Mechanical Engineering
Heating, Ventilation + Air Conditioning Design

Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning systems breathe life into a building. Concurrently mechanical systems consume the largest percentage of energy in the built environment. tk1sc delivers practical, balanced and innovative design solutions to meet functional needs and minimize environmental impacts

Radiant Heating and Cooling

Our designs include the use of radiant heat transfer to enhance the space comfort. This type of heat transfer allows the occupant to “feel” their surroundings and adapt to a high performance built environment. The system acts to heat and cool occupants and surroundings from fixed elements in the occupied space. The heating and cooling elements include the following;

  • Radiant floors
  • Radiant ceilings and ceiling panels
  • Passive Chilled sails
Thermal Storage Systems

Our designs can include the use of thermal storage for the purposes of reducing peak energy usage and transferring energy usage from one time to another part of the day, week or month. Thermal storage can be provided o=in many different forms within a building, see below from some of the more common types used.

  • Concrete or high mass elements
  • Media withing storage tanks, hydronic systems
  • Media adhered to sheetrock elements
Dedicated Outside Air Systems

The use of dedicated outside air systems (DOAS) has become very common in recent years and in high performance buildings. These air handling systems are 100% outside air and can be designed to control the amount of outside air into an occupied space. This allow the ventilation load and associated energy usage to be conserved when the occupants are not in the space or more lightly occupied than peak design. A critical element of high-performance building HVAC systems is the separation of ventilation load from space heating and cooling. This system helps accomplish this important goal and enables the building to save a significant amount of energy.

Geothermal Systems - Open and Closed Loop Systems

The use of geothermal system in HVAC systems is a key element in high performance building design. These systems allow for energy to be rejected or extracted from the earth. Close loop systems are designed like a large heat exchanger underground to reject or extract energy from the ground. These systems also have the benefit of reducing or eliminating a systems need for cooling towers and the water evaporated in the towers. This system is a key element in high performance and highly energy conserving HVAC systems.

Natural Ventilation

Our designs include the use of natural ventilation to provide supplemental cooling for high performance spaces. The use of natural ventilations can be added to other systems in a mixed-mode approach to enhance energy efficiency and occupant satisfaction through added ventilation. Thoughtful integration and coordination with the design team is needed for this approach.

Acoustically Sensitive Spaces

Just as temperature and light are key elements of comfort, the quality of a space is also defined by the acoustical environment. In collaboration with the acoustic engineer, our design team will identify the noise and vibration criteria of the specific spaces early in the project. Based on the criteria and type of spaces, noise and vibration control measures such as maximum sound power requirements for equipment, silencers selection, ductwork air velocities, and vibration isolators will be incorporated into the design to maintain the sound level required.

Mixed-Mode Cooling Solutions

A hybrid approach to space conditioning combines natural ventilation from operable windows (manually or automated) and traditional mechanical systems with air distribution and refrigeration equipment. Each “mixed-mode” solution is specifically tailored to the uniqueness of a building. This approach to air conditioning offers a few advantages over sealed air-conditioned buildings, such as reduced HVAC energy consumption, higher occupant satisfaction and comfort, and potentially longer life of the mechanical systems.

Displacement Air Distribution Systems

For specific building types, displacement air distribution might be a very effective cooling alternative strategy. In delivering conditioned air at floor level, the more buoyant, warmer air is displaced and naturally floats to the ceiling; by conditioning only the lower occupied area, energy is saved.

Energy Analysis

We perform a wide array of energy analyses and modeling to demonstrate compliance with energy codes and support high-performance building goals. We lead the process and work closely with the design team to communicate design insights that will result in high-performance building solutions.

Lab & Healthcare Specialty Environments

Providing a safe environment for occupants is the primary objective of designing HVAC systems for Laboratories and Healthcare environments. The function of each space is vital in determining the appropriate HVAC system selection and design.  Unlike other building types, temperature, humidity, relative static pressure, air motion, air cleanliness, sound, and exhaust are regulated. The basic differences and regulations stem from the following.

  • Need to restrict air movement in and between the various departments
  • Specific requirements for ventilation and filtration to dilute and remove contamination 
  • Different temperature and humidity requirements for various areas
  • Design sophistication is needed to permit accurate control of environmental conditions.

Laboratories and healthcare HVAC systems design solutions may significantly affect construction, operation, and maintenance costs. Therefore, our engineers keep abreast of new technologies and regulatory changes that can be incorporated in the system design, contributing to reduced construction costs and energy savings while maintaining a safe environment for occupants.

Memberships &
250 +
Projects Successfully
Building Commissioning Association
The Building Commissioning Association (BCxA) is an international nonprofit organization with more than 1,200 members from the commercial building industry who are committed to the highest standards and practices for the commissioning process.
AABC Commissioning Group
Established in 2005, the AABC Commissioning Group (ACG) is a non-profit association of commissioning companies whose fundamental principles include independence, and training and education.
Certified Commissioning Firm
Certified Commissioning Firm (CCF) adheres to the industries best practices in the practice of commissioning and provide highest quality service to potential clients and the commitment to the advancement of the commissioning industry.
UC Riverside Open Ceiling Hvac, Plumbing and Fire Protection Systems
Design Options
  • Performance Specifications
  • Code Designation / Verification
  • Basis of Design Narrative / Documents
  • Construction Document Review Phase
  • Construction Administration Services
Design Assist
  • Performance Specifications
  • Code Designation / Verification
  • Basis of Design Narrative / Documents
  • Coordination / Bid level drawings
  • Calculations (if needed)
Full Design
  • Performance Specifications
  • Code Designation / Verification
  • Basis of Design Narrative / Documents
  • Permit-ready drawings
  • Full Scope to include
    1. Schematic Design
    2. Design Development
    3. Construction Document
    4. Bid Review
    5. Construction Administration
  • Commissioning Services
RMR - Muse at Torrey Pines
San Diego, CA

San Diego is one of the US’ top life science clusters, with strong demand for office and lab space. To serve this dynamic sector, asset management company The RMR Group wanted to completely redevelop an existing 186,000 square foot science campus to offer modern, Class A work and collaboration spaces that could accommodate a range of tenants. The transformation has been very successful: at completion, it is expected to be 85% leased to pioneers in digital surgery, regenerative medicine, and biotechnology.

Broadcom San Jose
San Jose, CA

This 575,000 square foot project consisted of demolition and tenant improvements to two existing 6-story office buildings and two existing 3-storyoffice buildings. The project included open office space, technical lab space, café, fitness center, and conference centers. The mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and technology systems and equipment were replaced on the two 6-storybuildings and reused/reconditioned on the two 3-story buildings. The project included core and shell MEP upgrade plans, Tenant Improvement plans, and foodservice plans. We renovated the exterior skin facades of two buildings, and the project also features a new four-level, 810 stall parking garage and significant sitework for Broadcom's new campus in North San Jose. This project also added Modular central plants to each building, with new process chilled water loops, air-cooled chillers, air handlers, boilers, cooling towers, VAV boxes, fan coils, and in-row cooling inputs.

Pitzer College Housing
Claremont, CA

The Second Phase of the Pitzer Student Housing project consists of two 4-story buildings with approximately 90,000 square feet of multi-story Student Dormitory while housing 304 Beds in 79 units. The project includes an open common area in between buildings. Amenities include computer labs, classrooms, study rooms, and offices. Systems include graywater collection, photovoltaic panels, green roofs, living walls, and permeable concrete. The exterior of the buildings consists mainly of plaster, fiber cement siding, and operable windows with the mechanical system tied to it. tk1sc provided full-service engineering services for mechanical, electrical, plumbing and low voltage designs. The project is the first to receive LEED Platinum certification on the Pitzer campus.

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