St. Lucie County
South County Annex
In this project, the Salas O’Brien team helped our client overcome obstacles to integrate new, more sustainable air handling and humidity control systems in the St. Lucie South County Annex.
St. Lucie County covers around 600 square miles off Interstate 95 on the Atlantic coastline between Orlando and Miami. The county was one of the United States’ fastest growing between 2000 and 2010, when its population had a record-breaking spike of over 80,000, and to this day, development of key growth infrastructure is a major priority for county leadership. Salas O’Brien’s Orlando team has provided engineering services for multiple St. Lucie County projects over the years.
Our work on the South County Annex building began with a design to replace existing electrical disconnects serving the condensing units on its roof. Subsequently, the scope of the project grew to include systematic replacement of 33 split-system air conditioning units (air handlers and condensing units) which serve the entire building. While the newer, more sustainable units increased energy efficiency in the building, they were also larger, which presented a significant obstacle to their integration.
Our team overcame this project’s key challenge by adding a rail to the existing equipment curbs. The addition accommodated the size of the new units, met and exceeded Florida Building Code standards for structural integrity, and saved the county the considerable cost of physically modifying the existing curbs and surrounding roofing. In addition to this work, our team provided the county with several options to reduce costs through air handling. Based on our recommendations, county leadership decided to add four new units that increased airflow and humidity control efficiency.
The design solutions that Salas O’Brien delivered for this project support consistent, reliable systems operations, and the changes implemented as a result of our additional recommendations have generated significant energy savings for the county.