Engineer's Handbook

A combination of fundamental principles, ongoing research, and building design guidance.

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Chapter Summaries

Chapter 1 - Fundamentals of


1.0 PDH Credits - 18 pages

This chapter discusses the function of HVAC Systems, describes HVAC operating characteristics, including zoning, solar loading, constant air volume, and variable air volume. Each type of HVAC system is identified, and the recommended equipment for each type of system is outlined and described.

Chapter 2 - Introduction to

Fluid Mechanics

1.0 PDH Credits - 12 pages

This chapter focuses on the fundamental concepts of fluid mechanics as they specifically relate to the HVAC industry, including fricton losses, pressure measurement, and induction.

Chapter 3 - Introduction to

Heat Transfer

2.0 PDH Credits - 28 pages

This chapter reviews the basic heat transfer processes that are relevant to the HVAC industry, and defines introductory HVAC concepts relevant to later chapters in the Handbook.

Chapter 4 - Introduction to

Indoor Environmental Quality

2.0 PDH Credits - 32 pages

This chapter focuses on the factors of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) that are directly affected by HVAC systems, namely indoor air quality and thermal comfort.

Chapter 5 - Introduction to


2.0 PDH Credits - 51 pages

This chapter focuses on the study and analysis of the thermodynamic peroperties of moist air and the application of these properties in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning process.

Chapter 6 – Introduction to

Control Theory

0.5 PDH Credits - 18 pages

This chapter explains the building HVAC control system used to control the equipment used to maintain thermal conditions in occupied spaces. The discussion includes HVAC system components that operate together to monitor and diagnose the system, and integrate the HVAC equipment with other building systems, typically referred to as the Building Automation System (BAS).

Chapter 7 – Introduction to


1.0 PDH Credits - 12 pages

This chapter provides a basic understanding of acoustics, including fundamental concepts and measurement procedures in the field and the laboratory. Several methods of rating HVAC sound sources are presented. This knowledge will provide the groundwork for understanding noise control concepts in the following chapters.

Chapter 8 – Introduction to

Duct Design

1.5 PDH Credits - 28 pages

This chapter provides an understanding of duct design with respect to the building design process. This design has a direct impact on the energy utilization and the overall efficiency of the building HVAC system. The discussion helps the reader to understand the importance of correctly sizing the duct – incorrectly sized duct will have excessive friction losses, wasted energy, and the risk of inadequate cooling or heating. System effect is also explored to help the reader understand how duct selection impacts the airflow turbulence.

Chapter 9 – Introduction to

Mixing Ventilation

5.0 PDH Credits - 32 pages

This chapter provides a concise approach to the proper selection of air distribution outlets with an emphasis on occupant comfort, air quality, and energy conservation.

Chapter 10 – Introduction to

Noise Control

4.0 PDH Credits - 51 pages

This chapter provides an overview of how to estimate the sound pressure levels in an occupied space, attenuation factors for different duct elements, and suggest criteria for different spaces. Additionally, specific noise control products such as duct silencers, acoustic panels and air transfer silencers are described, and their use illustrated through examples.

Chapter 11 – Introduction to


2.0 PDH Credits - 18 pages

This chapter describes the various controls options available, with particular emphasis on variable air volume (VAV) terminals. Several system control strategies are presented as an in depth review of the building automation and control networks.

Chapter 12 – Introduction to

Terminal Units

6.0 PDH Credits - 12 pages

This chapter discusses what a terminal unit is, how it is applied and the multiple options available. The discussion then focuses on the critical nature of terminal unit selection and application as vital components to the overall HVAC building system and how they have a direct impact on the acoustical field and thermal comfort of the occupied space.

Chapter 13 – Introduction to

Fan Coils and Blower Coils

2.0 PDH Credits - 28 pages

This chapter provides an overview of the various fan coil and blower coil products available in the market, including typical applications for each. Guidelines are presented for zone piping as well as a comprehensive discussion of controls options and strategies. Selection, installation, and maintenance information is also included.

Chapter 14 – Introduction to

VAV Diffusers

1.0 PDH Credits - 32 pages

This chapter describes the operation of VAV diffusers as well as their major benefits. Guidelines are presented for outlet selection and layout as well as duct pressure control techniques for several HVAC systems.

Chapter 15 – Fundamentals of

Displacement Ventilation

4.0 PDH Credits - 51 pages

This chapter focuses on the main design criteria for displacement ventilation systems, and introduces its common applications.

Chapter 16 – Applications of

Displacement Ventilation

6.0 PDH Credits - 18 pages

This chapter provides displacement ventilation application information for the unique requirements that influence design procedure and equipment selection. These applications are specific to schools, theaters and auditoria, health care facilities, and industrial spaces.

Chapter 17 – Introduction to

Underfloor Air Distribution

6.0 PDH Credits - 12 pages

This chapter presents an introduction to underfloor air distribution (UFAD). UFAD systems are specifically designed to supply air directly into the occupied zone and promote stratification. Methods of air delivery can range from a stratified displacement style of flow to an air flow that mixes the occupied zone. These systems create a general upward flow of air in the space and, like displacement ventilation, allow the effective removal of heat, pollutants, and odors.

Chapter 18 – Introduction to

Radiant Heating and Cooling

6.0 PDH Credits - 28 pages

This chapter offers an introduction to the products, systems and design methodology of radiant heating and cooling systems, as well as the advantages and limitations.

Chapter 19 – Introduction to

Active and Passive Beams

6.0 PDH Credits - 32 pages

Active and passive beam systems use water as well as air to transport energy throughout the building, offering savings in energy, space, and maintenance costs. This chapter introduces active and passive beam systems and their design considerations, and addresses the unique requirements of some of the most common applications.

Chapter 20 – Introduction to

Health Care HVAC

2.0 PDH Credits - 51 pages

This chapter on the fundamentals of health care ventilation covers general topics including pathogen origin and airborne disease transmission, filtration, noise control, suitable health care air outlets and air movement products, as well as emerging technologies for hospital air distribution and energy savings. The information is intended to offer some of the background and basics required for the efficient design of health care air distribution systems.

Chapter 21 – Applications of

Health Care HVAC

5.0 PDH Credits - 51 pages

This chapter will help explain some of the key North American codes and standards for health care facility design as they relate to each space type, as well as the logic behind these design guidelines. Following these design standards, air distribution strategies are presented for patient care areas, waiting rooms, operating rooms, and hospital pharmacies and labs. The many design examples included in this chapter serve to further clarify the key points presented in each section.

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