The Challenge of HVAC is High Rise Buildings

High-rise HVAC requirements are essential for luxury residential construction projects.

Buyers and tenants expect nothing less than consistent comfort, quiet operation, and the ability to customize the heating and cooling of their space. For builders of high-rise residential buildings, those needs have been difficult to meet with the traditional high-rise HVAC options. Typically, they are noisy, inefficient, and take up too much valuable space within the building. The heating and cooling of high-rise buildings presents unique challenges not encountered with structures with fewer stories. As a building’s height increases, the air temperature outside the building decreases, and the wind speed increases, which can affect the interior temperature and the performance of outdoor equipment. Skyscrapers over 60 stories have the most difficulty with this. Furthermore, keep in mind that heat rises, so heating and cooling requirements for upper floors can differ quite a bit from those for lower floors. HVAC systems for high-rise buildings must adapt to varying conditions throughout the building. Due to their size, tall buildings also consume a lot of energy. When you consider that as much as 30 percent or more of a building’s energy usage is consumed by the air conditioning system, it’s no wonder that developers want the most efficient high-rise HVAC systems they can find. High-rise HVAC has fallen short in that area. Developers want to minimize plant space and maximize salable living space, and residents don’t want to give up high ceilings or closets for ductwork or equipment.


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