Freetown Elementary School

Glen Burnie, MD

Matthew Buda

Mechanical Option

Freetown Elementary School


Thesis Proposal


Thesis Proposal


Ground Source Heat Pump with thermal storage: In order to take advantage of the earth’s constant temperature, a ground source heat pump will be researched and modeled to look at advantages and disadvantages of installation. 

Install CO2 Occupancy Sensors: This study will install occupancy sensors to control the ventilation as well as lighting within a space. These sensors will have an effect on the amount of outdoor air and amount of return air that could be used.

Four Pipe System: Currently, Freetown Elementary School is a two pipe system that needs to be switched over from heating to cooling or from cooling to heating. One pipe is dedicated to supply and one pipe is dedicated to return depending if the spaces are calling for heating or cooling. A four pipe system will be researched and modeled to determine the advantages and disadvantages of the system


An addition of glazing on the exterior façade will be analyzed for the advantages and disadvantages in hopes of increasing the day-lighting within spaces on the north side of the building. A new model will be made in analyzing this concept. Improving the amount of natural light that gets into the building can help reduce the electricity costs.

Construction Management
If the ground source heat pump or occupancy sensors are installed, extra time and cost will be associated with the installation.  This will affect the decision for installing either of these items. A new schedule will be implemented and a change order will be prescribed along with a site map of where the ground source heat pump will be located in comparison to the building.


Thesis Proposal Revised

Changes to Original Proposal: A solar system will replace the four pipe system depth topic and the indoor environment quality sensors will replace the CO2 ventilation sensors. Breadth topics were changed to lighting/electrical and sustainability, refer to Breadth topics below for more details.


Solar System: A solar system will be added to the mechanical system in order to decrease energy use.  A solar panel will be chosen and the number of panels will be determined based on the heating load of the building. An analysis of cost, savings, and payback will be done.  The location of the solar panels will be modeled to show the altered view on the roof. Panel care and maintenance will also be analyzed to determine the life span of the solar panels.

Indoor Environment Quality Sensors: This study will install indoor air quality sensors to control the ventilation within a space. These sensors will have an effect on the amount of outdoor air and amount of return air that could be used. If less people are in the space, less outdoor air would have to be brought in resulting in energy savings because of the reuse of return air that is already conditioned. An analysis will be made for cost and improvement on indoor air quality.


Occupancy sensors for lighting will be installed in conjunction with the indoor environment quality sensors to reduce electric consumption. The use of occupancy sensors will eliminate the lighting that is not needed at certain times. Different variations will be looked at including infrared, ultrasonic, and a hybrid sensor. Room layouts will be displayed to show the best location of the sensor and the coverage in the room. In addition to the responding occupancy sensor, the sensor will also be programmed to adjust to natural lighting from the sun.  A dimmer will be used to dim the lights closest to the windows to help save on energy.  The cost of the sensors will be displayed and the potential savings.

An addition of a rainwater collection system will benefit the school because of the reuse of rainwater. Instead of draining the water away, this water can be used to circulate throughout the building.  Components that will benefit from this will be the usage of water in toilets and sinks.




Note: While great efforts have been taken to provide accurate and complete information on the pages of CPEP, please be aware that the information contained herewith is considered a work‐inprogress for this thesis project. Modifications and changes related to the original building designs and construction methodologies for this senior thesis project are solely the interpretation of Matthew Buda. Changes and discrepancies in no way imply that the original design contained errors or was flawed. Differing assumptions, code references, requirements, and methodologies have been incorporated into this thesis project; therefore, investigation results may vary from the original design.
This page was last updated on October 11, 2010, by Matthew Buda and is hosted by the AE Department © 2010.