Designing high-performance mechanical and heating systems for government facilities doesn’t have to be any different from working with a private client. But in some cases, federal, state, or municipal governments might have higher expectations for energy performance or even sustainability certifications, such as LEED or Green Globes. And government facilities such as military bases, correctional facilities, and parks may be more likely to be located in remote locations without access to natural gas.
The latter is one distinction that Joshua Meinig, a senior mechanical engineer at Orlando, Florida–based CDM Smith, noted in a Q&A in Consulting-Specifying Engineer when asked about features requested to make government projects more efficient. “I have had numerous projects where natural gas was not available close to the site,” Meinig says. “These projects have been supplied with large propane tanks for winter design, based on the energy requirements.”
One propane-fueled application that could be popular for improving sustainability in commercial buildings is tankless water heaters, a feature Meinig identifies as a value-add that makes buildings perform at a higher and more efficient level. “Instantaneous water heaters are a great example of equipment that can make a building more energy-efficient,” he says. “They use little to no power when not used compared to storage type water heaters.”
Considering specifying a tankless water heater system on your next government project? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Commercial Tankless Water Heating for data and insights on selecting water heating that maximizes efficiency, comfort, and the overall performance of your buildings.