Space Heaters - Expert Commentary

The Role Of ‘Smart’ HVAC In The Buildings Of The Future
The Role Of ‘Smart’ HVAC In The Buildings Of The Future

The last 18 months have seen an acceleration in digitalization across many aspects of work and home life. Home spaces have become workspaces, and commercial buildings have had to adapt to changed use and lower occupancy rates. Coupled with this, there is a growing need to dramatically reduce carbon emissions from buildings - according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the buildings and construction sectors combined are responsible for over 30 percent of global energy consumption, and nearly 40 percent of carbon emissions. Installing separate systems This means that demand for a smarter approach to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) management is crucial for building managers, who need to ensure that their properties can adapt to changed use, respond to the wellbeing of their occupants, and run efficiently to keep emissions as low as possible. Armed with this data, facility managers can take proactive steps to improve usage Of course, architects and developers have been installing separate systems to control HVAC for decades which have given building managers greater control and access to different areas of a site. However, with digitalization comes the addition of web-based platforms to allow these verticals to integrate seamlessly with each other, providing data on how efficiently and effectively a building operates through a single view application. Armed with this data, facility managers can take proactive steps to improve usage, which will see properties proactively react to the environmental and personal needs of their occupants. Centrally controlled lighting Many commercial buildings will already have a certain element of smart technology installed – from centrally controlled lighting and HVAC systems to remote management of security and energy management systems. However, it is often the case that these multiple applications are managed in silo. This means facilities managers don’t have a consolidated view of their data. In addition, not all managers will be using the data these devices produce to take steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their properties. Embracing smart technology – and a central control platform - gives building managers access to instant data on how their HVAC assets are performing in one place. This insight can be used to gain a thorough understanding of how the different systems in the building interact, and the external factors that may impact them. Effective building controls By using this data, operators can implement effective building controls to manage efficiencies By using this data, operators can implement effective building controls to manage efficiencies, identify maintenance issues, ensure the wellbeing of occupants, and inform future investment priorities. So, for example, if a building is now being used in a different way due to changed occupancy, the data will show the manager what needs to be done to ensure it is operating as efficiently as possible. We know that there will be increased demand for more flexible spaces as companies move towards remote or hybrid working models. It is likely that we will visit our offices less for day-to-day work and use them more as hubs to meet and collaborate. The ability to turn a traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ building into an agile asset that can learn and adapt to its surroundings will become increasingly important. Smart HVAC management Smart offices will become independently intelligent, learning how occupants use the space and services, adjusting lighting, HVAC and other systems to maximize health and comfort. Smart HVAC management will create a trend for ‘healthier’ buildings that will have a positive impact in terms of improved quality of life and wellbeing of occupants, ultimately resulting in higher productivity levels. In short, there has never been a better time to adopt smart HVAC technologies. Intelligent buildings that would have been unimaginable a few decades ago are now a reality. As buildings become smarter, they can learn how occupants use the space and services and proactively adjust lighting, HVAC and other systems to improve use, cut emissions and reduce energy consumption.

Heating Whole Districts Through Heat Networks
Heating Whole Districts Through Heat Networks

Pete Mills, Commercial Technical Operations Manager at Bosch Commercial & Industrial outlines how cities are using heat networks to achieve UK carbon emission targets. Heat networks, or district heating, are becoming an ever-greater part of our industry’s involvement in larger scale schemes. The ability to help the decarbonization of heat both now and in the future has made them an attractive solution to the new-build sector, as well as those undergoing deep renovation works. Net zero 2050 The UK’s net zero 2050 target may seem like a long way off. But steps need to be made now in order to reach this, something that our leading cities have recognized. Many have set their own carbon targets to ensure they stay on track. This is why heat networks’ ability to provide efficient heat and hot water to multiple buildings (and as the name suggests, whole districts) is a particular reason why many cities up and down the country are turning to them as a solution. What are heat networks? Generally, heat networks are defined as a system of supply pipes with a centralized heat generator (Energy Centre) that serves multiple domestic or non-domestic dwellings. These are usually in different buildings, but sometimes within a single large building like an apartment block or a university campus.District heating is often used to describe larger scale systems District heating is often used to describe larger scale systems of this sort, where there will be many buildings connected over a larger geographic area. In these systems, although the heat is provided ‘off-dwelling’, it is also common to have more than one energy centre. The principle is that energy for heating (and sometimes cooling) is supplied through the system of pipes, with each individual user being metered for the energy they use. Minimize pipe lengths Heat networks offer a number of advantages but are best suited to areas where there is high heat density, that is to say where there are multiple ‘households’ close together in order to minimize the length of pipes within the network. One of the key advantages for heat networks is their adaptability to use any form of heat generation. A key advantage from an environmental perspective is that they make use of waste heat, from sources such as electricity generation, waste incineration and industry. Heat networks are defined as a system of supply pipes with a centralized heat generator that serves multiple domestic or non-domestic dwellings The scale of the combined heat requirements of all these dwellings also helps the inclusion of renewable energy sources, which may be more difficult and costly to achieve at the individual dwelling level. Overall, their flexibility to use whatever heat source is available, makes them easier to decarbonize in the future.Other key benefits for Local Authorities and Housing Associations have been the elimination of individual gas appliances within dwellings. This has significant cost savings reductions for Local Authorities and Housing Associations where gas landlord checks are eliminated, along with the issues associated with access. City developments Today City Councils and developers are opting for heat networks to provide the heating and hot water for new redevelopment projects. The largest of these is the ambitious Leeds Heat Network, which once completed is set to be one of the UK’s largest new heat networks, connecting 1,983 council homes and numerous businesses in Leeds. The first scheme under the City Region’s District Heating program, the green initiative looks to reduce carbon emissions for the area as well as energy bills for the residents living there.The green initiative looks to reduce carbon emissions for the area Even more innovative is how the network will connect to the Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility, which burns black bin bag waste to generate heat. In theory this would make the network fully sustainable. There will be back-up support from efficient Bosch Commercial & Industrial boilers, which will only be switched on when required, say the colder months where the need for heat is higher. Climate change targets An hour’s drive away from Leeds is the city with one of the most ambitious climate targets in the UK. Manchester intends to be carbon-neutral, climate resilient and zero waste by 2038 – 12 years before the overall UK net zero 2050 target needs to be hit.To help achieve its ambitions, work has been taking place on the Manchester Civic Quarter Heat Network (CQHN). Manchester hasshown the versatility of heat networks due to the number of commercial buildings it will support The project will generate low-carbon power, heat and hot water for initially six council buildings and some residential properties with the possibility for the network to grow and connect further buildings across the city centre. Some see district heating as a solution solely for residential purposes, however Manchester have shown the versatility of heat networks due to the number of commercial buildings it will support. The project itself has also given Manchester a new landmark, the impressive ‘Tower of Light’, which incorporates the five flues from the technology powering the network. This beacon not only represents the city’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint but also the innovative nature of district heating. Heating Battersea Power Station The final example lies in the Capital and may be one of the most famous developments in the UK at the moment. Battersea Power Station is not only one of the most iconic landmarks in London, but also the center piece of one of the most high-profile, large scale mixed-use redevelopment projects ever undertaken in the Capital.Battersea Power Station is a high-profile, large scale mixed-use redevelopment project The project involves the development of a district heating and cooling network, with a two-level underground energy centre – one of the largest of its kind. This complex heat, cooling and electricity network will continue to expand as the project continues to undergo its development stages. Looking ahead These are just a few examples of cities taking advantage of district heating and its many benefits, but near all cities in the UK have multiple heat network projects underway. Like with most innovations, smaller urban areas should then follow suit. The importance of district heating will no doubt become more and more prominent. Its ability to power whole areas and multiple buildings can already help efficiency levels, however its potential may be even greater in the future. One key energy transformation that is looking more and more likely is the decarbonization of the gas grid to hydrogen blends and ultimately 100% hydrogen. If these can be utilized in heat networks then the benefits will definitely put us and UK cities in a good place as we continue our journey towards net zero.

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IWBI Announces New WELL Performance Rating Focused On Using Dynamic Human And Building Performance Metrics
IWBI Announces New WELL Performance Rating Focused On Using Dynamic Human And Building Performance Metrics

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) announces the upcoming launch of the WELL Performance Rating, a new designation rewarding building owners and operators for using measurable and validated building and human performance metrics to gain insights into health and well-being of the people inside and enhance conditions in their spaces based on those insights. The rating will consist of features drawn from the WELL Building Standard (WELL) along with new pathways and beta features that will be informed by the IWBI Performance Advisory, WELL Performance Testing Organizations (PTOs) and a host of industry pioneers in smart building technologies. Smart building technologies “The industry has done a great job of capturing environmental building performance metrics on site – energy and water use, for example – but we need to be able to marry these eco-friendly indicators with health performance metrics to enable balanced choices about the health of planet and the health of people,” said Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO of IWBI. The industry has done a great job of capturing environmental building performance metrics on site" “With this incredible and diverse array of partners, advisors and other contributors, we are confident that the new rating will unlock and accelerate the use of smarter, more integrated approaches to improve and enhance well-being and performance.” The WELL Performance Rating will be comprised of WELL features specific leadership thresholds air and water quality, thermal comfort, acoustics, lighting and experience, helping projects both quantitative and qualitative to track, monitor and improve the performance of both the buildings and the people inside. Stand-Alone designation IWBI’s global network of 42 WELL Performance Testing Organizations, IWBI member organizations and its broader community of over 18,000 WELL Accredited Professionals (WELL APs) and registrants in more than 100 countries will support customers in their pursuit of the WELL Performance Rating. This new designation will add to a growing suite of WELL ratings that includes the WELL Health-Safety Rating and the forthcoming WELL Health Equity Rating. Each can be achieved as a stand-alone designation or milestone along the way to WELL Certification at Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum level. For WELL Portfolio participants, achieving these ratings will contribute to their WELL Score. IWBI members contributing to the development of the WELL Performance Rating include Aircuity, Carrier, CETEC, Cognian Technologies, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Kaiterra, Lennox International, Schneider Electric, SGS, Thornton Tomasetti and Trane Technologies. Creating healthy buildings We have led the industry in HVAC and building health and are currently pursuing certification" What industry pioneers say about the WELL Performance Rating: “Like WELL, we have long been committed to taking a holistic approach to the full spectrum of factors that create healthy buildings for people, including air quality, safety, and [functional] conditions such as thermal comfort, lighting, sound and environmental issues that contribute to better cognitive function and well-being.” “We have led the industry in HVAC and building health and are currently pursuing certification under the rigorous WELL v2 standard at our own world headquarters. Carrier is proud to support the WELL Performance Rating, which will provide people with confidence to return to the things and places they love and missed,” said David Gitlin, Chairman and CEO, Carrier. Innovative building solutions “At Honeywell, we’re not waiting for the future, we’re making it by creating innovative building solutions that foster and improve well-being and unlock positive outcomes at scale. By collaborating with IWBI on the WELL Performance Rating, we’re ushering in a new era of building performance, bridging building health while being conscious of environmental impact, and equally important, inspiring innovation and spurring market transformation that advances occupant well-being and productivity,” said Vimal Kapur, President and CEO, Honeywell Building Technologies (HBT). At Honeywell, we’re not waiting for the future, we’re making it by creating innovative building solutions" “As we continue to build on our history of more than 135 years delivering smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, we are excited about the opportunity to collaborate on the launch of IWBI’s WELL Performance Rating. The Rating will serve as a powerful accelerant that we know the market needs right now to help us all realize our shared vision for healthy buildings, while also aligning seamlessly with our proven and leading work to improve operating efficiency, boost productivity and advance sustainability,” said George Oliver, Chairman and CEO, Johnson Controls. Pioneering integrated solutions “As we move more decisively and strategically to meet our decarbonization goals in all buildings all around the globe, it’s imperative that we are just as ambitious in seizing the accompanying opportunity to optimize these spaces for the health of the people inside.” “By leveraging the science behind WELL and with today’s launch of the WELL Performance Rating, we are poised to chart a path to remake the buildings of the future and continue to deliver on Schneider Electric’s longstanding mission to pioneer integrated solutions that leverage the power of digitalization to achieve peak performance, efficiency and reliability, all while enhancing occupant health,” said Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman & CEO, Schneider Electric. Improving human experience Now more than ever, people need safer, healthier, and more efficient indoor spaces" “Now more than ever, people need safer, healthier, and more efficient indoor spaces. We focus on helping building owners and operators assess, mitigate and monitor indoor environmental quality to ensure occupants’ well-being and the building’s performance. The WELL Performance Rating helps validate that the right measures are being taken for people to thrive in the spaces where they live, learn, work and play,” said Dave Regnery, CEO, Trane Technologies. “AI and IoT technologies perform at their best when employed to improve human experience. We are proud to collaborate with IWBI through the WELL Performance Rating as we evolve our services to deploy technology-based solutions to address changing market needs. This initiative supports us on our journey to becoming a more sustainable, data-driven company and our commitment to enabling a better, safer and more interconnected world for all our stakeholders,” said Frankie NG, CEO, SGS, WELL Performance Testing Organization. Evidence-Based solutions "IWBI has been instrumental in driving the evolution of building occupant health and well-being, cementing scientific rigor and robust measurable goals as a means to advance building performance. The innovative WELL Performance Rating is set to become another ground-breaking tool,” said Adam Garnys, Principal Consultant Strategy, and Dr. Vyt Garnys, Managing Director & Principal Consultant, CETEC, WELL Performance Testing Organization. “There is new urgency in how we shape, guide and foster advancements in building performance to better align with the science of supporting human health. Through this collaborative launch of the WELL Performance Rating, we are doubling down on that promise of actionable, evidence-based solutions to drive continuous improvement across the key health metrics that help enhance productivity, increase comfort and support well-being,” said Liam Bates, Co-Founder and CEO, Kaiterra, IWBI Performance Advisor.

Trane Provides Energy Conservation Measures And Energy Saving Solutions To Upgrade The Town Of Oro Valley’s Community Center
Trane Provides Energy Conservation Measures And Energy Saving Solutions To Upgrade The Town Of Oro Valley’s Community Center

Desiring to offer a community center to its residents, the Town of Oro Valley purchased a facility with existing membership. The Town identified within this facility that the building systems were inefficient and at the end of their useful lives, and the facility’s energy consumption was high. Facility infrastructure upgrades With no funds immediately available, the Town of Oro Valley was challenged to move forward with facility improvements and infrastructure upgrades following acquisition. “There is a considerable focus on efficiency and conservation in the community, so that served as a major tenet for us as we considered upgrades,” said Stacey Lemos, the Chief Financial Officer for the Town of Oro Valley, adding “Another challenge we had was that this is a living and breathing facility, with no significant seasonal slow times and events to work around.” Preliminary energy assessment Trane conducted a preliminary energy assessment, walking through the facilities to gather information Based on a previous relationship with Trane for mechanical systems maintenance, the Town of Oro Valley was interested in creative solutions that the company might provide. Trane conducted a preliminary energy assessment, walking through the facilities to gather information. Using a State of Arizona cooperative contract, Oro Valley selected Trane as their energy services company (ESCO). Identifying energy saving opportunities, The Town of Oro Valley entered into a performance contract with Trane, which would allow the Town to pay for upgrades, with the energy savings realized from the project. The Trane team conducted an investment grade audit (IGA) to thoroughly evaluate the entire facility, including the 50,000 sq. feet building, tennis courts, and golf courses. Energy conservation measures (ECMs) Trane defined potential energy conservation measures (ECMs) designed to reduce consumption of electricity, gas and water. This holistic approach would provide Oro Valley with their desired energy savings solutions, while maintaining a budget neutral project. Improving efficiency and comfort, by creating revenue opportunities, Trane replaced thirty-five HVAC packaged units with more energy efficient systems that feature multiple-zone cooling, to meet comfort demands of staff and guests. LED lighting installed throughout the facility To reduce energy use and improve lighting quality, LED lighting was installed throughout the facility, including more than 250 fixtures on the tennis courts, six wall mounts in the racquetball viewing area, and flood lights near the pool. With the new fixtures, the center can now better accommodate revenue generating events, such as area tennis tournaments. Trane helped reduce water consumption with equipment and controls integration. With its location in the desert, water conservation also was a key issue for the facility. Trane analyzed industry data regarding use per acre-foot standards, to evaluate water use at the golf courses and presented solutions to reduce consumption. Trane Tracer SC building automation system (BAS) The new pumping station uses variable speed pump motors to help reduce energy use The north pumping station was replaced early on in the project, due to an unexpected mechanical failure. The new pumping station uses variable speed pump motors to help reduce energy use, along with a Trane Tracer SC building automation system (BAS), to enable connectivity to the remote pumping equipment. The existing south pumping station was retrofitted with a Tracer SC and both irrigation pumping stations were integrated into a new Tracer Ensemble Enterprise Building Management System. Access Multiple sites from single web-based interface The Tracer Ensemble Enterprise Building Management System enables The Town of Oro Valley to easily access multiple sites and equipment from a single web-based interface. It also allows Trane to monitor, trend and validate water consumption in real time, identifying savings opportunities. The swimming pool pumping filtration and heating systems were replaced to reduce maintenance and chemical costs, eliminating the chlorination system, while improving overall operation. A new pool cover was also installed to reduce water evaporation and heat loss in the cooler months. The significant water use reduction achieved by the upgrades was a key factor in enabling the project to remain budget neutral. Trane Air-FI wireless mesh network The community center BAS was also integrated to the building management system and HVAC controls were installed using Trane Air-FI wireless mesh network with Zigbee/BACnet communication protocol. With no wires to run and all unit controls prepackaged and programmed, Trane technicians were able to spend less time on installation and more time educating facility managers on the use of the controls and the Ensemble building management system. Ensemble building management system The web-enabled Ensemble building management system provides an enterprise view of the entire facility The web-enabled Ensemble building management system provides an enterprise view of the entire facility, allowing facilities managers to handle daily tasks, create schedules for the varied spaces in the center, manage alarms and make adjustments from anywhere in the building, or remotely with a tablet or phone. The Town of Oro Valley also has the option to integrate its other existing control systems into the system in the future. “For the comfort of our guests, our systems have to be reliable,” said Stacey Lemos adding, “We have workout facilities, a restaurant, a pool; schedules vary and some spaces need more cooling than others. With customized thermostats and enterprise-wide monitoring and control, we are now better able to keep our temperatures where they need to be.” Broad scope of ECMs Entering into a performance contract to use guaranteed energy savings to pay for needed upgrades, the Town of Oro Valley and Trane implemented a broad scope of ECMs, which are designed to enhance comfort, improve operations and reduce energy costs. The upgrades, which included improvements to HVAC, controls, lighting, swimming pool systems, golf course irrigation and domestic hot water conservation, are exceeding expectations, providing more than US$ 68,700 in energy savings and more than US$ 93,500 in water savings costs annually. Energy efficiency with LED lighting The Town has also realized more than US$ 30,000 in utility rebates. In addition, the Town of Oro Valley was honored by Tucson Electric Power for improving its energy efficiency, by replacing inefficient lighting with LED bulbs, and helping to make the community more sustainable by harvesting rain water and deploying a Green Team. “We are meeting projections, and have been able to keep to our budget,” said Stacey Lemos, adding “Plus, the useful life of the equipment will far exceed our debt.”

New Trane Offerings Help Cut Energy Costs, Increase Sustainability and Optimize Building IEQ
New Trane Offerings Help Cut Energy Costs, Increase Sustainability and Optimize Building IEQ

Trane® by Trane Technologies, a global climate innovator is launching new offerings to help customers meet energy efficiency, sustainability, and indoor air quality goals as part of its Wellsphere™ holistic approach to indoor environmental quality (IEQ).   “Trane’s holistic approach to building wellness helps our customers optimize IEQ in their buildings while increasing energy efficiency and sustainability,” said Manlio Valdes, vice president, Trane product management.   “Our customers have told us that they need innovative new ways to address IEQ challenges, especially hassle-free solutions that are easy to install and simple and affordable to maintain. Trane’s new offerings address that need, often while meeting or surpassing the performance of current industry-leading solutions.” Axiom™ Vertical Water Source Heat Pump (WSHP) (0.5-6 Ton) Trane has redesigned the vertical models in its Axiom WSHP product line for improved energy efficiency, acoustic performance, and serviceability. The new vertical WSHP combines ultra-high energy efficiency, sound attenuation, integrated controls, and superior maintenance accessibility that make it an attractive comfort management solution for building owners, contractors, and end-users. With a small space footprint, these models offer an ideal comfort management solution especially for tight-space environments in offices, schools, and multi-family residential buildings. Enhancements include front access for all routine maintenance for improved installation and serviceability. The models also offer super-efficient full load energy efficiency ratio (EER) and coefficient of performance (COP) at all energy efficiency tiers to help qualify for utility rebates and provide savings to the customer both in the first cost and operating costs The Axiom Vertical WSHP delivers significant carbon-reducing energy efficiency and quiet, reliable comfort. Medium Foundation® Rooftop Units (7.5, 8.5, 10 and 12.5 Tons) The new medium Foundation features a footprint specifically designed for an immediate like-for-like replacement With the addition of four new mid-size tonnages to its 3 – 25 Ton Foundation rooftop product line, Trane offers one of the industry’s broadest range of light commercial rooftop solutions. The new medium Foundation features a footprint specifically designed for an immediate like-for-like replacement. Now midsize competitor model retrofits require less time on the roof and less upfront expense as the additional cost of a curb adapter is not required. No matter the size or capacity requirement, the small, new medium, or large Foundation unit offers the price-conscious business owner, contractor, or facility manager easy plug-and-play installations and that same Trane reliability for a variety of small building applications.  VariTrane® Single Duct Variable-Air-Volume (VAV) Units Trane redesigned its VariTrane Single Duct VAV unit to significantly improve acoustical performance and deliver superior energy efficiency while meeting the specific needs of today’s demanding indoor air quality (IAQ) requirements. At least two times more efficient than any similar industry offerings, these units offer the industry’s lowest certified air leakage rate.  Designed for easy installation and simplified start-up, the VariTrane Single Duct VAV unit offers low-sound levels that meet or surpass those of other industry offerings. Engineers and contractors can opt to equip their units with the industry’s only factory-mounted and commissioned controls available on single-duct VAV units. Factory commissioning can generate significant cost reduction by saving as much as 30 minutes per unit during startup. Mixed Air Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS) Unit Its energy-saving efficiency meets minimum EER and IEER standards and complies with ASHRAE 90.1 The Trane Mixed Air DOAS unit brings in up to 100 percent fresh air to improve IAQ and help facilitate healthier building spaces. An ideal cost-effective solution to meet basic IAQ needs, this solution meets the ventilation requirements specified in ASHRAE® 62.1. Its energy-saving efficiency meets minimum EER and integrated energy efficiency ratio (IEER) standards and complies with ASHRAE 90.1. This unit can work as a standalone system or can easily be integrated with a variety of other heating, ventilation, or air conditioning (HVAC) solutions. Tracer® Ensemble® Cloud and Pivot® Smart Thermostat Integration Ensemble® Cloud, Trane’s industry-leading building management system, now integrates with the Trane Pivot® smart thermostat system to offer one of the industry’s first enterprise management systems designed for light commercial buildings. This integration helps building owners and managers gain cost-effective enterprise control of their facilities, giving them a complete view of their building assets. Ensemble dashboards and reporting help customers to become more conscious of the energy they are using while scheduling and alarm management allows them to manage this energy more efficiently. Symbio® Equipment Controls Symbio, Trane’s portfolio of industry-leading factory-mounted equipment controllers, designed to improve the customer experience throughout the equipment life cycle, will launch later this summer on Agility® Centrifugal Water-Cooled Chillers and multiple other systems in coming months. Symbio equipment controllers offer secure remote connectivity, wireless building communications, and integration via open standard protocols to provide a wide range of enhanced monitoring and advanced interfaces to HVAC equipment. The Symbio controller is currently available today on the IntelliPak®.

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