Hiring and retaining employees in the HVAC market is an ongoing challenge. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers will grow 13 percent between 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the economic emerges from the COVID-19-induced slowdown, the industry’s workforce challenges will again be top-of-mind. Now is a great time for HVAC companies to update and expand their re...
Kiwi Energy, a New York and Ohio energy supplier providing environmentally conscious products, is pleased to announce that they have partnered with Cinch Home Services in order to offer new customers HVAC protection for their homes. The service will be incorporated as part of Kiwi Energy's Kiwi Guard product. They will soon offer a full suite of additional services for the home through the Cinch partnership. The premier offering available through the Cinch partnership will provide new customers...
IT Tech Packaging, Inc., a globally renowned manufacturer and distributor of diversified paper products in North China, has announced that its operating entity in China, Hebei Baoding Dongfang Paper Milling Company Limited (Dongfang Paper), expects to launch the construction of a combined heat and power generation project utilizing biomass technology (Biomass CHP project) with the total construction area of 80,373 square meters which is located in its Wei County production base. Biomass CHP Th...
There is a demonstratable link between humidity and the infectivity and longevity of a variety of viruses, such as influenza and coronaviruses, according to a new whitepaper by Munters, a globally renowned company in energy-efficient and sustainable air treatment solutions. Titled ‘How Humidity Control Can Reduce Viral Infectivity and Longevity’, the scientific report addresses how it is possible to reduce the transmission and longevity of harmful viruses by controlling indoor Relat...
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) announces the successful completion of two joint energy efficiency projects. In total, the projects are saving the university 66,000 therms of energy every year. The reduction in energy use equates to removing about 350 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the same as a reduction of 866,516 miles driven by passenger vehicles per year. Both projects were part of California's joint Energy Efficiency P...
Alfa Laval, globally renowned company in heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling technology, has signed two frame agreements, running over the coming three years, for ballast water treatment systems. Alfa Laval PureBallast 3 The agreements comprise firm orders to deliver Alfa Laval PureBallast 3 to about 40 vessels, with options covering another 40 systems. Even as the shipping industry has been heavily hit by the current pandemic, Alfa Laval has continued working closely with...
Building technology industries veteran Mike Fischer has joined Armstrong Fluid Technology as Commercial Director and Country Leader, USA. In this role he will be responsible for all sales and sales support functions for the United States and will report directly to Joachim Schulz, Global Commercial Director, Building Business. Executive management positions Fischer brings more than 30 years of experience working with the organizations focused on building technology. In his 29 years with Honeywell he held several executive management positions with the company’s Building Technologies, Building Products and Life Safety divisions. Most recently, he served as Global HBS Service Sales Leader with Honeywell Building Solutions. Fischer has an MBA from Texas Christian University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University.
The Eurovent Product Groups ‘Air Conditioners’ (PG-AC) and ‘Liquid Chilling Packages and Heat Pumps’ (PG-LCP-HP) elected new Chairmen and Vice Chairmen, with a clear scope and timeline of activities. Mr. Henk Kranenberg was separately elected Chairman of both Products Groups. He is joined by Vice Chairman, Mr. Stefano Vit (De'Longhi Group) in the Air Conditioners Group and Vice Chairman, Mr. Mariano Covolo (Mitsubishi Electric Hydronics & IT Cooling Systems S.p.A.) in the Chillers Group. PG-AC and PG-LCP-HP Product Groups PG-AC and PG-LCP-HP met in quick succession, on 9 and 10 June, 2020 respectively, with a focus on defining the scope and timeline of future activities in light of important European and international developments in the area of legislation and standardization. Both Product Groups elected Mr. Henk Kranenberg, Eurovent Vice-President and Senior Manager at Daikin Environment Research Center, as Chairman. Eurovent Product Groups ‘Air Conditioners’ (PG-AC elected Mr. Stefano Vit, Patents and Technical Compliance Leader at De’Longhi Group as Vice Chairman, whereas PG-LCP-HP elected Mr. Mariano Covolo, Technology & Engineering Management Manager at Mitsubishi Electric Hydronics & IT Cooling Systems S.p.A. as Vice Chairman. The Product Groups will focus on the upcoming revisions of important pieces of EU legislation in the HVACR sector, including the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Regulations for air conditioners (206/2012 and 626/2011), chillers (2016/2281), and space heaters (811/2013 and 813/2013), as well as the F-Gas Regulation (517/2014). Developments in standardization and testing The Product Groups will also follow developments in the area of standardization and testing The Product Groups will also follow developments in the area of standardization and testing, including EN14511, EN14825, the BAM testing method, VRF testing method, polyvalent heat pump testing method, EN378, and IEC EN 60335-2-40, and other important topics, including flammable refrigerants and the circular economy. Mr. Henk Kranenberg, newly elected Chairman of both Product Groups stated, “The European Green Deal is of great relevance for the HVACR industry, and sustainable heating and cooling have a major role to play in decarbonising the economy.” Developing sound European policies and standards Henk adds, “The reactivated Eurovent PG-AC and PG-LCP-HP will accompany the development of sound European policies and standards in support of the EU’s climate-neutrality vision. I urge all our industry colleagues to join us in this important work.” The next meetings are scheduled for 22 September, 2020 (PG-AC) and 23 September, 2020 (PG-LCP-HP).
Atomic Blue LLC has announced that it’s high-performance UV-C germicidal light has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Atomic Blue's ultraviolet light has been registered with the FDA as a disinfectant medical device with the product code LRJ under device Class 1. UV-C germicidal light The UV-C germicidal light fixture, known for its ability to eradicate the COVID-19 virus from surfaces and air, is now approved for commercial use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This UV light device was tested by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and has shown in lab tests to eradicate the COVID-19 virus from surfaces to up to 99.99%. When biological organisms are exposed to UV-C light they are absorbed by DNA, RNA, and proteins. This process disrupts replication, causes rupture of cell walls and death to the organism. Deploying ultraviolet (UV) light in COVID-19 battle Ultraviolet light has been relied upon for decades where highest standards are practiced Ultraviolet light has been relied upon for decades where highest standards are practiced, including disinfecting surgical instrumentation and in the most sensitive lab environments. The Atomic Blue high-performance LED UV-C light was designed for applications that require surface and/or air treatment to remove viruses and bacteria. UV-C technology "Innovation in nanotechnology applied to LED chips and core patented cooling technology have made it possible to achieve significant improvements in UV-C technology, allowing this product to emit UV-C light at the highest intensity,” said David Lolis, CEO of Atomic Blue LLC. David adds, “This proprietary germicidal ultraviolet light solution is designed to help with eradicating the COVID-19 virus from surfaces and air. We are happy to have completed the registration process with the FDA."
uHoo has announced launching the ‘uHoo Virus Index’, the world's first real-time assessment of virus survival (such as COVID-19) based on air quality. The ‘uHoo Virus Index’ is a patent-pending technology that analyzes air quality data, monitored by uHoo, and provides an assessment on the risk of viruses surviving in homes or workplaces, as well as how the air affects general health and immune system. uHoo Virus Index The uHoo Virus Index works on a 10-point system, and subcategorized into four levels: Good, Mild, Bad and Severe The uHoo Virus Index works on a 10-point system, and subcategorized into four levels: Good, Mild, Bad and Severe. Each level provides insights about air quality, risk of virus surviving and how to improve the environment to reduce risk. The COVID-19 pandemic forced people to spend more time indoors where the air might be two to five times worse than outside air. As governments slowly lift COVID-19 restrictions, many will still stay at home while some charge ahead to go back to their workplace. Enhancing living and working in healthy buildings In both cases, there is an increased focus and need for living and working in healthy buildings which reduce the risk of virus spread. In either environment, people are unknowingly exposed to suboptimal air quality, if not managed properly. uHoo recently published a white paper consolidating research from various governments, universities and international medical and environmental journals explaining the link between air quality and COVID-19 death rates as well as explaining in detail how the ‘uHoo Virus Index’ works. Correlation between poor air quality and COVID-19 deaths "Research shows a strong correlation between poor air quality and higher COVID-19 death rates. In addition, long-term exposure to pollutants weakens immune systems and exacerbates other health conditions,” said Dustin Jefferson S. Onghanseng, Co-Founder and CEO of uHoo. Dustin adds, “COVID-19 has increased the focus on health and well-being, air quality and the need for 'healthy buildings', especially, as we gradually return to our workplaces. uHoo has seen increased demand globally from governments, enterprises, building owners and consumers. uHoo has launched this unique patent-pending ‘uHoo Virus Index’ to help minimize the spread of viruses." Improving air quality Buildings have always been focused on being energy efficient, usually at the expense of people's health Buildings have always been focused on being energy efficient, usually at the expense of people's health. This has resulted in people getting sick inside their offices, viruses and bacteria being passed to each other, feeling discomfort (too hot / too cold), having smells or odors inside workplaces, and other factors not clearly visible to the eye, but affecting one's general health and well-being. These are symptoms of a sick building and primarily caused by the air people breathe indoors. This has led to the rise and demand for ‘healthy buildings’. Professors, Joseph Allen and John Macomber from Harvard's School of Public Health and Harvard Business School, recently co-authored a book focused on how buildings and surroundings impact health, well-being, lung health and higher order cognitive functions. Shift from energy-efficient to healthy buildings COVID-19 has put air quality top of mind. A recent survey showed that 88% want air quality data to be publicly displayed on a large screen inside offices, building lobbies, restaurants, hotels, and any public establishment as a means to assure guests that the environment is being managed properly and is safe for them to enter. COVID-19 has indeed accelerated the movement from energy-efficient buildings to healthy buildings. A healthy building is now the new normal, it is the new minimum. Indoor air parameters measured uHoo monitors nine (9) different indoor air parameters - temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide, PM2.5, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and air pressure - and provides data, alerts, insights, and recommendations via the uHoo mobile app, accessible through any smartphone that's connected to the internet. Research published in the American Society of Microbiology showed that SARS-COV surrogate viruses, a coronavirus genetically very close to SARS-CoV2 / COVID-19, survive longer and can become airborne in specific combinations of temperature and humidity. Indoor air quality Particulate Matter, also known as ‘Particle Pollution’, is a complex mix of small particles and liquid droplets The indoor air quality can also be a vector for viruses. Particulate Matter, also known as ‘Particle Pollution’, is a complex mix of small particles and liquid droplets. Particulate Matter at 2.5 microns in size is small enough to stay suspended in the air that viruses can latch onto and become airborne. A study published in the journal of Genome Biology showed that PM2.5 accommodates rich microbial communities that have potential health consequences. Scientists from Harvard University also reported that long-term exposure to PM2.5 increased the death rate of COVID-19 cases. Measuring Particulate Matter in real-time uHoo measures PM2.5 in real-time and sends alerts when it reaches unhealthy thresholds so people can immediately take action. Busy streets and combustion sources creating nitrogen dioxide also contribute to poor air quality in homes/workplaces. Inside buildings, ambient infiltration of nitrogen dioxide occurs due to the building's structural imperfections which can be worsened by poorly designed or poorly maintained ventilation systems. Efficient ventilation system in buildings Exposure to raised levels of nitrogen dioxide inflames the lining of the lungs, which may reduce a person’s immunity to fight COVID-19 due to lung infection. Aside from nitrogen dioxide, continuous exposure to high levels of carbon dioxide can also cause lung-inflammation and put vulnerable people at a higher risk. Having sufficient ventilation not only dissipates high levels of CO2 inside the home/workplace but also flushes out particles that may have viruses latched onto them. Analyzing air quality data uHoo makes these invisible problems in the air visible. It provides people with accurate air quality data that help to identify problems and take appropriate action. The uHoo Virus Index goes the extra step of analyzing the air quality as a whole, instead of in silos, to help people properly create an environment to effectively deactivate viruses and strengthen the immune system. uHoo is used by tens of thousands of households and almost 200 governments and enterprises globally with deployments in office buildings, hotels, airports, shipping ports, local government buildings, offices and homes. Over the last 3 months, uHoo has witnessed a spike in demand and expects this to be the ‘new normal’ trend, with the increased focus on health and well-being.
Armstrong Fluid Technology is sponsoring a Virtual Summit June 10th, designed to help building owners and operators create and maintain healthy indoor spaces in this challenging environment. Entitled Healthier Buildings for a Greener Future – Improving Air Quality in Buildings Post-COVID, the discussions will focus on indoor air quality, sustainability, energy savings and occupant comfort. Addressing health challenges The first session of the virtual summit, Risk Reduction in the MUSH Sector, will feature a panel of industry experts from the municipal, university, school and hospital (MUSH) sectors and will address health challenges in indoor spaces. Part of the session will focus on government’s role in providing further incentives to upgrade and retrofit buildings. The second session, Going Green: How Technology Can Improve Employee Health and Reduce Emissions, will focus on what solutions exist to help building owners and operators improve the health and sustainability of buildings. Healthy building advocates and technology providers will discuss building technologies hurdles, obstacles to building upgrade projects and how building owners can overcome them.
Electrolux announces a plan to replace all high-impact greenhouse gases in all of its appliances by 2023 at the latest, as part of its commitments to the United Nations global Cool Coalition initiative. The plan, which helps Electrolux deliver on its objective to significantly reduce its climate footprint over the coming decades, is one of the actions taken under the company's Better Living Program. As global temperatures rise, the transformation of cooling technology will make a big contribution to the fight against climate change. Global warming impact The phase-out of powerful climate-warming gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) has the potential to avoid up to 0.4°C of global warming by 2100. HFCs are often used in refrigerators, air conditioners and other cooling devices, as well as tumble dryers and washer dryers with heat pumps. Now Electrolux is accelerating the transition from these gases by submitting a phase out plan to the global UN initiative Cool Coalition. The commitment is a plan for replacing the high-impact greenhouse gases in all appliances with gases that have a lower climate impact, such as natural gases with very low global warming impact. By 2023 this plan will be complete. Reducing greenhouse gases The appliance industry is one of the sectors with a vital behind-the-scenes role in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic" "The appliance industry is one of the sectors with a vital behind-the-scenes role in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic as refrigerators, washing machines or air conditioners are essential products in people's lives.” “Although these are uncertain times for business, we believe addressing climate change by reducing greenhouse gases remains one of the most urgent challenges for society. We are encouraging other companies in our industry to join us as we all share the same responsibility," says Jonas Samuelson, CEO Electrolux. Far-Reaching ambitions Electrolux has far-reaching ambitions to reduce its climate impact, ranging from a science-based target to reduce CO2 emissions from products with 25% by 2025, to becoming fully climate neutral throughout the value chain by 2050. Widening the scope of its sustainability strategy, Electrolux in 2019 also launched the Better Living Program, an initiative to enable better and more sustainable living for consumers around the world through 2030. This announcement will contribute to the program, not least the target to make homes healthier and more sustainable through smart solutions for air, water and floors.
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.
When a visionary industrial designer turns his attention to the HVAC industry, it’s probably wise to take note. Recently, technology entrepreneur and philanthropist, Elon Musk expressed his vision for residential HVAC, based in part on a new heat pump his engineers designed for the Tesla Model Y electric compact sport utility vehicle. Efficient, quiet home HVAC system According to several reports, Musk seeks to build an efficient and quiet HVAC system for the home, piggybacking on the technology used to make heaters for the newest Tesla Model Y. It’s the first of Tesla’s electric cars to use a heat pump, which is more efficient than previous electric heating systems. Tesla’s previous vehicle models used resistance heating, which is a battery hog Tesla’s previous vehicle models used resistance heating, which is a battery hog. The new heat pump component, including a compressor/chiller and liquid cooled condenser, is designed to be more energy-efficient and provides a more reliable vehicle operation range in cold weather conditions. Model Y heat pump “The model Y heat pump is some of the best engineering I’ve seen in a while,” said Musk on Twitter, adding “[The] team did next-level work.” Musk would ‘love to do HVAC that’s quiet and efficient with humidity control and HEPA filter’ for the home. Tesla car-inspired temperature controls Musk stated that he imagines a full-home HVAC system that is inspired by and maybe linked with the temperature controls inside someone’s Tesla vehicle. The proposal is in line with Musk’s mission to accelerate the advent of sustainable energy. He said, “Reducing a home’s energy usage while deploying solar power capacity are complementary goals”. High-efficiency particulate air filters Tesla HEPA filters are about 10 times larger than a normal automotive cabin air filter Tesla already has experience with HVAC systems and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters used to clean the cabin air in their Model 5 and Model X vehicles. The Tesla HEPA filters are about 10 times larger than a normal automotive cabin air filter and about “100 times more effective,” according to the company. Tesla HEPA filters The filters remove at least 99.97% of the fine particulate matter and gaseous pollutants, as well as bacteria, viruses, pollen and mold spores. Tesla refers to the extreme level of air cleaning as ‘Bioweapon Defense Mode’. Among other benefits, the filtering system protected California drivers from smoke and kept the vehicles’ cabin air clean during the recent wildfires. Musk first mentioned home air conditioning systems about two years ago, alluding to a home HVAC system that is quiet and efficient with humidity control and a HEPA filter. HEPA filter in a home system “The use of a HEPA filter in a home system would be a ‘life changer’ for people with allergies”, says Musk. The growing popularity of home air purifier products supports the conclusion. Communication between a Tesla vehicle and a Tesla home climate system would allow an intelligent air conditioning system to ‘know’ exactly when a resident will get home and only cool the home as appropriate to save energy. Energy-efficient, high performance HVAC systems Musk has also questioned the wisdom of home air conditioner systems that make pure, fresh water Musk has also questioned the wisdom of home air conditioner systems that make pure, fresh water and then dump it on the ground. The HVAC market has had its share of innovation in recent years, as today’s more energy-efficient, quieter and better-performing systems can attest. Smart thermostats, climate control systems There has also been lots of development in the area of smart thermostats and climate control systems, with the results approximating what Musk envisions achieving with communications between his smart vehicles and smart home systems. But is it time to rethink the technologies again? There is certainly opportunity in the market for any systems that provide better, more sustainable performance, no matter where the ideas originate. Given Musk’s success envisioning a future of electric cars and lower-cost space travel (among other ideas), his thoughts on the future of the HVAC market are at least worth considering.
The need to achieve energy efficiency and improve performance propels a lot of business in the HVAC industry. When installing systems, building owners often strive to comply with the latest voluntary standards. However, some cities are taking the lead to make building performance standards mandatory, thus providing additional incentive for customers to invest in new, more efficient and climate-friendly HVAC technologies. Building Energy Performance Standard NYC has deployed its Carbon Mobilization Act, which will cut six million tons of CO2 annually by 2020 Washington D.C. adopted the first Building Energy Performance Standard, which will reduce energy use in buildings by more than 20%, thereby lowering carbon dioxide emissions by a million tons annually. The first compliance cycle in 2021 will cover buildings of 50,000 square feet, and the threshold will drop over the next few years to include smaller buildings. New York has deployed its Carbon Mobilization Act, which will cut six million tons of carbon dioxide annually by 2020, thus preventing 43 premature deaths and 107 emergency room visits every year, and creating at least 26,700 green jobs, according to New York City officials. Clean Buildings Act Washington State projects that its 2019 legislative package, the Clean Buildings Act, will reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 14 million tons by 2035. “Jurisdictions are looking to Building Performance Standards because they are the most powerful and direct tool for driving improved performance in existing buildings,” said Cliff Majersik, Executive Director of the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), a non-profit organization that promotes energy efficiency, green building and environmental protection. Fighting climate change IMT is promoting the use of Building Performance Standards (BPS) and working with cities to explore, develop and execute the policies. Fighting climate change at the local level means taking serious steps to reduce carbon emissions generated by buildings, which include shifting to mandatory policies. A powerful new tool in the fight against climate change is the mandatory Building Energy Performance Standard A powerful new tool in the fight against climate change is the mandatory Building Energy Performance Standard, which requires building owners to meet performance targets by actively improving the energy performance of their buildings over time. By setting long-term targets, a BPS provides the commercial real estate market with the certainty it needs to make confident investments in properties over time. Energy-efficient HVAC systems in buildings A BPS also provides flexibility for building owners to use whatever technologies, including HVAC products and systems, along with whatever operational strategies they decide are most effective and economical to meet the target. Leveraging technology advancements in the HVAC industry can contribute positively to a building owner’s ability to meet the target. According to IMT, benefits of Building Performance Standards include: Carbon reductions, especially in existing buildings. Job creation, including large opportunities for the expansion of private firms offering architectural, engineering, construction, equipment sales, and installation services (including HVAC). Economic and social benefits, including healthier air quality for occupants, lower carbon emissions, and lower utility bills that benefit the bottom line of local companies. American Cities Climate Challenge IMT is driving the BPS initiative in partnership with the American Cities Climate Challenge, sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies, which is an opportunity for 25 ambitious cities to significantly deepen and accelerate their efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for their residents. Originally open to 20 American cities, the program was expanded to 25 cities due to the strength of the applications received. The goal of the American Cities Climate Challenge is to enable mayors and their partners to scale and implement proven climate solutions and innovations that will help grow the economy, protect public health and improve the quality of life for citizens.
HVAC industry employees are included among “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During the COVID-19 Response” as designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The guidance memorandum states: “If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security … you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.” The edict comes from the DHS Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, whose goal is to provide a listing of essential workers to help state and local officials as they work to protect their communities. The list also seeks to inform critical infrastructure community decision-making to determine the sectors, sub-sectors, segments, or critical functions that should continue normal operations, appropriately modified to account for Centers for Disease Control (CDC) workforce and customer protection guidance. Business As Usual For HVAC Employees HVAC industry employees are included among “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During the COVID-19 ResponseSeveral sections of the March 19 document are relevant to the HVAC marketplace. Specifically, the guidance memorandum singles out “employees of firms providing services that enable logistics operations, including cooling, storing, packaging and distributing products for wholesale or retail sale or use.” It also specifies “workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.” Under “information technology,” the document also mentions “data center operators, including …. HVAC and electrical engineers …” Furthermore, under an “Other” category, the document lists “workers to ensure continuity of building functions.” Vital Health and Safety Requirements A March 17 letter to “Federal, State and Local Officials” from a group of HVAC industry organizations made the case that their business is “essential.” As the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded, many states have targeted for closure non-essential businesses that typically involve crowdsThe letter reads: “While citizens are coping with a variety of unforeseen and unusual restrictions, it is essential that they are able to maintain their HVAC and commercial refrigeration equipment. Aside from providing comfort, this equipment is vital for health and safety in addition to productivity, particularly for air filtration and food and medical supply preservation, especially in this time of quarantine. When equipment fails, technicians must be able to repair or replace it as quickly as possible.” The letter continues: “Accordingly, as states and local jurisdictions consider their health crisis travel restriction plans, we respectfully request that HVACR technicians and engineers be considered essential businesses.” Representatives for the HVAC Industry The letter is signed by representatives of the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), Heating, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI), Air Movement & Control Association (AMCA), and North American Technician Excellence (NATE). Also signing are Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA), Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors (PHCC), Heating Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), and American Association of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). As the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded, many states have targeted for closure non-essential businesses that typically involve crowds.
Blackheath High School, an independent day school for girls and part of the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) network, recently invested £18 million to provide new state of the art facilities including a new library and resource centre, and AET Flexible Space supplied an underfloor air conditioning system to provide comfort cooling for students in the new learning zone. The project involved the design and construction of a three storey new build, aesthetically designed to blend with the existing Victorian structure. The library and resource center are located in the lower ground floor, sunk beneath the existing site and the new courtyard area. Air conditioned zone Underfloor air conditioning makes use of the plenum beneath a raised access floor Due to the underground location of the resource centre, air conditioning was required for this area, and an underfloor air conditioning system was specified by consultant Hilson Moran so that the ceiling space, featuring the unique pyramidal skylights, could be left exposed. Underfloor air conditioning makes use of the plenum beneath a raised access floor to distribute conditioned air. At Blackheath High School, a single CAM-V33 Direct Expansion downflow unit serves the air conditioned zone, and the conditioned air is supplied into the space by 14 TU4 Fantiles. The CAM-V receives spent air back for re-conditioning via high level transfer grilles. A major challenge with this project was the 900mm high underfloor void within the main resource area, requiring special modification to the CAM baseframe and raised floor substructure. The new state of the art facility reached practical completion over the summer of 2018 and was ready for students to use in September at the start of the new school year.
With the rise of veganism showing no signs of slowing down, plant-based meal provider, allplants decided to consolidate its seven sites into a single, central facility. When the contracting company, Forma London was presented with the challenge of sustainably fitting out the new building, it turned to Elta Fans to deliver an efficient ventilation solution. Vegan diets are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of different reasons, including health, climate change, and animal welfare. As plant-based diets become mainstream, there is a growing need for convenient, meat-free meals, and offering greater choice for consumers. Sustainable building solutions allplants set out to meet this demand, making delicious frozen meals and delivering them straight to customers’ doors. Its success derives from the passion of its two founders, JP and Alex, and has necessitated the consolidation of its multiple sites into one central facility. The new premises provided allplants the opportunity to fit out the building with sustainability at its core Moving to new premises provided allplants with the opportunity to fit out the building with sustainability at its core. All the desks, for example, are made from locally sourced, sustainable wood, but it was in the kitchen that the greatest challenge was posed. Forma London, a principal contractor based in the capital, was tasked with delivering the project. Combining construction expertise with eco and ethical credentials, the contractors began working on providing ventilation for the meal provider’s centerpiece, the development kitchen. Enhanced ventilation The kitchen is where the magic happens, allowing allplants to ensure the meals it produces are as tasty as possible. As specialists in microwavable food, the traditional ventilation set-up of a commercial kitchen was far greater than what the site needed. Anthony Afram, Building Services Manager at Forma London, said “Balancing energy efficiency with performance output is a priority in any project, but given the nature of the client, this took on a whole new level of importance.” He adds, “The challenge of equipping the kitchen with the right ventilation was highlighted by the two bifurcated axial fans that we were originally quoted. These would have been perfect for a busy commercial kitchen, but for this application they were overkill. In terms of expense and performance, they would have been much more than required, and ultimately incurred far higher running costs than necessary.” Energy-efficient ventilation systems It isn’t just for the purposes of corporate social responsibility or an altruistic mindset that businesses must pay close attention to the energy credentials of their ventilation systems. Building Regulations and Ecodesign Directives obligate everyone in the supply chain, from manufacturer through to contractor, to select and supply ventilation with maximum levels of efficiency. This means that most commercial and industrial fans need to be provided with functionality that allows control over fan speed and power. Skyflow SSRL EC axial roof fans For allplant’s kitchen, this meant specifying a fan that was appropriate for a busy, but pollutant-low kitchen In the context of allplant’s kitchen, this meant specifying a fan that was appropriate for a busy, but pollutant-low kitchen. Owing to its position as the first ErP compliant low silhouette axial roof fan on the market, the decision was made to turn to Elta Fans’ Skyflow SSRL EC. Equipped with an EC motor with an integral potentiometer commissioning device as standard, the fan is ideal for environments such as a light commercial kitchen. Intuitive controls Anthony continues, “For applications such as this, where ventilation requirements may be variable, the ability to control fan speed through intuitive controls is vital. “It also highlights the importance of not over-specifying, as it can be all too easy to opt for the highest performance available, without consideration of the energy expenditure. “Elta Fans’ Skyflow SSRL is a great example of the energy saving possibilities associated with the latest ventilation technology. Opting for the most efficient products can make a significant contribution to the overall energy credentials of a building, and projects such as this illustrate what is possible.” Energy savings and sustainable HVAC system allplants is understandably concerned with sustainability, and the fitting out of its premises necessarily reflects this. However, it is important to be aware that its growth as a company shows the overall trend towards an environmentally-conscious society. As legislation is introduced to reflect this, those tasked with providing ventilation must ensure they opt for solutions that balance performance with optimum energy efficiency.
The new Adidas LDN flagship outlet in London, which opened late October 2019, has been specifically designed to enhance the retail experience. As the brand’s most technologically-advanced store worldwide, it required a ventilation system that would effectively deliver a fresh air supply across the four-storey, 27,000 sq. ft, site, in the most energy efficient way possible. Adidas is one of the most well-known sports brands in the world, and so it’s to be expected that when it launched its new store on Oxford Street, London, it would be no ordinary shopping experience. Digitally-Savvy innovations The store features over 100 digital touch points that are all powered by green energy The store features some of the most digitally-savvy innovations in retail, such as interactive mirrors in changing rooms that allow shoppers to order different sizes direct from the stockroom, a ‘Bring It To Me’ feature using in-store geolocation tracking to allow customers to shop without queueing, and a MakerLab where clothes can be customized with personalized designs. However, with additional energy usage comes additional heat sources, and therefore the size and volume of air required to keep the building and shoppers cool needed to be carefully calculated. The store features over 100 digital touch points that are all powered by green energy. While incorporating these interactive elements into the design of the store would, undoubtably, help to revolutionize the high street, subcontractor, PCB Technical Services, also recognized that they would increase energy usage and would therefore result in additional heat loads. Enhanced technical support With this in mind, a ventilation system that would be able to meet a consistently high demand at all times was required. What’s more, a quick turnaround was essential to ensure the unit would be installed and delivered within time and budget. After an initial supplier interview and factory review, Ricardo Hudson, Senior Technical Project Manager at PCB Technical Services, was given the confidence to opt for a bespoke Air Design unit from Elta Fans. This was thanks to the company’s enhanced technical support and understanding of the project, as well as its ability to meet the tight delivery date. Elta Fans uses in-house Air Design technical engineers who utilize specialist software to tailor the unit especially for the customer’s exact needs; considering performance, efficiency, noise, and, most importantly, the latest regulations and any site restrictions. Air Design ventilation unit The Air Design ventilation unit supplied by Elta Fans was custom-made, ensuring it was able to effectively ventilate Providing fresh air to a store as big as this one is essential if customers are to feel comfortable while browsing, but it is also crucial that adidas adheres to the most up-to-date energy standards and legislation. The Air Design ventilation unit supplied by Elta Fans was custom-made, ensuring it was able to effectively ventilate according to the unique size and layout (across four floors) of the store. The specialized solution chosen, the fully-configured PURA+ Air Handling Unit (AHU), would be mounted on the roof to maximize space on site. The challenge of transporting the AHU into position was exacerbated by the high-profile nature of the location. PCB Technical Services was reluctant to disturb the busy street, particularly given the strict local regulations that had to be upheld. Improved ease of installation A great deal of planning was required to fit the unit as PCB had to work within a limited timeframe, gain the relevant planning permission, and eliminate as many risks as possible to nearby occupants and shoppers. As a result, the team was required to arrange a specific timeslot for delivery to site. As the Air Design unit was manufactured offsite, it was able to be lifted into place by crane, minimizing road closure time, and ultimately disruption. This also improved ease of installation as it was delivered in two parts and could be easily bolted together once in place. Now installed and operational, the AHU delivers a consistent fresh air supply into the building by removing polluted air and replacing it with clean air, at the most efficient temperature. Balancing indoor air quality This allows the store manager to balance indoor air quality (IAQ) and energy efficiency Building Management System (BMS) controls enable the store manager to ensure the ventilation system is working as it should in tandem with other products. This is essential as it is not just the store itself that needs to be kept cool, but also the data center, which generates a significant amount of heat from the servers. Controls will essentially determine how a ventilation unit runs, whether that’s scheduling airflow, linking to a BMS, permitting fault signals and alarms, or communicating that filters need changing. Ultimately, this allows the store manager to balance indoor air quality (IAQ) and energy efficiency, and also effectively manage operating costs. Evolving ventilation demand Ricardo said: “The unique challenges of the project were amplified with the introduction of a series of in-store digital screens. This meant that more heat was being generated within the structure, thus increasing the levels of ventilation required.” “It also necessitated wholesale changes to the ductwork system, in order to increase the velocity and retain ambient temperatures. Owing to its reputation in the industry and having already completed several successful projects together, Elta Fans was the standout choice to provide us with an AHU capable of meeting this evolving ventilation demand.” The bespoke PURA+ that we ultimately installed was ideal for meeting the velocity" “The bespoke PURA+ that we ultimately installed was ideal for meeting the velocity and air volume required for the store’s footprint. Plus, it was able to integrate with the BMS, enabling us to manage the significant amount of power throughout the building.” Quickly identify ventilation requirements Melissa Goodman, Technical Sales Manager at Elta Fans, said: “The challenge of providing consistent air flow across the site’s four floors was underpinned by the tight time constraints. It presented the Air Design engineers with an exciting opportunity to produce a bespoke PURA+ that was both straightforward to install, but also robust and powerful enough to perform as required.” Ricardo concluded: “Finding a bespoke solution in a short amount of time is difficult, and this project highlights the importance of choosing a brand that offers consistency, even in its customized products. The adidas project was a perfect example of Elta Fans’ ability to quickly identify ventilation requirements, and the PURA+ unit provided by Air Design highlights its precise approach to tackling air movement problems.”
Alfa Laval, a globally renowned company in the field of heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling, has announced winning an order to supply compact heat exchangers to a refinery and petrochemical plant in China. The order has a value of approximately SEK 95 million. It is booked in the welded heat exchangers unit and the gasketed plate heat exchangers unit of the Energy Division, with delivery scheduled for 2021. Alfa Laval compact heat exchangers The order comprises Alfa Laval compact heat exchangers which will be used to recover and reuse heat in the refinery The order comprises Alfa Laval compact heat exchangers which will be used to recover and reuse heat in the refinery and petrochemical complex, which produces both transportation fuels and petrochemical products. “With China slowly recovering after the pandemic, I am very pleased to announce this order for our energy efficient heat exchangers from one of our refinery and petrochemical customers.” said Susanne Pahlen Aklundh, President of the Energy Division at Alfa Laval. She adds, “Our products and solutions play a vital role in maintaining a functioning society by providing fundamental basics such as energy supply.” Safety protocol In China, the Alfa Laval offices and sites were closed one extra week after the Chinese New Year and were then re-opened with a clear safety protocol to ensure the health and safety of the employees, as well as to maintain the continuity of the business. Jan Debruyn, President of North East Asia & Alfa Laval China commented, “It is very encouraging that we during these challenging times could work together with our customer to secure the order. By using digital communication channels, we were able to move our business forward.” HVAC products in critical infrastructure Alfa Laval’s equipment and solutions often play an integral role in their customers’ processes, and are part of critical infrastructure in areas such as food and pharmaceutical production, sanitation, HVAC, electricity generation, etc.
The Hawaiian Islands have a lot to offer – pristine beaches, natural beauty and friendly citizens. And now, with the help of Ruskin and its partner contractors, it also has a state-of-the-art middle school campus. In order to accommodate the continued growth of Kapolei, the Kapolei School District recently constructed a new middle school campus. Located on Hawaii’s most populated island, Oahu, the new Kapolei Middle School is a perfect example of how new architecture can be used to enhance and serve the community. “Our new school is designed to educate up to 1,600 students with multi-track schedules ensuring the community may continue to grow,” says Annette Nishikawa, Principal at the school. “We are pleased with our new facilities.” Protecting ventilation openings Working with a local architect, Mitsunaga & Associates, Inc., the district developed a design that includes Ruskin’s ELF520DD rain resistant and sight proof louvers. Located in the block wall and metal roofed structures of the administration, classroom and cultural center buildings, these louvers serve a dual purpose – to protect the ventilation openings against environmental elements and enhance the exterior of the campus buildings. Additional Ruskin louvers were used to protect the ground level openings of the unit ventilators for each classroom The design team used the horizontal lines of the louvers to highlight the canopy on the entrance of the cultural center and accent the gables on several buildings. Additional Ruskin louvers were used to protect the ground level openings of the unit ventilators for each classroom. The general contractor, Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc., coordinated construction of the campus. Building roofing and louver systems The building roofing and louver systems were installed by Quality Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Company Limited. The project challenged Ruskin’s design and manufacturing team with a number of unique shapes and angles. To successfully meet the specifications, the ELF520DD louvers were precision fabricated to ensure it would fit each of the openings. “Ruskin’s attention to detail resulted in a seamless installation,” reports Roy Kawakami Jr. of Quality S/M & A/C Co. Ltd. Coordinating the louver portion of the project, Ruskin’s representative, Norman Wright Mechanical Equipment Corporation, Inc., worked closely with Quality S/M ensuring the quantities, sizes and types of louvers were correct. “The various shapes and changing opening dimensions as this project developed, kept us on our toes,” says Curtis Kenmostu, Norman Wright’s Hawaii Manager. “Ruskin’s timely response and complete and accurate CAD drawings eliminated potential installation problems.” Highly weather-Resistant Located on Hawaii’s Oahu Island, Kapolei Middle School was designed to blend with the natural beauty of the Pacific islands. When the school district expanded their middle school facilities, they chose the Ruskin ELF520DD rain resistant and sight proof louvers. Custom built to Hawaii’s ‘Second City’ district specifications, these specialty louvers are in a class of their own. In addition to being sight proof, they also protect ventilation opening from water penetration In addition to being sight proof, they also protect ventilation opening from water penetration. Coated with a highly weather-resistant KYNAR finish, these louvers enhance the school’s appearance and will give the school years of exceptional, maintenance-free service. To help create an island oasis for the students and faculty, exterior finishes and colors were chosen to complement the architecture of the neighborhood. Providing quality products “Ruskin’s computer matching automated finishing system eliminated the need for field finishing the louvers,” says Curtis. “All of the louvers include a 20-year warranted factory applied Kynar finish.” Protection of any HVAC openings in buildings challenges the architect for functionality and appearance. The Kapolei Middle School project is just one example of Ruskin’s commitment to meeting these challenges by providing quality products and excellent service. Ruskin continues to research new louver solutions like the recently released models to resist wind driven rain and hurricane force winds. With both horizontal and vertical blade louver designs, Ruskin louvers will enhance the exterior appearance of one's building without compromising performance. With more than 40 years of experience designing, testing and manufacturing louvers, Ruskin knows what it takes to deliver “real” solutions for current louver applications.
Hess Tower is a 29 story, 844,000 square foot mixed use building containing commercial office, retail and dining space with an adjacent parking garage. It’s located in Houston’s Inner Loop East area adjacent to Discovery Green park, a 12 acre urban green space for outdoor activities, concerts and other entertainment events. Originally named Discovery Tower, it was renamed in 2009 for the Hess Corporation, its current lessee. It was formally completed in 2010 and is Houston’s first downtown LEED Platinum office building. Great functional and architectural feature “Discovery Tower, now known as Hess Tower, was a very challenging project for NOW due to several obstacles. No access to the backside of the majority of the louvers as well as having to deal with multiple penetrations and architectural accent fins as an integral part of the louvers were the most notable.” “Ruskin did an outstanding job in engineering a blind attachment using interlocking aluminum zee clips as well as coordinating louver blade leave outs for both architectural fin attachment and blank off plates for current and future piping penetrations." "Overall the project was a success and the Ruskin louvers added a great functional and architectural feature to this monumental project.” Says Dan Ozuna, Co-owner of NOW Specialties. Protection against rain penetration Being a high-profile building in downtown Houston, the aesthetic design was a critical component to the success of the project. The architectural design incorporated a significant amount of architectural louvers in the lower elevations. The louvers needed to provide HVAC airflow in some areas with protection against rain penetration in storm conditions. Being in a hurricane-prone area, the louvers had to stand up to the high velocity winds that can occur in the area Other areas were to be inactive with blankoff panels on their interior. All louvers, whether active and inactive, needed to have the same exterior appearance with consistent transitions from one area to the next. The louvers required custom fabrication for various features such as pipe penetrations, mitered corners, door openings and decorative architectural fins. Being in a hurricane-prone area, the louvers had to stand up to the high velocity winds that can occur in the area. Providing vital information Additionally, many of the areas of louver installations were inaccessible from the rear which required those louvers to be installed and fastened entirely from the exterior. Ruskin and its sales representative, Steve Bryan of ADW Corporation, partnered with NOW Specialties to successfully complete this LEED ® Platinum Certified project. ADW and NOW provided vital information on field conditions and adjoining construction to Ruskin’s project management team. This enabled the engineers to precisely design the complex louver system and its custom installation details. The louver model selected for this prestigious project was the EME745. Its Wind Driven Rain (WDR) rating as well as its architectural continuous blade design was the perfect product for this demanding application. The two-piece louver construction includes an exterior 4” deep stationary louver with hidden mullions and a rear 3” deep vertical WDR louver that provides excellent weather protection for HVAC intakes. Custom fabrication and installation requirements The louver system is a key element in the building’s form and function The two louvers are factory combined prior to shipment to the jobsite. Integral to the model is a special design for inactive areas. To keep the clean lines of the exterior louver, the 3” louver is replaced with a solid blank-off panel to block weather & humidity. Ruskin’s Geneva, Alabama production facility fabricated the louvers & delivered to the jobsite in coordination with NOW’s installation schedule. Ruskin’s in-house painting facility is state-of-the-art that not only shortens the lead time to the job site, but includes a 20-year standard warranty for painted finishes. For Hess Tower, the louvers were coated with Ruskin’s Pearledize 70 finish (70% Floropolymer) in a custom Meteor Gray pearlescent color. Due to the extensive custom fabrication and installation requirements, a team effort was needed to successfully design, build and supply the louvers. Ruskin's louver system is a key element in the Hess Tower building’s form and function. With innovative products, comprehensive project design and management services and quality in fabrication, Ruskin is prepared to tackle any architectural challenge.