Mater Dei College Improves Efficiency by Investing in Air Balancing

Mater Dei College in Joondalup is set to have a very productive summer in 2019, after investing in a full system air balancing for their main admin building.

Established in 1993 as a small school with seven staff member and 108 students, Mater Dei College is a reference today with 840 students, 105 staff and a substantial curriculum that enhances already existing programmes and the introduction of several new initiatives soon to be implemented.

A college of this standard can not afford to let your students and staff down due to cooling systems problems and that’s why they have always hired all-inclusive services providers, to avoid any problem that could affect their students and teacher’s productivity. Or so they thought.

The Symptoms

For years Mark Guelfi, Maintenance Manager at Mater Dei College would receive constant complaints from staff that some areas were too warm and some areas too cold even though they were conditioned by the same air conditioning ducted system.

To try and get some more balanced temperatures to allow the staff to work without being distracted by too high or too low temperatures, office doors and even external doors would often be left propped open to allow air flow and better temperature balance.

The consequences

Mark explained that several attempts had been made to resolve the problem with no results achieved.

As consequence of this ongoing issue, staff members were constantly spending their time asking for set points to be adjusted and trying to come to an agreement on whether the doors were open or close in order to make the offices a more comfortable place to work.

Apart from the inevitable distraction in the team routine, Mark also started to see the impact of leaving the doors open in the power bills with a huge increase in energy consumption from the air conditioning system.

The Diagnosis

After taking on a new air conditioning and refrigeration service contract for the Mater Dei College, Mark asked Engixo team to assess the old ongoing issue with the temperature control in the main administration building, where the difference between rooms would be up to 5 degrees even though the same air conditioning ducted was in use.

It didn’t take more than a few seconds for our specialist to suggest that the problem was down to basic air flow balancing. Using specialist air balancing hoods, anemometers and air flow equipment, the team could confirm that over three times the design air flow was being delivered to two of the smaller offices on the system causing massive overcooling of the area.

The solution

Using the proper tools, our team completed the measurements of each room in the building in order to establish the best air flow design to not only solve the current issue, but also improve efficiency, reduce costs and environment impact.

All adjustments were made using the system air flow dampers to guarantee that the correct amount of air was available to each outlet. Since completing the works, the air temperature balance has remained within one degree of difference from each room.

The result was a uniform temperature throughout the building, vast improvement on staff comfort levels and great energy and cost savings due to lower system run time with all doors remaining properly closed.

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