Plains Elementary School (LEED-Silver)

Plains Elementary School (LEED-Silver)

HEA designed the mechanical, plumbing and fire protection systems associated with this new 65,000-sf elementary school in South Hadley, MA. The building includes classrooms and other teaching spaces (art, music and speech), two cafeterias, a kitchen, two-story gym, and administrative offices and support spaces.

Ventilation and air conditioning is provided by seven energy recovery ventilators (ERVs). Each ERV includes a DX cooling coil, glycol/hot water heating coil, energy recovery wheel with approximately 70% total effectiveness, and variable speed supply and exhaust fans. Conditioned air is distributed to zone VAV boxes and passed through diffusers for use as a displacement ventilation system. 

Heating is provided by a combination of hot water perimeter fin-tube radiators, radiant panels, and/or in-floor radiant heating. The main glycol / hot water loop is served by two 2,500 MBH condensing boilers, each with a dedicated circulator pump and two variable speed distribution pumps. The in-floor radiant heating system is connected to a dedicated condensing boiler, with a circulator pump and two variable speed secondary pumps. Each boiler has a rated peak efficiency of 95%.

The kitchen’s HVAC needs are provided by a high-efficiency variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system. The Captiveaire kitchen system includes commercial-grade hoods, an adjustable-speed heating-only makeup air unit, and a pair of variable speed exhaust fans. The hood fans are modulated by an advanced flow control system that varies airflow rates based on temperature, smoke, and effluent levels.

Fire protection includes complete wet-sprinkler coverage in accordance with NFPA 13. 

The project achieved LEEDTM-Silver status from the US Green Building Council.


K-12 Education

Public Sector


Mechanical Engineering

Plumbing Engineering

Fire Protection Systems

Energy Services

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