University United Methodist Church
Fort Worth, TX
- mechanical / plumbing engineering
The main sanctuary at University United Methodist Church was built in 1949 and is still being used for worship today. However, the nearly 70-year-old building’s HVAC system was beginning to deteriorate, creating a need for a new HVAC option that would best benefit the building while also reducing operating costs. Hired to provide mechanical engineering services for this project, BHB decided a VRF system, also known as Variable Refrigerant Flow, would be the best option for the sanctuary to replace its existing chiller.
VRF is an air conditioning system that adjusts refrigerant flow to different areas of a building as needed, based on heating or cooling demand, instead of distributing large quantities of refrigerant at all times – creating practical zoning, as well as increased efficiency and flexibility.
The choice to go with VRF simplified the sanctuary’s heating and cooling equipment requirements. Instead of having a chiller and boiler each with their own pumping systems, they now have two split systems, each with one outdoor condensing unit and one indoor air handler unit. The sanctuary utilizes straight heating or cooling, meaning one indoor unit is connected to one outdoor unit to provide comfortable heating throughout the building. Just like the building itself, the reasons for implementing a VRF system in the 69-year old sanctuary are unique due to its age and electrical parameters.
Les Brown, PE, LEED AP
Les Brown, PE, LEED AP
Founder | Senior Mechanical Engineer
Growing up, Les Brown wanted to be an architect. He later “came to his senses” and went on to receive a mechanical engineering degree from Geneva College in 1979. Les has over 44 years of experience in mechanical systems design and project management. He actively provides design and management for a variety of commercial, institutional, and municipal facilities.
His design experience includes HVAC troubleshooting, equipment replacement, code compliance, energy conservation, thermodynamics, building automation control systems, plumbing systems design, heat transfer, and temperature controls. He is also highly qualified in mechanical systems design for specialized environmental controlled areas, including hospitals, labs, and computer/data processing facilities.
Les is an active member and former chapter president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. He is also a member of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers and the National Fire Protection Association. Outside of work, Les enjoys hunting, fishing, and anything that involves outdoor sports. When they’re not spending time with their kids, Les and his wife, Gina, like to travel. His favorite place to visit is Alaska or anywhere up north that has mountains, trees, wildlife and cooler weather.
Project ExperienceArlington Animal Services Center
Catholic Charities of Fort Worth
Weatherford College Professional Services
Bachelor’s Degree/1979/Mechanical Engineering