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  • New climate./temperature control building

    We have decided to start on another building. Since all buildings are currently are just the regular type we are doing a partial climate/temperature control building. For those who have this type, any lessons learned during or after the build? Also, what percent mark up do you use as compared to standard unit cost ? We are meeting with our building company tomorrow to start the information process so thanks to all for any information.

  • #2
    Make sure that the insulation is absolutely correct or you'll deal with mold. We had a a/c wine area- the units in the regular climate control area that abutted the wine area started getting mold. We had to move everyone, seal the cement block and then add 1/2 " insulated foam board over that. It solved the issue but it would have been better to not have had to do it.
    90% of what you're stressing about now won't even be relevant in a year. Breathe easy. ~Wesley Snipes

    WA State

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    • #3
      Thanks for the info.

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      • #4
        I am also in the process of checking into climate controlled buildings, but a little behind you. What climate do you live in? Are you going with roof mount heat pumps? If you're in a dry climate swamp coolers may do better. In the south an underground geothermal system will save you money in the long term. Best to figure that out before you put in your parking lot.

        In my experience the heat pumps are usually electric AC, and the condensing coils will tend to remove a lot of summer humidity, so your inside humidity level is usually lower than the outdoors. If so, I advise to bury the ends of the drains on your outside units. That didn't used to be required by code, it may be required now. But when they drained to the open ground, slugs travelled up the wet pipes and made gooey glue of themselves on the condensing coils. Best to pipe the condensate lines to the main plumbing drain line. Without knowing what part of the country you're in I can't help much more than with general advice.

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        • #5
          Another thing-make sure that whoever is doing the plans that they 'plan' correctly for hvac. It's not just square feet on the ground-it's also how high the ceilings are. We had a building in NC that was always warm in one section because the original owner cheaped out on the unit on the roof.
          90% of what you're stressing about now won't even be relevant in a year. Breathe easy. ~Wesley Snipes

          WA State

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          • #6
            Thanks for that info. We do feel confident on electrical as the person we use is a Master Electrician.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by StorageBuddy View Post
              I am also in the process of checking into climate controlled buildings, but a little behind you. What climate do you live in? Are you going with roof mount heat pumps? If you're in a dry climate swamp coolers may do better. In the south an underground geothermal system will save you money in the long term. Best to figure that out before you put in your parking lot.

              In my experience the heat pumps are usually electric AC, and the condensing coils will tend to remove a lot of summer humidity, so your inside humidity level is usually lower than the outdoors. If so, I advise to bury the ends of the drains on your outside units. That didn't used to be required by code, it may be required now. But when they drained to the open ground, slugs travelled up the wet pipes and made gooey glue of themselves on the condensing coils. Best to pipe the condensate lines to the main plumbing drain line. Without knowing what part of the country you're in I can't help much more than with general advice.
              I have been curious about this part of new climate controlled development. My climate control facility was a retro fit of a facility which didn't have it at first. We did this retrofit in 2003. The place we did this at already had a well installed and working, so we went with geothermal heating and cooling. Just recently we added solar power to provide all our power as well. I am in Cedar Rapids Iowa, and my electric bill for my entire facility (9,000 sqft climate controlled) $21.83. Typically a bill this month would of been $1300-$1500 depending on outdoor temps.

              Im pretty sure for the information I have looked at for a new multistory facility would use roof mounted heat pumps, I don't believe geothermal would be cost effective on a new build

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              • #8
                Randy, I'm curious as to why you don't think geothermal would be cost effective on a new build. In my experience, nearly everything is more cost effective when putting in the ground at initial construction. There aren't any parking lots to tear up, no retrofits, things can be correctly sized, etc. Please tell me why your experience has been different.

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                • #9
                  My above post says I only have experience with a climate controlled retro fit and not new construction. So my post was based as a question not as a statement. I want to know more about what heating a cooling sources new construction is choosing.

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                  • #10
                    My comment may seem like a no brainer, but just bare with me. We were managing a new facility, three stories all a/c. Third floor a/c drained down to second floor a/c which drained down to first floor a/c. That works. EXCEPT, there were two problems with the drainage down to the first floor. #1, there was no pump to remove the water from the drain pan on the first floor so it was always overflowing. #2, the drain pipe was exactly level and the end of the drain pipe was plugged deep under ground. So when water DID try to push out, it went the easiest way where the oxygen would allow. Out of the pan onto the floor. Looking at the original plans, the a/c pipes were supposed to be put into the cement base but someone slipped up poured the cement, and didn't put in the pipes. They then decided to put them on top of the first floor units to drain out. That's fine, but water runs downhill.....mold grows when water is stagnant.

                    We did all we could do by unblocking the exterior pipe - snails or no snails - and had them install a pump on each a/c unit on the first floor which ran almost constantly in the summer.

                    The owners did not look into saving $$ by installing solar panels. I'm located in Florida and the building had(has) a flat roof with 13 a/c units on the roof. No huge trees around the facility to have blocked the sun. The people building it thought it would be too expensive to put up solar. They also had me give 6 months - yes SIX months free to renters so they could get the property leased up as the loan required. They soon went into Bankruptcy.

                    We also had a problem with the drainage being too close to the building from the roof as it would assist in deteriorating the cement base of the building - acidic water and all of that......The drains just came out of the wall and dripped down helping to stain the walls and helping to take away the dirt that would be there to protect the cement footing of the building.

                    Be smart - evaluate ALL of your costs and options and think about the future bills you will save on if things are done properly the first time. Just because it passes the basic code doesn't mean you want to stay with the 'basics' Small upgrades are usually not that much more expensive. I.E. - Commercial toilet for a commercial property versus a standard toilet that will get clogged up quickly.

                    Maybe this belongs more in "Tales from the Trenches"...
                    Tall Terri

                    The customer's fantasy doesn't always match with reality!

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