Alternative ways to teaching HVAC and related subjects through actual project involvement-three case studies

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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Publication Title

2002 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Vive L'ingenieur

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At UNLV two courses in HVAC design are taught on a regular basis. These courses also attract students who are interested in the subject and in some cases may have some previous experience to continue in that general area by taking these two courses as an elective which can count towards their undergraduate degree or as part of their course fulfillment towards a Masters Degree. When the student has had some exposure to the subject matter it becomes a little bit more challenging to present them with a situation that can be satisfying for them. This paper presents three cases regarding studies of typical projects that somewhat more experienced students were involved in to satisfy part of their degree requirement. The first one was an actual “consulting job” on campus that the student was involved in to perform an indoor air quality study at the Hotel College building at UNLV. The second one was a job to perform an independent senior undergraduate study on the comparison of lifecycle costs of two HVAC systems that were of interest to the office of Rehabilitation/ Facilities/Planning department for the local County School District. The third case is an ongoing project where UNLV along with the local electric utility company have formed an Energy Assessment Center (EAC) to address the needs and concerns of customers who want to reduce the peak energy demand and try to qualify for a rebate from the power company. It was found that these projects can be handled by the students and were of special interest to them in giving a hands-on- experience when dealing with an everyday technical problem. These three projects have been found to present invaluable learning tools to the students outside the classroom and where the feedback from the students is to try to have more of these types of studies.