Century Village: Montana retirement community benefits from LoadMatch®

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Project Snapshot: A new senior living community in the heart of Manhattan -Montana, that is – provides year-round indoor comfort for its residents via a LoadMatch™ single pipe system combined with an integrated Tri-Water piping system. The LoadMatch system design, provided by Taco, won over the developers because of its installation and projected energy savings, estimated to be almost $27,000 in just a few years of operation. The project is unique in the way it replaced less expensive PTAC air conditioning units with more expensive but more efficient heat pumps. The heat pumps, however, were installed in a less expensive and more competitive first cost, integrated piping LoadMatch Tri-Water system for heating, cooling and fire protection.

The Century Village retirement community is being developed by Murray Brothers Construction of Belgrade, MT. Brothers Don and John Murray are part owners.
The Client: The Century Village retirement community is being built by the developer/contractor firm of Murray Brothers Construction, of Belgrade, MT. In the building business for thirty years, and as a general contractor for the past 15 years, Don and John Murray, as Murray Brothers Construction, got into the design-build business in the early 1990s. They are part owners of the Century Village development, which is operated by an outside management company.

The Buildings: Plans for Century Village call for three build phases: Phase 1, completed in May 2005, contains 36 units, which are assisted living units linked to a common living room area, a dining room and recreational area, capable of expanding to over 70 residents. Phase 2, scheduled for completion in by the end of 2005, will provide 8 independent living cottages situated around the main facility. All common areas in the Phase 1 portion of the development and the cottages have radiant heat under the floors, and all units’ walls are insulated with urethane to prevent cold air infiltration in Montana’s chilly winters. Lowell Springer, A.I.A., of Bozeman, MT was the architect on the project.

The LoadMatch Tri-Water System: The Murray brothers had initially thought of installing a lower cost PTAC system for summer cooling needs. They were very sensitive to operating costs, however, because their plans did not contemplate a sale – or “flip” - of the property after its completion. Architect Springer, who had worked with the LoadMatch system in previous projects, was looking for an innovative comfort system with lower operating costs for the project. The prospect of a hydonic system with an integrated piping system lent itself to a LoadMatch Tri-Water solution.

Hallway ceilings within the Century Village main building contain an integrated Tri-Water pumping system for fire protection and HVAC connecting to each apartment. A single pipe replaces three separate pipes (1 fire sprinkler and 2 heat pump).
Springer invited Taco to propose a LoadMatch system that would provide an integrated piping system combining heat, cooling and fire protection. The resulting system employs 55 water source heat pumps instead of PTACs. When supplemental heat is needed on very cold days, the system’s more efficient and lower operating cost natural gas boiler provides it.

Because LoadMatch is a single pipe system, heat, cooling and support for the fire sprinkler system all come directly off the main (single) pipe loop. In essence, the HVAC piping was free. Less expensive installation costs were thereby achieved due to the fact that one pipe could provide water for all three functions - less pipe was needed and no ductwork was involved.

A heat pump terminal unit inside a residence at Century Village. Note the Taco LoadMatch circulator.
The LoadMatch Solution: Taco’s LoadMatch system provides better comfort than DX air systems as well as conventional 4-pipe hydronic systems. It is self-balancing and eliminates the need for most balancing valves by replacing them with small, energy-efficient LoadMatch circulators. The LoadMatch circulators direct water to where it needs to go, as opposed to forcing the water through the system’s piping loop.

In the case of the Century Village project, the LoadMatch Tri-Water system solution brought the project costs for heating and cooling into line with the developers’ budget for the project. Plus, the system is expected to provide the owners almost $27,000 in energy savings in just a few years. Says Don Murray, “The LoadMatch system is functioning very well, and our residents enjoyed a comfortable summer. In terms of indoor comfort, we expect the system will do just as well when the cold weather arrives.”

 Click here for a
PDF of the case study.