SUS 7600B Design of Mechanical Systems for Sustainable Buildings

Spring 2017. Subject to refinement/updating.


Instructor: Jorge Gonzalez, Ph. D.
Schedule: Friday 5:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
Location: NAC 6/136
3 credits 3 hours/week


Office: Steinman Hall, Room 238

Tel:  212-650-5279



Fundamentals of HVAC Equipment. Principles of Psychrometrics and comfort requirements. Analysis of thermal performance of building envelopes by transient and steady methods. Design of HVAC systems. Energy efficient HVAC systems. Renewable energy in buildings. On site energy generation systems. District cooling and heating systems. Principles of building management systems.


To provide the students with

(1) the basic fundamentals required for the analysis and design of heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems for domestic, commercial, and industrial spaces,

(2) To introduce the students to the utilization of computers for the analysis and design of heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems.

Prerequisites by Topic: 

      1. Thermodynamics

      2. Introduction to Fluid Mechanics

      3. Computer Programming

Reading Assignments

Textbook:       Kreider, Jan F., Curtiss, Peter, and Rabl, Ari, Heating and Cooling of Buildings:
                         Design for Efficiency.  2nd Revised Edition CRC Press, Boca Raton. 2009.  


  1.  ASHRAE Handbooks – Fundamentals & HVAC Applications, American Society of Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning Engineers, Atlanta, Georgia.
  2.  F.C. McQuiston and J.D. Parker, Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning, 6th Ed., John Wiley & Sons.
  3. G. Clifford, 1990, Modern Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning.  Prentice Hall.

Course Requirements

Computer Usage: 

Computers are employed in this course as an instructional tool.  Students are required to integrate self generated programs with commercially available academic and industrial software packages for the purpose of analyzing and designing heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems.  The course will introduce students to the Software HCB by Peter S. Curtis ( ) and the US Department of Energy Energy-Quest™.  For customized codes, any programming language is acceptable, however, MatlabTM is preferred.

Written Assignments

Sample of Laboratory/Design Projects: 

  1. Cooling and heating load estimation for a residential building to be in designated places around the world. 
  2. The second project will consist of providing correctly sized heating, ventilation and air conditioning loads and size the equipment for a commercial building.  Use of ASHRAE standards 55-2010, 62.1-2010, and 90.1-2010 should be demonstrated in the final project.

Evaluation/Grade Reporting:

  1. 3-4 homework will be assigned based on assigned textbook and Professor’s problems. Two design projects will be assigned during the semester.  
  2. Two 90 minutes long mid-term exams with score of 100 points each will be given during the semester along with one final examination. 
  3. 2 quizzes, 30-45 minutes, long, will be given during the Fall semester. 
  4. The final grade will be calculated using the following weight factors:
    • Mid Term Exams  –  40 %
    • Final Exam – 20%
    • Design Projects – 20%
    • Quizzes – 10%
    • Homework - 10%
  5. Final Grade will be determined based on the following score
    • A - 90% and above
    • B – 78% - 89%
    • C – 62% - 77%

Course Outline


  1. Building sciences, energy consumption by buildings.
  2. Review of heat transfer and basic air conditioning systems. Vapor compression, heat pumps, heat recovery systems.
  3. Psychrometric processes & charts. Fundamental equations, psychrometric chart, space air conditioning design conditions.
  4. Comfort & health. Physiological conditions, indoor air quality.
  5. Solar radiation. Spectrum, intensity, solar, angles, heat gains through windows.
  6. Space heat & cooling loads. Design conditions, infiltration & ventilation, internal & external sources, the CLTD/SCL/CLF Method.
  7. Fans, ducts & buildings air distributions.
  8. Energy efficiency in buildings.



Week 1

Introduction to building sciences


Review of air conditioning equipment & systems

Week 2

Review of heat transfer concepts & building envelope components

Weeks 3-4

Principles of Psychrometrics-I

Week 5

Solar Radiation & Fenestration

Week 6

Infiltration analysis

Weeks 7-8


Heating & Cooling load estimation

& Introduction to use of software for building loads estimation

Week 9

Air ventilation systems design

Week 10

Liquid distribution systems design

Weeks 11-12

HVAC design for energy efficiency