College of Engineering and Polymer Science

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-05 06:19:40


Mechanical Engineering

Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2022


This project studied Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems for commercial buildings. I completed an energy model Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department in West Virginia. This building’s HVAC has been completed by the consulting engineering firm: Scheeser Buckley Mayfield. I intern at this company, so they allowed me to use their original design as a basis for comparison. Load calculations, utility costs, energy consumption, and carbon footprint were derived from this energy analysis. The energy model compared three systems: variable air volume (VAV) with electric reheat, variable air volume with hydronic reheat, and variable refrigerant volume (VRV). Based on the energy model, the VRV alternative was the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly. To further develop the comparisons between the systems, a complete building HVAC design was completed using the improved solution: VRV. I also analyzed the decision-making process for choosing a system, allowing owners/engineers to rank their priorities in a weighted decision matrix. Six factors were compared: Cost, comfort, environmental impact, maintenance, lifespan, and design process. While VRV might be the most environmentally friendly and economical solution for this building, other buildings and owners may have needs that outweigh the benefits of a VRV system.

Research Sponsor

David Peters

First Reader

Dr. Nicholas Garafolo

Second Reader

Dr. Daniel Deckler

Honors Faculty Advisor

David Peters

Erica Ferguson Signatures.pdf (233 kB)
Signature Page



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