The YORK® brand of Johnson Controls, the global provider for smart and sustainable buildings, is driving greater efficiencies in residential and light commercial markets with its launch of the next generation of YORK Residential Package Equipment. The comprehensive AC and heat pump range is offered in both 14 SEER and ENERGY STAR® certified 16 SEER efficiencies with electric or gas heating, providing affordable performance and reduced energy use compared to older models. YORK Residentia...
As a Managing Director of a company that provides temperature and humidity solutions to predominantly the warehousing and industrial sectors, I thought I would share my dilemma that I’m sure other business owners and managers also face. I don’t pretend to know the answers, but thought it might be worth sharing some of the considerations that I’m facing in whether to reshape, recruit and build or hunker down until the World, Europe and the UK offers some sort or predictability....
Johnson Controls announced - the YORK Mission Critical Horizontal Computer Room Air Handler (YORK MCH CRAH) designed to meet the unique cooling requirements of the world’s most demanding data centers. Offered in three standard capacities (105 kW, 210 kW and 315 kW rated at a 22F delta air temperature) with higher capacities available through customization, the YORK MCH CRAH is engineered with high-performance in mind and can be configured to meet the specific needs of each application.&nbs...
Building services professionals from all over the UK will once again have the opportunity to take part in a series of virtual CPD courses focusing on key construction industry topics, from REHAU. REHAU’s virtual CPD courses With social distancing restrictions still in place, the polymer solutions provider is continuing its virtual training course offering to keep construction professionals up-to-date with the latest technology and solutions. Following the success of the last run of virt...
To help facilitate remote HVAC management during the on-going COVID-19 global pandemic, Armstrong Fluid Technology has announced that it will extend, until the end of 2020, the offer of free subscriptions for its cloud-based remote asset management and analytics service platform, Pump Manager. “The original offer of three free months of Pump Manager service to new customers was scheduled to expire in August but we recognize that there is still a need to maintain social distancing wherever...
Jobber, the global provider of home service management software, has announced the availability of two-way text messaging within its platform. The new feature enables service professionals, such as landscapers, plumbers, HVAC technicians, and more, to stay better connected with their clients, respond to leads faster and improve customer satisfaction. “Home service professionals work in industries that are centered around creating relationships and loyalty with customers,” said Sam P...
WINT - Water Intelligence, a globally renowned company in cutting-edge water management and leak prevention solutions for construction, commercial and industrial applications, has developed a solution that detects and prevents leaks and other issues in chilled water systems and pipes. Leak prevention solution The solution prevents water damage by detecting issues, automatically shutting off water flows and isolating impacted areas. WINT has developed a solution specifically designed to detect leaks and other issues in chilled water HVAC systems. Damage from water leaks in buildings is one of the biggest sources of damage to facilities. Large buildings use chilled water systems to cool the facility and ensure that occupants are comfortable. These systems consist of lengthy piping networks filled with massive amounts of water that flow throughout the building. Water is pumped at many thousands of gallons per hour so when a pipe breaks water accumulates quickly, causing massive damage within a very short timeframe. Advanced AI and machine learning technologies WINT uses advanced artificial intelligence, machine learning and signal processing technologies WINT uses advanced artificial intelligence, machine learning and signal processing technologies to deliver extremely high detection accuracy. The solution detects drip-level leaks in chilled water pipes, allowing maintenance staff to perform corrective action before the issue becomes significant. And if pipes burst and reach damage-potential levels, the system shuts water off and isolates the impacted area. "Ongoing waste and leaks are a major source of damage and cost in most facilities," said Yochanan Mor, Head of Logistics at The Phoenix Insurance Company, adding "It's a day-to-day battle for facilities teams and insurance companies. We use WINT's suite of solutions across Phoenix's facilities to protect everything from domestic water to chilled water systems.” He adds, “Also, WINT's AI-powered technology ensures our facilities are protected against the massive damage of a water leak while cutting our ongoing water bills." Edge devices WINT's edge devices are installed on the chilled pipes in key locations throughout the facility. They use AI technology designed specifically for chiller systems combined with cloud-based computing and a user-friendly mobile app that alerts staff and enables remote control and valve shut-off. Each WINT edge device includes a high-accuracy flow meter, a processor that analyzes water flow in real time, a communication device and an optional automatic shut-off valve. Water Intelligence devices learn a building's typical water flow pattern using machine learning technology so they can detect small leaks and anomalies before they become problems. "A leak or burst chiller pipe is the stuff of nightmares for facility and operations managers," said Yaron Dycian, WINT's Chief Product and Strategy Officer, adding "Water gushes out at very fast rates and accumulates rapidly. It then flows down the building and causes massive damage in its path. Physical damages can easily reach millions of dollars, let alone the business disruption and the time to bring the facility back to order."
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) announces that Carrier, a provider of heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions, and its subsidiary EMSI are the first organizations in China to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management. Properties in multiple cities including offices and a factory add to the list of over 500 facilities across the world taking proactive measures focused on prevention and preparedness, resilience and recovery in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stakeholder engagement strategies The rating, which is third-party verified by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) signifies Carrier/EMSI have prioritized health and safety in managing and operating their offices and manufacturing facilities, instilling trust and confidence among Carrier/EMSI employees, customers and other stakeholders. Carrier/EMSI are among the initial group of global organizations that enrolled in the WELL Health-Safety Rating program announced by IWBI in early July, 2020. The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for new and existing buildings and space types and is focused on operational policies, maintenance protocols, emergency plans and stakeholder engagement strategies. Long-Term health and safety The WELL Health-Safety Rating is designed to guide and empower the actions of large and small businesses “WELL Health-Safety Rating is designed to guide organizations in preparing their spaces to effectively address health and safety concerns not only due to COVID-19, but also other infectious diseases,” said Rick Fedrizzi, IWBI chairman and CEO. “Organizations like Carrier/EMSI are leading the charge to re-instill confidence in the way our spaces are managed and operated, and this kind of trust empowers the business bottom line.” Adapted from features in the WELL Building Standard (WELL) that focus on facility maintenance and operations, the WELL Health-Safety Rating is designed to guide and empower the actions of large and small businesses alike in taking the necessary steps to maintain facilities that prioritize the health and safety of their staff, visitors and stakeholders. It also serves as an annual process that supports efforts to promote long-term health and safety. Healthy indoor environments “Being the first to have achieved WELL Health-Safety Rating in China underlines Carrier’s long- term commitment to prioritizing the health and safety of our employees, clients and all other stakeholders,” said Titus Yu, managing director at Carrier North Asia. “The rating aligns Carrier’s focus on promoting healthy indoor environments with IWBI’s internationally recognized standard and can guide us aiming for best practices in our own operations.” He said the experience to achieve the rating also provides valuable expertise for its newly launched Carrier Healthy Buildings Program through which Carrier works to advance healthier indoor air quality to clients in critical sectors such as commercial, health care, education, retail and marine transportation. Human health sustainability The award is a testament to our commitment that EMSI follows the world’s leading standard" Carrier/EMSI enrolled their offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and a new Carrier factory in Shanghai for WELL Health-Safety Rating. EMSI, a Carrier subsidiary and a green and healthy building consultancy based in China, implemented the rating requirements for both organizations. “Implementing the WELL Health-Safety Rating for our own facilities provided us an opportunity to familiarize our staff with the knowledge and nuances necessary to achieve the rating,” said Dr. Yi Chun Huang, EMSI general manager. “The award is a testament to our commitment that EMSI follows the world’s leading standard and the best practice when it comes to human health sustainability.” Monitoring indoor air quality To achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating, Carrier/EMSI submitted documents for review that met feature requirements in the following areas: Cleaning and sanitization procedures that include supporting hand washing in contact-free settings, optimized cleaning practice, and providing hand sanitizer; Emergency preparedness programs, which entail the provision of PPE, and include a comprehensive re-entry plan after emergency events; Health service resources, which promote employee well-being through health screenings, and ensure smoke-free environments; Air and water quality management, which includes the assessment of HVAC risk factors for virus transmission, monitoring indoor air and water quality; Stakeholder engagement and communications, which include promoting health literacy among employees. “Leadership is demonstrated through practice, and Carrier/EMSI have proven to all organizations in China that WELL Health-Safety Rating is for all types of facilities,” said Xue Ya, president of IWBI Asia. Integrating actionable insights Created by IWBI, the WELL Health-Safety Rating is informed by guidance developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), global disease control and prevention centers and emergency management agencies, recognized standard-making bodies, such as ASTM International and ASHRAE, and academic and research institutions. IWBI has leveraged insights from its Task Force on COVID-19, established at the outset of the pandemic to help business and building leaders integrate actionable insights and proven strategies in the fight against COVID-19 and other respiratory infections. Owners, operators and tenants can pursue the WELL Health-Safety Rating for projects independently, seamlessly using the rating as a stepping stone to achievement of WELL Certification, or integrate the rating as a milestone within their WELL Certification or WELL Portfolio journey.
Hunt’s Foodservice has taken delivery of 31 new vans and trucks fitted with Carrier Transicold refrigeration equipment, in a move designed to increase the versatility of its fleet by improving cold chain integrity on multi-drop delivery routes. Carrier Transicold is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, a globally renowned provider of innovative heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. The new vehicles include 20 3.5-tonne MAN vans featuring Carrier Transicold Pulsor 400 MT, multi-temperature units specified by the customer. They are joined by three 7.5-tonne, two 12-tonne and six 18-tonne MAN rigids, each fitted with Supra 550, Supra 850 MT and Supra 1250 MT units respectively - a mixture of replacements and additions to the customer’s 120-strong fleet. full refrigeration capacity “Our priority is maintaining the integrity of the cold chain when the doors are constantly being opened on demanding multi-drop routes, where customers are often in close proximity to each other,” said Philip Hopkins, Group Transport Manager, Hunt’s Foodservice. “Carrier’s systems effortlessly meet that challenge, which allows us to focus on providing the highest quality service to our customers.” The Pulsor 400 MT unit uses Carrier Transicold’s patented E-Drive technology to transform the van’s engine power into electricity, providing rapid temperature pull-down and full refrigeration capacity at engine speeds as low as 1,000 rpm – ideal for congested city centers. Another benefit of the system is its ‘key out’ function, which allows the driver to leave the vehicle parked securely while making deliveries, without cutting power to the refrigeration unit. incident management service Hunt’s Foodservice’s first Carrier Transicold system was a Supra 1250 MT unit, purchased in 2015 Hunt’s Foodservice’s first Carrier Transicold system was a Supra 1250 MT unit, purchased in 2015. Having been impressed by its performance and reliability, the company has consistently selected Supra units for new trucks ordered since. Each of the units offers constant airflow, independent of truck engine speed, supplying rapid pull-down and accurate multi-temperature set point control. The company expects to operate the vans for three years, while the trucks will be in service for five years. Both the Pulsor and Supra units are backed by Carrier Transicold’s comprehensive everCOLD fixed cost, full-service maintenance package, which includes annual temperature control testing and certification, full regulatory checks and access to Carrier Transicold’s oneCALL 24/7 incident management service. frozen and chilled goods Based out of depots in Sherbourne, Fareham and Bridgwater, the vehicles will be on the road up to six days a week, making deliveries of quality frozen and chilled goods, including fresh meats and ice cream, to customers across southern England.
Uponor announces the appointment of Chris Hartwick as General Manager, Uponor Canada, with a strategic focus on Canadian sales, marketing, customer service and customer engagement. “We are thrilled to have Chris take on the leadership of the Canadian team. He brings both deep knowledge and new insight from industry experience. He is a demonstrated business leader with a proven track record of coaching and development,” Chris Budion, Vice President, Uponor North America said. Distribution-Based territories “He is known as a business innovator, and I am confident he will help our Canadian factory and manufacturer representative partners accelerate their already great track record of growth.” Hartwick most recently served as Director of Sales for Commercial Building Services, in the United States and Canada, at Xylem Inc. where he led both direct sales and distribution-based territories. Previously, he was Vice President of Xylem Canada Company and Managing Director for the Canadian Applied Water Systems division, where he led the business in all functions. Hartwick is a graduate of Xylem’s Executive Development Program, focusing on disruption and delivering accelerated growth. In 2012 while with Grundfos, he was selected ‘Best of the Best’ from amongst 35 global sales winners.
The future of residential comfort heating has arrived with the introduction of the ECO Tec high-efficiency boiler from Weil-McLain, North America’s renowned boiler manufacturer. The new ECO Tec is a high-quality boiler that meets nearly all residential application needs including multi-zone and combi applications. ECO Tec high-efficiency boiler The ECO Tec high-efficiency boiler features a long-lasting fire tube heat exchanger The ECO Tec high-efficiency boiler features a long-lasting fire tube heat exchanger and is available in combi versions with response time and domestic hot water (DHW) output designed to meet the demanding needs of residential replacement applications. ECO Tec is easy to install, use and service, operates whisper quiet, and is among the most energy efficient residential boilers available in the market. It is available in four heat only sizes, ranging from 80 to 199 MBH. Integrated with ECO BOOSTTM technology The combi versions of the ECO Tec boiler are available in three varied sizes, 110, 150 and 199 MBH, with hot water output up to 5.4 gallons per minute (GPM). They also feature Weil-McLain’s advanced ECO BOOSTTM technology to provide rapid DHW response. ECO Tec boilers also feature built-in zone controls that can connect up to four thermostat inputs and an easy-to-use setup wizard, along with heating system presets. “ECO Tec is a premium residential boiler designed to provide entire home comfort and offers great value, priced below most premium boilers available in the market currently,” said Mike Boyd, Product Manager with Weil-McLain. Mike adds, “ECO Tec boilers feature exceptional domestic hot water performance and was developed with Weil-McLain’s next generation, easy-to-use Unity 2.0 control with touch screen display. Contractors will appreciate the ease of installation, use and service, while homeowners will enjoy high-performance and energy-efficient comfort home heating.” Energy efficient resident boiler Featuring a 95% AFUE rating, ECO Tec is among the highest energy efficient residential boilers in the industry. ECO Tec achieved the ‘Most Efficient’ rating level from Energy Star in 2020 and is rated to deliver maximum operational cost savings to homeowners and provide qualification for local utility rebates, if available. The unit’s durable stainless steel fire tube heat exchanger features a vertical orientation for ‘self-rinsing’ during operation The unit’s durable stainless steel fire tube heat exchanger features a vertical orientation for ‘self-rinsing’ during operation and a polypropylene condensate-collector base that provides better corrosion resistance than traditional stainless steel, thereby helping to ensure a long service life and efficient operation. A sound suppressing air silencer on the heat exchanger provides whisper quiet operation. Easy maintenance and service ECO Tec is designed for easy maintenance and service with a spacious cabinet that allows for full access to internal components, common parts for all unit sizes and the easy-to-use control touch screen display. Other key features of the ECO Tec include: Up to 10:1 turndown ratio that self-adjusts to minimize fuel usage Low NOx emission certified NSF/ANSI 372 certified domestic hot water components Built-in energy-saving ECM circulator to conserve energy Built-in zone control that can operate up to 4 circulators (plus internal) Natural or propane gas capable Multiple venting options for different home styles and buildings Sleek, modern wall mount design The ECO Tec boiler’s sleek, modern design makes it easy to transport, deliver and install and offers versatile placement options with included and optional kits. Its wall mount design frees up valuable floor space, while its optional pedestal can be used for floor standing installations. All units are tested and certified to the industry’s highest standards and include a warranty of up to 12 years on the heat exchanger and up to 5 years on parts with registration (2 years on parts without registration).
Grundfos, a globally renowned company in water technology, is pleased to announce the groundbreaking of its Americas Regional Center, located in Brookshire, Texas. LEED Platinum certification The 45,000 square foot facility is expected to be completed during the spring season of 2021. Grundfos is currently seeking to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The new offices will house company sales, operations, engineering, HR, finance, and other support functions. “To better serve the market, the new Americas Regional Center will strengthen our proximity between important sales areas and production hubs in North and South America, while fostering creativity for innovative applications and solutions,” said Eric Boutot, Grundfos Americas Vice President of Regional Operations. Solar photo-voltaic panels installed A chilled water energy storage system will reduce energy consumption With its sustainable green building design by PGAL and construction by Harvey-Cleary Builders, the structure will be made of locally sourced building materials, verified to have been sourced in a responsible manner. Solar photo-voltaic panels mounted on the roof will offset 20 percent or more of the building’s energy costs. A chilled water energy storage system will reduce energy consumption. And a rainwater harvesting system will support chillers and gray water use. Energy and water-efficient pumping solutions Sustainability is a major priority for Grundfos. In addition to manufacturing energy and water-efficient pumping solutions, the company tightly focuses on making a difference on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 6 (water) and 13 (climate change). This focus allows the company to help other companies be more sustainable and reach the goals together. An official ribbon cutting ceremony, with officials from the Houston area and executives from the company’s Denmark-based headquarters, will take place during the grand opening. Americas Regional Center “Houston has been the home of Grundfos colleagues for many years, including myself, having moved here in 2018,” said Dieter Sauer, Grundfos Americas Regional Managing Director. He adds, “The city is rapidly growing with a fast economy and large talent pool. With the new Americas Regional Center and our strong market position, we expect to attract the competencies that will keep us in front of the industry.”
The disruption caused by coronavirus has put almost every business to the test. Special regulations have had to be rolled out for essential workers across many industries, including those in HVAC industry. Staff within these industries are key in preventing further disruption from adding to the already significant pressure on consumers and businesses in the current climate. While having to adapt to new working environments and an altered economic landscape themselves, it’s now imperative that these workers can be as efficient and productive as possible. While many business premises have temporarily shut their doors, hospitals, government departments, supermarkets and other critical facilities are busier than ever. In addition, for many, households have become their workplaces, schools or gyms. For both consumers and businesses alike, building maintenance has become both more urgent and spread over a bigger geographical footprint. To continue meeting the essential needs of customers in this trying time, businesses within the HVAC industry must find ways to be more agile and efficient, starting with the way they manage their workforce. Using technology to track productivity To continue meeting the essential needs of customers in this trying time, businesses within the HVAC industry must find ways to be more agile and efficient It may have been a growing trend before, but ditching paper records and digitalising the way engineers are dispatched, tracked and allocated jobs is now imperative for building services companies. By digitalising scheduling and dispatch tasks, building services companies can overcome inefficiencies in operations and improve worker productivity. This not only makes a real difference to customers’ businesses continuity, but also reducing the impact of the current climate on the bottom line of companies themselves. Monitoring each job in this way also means building services businesses can keep tabs on job progress in near real-time. If one overruns, they can adapt their schedules to dispatch another technician to the job. It can also help confirm workers are taking the breaks they need to stay alert, both on the job and on the road, in the context of engineers, fleet managers, dispatchers and drivers working longer hours to meet increased demand. Making the most of your platform In these uncertain times, businesses need tools to not only monitor the location of their mobile workforce, but also those which give workers reliable access to the resources they need to do their jobs. Many businesses may already have some form of digital solution in place to track vehicles, jobs, resources and many other assets. Getting these existing systems to talk to each other, however, can be problematic. It’s therefore important for new solutions to integrate with existing technology and help reduce complexity, rather than increase it. By digitalising scheduling and dispatch tasks, building services companies can overcome inefficiencies One of the best way of doing so is by making use of a dedicated staff-facing smartphone app. Cost effective, simple and quick to install, apps connected to central fleet management systems bring a range of agility benefits for businesses. For example, they can be set up to automatically notify workers in the field of upcoming jobs or the expected duration of certain visits. This affords field workers a high level of efficiency, and means customers get the essential support they need faster and more reliably. This access to maps, job instructions, quotes, invoices, customer information and more from their handheld device means engineers are better equipped to serve the customers who rely on them. Building services businesses can also track tools and other assets technicians might need to use to a complete a job, helping to dispatch only those with the right qualifications and tools to each job. The need for mobility in uncertain times While the majority of UK citizens are urged to stay at home, there are those for whom mobility is absolutely crucial. Field-based businesses must also contend with their own sources of disruption, such as unexpected events including vehicle breakdowns, vehicle theft and heavy traffic, all of which lead to lower levels of productivity and higher costs, not to mention the impact on the health and safety of staff. By implementing a solid foundation of workforce management, businesses can help keep people and assets safe and secure, whilst also affording greater visibility of overall operations. These are the key ingredients to caring for staff and customers, and to maintaining crucial mobility in a time when the world is otherwise at a standstill.
Residential HVAC is a fulfilling business to be in. Whether be it servicing a furnace or installing an air conditioning unit, the individual is doing important work to help keep families in the community safe and comfortable. The work also comes with perks such as good margins, some great customers, and the ability to set varying pricing and schedule. If an individual is in a growing business in this space, chances are that they have seen more than a few hectic days. Days where it becomes difficult to juggle crews, instruct technicians on necessary job details, and answer client calls, all at the same time. In theory, this chaotic day-to-day is a good problem to have. In practice, it can get really tiring, pretty fast. Robust system to streamline operations The work can be extremely overwhelming and if the right systems aren’t in place, the business could suffer. Lines of communication can get crossed and if time is being spent working on the wrong things, the individual could miss out on opportunities to grow. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing a high growth HVAC business, by applying the right operational strategies, businesses can flourish. Coordinating requests while dispatching techs out to do work is where many administrators and operations managers hit a roadblock in business growth. This is precisely why businesses need to implement software that lets them track jobs, view technician schedules, and flag new jobs to crew members all in one place. This will eliminate the need to play ‘phone tag’ across the organization, which in turn will keep operations running smoothly and reduce manual errors. What’s more, if the software allows techs to automatically trigger an invoice that customers can pay on the spot, businesses can avoid hours of chasing down past-due payments and create a better cash flow. mobile apps: Picking The right software Businesses are encouraged to choose software with a mobile app where customers can enter the payment type Businesses are encouraged to choose software with a mobile app where customers can enter the payment type, such as cash, check, credit, debit and a receipt can be automatically emailed to customers. This will also cut out out-of-date operations, while giving businesses access to what they need (schedules, work orders, customer information and more) at anytime from anywhere. Having a central hub for keeping everything organized also creates the operational flexibility needed to take on work. To ensure businesses don’t have to turn new jobs down due to delayed responses or scheduling issues, a crew member can be kept flexible for this task. In order to do this right, businesses need to calculate how much emergency work they’re losing due to unavailability and adjust accordingly, by creating a schedule with allotted time. Spacing out work won’t impact the number of scheduled installs and replacements retained, while giving businesses added time and revenue to take on emergency repairs. This strategy is only doable if businesses have the requisite software that can provide an accurate and full look into employees’ workloads. pricing services Research Is Important A business in high-growth mode needs to ensure their pricing reflects the services being offered. This can be done with researching of other companies in the area that are charging for the same services offered, so that the business can have a number to compare to when setting prices and also prepare to justify higher price to customers. Setting prices higher can be advantageous for a business, if they can show customers the differentiators. Most people want work done right, and an added premium that ensures top service often won’t turn them away. Additionally, it’s important to make sure all expenses are covered, down to the credit card fees. When pricing services, businesses need to build a file of overhead expenses, then determine the percentage profit want to charge clients. Different jobs require unique services, so prices should reflect that Varied pricing per customer Different jobs require unique services, so prices should reflect that. A business might charge more for commercial clients than homeowners. These minor adjustments will ensure that a business makes the profit that the work deserves. Feedback is also very important for repeat orders. If a business is not getting repeat clients due to pricing, they should keep that in mind when building profit margins. Pricing shouldn’t be static, continuous adjustments has to be made where it makes sense and extra time invested to do the research. Ensuring exceptional customer service It’s important to set up systems and expectations for teams to follow right out of the gate With business growth also comes customer growth, and for residential HVAC companies that physically go into a customer’s home, it’s crucial that their services reflect the highest quality. It’s important to set up systems and expectations for teams to follow right out of the gate. Helping crews do their best work from a technical and customer service perspective by establishing guidelines for what the business wants every homeowner to experience is the key. Open lines of communication Aside from ensuring that the crew keeps a clean workplace, keeping open lines of communication with customers should be a top priority for businesses. This can be as simple as answering the phone and getting a technician to a job site as soon as possible. Often, customers come from positions of stress due to broken equipment, so having quick response time is a key differentiator between good and bad service. A good solution for this is to evolve into automating key communications that allow techs to send ‘on my way’ text messages. How a business interacts with customers is a key signifier into how the company operates, so businesses need to ensure that have the best customer service practices in place. Never take valuable employees for granted While it sounds simple, a high-growth business needs reliable employees to scale, so that their competition does not swoop in and scoop up an employee who doesn’t feel valued. As business ramps up, it’s easy to miss that technicians are not being dispatched to jobs that they enjoy. If employees are constantly doing a job because they’re good at it and they don’t feel fulfilled doing that specific job, at the end of the day, they are not going to be happy. To avoid losing employees, businesses should take the time to ask what jobs they like to do and see if they can accommodate schedules to reflect their preferences. employee retention And loyalty A crucial factor in building a top performing team is employee retention and loyalty A crucial factor in building a top performing team is employee retention and loyalty. Businesses should focus on creating a great atmosphere to work in. This includes keeping a pulse on what’s happening in the team’s personal lives and use that to show appreciation in meaningful ways. One way to do this is by investing in the team’s education. For example, paying tuition fees for techs so they can get new certifications and licensing. These types of gestures show that the business cares about the success of their employees, while also helping them retain the most qualified crew members. Incorporating software solutions and automating tedious tasks Developing a high-growth residential HVAC company doesn’t have to be stressful if businesses know what systems and processes to implement to better manage operations. By adopting strategies that incorporate software solutions, like Jobber, to streamline operations, automate tedious tasks and improve customer communications, the opportunity for growth is more accessible for businesses. Organizations should focus on creating a solid operational system by doing research before pricing services, keeping customer service a top priority and not letting great employees slip away. All these strategies will work together to help maximize business growth.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the power provider in the United States, is offering incentives to businesses and schools to install UV-C germicidal lights to fight germs in indoor air. Customers that buy from TVA’s Preferred Partners Network can receive a $30-per-ton incentive toward adoption of approved UV-C technologies, which remove viruses and bacteria from indoor air. “Schools and businesses realize they need solutions to purify indoor air, and we want to help them install it as they reopen,” says Jason Snyder, Manager, TVA EnergyRight. Commercial HVAC systems UV-C light is a short wavelength ultraviolet light used to disinfect air. Studies show UV-C is 99.9% lethal to bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms, and is an alternative to chemical disinfection. The technology has been commercially available since the 1930s, and UV rays have been used to treat disease since the late-1800s. The technology has historically helped to control outbreaks of other airborne pathogens over the years While research is continuing to assess the effectiveness of UV lights against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the technology has historically helped to control outbreaks of other airborne pathogens over the years. Since the emergence of COVID-19, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) has taken a higher profile as a technology that could have an impact when installed in the ductwork of existing commercial HVAC systems. Inactivate airborne microorganisms The technology can ensure safer indoor air at hospitals, schools, reception areas, retail establishments, nursing homes, churches, hair dressers and business officers. TVA is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies in parts of seven Southeastern U.S. states, serving nearly 10 million people. According to ASHRAE, UVGI systems must deliver a sufficient dose of UV-C rays to inactivate airborne microorganisms within a 2-ft. (0.6 m) minimum irradiation zone down the length of a duct or plenum, providing roughly 0.4 seconds of exposure time in moving air. An irradiation level, Ultraviolet Rating Value (URV) of 13 is the minimum recommended UV intensity level to deliver a sufficient dose to inactivate airborne microorganisms. Improve indoor air quality Another CDC recommendation is to increase ventilation and outdoor air flow by opening windows and doors Demand for air filters and UV lights has been on the increase as HVAC customers have looked for alternatives to improve indoor air quality and negate spread of the novel coronavirus. Use of additional filters and UV light is among the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) before workers return to offices after the pandemic lockdown. Another CDC recommendation is to increase ventilation and outdoor air flow by opening windows and doors and using fans to dilute recirculated indoor air. Milestone Electric, a Dallas, Texas, HVAC installer, says sales of in-home UV light units have doubled this year compared to 2019. Less-Expensive alternative “Some people ordered them before the pandemic, but they weren’t aware of the full benefits until recently,” Milestone Electric Spokeswoman Britton Swanson told the Dallas Morning News. UV lights are a less-expensive alternative (about $1,300) to the use of HEPA filters (about $3,000) to improve air quality. Combining both is the best combination to decrease chances of spreading the virus. Even before the pandemic, people spent about 90% of their time indoors. With the emphasis on staying home to avoid spread of the virus, the number could be even higher.
The Wyss Institute at Harvard University has developed an evaporative cooling system that uses a specially coated ceramic to cool air without adding humidity. Researchers say the approach can yield more affordable and environmentally friendly air conditioning systems for the future. ‘cold-SNAP’ system The ‘cold-SNAP’ system uses a water-repellent nano-scale surface coating that is applied selectively to surfaces of a 3D-printed ceramic heat exchange. The result is much cooler buildings with less humidity. ‘cold-SNAP’ is short for cold superhydrophobic nano-architecture process. The invention uses evaporative cooling, which happens when hot air is put in contact with water. As the water evaporates, it cools the air but adds moisture. Use of the water-repellent coating separates the moisture from the cool air to provide an inexpensive source of cooler, dryer air that can cool a building in lieu of traditional air conditioners. Evaporative Cooling technology The hydrophobic coating is selectively applied to components that will manage the flow of dry air The approach is a union of old and new – combining ceramic, one of the oldest, cheapest and most widely available building materials, with the novel hydrophobic surface coating developed by Wyss Institute. Because ceramic is malleable, the heating exchange unit can be produced via extrusion or 3D printing of a single piece, with its shape adjusted to maximize surface area available for heat transfer and evaporation. The hydrophobic coating is selectively applied to components that will manage the flow of dry air. Variation on indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) systems The specialized coating separates incoming hot air from outgoing wet air, allowing the hot air to be cooled by circulating water without adding humidity to the inside of a building. ‘cold-SNAP’ is a variation on indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) systems, which use complex heat exchange units that make them difficult and expensive to manufacture. Researchers say the approach can create low-cost, efficient air-cooling units to meet the world’s increasing demand while using 75% less energy. The system can be up to four times more efficient than conventional air conditioners as measured by the coefficient of performance (COP), the ratio of cooling to required energy. ‘cold-SNAP’ was designed by a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and designers from the Wyss Institute’s Adaptive Material Technologies Platform, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), and the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (HCGBC). Integration into evaporative cooling systems The new technology could be integrated into existing evaporative cooling systems and sold as environmentally friendly air conditioners in a variety of climate zones. It could even be manufactured into the facades of buildings, thus cooling the space within, using only the energy needed to pump water to the system. With global warming causing a rise in the Earth’s average temperature, worldwide demand for air conditioning systems that do not contribute to that climate change increasingly will be in demand. A growing middle class throughout the world is also contributing to demand. No humidity added to the air ‘cold-SNAP’ does not add humidity to the air and works well in humid, tropical climates, as well as dry, hot climates Because ‘cold-SNAP’ does not add humidity to the air, it works well in humid, tropical climates (where it is sorely needed) as well as in dry, hot climates like the Middle East. Traditional electric air conditioners use mechanical vapor compression to convert a chemical refrigerant back and forth between its liquid and vapor forms, absorbing heat during vaporization and then removing moisture during condensation. Traditional systems use a large amount of energy to cycle the refrigerant, which increases costs, not to mention the refrigerants contribute to global warming. Historically, the environmental impact of such systems was a hidden cost that was not considered. Wyss Institute Validation Project In 2019, ‘cold-SNAP’ was named a Wyss Institute Validation Project, which puts it on track to become commercialized. The validation program seeks to ‘de-risk' technologies and demonstrate that they can be scaled up for commercialization. The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University emulates Nature’s design principles to engineer new, ‘bio-inspired’ materials and devices with high-impact applications in healthcare, manufacturing, robotics, energy, and sustainable architecture. The cross-disciplinary faculty, technical staff, students, and fellows undertake high-risk research and technology development.
Lower prices in the oil and gas industry have led to job losses as the sector has contracted recently, and that was even before the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked additional havoc on the national and world economies. The COVID-19 crisis is accelerating what was already shaping up to be one of the oil industry’s most challenging years. More than a dozen oil companies have declared bankruptcy so far in the United States alone, and widespread industry layoffs are expected to continue. Oil field closures But displaced oil industry employees may provide a benefit to the HVAC industry, which faces struggles to attract sufficient skilled labor to meet customer needs. Might those displaced workers be great candidates for the HVAC industry? Definitely, says Brett Hobson, owner of Perfect Technician Academy, an HVAC technician school in Weatherford, Texas, near Dallas. “Many similarities exist between the oil and HVAC industries,” says Hobson. “That’s largely why [our school] has garnered a variety of new students from oil-heavy states around the U.S. in recent months.” Perfect Technician Academy has paid attention to the turmoil unfolding in the oil industry and is taking steps to mitigate it. Previously, the HVAC trade school has catered to veterans and active-duty military, helping them to transition to civilian life. Lately, the school has expanded the focus to include the men, women and families displaced by oil field closures in and around Texas. Providing stability during pandemic Having your livelihood pulled out from under you and beginning a new career path is an incredibly stressful situation" Perfect Technician Academy offers courses in HVAC Repair Service Technician, Residential Install Technician, Maintenance Service Technician, and installer Assistant Technician. “When people learn about the nature of the HVAC industry, they typically are left wishing they had come to the school sooner,” says Dr. Thomas Moorman, Provost and School Director. “Having your livelihood pulled out from under you and beginning a new career path is an incredibly stressful situation to be in.” Perfect Technician Academy seeks to provide stability to those in need during the pandemic, emphasizing that opportunity exists in the HVAC market for those willing to pursue it. An advantage of an HVAC job over the life of oil company employees is the ability for an employee to sleep in their bed at home, rather than being off in an oil patch for three or six weeks at a time, Hobson says. Climate-Control systems Heath Averitt was laid off after spending 23 years in the oil field. “Oil hit zero dollars a barrel,” he told KOKH-TV Fox25 News in Oklahoma City. “What am I going to do to make it? How am I going to get out to make some money to pay bills the fastest?” With two brothers-in-law working in HVAC in South Texas, Averitt approached Perfect Technician Academy to explore the possibilities of a career change. “We can get them back in the workforce in an accelerated period, in a career that probably has a lot more stability,” says Hobson. Employment of heating, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians and installers was projected to grow 21% from 2012 to 2022 based on U.S. Labor statistics. The growing number of sophisticated climate-control systems is expected to increase demand for qualified HVAC technicians, according to Perfect Technician Academy.
Nicknamed the gateway to Southern California, the city of Ontario, as well as neighboring city Montclair, is home to the third largest elementary school district in California, the Ontario-Montclair School District (OMSD). Founded in 1884, the district also incorporates portions of the city of Upland, and unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County, comprising 24,000 students in 26 elementary schools and six middle schools. Ontario-Montclair School District Ontario-Montclair School District’s overall mission is simple yet speaks volumes to its dedication to all students, to do whatever it takes to guarantee its commitment in providing the highest quality education for all students. To meet this mission head-on, OMSD contracted with TMAD Taylor Gaines, a professional engineering consulting and services firm. Ontario Montclair School District was interested in reducing their overall energy costs by 20%" “Ontario Montclair School District was interested in reducing their overall energy costs by 20%, they along with other school districts throughout California were mandated to reduce their overall energy costs,” said John Simmons, RCDD, LEED AP, and Project Manager for TMAD Taylor Gaines. He adds, “We initially ran some numbers based upon information we found on Bard HVAC’s website, and through consultation with Geary Pacific Supply, Bard’s largest West Coast distributor.” Geary Pacific, distributor of new HVAC units Based upon the scope of the projects in consideration, the money available to fund them and the overall cost of the units in consideration, as well as overall potential energy savings, TMAD Taylor Gaines recommended that OMSD select Geary Pacific as the distributor of the new HVAC units. “We considered other companies as part of our overall recommendation but in all honesty we were impressed by a couple of things. First, Bard Manufacturing had a wealth of product and technical information about their products on their website, including case studies of other customer successes. That in combination with Geary Pacific’s previous experience working successfully with the School District made our recommendation a simple one,” added John Simmons. Bard wall-mounted HVAC units deployed “Our District was already familiar with Bard because we had success using some of their other wall mounted units on several of our modular school buildings,” said Craig Misso, Director of Facility Planning & Operation at Ontario Montclair School District, adding “Our goal was to not only upgrade our facilities and make them more energy efficient, but also work to reduce some of the HVAC noise inside the classroom, as well as save on the purchase, operation and maintenance of all of the units at our schools.” TMAD Taylor Gaines and Geary Pacific’s approach was to do the retrofit in several phases. The pilot project encompassed one site, Sultana Elementary School, which included 24 re-locatable buildings, made up of both newer and some older construction. Bard WG*S Step Capacity Series units with CO2 sensors TMAD Taylor Gaines and Geary Pacific started doing groups of schools, encompassing 14 different building sites “Sultana was a great school for the pilot because there were a lot of little issues to contend with and work through,” stated Simmons, adding “The Bard WG*S Step Capacity Series units with Energy Recovery Ventilators and CO2 sensors worked great and we were initially very surprised at how quiet they actually operated.” After that, TMAD Taylor Gaines and Geary Pacific started doing groups of schools, encompassing 14 different building sites. Group one included 6 schools and approximately 83 units while Group 2 included 8 schools and 101 units. It was during the second group of installations that TMAD Taylor Gaines realized that putting in units that required the installation of underground gas piping was not the best solution for all classrooms. Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 units That’s when Geary Pacific recommended utilizing Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 units with Energy Recovery Ventilators and CO2 sensors in about 1/3 of the overall installation. “Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 units are some of the most energy-efficient HVAC units on the market today,” said Maury Tiernan of Geary Pacific, adding “Plus the operational sound level is extremely low and is greatly appreciated by the students and teachers.” John Simmons said, “We were really pleased at how easily these units were able to be retrofitted into the re-locatable classrooms. There are almost no changes and smooth sailing in almost all cases.” Quiet, efficient operation The dramatic reduction in operating noise levels was an added improvement and benefit for which Craig Misso was particularly proud. “At Sultana, we invited some of the teachers and our principal over to see the new classrooms. Our principal asked, ‘Why aren’t the new HVAC units running’? I had to laugh, because I knew they were on. They were just so quiet nobody could tell that they were working. That moment sold every teacher on the Bard units,” added Craig Misso of Ontario Montclair School District. “From the very beginning, Geary Pacific became our partner in the success of the project,” stated Simmons, adding “Always available to answer questions on-site and knowledgeable about all aspects of the product and installation I can honestly say they can’t do anything wrong by me. Geary Pacific and the engineers at Bard Manufacturing came through in every way possible and more.” Wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment expert Bard’s HVAC products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency Over thirty years ago, Bard Manufacturing began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s HVAC products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency, with unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice for schools. With three, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to research and development. With features like self-diagnostics and self-programming energy monitors, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for any school. Energy and cost savings “The Bard units reduced ambient classroom noise levels by over 75% and further gave us a 50% savings in energy,” said Misso, adding “This savings allowed us to also install software on our computers that automatically turns off the lights and the AC, when the classrooms are unoccupied, which further increased our savings. Our hope is to have the funds necessary to install all 280 Bard units as specified by TMAD Taylor Gaines.” Misso concluded, “Geary Pacific has been extremely professional and service oriented throughout the project. Because of our School Board’s commitment to energy conservation, our District will receive a dual reward, recognized energy savings and efficiency with an enhanced classroom environment for our students and teachers. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Living in the McLean County Unit District No. 5 region ensures one thing that children will receive one of the finest educations available. With one of its high schools ranked in the Top 50 Public High Schools in Illinois and listed in U.S. News & World Report’s Nation’s Top Schools, Unit District No. 5 is the place where excellence in education takes on a new meaning. Replacing antiquated HVAC systems But excellence doesn’t come without a price. In the current economic environment, maintaining and improving upon existing school facilities remains one of the most significant challenges for administrators and educators alike. That’s why officials turned to a solution that proved both unique and highly practical, when six schools in the district faced antiquated HVAC systems, nearing the end of their life-cycle. Upgrading and retrofitting school HVAC systems CM Engineering and Earth City Distributing understand the challenge of maximizing facility investment dollars CM Engineering and Earth City Distributing understand the challenge of maximizing facility investment dollars when it comes to upgrading and retrofitting school facilities. They also realize the key role those facilities play in keeping a school educationally competitive. The first schools from the Unit 5 School District to undergo retrofits included Oakdale Elementary School and Glenn Elementary School. Each school had ceiling limitations which made a conventional rooftop boiler-chiller system impractical. “We wanted a system that would be easy to service and maintain, provide cooling and be energy efficient,” said Jeff Monahan, Director of Maintenance for McLean County Unit District No. 5. Bard QTEC ground source heat pump installed “We had experienced earlier success working with a school in McComb, Illinois, where using a new type of piping system and the Bard QTEC ground source heat pump saved us over 50% in installation costs,” said Kirk Mescher, President of CM Engineering. Kirk adds, “Using Bard Manufacturing’s QTEC product in the Unit 5 School District applications was not only practical, it was the win-win solution in terms of reliability and efficiency in operation.” Between 2006 and 2008, 112 Bard QTEC units were installed in 6 schools. “Between CM Engineering’s unique design approach and Bard’s very efficient QTEC unit, the installation at all of the Unit District No. 5 schools couldn’t have gone any better, “ said Mike McManus, Owner of Earth City Distributing, a local Bard distributor, adding “Not only are the units energy-efficient and incredibly quiet when operating, they can be easily accessed for service.” Bard’s wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment Over thirty years ago, Bard Manufacturing Company began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency, with unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice for schools. With three, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to wide-scale research and development (R&D). With features such as self-diagnostics and self-programming energy monitors, Bard Manufacturing Co. delivers state-of-the-art products that provide tangible solutions for any school’s needs. Enhanced serviceability The QTEC’s serviceability is also a contributing factor to Unit District No. 5’s overall success “What we got by using Bard Manufacturing’s QTEC product was an HVAC system that not only provided heating and cooling, but did so while also providing more than a 40% savings in total utility costs, without upgrading windows or insulation,” said Jeff Monahan. The QTEC’s serviceability is also a contributing factor to Unit District No. 5’s overall success. “I love the fact that the units are virtually maintenance-free,” stated Monahan, adding “They’ve basically reduced our service calls to near zero.” Energy estimate from CM Engineering “Whenever any of our school clients are open to the idea of having an in-room unit installed, we always spec the Bard QTEC units. In fact, in all the years, since we’ve been in business, we’ve never installed anything else inside a classroom,” said Kirk Mescher, President of CM Engineering. With Unit District No. 5, CM Engineering initially gave them an energy estimate that proposed they could provide the schools with heating and cooling at no additional operating cost. Energy and cost savings Mescher adds, “Not only were we able to achieve that goal, but because of the Bard QTEC units, we were able to surpass it, helping the schools reduce their overall utility costs significantly, in some cases by over 40%.” He further stated, “For any school, anywhere in the country trying to save money on installation, service and energy costs, not to mention lowering overall ambient noise in a classroom, these are significant enough results that simply can’t be ignored.” Quiet and comfortable QTEC units Bard’s QTEC unit is designed to be installed inside the classroom, fully engineered to be quiet and comfortable Success with the retrofit of their six schools has, in fact, led McLean County Unit District No. 5 to approve installation of additional Bard QTEC units in a seventh school during the summer of 2009. Bard’s QTEC unit is designed to be installed inside the classroom, fully engineered to be quiet, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. QTEC units are designed and tested to operate at 20% above federal standards with easy installation features that make servicing fast and simple. Bard’s QTEC units can provide the following features: A one-piece factory unit with individual room climate control Designed for fast installation and easy servicing Sound deadening insulation Simple utility hookups Integrated energy recovery ventilator Controlled dehumidification A rating for efficiency that is 20% above Federal Standards
One won’t find bustling cities or lots of traffic in Montgomery County and that is just the way residents like it. Montgomery County is located in south-central North Carolina, an hour drive from Charlotte and just under two hours from Raleigh and Fayetteville. Eighty percent of the county comprises the geologically pristine Uwharrie National Forest, which provides a beautiful, scenic backdrop for quiet, country living. With children under 18 accounting for just over 25% of the local population, Montgomery County Schools' mission is to ensure that all students are prepared for the opportunities by addressing the challenges. Cost-Effective solution One of these challenges was directly related to a new elementary school – Green Ridge Elementary School - the district was planning to build in the town of Biscoe. “We recently completed building another school in the district that used a combination boiler/chiller to heat and cool the school”, said Bill Mingin, Maintenance Director for Montgomery County Schools. All Seasons recommended utilizing the wall-mounted design of Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 unit “Unfortunately, we found the high cost of fuel oil combined with the high cost of installing this type of system, forced us to come up with a better, more cost-effective solution for Green Ridge.” That’s when Montgomery County Schools turned to Drayton Stott of All Seasons Commercial HVAC Distributors, the local Bard dealer. Overall construction costs “I was very familiar with Bard because we had great success using some of their wall mounted units on several of our retrofitted schools,” said Mingin. “We were hoping, however, to reduce some of the overall operational noise and costs within the new building even more.” That’s when All Seasons recommended utilizing the wall-mounted design of Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 unit – albeit on the outside of the building. “The Bard Quiet Climate 2 units are some of the quietest HVAC units on the market today,” said Stott. “Green Ridge Elementary School also benefitted from a reduction in overall construction costs, including cement work, steel framing, the cost of running ductwork and construction of a maintenance and mechanical boiler/chiller shed.” Utilizing the Quiet Climate 2, Stott was also able to also provide each room and teacher with individual control over their room’s temperature. Enhanced operational efficiency “This enhanced operational efficiency in several ways, including better and more even temperature control throughout each classroom,” said Mingin. “Plus, if any particular unit needed maintenance, it wouldn’t mean that the whole system had to be shut down. By having the units installed on the outside of the building we could work on the units without disturbing the teachers or the students inside.” The school had the added benefit of turning units off or on as needed" “The school had the added benefit of turning units off or on as needed depending on whether or not individual rooms were in use.” Another big improvement was the overall cost and installation of the Bard system. “Our mission is to provide our students with the educational building blocks that will prepare them to ultimately compete in a global economy,” said Donna Kennedy, Principal of Green Ridge Elementary School. Wall-Mounted heating “Working with Bard, we were able to save Green Ridge Elementary over $800,000 in installation and purchasing costs over a conventional system. That savings gave us the opportunity to purchase a complete technology package for our school, including smart boards and computer labs in every classroom. As a former AC service technician, I have to say that I’m extremely impressed with the Bard Quiet Climate units– they actually make no noise at all,” said Matt Wolf, a teacher at Green Ridge Elementary School. “They make teaching and learning a quiet, comfortable experience.” Over thirty years ago, Bard began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency, with unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice for schools. Self-Programming energy monitors Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for any school With three state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to research and development. With features like self-diagnostics and self-programming energy monitors, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for any school. “With the Quiet Climate 2 units our teachers and students never have to worry about room temperature interfering with classroom learning,” said Kennedy. “Whenever we have a weekend community activity, teachers tutoring in off hours, or classes going on night, we know we can make those spaces comfortable without wasting energy in unused classrooms.” “Our experience with Bard products over the years in retrofitted schools has been excellent and the Green Ridge Elementary School results confirm that Bard performs as well in new schools as they do in older, existing school buildings,” said Mingin. “Bard’s ability to give us individual room dehumidification is another benefit that’s hard to quantify – we just don’t have any of the problems associated with high humidity.”
As Albert Einstein once said, “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” That wisdom has been put into practice in the form of a smarter approach in the way modular schools can be built and used. Pre-fabricated, modular classroom In 2006, the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, in partnership with the Council for Educational Facility Planners (CEFPI), held a national design competition, The Portable Classroom Design Challenge, to create a pre-fabricated, modular classroom unit that was environmentally sustainable, or green. This competition led to eventual development and installation of one of the most uniquely created modular spaces ever conceived, indeed the award winner of the design competition. Triumph Modular of Littleton, Massachusetts, in partnership with ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge and builder NRB Inc., won the design challenge because of their revolutionary, new modular classroom. Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Relocatable Green Modular Classroom comes designed with many LEED-focused design elements Aptly named the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom, it's also the first modular classroom to be designed with many LEED-focused design elements. “Our goal was to create a high-quality, portable classroom that was green, one with environmentally conscious materials used in its design and operation. The design was smart in the way that it used resources and provided heat, light, unsurpassed acoustics and air quality within the space,” said Cliff Cort, Founder of Triumph Modular. In fact, it’s estimated that the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom performs 56% better, in terms of overall energy costs, than similar, older style modular units that often use almost three times as much of energy as a permanent school building. Wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment Thirty years ago, Bard Manufacturing Co. Ltd began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, patented ventilation packages, unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice of many school officials. With three, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to research and development. Self-programming energy monitors and green refrigerants With features like self-programming energy monitors, unsurpassed energy efficiency, green refrigerants and the lowest acoustic profile on the market, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for modern school facilities. Already impressed from their previous working experience with Bard, Triumph Modular wanted to incorporate the Quiet Climate 2 into their green modular design. “Building green is good for the environment, good for the wallet and good for the occupants of the building,” said Cliff Cort, adding, “And Bard’s HVAC unit is a big factor in why the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom performs as well as it does.” Green modular design Bard’s HVAC System in the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Unit contributes to its high energy efficiency According to an independent third party analysis, the green modular design provides a 68% reduction in heating energy and a 49% reduction in cooling energy, most of which can be attributed to Bard Quiet Climate 2. An efficiently designed HVAC system is perhaps the single largest building component that can influence a building’s sustainability. Bard’s HVAC System in the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Unit contributes significantly to its high energy efficiency and quiet, almost undetectable acoustic profile (37 bBHL) within the classroom. Quiet-Climate 2 heat pump Bard’s Quiet-Climate 2 heat pump is the most innovative wall-mount HVAC equipment ever made. Designed specifically to provide superior energy efficiency and quiet operation in classrooms, the Quiet Climate 2 uses green refrigerants and provides operating sound levels that are 20 to 35 times quieter than a standard wall-mounted heat pump. Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 can provide the following features: Higher energy efficiency and greater comfort through step-capacity technology Unmatched acoustical performance Sound levels vary with applications and construction techniques, but integrated operating sound levels as low as 35 dbA have been achieved when combined with Bard Quiet-Climate acoustical accessories Improved ventilation and Enhanced IAQ Continuous blower operation – without noise – keeping fresh air constantly in the classroom Optional UV lighting which keeps the coils free of bacteria and mold Enhanced filtration capabilities A one-piece factory unit designed for fast installation and easy servicing Additional sound curbing accessories including, an isolation curb and return air and supply air plenums The Carroll School Serving over 75 communities around Lincoln, Massachusetts, The Carroll School was founded in part by Dr. Edwin Cole who wanted to provide a special school for children with language-based learning challenges. The Carroll School supports nearly 300 students, in grades 1 – 8, with a 3.4 student to teacher ratio using multisensory and individualized teaching methods for specific learning needs. Progressive by nature, The Carroll School’s thriving community brings children together in an environment that values their differences and remediates their learning difficulties. “Cliff Cort, a Lincoln resident and friend of the school, approached us with the idea to replace one of our existing modular building with the green modular design,” said Margaret Gebhard, Director of Finance and Operations at The Carroll School, adding “Our existing modular space was not a popular one with either faculty or students due to its poor lighting, sound characteristics and overall appearance.” Occupancy sensors and vestibule The classroom incorporates many unique green components, such as formaldehyde-free, low VOC paints Things changed when teachers, students and administrative personnel moved into the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom for the first time. The classroom incorporates many unique green components, including formaldehyde-free, low VOC paints and coatings that reduce off-gassing, occupancy sensors that conserve energy by turning the lights off, when people come and go, a vestibule that safeguards the inside from inclement weather while buffering outside noise and helps retain heating and controlling levels for its green and virtually silent HVAC system – the Quiet Climate 2. Enhancing schools’ energy efficiency Margaret adds, “The Relocatable Green Modular Classroom is truly amazing and smart to incorporate into any schools modular planning, we’re quickly approaching our original 3 year leasing agreement with Triumph and I see us keeping the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom around for many more years to come.” She further stated, “It has the best lighting, best HVAC system, and is the most energy-efficient building on our campus, which is why it’s also the most coveted space on our campus. Now we can not only say our kids here are special but now they have a truly special and smart environment in which to learn.”
Few buildings demand stricter environmental controls than a library, given the potential for damage caused by temperature, humidity, light and pollutants. To preserve its precious collection more effectively and efficiently, the National Library of Scotland called in Trend Control Systems’ long-term partners, Craigalan Controls (CCL), to conduct a comprehensive BEMS upgrade. The National Library of Scotland, first established in 1925, is a major European research library based in the center of Edinburgh. With a collection of more than 30 million items, it is an information treasure trove for Scotland’s knowledge, history and culture. As the Library grew, however, so did the demands on its BEMS technology. Delivering enhanced environmental controls “As we asked progressively more of the system in terms of both performance and usability, an upgrade became increasingly urgent,” says the Library’s Head of Estates, Ian Symonds. “We worked with the CCL team to plan a series of innovations that would deliver enhanced environmental controls and energy savings, whilst meeting the inevitable funding constraints of our business”. The task was to update a legacy, closed protocol BEMS system which required manual monitoring and data downloads with the latest Internet of Things (IoT) technology. Fortunately, Trend equipment enabled CCL to offer a solution that could extend the Library’s existing BEMS infrastructure without any detrimental effects to its irreplaceable collections. Providing real-Time analytics The graphics demonstrate proactive energy optimization and control of global rate changes “We proposed a phased upgrade from the legacy 963 Supervisor system to Trend’s latest IQ™VISION platform,” said CCL’s Managing Director, Craig James. “Thanks to its full backwards compatibility, connection between the two was seamless. With IQ™VISION, the Library now has a single interface providing real-time analytics via the cloud and allowing enhanced integration with environmental controls, lighting systems, CCTV, fire and intruder alarms,” he added. The upgrade from 963 to IQ™VISION includes the creation of new Analytic Dynamic Graphics. The rich graphics suite provides a dynamic, analytical overview of each area, whilst monitoring temperature and humidity conditions, along with energy usage. The graphics demonstrate proactive energy optimization and control of global rate changes – which are all part of a demand driven response strategy to enhance site performance and help visualize the energy savings /CO2 reductions. Real-Time graphic representations Critically, IQ™VISION software also facilitates the integration of data from a pioneering trial the Library has undertaken with Heriot Watt University - predicting and responding to future weather patterns. The researchers’ algorithms have been developed to add future planning to the system’s broad range of data sets, thus enhancing BEMS performance over time. Thanks to the new platform, energy use and humidity levels are now managed to extremely fine tolerances and rapid analysis is made far easier through real-time graphic representations. The technology allows heating and cooling to be used as efficiently as possible. As a result, the Library has achieved energy savings of £343,000 - a ten-fold return on their initial investment - through a 9% reduction in energy use. They have also seen a 32% reduction in their facilities’ greenhouse gas emissions, allowing the Library to reach the government’s carbon emissions 2020 level four years early. Achieving unprecedented results The project has received widespread industry recognition, including the FM sector’s top honor “Not only have we seen huge savings, we also know we’re fully compliant with the relevant standards and can manage the environment for the Library’s collections and our guests far more effectively – both today and in the years to come,” said Ian Symonds. “The results have far exceeded our expectations, in large part thanks to CCL and Trend’s technology, which has enabled us to think differently, control differently, and achieve unprecedented results,” he added. The project has received widespread industry recognition, including the FM sector’s top honor, when it was declared Overall Winner of the 2019 PFM Partnership Awards. Its success has also led to the Scottish Government recommending that the National Library of Scotland’s practices be applied to public sector facilities throughout the country.
Munters, a global renowned company in energy efficient air treatment and climate solutions, has received an order for a desiccant dehumidification solution, providing a climate with very low humidity, for a U.S.-based lithium battery production facility. dehumidification solutions The lithium battery manufacturing market segment is one of Munters’ prioritized areas for growth and expansion. The order for the dehumidification solution has a value of approximately US$ 12 million. Munters Group AB (MTRS), energy efficient air treatment and climate solutions firm, announced the order to provide desiccant dehumidification solutions for a lithium battery production facility in the US, including equipment and services. ICA and IDS systems Munters will deliver Integrated Custom Air Handler and Industrial Desiccant Dehumidification systems Munters will deliver ICA (Integrated Custom Air Handler) and IDS (Industrial Desiccant Dehumidification) systems, utilizing proprietary Green PowerPurge technology and delivery is expected to start in Q4 2020 and continue through mid-2021. Peter Gisel-Ekdahl, President Business Area AirTech, Group Vice President Group at Munters said of the order, “We are very pleased to have received a large order for our dehumidification solutions in the fast-growing lithium battery market, which is one of our three prioritized market segments." Energy-efficient and complete solutions Peter adds, “In this project, we worked very closely with all parties involved to develop the best overall solution, from equipment performance to energy efficiency to service needs." He further stated, “Our focus is always to deliver strong customer value by providing energy-efficient and complete solutions. By utilizing our application and industry knowledge, we can ensure every customer gets the best value.”
Round table discussion
New technologies continue to drive change in the HVAC market. HVAC’s image as a mature and stable industry can overshadow the high level of innovation taking place. Meeting environmental challenges and creating more cost-efficient systems are among the forces fueling the change. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the next big product trend in the HVAC market?