Charles E. Miller Branch & Historical Center

Gipe Associates, Inc. provided mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering services including design of HVAC, plumbing, lighting, power, life safety, site lighting and incoming electric and gas systems associated with the construction of a new 63,000 SF Library located off Frederick Road in Ellicott City, Maryland. The scope of work also included analysis related to Howard County's goal of achieving a LEED Silver rating for the building. Work included field investigations, preparation of design plans and specifications, review of bids, and construction administration for the MEP portion of the project. Feasibility studies were also included as a part of this contract. The studies included Savage and Elkridge Branch Libraries.

The energy efficiency of the building is based on current hours of operation, the building envelope factors, the designed lighting system, equipment shop drawings, and system design. Basically, all are known factors that are imported into the Energy Modeling Software. The only variable which is unknown and assumed is the diversity of occupants on an hour-by-hour basis throughout the year and/or internal heat loads associated with receptacles (i.e., computer usage/left on at night).

Energy consumption varies from building type to building type as the building function and Code requirements for ventilation will vary. Similar building types (libraries, schools, office buildings, etc.) with similar internal heat loads and hours of operation will have similar energy consumption with differences based on the actual building design including the efficiency of the mechanical system.

Miller Branch, from its conception, was intended to be a very efficient building and represents a holistic approach to maximize its coefficient of performance.

From a building envelope, the building orientation, thermal mass and cubic nature of the building minimizes surface area. The minimal envelope area coupled with high “R” factors, solar reflective materials, light shelves and high performance glazing significantly reduce the need to consume energy needed to offset these heat gains and heat losses. Heavy thermal mass associated with dense siding materials (stone, brick, etc.) additionally reduce energy usage by delaying peak cooling requirements from ambient outdoor conditions. Similarly, it decreases the energy loss during the heating season by storing energy in these wall materials.


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