Sustainability has been a core concept in the HVAC industry for decades. Environmental concerns often drive product innovation, for example. However, environmental challenges persist and there is ongoing pressure on the industry to respond responsibly. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What steps is the HVAC industry taking to address climate change and sustainability?
As a Managing Director of a company that provides temperature and humidity solutions to predominantly the warehousing and industrial sectors, I thought I would share my dilemma that I’m sure other business owners and managers also face. I don’t pretend to know the answers, but thought it might be worth sharing some of the considerations that I’m facing in whether to reshape, recruit and build or hunker down until the World, Europe and the UK offers some sort or predictability....
Building services professionals from all over the UK will once again have the opportunity to take part in a series of virtual CPD courses focusing on key construction industry topics, from REHAU. REHAU’s virtual CPD courses With social distancing restrictions still in place, the polymer solutions provider is continuing its virtual training course offering to keep construction professionals up-to-date with the latest technology and solutions. Following the success of the last run of virt...
To help facilitate remote HVAC management during the on-going COVID-19 global pandemic, Armstrong Fluid Technology has announced that it will extend, until the end of 2020, the offer of free subscriptions for its cloud-based remote asset management and analytics service platform, Pump Manager. “The original offer of three free months of Pump Manager service to new customers was scheduled to expire in August but we recognize that there is still a need to maintain social distancing wherever...
Jobber, the global provider of home service management software, has announced the availability of two-way text messaging within its platform. The new feature enables service professionals, such as landscapers, plumbers, HVAC technicians, and more, to stay better connected with their clients, respond to leads faster and improve customer satisfaction. “Home service professionals work in industries that are centered around creating relationships and loyalty with customers,” said Sam P...
WINT - Water Intelligence, a globally renowned company in cutting-edge water management and leak prevention solutions for construction, commercial and industrial applications, has developed a solution that detects and prevents leaks and other issues in chilled water systems and pipes. Leak prevention solution The solution prevents water damage by detecting issues, automatically shutting off water flows and isolating impacted areas. WINT has developed a solution specifically designed to detect...
The future of residential comfort heating has arrived with the introduction of the ECO Tec high-efficiency boiler from Weil-McLain, North America’s renowned boiler manufacturer. The new ECO Tec is a high-quality boiler that meets nearly all residential application needs including multi-zone and combi applications. ECO Tec high-efficiency boiler The ECO Tec high-efficiency boiler features a long-lasting fire tube heat exchanger The ECO Tec high-efficiency boiler features a long-lasting fire tube heat exchanger and is available in combi versions with response time and domestic hot water (DHW) output designed to meet the demanding needs of residential replacement applications. ECO Tec is easy to install, use and service, operates whisper quiet, and is among the most energy efficient residential boilers available in the market. It is available in four heat only sizes, ranging from 80 to 199 MBH. Integrated with ECO BOOSTTM technology The combi versions of the ECO Tec boiler are available in three varied sizes, 110, 150 and 199 MBH, with hot water output up to 5.4 gallons per minute (GPM). They also feature Weil-McLain’s advanced ECO BOOSTTM technology to provide rapid DHW response. ECO Tec boilers also feature built-in zone controls that can connect up to four thermostat inputs and an easy-to-use setup wizard, along with heating system presets. “ECO Tec is a premium residential boiler designed to provide entire home comfort and offers great value, priced below most premium boilers available in the market currently,” said Mike Boyd, Product Manager with Weil-McLain. Mike adds, “ECO Tec boilers feature exceptional domestic hot water performance and was developed with Weil-McLain’s next generation, easy-to-use Unity 2.0 control with touch screen display. Contractors will appreciate the ease of installation, use and service, while homeowners will enjoy high-performance and energy-efficient comfort home heating.” Energy efficient resident boiler Featuring a 95% AFUE rating, ECO Tec is among the highest energy efficient residential boilers in the industry. ECO Tec achieved the ‘Most Efficient’ rating level from Energy Star in 2020 and is rated to deliver maximum operational cost savings to homeowners and provide qualification for local utility rebates, if available. The unit’s durable stainless steel fire tube heat exchanger features a vertical orientation for ‘self-rinsing’ during operation The unit’s durable stainless steel fire tube heat exchanger features a vertical orientation for ‘self-rinsing’ during operation and a polypropylene condensate-collector base that provides better corrosion resistance than traditional stainless steel, thereby helping to ensure a long service life and efficient operation. A sound suppressing air silencer on the heat exchanger provides whisper quiet operation. Easy maintenance and service ECO Tec is designed for easy maintenance and service with a spacious cabinet that allows for full access to internal components, common parts for all unit sizes and the easy-to-use control touch screen display. Other key features of the ECO Tec include: Up to 10:1 turndown ratio that self-adjusts to minimize fuel usage Low NOx emission certified NSF/ANSI 372 certified domestic hot water components Built-in energy-saving ECM circulator to conserve energy Built-in zone control that can operate up to 4 circulators (plus internal) Natural or propane gas capable Multiple venting options for different home styles and buildings Sleek, modern wall mount design The ECO Tec boiler’s sleek, modern design makes it easy to transport, deliver and install and offers versatile placement options with included and optional kits. Its wall mount design frees up valuable floor space, while its optional pedestal can be used for floor standing installations. All units are tested and certified to the industry’s highest standards and include a warranty of up to 12 years on the heat exchanger and up to 5 years on parts with registration (2 years on parts without registration).
Grundfos, a globally renowned company in water technology, is pleased to announce the groundbreaking of its Americas Regional Center, located in Brookshire, Texas. LEED Platinum certification The 45,000 square foot facility is expected to be completed during the spring season of 2021. Grundfos is currently seeking to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The new offices will house company sales, operations, engineering, HR, finance, and other support functions. “To better serve the market, the new Americas Regional Center will strengthen our proximity between important sales areas and production hubs in North and South America, while fostering creativity for innovative applications and solutions,” said Eric Boutot, Grundfos Americas Vice President of Regional Operations. Solar photo-voltaic panels installed A chilled water energy storage system will reduce energy consumption With its sustainable green building design by PGAL and construction by Harvey-Cleary Builders, the structure will be made of locally sourced building materials, verified to have been sourced in a responsible manner. Solar photo-voltaic panels mounted on the roof will offset 20 percent or more of the building’s energy costs. A chilled water energy storage system will reduce energy consumption. And a rainwater harvesting system will support chillers and gray water use. Energy and water-efficient pumping solutions Sustainability is a major priority for Grundfos. In addition to manufacturing energy and water-efficient pumping solutions, the company tightly focuses on making a difference on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 6 (water) and 13 (climate change). This focus allows the company to help other companies be more sustainable and reach the goals together. An official ribbon cutting ceremony, with officials from the Houston area and executives from the company’s Denmark-based headquarters, will take place during the grand opening. Americas Regional Center “Houston has been the home of Grundfos colleagues for many years, including myself, having moved here in 2018,” said Dieter Sauer, Grundfos Americas Regional Managing Director. He adds, “The city is rapidly growing with a fast economy and large talent pool. With the new Americas Regional Center and our strong market position, we expect to attract the competencies that will keep us in front of the industry.”
In an effort to strengthen its AirTech business and sharpen alignment with its strategic objectives, Munters, a globally renowned company in energy efficient air treatment and climate solutions, will exit the non-core part of the commercial desiccant dehumidification market. This decision primarily affects the U.S. market as it is the primary region where Munters’ commercial products are sold. Desiccant dehumidification units Commercial products have been manufactured in the company’s Selma, Texas plant. This facility will now manufacture desiccant dehumidification units for key account customers only. This will allow the facility to return to its legacy strength of delivering high-volume, pre-engineered solutions for this customer type. Additionally, the Texas plant will provide needed production capacity for the increased demand for Munters cooling solutions for the data center market. The segments of healthcare, ice arenas and laboratories and archival preservation, associated with universities and colleges previously served through Munters’ commercial product offering, will now be served through its industrial product offering. These systems are manufactured in the organization’s Amesbury, Massachusetts location. Focus on Evaporative Cooling, Innovation and Service The decision to depart commercial markets is one that did not come quickly or easily for Munters" “The decision to depart commercial markets is one that did not come quickly or easily for Munters. However, this will allow us to focus not only on key accounts, but also on markets such as food, pharmaceutical, lithium battery, evaporative cooling and Munters Innovation and Service,” said Andrew Cook, Vice President for Sales & Services Americas Business Area AirTech, Munters. Munters U.S. products are sold through third-party representatives, and those selling the commercial dehumidification product lines have been informed of the company’s pivot away from these products. product development and energy efficient products All accepted commercial product orders with shipment dates on or before December 31, 2020, will be honored and Munters is committed to working closely with representatives during the transition period. The discontinued relationship with representatives will not impact any of Munters’ warranty obligations for previously sold products. As part of this initiative, Munters does not foresee any major changes to its supply chain in the U.S. It remains committed to product development and profitable support and sale of energy efficient and innovative products. However, some products will be discontinued and adjustments to demand forecasts will be made accordingly. Contacting suppliers impacted by changes is underway. “Throughout the evaluation, deliberation and analyzation process of arriving at this decision, top priority was given to retaining as many employees as possible. For positions being eliminated, it was of the utmost importance to make every effort to find other roles within the organizations for impacted employees,” added Cook.
Bosch Thermotechnology announces the Bosch Tronic 3000, a series of electric instantaneous water heaters that drastically minimize the wait time for hot water in light commercial applications. The new series includes four new models and marks the first step towards Bosch’s planned cutting-edge, new dynamic electric instantaneous water heater portfolio. The Bosch Tronic 3000 is designed for easy installation directly at the point of use, eliminating the wait time for endless, instantaneously heated hot water. The Bosch Tronic 3000 is flow activated and, depending on the unit, can be triggered with as little as 0.3 GPM-0.7 GPM. Connecting water pipes The unit conserves energy by automatically shutting off when the water flow ceases. Bosch Tronic 3000 features a dynamic design that can be rotated in any orientation for easy installation regardless of the location of the connecting water pipes. This provides versatile, 360 degrees installation options that contractors will love, while allowing wholesalers to reduce their total number of SKUs to stock. The Bosch Tronic 3000 has a roundagon design allowing it to be in-style and seamlessly blend into any space. This clean design also means it’s simple to use, with no interface or complicated controls for its user. The Bosch Tronic 3000 is ideal for most any project, and stands apart from other models on the market due to its compact, lightweight, and space saving features. Additionally, the Bosch Tronic 3000 features an LED light that illuminates to indicate water is running. Light commercial applications The product range includes the US3-2R, US4-2R, US7-2R, and US9-2R models This makes it easy for installers or service technicians to tell that the unit is working and the power is on. “We set out to create an electric water heater that eliminated some of the most common problems in light commercial applications - having complicated installations and lacking unlimited, instant hot water,” said Dan Moffroid, Director of Product Management. “The Bosch Tronic 3000 solves both of those issues, and the 360 degree install provides engineers, specifiers, and plumbers a simplified installation and easy hot water access.” Depending on its intended application, the Bosch Tronic 3000 comes in four models with various power inputs to ensure that buyers have proper model selection for adequate outlet water temperature. Varying in their technical specifications, the product range includes the US3-2R, US4-2R, US7-2R, and US9-2R models. Minimizing potential risks The Bosch Tronic 3000 is perfect for light commercial applications like restaurants, airports, hotels, offices, gas stations, doctor’s offices, warehouses, stadiums, and more. The Bosch Tronic 3000 is also compatible with residential use where thermostatic temperature control is not required, like in fixed-flow applications and applications with mixing valves. Following Bosch’s continued commitment to providing high-quality products and services, the Bosch Tronic 3000 holds a number of certifications, including the cUL499 (electric heating appliances) USA/CA, the low lead certification (NSF/ANSI 372) -IAPMO USA, the ANSI Z21.20/ CSA C22.2 No 64 USA/CA, and more. The Bosch Tronic 3000 also holds an IPX4 certification, and regardless of the product’s orientation, protects against moisture and dust and minimizes potential risks. The Bosch Tronic 3000 is warrantied for five years on the heat exchanger, and two years for all other product components.
The quality of the air that everyone breathes, indoor and outdoor, is a valuable asset, and has been important to General Filter Group, since their foundation. The company firmly believes that everyone needs to contribute to preserve it. ‘Clean Air’ project General Filter Group has created the ‘Clean Air’ project, in collaboration with Fondazione Francesca Rava N.P.H. Italia Onlus To launch and spread this message of improving the quality of air, General Filter Group has created the ‘Clean Air’ project, in collaboration with Fondazione Francesca Rava N.P.H. Italia Onlus and the fashion and reportage photographer, Stefano Guindani, who is a long-time ambassador of the foundation. The #Ilovefilters project, throughout a photo contest and a non-profit initiative, in support of the N.P.H. Saint Damien children’s hospital in Haiti, aims to reflect on how ‘clean air’ not only means a better life, but also contributes to saving lives. Raising awareness on air pollution A very topical theme, despite the fact that the ‘2014 Air Quality’ report by the European Environment Agency shows that air pollution is still the main environmental health hazard, the European Commission plans to decrease the air quality improvement commitment from the top of the 2015 political agenda. Taking this into account, the mobilisation of various public and private institutions, such as the Italian FAI (Italian Fund for the Environment), and General Filter’s contribution in the debate was sought. Promoting the cause of ‘Clean Air’ project The company invites everyone to follow on Facebook and participate in the #Ilovefilters contest by uploading a photo that has as its theme ‘clean air’ onto the #Ilovefilters project official website or #Ilovefilters Facebook app, from April 7, 2015 to August 10, 2015. The ‘Clean Air’ theme can be depicted in all its forms through the use of places, landscapes or subjects, as well as problems associated with pollution of any kind, provided that optic or digital filters (e.g. Instagram) are applied to the photos. #Ilovefilters contest A jury will announce the #Ilovefilters contest winners by September 2015. This jury will be chaired by Stefano Guindani (owner of the SGP Photo Agency) and comprise of General Filter Group CEO & President, Gianni Polin, Diamante D’Alessio (Editor-in-Chief of the fashion magazine, Io Donna), Costanza Pratesi (Head of Environmental Sustainability and External Relations of FAI – Italian Environmental Fund) and Mariavittoria Rava (President of Francesca Rava N.P.H. Italia Onlus Foundation). The prizes include an adventure trip for two to one of the European countries with the cleanest air, Iceland, and the new Barber Shop accessories dedicated to lovers of photography and Italian craftsmanship. Partners with Francesca Rava N.P.H. Italia Onlus Foundation In this initial stage of the project, the company is helping to finance the Saint Damien Hospital in Haiti Furthermore, General Filters announced that they have joined forces with the Francesca Rava N.P.H. Italia Onlus Foundation to support their hospital projects for children in difficulty all over the world. In this initial stage of the project, the company is helping to finance the Saint Damien Hospital in Haiti, the largest non-profit children’s hospital in the Caribbean area that provides assistance to more than 80,000 children a year. Importance of improving Indoor Air Quality Indoor air quality, just think of the operating rooms, is essential to preserve the life of the young patients. But the project does not stop here. Some of the winning photos of the #Ilovefilters contest and the photos taken by Stefano Guindani during his travels in Iceland and Haiti, depicting the work performed with the non-profit organization, Francesca Rava Foundation at the St. Damien Hospital, will be displayed in a photographic exhibition, obviously themed ‘Clean Air’ to be held in 2016, the year when the General Filter Group prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
Almost 5 years ago, Danfoss introduced NovoCon S, the first –of-its-kind digital actuator, specially designed for AB-QM pressure independent control valves (PICVs). At the time, this was a revolutionary actuator for controlling flow through terminal units in hydronic HVAC applications. NovoCon S digital actuator With its bus-communication for BACnet MS/TP or Modbus RTU protocols, NovoCon S is a front runner in establishing new and innovative IoT solutions for smart buildings. The concept of NovoCon is widely spread and used by many fans of smart HVAC solutions Meanwhile, the concept of NovoCon is widely spread and used by many fans of smart HVAC solutions. The increased attention and usage also leads to new demands. As NovoCon S fits to AB-QM valves in sizes - DN 10 up to DN 32, the nominal flow is limited to 4,000 l/h. Other hydronic HVAC applications, such as Air Handling Units (AHUs), chillers and other high flow applications, still need to be controlled with conventional actuators. NovoCon M, L and XL digital actuators Danfoss announced that the company is proud to introduce the new NovoCon M, L and XL digital actuators. The new actuators, in conjunction with the AB-QM valves, achieve high-precision dynamic hydronic balancing and control for high flow applications. The NovoCon M, L and XL digital actuators are specifically designed to accurately control high flow rates. In specific: The NovoCon M is used for AB-QM NovoCon valves in DN 40-100 suited for flows from 3-59 m3/h, e.g. for air handling units. The NovoCon L is used for AB-QM valves in DN 125-150 suited for flows from 36-190 m3/h, e.g. for chillers. NovoCon XL is used for AB-QM valves in DN 200-250 suited for flows from 80-370 m3/h, e.g. for district cooling. Daisy-chain wired using standard cables Unlike the NovoCon S, the new NovoCon M, L and XL digital actuators don’t use plug & play connectors and cables. Instead, the new actuators can be daisy-chain wired using standard cables, which makes it easier to cover longer distances. The actuators are equipped with 3 resistance inputs to connect, e.g. temperature sensors. When such sensors are installed on the supply and return connections, the NovoCon actuators can be used for advanced control functionalities, like Delta T limitation or return temperature control. With these functionalities, the energy efficiency of the AHU or chiller can be optimized. NovoCon 4-in-1 solution Danfoss NovoCon digital actuators effectively combine four functions into one smart solution: Accurate flow control due to linear characteristic at different differential pressures and built-in step motor Bus actuator due to the BACnet MS/TP and Modbus RTU communication protocols I/O device due to the Resistance inputs (3x), Analog input (1x) and Analog output (1x) Energy manager due to the advanced algorithms for monitoring and energy management Integration via BACnet or Modbus communication protocols Danfoss NovoCon digital actuators can be digitally controlled via BACnet or Modbus communication protocols Danfoss NovoCon digital actuators can be digitally controlled via BACnet or Modbus communication protocols, enabling easy integration and providing actual system performance data into higher-level building management systems. The I/O interfaces can, for example, be used to connect sensors to measure supply and return temperatures and calculate the energy consumption. The I/O ports are also available for controlling individual devices, such as fans or connecting BMS (Building Management Systems) room temperature controllers. This means that all relevant system parameters and control options are always available for centralized HVAC energy management and energy efficiency optimization, as part of comprehensive smart building concepts. Engineering HVAC 4.0 for smart buildings The combination of AB-QM and NovoCon actuators is a good example of the increasing digitalization in HVAC. The combination established high precision, dynamic, hydronic balancing and control. The digital actuators provide BMS with real-time HVAC data to enable Active Energy Management (AEM). Digital valve control via fieldbus also offers advantages in remote commissioning, flow setting, flushing, predictive maintenance and energy allocation. Automatically generated alarm messages support fast and accurate troubleshooting. HVAC 4.0 continuously optimizes the energy efficiency and comfort of buildings by using smart and connected products and services. The now established full-range series of NovoCo digital actuators enable HVAC 4.0 solutions in smart building concepts. In this way they create a fundamental basis for efficient energy use in large non-residential and commercial buildings, such as hotels, office buildings, data centers, shopping centers and hospitals.
In the summer of 2018, a customer was facing a real problem – their resident satisfaction at two properties needed some work, and they were just about to hit the hot summer busy season – which can be notoriously difficult if residents experience air conditioning issues. Fortunately, they were able to implement a preventative maintenance and HVAC asset management solution at one of their properties. At this property the customer wound up doing only 3% unplanned replacements out of 300+ units – and had a customer satisfaction score of 97%. Unfortunately, they did not have time to implement this solution at another one of their recently acquired properties and wound up with 17% unplanned replacements on 700+ units and a 77% resident satisfaction score. Finding Relevant HVAC Solutions The search for a HVAC technology solution that is focused on energy efficiency and provides multifamily and commercial property owners with ease and insight into their HVAC property management needs, can be daunting.Property owners have several boxes to check: proactive maintenance, environmentally friendly solutions, always with an eye to the bottom line. HVAC is one of the largest consumers of energy in commercial and multi-family properties, accounting for up to 40% of a building’s energy consumption. It may be hard to believe, but in totality, businesses are wasting over 60% of the energy they purchase every year. And the inefficiencies can build upon one another. HVAC systems are typically the largest consumers of energy in commercial and multi-family properties, accounting for up to 40% of a building’s energy consumption. There is also the matter of the state the HVAC system in play. Poorly installed or malfunctioning units can increase energy consumption by another 30%. Add to that another 18% energy increase from poorly optimized heating and cooling processes and it is possible to see up to 90% of energy costs directly related to HVAC. Considering Energy Costs HVAC is one of the largest consumers of energy in commercial and multi-family properties, accounting for up to 40% of a building’s energy consumption. Not only is high energy use costly for business operations, but it has an impact on the environment through the carbon that HVAC systems emit. That is why technological innovation and a reputable contractor network for commercial and multi-family building HVAC investments is a crucial consideration for commercial building owners. Commercial and multi-family properties that ‘back burner’ system innovation at this critical time will find it increasingly difficult to compete and maintain their resident satisfaction ratings by staying ahead of the inevitable replacement and repairs. Building owners must make time to consider what the future of big data and smart platforms looks like. In our world of data, implementing HVAC services like this are no longer a luxury; they are a necessity. In fact, commercial buildings can attain a savings of roughly 18% on whole-building energy consumption from installing smart technologies to optimize services. Adopting Smart Technology Partnering with the right service provider will have a dramatic effect on the ultimate success or failure of an HVAC rollout in several areas such as acquiring quality, cost-effective equipment, ensuring compliant and thorough installation, accessing knowledgeable and rapid repair personnel who can also maintain equipment on an ongoing basis. Whether your company is looking to adopt HVAC smart technology for the first time or replacing an out-of-date solution, here are a few factors to consider that will help in making your choice when embarking on a HVAC contractor network. Commercial buildings can attain a savings of roughly 18% on whole-building energy consumption from installing smart technologies Look for an experienced professional It may be tempting to seek an HVAC professional based on the lowest bid received, but there are other considerations that must be taken into account. Look for a solution provider with industry experience and a history of demonstrated success in managing technology from roll-out to deployment. When you meet with potential partners, insist on viewing live solutions. A network of contractors Look for an HVAC professional that is connected in their local community. Other considerations include the size of their contract network and are those contractors well-vetted? Ensure that the network has a reputation for meeting deadlines and affirms that it can meet yours. Ask if there is one point of contact for the life of the job, too. It’s an important detail to know who your point person is and with whom you will be contacting for the questions that will arise along the way. Have an eye to the future Ensure that the HVAC technology under consideration possesses the capability to handle large volumes of data and a large number of users at the same time. Ask some questions about the peak season and confirm the contractor has planned ahead and thought through a scenario of how to prioritize repairs during a heat wave, for example. What about considering predictive analytics? What benchmark performance measures do they have in place? Do they use state-of-the-art remote monitoring, giving them a 360-degree view of your entire property portfolio? No hassle, no waiting Although larger than the residential market, commercial demand gains will increase at a slower rate due to an expected slowdown in commercial construction activity. As 2021 is quickly approaching, the market changes can present both dynamic opportunities and challenges for technology platforms. What’s key here is availability of product and services. Ensure that the contractor has the resources to accomplish your objectives. Are they vendor neutral? Consider and compare the price of labor and equipment. Also, confirm that there are multiple channels of ordering paths for optimization. How to choose your solution The installation and implementation of all of a building’s HVAC assets should consider how the condition analysis of each unit captured. Make certain there is a clear representation of how data is being collected from your contractors and that you understand your role in consuming and interpreting that data. Ask about the kind of alerts and sensors that will be used and how the data collected is then presented to you. The technology provider should be able to provide guidance into which building metrics should be measured and offer technology solution that gives property owners visibility into their entire asset portfolio, empower managers, and make precise decisions about HVAC condition and energy-efficiency. Building owners must make time to consider what the future of big data and smart platforms looks like The reason why most residents do not renew their leases is because of poor staff performance and assistance. Technology solutions are now considered mission-critical for property managers, owners, and investors who want to excel at HVAC service needs. If the HVAC is in disrepair for too long a period, tenants will move onto another property. According to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program, companies spend more than $20 billion on energy, annually. By replacing air conditioning equipment that has been in operation for 10 years, facilities can save 20-50% on energy and maintenance costs. Taking some steps toward technology via a contractor network can help ensure excellent staff performance and assistance, resulting in higher residential satisfactory ratings, tenant retention, as well as energy and cost savings. For a look at Motili’s Survival Guide in its entirety, please visit: https://lp.motili.com/ebook
Residential HVAC is a fulfilling business to be in. Whether be it servicing a furnace or installing an air conditioning unit, the individual is doing important work to help keep families in the community safe and comfortable. The work also comes with perks such as good margins, some great customers, and the ability to set varying pricing and schedule. If an individual is in a growing business in this space, chances are that they have seen more than a few hectic days. Days where it becomes difficult to juggle crews, instruct technicians on necessary job details, and answer client calls, all at the same time. In theory, this chaotic day-to-day is a good problem to have. In practice, it can get really tiring, pretty fast. Robust system to streamline operations The work can be extremely overwhelming and if the right systems aren’t in place, the business could suffer. Lines of communication can get crossed and if time is being spent working on the wrong things, the individual could miss out on opportunities to grow. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing a high growth HVAC business, by applying the right operational strategies, businesses can flourish. Coordinating requests while dispatching techs out to do work is where many administrators and operations managers hit a roadblock in business growth. This is precisely why businesses need to implement software that lets them track jobs, view technician schedules, and flag new jobs to crew members all in one place. This will eliminate the need to play ‘phone tag’ across the organization, which in turn will keep operations running smoothly and reduce manual errors. What’s more, if the software allows techs to automatically trigger an invoice that customers can pay on the spot, businesses can avoid hours of chasing down past-due payments and create a better cash flow. mobile apps: Picking The right software Businesses are encouraged to choose software with a mobile app where customers can enter the payment type Businesses are encouraged to choose software with a mobile app where customers can enter the payment type, such as cash, check, credit, debit and a receipt can be automatically emailed to customers. This will also cut out out-of-date operations, while giving businesses access to what they need (schedules, work orders, customer information and more) at anytime from anywhere. Having a central hub for keeping everything organized also creates the operational flexibility needed to take on work. To ensure businesses don’t have to turn new jobs down due to delayed responses or scheduling issues, a crew member can be kept flexible for this task. In order to do this right, businesses need to calculate how much emergency work they’re losing due to unavailability and adjust accordingly, by creating a schedule with allotted time. Spacing out work won’t impact the number of scheduled installs and replacements retained, while giving businesses added time and revenue to take on emergency repairs. This strategy is only doable if businesses have the requisite software that can provide an accurate and full look into employees’ workloads. pricing services Research Is Important A business in high-growth mode needs to ensure their pricing reflects the services being offered. This can be done with researching of other companies in the area that are charging for the same services offered, so that the business can have a number to compare to when setting prices and also prepare to justify higher price to customers. Setting prices higher can be advantageous for a business, if they can show customers the differentiators. Most people want work done right, and an added premium that ensures top service often won’t turn them away. Additionally, it’s important to make sure all expenses are covered, down to the credit card fees. When pricing services, businesses need to build a file of overhead expenses, then determine the percentage profit want to charge clients. Different jobs require unique services, so prices should reflect that Varied pricing per customer Different jobs require unique services, so prices should reflect that. A business might charge more for commercial clients than homeowners. These minor adjustments will ensure that a business makes the profit that the work deserves. Feedback is also very important for repeat orders. If a business is not getting repeat clients due to pricing, they should keep that in mind when building profit margins. Pricing shouldn’t be static, continuous adjustments has to be made where it makes sense and extra time invested to do the research. Ensuring exceptional customer service It’s important to set up systems and expectations for teams to follow right out of the gate With business growth also comes customer growth, and for residential HVAC companies that physically go into a customer’s home, it’s crucial that their services reflect the highest quality. It’s important to set up systems and expectations for teams to follow right out of the gate. Helping crews do their best work from a technical and customer service perspective by establishing guidelines for what the business wants every homeowner to experience is the key. Open lines of communication Aside from ensuring that the crew keeps a clean workplace, keeping open lines of communication with customers should be a top priority for businesses. This can be as simple as answering the phone and getting a technician to a job site as soon as possible. Often, customers come from positions of stress due to broken equipment, so having quick response time is a key differentiator between good and bad service. A good solution for this is to evolve into automating key communications that allow techs to send ‘on my way’ text messages. How a business interacts with customers is a key signifier into how the company operates, so businesses need to ensure that have the best customer service practices in place. Never take valuable employees for granted While it sounds simple, a high-growth business needs reliable employees to scale, so that their competition does not swoop in and scoop up an employee who doesn’t feel valued. As business ramps up, it’s easy to miss that technicians are not being dispatched to jobs that they enjoy. If employees are constantly doing a job because they’re good at it and they don’t feel fulfilled doing that specific job, at the end of the day, they are not going to be happy. To avoid losing employees, businesses should take the time to ask what jobs they like to do and see if they can accommodate schedules to reflect their preferences. employee retention And loyalty A crucial factor in building a top performing team is employee retention and loyalty A crucial factor in building a top performing team is employee retention and loyalty. Businesses should focus on creating a great atmosphere to work in. This includes keeping a pulse on what’s happening in the team’s personal lives and use that to show appreciation in meaningful ways. One way to do this is by investing in the team’s education. For example, paying tuition fees for techs so they can get new certifications and licensing. These types of gestures show that the business cares about the success of their employees, while also helping them retain the most qualified crew members. Incorporating software solutions and automating tedious tasks Developing a high-growth residential HVAC company doesn’t have to be stressful if businesses know what systems and processes to implement to better manage operations. By adopting strategies that incorporate software solutions, like Jobber, to streamline operations, automate tedious tasks and improve customer communications, the opportunity for growth is more accessible for businesses. Organizations should focus on creating a solid operational system by doing research before pricing services, keeping customer service a top priority and not letting great employees slip away. All these strategies will work together to help maximize business growth.
The Wyss Institute at Harvard University has developed an evaporative cooling system that uses a specially coated ceramic to cool air without adding humidity. Researchers say the approach can yield more affordable and environmentally friendly air conditioning systems for the future. ‘cold-SNAP’ system The ‘cold-SNAP’ system uses a water-repellent nano-scale surface coating that is applied selectively to surfaces of a 3D-printed ceramic heat exchange. The result is much cooler buildings with less humidity. ‘cold-SNAP’ is short for cold superhydrophobic nano-architecture process. The invention uses evaporative cooling, which happens when hot air is put in contact with water. As the water evaporates, it cools the air but adds moisture. Use of the water-repellent coating separates the moisture from the cool air to provide an inexpensive source of cooler, dryer air that can cool a building in lieu of traditional air conditioners. Evaporative Cooling technology The hydrophobic coating is selectively applied to components that will manage the flow of dry air The approach is a union of old and new – combining ceramic, one of the oldest, cheapest and most widely available building materials, with the novel hydrophobic surface coating developed by Wyss Institute. Because ceramic is malleable, the heating exchange unit can be produced via extrusion or 3D printing of a single piece, with its shape adjusted to maximize surface area available for heat transfer and evaporation. The hydrophobic coating is selectively applied to components that will manage the flow of dry air. Variation on indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) systems The specialized coating separates incoming hot air from outgoing wet air, allowing the hot air to be cooled by circulating water without adding humidity to the inside of a building. ‘cold-SNAP’ is a variation on indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) systems, which use complex heat exchange units that make them difficult and expensive to manufacture. Researchers say the approach can create low-cost, efficient air-cooling units to meet the world’s increasing demand while using 75% less energy. The system can be up to four times more efficient than conventional air conditioners as measured by the coefficient of performance (COP), the ratio of cooling to required energy. ‘cold-SNAP’ was designed by a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and designers from the Wyss Institute’s Adaptive Material Technologies Platform, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), and the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (HCGBC). Integration into evaporative cooling systems The new technology could be integrated into existing evaporative cooling systems and sold as environmentally friendly air conditioners in a variety of climate zones. It could even be manufactured into the facades of buildings, thus cooling the space within, using only the energy needed to pump water to the system. With global warming causing a rise in the Earth’s average temperature, worldwide demand for air conditioning systems that do not contribute to that climate change increasingly will be in demand. A growing middle class throughout the world is also contributing to demand. No humidity added to the air ‘cold-SNAP’ does not add humidity to the air and works well in humid, tropical climates, as well as dry, hot climates Because ‘cold-SNAP’ does not add humidity to the air, it works well in humid, tropical climates (where it is sorely needed) as well as in dry, hot climates like the Middle East. Traditional electric air conditioners use mechanical vapor compression to convert a chemical refrigerant back and forth between its liquid and vapor forms, absorbing heat during vaporization and then removing moisture during condensation. Traditional systems use a large amount of energy to cycle the refrigerant, which increases costs, not to mention the refrigerants contribute to global warming. Historically, the environmental impact of such systems was a hidden cost that was not considered. Wyss Institute Validation Project In 2019, ‘cold-SNAP’ was named a Wyss Institute Validation Project, which puts it on track to become commercialized. The validation program seeks to ‘de-risk' technologies and demonstrate that they can be scaled up for commercialization. The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University emulates Nature’s design principles to engineer new, ‘bio-inspired’ materials and devices with high-impact applications in healthcare, manufacturing, robotics, energy, and sustainable architecture. The cross-disciplinary faculty, technical staff, students, and fellows undertake high-risk research and technology development.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is moving forward with rulemaking that sets limits and deadlines to decrease the use of refrigerants with global warming potential (GWP) in the commercial refrigeration market and in the residential and commercial stationary air conditioning equipment markets. California regulations are widely expected to influence the direction of other states seeking to regulate GWP of refrigerants. Declining to delay planned deadlines because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, CARB is proposing a GWP limit of 150 for new stationary refrigeration systems that contain more than 50 pounds of refrigerant, irrespective of end use, beginning on January 1, 2022. GWP Of Air Conditioning Systems California State Fire Marshal currently does not allow use of mildly flammable refrigerants in the state’s building codes For residential and commercial stationary air conditioning systems, the proposed new rule will take effect on January 1, 2023, and will include a GWP limit of 750. CARB held a public workshop in July to discuss the proposals. There is another challenge of implementing the limits. The alternative materials that enable compliance include lower-GWP A2L refrigerants that are mildly flammable; however, the California State Fire Marshal currently does not allow use of mildly flammable refrigerants in the state’s building codes. Presumably, the building codes will be updated in time to allow use of A2L refrigerants as an alternative to meet the limits, but the uncertainty makes it harder to plan ahead. Washington state has already revised its state building codes to allow the use of A2L, and other states are in the process of doing the same. VRF Manufacturers Concerns The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) industry group has been in discussions with CARB about anticipated industry and supply chain compliance challenges caused by COVID-19 disruptions, and because California building codes do not yet reference required safety standards. At the public workshop, AHRI proposed January 1, 2025, transition date for 750 GWP for newly manufactured air conditioning equipment, but CARB did not comment on the proposal. Manufacturers of variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems have also expressed concerns with meeting the compliance deadlines. However, the current 2023 deadline coincides with the implementation of new U.S. Department of Energy efficiency requirements for residential central air conditioner and air-source heat pump systems. This timing allows manufacturers to design systems to meet both the CARB and DOE requirements at the same time, rather than having to redesign systems twice. Destructive Measure of climate pollutants Global warming potential (GWP) is a measure of how destructive a climate pollutant is, compared with carbon dioxide Global warming potential (GWP) is a measure of how destructive a climate pollutant is, compared with carbon dioxide (CO2), which is assigned a value of 1. GWPs are also used to define the impact greenhouse gases will have on global warming over various time periods; a time horizon of 100 years is used by CARB, which maintains a list of GWPs for common refrigerants. Driving the new rulemaking in California are regulations passed in 2016 that commit California to reduce HFC emissions in the state by 40% below 2013 levels by 2030. Release for public comment By enacting the 750 GWP limit for new stationary air conditioners in 2023, CARB projects a reduction of 2.3 million metric tons in CO2 equivalents of annual emissions in 2030. That is almost a fourth of the progress needed to achieve the target and equates to removing about half a million passenger cars from California roadways each year from 2023 to 2040. A finalized “notice package,” which includes details of the new limits and deadlines, will be released for a 45-day public comment period on October 23, 2020, with the comment period ending right before the CARB’s board hearing in mid-December, when the board could approve the package.
HVAC systems are the most common home repair, representing 19 percent of service incidents facing homeowners. More than half of homeowners (53%) have faced a home repair emergency of some kind in the past 12 months. Furthermore, about a third of homeowners have US$ 500 or less set aside to pay for emergency home repairs, with some 17 percent having no money at all set aside for emergency home repair work. 10th Edition of the Biannual State of the Home Survey These are among the results of the 10th Edition of the Biannual State of the Home Survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of HomeServe USA Corp., a provider of home repair solutions in the U.S. and Canada. The survey carried out covered 2,026 U.S. adults (of which 1,454 are US homeowners) was conducted during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. HomeServe’s real-time repair data shows that customers are continuing to require urgent repair help during the COVID-19 pandemic period. Greater strain on home infrastructure and HVAC systems More Americans are putting extra strain on their homes’ infrastructure and major systems More Americans are putting extra strain on their homes’ infrastructure and major systems. As parents are spending more time working from home, and the children are in home schools, the shortcomings of existing systems are becoming more obvious, especially as the summer temperatures rise. In the current uncertain times, comfort is more of a need than a luxury. Concerns about air quality in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is occurring at the height of the allergy season, are also driving new business for HVAC technicians. Technicians using personal protective gear at homes Service technicians are using proper social distancing protocols and personal protective gear (PPE) while performing maintenance and service tasks at consumers’ homes. Consumers want to know what companies are doing differently to protect their customers during the pandemic. At the very least, installers should keep contact to a minimum and meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local requirements to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Following social distancing protocols in repair works “We’re wearing gloves, washing our hands between calls, wearing masks, and we have sanitizers and soaps in our cars, making sure we are maintaining safety,” said Michael Concannon, Repair Technician for Bell Brothers, located in Sacramento, California, USA. There is also an opportunity for HVAC companies to provide expert advice on subjects that customers are asking about now, such as indoor air quality. In the midst of economic uncertainty, routine maintenance can provide greater peace of mind, as well as extend the life of equipment. Consumers to foot bill for home repair work According to the HomeServe survey, many homeowners do not know it is their responsibility to pay for home repairs According to the HomeServe survey, many homeowners, especially younger ones, do not understand that it is their responsibility to pay for home repairs. Many mistakenly believe repairs will be covered by a city/municipality, a water utility, or a homeowner’s insurance. “The findings of the latest survey clearly show that homeowners, especially younger ones, are unaware of their responsibility when it comes to common home repairs,” said John Kitzie, HomeServe USA Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Smart financial planning tools John adds, “HomeServe seeks to educate homeowners and to provide them with smart financial planning tools so they are prepared when an inevitable home emergency strikes.” HomeServe USA serves more than 4.4 million customers across the U.S. and Canada under the HomeServe, Home Emergency Insurance Solutions, Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) and Service Line Warranties of Canada (SLWC).
Nicknamed the gateway to Southern California, the city of Ontario, as well as neighboring city Montclair, is home to the third largest elementary school district in California, the Ontario-Montclair School District (OMSD). Founded in 1884, the district also incorporates portions of the city of Upland, and unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County, comprising 24,000 students in 26 elementary schools and six middle schools. Ontario-Montclair School District Ontario-Montclair School District’s overall mission is simple yet speaks volumes to its dedication to all students, to do whatever it takes to guarantee its commitment in providing the highest quality education for all students. To meet this mission head-on, OMSD contracted with TMAD Taylor Gaines, a professional engineering consulting and services firm. Ontario Montclair School District was interested in reducing their overall energy costs by 20%" “Ontario Montclair School District was interested in reducing their overall energy costs by 20%, they along with other school districts throughout California were mandated to reduce their overall energy costs,” said John Simmons, RCDD, LEED AP, and Project Manager for TMAD Taylor Gaines. He adds, “We initially ran some numbers based upon information we found on Bard HVAC’s website, and through consultation with Geary Pacific Supply, Bard’s largest West Coast distributor.” Geary Pacific, distributor of new HVAC units Based upon the scope of the projects in consideration, the money available to fund them and the overall cost of the units in consideration, as well as overall potential energy savings, TMAD Taylor Gaines recommended that OMSD select Geary Pacific as the distributor of the new HVAC units. “We considered other companies as part of our overall recommendation but in all honesty we were impressed by a couple of things. First, Bard Manufacturing had a wealth of product and technical information about their products on their website, including case studies of other customer successes. That in combination with Geary Pacific’s previous experience working successfully with the School District made our recommendation a simple one,” added John Simmons. Bard wall-mounted HVAC units deployed “Our District was already familiar with Bard because we had success using some of their other wall mounted units on several of our modular school buildings,” said Craig Misso, Director of Facility Planning & Operation at Ontario Montclair School District, adding “Our goal was to not only upgrade our facilities and make them more energy efficient, but also work to reduce some of the HVAC noise inside the classroom, as well as save on the purchase, operation and maintenance of all of the units at our schools.” TMAD Taylor Gaines and Geary Pacific’s approach was to do the retrofit in several phases. The pilot project encompassed one site, Sultana Elementary School, which included 24 re-locatable buildings, made up of both newer and some older construction. Bard WG*S Step Capacity Series units with CO2 sensors TMAD Taylor Gaines and Geary Pacific started doing groups of schools, encompassing 14 different building sites “Sultana was a great school for the pilot because there were a lot of little issues to contend with and work through,” stated Simmons, adding “The Bard WG*S Step Capacity Series units with Energy Recovery Ventilators and CO2 sensors worked great and we were initially very surprised at how quiet they actually operated.” After that, TMAD Taylor Gaines and Geary Pacific started doing groups of schools, encompassing 14 different building sites. Group one included 6 schools and approximately 83 units while Group 2 included 8 schools and 101 units. It was during the second group of installations that TMAD Taylor Gaines realized that putting in units that required the installation of underground gas piping was not the best solution for all classrooms. Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 units That’s when Geary Pacific recommended utilizing Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 units with Energy Recovery Ventilators and CO2 sensors in about 1/3 of the overall installation. “Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 units are some of the most energy-efficient HVAC units on the market today,” said Maury Tiernan of Geary Pacific, adding “Plus the operational sound level is extremely low and is greatly appreciated by the students and teachers.” John Simmons said, “We were really pleased at how easily these units were able to be retrofitted into the re-locatable classrooms. There are almost no changes and smooth sailing in almost all cases.” Quiet, efficient operation The dramatic reduction in operating noise levels was an added improvement and benefit for which Craig Misso was particularly proud. “At Sultana, we invited some of the teachers and our principal over to see the new classrooms. Our principal asked, ‘Why aren’t the new HVAC units running’? I had to laugh, because I knew they were on. They were just so quiet nobody could tell that they were working. That moment sold every teacher on the Bard units,” added Craig Misso of Ontario Montclair School District. “From the very beginning, Geary Pacific became our partner in the success of the project,” stated Simmons, adding “Always available to answer questions on-site and knowledgeable about all aspects of the product and installation I can honestly say they can’t do anything wrong by me. Geary Pacific and the engineers at Bard Manufacturing came through in every way possible and more.” Wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment expert Bard’s HVAC products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency Over thirty years ago, Bard Manufacturing began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s HVAC products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency, with unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice for schools. With three, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to research and development. With features like self-diagnostics and self-programming energy monitors, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for any school. Energy and cost savings “The Bard units reduced ambient classroom noise levels by over 75% and further gave us a 50% savings in energy,” said Misso, adding “This savings allowed us to also install software on our computers that automatically turns off the lights and the AC, when the classrooms are unoccupied, which further increased our savings. Our hope is to have the funds necessary to install all 280 Bard units as specified by TMAD Taylor Gaines.” Misso concluded, “Geary Pacific has been extremely professional and service oriented throughout the project. Because of our School Board’s commitment to energy conservation, our District will receive a dual reward, recognized energy savings and efficiency with an enhanced classroom environment for our students and teachers. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Living in the McLean County Unit District No. 5 region ensures one thing that children will receive one of the finest educations available. With one of its high schools ranked in the Top 50 Public High Schools in Illinois and listed in U.S. News & World Report’s Nation’s Top Schools, Unit District No. 5 is the place where excellence in education takes on a new meaning. Replacing antiquated HVAC systems But excellence doesn’t come without a price. In the current economic environment, maintaining and improving upon existing school facilities remains one of the most significant challenges for administrators and educators alike. That’s why officials turned to a solution that proved both unique and highly practical, when six schools in the district faced antiquated HVAC systems, nearing the end of their life-cycle. Upgrading and retrofitting school HVAC systems CM Engineering and Earth City Distributing understand the challenge of maximizing facility investment dollars CM Engineering and Earth City Distributing understand the challenge of maximizing facility investment dollars when it comes to upgrading and retrofitting school facilities. They also realize the key role those facilities play in keeping a school educationally competitive. The first schools from the Unit 5 School District to undergo retrofits included Oakdale Elementary School and Glenn Elementary School. Each school had ceiling limitations which made a conventional rooftop boiler-chiller system impractical. “We wanted a system that would be easy to service and maintain, provide cooling and be energy efficient,” said Jeff Monahan, Director of Maintenance for McLean County Unit District No. 5. Bard QTEC ground source heat pump installed “We had experienced earlier success working with a school in McComb, Illinois, where using a new type of piping system and the Bard QTEC ground source heat pump saved us over 50% in installation costs,” said Kirk Mescher, President of CM Engineering. Kirk adds, “Using Bard Manufacturing’s QTEC product in the Unit 5 School District applications was not only practical, it was the win-win solution in terms of reliability and efficiency in operation.” Between 2006 and 2008, 112 Bard QTEC units were installed in 6 schools. “Between CM Engineering’s unique design approach and Bard’s very efficient QTEC unit, the installation at all of the Unit District No. 5 schools couldn’t have gone any better, “ said Mike McManus, Owner of Earth City Distributing, a local Bard distributor, adding “Not only are the units energy-efficient and incredibly quiet when operating, they can be easily accessed for service.” Bard’s wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment Over thirty years ago, Bard Manufacturing Company began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency, with unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice for schools. With three, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to wide-scale research and development (R&D). With features such as self-diagnostics and self-programming energy monitors, Bard Manufacturing Co. delivers state-of-the-art products that provide tangible solutions for any school’s needs. Enhanced serviceability The QTEC’s serviceability is also a contributing factor to Unit District No. 5’s overall success “What we got by using Bard Manufacturing’s QTEC product was an HVAC system that not only provided heating and cooling, but did so while also providing more than a 40% savings in total utility costs, without upgrading windows or insulation,” said Jeff Monahan. The QTEC’s serviceability is also a contributing factor to Unit District No. 5’s overall success. “I love the fact that the units are virtually maintenance-free,” stated Monahan, adding “They’ve basically reduced our service calls to near zero.” Energy estimate from CM Engineering “Whenever any of our school clients are open to the idea of having an in-room unit installed, we always spec the Bard QTEC units. In fact, in all the years, since we’ve been in business, we’ve never installed anything else inside a classroom,” said Kirk Mescher, President of CM Engineering. With Unit District No. 5, CM Engineering initially gave them an energy estimate that proposed they could provide the schools with heating and cooling at no additional operating cost. Energy and cost savings Mescher adds, “Not only were we able to achieve that goal, but because of the Bard QTEC units, we were able to surpass it, helping the schools reduce their overall utility costs significantly, in some cases by over 40%.” He further stated, “For any school, anywhere in the country trying to save money on installation, service and energy costs, not to mention lowering overall ambient noise in a classroom, these are significant enough results that simply can’t be ignored.” Quiet and comfortable QTEC units Bard’s QTEC unit is designed to be installed inside the classroom, fully engineered to be quiet and comfortable Success with the retrofit of their six schools has, in fact, led McLean County Unit District No. 5 to approve installation of additional Bard QTEC units in a seventh school during the summer of 2009. Bard’s QTEC unit is designed to be installed inside the classroom, fully engineered to be quiet, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. QTEC units are designed and tested to operate at 20% above federal standards with easy installation features that make servicing fast and simple. Bard’s QTEC units can provide the following features: A one-piece factory unit with individual room climate control Designed for fast installation and easy servicing Sound deadening insulation Simple utility hookups Integrated energy recovery ventilator Controlled dehumidification A rating for efficiency that is 20% above Federal Standards
As Albert Einstein once said, “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” That wisdom has been put into practice in the form of a smarter approach in the way modular schools can be built and used. Pre-fabricated, modular classroom In 2006, the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, in partnership with the Council for Educational Facility Planners (CEFPI), held a national design competition, The Portable Classroom Design Challenge, to create a pre-fabricated, modular classroom unit that was environmentally sustainable, or green. This competition led to eventual development and installation of one of the most uniquely created modular spaces ever conceived, indeed the award winner of the design competition. Triumph Modular of Littleton, Massachusetts, in partnership with ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge and builder NRB Inc., won the design challenge because of their revolutionary, new modular classroom. Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Relocatable Green Modular Classroom comes designed with many LEED-focused design elements Aptly named the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom, it's also the first modular classroom to be designed with many LEED-focused design elements. “Our goal was to create a high-quality, portable classroom that was green, one with environmentally conscious materials used in its design and operation. The design was smart in the way that it used resources and provided heat, light, unsurpassed acoustics and air quality within the space,” said Cliff Cort, Founder of Triumph Modular. In fact, it’s estimated that the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom performs 56% better, in terms of overall energy costs, than similar, older style modular units that often use almost three times as much of energy as a permanent school building. Wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment Thirty years ago, Bard Manufacturing Co. Ltd began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, patented ventilation packages, unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice of many school officials. With three, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to research and development. Self-programming energy monitors and green refrigerants With features like self-programming energy monitors, unsurpassed energy efficiency, green refrigerants and the lowest acoustic profile on the market, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for modern school facilities. Already impressed from their previous working experience with Bard, Triumph Modular wanted to incorporate the Quiet Climate 2 into their green modular design. “Building green is good for the environment, good for the wallet and good for the occupants of the building,” said Cliff Cort, adding, “And Bard’s HVAC unit is a big factor in why the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom performs as well as it does.” Green modular design Bard’s HVAC System in the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Unit contributes to its high energy efficiency According to an independent third party analysis, the green modular design provides a 68% reduction in heating energy and a 49% reduction in cooling energy, most of which can be attributed to Bard Quiet Climate 2. An efficiently designed HVAC system is perhaps the single largest building component that can influence a building’s sustainability. Bard’s HVAC System in the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Unit contributes significantly to its high energy efficiency and quiet, almost undetectable acoustic profile (37 bBHL) within the classroom. Quiet-Climate 2 heat pump Bard’s Quiet-Climate 2 heat pump is the most innovative wall-mount HVAC equipment ever made. Designed specifically to provide superior energy efficiency and quiet operation in classrooms, the Quiet Climate 2 uses green refrigerants and provides operating sound levels that are 20 to 35 times quieter than a standard wall-mounted heat pump. Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 can provide the following features: Higher energy efficiency and greater comfort through step-capacity technology Unmatched acoustical performance Sound levels vary with applications and construction techniques, but integrated operating sound levels as low as 35 dbA have been achieved when combined with Bard Quiet-Climate acoustical accessories Improved ventilation and Enhanced IAQ Continuous blower operation – without noise – keeping fresh air constantly in the classroom Optional UV lighting which keeps the coils free of bacteria and mold Enhanced filtration capabilities A one-piece factory unit designed for fast installation and easy servicing Additional sound curbing accessories including, an isolation curb and return air and supply air plenums The Carroll School Serving over 75 communities around Lincoln, Massachusetts, The Carroll School was founded in part by Dr. Edwin Cole who wanted to provide a special school for children with language-based learning challenges. The Carroll School supports nearly 300 students, in grades 1 – 8, with a 3.4 student to teacher ratio using multisensory and individualized teaching methods for specific learning needs. Progressive by nature, The Carroll School’s thriving community brings children together in an environment that values their differences and remediates their learning difficulties. “Cliff Cort, a Lincoln resident and friend of the school, approached us with the idea to replace one of our existing modular building with the green modular design,” said Margaret Gebhard, Director of Finance and Operations at The Carroll School, adding “Our existing modular space was not a popular one with either faculty or students due to its poor lighting, sound characteristics and overall appearance.” Occupancy sensors and vestibule The classroom incorporates many unique green components, such as formaldehyde-free, low VOC paints Things changed when teachers, students and administrative personnel moved into the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom for the first time. The classroom incorporates many unique green components, including formaldehyde-free, low VOC paints and coatings that reduce off-gassing, occupancy sensors that conserve energy by turning the lights off, when people come and go, a vestibule that safeguards the inside from inclement weather while buffering outside noise and helps retain heating and controlling levels for its green and virtually silent HVAC system – the Quiet Climate 2. Enhancing schools’ energy efficiency Margaret adds, “The Relocatable Green Modular Classroom is truly amazing and smart to incorporate into any schools modular planning, we’re quickly approaching our original 3 year leasing agreement with Triumph and I see us keeping the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom around for many more years to come.” She further stated, “It has the best lighting, best HVAC system, and is the most energy-efficient building on our campus, which is why it’s also the most coveted space on our campus. Now we can not only say our kids here are special but now they have a truly special and smart environment in which to learn.”
Munters, a global renowned company in energy efficient air treatment and climate solutions, has received an order for a desiccant dehumidification solution, providing a climate with very low humidity, for a U.S.-based lithium battery production facility. dehumidification solutions The lithium battery manufacturing market segment is one of Munters’ prioritized areas for growth and expansion. The order for the dehumidification solution has a value of approximately US$ 12 million. Munters Group AB (MTRS), energy efficient air treatment and climate solutions firm, announced the order to provide desiccant dehumidification solutions for a lithium battery production facility in the US, including equipment and services. ICA and IDS systems Munters will deliver Integrated Custom Air Handler and Industrial Desiccant Dehumidification systems Munters will deliver ICA (Integrated Custom Air Handler) and IDS (Industrial Desiccant Dehumidification) systems, utilizing proprietary Green PowerPurge technology and delivery is expected to start in Q4 2020 and continue through mid-2021. Peter Gisel-Ekdahl, President Business Area AirTech, Group Vice President Group at Munters said of the order, “We are very pleased to have received a large order for our dehumidification solutions in the fast-growing lithium battery market, which is one of our three prioritized market segments." Energy-efficient and complete solutions Peter adds, “In this project, we worked very closely with all parties involved to develop the best overall solution, from equipment performance to energy efficiency to service needs." He further stated, “Our focus is always to deliver strong customer value by providing energy-efficient and complete solutions. By utilizing our application and industry knowledge, we can ensure every customer gets the best value.”
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned provider of for smart and sustainable building solutions, has announced the completion of phase one of its project with Gunnison County, in Colorado, USA, which included the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and LED lighting in five County buildings. PV panels and LED lighting The phase one improvements are the continuation of the Gunnison County’s long-standing commitment to reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities and operations. The solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and LED lighting will help the County reduce greenhouse gas emissions, made possible by an Energy Services Agreement (ESA). The County has been electrifying and improving the efficiency of its facilities over many years The County has been electrifying and improving the efficiency of its facilities over many years, and the addition of PV generation is an exciting next step in a long-standing commitment to lowering the environmental impact of County operations. The project was enabled through the Colorado Energy Office. Solar arrays deployed When considering their sustainability mission, Gunnison County officials were committed to leveraging solar power to achieve their strategic GHG reduction goals. Selected for its specialized experience in solar PV technology, energy storage, lighting and structured finance programs, Johnson Controls worked with county leaders over the past year to put their plan into action. The completed solar arrays, built on six County buildings, will total approximately 308 kilowatts (kW) in provided power. All-electric heating and cooling systems Two of the sites are located on buildings that have previously been converted to all-electric heating and cooling systems, using highly efficient ground source heat pumps. The solar arrays will directly offset the electric power needs of facilities and the County estimates solar will generate 40% of the power for the Courthouse and 80% of the power at the Health and Human Services Building. “There is a lot of pride in Gunnison County having large-scale solar arrays provide power for public buildings, proving our commitment to being a leader in sustainability,” said Gunnison County Commissioner, Jonathan Houck. Achieving strategic GHG emissions reduction goals Reducing our County’s GHG emissions is a crucial part of our dedication to a greener, healthier community" Jonathan adds, “Reducing our County’s GHG emissions is a crucial part of our dedication to a greener, healthier community. Our partnership with Johnson Controls allows us to continue exploring new energy efficiency opportunities to serve future generations of Gunnison County.” When considering their sustainability mission, Gunnison County officials were committed to leveraging solar power to achieve their strategic GHG reduction goals. Selected for its specialized experience in solar PV technology, energy storage, lighting and structured finance programs, Johnson Controls worked with county leaders over the past year to put their plan into action. Energy Services Agreement (ESA) By employing an Energy Services Agreement (ESA), the project leverages energy cost savings to help pay for the project over time. In addition, this project is supported by additional funding secured through a US$ 497,500 grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). These funding methods enabled the County to quickly make necessary infrastructure improvements for long-term sustainability. "Funding from the DOLA Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund (EIAF) program is helping Coloradans socially or economically affected by the development, processing, or energy conversion of minerals and mineral fuels," said Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Executive Director, Rick M. Garcia, adding "It is also an incentive for eligible local governments to launch planning and implementation of renewable energy solutions that meet the needs vocalized by their communities." Making buildings energy efficient “Johnson Controls has been making buildings efficient and safe for 135 years, and our obligation to deliver comprehensive, best in class solutions to our customers has never been more important,” said Rowena Adams, Account Executive for Performance Infrastructure at Johnson Controls. Rowena adds, “Solar and energy solutions like the ones we’ve implemented throughout Gunnison County’s facilities will continue to make the community a healthier place to live, work and play. These energy projects are the result of strong leadership at Gunnison County. They are an impressive force.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic spread, phase one of the project was completed in compliance with the social distancing practices to be followed, as per the federal government and health organizations’ health and safety guidelines. Phase two of the project will be completed by leveraging the same safety measures and is scheduled for completion in Fall 2020. Installing ground source heat pump system Phase two includes building envelope improvements within the County’s Blackstock Government Building Phase two includes building envelope improvements within the County’s Blackstock Government Building and a ground source heat pump system which will dramatically reduce energy use and will make the building the County’s 3rd all-electric building. “Gunnison County has had a long-standing commitment to reducing energy use and lowering greenhouse gas emissions from its operations through energy efficiency and adoption of alternative HVAC strategies, such as ground source heat pumps,” said John Cattles, Sustainable Operations Director at Gunnison County. Modernizing equipment and building systems John adds, “The solar arrays are an exciting next step along the energy journey the County has been on. I’m proud to be a part of an organization that is able to take the vision and values set by our elected leaders and efficiently and consistently turn that into great projects and outcomes for our community.” Johnson Controls has a long history of working with local governments throughout North America to create environments that inspire and engage both residents and leaders. Through Performance Infrastructure projects, we have helped nearly six hundred local governments modernize equipment and building systems, improve infrastructure and energy spend, and address on-going maintenance needs.
With news of the coronavirus' airborne droplets being able to be neutralized via advanced filtration, Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical is responding by providing Houston homeowners with state-of-the-art HVAC testing and next-gen products to combat the COVID-19 pandemic surge. As the virus re-surges throughout Texas and parts of America, infectious disease experts are learning that COVID-19 can be contracted by inhaling tiny, invisible particles that hang in stagnant air for hours. HEPA filters and UV light A recent investigation by ABC's Good Morning America (GMA) revealed that a combination of HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters and UV light are homeowners' best defense against the virus droplets. New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo said recently that large malls should be required to install HEPA systems before re-opening. Delta Airlines is also equipping its fleet of aircraft with HEPA filters, while American Airlines said its planes have been using the systems since the 1990s. The licensed HVAC professionals at Abacus Plumbing can inspect current residential systems and suggest a solution from their extensive line of HEPA and UV products. Cleaning air to clear out COVID-19 particles HEPA systems, such as the REME HALO, can remove 99.7% of particles as small as 0.3 microns" "Obviously, cleaning surfaces is still important, but cleaning the air that recirculates through homes and buildings is now a huge focus," Industrial Hygiene Specialist, Nancy McClellan told GMA. “HEPA systems, such as the REME HALO, can remove 99.7% of particles as small as 0.3 microns,” said Dr. Rajat Mittal, a professor studying the dynamics of COVID-19 particles adding, "That is potentially good news, because almost all the droplets that are going to be carrying viruses are all within that range." REME HALO air purification system Abacus Plumbing so trusts the REME HALO that it's installed in the company's own HVAC systems. "To help keep our employees as healthy as possible, Abacus installed the same air filtration equipment in our offices that we install in our customer homes," said Abacus Plumbing Founder & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alan O'Neill, adding "In an essential business like ours, we have to do everything possible to help prevent our team members from allergies, germs and viruses. We owe it to our employees to invest in their health, and our customers who depend on us to be ready to serve 24 hours a day.” The HALO purifies the air in homes from the source, the HVAC system. Its patented technology is hospital tested and military approved to reduce allergies, fight odor and kill bacteria, mold and viruses. Ensuring health and safety of Houstonians "We haven't come across anything that it can't handle," said Rene Luna, whose company, The Partner Group, has been selling HALOs to Houston distributors, like Abacus Plumbing, since 2006, adding "It doesn't wait to clean the air in the equipment and it actually cleans your air and your living space. It's by far the leader in the industry." With COVID-19 finding new ways to harm Houstonians, Abacus is ready to help homeowners protect the health and safety of their family by installing the best defense available.