One of the most interesting projects that I had the opportunity to work on was with the in-house designers and engineers at a secure government facility in the Metropolitan Washington area. It actually included a lot of mini projects, each with their own unique renovations to consider. It was empowering that I was able to start with a folder full of files we had received from the client and end with load calculations and airflow analysis I was able to perform myself.
This project was a learning experience for me in many ways. In addition to learning how to create take-offs, I was introduced to both Bluebeam and Trace, which were both vital throughout my calculations. I also realized how critical it is to receive and make note of all of the relevant information, such as the equipment and occupancies of each room, as well as windows and external walls. Additionally, creating rooms, systems, and templates were all functions I learned to use in TRACE, and I saw how creating templates can add to the efficiency of the entire process.
As much as I learned, there were also some challenges I faced in the project. We weren’t always provided with the mechanical plans, furniture plans, and equipment lists for each section of the project. This made it hard to know precisely what loads I should consider in my load calculations. I also came across an interesting naming convention that the facility uses to name each room, including the floor, ring and wing.
Overall, I enjoyed being able to start this project with the take-offs, ending with analyzing the airflows and making the required adjustments. As with other projects I worked on, I felt I was given the responsibility to do these calculations on my own, with some guidance from Andrew Maio, and I was able to apply everything I learned from working on this project in future projects I worked on.