Facility Profile - March 2006
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The Air in There

Esquimalt Recreation Centre
Esquimalt Township in Victoria, British Columbia

By John Parris Frantz

To control proper space temperature near all four bodies of water, Ng divided the room's air distribution into four zones. The room's perimeter system, which is designed to bathe the walls in 85şF, 55 percent relative-humidity air, uses linear Sonic Vents at the 6 o'clock and 4 o'clock positions. The other three zones are over the smaller pools. The fabric duct is hung from a corrosion-proof aluminum H-track hanging system.

"With the problems of metal in a corrosive environment along with the costs involved with applying and maintaining the necessary protective epoxy coatings, fabric duct seems to be a perfect air distribution system for indoor pools," Ng says.

Because of a learning curve for first-time fabric duct installation, the fabric duct was installed in about the same time as metal duct. However, Rick Carter, a 25-year-veteran project manager, says any future project would probably result in a considerable labor difference between fabric and metal because of the gained experience.

"I was worried about the unknowns when we started installing fabric, but after it was finished I was quite impressed with its structural integrity and the look," he says.

Balancing the fabric duct took only a half-hour because airflow and static pressures were factory-engineered into the fabric-duct diameter and each linear vent along the length of each duct run.

The space's indoor air quality is maintained by a Dectron Dry-O-Tron heat-recovery dehumidifier that removes 400 pounds of moisture/hour while also providing cooling or heating for the space. It uses heat recovery to provide free pool water heating for the room's largest pool. The other three vessels' individual temperature demands are met with separate boilers and Armstrong Pumps Inc. heat exchangers to keep strict temperature control that's monitored and controlled by a Honeywell direct digital control system.

While cost cutting and corrosion control was the impetus for fabric duct in the natatorium, the 5,000-square-foot gym's mission was maintenance. Metal duct in open architecture gym settings is susceptible to dents from errant objects. Fabric duct takes hits and simply regains its form. Along with air flow evenness and aesthetics, maintenance was a major reason Paul Timmins, principal at the consulting engineering firm for the gym, Hirschfield Williams Timmins Ltd., specified fabric duct. Ventilation is supplied by a 6,000-cfm gas-fired outside air ventilator by Engineered Air in Calgary, Alberta.

The success of the project is already evident in that Stantec recently presented the project at an American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) meeting with rave reviews.


Esquimalt Parks and Recreation:

DuctSox Corp.:

Dectron Internationale: