The University of Antwerp has 20,000 students, manages 88 buildings covering 350,000m2 floor space in total, and is planning to add a further 15,000m2 floor space for high-tech laboratories in the near future. Mathias Capiau, HVAC expert from the University of Antwerp, explains the challenges they face: ‘One of our challenges is to follow a long-term vision in terms of climate objectives and reducing energy consumption, as well as finding additional future-proof solutions. We have lots of decentralised boiler rooms, for example, and need to decide the best way to deal with them.’
Better quality tender documents
Capiau explains more about the challenges facing the University of Antwerp, and how Hysopt is helping them: ‘There are a number of installations that we don’t fully understand in terms of functionality and hydraulic concept because of their scale. As a public administration, we’re also bound by laws on public governance. This means our tender documents and design dossiers need to be very accurate, because we only have a small margin to rectify any issues that we might encounter on site. We’re also integrating hydraulic calculations in the designs with help from Hysopt to ensure the quality of these tender documents is up to scratch.’
A dynamic model with different project phases
Capiau explains the benefits of collaborating with Hysopt: ‘The great thing about Hysopt is that it’s a spin-off from our Energy research group at the University of Antwerp. Hysopt has a number of important benefits for us. The main one is of course the hydraulic model, which gives us a real as-built dossier. So no paper versions with half missing, but a living dynamic model that we own and can use in all the different project phases. Another big advantage is that we can simulate the regulation strategy in advance. This is really important because it means you’re not simply giving free rein to the people integrating automatic controls. Hysopt is also really useful for us in the research phase, considering the cost of investing in HVAC installations. We can use the software to benchmark and compare different types of hydraulic installations to help us make the right, well-considered choices.’
Insights into very complex HVAC installations
‘The University of Antwerp definitely foresees a future collaboration with Hysopt, on one hand for the continued inventorying and optimisation of our technical building facilities and their perfect design. And on the other hand we also look forward to a future collaboration because of the technical expertise that Hysopt can contribute to our partnership. I can recommend Hysopt because it’s a unique and powerful tool that enables us to clearly understand very complex HVAC installations,’ concludes Capiau.