Turner Building Science & Design excels at uncovering the causes of issues with indoor air quality, building moisture, mold growth, and so much more. We've completed numerous projects with schools, municipalities, and industrial clients, and would love to discuss your next project.
Take a look at these examples of some of the work we've done recently.
Featured Project: Belmont Police Department
Belmont Police Department broke ground in autumn 2020, and as of autumn 2021 was preparing for occupancy. The new building is an excellent example of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems, which are starting to gain popularity. The technology behind VRF systems has come a long way in recent years.
About Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems
Instead of ductwork with heated and cooled air, VRF systems utilize refrigerant piping to transfer energy around the building. This is a more efficient method, and due to the small piping sizes compared to ductwork, it allows for higher ceilings and lower floor-to-floor heights. This design is able to heat one space while another space is being cooled, allowing for enhanced occupant comfort at lower energy costs.
This technology has been used in Asia and Europe since the 1980s, but didn't gain popularity in the United States until the early 2000s. Even today, it's a relative newcomer in the States compared to other technologies. We have had great success implementing VRF technology for various clients over the past 15 years, and are thrilled to have had the opportunity to provide this technology for the men and women in blue who serve Belmont, NH.
Building Science Projects
Otisfield Community School
In this Mold Remediation and Building Envelope Upgrade project, we performed a forensic investigation into the causes of water intrusion at the school. We thoroughly analyzed the building envelope and air quality issues, as well.
Middle School of the Kennebunks
The Middle School of the Kennebunks suffered from long-term moisture intrusion and water leakage problems due to issues with the roof, windows, and walls, as well as HVAC piping leaks and freezing. Through in-house water testing and field work, we were able to execute a fix without incurring major renovation costs to the school district.
South Londonderry School
We completed a series of building evaluations to uncover causes of moisture that was promoting mold growth. We used an alternative method of wall repair on the brick facade, and replaced the existing insulation, which provided more efficient air and vapor barriers. A new drainage mat was also installed to maintain proper conditions behind the brick facade.
Commercial Building Vapor Intrusion
We conducted pressure diagnostics over an extended period of time to understand how building operations affected pressures near the floor slab of this historic mill building, which dates to the 1800s. We provided short- and long-term solutions for building pressurization and slab suction to address the underground problem.
Roof Demolition & Containment
We performed building science evaluations to determine the cause of moisture intrusion on this New England-based office building. Our knowledge of the behavior of the building envelope systems enabled us to determine the proper retrofit system. Specially-designed valleys, ridges, expansion joints, and a vapor barrier were all incorporated in the final design.
Preschool Water Intrusion Evaluation
We provided an initial evaluation of deconstructed walls to determine sources of moisture that promoted mold growth. We found the existing walls had very little drying potential, and that the windows were not installed with pan flashing at the sills. Our recommendations empowered the preschool move forward without further issues caused by moisture and mold.
When schools discover health concerns in the classroom such as mold growth, we are able to formulate plans to remediate mold issues and faulty envelope construction through scientific, thermal, and destructive testing. Often this occurs in two phases, beginning with containment, removal, and upgrades, then focusing on energy saving and aesthetic upgrades that improve performance and reduce operating costs.
In this project, impact from a previous dry-cleaning occupant elevated the levels of soil gases in the basements of several homes. We worked to design mitigation systems for each building, including conceptual renderings, and gained approval to fit each house with a sub-slab suction system to remove the dangerous soil gases.
We evaluated the air quality at this school, including airborne and surface sampling for microbes, but quickly turned to the building envelope because observations indicated that the walls may be damp or wet. Our report compiled recommendations for repairs to the wall, site modifications, and proper drainage to keep surface water away from the building.
Building Commissioning Projects
Millipore Cleanroom Commissioning
We provided enhanced commissioning services for a class 10,000 cleanroom facility expansion, renovation, and LEED certification. We ensured that the buildings energy-related and comfort systems were designed, installed, calibrated, and performing in accordance with the Owner's Project Requirements, Basis of Design (BOD), and construction documents.
White Mountain Community College Energy Audit
For this commissioning project at the Berlin, NH campus, we reviewed the lighting, HVAC systems, controls, mechanical and building envelope to find savings and projects through energy conservation. The analysis was based on an ASHRAE Level II audit and involved ARRA funding requirements.
Stonehill College Residence Hall
We were the Commissioning Agent for the roof, walls, and ground contact floor of a residence hall erected at Stonehill College in Easton, MA. We provided design drawing review and field testing services during construction to ensure sufficient and clear details were provided in the drawings, and that the builders were providing the necessary attention to detail to provide an enclosure that would not exceed an air leakage rate of 0.25 CFM/SQFT surface area at a 50 Pa pressure difference.
University of Maine at Farmington
We recommended an alternative approach to the failed mechanical refrigeration air handler which used a non-refrigerated, passive heat pipe, heat exchanger ventilation-only unit, which significantly reduced operating costs. We also acted as commissioning agent for the new mechanical systems.
Maine Department of Transportation
The new Maine DOT building design incorporated upgrades to the window-wall and HVAC systems, bringing the complex up to current code requirements and renovating all interior finishes. The new space plan fosters teaming between departments and provides for more efficient flow of personnel. We also acted as commissioning agent for this project.
Crisis Intervention & Building Shell Commissioning
Following the collapse of part of the roof under the weight of snow, we were contracted to perform a complete investigation of both the building shell and the mechanical systems for this elementary school. Building shell commissioning services provided included dew point/vapor pressure review, exterior drainage plane/wind barrier review, interior air barrier/vapor barrier review, and numerous other analyses throughout the building.
Belmont Police Department
Belmont Police Department broke ground in fall 2020 and is currently near completion. The new facility is quiet, efficient, and comfortable, and features and variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system.
Rundlett Middle School
We began this project by studying alternatives to supply the building with heating, then analyzing heating needs. We prepared initial costs, operating costs, and life cycle analysis of the options and assisted the School District with decision making moving forward.
F.W. Webb HVAC Designs
We've worked on various F.W. Webb Company facilities throughout New England since 2006. Projects have included HVAC and fire protection for new and existing buildings, thermal solar panels, and an open loop well design with local geotechnical considerations.
Lakes Region Community College Energy Audit
We provided energy auditing services on two buildings, including the review of lighting, HVAC systems, mechanical systems, and the building envelope, and identified savings and energy conservation opportunities. The study and analysis were based on an ASHRAE Level II audit and involved ARRA funding requirements.
Nashua Schools HVAC Renovations
We performed HVAC renovations and upgrades to the Fairgrounds, Ledge Street, and Charlotte Avenue Elementary Schools in Nashua, NH. The scope involved replacing existing boilers and pneumatic control components with new, gas-fired, cast iron sectional hot water boilers and DDC components. Combustion air systems were also installed, as well as kitchen upgrades.
Town of Rockport, ME
We conducted an energy savings analysis for seven municipal buildings in Rockport, ME. Work included the review of lighting, HVAC systems, mechanical and the building envelope to find savings opportunities. We delivered a report that indicated payback information as well as energy savings., and recommended alternative energy methods that could be employed.