A feature posted at Buildings.com looks at the efficacy of chilled beam construction as a way to efficiently heat and cool a building, though the piece says that it is used primarily for cooling purposes. The question researched by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) was whether chilled beams – which rely on a water coiled coil within the beam – is a good approach in hot and humid climates that cover much of the United States.
The fear was that condensation would be a problem. The detailed article concluded that a properly installed chilled beam system shouldn’t encounter such a problem and that the long term savings can be substantial. Chilled beams often are successfully used in Europe and there have been enough implementations in the United States to allay any fears.
The Daily Utah Chronicle described renovations to the Rio Tinto Kennecott Mechanical Engineering Building at the University of Utah. One of the steps taken, the story says, is the use of chillened beam system that cut energy use by 53 percent.