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During this trying time, UC San Diego Extension remains committed to helping you achieve your goals. In an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have transitioned all of our Spring and Summer courses to an online or hybrid format. Online classes will have pre-recorded lectures each week and guided assignments from the instructor. Hybrid classes are fully online with live virtual class meetings each week using our Zoom conferencing system.

HVAC System Design

This course reviews the advantages and disadvantages of the latest energy efficient HVAC systems including variable air volume, chilled beam, positive displacement, ventilation, variable refrigerant flow, natural ventilation, and hybrid natural ventilation. Various aspects of Green Net Zero Energy Buildings will be discussed in this course.

Broken into the following major categories, this course is focused on reviewing the most advanced HVAC technologies and solutions that save installation, energy, and operational costs: 1) HVAC Systems; 2) Fans; 3) Air Distribution and Zoning; 4) Pumps; 5) HVAC Coils; and 6) Chiller and Boiler Selection.   Each course starts with the fundamentals followed by practical application, real life examples, and the most common design solutions.  An optional field trip is included.

In this course, students form teams and they design an actual HVAC System. They all present their projects before a panel of industry experts judges, who rate their projects.  The “HVAC Systems Design and Control” classes at UCSD focus on practical aspects of the art and science of Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC). The courses evaluate practical solutions for energy efficient and sustainable HVAC design. The program is designed to provide an outstanding means of professional advancement for those who are directly or indirectly involved with HVAC systems.

Course Highlights:

  • HVAC Systems
  • Innovative HVAC Solutions for Green Buildings
  • Air Distribution Systems
  • Fan Curves and Fan Selection
  • Piping Design, Pump Curves and Pump Selection
  • Coil Selection and Characteristics
  • HVAC Zoning
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Chiller and Boiler Selection
  • HVAC Solutions for Green Buildings

Course Benefits:

  • Learn the advantages and disadvantages of various types of HVAC systems.
  • Learn about chilled water and hot water piping and pumping design.
  • Learn to design basic HVAC systems.
  • Learn the advantages and disadvantages of HVAC chillers.
  • Lead the process of HVAC system design.


First Place team in the Summer 2020 HVAC System Design course competition.

Required Textbook:
The Fundamentals of HVAC Direct (ISBN-13: 978-0970447135) Available at: http://www.hvacddc.comDigital Controls, Third Edition

Optional Reading: ASHRAE 2016 Handbook - HVAC Systems and Equipment (ISBN-13: 978-1939200273) and 2015 ASHRAE Handbook - HVAC Applications (ISBN-13: 978-1936504930) 

Course Typically Offered: In-Class. Please check course matrix as schedule fluctuates.

Prerequisite: Students should have a desire to learn concepts in heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC).

Next Step: Upon completion of this course, consider taking other courses in the HVAC Systems Design and Control certificate program.

Contact: For more information about this course, please email

Course Number: AMES-40021
Credit: 3.00 unit(s)
Related Certificate Programs: Facilities ManagementHVAC Systems Design and Control

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