Headquartered in West Sacramento, California, The Money Store’s existing facilities were inadequate for its growing staff. To help with its consolidation and expansion, The Money Store contracted with E.M. Kado and Associates to design a new facility to meet their needs. Wanting to complement and enhance the West Sacramento skyline, E.M. Kado and Associates designed the new building with a distinctive tiered appearance.

The mechanical systems in this unique building were designed and installed by Airco Mechanical, Inc. They selected several Ruskin products to control the ventilation system and provide the HVAC life/safety protection. Norman Wright Mechanical Equipment, Co., Ruskin’s Sacramento representative, provided expert support to complete the design, installation and  commissioning of the system.

life safety protection

The HVAC system includes chillers installed in the basement level. With two 74,000 CFM centrifugal fans, outside air and return air are directed to a large acoustical plenum. The system is designed with efficiency in mind and to meet ASHRAE 62-89 recommendations. The HVAC system also includes life safety protection which, in case of a fire, helps prevent flame spread and smoke migration within the building, including the four-story atrium.

Airco selected the Ruskin IAQ50 air flow measuring and control damper to control the minimum outside air and report the information to the Building Automation System (BAS). The IAQ50 damper is installed in the outside air plenum. This is matched with Ruskin’s CD36 low leakage dampers which are installed in the outside air openings of the plenum.

smoke exhaust system

Ruskin CBS7 backdraft damper is installed on the discharge of the smoke exhaust fan located in the Penthouse

The outside air dampers remain in the full closed position except when the building’s controls signal a free cooling condition. When the outside air dampers open, the IAQ50’s flow measuring and control functions are bypassed. When the outside air dampers close, the IAQ50 returns to measuring and controlling the minimum outside air. CD36 dampers are also installed in the plenum wall to control the return air path.

Ruskin CD80VG2 dampers are installed on the discharge of the return and supply air centrifugal fans to prevent air backflow if one fan is off-line for maintenance. A Ruskin CBS7 backdraft damper is installed on the discharge of the smoke exhaust fan located in the Penthouse. The damper prevents backflow into the smoke exhaust system when the system is not in operation.

combination fire smoke dampers

To help protect the employees and provide a safer environment, Ruskin fire dampers and combination fire/smoke dampers are installed in HVAC penetrations of fire rated shaft enclosures, walls and corridors throughout the building. All of the Ruskin combination fire smoke dampers include “Controlled Closure” design. This 3-15 second controlled closure design protects the HVAC system from instantaneous pressure shocks that occur without this important feature.

“Ruskin’s complete product offering simplifies the HVAC design process,” says Dean Schouweiler, Airco Mechanical Senior Project Engineer. Bob Beyer, Norman Wright Mechanical Equipment, agrees. “Having the broad range of products Ruskin offers made this project a win win for everyone involved. This job included a number of unique challenges and Ruskin provided the solutions.”

HVAC life/safety protection

These and many other Ruskin damper and louver products are available through the company’s representatives. The Money Store building expansion project incorporates several Ruskin products that control the ventilation system and provide HVAC life/safety protection.

These include:

  • IAQ50 Air Flow Measuring Control Dampers
  • CD36 Control Dampers
  • CBS7 Fan Discharge Backdraft Dampers
  • CD80VG2 Fan Discharge Dampers
  • FSD36 Fire/Smoke Dampers
  • FSD36C Corridor Fire/Smoke Dampers
  • IBD40 Integral Sleeve Fire Dampers
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Lessons From The Past: The Value Of Ventilation In A Pandemic
Lessons From The Past: The Value Of Ventilation In A Pandemic

If history truly repeats itself, might we learn lessons from the past – even lessons about managing a novel coronavirus that upends our way of life and changes the world forever? The most commonly cited parallel to the COVID-19 pandemic is the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. Both diseases are caused by viruses that had not been seen before. In both cases, no one had immunity to a highly infectious germ that was spread through respiratory droplets. Both outbreaks occurred in multiple waves over several years. Furthermore, in both cases, it became clear that ventilation, fresh air, open spaces and sunlight are useful factors in promoting good health. Fresh Air Movement During the time of the Spanish flu, there were signs posted in buses and throughout New York that advised: "Keep your bedroom windows open [to] prevent influenza, pneumonia [and] tuberculosis." There was even a national campaign known as the “Fresh Air Movement,” calling for people to be outside more, and urging greater ventilation indoors. The movement included a kind of traveling show that spread the word about the “national poison,” which was the result of people breathing stale air inside closed rooms. These concerns predated by decades our enthusiasm for “indoor air quality.” In became common after 1918 to position radiators providing steam heat under open windows to combine warmth with fresh air, even on the coldest of days.   The Open-Air Treatment of Pandemic Influenza It was also common practice by 1918 to place the sick outside in tents or in specially designed open wards But the advantages of fresh air go back even further, as described in a 2009 article in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) titled “The Open-Air Treatment of Pandemic Influenza.” During the 1918 pandemic, as today, many cities banned public assembly, closed schools, isolated those infected and mandated the wearing of face masks. It was also common practice by 1918 to place the sick outside in tents or in specially designed open wards, according to the AJPH article. The practice dates back to English physician John Coakley Lettsom (1744-1815), who was among the first advocates of the “open-air method.” The 1800s saw emergence of tuberculosis sanitoriums, which treated the lung disease with a combination of fresh air, gentle exercise in the open, nutrition, and a minimum of medicines. Lack of ventilation Spending time in well-ventilated houses in the country became seen as superior to patients being confined to warm, badly ventilated rooms to protect them from the supposedly harmful effects of cold air. Lack of ventilation forced patients to breathe foul air, contaminated with germs, over and over. Research later confirmed the importance of measures to prevent influenza virus from spreading through buildings. Improvements in air-handling equipment, portable filtration units, and introduction of physical barriers and other partitions or doors also provided protection. These lessons were clear long before the advent of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Their successful deployment during the pandemic have further supported their value. importance of HVAC Although the COVID-19 pandemic caught the world off-guard, there were plenty of historical precedents However, lockdowns during the pandemic have also tended to keep the population closed up in buildings, sometimes with less-than-adequate ventilation and access to fresh air. In retrospect, some of those decisions seem regrettable.  Although the COVID-19 pandemic caught the world off-guard, there were plenty of historical precedents. Copious research over the years supported the best approaches to stemming the spread of the virus, although it took time for historical insights to work their way into the general practice implemented in the current pandemic. There is also historical precedent for the importance of HVAC in the current pandemic. Ventilation and fresh air have become higher priorities, as has the HVAC market’s role in providing a safer indoor climate with minimal disease spread.

Pandemic Spotlights Need To Balance Costs While Improving Air Quality In Schools
Pandemic Spotlights Need To Balance Costs While Improving Air Quality In Schools

Attitudes about indoor air quality need to change, especially given the current pandemic that forces people to spend most of their time indoors. But addressing the pandemic through increased ventilation and better indoor air quality can be expensive. For example, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest in the nation, has spent $6 million on HVAC upgrades and new air filters in response to the pandemic and expects to pay about $1.7 million a month for ongoing inspections and filter replacements. Updating & Improving HVAC Systems Updating HVAC systems to minimize virus spread has been an expensive proposition all around. Some school districts in California report the costs are insurmountable. Sometimes seeking to replace or update an HVAC system opens a can of worms: Electrical systems must be rewired, asbestos must be removed, and/or an expensive roof needs to be replaced. Schools in low-income areas are especially likely to be in poor condition, and unable to afford improvements. Some school districts have used money from the federal CARES Act – a $2 trillion federal economic package passed in March – to make ventilation improvements. Hope remains that additional state and/or federal money will be available, but funding is still likely to be inadequate. Airborne Transmission Study showed that some classrooms had air change rates below 0.5 changes per hour The airborne transmission was initially underplayed as a means of spreading the novel coronavirus. There was more emphasis on the dangers of touch during the early days of the pandemic. However, the airborne (aerosol) spread is now believed to make up about 75% of transmissions. A group of 239 scientists from around the world advocated more action to address aerosol spread in a July 2020 open letter to the World Health Organization (WHO). The concern is a global challenge. For example, a survey of 20 classrooms in the United Kingdom, carried out by National Air Quality Testing Services (NAQTS), revealed very low air change rates that could increase the risk of virus transmission. The study showed that some classrooms had air change rates below 0.5 changes per hour (3 to 5 changes per hour would be desirable). Even small increases in flow rate could reduce the risk of infection significantly. Raising airflows from zero to 100 cu m/hour cuts the risk by up to a third, according to NAQTS. Fresh Air Ventilation & Filtration The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) advised the UK Government last fall of a need to ensure undisrupted education for children of all ages. A critical part of keeping children in school is clear guidance and support packages, including better ventilation and air filtration, particularly through winter. The German government advises schools to open their windows for at least five minutes every hour Other countries can learn a lot about the value of opening windows to allow in more fresh air from the Germans. For years, Germans have habitually opened their windows twice a day, even in winter. In fact, “lüften,” or airing a room, is among the cheapest and most effective ways of decreasing the spread of the coronavirus. The German government advises schools to open their windows for at least five minutes every hour; for example, when classes are changing. Improving Indoor Air Quality Airing of rooms is a likely factor in the lower number of coronavirus cases reported in Germany compared to, say, the United Kingdom. In the end, improving indoor air quality involves some combination of letting in more fresh air, upgrading air filtration systems, and installing technologies such as UV light to kill pathogens. However, implementing these measures only mitigates the likelihood of contracting COVID-19. Some risk remains.

What Technologies And Trends Will Define HVAC In 2021?
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