As the Dallas/Fort Worth experts in K-12 engineering design projects, RWB set out to offer multiple design options for Midlothian Heritage High School. MEP designs are not created equally. School districts must prioritize the features that are most important to them. Some of the variables include:
- Initial cost
- Ongoing operational costs
- Maintenance requirements
- Sound levels
For this project, RWB sought out system cost and efficiency data for multiple MEP design in different school districts. Three system designs were put under closer consideration: rooftop units (RTUs); four-pipe chilled and hot water systems; and a geothermal system. Ultimately, the team narrowed down the options to the 4-pipe system and the geothermal system.
The two design approaches were compared on system efficiency, installation cost, and maintenance cost. This detailed analysis included items that are commonly overlooked. Some examples include: an annual maintenance contract, water usage, and chemical usage costs. These costs vary depending on the system type so it is important to include them in an analysis.
The findings that RWB compiled were presented to the design team, including the architect, facilities team, and school board. In the end, the team decided on a geothermal system.