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Clear Creek Amana Middle School - HVAC


In 2009, after the Clear Creek Amana School District built a new high school, the existing high school was transformed into a middle school – with plans to make changes in the future to accommodate this new age group.
Four years later, an expansion and renovation project was initiated. In addition to improving security and enhancing shared learning spaces, the district was also experiencing rapid growth – so it wanted to add square footage for increased student capacity as well.
To ensure that heating systems could keep up – and to provide cooling to the entire building for the first time – a full HVAC replacement was needed.
Clear Creek Amana Middle School had inefficient boiler systems that offered approximately 80% efficiency (they produced 80 BTUs of heat for every 100 BTUs of gas they consumed). A direct-expansion (DX) cooling system cooled some parts of the existing facility. After analyzing potential replacement options, these systems were replaced with a new geothermal system.


The project was completed in two phases: a two-story building addition containing classrooms, labs, and collaborative spaces, and an update to existing building infrastructure and systems.
During the first phase of the project, Shive-Hattery designed new geothermal infrastructure for the entire building – including the new addition. Existing heating and cooling systems were removed during the second phase, and geothermal piping was expanded into the existing facility.
In large shared spaces, such as the shared gym/auditorium, the amount of outside air being brought in can vary based on occupancy and CO2 levels. Although the system is designed for full capacity, CO2 levels are continuously monitored. When occupancy levels are lower, the amount of outside air coming in can be automatically lowered.
In most classrooms a water to air geothermal heat pump provides warm or cool air to the space for space conditioning.  A common dedicated ventilation heat pump unit delivers outside air to each classroom heat pump to dilute contaminants and reduce CO2 levels.  The ventilation heat pump contains an energy recovery wheel that exchanges energy between the exhaust air and outside air to pre-condition the outside air.
The gym is served by a dedicated heat pump that provides outside air, space conditioning and contains an energy recovery wheel.
In some existing classrooms, as well as in the shared gym/auditorium, water-to-water heat pump systems were added to work in conjunction with existing air-handling units. Instead of making cool or warm air, they’ll produce chilled or hot water, which can be piped to the air-handling units.


With its new geothermal system, each space inside Clear Creek Amana Middle School can now be individually controlled. For the first time, cooling is provided across the entire facility.
By installing an efficient geothermal system and designing it to use some of the existing HVAC infrastructure – including air-handling units – Shive-Hattery helped the school district complete the project cost effectively and reduce monthly utility bills.
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