HVAC systems should operate to ensure the comfort of individuals, not based on the temperature in a room. That’s the thinking behind a system devised by researchers that uses thermal cameras to measure the temperatures of faces in a room and adjusts operation of the HVAC system accordingly. Among other things, the scheme shifts the focus away from facilities and toward occupants, who reflect a truer measure of system effectiveness. Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed...
Johnson Controls, a global provider of smart and sustainable buildings, is launching OpenBlue - a complete suite of connected solutions and services that combine the Company’s 135 years of building expertise with cutting-edge technology. This open digital platform, when integrated with Johnson Controls core building systems and enhanced by Fortune 100 technology partners, will make shared spaces safer, more agile and more sustainable. Johnson Controls OpenBlue is the culmination of years...
A new high-performance variable frequency drive (VFD) designed for OEMs to optimize the performance and the lower the energy costs of BLDC compressors used in heat pumps and condensing units has been launched by Invertek Drives. The new Optidrive Coolvert is one of the smallest in its class, providing machine builders with opportunities to reduce panel space and lower machine costs. Designed to operate specifically with CO2 refrigerant condensing systems, it can provide end-users with energy sa...
Security dealers now have the opportunity to offer their customers substantial energy savings while earning recurring monthly revenue (RMR) with a new integration developed between the Connect ONE cloud-hosted interface and ecobee WiFi SmartThermostats. Connect ONE Connect ONE, an award-winning service and management platform from Connected Technologies, now provides seamless support and control of popular ecobee, allowing dealers to expand into managed services for energy management and envir...
Viessmann has introduced the new Vitocal 100-A air source heat pump, the most compact and affordable model in its range. Designed for ease of installation in the standard British heating system - and therefore ideal for the replacement of gas and oil boilers - the monobloc unit’s tight dimensions are perfect for homes where space is at a premium. Its A+++ rated energy efficiency will benefit end-users with low running costs. Viessmann UK’s Managing Director, Graham Russell, said: &l...
Growing awareness of the benefits of energy efficiency and increasing performance standards for heating systems are important drivers in the boiler market. Focused on these trends, Weil-McLain, a provider in hydronic heating systems, recently launched EcoRebates rebate tools on its website. The tools automatically highlight rebate and incentive savings available to homeowners and commercial entities based on their location when they research and view qualified energy-efficient boiler equipment....
Ruud is dedicated to providing the best protection and control experience for its users. At times, partners make business changes and system updates, which can affect the users. Though these changes are out of the company’s control, they continue to work on solutions to assist their customers. Google made an announcement regarding Nest. They stated that they were discontinuing support of the Works with Nest program and encouraged users to migrate their Nest accounts to Google accounts. Unfortunately, this migration of accounts will cancel the user’s product's connection between Nest and Ruud. Ruud HVAC customers using the EcoNet Smart Thermostat will not experience any loss of normal HVAC controls by migrating their Nest account to a Google account. If the user is using Nest to control Ruud water heaters, this capability will be lost if they migrate to a Google Account. gas water heater If the user is using Nest Protect to automatically disable their gas water heater in the case of fire or fumes, this capability will be lost if they migrate to a Google Account. Thanks to users' requests, Google has decided to allow current Nest Integrations to continue, but only if they follow specific steps. Below are the steps they can take to ensure that Nest continues to work with the user’s Ruud connected products: DO NOT migrate the Nest account to a Google account. Completing a Nest account migration will cause Ruud and other Works with Nest integrations to be permanently disconnected. This process is not reversible. DO NOT disconnect Nest products from the Ruud product. If the user disconnects Nest, they will not be able to reconnect it. This will also affect users that choose not to migrate their Nest accounts to a Google account.
A. O. Smith Corporation, the manufacturers of residential and commercial water heating equipment and boilers, as well as a manufacturer of water treatment and air purification products, announces the upcoming retirement of Peter Martineau as chief information officer/senior vice president and the hiring of S. Melissa Scheppele as Martineau’s successor. Martineau, who is retiring in late August, and Scheppele, who is joining A. O. Smith on July 13, will work together in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth and seamless transition. “I want to thank Peter for his many years of service and dedication to A. O. Smith,” said Kevin Wheeler, chairman and chief executive officer of A. O. Smith Corporation. Global information technology “Peter has been a key leader for our Company for over 25 years. He has held progressively responsible roles in finance and customer service before taking on the leadership responsibility for the SAP Implementation. Shortly thereafter, he was named CIO. Under Peter’s leadership, we have successfully implemented SAP and SuccessFactors at all locations in North America. We wish him all the best in his retirement.” “We’re pleased to welcome Melissa Scheppele to the A. O. Smith organization,” continued Wheeler. “She is a strong IT leader with a wealth of experience in establishing global IT strategies and building and directing complex global information technology teams. She is sure to be an asset to our Company, given her extensive background in developing processes and leveraging technology solutions to help advance organizations.” Information technology platforms Scheppele will serve as a member of the Company’s Executive Leadership Team As Chief Information Officer, Scheppele will be responsible for the continued growth and transformation of the Company’s information technology platforms, as well as the creation of the Company’s technology strategies to assist the Company in meeting its goals and objectives. Additionally, Scheppele will serve as a member of the Company’s Executive Leadership Team, which is responsible for shaping the Company’s overall corporate strategy and direction. Previously, Scheppele served as chief information officer and vice president at Triumph Group, a global aerospace and defense business, where she drove the creation of IT shared services to create efficiencies within the organization. Leveraged technology platforms Prior to that, Scheppele served as chief information officer and vice president at Ascend Performance Materials, a global specialty chemical manufacturer, where she led an initiative to upgrade the company’s IT infrastructure and leveraged technology platforms to help advance operations. Scheppele has also held management positions at: CIO By Request, Cooper Industries, Tyson Foods and Nestle USA. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in public administration and political science from California State University, Fullerton.
Since the inception, Johnson Controls has delivered products, services and solutions to keep the communities - safe, sustainable and healthy. As an “Essential Products, Services and Personnel Provider,” Johnson Controls says it will continue to support the mission during the current crisis and beyond. Committed to Healthcare Healthcare facilities are facing a large influx of patients, staff and visitors as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds. Johnson Controls can help immediately mobilize and staff, mitigate the impact, and increase safety. Specific solutions are: Healthcare overall solutions and capabilities. Healthcare security solutions. Healthcare fire solutions. Healthcare HVAC solutions. Healthcare facilities are facing a large influx of patients, staff and visitors as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds. Johnson Controls can help immediately mobilize and staff, mitigate the impact, and increase safety. Working together to lessen the impact of COVID-19 From setting up alternative care facilities for crisis response, to helping customers accelerate construction or address deferred maintenance issues in empty buildings. Johnson Controls teams are actively supporting customers and communities. Ready to Mobilize Johnson Controls’ experts can rapidly mobilize technical resources to help customers and communities meet their needs, protect staff, lessen the impact of the current issues, and get ahead of the crisis. Johnson Controls also offers financing options to help one preserve valuable cash and improve the safety of one's facility. Here are some ways Johnson Controls can help: Solutions and Capabilities for K-12. Solutions and Capabilities for Higher Education. Solutions and Capabilities for Public Housing. Solutions and Capabilities for State Government. Solutions and Capabilities for Cities and Municipalities. Solutions and Capabilities for Airports and Transportation.
Viessmann welcomes announcement of a new Green Homes Grant by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak. The government will issue vouchers of up to £5,000 per household and up to £10,000 for low income households, to cover two-thirds of the cost of home improvements such as loft, wall and floor insulation, eco-friendly boilers, heat pumps, double or triple-glazed windows, low-energy lighting and energy-efficient doors. Fossil-Fuelled boilers “We know the government wants UK homeowners to switch from fossil-fuelled boilers to renewable technologies such as heat pumps, to achieve carbon reduction targets,” says Darren McMahon, Viessmann marketing director. “Yet many properties require significant investment in home improvements, such as insulation, before low temperature heating systems can provide expected levels of comfort while running in an energy-efficient way.” “The Green Homes Grant addresses both challenges and caters for all types of property. It promotes a ‘fabric first’ approach, acknowledging that the best way to save energy in the home is to reduce heat loss, and it also contributes to, or covers, the cost of the heat pump to ensure overall heating system efficiency.” Improving the energy efficiency “We believe that vouchers of up to £5,000 per household will positively impact consumer behavior and stimulate heat pump sales that have not been forthcoming for financial reasons. We also welcome the initiatives designed to improve the energy efficiency of public sector buildings and the decarbonization of social housing,” concludes Darren McMahon. Last year, the government announced that fossil-fuel heating systems, such as gas boilers, would no longer be permitted in homes built after 2025. Viessmann has recently introduced a new Vitocal 100-A air source heat pump. The compact and affordable monobloc unit is ideal for the replacement of gas and oil boilers. Its A+++ rated energy efficiency will benefit end-users with low running costs. The government’s Green Homes Grant will allow UK homeowners to buy energy-efficient heat pumps such as the Viessmann Vitocal range of air and ground source heat pumps.
Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS), the exclusive provider of Zoned Comfort Solutions and a renowned supplier of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heating and cooling systems, introduces the next generation Lossnay Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) units, the RVX. During heating season, this high-performance ERV improves comfort and efficiency by tempering outside air with heat from the exhaust air stream before supplying it to a space, while during cooling season, the exiting cooler air reduces the temperature of the incoming air. To comply with new energy codes in states such as Washington, the RVX replaces AC fan motors of previous generations with DC fan motors. heat-exchange ventilation system Lossnay is a total heat-exchange ventilation system that uses a low-maintenance cross-flow energy-exchange core made of a specially-treated, cellulose-fiber membrane to perform temperature (sensible heat) and humidity (latent heat) exchange. Lossnay RVX helps building owners, engineers and architects meet ventilation requirements and improve indoor air quality. In addition to increasing efficiency by using DC fan motors, the RVX can use external input signals (e.g., from a CO2 sensor) to adjust fan speeds for demand-control ventilation. addressing energy efficiency Our customers expect reliable, high-quality equipment that can meet or exceed requirements in any application" “Ventilation is primarily about occupant health and safety, but new codes and evolving market demands mean we can’t talk ventilation without also addressing energy efficiency,” says Cain White, Director, Commercial Product Management, Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US. “We’ve updated our already energy efficient Lossnay units to keep pace with today’s new energy codes and ventilation standards, and anticipate future ones. Our customers expect reliable, high-quality equipment that can meet or exceed requirements in any application. These changes are another example of how we fulfill that responsibility.” Centralized Controllers Lossnay units are fully compatible with existing central controllers and software including AE-200A, AE-50A and EW-50A Centralized Controllers; TG-2000A software; LonWorks interface; and BACnet interface, increasing the scope of total system management. Lossnay can also be used independently or interlocked with other systems such as CITY MULTI® R2- and Y-Series systems or S-Series and P-Series indoor units. RVX units offer significant features and benefits such as: Less than 1 watt per CFM for fan speed 4 (high fan speed) Less than 0.5 watts per CFM for fan speeds 1, 2 and 3 Fixed-plate energy transfer component with no moving parts means less maintenance than wheel-type exchangers Reasonable paybacks and reduced peak demand Superior part-load per performance, reducing latent load even at mild outdoor temperatures No wheels to stop turning of outside air is always preconditioned and available Lossnay units utilize a free-cooling function that helps to reduce costs and boost efficiency. Additionally, RVX models boast an integrated bypass damper design that makes installation and integration with existing systems quick and efficient.
Jacques Technologies and Luxriot have officially announced the High Level Interface (HLI) between their systems. Combining Jacques’ quality audio intercom system with Luxriot’s renowned video management system, Evo, the solution captures and records audio streaming with the associated CCTV. Audio intercom System – Evo VMS Truly encapsulating the capabilities and benefits of third-party integration by efficiently using security resources, the integration between Jacques Technologies and Luxriot solutions allow users to maximize investment of existing equipment while also seamlessly deploying advanced technology for enhanced security. The integration compliments both systems - multicast audio captured from Jacques IP intercoms (650 Series) is received and recorded by Luxriot Evo 1.16.2 (or higher) and synchronized with any selected video channel(s) including third party CCTV system.
The current Coronavirus pandemic and the corresponding socioeconomic crisis has dealt a brutal blow to public and residential facilities alike, as businesses and management bodies worldwide are challenged to constantly ensure that their spaces are safe and healthy for occupants. As the entire world has been forced to adapt to what’s been commonly referred to as “the new normal,” one broad-ranging area has come into critical focus as a priority with a heightened sense of fear and cognizance around virus transmission: indoor air quality (IAQ). Importance of Indoor Air Quality For HVAC professionals, the importance of indoor air quality and ventilation as it relates to building efficiency and occupant comfort is nothing new, but through the introduction of new technologies and research, the topic of occupancy health and wellness as it directly relates to HVAC systems is constantly evolving and providing fresh information. However, while every facility manager, business owner or landlord wants to create a healthy building, HVAC pros are often subject to a constant push-pull dynamic that must be managed when it comes to balancing costs and utility budgets with optimized performance. Recommending improvements that will make a building healthier but may carry an added costThis conflict between competing demands can be incredibly daunting and taxing for HVAC managers looking to justify their decisions to seek out or implement new solutions. Recommending improvements that will make a building healthier but may carry an added cost, which can be a major challenge during times when budgets may be tighter than ever.The topic of reopening businesses, office buildings, schools and public gathering places has stoked prolonged debate over protocol, timing, and appropriate standards for facility management. While every state and industry will have its own set of circumstances, from an indoor air quality perspective, there are three steps that can be taken to ensure your building is offering the healthiest and smartest environment possible: Know Your Air Understanding what is in the air is the most important first step towards optimizing your building. This is critical in determining how to customize the specific needs of your space when preparing to reopen. The most common misconception about building health is that a “healthy building” has to be a newly-created structure. In reality, a healthy building is a structure where the strengths and weaknesses of the indoor air quality have been assessed, and the proper measures have been taken. HVAC professionals should implore property owners to invest in an IAQ monitoring system that monitors multiple pollutantsThis ensures that any areas lacking have been addressed and optimized - age notwithstanding. This can only be achieved through constant intelligent monitoring and familiarization with what’s in your air. HVAC professionals should implore property owners and leadership to invest in an indoor air quality monitoring system that monitors multiple indoor air pollutants. Our Airthings For Business solution, for example, tracks CO2, humidity, temperature, airborne chemicals, radon, air pressure, and light and provides 24/7 access to data that tracks changes, dangerous levels or inefficiencies over time. Once an issue is identified, HVAC professionals can then implement solutions that are curated towards a specific problem. The best part? Taking action by investing in monitoring will actually create perpetual energy savings in the future. On average, spending $40 on improving air quality in a building results in a $6,500 productivity gain. Understanding what is in the air is the most important first step towards optimizing your building Healthy Humidity When developing a reopening strategy, perhaps no indoor air quality component is more important to monitor closely than humidity. The reason humidity is so critical is because studies have proven a direct, established link between the facilitation of seasonal respiratory virus transmission, particularly flu, and the level of humidity in the air. When humidity levels are too low, it means indoor air is dry, which allows airborne drops of water and flakes of skin that contain virions and bacteria to stay airborne longer and travel farther, and tend to be resilient enough to remain infectious. In regions heavily affected by Coronavirus, such as the US Sun Belt, people spend their entire summer days breathing in circulated cooled airThis threat is compounded with the fact that public facilities such as large office buildings that operate with central air conditioning tend to have exceedingly dry air, especially in regions heavily affected by Coronavirus, such as the US Sun Belt, where most people spend their entire summer days breathing in circulated cooled air. While the CDC recommends property managers maintain humidity levels in between 30-50%, other scientific bodies disagree and believe that 40-60% is the optimal target zone. Research from Yale, among many leading institutions, has proven that indoor humidity levels which fall below the range of 40 to 60% can dramatically increase the spread of airborne viruses, including COVID-19. In fact, Dr. Stephanie Taylor, an infection control consultant for Harvard Medical School and a member of the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force, has been leading a petition called 40 to 60%RH, urging the World Health Organization to establish concrete humidity standards within these parameters for public spaces. The evidence is clear that humidity levels are paramount when establishing a safe indoor environment. Ventilate In addition to focusing on humidity, ensuring the presence of proper ventilation will be a core element of any reopening strategy. When it comes to virus transmission, stale air is the enemy, and poor ventilation can also cause harmful toxins such as CO2, VOCs and radon to accumulate. The best way to manage a ventilation strategy is by monitoring and extracting data-based evidence, and deploying a tailored solution to address your issues. For airborne pollutants (also known as VOCs), monitoring their levels will give you data that indicate if you should increase ventilation, reduce the use of products that emit them or to more regularly replace air filters in your indoor fan systems. In an environment where we are in close proximity, such as the workplace, high concentrations of CO2 can build up if the air is not ventilated properly. While HVAC professionals obviously understand the importance of ventilation, operation costs clearly play a factor in strategy. Most ventilation systems run the entire day, regardless of building occupancy, which can quickly double the cost of energy, maintenance and wear on the ventilation system. It will also lead to spending much more energy on heating as the air is often delivered undercooled. Ways to potentially mitigate this would be to invest in a technology solution that offers smart monitoring of occupancy and overall air quality, or seek out alternative HVAC products such as a standalone heat recovery ventilator (HRV) instead of a one-way fan to save energy and maintain comfort. Conclusion In conclusion, between the pressures of reopening highly frequented buildings and ensuring an indoor environment that is optimized to prevent viral spread, the expertise and assistance of HVAC professionals has never been more valuable. By taking a proactive approach towards indoor air quality, achieving a balance between occupant health and operational bottom lines is well within reach.
The disruption caused by coronavirus has put almost every business to the test. Special regulations have had to be rolled out for essential workers across many industries, including those in HVAC industry. Staff within these industries are key in preventing further disruption from adding to the already significant pressure on consumers and businesses in the current climate. While having to adapt to new working environments and an altered economic landscape themselves, it’s now imperative that these workers can be as efficient and productive as possible. While many business premises have temporarily shut their doors, hospitals, government departments, supermarkets and other critical facilities are busier than ever. In addition, for many, households have become their workplaces, schools or gyms. For both consumers and businesses alike, building maintenance has become both more urgent and spread over a bigger geographical footprint. To continue meeting the essential needs of customers in this trying time, businesses within the HVAC industry must find ways to be more agile and efficient, starting with the way they manage their workforce. Using technology to track productivity To continue meeting the essential needs of customers in this trying time, businesses within the HVAC industry must find ways to be more agile and efficient It may have been a growing trend before, but ditching paper records and digitalising the way engineers are dispatched, tracked and allocated jobs is now imperative for building services companies. By digitalising scheduling and dispatch tasks, building services companies can overcome inefficiencies in operations and improve worker productivity. This not only makes a real difference to customers’ businesses continuity, but also reducing the impact of the current climate on the bottom line of companies themselves. Monitoring each job in this way also means building services businesses can keep tabs on job progress in near real-time. If one overruns, they can adapt their schedules to dispatch another technician to the job. It can also help confirm workers are taking the breaks they need to stay alert, both on the job and on the road, in the context of engineers, fleet managers, dispatchers and drivers working longer hours to meet increased demand. Making the most of your platform In these uncertain times, businesses need tools to not only monitor the location of their mobile workforce, but also those which give workers reliable access to the resources they need to do their jobs. Many businesses may already have some form of digital solution in place to track vehicles, jobs, resources and many other assets. Getting these existing systems to talk to each other, however, can be problematic. It’s therefore important for new solutions to integrate with existing technology and help reduce complexity, rather than increase it. By digitalising scheduling and dispatch tasks, building services companies can overcome inefficiencies One of the best way of doing so is by making use of a dedicated staff-facing smartphone app. Cost effective, simple and quick to install, apps connected to central fleet management systems bring a range of agility benefits for businesses. For example, they can be set up to automatically notify workers in the field of upcoming jobs or the expected duration of certain visits. This affords field workers a high level of efficiency, and means customers get the essential support they need faster and more reliably. This access to maps, job instructions, quotes, invoices, customer information and more from their handheld device means engineers are better equipped to serve the customers who rely on them. Building services businesses can also track tools and other assets technicians might need to use to a complete a job, helping to dispatch only those with the right qualifications and tools to each job. The need for mobility in uncertain times While the majority of UK citizens are urged to stay at home, there are those for whom mobility is absolutely crucial. Field-based businesses must also contend with their own sources of disruption, such as unexpected events including vehicle breakdowns, vehicle theft and heavy traffic, all of which lead to lower levels of productivity and higher costs, not to mention the impact on the health and safety of staff. By implementing a solid foundation of workforce management, businesses can help keep people and assets safe and secure, whilst also affording greater visibility of overall operations. These are the key ingredients to caring for staff and customers, and to maintaining crucial mobility in a time when the world is otherwise at a standstill.
Many of us are spending more time at home. Given that work and home lives are becoming more intertwined, it makes sense to create a “comfort zone” in the place where people spend the most time. I am speaking about the benefits of zoned HVAC comfort control through duct-free split systems. Imagine offering your customers the ability to cool their bedroom at night without having to cool the whole house. Maybe they want to cool their home gym to 68 degrees while leaving the playroom at 76 degrees. Duct-free systems offer the ability to individually set preferred comfort settings for each individual zone or room in the home. Control the temperature, humidity and even the volume and direction of airflow, all according to personal preference. Imagine offering your customers the ability to cool their bedroom at night without having to cool the whole house Pandemic trends During the pandemic, one trend we are seeing is more consumers adding duct-free systems to spare rooms to function as a home office or the conversion of a garage for a home theater or as a social-distanced gathering place for family and friends. There are many options today to meet all of these needs and more. LG offers a variety of stylish, duct-free indoor units ranging from a smoked glass mirror finish to traditional white. You can offer your customers the ability to customize their space with the Art Cool Gallery, a unit that looks like a picture hanging on the wall, allowing them to add their own artwork or photographs. With so many options, there is no reason not to have the comfort you deserve. Each unit is powered by an energy efficient inverter with heat pump technology – some offering up to 28 SEER. The SEER calculates air conditioning and heat pump cooling efficiency. The higher the number, the less you will spend on energy costs. These systems – many of which are ENERGY STAR® certified – are built with cost-savings in mind, so whether it is low installation costs or reduced lifetime costs, your customers will be surprised to see the money they will save with duct-free HVAC technology. app technology “Smart” indoor units from LG come equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities and on some other models, this function can easily be added using a separate module. This allows control via the included wireless controller or from a smartphone. The free app for both iOS and Android is called LG ThinQ®. This is where we have a unique advantage over the competition. The app is the same communication platform used with LG home appliances and TVs. When a homeowner presses the “away mode” it will set all of the indoor HVAC units to their predetermined temperature, and at the same time other smart appliances in the home - refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer - will be set to a low energy consumption mode. Imagine the savings! The app also allows the control of HVAC modes (Heating, Cooling, Dehumidification, Auto Changeover, or Fan Only), temperature, airflow direction/vane movement (up, down, side to side), fan speed and of course power (on/off). Users can control one or several units and each can be set up for group control. For instance, a parent might want to control all of the zones in the house, but only give children control of their room. Duct-free units give everyone their own personal level of comfort. There is also the option of installing these units in rooms that are typically warmer in the summer months or difficult to keep cool as temperatures rise. A connected home LG units can also be voice-controlled when paired with Amazon Alexa or Google Home For a more connected home, any of the LG units can also be voice-controlled when paired with Amazon Alexa or Google Home. This offers the convenience and freedom to use simple commands to set a desired temperature in various areas, such as: “Alexa, set the master bedroom to 70 degrees,” or “Alexa, set the office to heating.” So how does it work? The inverter compressor can adjust the speed of the compressor in 1 hertz level increments to match the load. This allows the outdoor condenser to operate at the minimum-required hertz level to meet the load and achieves a desirable energy efficiency at lower sound levels. The indoor unit also maintains greater cooling and wicks the moisture from the air to provide lower humidity levels. The reward is monthly energy savings on utility bills. These duct-free systems allow homeowners to efficiently make the most of all available spaces.
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).
A new cloud-based solution enables HVAC professionals to access VRF systems remotely to diagnose service issues and lessen the time and costs of providing service. CoolAutomation’s Remote HVAC Service Solution enables HVAC service providers to remotely troubleshoot issues by analyzing real-time and historic data trends and analysis. They receive automatic error and anomaly notifications in their office or on their mobile phones. “The remote service solution provides the tools that HVAC service providers need to offer remote services to their existing clients while attracting new customers who understand the value of remote service for their business,” says Roy Muchtar, VP of Products at CoolAutomation. variable refrigerant flow On site, a CoolAutomation CloudBox connects directly to the VRF and links to the cloud via routers and the Internet. The box shares data on the operation of the VRF to the cloud, where a subscription service enables it to be analyzed to determine any problems. The service solution can connect to any major VRF (variable refrigerant flow) system, including Mitsubishi, Daikin, LG, Samsung, et. al.; and can connect to VRF units from multiple manufacturers in case a customer has installed more than one. The cloud solution begins monitoring information from the VRF at the time of installation If a service provider is migrating from one brand to another, the cloud solution can operate with both if there is a period of overlapping systems. The experience is the same regardless of the VRF brand. The cloud solution begins monitoring information from the VRF at the time of installation, providing a benchmark of how the equipment operates when it is first commissioned. Over time, the technology collects and stores additional data on how it continues to function. remote service solution The service provider receives an email or an alert on their smart phone if something is wrong or if a component is operating outside a defined parameter. The remote service solution also shortens the cycle of service and support. In case service is needed, the provider can diagnose the problem remotely before he or she visits the site; in some cases, remote service can solve the problem. If any anomaly surfaces, the service provider has access to the entire history of system operation to show them what has changed and when. If a site visit is needed, the technician can arrive on site knowing what the problem is and with a plan (and required materials) to solve it quickly. There is no need, for example, for one site visit to diagnose a problem and then a second visit to fix it. cloud-based approach Knowing ahead the complexity of a problem helps service providers decide which technicians (e.g., what level of expertise) to send to the site. The cloud-based approach can also maximize productivity of a service company’s most experienced technicians. A knowledgeable technician can address multiple customer issues in less time, diagnose the problems remotely, and then dispatch less experienced technicians as necessary, knowing exactly what they need to do. The model of sending a technician on site to address every service call, from small to big, will be challenging" In short, the remote service solution is another tool in a provider’s toolbox, helping them improve service, lower costs, and benefit their own bottom lines. There are also benefits for any companies seeking to provide “HVAC as a service” – less cost and more dollars go to the bottom line from any monthly subscription payments. remote service capabilities During the COVID-19 pandemic, the benefits of remote service have become even more obvious as a way to minimize customer visits. In fact, in general, end customers increasingly are coming to expect remote service capabilities from providers. “HVAC technical service organizations and HVAC contractors will have to make some transition in the way technical service is being provided because of the pandemic,” says Muchtar. “The model of sending a technician on site to address every service call, from small to big, will be challenging in an environment of ever-changing travel restrictions.” The remote service solution also avoids having to set up an appointment to access a system if the building is vacant (because of coronavirus). Also, any anomalies in system operation are less likely to be noticed if the building is empty, so remote monitoring is even more valuable. From the end customer’s perspective, it is likely a service provider can solve any situation before the customer is even aware there is a problem. The time needed for problem resolution is shorter, and lifespan of the system is longer because small problems are addressed before they cause larger problems. In addition to service issues, the information stored in the cloud provides voluminous data that can be analyzed to yield insights on how the system has been used, the performance of various elements, etc. interpreting larger trends The CloudBox, also used for home automation, is already in use in more than 90 countries A rules engine can aid with analyzing multiple factors to interpret larger trends. Rules can be customized to provide alerts based on specific parameters and/or anomalies, and customers can share a library of rules generated by other users. Alerts may include operational analytics (e.g., if the room temperature goes below 60 for 30 minutes), manufacturer alerts (if something is wrong with the VRF), and maintenance alerts (e.g., filter needs to be changed). The new technology, launched in late June, has been beta testing worldwide for several months, including in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel and Germany. The CloudBox, also used for home automation, is already in use in more than 90 countries. targeting facility managers Use of the technology will soon be expanded beyond VRFs to connect with chillers and other more traditional HVAC systems; however, additional integration is needed to operate with various brands of chillers, each with a different interface. In addition to the remote service solution, CoolAutomation also offers a control application (for end users). Later this year, the company will be introducing an application targeting facility managers that addresses issues such as scheduling and energy consumption
Newer buildings tend to be designed to be ‘green’, but what about older existing buildings, which still represent the largest share of environmental impact? There is more work to be done in the retrofit sector; and improving environmental performance of older buildings often involves ‘deep retrofits’ that are costly and impact multiple factors inside a building. In the COVID-19 era, there is also growing concern about needs such as circulating outside air, increasing humidity, and improving filtration systems even as older buildings seek to become greener. The consistent theme is a need to work toward better-designed, more energy efficient and healthier buildings. Healthier Buildings for a Greener Future If you layer infrastructure issues with the new health challenges, it raises the issue to a higher level" “If you layer infrastructure issues with the new health challenges, it raises the issue to a higher level,” said Tony Cupido, Research Chair, Sustainability at Mohawk College, adding “You will see a greater need to provide health and wellness as we move forward.” Cupido said he was among the panelists at a ‘Healthier Buildings for a Greener Future’ Virtual Summit sponsored by Armstrong Fluid Technology. The discussion centered around the various aspects of “deep retrofits,” how to pay for such improvements and how to measure success. Balancing health features with energy-efficiency Achieving healthy and green buildings might involve working at cross purposes. “When we think about healthy buildings, we are seeing recommendations that tend to increase the energy needs of the buildings,” said Marta Schantz, Senior Vice President, Greenprint Center for Building Performance, Urban Land Institute, adding “For example, a better filtration system might require a more powerful motor to offset the added drag.” “In order to be both healthy and energy efficient, there are creative strategies,” said Schantz, adding “We should be thoughtful about how sensors and other technologies can address the challenge of balancing healthy features with energy-efficient features.” Deep retrofits “Deep retrofits are more complex from an engineering standpoint, especially when compared to other green issues such as LED lighting. Paving the way for more deep retrofits can include reining in that complexity by creating prefabricated or ‘canned’ solutions that are easier to implement,” said Peter Thomsen, Director/Global – Building System Solutions, Armstrong Fluid Technology. An obstacle to deep retrofits is lack of information about what technologies are available. “You don’t know what you don’t know,” said Schantz. The second obstacle is financing. One approach is to ‘bundle’ multiple projects to improve building performance, such as combining a fast-payback project (e.g., lighting) with a longer- (and larger-) payback project such as an air handling system. Another approach is to create pay-as-you-go models and/or ‘energy efficiency as a service’ plans that help to make the expenditures and budgeting more manageable. A step-by-step approach can achieve energy savings that will pay for each successive step. Efficiency of Building management systems Occupants of buildings today have a better understanding and are more informed through better technology" New metering, intelligence and transparency capabilities of building management systems can yield metrics and measurable results that can drive return-on-investment (ROI) considerations. Metrics also drive useful comparisons with other buildings in the same peer group, thus inspiring best practices to achieve better results compared to buildings of the same size and type. “Occupants of buildings today have a better understanding and are more informed through better technology,” said Cupido, adding “It will become even better over time as AI (artificial intelligence) looks at the pieces and fixes it themselves.” Widening scope of AI integration Better understanding equates to more buy-in by building occupants. “They are not only becoming more informed, but are more likely to buy into the technology,” said Schantz, adding “The long-term success depends on it. Everyone needs to be bought into the technologies to ensure long-term success, both on the health and wellness side, and the energy efficiency side.” A holistic approach is needed when planning deep retrofits, and care should be taken to ‘right-size’ the equipment by taking into account design changes that can lower system requirements. Advent of new building systems Designers should resist the temptation to ‘bulk up’ systems to exceed minimum requirements. For example, when specifying a rooftop unit, engineers should factor in any efficiency gains they have achieved by using tighter windows, LED lighting or other factors. Building owners face a learning curve in relation to new systems" “The idea is that you don’t replace it directly, but right-size it to the new requirements,” said Schantz, adding “Building owners face a learning curve in relation to new systems, and new building systems are “almost like a computer. It’s no longer a case of just turning building systems on and off. There is a risk that the building operations team does not know how to run the equipment.” Avoiding data overload Schantz further said, “Technology will not run as intended if it is not operated properly. It loses some of its value. The building operations staff needs to stay up to date and know how to operate the equipment. Peter Thomsen concludes, “One pitfall is to overwhelm building operators with too much data. “Data overload is too much and, as leaders, we need to avoid that.”
Thermo King®, a provider in transport temperature control solutions and a brand of Trane Technologies, announced that its new hybrid refrigeration systems for trucks and high-loaders are being delivered to customers across Europe. The new T-Series Hybrid and UT Hybrid refrigeration systems seamlessly switch between diesel and electric mode allowing transporters to operate in inner cities, residential areas and low emission zones with the unit’s diesel engine turned off. Greggs, UK’s bakery food-on-the-go retailer with over 1,800 shops nationwide and serving over six million customers a week, is one of the first customers in Europe to experience the benefits of the new hybrid refrigeration systems. Three new trucks with Thermo King’s hybrid systems will contribute to lowering the environmental impact and reducing operating costs of their truck transport operations in central London. Reducing sound level and eliminating emissions “Thermo King units have been our systems of choice for several years now. Their units have delivered good flexibility and work efficiency to our operations, and we could also always count on the Thermo King dealer service network to support us,” said Richard Penna, group logistics manager at Greggs. “We’re very cautious about the sustainability of our transport operations. It is paramount for us to operate in inner cities with as little noise and reduced emissions as possible. It was a natural choice to work with Thermo King and equip our trucks with these new units that can easily switch from diesel operation to electric, reduce the sound level and eliminate emissions. On top of that, we expect to benefit from the lower daily fuel consumption.” Trailer hybrid refrigeration “Thermo King Hybrid technology was designed to help transport and delivery companies future-proof their refrigerated operations and investments. With this solution they can stay ahead of regulations, control their total cost of ownership and achieve important sustainability goals,” said Colm O’Grady, product manager at Thermo King. “Thermo King was the first to offer its European customers a trailer hybrid refrigeration. Now, our truck transport customers can also benefit from this cleaner and electrified transport refrigeration to make urban distribution more flexible and sustainable.” Switching between electric and diesel operation The new hybrid single and multi-temperature solution for trucks feature Frigoblock alternator and inverter-drive technology. The nose-mount T-Series Hybrid and under-mount UT Hybrid refrigeration automatically switches between electric and diesel operation as required or necessary. This enables the transport companies to operate in inner cities, residential areas and low emission zones with the refrigeration unit’s diesel engine turned off. The system is also well accepted by drivers, mainly due to the simple and smooth transition from one drive technology to the other. The driver only needs to set the vehicle when leaving the depot and the system will switch electric and diesel modes seamlessly during the working day depending on the unit’s requirements. The T-Series Hybrid and UT Hybrid solutions are aligned with Trane Technologies’ 2030 sustainability commitments, and the commitment to reduce customers’ carbon emissions by one gigaton – equivalent to the annual emissions of Italy, France and the United Kingdom combined.
Blackheath High School, an independent day school for girls and part of the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) network, recently invested £18 million to provide new state of the art facilities including a new library and resource centre, and AET Flexible Space supplied an underfloor air conditioning system to provide comfort cooling for students in the new learning zone. The project involved the design and construction of a three storey new build, aesthetically designed to blend with the existing Victorian structure. The library and resource center are located in the lower ground floor, sunk beneath the existing site and the new courtyard area. Air conditioned zone Underfloor air conditioning makes use of the plenum beneath a raised access floor Due to the underground location of the resource centre, air conditioning was required for this area, and an underfloor air conditioning system was specified by consultant Hilson Moran so that the ceiling space, featuring the unique pyramidal skylights, could be left exposed. Underfloor air conditioning makes use of the plenum beneath a raised access floor to distribute conditioned air. At Blackheath High School, a single CAM-V33 Direct Expansion downflow unit serves the air conditioned zone, and the conditioned air is supplied into the space by 14 TU4 Fantiles. The CAM-V receives spent air back for re-conditioning via high level transfer grilles. A major challenge with this project was the 900mm high underfloor void within the main resource area, requiring special modification to the CAM baseframe and raised floor substructure. The new state of the art facility reached practical completion over the summer of 2018 and was ready for students to use in September at the start of the new school year.
In practice, incumbent building services can help architects and designers overcome planning and structural constraints. Building typology comes in all shapes and sizes, each with its own unique design criteria. Frequently building services, heating, ventilation and air conditioning in particular can be challenging to integrate into a building design but experience shows that this does not necessarily have to be the case. Working with underfloor air conditioning over the past 30 years,) AET Flexible Space can demonstrate that such systems have a number of benefits in design application that ultimately make it the ‘system of first choice’ when compared with alternative overhead and perimeter air conditioning systems and their practical application. ease of reconfiguration Principally there are two different types of underfloor air conditioning (UfAC) system, the first being a full underfloor solution, with zone units supplying conditioned air, and receiving spent air via the plenum beneath the raised access floor. As it effectively becomes the ventilation zone, the plenum is divided into supply and return air paths using fire-resistant, air-tight silicone cloth. As there is no need to divide the floor plenum, this option permits freedom to maximize the floor plate This first system is undoubtedly the best option if the brief is to expose ceilings and maximize headroom in refurbishments as it allows total elimination of any ceiling void. Another option is a system with a zone unit which supplies conditioned air via the floor plenum, but receives spent air at high level or via ceiling extract grilles. As there is no need to divide the floor plenum, this option permits freedom to maximize the floor plate as well as future flexibility due to the ease of reconfiguration. ceiling based air conditioning Refurbishment projects in the UK often have specific design criteria, dictated either by the client, or frequently by planning conditions. 8 Waterloo Place in the St James’ area of London is a classic example. The fabulous building constructed in the early 1900’s is Grade II listed and features ornate vaulted ceilings and decorative plasterwork cornices. Both the client and the architect specifically requested no services at high level in order to preserve and highlight these features using bi-directional up and down lighting. This immediately eliminated ceiling based air conditioning as an option. The seven story building also has differing floor to ceiling heights on each floor, proving to be an additional challenge for investor Barings, whose aim was to create the highest quality, modern office space at the prestigious Mayfair property. high profile tenancy A full underfloor air conditioning system was subsequently specified for floors 1-4 of the building, which all had an existing 300mm floor plenum. The height restriction of the dormer fifth floor only permitted a very shallow floor plenum, so a perimeter system was adopted for this space. The end result of the refurbishment was 70% occupancy in a very short period of time, the building attracting high profile tenancy and achieving high levels of rent, “a truly special building”, comments the MD at Barings Real Estate. Another key building characteristic is the small windows and low natural light levels Another refurbishment project to reference is 33 Glasshouse Street, London, prominently located on the corner with Regent Street, a fusion of three buildings and with a Grade II listed façade, varying slab heights and low floor to ceiling heights, developer Hermes set about a full “Cut and Carve” structural reconfiguration to form larger, deeper, open plan floor plates and increase the floor to ceiling height to 3.3m on floors 3-7. raised floor system Another key building characteristic is the small windows and low natural light levels. Underfloor air conditioning was specified to help maximize the floor to ceiling heights and permit the greatest level of natural light through the deep floor plates. Perimeter heating and cooling would not have been effective given the deep floor plates and ceiling based air conditioning would have required a ceiling void that would virtually cover the low level windows, severely restricting light penetration. Even with the introduction of a raised floor system and underfloor services, the down stand beams are clearly visible underneath the window line, but this only serves to highlight the unusual building characteristics in an effective way. The end result, another achievement by the project team with a successful outcome. Prime, modern office space attracting the highest caliber occupants, commanding premium rates. overhead services At Cathedral Hill in Guildford, UfAC was used to cool the atrium area where overhead services could not be used September 2018 saw the completion of the tenant fit-out on three floors of the building for one of the world’s biggest tech giants. Design freedom with underfloor air conditioning is not only apparent in refurbishment projects, over the last three decades, the company's systems have also helped new builds achieve their design objectives, whether by using a full underfloor system, or simply integrating floor recessed Fantiles with Displacement Ventilation or other HVAC systems. At Cathedral Hill in Guildford, UfAC was used to cool the atrium area where overhead services could not be used. At First Point, Gatwick, adopting UfAC saved 2m in height compared with an identical building at Heathrow with ceiling services. cellular meeting pods At the expansive Sky Central Campus, UfAC Fantiles are used to enhance the Displacement Ventilation system by boosting cooling in the cellular meeting pods, and at the award winning Here East Innovation Centre, UfAC has been innovatively integrated with overhead services offering fully flexible and functional workspace for the start-up community. The above are just a few examples of how innovative thinking and design application has encouraged the uptake of underfloor air conditioning and promoting it as a viable solution to wide ranging design challenges in new build and refurbishment projects, helping property owners and agents to differentiate their offering and create world class workspace.
AET Flexible Space recently completed the supply and commissioning of underfloor air conditioning equipment for the new ninth floor at 55 Gresham Street. Situated near the Guildhall in the heart of the City, the 84,038 sq. ft., eight story building was acquired in 2014 by Angelo Gordon and Beltane, extended and fully redeveloped to provide 11 floors of Grade-A office space over 121,569 sq. ft. underfloor air conditioning The redevelopment included the creation of a new level access corner entrance and reception at Wood Street and Gresham Street, with remodeled cores, extensions of the floorplates at ground to sixth floors and replacement seventh and new eighth and ninth floors created through the removal of the existing ninth floor plant. New services are supplied throughout and new composite stone facades to the south, west and north are well in keeping with the urban locality. The design is characterized by its imaginative use of materials and historical references The design is characterized by its imaginative use of materials and historical references. Designed by Fletcher Priest Architects, with mechanical, and other design services provided by consultant, Waterman Group, underfloor air conditioning was specified for the new ninth floor terrace in order to maintain the architectural vision. Direct Expansion coils By placing services within the floor void, the remaining available space and floor to ceiling heights were maximized by eliminating the need for ceiling based pipe and ductwork. The two zone system on the ninth floor terrace is served by two CAM-C25 downflow units with Direct Expansion coils and a total of thirty standard TU4 Fantiles with EC fans for enhanced energy performance. This considered redevelopment is a building designed with the occupier in mind and testament to this approach, the entire building was pre-let prior to practical completion to global giant, Investec Asset Management. Main contractor ISG handed over the £34 million project at the end of 2018 and has a BREEAM target of Excellent.
One Benjamin Street, situated directly opposite Farringdon Station on the corner of Turnmill Street, is a fabulous new build with mixed use accommodation comprising retail and commercial space as well as residential penthouse apartments. The prominent site, owned by The Girdler’s Company for some 400 years, formerly featured three individual buildings of different style and character, which were considered unfit for purpose and replaced by one high quality single building. Designed by world renowned architect AHMM, and inspired by the character of local Victorian warehouses, and craftsmanship at the core of The Girdler’s Company, the new build offers 1692 m2 of high quality, sustainable office space with highly flexible, column free floor plates and BCO recommended floor to ceiling height of 1.8m on the 1st to 3rd floors. air conditioning system Underfloor air conditioning was recommended by Main Contractor who had experience of floor level air conditioning The overall design brief was to provide optimum flexibility when adding or re-arranging fittings for incoming tenant requirements, and the AET Flexible Space underfloor air conditioning system specified fits this brief perfectly. Underfloor air conditioning was recommended by Main Contractor, Knight Harwood who had experience of floor level air conditioning from another London refurbishment in Soho Square. M&E Consultant, Scotch & Partners were satisfied that the system could cater to demand, whilst offering greater flexibility for future change of use than the originally proposed perimeter heating and cooling systems. The system specified is a CAM-V system with underfloor supply air and return air received back to the zone unit at high level. The CAM-V system is the best solution for future flexibility as there is no underfloor air baffle to reconfigure should a layout change be considered. supply conditioned air Each of the office floors is split into two zones, with a CAM-V33 downflow unit serving each zone. A total of 105 recessed Fantiles, which supply conditioned air into the space, are evenly distributed across the six zones. The completed new build with its reinforced concrete frame, flat slab construction and exposed concrete soffits, columns and walls offers contemporary interior styling, and the exterior detailing combining feature brickwork, exposed polished concrete medallions and signature façade cladding incorporating the client’s crest is a quality improvement to the local streetscape and a testament to the client and project team.
Komax Systems, Inc., is recognized as a global provider of advanced mixing solutions for the municipal and wastewater treatment industries. Municipal and wastewater treatment plants with large open channels face enormous challenges and need solutions to effectively treat and use the water flows. Energy efficient and cost-effective solutions are needed for treatment systems to run properly. Large open channels need treatment for both influent raw water streams coming into a water treatment plant and wastewater and effluent water from wastewater treatment plants. Chemical injection and accurate dispersions are needed before the water can be released or consumed. Mixing Technology Solution Komax recognized that these problems need solutions and that in many cases custom modifications to the solution to fit within the plant's specific needs. The standard mechanical mixers and blades are not adequate for larger capacities along with the continual repairs and maintenance. The Komax channel static mixer utilizes non-clogging mixing technology for water treatment chemicals into water flowing through rectangular channels. The channel static mixer is used in water treatment for both influent raw water and effluent water treatment New pollution problems have placed additional burdens on wastewater treatment systems. Today's pollutants such as heavy metals, chemical compounds, and toxic substances are more difficult to remove from the water. Rising demands on the water supply only aggravate the problem. The increasing demands call on better wastewater treatment solutions. The channel static mixer is used in water treatment for both influent raw water and effluent water treatment. high efficiency mixing Influent water streams use the channel mixer to injection and mixing of coagulants and flocculants before the water goes to the clarifier. Effluent water from wastewater treatment plants also utilize the channel mixer to inject and mix chlorine and sodium bisulfite to disinfect the wastewater for safe discharge into large bodies, such as rivers, streams, or lakes. Komax has a proven reputation for product design and manufacturing quality that ensures outstanding performance. The static mixers manufactured by Komax provide cost-effective, high efficiency mixing. As the needs evolve so will Komax's solutions.