Parkersburg Correctional Center in West Virginia was faced with a unique challenge: they needed to convert a hotel into a minimum-security correctional facility. Housing approximately 130 male offenders, there were many different areas that needed to be heated and cooled, yet the inmates could not have access to any controls, so the PTAC units traditionally used in hotels would not suffice. Additionally, due to the construction requirements, the new system had to be able to fit within the existing framework.
The Goal: Zoned Heating and Cooling with a Central Control Unit
When Parkersburg Correctional Center took over the Holiday Inn space in Parkersburg, West Virginia, each room was equipped with a PTAC unit so that hotel guests could control their own temperatures. But considering they were converting the rooms into housing areas for inmates, this would not be sufficient. Instead, the facility required zoned heating and cooling, yet it needed to be controlled through one central unit. The space for ductwork was also extremely limited, and the correctional center wanted an HVAC solution that would reduce their overhead expenses.
The Solution: Heat Recovery VRF
When CE and the installing contractor, DSO Mechanical, began working with Parkersburg Correctional Center, they knew that a heat recovery VRF system was the ideal solution. It would allow for zoned heating and cooling, as well as simultaneous heating and cooling, so the warden and other personnel could be kept at a comfortable temperature regardless of what temperature they kept the inmates’ rooms. The VRF piping was minimally invasive, making it simple to align the routing with the existing building layout.
In total, there were 42 indoor units installed for the 28-tonnage heat recovery VRF system. This included six high wall units and 36 ducted units, with the required height differences between the indoor and outdoor units.
The Results: Centrally Controlled Energy Efficiency
The Parkersburg Correctional Center is very pleased with the results provided by the heat recovery VRF system. CE and DSO Mechanical were able to work together to flawlessly install the units, and the correctional center is loving the versatility of being able to heat and cool individual units at the same time. They love that the single port flow selectors can be powered off of the indoor units, and they appreciate that all of the units can be controlled via one touchscreen controller.
Above all, they love the extreme energy efficiency the heat recovery VRF system provides them, helping them stay on budget and reduce overhead expenses. While converting a hotel into a correctional facility is not an easy task, the heat recovery VRF system was the perfect HVAC solution for the job.