Volvo Group North America recently received a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Better Plants Better Practice Award for preventing and reducing waste at several North American facilities. The Volvo Group was chosen among a record number of applicants to receive the honor. The Better Practice Award is presented to partners for innovative and industry-leading accomplishments in implementing and promoting practices, principles and procedures of energy management. The Volvo Group implemented several...
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...
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.
ABB is collaborating with its global strategic partner, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on jointly developed technology to significantly reduce the energy consumption of high-performance supercomputers, while at the same time increasing their computing capacity and reliability. Answers to some of society’s most pressing challenges are buried in massive amounts of data. The world’s top research centers use supercomputers to find answers to some of the most complicated problems such as pandemic modeling, precision medicine, climate change and quantum mechanics. Reducing energy consumption HPE’s Cray supercomputers use a tailored ABB higher voltage direct current (DC) 1 power supply solution, which makes it possible to reduce the use of copper by a factor of 14. Another environmental and efficiency benefit of higher voltage DC is the vast reduction of power losses, which is estimated to be by as much as 95 percent. A connected solution furthermore enables power supply to ramp up power or scale down, depending on the computing load, creating peak efficiency during light computing loads as well as when the system is fully loaded. ABB - Hewlett Packard Enterprise partnership ABB and HPE are paving the way for sustainable high-performance data centers" “ABB and HPE are paving the way for sustainable high-performance data centers that can help humanity in its search for answers to existential problems such as predicting pandemics, fighting climate change and discovering new medicines,” said Peter Raadsen, Product Line Leader at ABB. “We need to be able to do more computing with fewer resources and energy inputs,” said HPE Chief Sustainability Officer, Christopher Wellise, adding “At HPE, we are committed to accelerating our path to a circular economy, and part of that is innovating technologies that overcome energy and resource constraints.” Real-time monitoring of supercomputers Real-time monitoring of thermal and power aspects of supercomputers adds another benefit. HPE servers offer embedded power and thermal monitors on critical components with output data aggregated and reported through HPE Integrated Lights Out (iLO), a proprietary and remote server management software that enables seamless and secure configuration, monitoring, and updating of HPE servers. iLO allows users to monitor equipment utilization, power consumption, and thermal output via tools, such as HPE OneView, HPE InfoSight, ABB Ability Data Center Automation, or 3rd party Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) and take action to optimize operations. Integration with ABB Ability Data Center Automation When combined with ABB Ability Data Center Automation, ABB’s industrial solution for on-premise and hybrid cloud environments, HPE and ABB are able to automate the correlation between workload and CPU dynamics with cooling of the data centers, resulting in a reduction of energy use of up to 30 percent. HPE and ABB have been global, strategic partners since November 2017. The relationship combines the best of ABB’s digital offerings with HPE’s renowned innovative connectivity, secure edge compute and hybrid information technology (IT) solutions, as well as new everything-as-a-service models.
Las Vegas entrepreneur & casino veteran, Bryan Lindsey, and other business industry veterans have partnered with Palm Beach, Florida-based RGF Environmental Group to create Environ Safety LLC., (‘Environ Safety’) a Nevada Corporation. After a complete shutdown of Las Vegas casinos, resorts, conference centers, restaurants and arenas due to COVID-19 pandemic, the welfare and safety of both patrons and workers is one of the great concerns that has delayed the reopening of these businesses. UV-based Advanced Oxidation Technologies Environ Safety LLC has entered into an exclusive agreement with RGF Environmental Group, Inc. to distribute RGF's patented UV-based Advanced Oxidation Technologies (AOT) utilizing RGF's PHI (Photohydroionization) and REME Halo (Reflective Electromagnetic Energy) as some of the air, surface and food safety solutions needed to bring Las Vegas back to the table. RGF's Advanced Oxidation Technologies (AOT) are the most innovative technologies currently on the market, with more than four million successful applications being used worldwide. PHI Cell and REME Halo Technologies RGF's PHI Cell and REME Halo technology is so effective that it can stop contagions from an infected person RGF's PHI Cell and REME Halo technology is so effective that it can stop contagions from an infected person’s sneeze/sneeze droplets. Using simulated sneeze tests, different third-party independent labs and universities found AOT cells are 99%+ effective in removing Coronavirus (COVID-19), Norovirus and MRSA within three-foot area of an infected person’s sneeze droplets. This licensed technology has aided Fortune 500 companies in successfully providing safe environments from the potential spread of various viruses and bacteria. Air, surface and food safety solution Lindsey and RGF have lofty goals as they collectively attack the biggest, most dangerous transmission of the virus: infected air. More than 50% of commercial buildings have contaminated heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. If not properly maintained, they are a hotbed for growth of mold, viruses and bacteria. The re-opening of these massive integrated resorts is the first and most important task at hand. RGF's patented Advanced Oxidation Technology (AOT) is the air, surface and food safety solution needed to bring not only Las Vegas but the entire global hospitality industry back to work. Ensuring cleanest air "Unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions! We are prepared to take swift and drastic action to clean and protect the Air, Water & Food Systems in our Vegas Valley resorts, convention centers and arenas. Having a manufacturing partner such as RGF and their American made patented products is a game changer for our entertainment industry!” said, Bryan Lindsey, President of Environ Safety LLC. Bryan adds, “Collectively we will enable the team members and guests visiting locally and internationally to breathe the cleanest air they have ever experienced here. As a longtime Las Vegas local, it's sickening that our resorts are still closed. Here at Environ Safety, we are solely focused on getting Las Vegas and the world back to work and getting hundreds of thousands of gaming & hospitality team members working in the safest environment as quickly as humanly possible," said Environ Safety LLC Las Vegas is the perfect venue to set the new standard in air, surface and food safety Environ Safety LLC is bringing this technology to Las Vegas and worldwide markets in an effort to help combat the spread of Coronavirus and other harmful bacteria and viruses. Las Vegas is the perfect venue to set the new standard in air, surface and food safety and to lead the way on how to safely reopen businesses around the world. Lindsey and the team at Environ Safety are also pleased to announce that their Global Scientific Advisor is none other than Dr. James Marsden, PhD. Dr.Marsden is a 40-year veteran in the environmental safety industry and will be involved in advising the elite hospitality clientele for Environ Safety as they expand across North America and globally. "Dr. Marsden is the Michael Jordan of the environmental safety industry and we are extremely pleased to have him advising our clients during the discovery, development, installation and long-term maintenance process," Lindsey concludes.
Thin Air Energy, a globally renowned provider of energy storage and LED lighting technology solutions, has announced two new breakthrough products in the COVID-19 era. The first product is TORCH UVc, a germicidal, anti-viral product that emits ultraviolet light in the UVc spectrum, where germs and viruses are killed. Germicidal and anti-viral products It has a novel feature, which is believed to substantially increase germ killing effectiveness. The second product is GEIGER UVc, which is a device used for measuring the instant intensity of UVc and accumulated dosing of UVc radiation. "Thin Air Energy is at the forefront of germicidal and anti-viral products for home and office use," said James Wiebe, CEO of Thin Air Energy, adding "These two new products provide an enormous benefit to the user, along with a simple way to measure the field strength and dose of UVc radiation." TORCH UVc TORCH UVc features a patent pending mode of operation, which modulates the UVc output TORCH UVc features a patent pending mode of operation, which modulates the UVc output in such a way that the efficacy may be substantially improved. This special enhanced kill feature of TORCH UVc may be enabled or disabled as desired by the user. If disabled, the product emits a conventional, continuous output of UVc. The product is designed with solid state LEDs and is not tube based. Consequently, the product will also last longer. TORCH UVc also includes another patent pending feature, a very bright white LED light, which flashes and alerts the user that the product is turned on and is potentially dangerous. This feature is more effective than the soft purple glow that many UVc devices emit. The flashing white LED light actively discourages users from looking into the UVc output. GEIGER UVc The GEIGER UVc allows users to easily measure the field strength of UVc radiation. GEIGER UVc measures the field strength of only UVc, ignoring UVa and UVb (which are commonly used in tanning salons and resin curing lights, and also potentially in fake UVc devices). GEIGER UVc also has great resistance to visible light as well. GEIGER UVc is the size of a key fob, and in addition to showing continuous UVc field strength (in milliwatts), it also measures the cumulative dosing, providing an LED alarm indication when 5,000 millijoules and then 30,000 millijoules of radiation have been detected. These dosing levels reflect dosing known to be effective for disinfection from published literature for certain germs and viruses. When the dosing level is achieved, a LED on GEIGER UVc turns on. Intensive R&D in product development Both products were designed with careful attention to a large number of published papers, including research and development that shows the improved germicidal efficacy of UVc when appropriately modulated. Our products are designed with science and are patent pending, state of the art, with improved safety and efficacy" "The internet is already filled with stories of fake UVc light sources that inadequately kill germs," James Wiebe said. He adds, "Social media is a plethora of cheap, featureless UVc devices of unknown strength and quality. Our products, in contrast, are designed with science and are patent pending, state of the art, with improved safety and efficacy." Products availability These products are available for pre-order on the official Thin Air Energy company website and through additional retailers in the coming months. The cost of raw UVc LEDS is rapidly rising in the current COVID-19 pandemic scenario, with prices being subject to change without notice.
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.
There was plenty to see and appreciate at AHR Expo in Orlando. And there is good news to report: Innovation is alive and well in the HVAC market. Some new products on display demonstrated genuine ingenuity. Exhibitors had enthusiasm to spare as they shared what’s new in the market with this first-time visitor to the show. HVAC is not a new market, but it is changing and, in some regards, re-inventing itself. The vibrancy, variety and sheer size of AHR Expo showed off the newest and best the industry has to offer. ‘Better Way to Heat and Cool’ Electronics highlighted the benefits of inverter systems -- "a better way to heat and cool" -- at their press event at AHR Expo. Despite the advantages, HVAC contractors are pushing back at the new, less familiar systems. The industry is at a "crossroads." Inverter systems have variable-frequency drives that control the speed of the compressor motor, enabling lower power consumption – operating at a partial load as Innovation is alive and well in the HVAC marketLG opposed to a full load. For example, an inverter system may use only 20 amps compared to 90 amps for traditional systems. The systems are quieter, too. There are also now inverter systems for ducted systems – "the space in between that nobody is talking about". New "hydro kits" can also extend the benefits of the systems, providing radiant floor heat or the ability to melt snow from a driveway. LG Electronics also introduced a new line of IP-based controls, aimed at the 97% of commercial buildings that are 100,000 square feet or less, many of which don't have building automation systems. The controller can be used in lieu of integrating with third party systems, which can add costs. They also are introducing predictive analytics that can consider multiple conditions over time and then predict things that may happen, such as maintenance requirements. The company also emphasized the benefit of LG as part of a range of products the company provides for the home, from OLED televisions to appliances to robotic vacuum cleaners. There is an opportunity for all the devices to be connected to an LG panel and "drive the experience." Monitoring Indoor Air Quality Airthings was a new exhibitor at AHR Expo, located off the beaten path among the high-numbered booths. Even so, the company had a great show with “enormous interest,” said Oyvind Birkenes, CEO. Airthings has an indoor air quality monitoring system, with a battery-operated, wireless sensor as the main component. There Some new products on display demonstrated genuine ingenuityare actually seven sensors inside the device, monitoring radon gas, CO2 level, temperature, humidity, VOC levels, pressure and ambient light. The device can be easily mounted on the wall and provides data every 5 minutes, which is sent to the cloud to be analyzed. The cloud system provides an overview of data, which is customizable. Users can set notification levels and/or download air quality reports. The system can also be integrated with building management systems (BMS) or other dashboard displays. A hub can manage up to 50 of the sensors for larger systems, in effect, a fully independent local network. Birkenes said the device provides a “disruptive” upsell opportunity for various platforms. Cooling Towers Making a Comeback A new era of cooling towers includes products that are modular and built on a smaller scale for tighter locations, says Neal Walsh, HVAC Business Manager, Baltimore Aircoil Company. “We’re turning the concept of cooling towers on its head,” said Walsh. The new concept leverages the energy efficiency advantages of cooling towers, while opening new applications to the technology. The modules of the product can be put in place by a forklift, and it is less than half the size of a traditional cooling tower. Up to six of the devices can be installed in A new era of cooling towers includes products that are modular and built on a smaller scale for tighter locationsa row with a control panel. Low water usage enables the system to be flushed and refilled once a day – no expensive water treatment needed. In all, it is less expensive to install and maintain, and could be installed inside a building, on a roof or anywhere there is space. The product is popular with school districts, which seek to avoid refrigerants. The new design is driving a “resurgence in popularity” in the market, said Walsh. Plastic Pipes with Easy Waterproof Sealing Uponor displayed pipe systems made of PEXA (cross-linked polyethylene) plastic, featuring “crosslinking thermal memory.” The pipe returns to its original shape when heated. It is available in ½-in. to 4-in diameters for residential or commercial installations. A special tool can be used to expand the pipe to accept a fitting, and then the pipe returns to its original shape when heated to create a water-tight seal without glue or solvents. The pipes can be used for radiant heating applications, and Uponor offers “roll-out” mats (pre-assembled configurations of pipes) for easy installation. Through a partnership with a Serbian company, the company also now offers polypropylene pipe for larger applications. There was plenty to see and appreciate at AHR Expo in Orlando SPVU Systems with Greater Efficiency Bard offers “single-package vertical units” for commercial applications in space-confined systems, whether the application is equipment cooling or “creature Many products demonstrated at AHR are also big in the education marketcomfort,” said Paul Quigley, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing. The factory-sealed systems ensure greater durability for mission-critical applications, such as telecommunications, data centers, etc. Bard’s products are also big in the education market (especially portable classrooms). Their line has been completely redesigned and reconfigured by Bard’s engineers; they have replaced nine major product families (and 10 million product iterations) with just two categories. The new models meet the Department of Energy’s 11EER minimum energy conservation standards for Single Package Vertical Unit (SPVU) air conditioners and heat pumps – a 22 percent increase in efficiency. They can also remove 35% more humidity than other units. The new systems use recycled denim for insulation (instead of fiberglass). Leveraging the Benefits of UV-C UV Resources highlighted the use of UV-C spectrum light for HVAC applications. They have a germicidal lamp system that uses UV-C to penetrate the HVAC coil to eliminate microbial buildup. It keeps coil surfaces, drain pans, air filters and ducts free of organic buildup and works better than pressure washing or chemical treatment. The company also displayed a germicidal UV fixture that can be wall-mounted at 7 feet or higher in a room. Special louvers direct “germicidal irradiation” at an upward and outward angle and create a zone of UV-C to kill germs and minimizes the dosage in the lower area of the room. It's useful in doctors’ offices, public buildings, etc. LG Components’ New Compressor LG Components launched a new product – a fusion compressor (hybrid) that merges the best of rotary systems and of scroll technology. Durability-improving innovations include a more sensitive vacuum prevention device and a stronger, stress-tested discharge reed valve that withstands the harsh operating conditions posed by refrigeration applications and limits excessive sound levels. It is compatible with multiple refrigerants, including R-404A, R-507, R-407A, R-407C, R-448A and R-449A; the compressor has a capacity range of 1-6 HP Catch up on our Day One Review here. or our Day Two Review here.
Two new Burnham model MPC™ high efficiency commercial boilers were recently installed by The Witmer Company of New Holland, PA in the historic ‘High Point’ Mansion located in Hershey, PA. The Model MPC boilers will provide space heating for the 22-room Mansion which was built in 1908 as the home of Milton and Catherine Hershey. Mr. Hershey was the founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company, now known as The Hershey Company. Today, ‘High Point’ Mansion serves as the headquarters location for the Hershey Trust Company which, among other things, oversees the continued philanthropic efforts that were founded by Milton Hershey. Exceptional heat transfer Two, five-section model MPC boilers were selected to provide heat for the building through a combination of 5 air handlers, 52 fan coils and commercial finned tube radiation. The MPC’s are well suited for the job with their unique 3-pass flue design and Return Water Mixing Tube, which translates into exceptional heat transfer as well as the ability to accept return water temperatures as low as 80°F. The MPC’s 4-inch insulation blanket insulates the boilers so well that the jackets stay cool to the touch The MPC’s are manufactured in nearby Lancaster, PA using BC25-HSi cast iron sections, which contain high levels of silicon for exceptional flexibility and heat transfer capabilities. Even at start-up a big difference could be noticed – the boiler room temperature had dropped 30-degrees from the previous boilers. The MPC’s 4-inch insulation blanket insulates the boilers so well that the jackets stay cool to the touch, and the boiler room at the Hershey Mansion is now a much more comfortable place to work. Heat distribution systems Heat transfer and high efficiency is only part of the equation in this new installation, with a variety of heat distribution systems and controls the MPC’s needed to integrate with an advanced control system. The power burners were ordered with the powerful new Burnham SBC™ – or Sage Boiler Control, which made the control portion of this job simple for the Witmer crew. The SBC’s control many of the boiler room functions such as outdoor reset, multiple boiler modulation, lead-lag boiler rotation, combustion air louvers, and pump controls, all without the need for additional control systems. And the SBC’s tie right into the existing building management system so the whole system works together to deliver comfortable, efficient heat throughout the beautiful historic Hershey Mansion.
BC Place is an icon of British Columbia. From the water, or from the sky, views of Vancouver’s downtown skyline are punctuated by the retractable stadium roof. Ruskin and its representative in Vancouver, were deeply involved from start to finish with both the aesthetics and ventilation control of the stadium redesign. The concept was to take what at one time was a large inflatable air supported roof and convert it into a retractable dome with a large cable-supported roof. “This investment in our future is expected to create 3,000 person years of employment and ensure British Columbia has a world-class stadium for decades to come,” said the BC Minister of Tourism Culture and the Arts at the beginning of the roof project. “A new retractable roof will allow us to attract a broader range of sporting and entertainment events, and continue to host the province’s largest consumer shows and cultural events that benefit Vancouver and our entire province.” electronic video board The completed roof is the largest cable-supported fabric roof in the world at more than four hectares The completed roof is the largest cable-supported, retractable fabric roof in the world at more than four hectares (10 acres). The design allows for the retractable membrane to retract into the center of the roof opening and be hidden inside a suspended, four-sided electronic video board, without compromising sightlines. The roof is able to open or close within 20 minutes. The roof has been designed to handle a snow load of 7,000,000 kg. Currently, BC Place is home to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC of the MLS, the BC Lions Football Club of the CFL, and the BC Sports Hall of Fame. Regarded by many as the premier stadium venue in Western Canada, BC Place is busy 250 days of the year. Since reopening in 2011, BC Place has welcomed more than 1 million guests each year to world-class entertainment events, professional and amateur sports events, community gatherings and exhibitions. low-leak aluminum airfoil control dampers Ruskin worked closely with Stantec Architects and Genivar Mechanical Engineers creating a louver and damper design that surrounds the stadium. BC Place was technically a very complex design, engineering, and construction program with many logistical constraints, including heavy construction operations in a congested urban location. With only five months’ lead time to bring 18,000 tons of steel, 35 kilometers of cables and many other custom-made products to the site from other parts of the world, the schedule was tight. Two full-time staff members were dedicated to working directly with international suppliers to check on quality control and ensure timely shipments. What appear to be curved louvers are in fact 36 specially designed sections of approximately 19 meter lengths canted outward. Behind each louver is an actuated bank of low-leak aluminum airfoil control dampers. The louvers/damper assemblies are located under the structural “ring beam” at top of stadium under rows of light panels. provide engineering documentation The louvers are installed facing exterior and the dampers the interior with the actuators in between Crucial to the success of the project were shipping and packaging requirements. Shipments were coordinated in 53 foot trucks timed alternately to arrive at job site in stages from 2 different manufacturing plants. To protect the finish of the louvers in transit, a special 3 mil plastic adhesive film was applied to them. Special crating was also required. The louvers, with architectural style mullions, are installed facing exterior and the dampers the interior with the actuators in between. Ruskin provided engineering documentation to change the specified actuator, which was scheduled to be discontinued, to a Belimo model that worked well in this application. Unique issue of actuator maintenance was solved with removable blades at the bottom of each CD50 damper. The assembly is sloped outward at 19° to follow the roof line. old inflatable roof design Genivar engineers performed computer modeling to determine the most efficient height for optimal natural ventilation and the result was a 2.2m high opening around the entire perimeter of the stadium. The natural ventilation design eliminated the 16 giant fans utilized in the old inflatable roof design and will save significant dollars in energy cost every year. The remarkable revitalization of BC Place Stadium continues to receive awards and accolades since opening in 2011, including ‘Project of the Year’ at the prestigious Stadium Business Awards in May 2012 in Turin, Italy. Also in 2012, Geiger Engineers and GENIVAR received an Award of Excellence from the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of Canada and in 2013, the new BC Place was awarded the Engineering News-Record (ENR) Global Best Project Winner for Sports/Entertainment. massive and complex construction project We’re proud of the hundreds of professional men and women who crafted this massive construction project" The Vancouver Sun newspaper went on to say this about the project. “It’s anticipated that the new roof will extend the life of BC place 40 years or more. By creating an entirely new guest experience, BC Place will be able to attract a whole new class of event that will make BC Place an even greater economic generator by attracting more business. We’re also proud of the hundreds of professional men and women who crafted this massive and complex construction project." "They include locally based iron workers and other highly skilled tradespeople who frequently work late hours on a very tight schedule to ensure that the new BC Place was built right – and on time.” Product detail ELF375DX Architectural Drainable Louvers - Ruskin ELF375DX louvers were combined with Ruskin control dampers to provide the means necessary to allow natural ventilation below the roof line in the redesigned stadium. Anodized finish was applied to protect the louvers in this oceanic climate. CD50 Aluminum Airfoil Control Dampers - Ruskin low leak control dampers with factory furnished and mounted actuators are opened and closed based on outdoor air conditions and the indoor air conditions required in the stadium.
Headquartered in West Sacramento, California, The Money Store’s existing facilities were inadequate for its growing staff. To help with its consolidation and expansion, The Money Store contracted with E.M. Kado and Associates to design a new facility to meet their needs. Wanting to complement and enhance the West Sacramento skyline, E.M. Kado and Associates designed the new building with a distinctive tiered appearance. The mechanical systems in this unique building were designed and installed by Airco Mechanical, Inc. They selected several Ruskin products to control the ventilation system and provide the HVAC life/safety protection. Norman Wright Mechanical Equipment, Co., Ruskin’s Sacramento representative, provided expert support to complete the design, installation and commissioning of the system. life safety protection The HVAC system includes chillers installed in the basement level. With two 74,000 CFM centrifugal fans, outside air and return air are directed to a large acoustical plenum. The system is designed with efficiency in mind and to meet ASHRAE 62-89 recommendations. The HVAC system also includes life safety protection which, in case of a fire, helps prevent flame spread and smoke migration within the building, including the four-story atrium. Airco selected the Ruskin IAQ50 air flow measuring and control damper to control the minimum outside air and report the information to the Building Automation System (BAS). The IAQ50 damper is installed in the outside air plenum. This is matched with Ruskin’s CD36 low leakage dampers which are installed in the outside air openings of the plenum. smoke exhaust system Ruskin CBS7 backdraft damper is installed on the discharge of the smoke exhaust fan located in the Penthouse The outside air dampers remain in the full closed position except when the building’s controls signal a free cooling condition. When the outside air dampers open, the IAQ50’s flow measuring and control functions are bypassed. When the outside air dampers close, the IAQ50 returns to measuring and controlling the minimum outside air. CD36 dampers are also installed in the plenum wall to control the return air path. Ruskin CD80VG2 dampers are installed on the discharge of the return and supply air centrifugal fans to prevent air backflow if one fan is off-line for maintenance. A Ruskin CBS7 backdraft damper is installed on the discharge of the smoke exhaust fan located in the Penthouse. The damper prevents backflow into the smoke exhaust system when the system is not in operation. combination fire smoke dampers To help protect the employees and provide a safer environment, Ruskin fire dampers and combination fire/smoke dampers are installed in HVAC penetrations of fire rated shaft enclosures, walls and corridors throughout the building. All of the Ruskin combination fire smoke dampers include “Controlled Closure” design. This 3-15 second controlled closure design protects the HVAC system from instantaneous pressure shocks that occur without this important feature. “Ruskin’s complete product offering simplifies the HVAC design process,” says Dean Schouweiler, Airco Mechanical Senior Project Engineer. Bob Beyer, Norman Wright Mechanical Equipment, agrees. “Having the broad range of products Ruskin offers made this project a win win for everyone involved. This job included a number of unique challenges and Ruskin provided the solutions.” HVAC life/safety protection These and many other Ruskin damper and louver products are available through the company’s representatives. The Money Store building expansion project incorporates several Ruskin products that control the ventilation system and provide HVAC life/safety protection. These include: IAQ50 Air Flow Measuring Control Dampers CD36 Control Dampers CBS7 Fan Discharge Backdraft Dampers CD80VG2 Fan Discharge Dampers FSD36 Fire/Smoke Dampers FSD36C Corridor Fire/Smoke Dampers IBD40 Integral Sleeve Fire Dampers
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.
To improve access into the Four Queens Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Four Queens recently added a 48 foot air curtain. Built using Ruskin’s IAQ50 air flow measuring and control dampers, the new air curtain efficiently and economically maintains the pressure in the building. Designed to satisfy the needs of a variety of applications, the IAQ50 air flow measuring and control damper provides the perfect solution to difficult challenges. Downtown Las Vegas hasn’t been the same since the completion of the Fremont Street Experience revived this popular gambling and tourist destination. This four-block project has successfully turned a city street into a large canopy-covered walkway that has substantially increased the tourist and gambling business in the downtown area. Mist evaporation system The Fremont Street Experience which includes a mist evaporation system to protect the tourists from the sun and heat, and a laser light show presented several times nightly, created problems for the Four Queens Hotel and Casino. Business at the Four Queens Hotel and Casino, located on Fremont Street, was suffering because the two existing air curtains on each end of the casino were limiting access into the hotel and casino from the sidewalk where the crowds stroll and gather to watch the light shows. In order to share in the success of The Fremont Street Experience, the Four Queens Hotel and Casino contracted with Harris Consulting Engineers in Las Vegas to design an additional access opening. This new, 48 foot opening would be located between the existing entrances. The hotel wanted the new entrance to open without doors. This required the design and building of an air curtain to separate the casino from the outside elements. Precise control of the airflow Because of the hotel’s design, the air curtain would be obstructed by existing structural supports Here’s where the hotel encountered a problem. Because of the hotel’s design, the air curtain would be obstructed by existing structural supports. And, in order to maintain proper building pressure, the air curtain had to provide precise control of the airflow around the obstructions and down to the return air grate which is also the walkway into the casino. In addition to maintaining the pressure in the building to prevent the loss of conditioned air from the casino, energy consumption and comfort were significant design criteria. With the assistance of Long & Associates, Inc., Ruskin’s Las Vegas representative, the Harris team responded to the challenge by designing a custom air curtain that provides precision air flow around the existing structural supports. IAQ50 air flow measuring and control dampers Built using Ruskin’s IAQ50 air flow measuring and control dampers, the new air curtain successfully provides consistent airflow. The system includes two 65,000 cfm centrifugal fans installed in the space below the return air walkway grate. The air returns through the grate into the basement plenum and passes through two 144 square foot filter and coil banks. It is then ducted up from the fans into the plenum space above the air curtain supply opening. The air then passes through the IAQ50 air flow measuring/control dampers and is directed through an adjustable deflection type grille. The individual IAQ50 dampers measure and control the airflow between the existing structural supports The individual IAQ50 dampers measure and control the airflow between the existing structural supports. This helps guarantee the air curtain maintains the required velocity and prevents conditioned air from escaping through the opening. “Opening up the Four Queens to the Fremont Street Experience has been a tremendous success,” says Max Proctor, Four Queens Building Manager, adding “We are exceeding our revenue projections with this improved access to our casino.” Custom air curtain design “Ruskin’s IAQ50 air flow measuring and control dampers are the key to the design of this custom air curtain,” says Floyd Harris, Principal of Harris Consulting Engineers, adding “Without the precision control of the air velocity around the structural obstructions, it would result in uneven flow through the supply grille and loss of the air barrier." "That means conditioned air would have escaped into Fremont Street. The support given by Ruskin and Long & Associates throughout the design, installation and commissioning of this system was outstanding.” The IAQ50 air flow measuring control damper is designed to fit the needs of a variety of applications. It is this type of versatility that helped the project succeed. Harris Consulting Engineers demonstrated their commitment to providing engineered solutions for their customers by incorporating this unique product into their custom air curtain design. The Ruskin IAQ50 air flow measuring and control damper is one of many products available through Ruskin’s network of representatives.
The owners of St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma find comfort in knowing their emergency generator system is protected by Ruskin. A newly built penthouse using Ruskin’s Wind Driven Rain Resistant EME6625 Louver keeps the top-floor generator room dry and secure. Ruskin EME6625 Louver Designed to handle the severe weather conditions often found in the Midwest, the EME6625 Louver creates very low pressure drop while providing the best combination of rain protection and high airflow capacity. Closely spaced vertical blades prevent penetration of wind driven rain Certified performance per AMCA Publication 511 42% free area Low pressure drop Low maintenance aluminum construction All welded construction To meet an increase in demand for medical services, the owners of St. John Medical Center recently expanded their complex, including the 500 bed hospital. Located in the heart of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the medical center is subjected to the threat of rain throughout the year with occasional large hail and violent windstorms. Emergency generator system The new medical center expansion included a state-of-the-art emergency generator system located on the top floor. This meant that large intake openings had to be placed on the rooftop to feed the generators the proper amount of air. It also created a problem. The combination of wind and rain native to the area meant special accommodations had to be made to prevent water from seeping into the generator’s air intake openings. To protect the openings, a 54' x 15' x 5' tall vertical blade Wind Driven Rain Resistant Penthouse was mounted above the generator room. The penthouse solution was designed by Keith Browne of Lee and Browne Consulting Engineers using Ruskin’s Wind Driven Resistant EME6625 Louver. The engineers chose this Ruskin louver because they were able to design a structure that creates very low pressure drop and provides an excellent combination of rain protection with high airflow capacity. AMCA Wind Driven Rain Test approved The vertical blade design offers enhanced performance versus traditional horizontal blade" “The emergency generator installation which the penthouse serves has an intake air flow requirement of 375,000 CFM,” says Keith, adding “The vertical blade design offers enhanced performance versus traditional horizontal blade louvered penthouses.” The hospital’s new penthouse is the largest ever built by Ruskin using a Wind Driven Rain Resistant Louver. These louvers have been specifically designed and tested in the AMCA Wind Driven Rain Test for use in the most severe weather conditions. With the performance of the hospital’s generator equipment at stake, the decision to create a penthouse using the EME6625 Louver provides the owners a high level of comfort. Dampers and louvers “Water penetration though the penthouse would be unacceptable,” said Keith, adding “This design provides an excellent water barrier. In addition to the Wind Driven Resistant EME6625 Louver used in this project, Ruskin’s network of representatives provides a complete line of dampers and louvers.