Thesis Proposal

This report describes the proposed redesign of the mechanical system of the New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. Included are five mechanical depth studies, a structural breadth study, and an acoustical breadth study.

Depth Studies

The topics included in the mechanical depth of this thesis include:

> Investigating a central plant redesign to include determining the feasibility of a chilled water system in various configurations and converting to high-efficiency condensing boilers.

> Serving the patient rooms and office spaces with multi-split, variable refrigerant flow systems in a heat recovery operation for simultaneous heating and cooling. Existing rooftop units will be downsized due to this redesign.

> Installing a solar thermal system to offset the domestic hot water heating load and therapy pool heating load. Vertical collectors will be integrated with the envelope of the therapy pool.

Breadth Studies

Two other areas of building systems engineering will be investigated as they relate to the proposed mechanical redesign:

> The structural system of the roof will be analyzed and, if necessary, redesigned to meet the new loads and potentially increased vibrations introduced by the additional mechanical equipment and solar thermal collectors.

>An acoustical analysis of the patient room wing will determine the effect of the new systems on air-borne and structural-borne noise transmission from mechanical processes into patient rooms.