HVAC Refurbishment Kepler Building

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HVAC Refurbishment Kepler Building
  • Location: Seville
  • Key Data: Kepler Building, Headquarters of the Department of University, Research and Innovation, 6 floors above ground plus 2 basements for a total of 10,650 m2 of administrative use
  • Technology: reversible heat pump chiller plants with inverter screw compressors (2 x 423 kW cooling / 2 x 465 kW heating)
  • Client: Department of University, Research and Innovation

This project concerns the refurbishment of the air-conditioning of the heating and cooling system of the Kepler Building, headquarters of the Department of University, Research and Innovation of the Andalusian Regional Government.

In the aforementioned building there is a centralised heat and cold production installation, which supplies thermal energy for the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) installation. The objective is to refurbish the heating and cooling equipment which currently has a water condensation system connected directly to a raw water network that exists in the Isla de la Cartuja, the former Expo complex of 1992.

The raw water network supplying the building is a system which takes water directly from the Guadalquivir river and distributes it through an underground network to the buildings on the Isla de la Cartuja in Seville. The use of this water causes high maintenance and operating costs in the building which is the subject of this project, which are increasing year after year. This circumstance is the reason why the property has considered the reform of the building’s heating and cooling system.

In a preliminary project, which was a real technological challenge, Savener’s team of specialists studied all possible alternatives that would meet current and future needs with the minimum impact on the existing installation and always focusing on efficiency, cost reduction and care for the environment.

After evaluating different possibilities, both systems and equipment available on the global market, analysing everything from cooling towers plus boilers to condensers of all types, it was concluded that the optimum solution, due to the demand of the building and the existing installation, was to replace the water-water machines with reversible air-condensed heat pumps, thus achieving a simpler system, with lower maintenance costs and greater energy efficiency. Air-to-water heat pumps use a technology that is currently highly developed and achieves high efficiencies.

The project itself consists of the disconnection of the existing machines condensing to the raw water network and the installation of new air-condensing machines on the roof connected to the hydraulic network of the existing HVAC installation of the building.

For this purpose, machines with a high level of efficiency and sensitive to the demanding climatic conditions of Seville were selected, such as reversible heat pump chiller plants with inverter screw compressors (2 x 423 kW cooling / 2 x 465 kW heating) to adjust the thermal demand of the building while minimising energy consumption.

This change has entailed a collateral action, as these machines have to be located outside the building and this implies another essential analysis which is the study of the roof of the building to ensure that it supports all the weight of this new installation.

After the delivery of the preliminary project at the end of 2022 and the design of the entire project in 2023, the execution is expected to take place this year 2024, so that the installation will be in operation by the end of the year.