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H V A C E Q U AT I O N S , D ATA , A N D R U L E S O F T H U M B



The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equations, data, rules of thumb, and other information contained within this reference manual were assembled to aid the beginning engineer and designer in the design of HVAC systems. In addition, the experienced engineer or designer may find this manual useful as a quick design reference guide and teaching tool. The following pages compile information from various reference sources listed in Part 2 of this manual, from college HVAC class notes, from continuing education design seminars and classes, from engineers, and from personnel experience. This document was put together as an encyclopedic type reference in contract specification outline format where information could be looked up quickly, in lieu of searching through volumes of text books, reference books and manuals, periodicals, trade articles, and product catalogs.

Rules of thumb listed herein should be used considering the following:
A. Building loads are based on building gross square footage. B. Building loads generally include ventilation and make-up air requirements. C. Building loads should be calculated using the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals or similar computational procedure in lieu of using these rules of thumb for final designs. When calculating heating and cooling loads, actual occupancy, lighting, and equipment information should be obtained from the Owner, Architect, Electrical engineer, other design team members, or from technical publications such as ASHRAE. These rules of thumb may be used to estimate system loads during the preliminary design stages of a project.

Code items contained herein were included more for comparison purposes than for use during design. All code items (i.e., BOCA, SBCCI, UBC, NFPA) are subject to change, and federal, state, and local codes should be consulted for applicable regulations and requirements. The following codes were used unless otherwise noted:
A. 1990 Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc., (BOCA) The Basic/National Building Codes B. 1993 Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc., (BOCA) The Basic/National Building Codes C. 1988 Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc., (SBCCI) The Standard/ Southern Building Codes D. 1988 International Conference of Building Officials, (ICBO) The Uniform Building Codes E. 1991 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Codes


A special thanks to the following:
A. The Pittsburgh Chapter of ASHRAE Education Committee Members involved in developing the HVAC Design Class. B. The students in the HVAC Design Class sponsored by the Pittsburgh Chapter of ASHRAE. C. The engineers at Henry Adams, Inc., in Baltimore, MD. D. The engineers at Baker and Associates in Pittsburgh, PA. E. The engineers at Industrial Design Corporation in Pittsburgh, PA.