panels and radiate heat into (or absorb radiant heat from) space.

Typically, during the early stages of design, the focus is on selecting the appropriate system type rather than finalizing the system component details. This allows a holistic view of the situation. Following are a couple of scenarios that are often encountered by most design teams along with suggestions on how to model them in cove.tool:

1. Multiple Mechanical Systems Serving Single Building Use-Type.

For example, if the office space is served by a mix of VAV w/ Reheat, with Electric Boiler and Air-cooled Chiller (65% of the floor-plate), Fan Coil System (20% of the floor plan), and Induction System (15% of the floor-plate), then the system which is serving the majority of the floor plan can be selected in cove.tool. Also, the heating and cooling COP values can be adjusted to reflect the impact of other systems.

/2. Multiple Mechanical Systems Serving Different Building Use-Types.

For example, the proposed project has 3 different building types served by 3 different mechanical systems as follows:

  1. Office: Single Zone, with Furnace and Packaged DX

  2. Education: DOAS w/ WSHP, with Gas Boiler and Cooling Tower

  3. Apartment: Single Zone, with Furnace and Direct Expansion

The above project can be modeled in cove.tool by utilizing the mixed-use feature which will allow users to select different mechanical systems for each building type. It is important to note that the limit is set at 3 for selecting different use-types in cove.tool for modeling mixed-use buildings. More detailed zoning is necessary for compliance models.

Other important articles to check out:

Did this answer your question?