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Author Topic: Zone Systems in Studio HVAC?  (Read 1295 times)

John Bailey

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Zone Systems in Studio HVAC?
« on: August 06, 2007, 03:19:12 pm »

Hi Folks,

I'm about to build a small new mix/overdub room (Studio C), and I'm looking at the option of converting the existing Studio A rooftop unit over to a zone system with several thermostats, and electric dampers, rather than add a whole new rooftop unit.

Originally, the 3 1/2 tonne unit that handles the Control Room and the Amp Room was sized, based on the heat load of a huge analog console and a big rack of power supplies.  Now, I have a 32-fader ICON in there, and I can't see ever going back to a massive analog desk.

All other things being equal (acoustically lined ducts, extra bends, etc.), does anyone see any problems in switching over the (now oversized) unit to zone-controlled ductwork?

I'd like to think that this is part of the reward I get for not installing a huge electricity-sucking desk...

John Bailey
John Bailey
Toronto, Canada


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Re: Zone Systems in Studio HVAC?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2007, 05:44:41 pm »


There is no inherent problem with doing what you propose. We use systems for multiple small studios all the time. The trick is in the control system. You don't want your noise floor to go up in one room as the dampers throttle back in the other. There has to be some balance and possibly some pressure release in the system.

If you install thermostatically controlled dampers for specific zones, they should not close all the way. They should modulate to say no less than 40% open. This way the air is never fully shut off from any zone. Also, the dampers for zone control must be far enough 'up-stream' and away from the air terminals to avoid any air jet noise they may create from being audible in the studio rooms.

Always use lined duct work throughout and design the ducts and registers near the rooms for very low air velocity...

As long as you don't have one room needing heat when another needs AC you should be able to make this work.. If this condition exists, you would have to use an economizer mode for the AC and reheat for the zone that needs heat...

Hope this helps.
Francis Manzella - President, FM Design Ltd.
                 - Managing Director, Griffin Audio

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