Darien Police look into HVAC problems at police station

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The Darien Police Station is seeking a new heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system.

The Darien Police Department is taking measures to recommission a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in its building.

At Monday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, the board unanimously approved a $25,000 transfer in relation to this work.

The transfer, which will be from the town’s capital contingency account to a new, unnamed account, relates to problems the department has been having with its HVAC system.

According to Darien Police Chief Ray Osborne, in the summer of 2018, the department experienced pressurization issues, high humidity, condensation coming through the ceiling, water drips throughout the building, and stained ceiling tiles that caused mold in the locker rooms.

The building also has some issues with energy usage, Public Works Director Ed Gentile said. “We are heating and cooling the building during the summertime at the same time,” he said.

The company that will be used to investigate this issue is SEC, Sustainable Energy Solutions, out of Berlin.  

SEC comes “highly recommended from one of our neighboring towns and from Eversource,” Gentile said.

In determining why all the issues have developed in the first place, Gentile said that in 2012, when the police building was being renovated, a lot of the recommendations that were made “weren’t implemented or weren’t implemented in total.”

“That may or may not have contributed to some of the problems that we’re having now,” he added.

The work will be contracted in three phases: Planning, investigative and reporting. These phases will take three or four months to complete, according to Gentile.

“This will take us from a heating season into a cooling season,” he said. “We are looking at a broad range of temperature outside of the building that the inside of the building is going to need to match.”

Part of the reporting phase will include a preliminary estimate for those recommendations made by the consultant.

“We will have some budgetary numbers when we come back with the report to present (to residents),” Gentile said.

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