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...
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. Un...
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...
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.
Armstrong Fluid Technology has unveiled two new COMPASS R high efficiency models with ECM Motor Technology for up to 80% energy savings. COMPASS R circulators Featuring an air-cooled ECM motor and advanced Design Envelope variable speed technology, the new COMPASS R20-35 and R40-45 circulators can replace many competing models with bolt-for-bolt connection capability. The new COMPASS R models cover a wide performance range and are energy efficient upgrades for two and three-piece and wet rotor circulators. Other features of the COMPASS R20-35 and R40-45 circulators include: Posi-Start technology for smooth starting and automatic de-blocking Multiple control options including a patented ‘Auto’ mode Optimized hydraulics with dry rotor design Easy selection of appropriate flow and pressure to meet system demand Easy-to-read control panel Electrical terminal box designed for quick installation
All Belimo locations are operating with a high level of product availability. Thanks to the remarkable efforts of the company’s employees worldwide, they have been able to cope with this pandemic in such an excellent way as that their customers did not experience any increase in lead times or lack of availability of their products. At the same time, the company was maintaining safety and health of their employees as their top priority in all their facilities worldwide. Several authorities globally have confirmed that Belimo is an essential business, therefore, the company should feel obligated to try everything to ensuring continued supply to their customers. They thank each of their employees for their tireless commitment which enables the business continuity of their operations. ensure safe working environment All Belimo locations remain working with strict measures to ensure a safe working environment. If current conditions are to remain stable, Belimo does not expect to experience any general increase in product lead times or availability. If the circumstances around this situation warrant, measures will be adjusted, and a new communication will be made.
Volvo Group North America recently received a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Better Plants Better Practice Award for preventing and reducing waste at several North American facilities. The Volvo Group was chosen among a record number of applicants to receive the honor. The Better Practice Award is presented to partners for innovative and industry-leading accomplishments in implementing and promoting practices, principles and procedures of energy management. The Volvo Group implemented several initiatives at its facilities to help the company work toward landfill-free status. moving towards landfill-free Reducing and eliminating landfill waste is imperative to helping protect our greatest resource - the environment" Currently, four U.S. manufacturing facilities are certified landfill-free, including the New River Valley facility in Dublin, Virginia, where all Volvo truck models for North America are assembled; Lehigh Valley Operations in Macungie, Pennsylvania, where all Mack heavy-duty models for North America and export are assembled; Middletown Remanufacturing, Middletown, Pennsylvania; and the Volvo Construction Equipment facility in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. "Reducing and eliminating landfill waste is imperative to helping protect our greatest resource - the environment," said Rick Robinson, Volvo Group North America director of Health, Safety and Environment. "We are pleased that our efforts were recognized by the DOE's Better Buildings, Better Plants program, and we hope to continue moving toward landfill-free at all of the Volvo Group's North American facilities." facilitate waste reduction In addition to the facilities already certified, the Volvo Group has three other sites that are in the 12-month certification process for landfill-free status. They include the Central Distribution Center, Memphis, Tennessee; Volvo Group Powertrain Operations, Hagerstown, Maryland; and the Charlotte Remanufacturing facility in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Volvo Group began working toward landfill-free status at its North American sites by conducting multiple studies to identify reduction opportunities and developed plant-level initiatives to facilitate waste reduction, reuse and recycling. documentation and mapping Certified sites must apply to the Volvo Group Environmental Committee for re-certification every three years The Volvo Group also benchmarked itself against peer companies in the manufacturing industry to determine best practices and created the Landfill-Free Facilities Operational Waste Directive to establish a definition for landfill-free (less than 1% of operational waste sent to landfill) and create a process for facilities to achieve Volvo Group landfill-free certification. The certification process includes the documentation and mapping of all waste types, implementation of waste reduction, reuse and recycling program and sustaining landfill-free status for a minimum of 12 months. Certified sites must apply to the Volvo Group Environmental Committee for re-certification every three years. energy efficiency solutions "Better Plants partners are implementing innovative energy efficiency solutions in the industrial space that are cutting costs and energy use, and the Better Practice and Better Project awards honor their leadership," said Valri Lightner, Deputy Director, Advanced Manufacturing Office, DOE. The Volvo Group participates in the DOE's Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge, which asks companies to commit to reducing energy consumption by 25% in 10 years. Since re-pledging the challenge in 2015, the Volvo Group has improved energy performance at 14 of its U.S. facilities by 23.4% versus a 2014 baseline. The Volvo Group has improved its performance by more than 50% since joining the challenge in 2012.
Today’s homes are built with more insulation than ever and are known for being airtight. While this practice lowers energy bills, harmful contaminants are also kept in, which reduces the overall indoor air quality (IAQ). The effects of poor IAQ are most acute in areas of high humidity or uncontrolled moisture, such as the bathroom. Accumulation of these substances can result in health problems and mold growth as well as the deterioration of furniture and paint. Contractors make great efforts to prevent these dangerous conditions through proper ventilation. In fact, state and local governments also mandate ventilation – instilling it into the building code. For decades, ventilation was achieved through the ubiquitous AC, or alternating current ventilation, fans. The last decade has given rise to DC, or direct current, fans that offer contractors and homeowners more efficient and feature-rich options. In summary, DC motor technology provides reliability, functionality, quietness and energy efficiency. Unparalleled Reliability DC motors are engineered to outlast typical AC motor models by as much as 70 percent. Testing often involves running fans continuously under harsh conditions. These assessments have shown that DC brushless fans can run a minimum of 70,000 hours – the equivalent of eight years straight – without any disruption to performance. DC motors are smarter than traditional AC options Cutting-Edge Functionality DC motors are smarter than traditional AC options because they incorporate a PCB or printed circuit board. PCBs allow software to be written into the fan for greater functionality. They enable valuable features, like humidity sensors and motion sensors. PCBs also enable safety precautions like lock protection, which stop power to the motor when it becomes jammed. In addition, a PCB can preserve the life of the motor by powering it on gradually through what is known as a “soft-start” function. Much like a car’s engine, aggressive stops and starts can decrease the life of a motor. Unlike AC fans, DC fans can come pre-programed with this start and stop functionality. DC motors are engineered to outlast typical AC motor models Virtually Silent Operation Ventilation fans are infamous for creating loud noise and disrupting peace in the bathroom. Not operating the fan can lead to mold and mildew, however. Rental properties are often an unwitting victim, since tenants are less inclined to run a loud bath fan since they don’t have a stake in the property. A virtually silent fan will encourage regular use, saving building owners substantial repair costs. DC motor fans are known for their quiet operation, with many fans rated at less than 0.3 sones – the lowest possible sound rating in the industry. This can be quieter than many kitchen refrigerators. An Energy-Efficient Marvel A state-of-the-art DC motor fan uses up to 85 percent less electricity than an AC model A state-of-the-art DC motor fan uses up to 85 percent less electricity than an AC model. This can save homeowners, businesses and landlords on their energy bills. Due to their many benefits, DC fans are among the most efficient ventilation fans available. Many exceed ENERGY STAR® requirements for efficiency – the industry benchmark set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – by as much as 350 percent. Homeowners and tenants want the bathroom to feel serene, comfortable and appear aesthetically pleasing. Ventilation fans can easily be overlooked in a large construction project, but are the unsung hero of IAQ. DC fan solutions can safeguard long-term health, preserve structural integrity and maintain a bathroom’s tranquility for years to come. As sustainability and efficiency come into focus in new construction and remodeling projects, the adoption of DC fans will only continue to gain pace.
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 profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the HVAC industry is being felt by all of us in the HVAC industry. The current challenges and threats have been well documented and, unfortunately, will continue to evolve over the coming days, weeks and months. However, as with many tragic events, there can be positive changes that come from this tragedy. One of these positive changes will be the more rapid development and deployment of smart HVAC systems and remote asset management solutions. Data and solutions to building owners Although the development of technologies for smarter, more connected buildings has been underway for some time, it is now being accelerated by the need for social distancing and remote working conditions. It’s now more critical than ever that HVAC systems learn, predict and optimize so they can provide critical data and solutions to building owners and other HVAC professionals remotely before problems occur. And, once potential problems or challenges are identified, experts must be able to communicate digitally with technicians onsite in real time to provide virtual assistance and troubleshooting. The technology can detect dead-heading, excessive heating, broken coupling, cavitation, excessive vibration How can we accomplish this task under such difficult conditions? Different manufacturers offer a variety of solutions. At Armstrong Fluid Technology we call it Active Performance Management. Active Performance Management At its heart, Active Performance Management is a new approach to maximizing performance in building systems through a combination of actively seeking system insights and applying those to improved performance. The technology aspect consists of connecting intelligent pumps with other critical HVAC components via cloud-computing to provide critical diagnostic analytics to building owners and managers through a neuro network. This allows the system to learn, predict and optimize in real time so it can alert building managers to potential issues and predictive maintenance needs well before they become a pressing problem. The technology can detect dead-heading, excessive heating, broken coupling, cavitation, excessive vibration and many other potential issues before they become costly problems. Digitization, digitalization via cloud computing, HVAC and building systems will exchange data, leading to smart building Equally important, it tracks such important operating efficiency data as energy savings, CO2 savings and much more.Over time, HVAC systems experience ‘operational drift’ as various components begin to operate less efficiently.This ‘drift’ can result in 30-40% wasted energy. By detecting and even predicting when this drift may begin to occur we can maintain peak performance and achieve significant energy and cost savings. Fifth Wave of Technology We believe the HVAC industry is experiencing a Fifth Wave of Technology that is being fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. This Fifth Wave is the decentralization of decision making which consists of adding ‘brains’ to equipment at all levels (pumps, heat exchangers, valves, etc.) to enable cross communications and create the neuro network mentioned previously. By providing a higher authority to lower level equipment, the analytics and decision making process is distributed throughout the larger group. This augments a building’s BAS system and provides combined brain power with more accurate data. When enabled by digitization and digitalization and connected via cloud computing, all HVAC and building systems will exchange data, leading to smart buildings – i.e. lighting systems talking to HVAC systems. Smart buildings will lead to smart cities that consist of similar buildings, all connected and learning from one another to further optimize performance and save energy. It’s now more critical than ever that HVAC systems learn, predict and optimize Remote Asset Management It is no longer necessary for technicians to go to the jobsite to check the system’s operation But what has all of this to do with the COVID-19 pandemic and the accelerated change we are now seeing? The data and analytics provided by Active Performance Management services are available to building managers remotely any time, anywhere, via cell phones, laptops and other connected devices. Now that many people are working remotely it is more important than ever that they have all the data and analytics they need at their fingertips.It is no longer necessary for technicians to go to the jobsite to check the system’s operation and/or switch control modes between manual, automatic, BAS or IO. And although this Remote Asset Management capability has been available for a while, it seems many building managers are hesitant to fully trust these systems and/or have the need for hands-on operation. Possible to cost-effectively upgrade existing pumps and system components into intelligent systems Switching Manual and Automatic modes In some instances, systems are put into manual mode for servicing but are never switched back to automatic mode. When this happens managers and building owners don’t realize all of the benefits and energy savings possible There are also instances where building managers don’t have intelligent pumps and components installed and think they don’t have the budgets to upgrade. However, it is now possible to cost-effectively upgrade existing pumps and system components into intelligent systems. Whatever the case, we are seeing more and more building managers and maintenance professionals feeling much more confident and accepting of these intelligent systems now that they must observe social distancing. Augmented reality app that even allows both parties to draw on their screens and highlight various system parts Digital Trouble-Shooting Tools But what happens when a potential problem or an emergency situation develops and it is necessary for the technician to speak with a system expert? Thanks to new technology, mobile apps now exist that allow both parties to video chat so the technician can show the expert exactly what is happening with the system. They can collaborate in real-time and even see what button they need to push or valve they need to turn. There is a brand new augmented reality app that even allows both parties to draw on their screens and highlight various system parts. Here again, we are seeing more and more customers that are feeling increasingly comfortable with remote service calls and probably will prefer this method moving forward. What Does The Future Hold? Although no one knows what the long-term effect of the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the HVAC industry, we believe the positive outcomes will be customers more willing and accepting of intelligent systems, a greater comfort level with remote analytics and an embracement of remote diagnostic troubleshooting. And of course, this will result in greater energy savings, greater cost savings and reduction in CO2 emissions worldwide. So, there is some good news that will come from this unfortunate pandemic afterall.
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.”
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.
AgraFlora Organics International Inc. announces that Propagation Services Canada Inc. the Company’s flagship cultivation asset located in Delta British Columbia has secured a Standard Cultivation License from Health Canada. “Obtaining the License at the Delta Facility marks the end of a journey commenced in Q4 2018 and is the key milestone in beginning cannabis sales from what is the 2nd largest and one of the most advanced greenhouses in Canada” stated Brandon Boddy AgraFlora Executive Chairman and CEO. environmentally friendly greenhouse We’re commencing the cultivation of a curated portfolio of elite live plant genetics" "With license in hand, we’re commencing the cultivation of a curated portfolio of elite live plant genetics that will enable us to execute on a focused strategy of high-potency low-cost cannabis to drive high-volume value brands from coast to coast.” The Delta Facility’s first phase represents 422828 sq. ft. of cultivation space utilizing a state-of-the-art pressurized semi-open Venlo greenhouse design considered to be one of the most technically advanced and environmentally friendly greenhouse platforms in North America and is uniquely located in an agricultural micro-climate on the shores of the Pacific. humidity control management The Delta Greenhouse is scalable up to 2200000 sq. ft. Key features of the Delta Greenhouse include: Fully integrated on-site natural-gas-powered power plant Advanced climate and humidity control management infrastructure Proprietary energy-efficient air exchange to maintain stable climate conditions at a fraction of the cost of traditional HVAC systems Ebb-and-flow watering systems to enhance complete irrigation recapture and water treatment Multistage supplemental lighting augmented by natural sunlight to foster optimized illumination equilibrium A proprietary ERP system to allow for efficient resource management and cost tracking agricultural micro-climate Our company brings 40 years of agricultural expertise to PSC as well as decades of experience within this greenhouse" Ruben Houweling, General Manager of Houweling Nurseries Stated “Our company brings 40 years of agricultural expertise to PSC as well as decades of experience within this greenhouse. We have a well-integrated organization with more than 200 employees. Our facility is located in a unique agricultural micro-climate on the shores of the Pacific Ocean that will help the company produce high-potency low cost cannabis.” PSC will now commence the cultivation of its curated portfolio of elite live plant genetics which were specially curated by an award winning Canadian cultivator with a focus on combining high potency with above-average yields and favorable agricultural traits such as disease and pest resistance. high potency THC genetics Combined with the agricultural experience and expertise of the PSC management team these genetics will support the Company’s strategy of producing high-potency low cost cannabis to support national value brands. With current granting of the standard cultivation license the company’s consultants in conjunction with the PSC team indicate that the inaugural harvest of high potency THC genetics at its Delta greenhouse complex will occur within the fourth quarter of 2020.
With the rise of veganism showing no signs of slowing down, plant-based meal provider, allplants decided to consolidate its seven sites into a single, central facility. When the contracting company, Forma London was presented with the challenge of sustainably fitting out the new building, it turned to Elta Fans to deliver an efficient ventilation solution. Vegan diets are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of different reasons, including health, climate change, and animal welfare. As plant-based diets become mainstream, there is a growing need for convenient, meat-free meals, and offering greater choice for consumers. Sustainable building solutions allplants set out to meet this demand, making delicious frozen meals and delivering them straight to customers’ doors. Its success derives from the passion of its two founders, JP and Alex, and has necessitated the consolidation of its multiple sites into one central facility. The new premises provided allplants the opportunity to fit out the building with sustainability at its core Moving to new premises provided allplants with the opportunity to fit out the building with sustainability at its core. All the desks, for example, are made from locally sourced, sustainable wood, but it was in the kitchen that the greatest challenge was posed. Forma London, a principal contractor based in the capital, was tasked with delivering the project. Combining construction expertise with eco and ethical credentials, the contractors began working on providing ventilation for the meal provider’s centerpiece, the development kitchen. Enhanced ventilation The kitchen is where the magic happens, allowing allplants to ensure the meals it produces are as tasty as possible. As specialists in microwavable food, the traditional ventilation set-up of a commercial kitchen was far greater than what the site needed. Anthony Afram, Building Services Manager at Forma London, said “Balancing energy efficiency with performance output is a priority in any project, but given the nature of the client, this took on a whole new level of importance.” He adds, “The challenge of equipping the kitchen with the right ventilation was highlighted by the two bifurcated axial fans that we were originally quoted. These would have been perfect for a busy commercial kitchen, but for this application they were overkill. In terms of expense and performance, they would have been much more than required, and ultimately incurred far higher running costs than necessary.” Energy-efficient ventilation systems It isn’t just for the purposes of corporate social responsibility or an altruistic mindset that businesses must pay close attention to the energy credentials of their ventilation systems. Building Regulations and Ecodesign Directives obligate everyone in the supply chain, from manufacturer through to contractor, to select and supply ventilation with maximum levels of efficiency. This means that most commercial and industrial fans need to be provided with functionality that allows control over fan speed and power. Skyflow SSRL EC axial roof fans For allplant’s kitchen, this meant specifying a fan that was appropriate for a busy, but pollutant-low kitchen In the context of allplant’s kitchen, this meant specifying a fan that was appropriate for a busy, but pollutant-low kitchen. Owing to its position as the first ErP compliant low silhouette axial roof fan on the market, the decision was made to turn to Elta Fans’ Skyflow SSRL EC. Equipped with an EC motor with an integral potentiometer commissioning device as standard, the fan is ideal for environments such as a light commercial kitchen. Intuitive controls Anthony continues, “For applications such as this, where ventilation requirements may be variable, the ability to control fan speed through intuitive controls is vital. “It also highlights the importance of not over-specifying, as it can be all too easy to opt for the highest performance available, without consideration of the energy expenditure. “Elta Fans’ Skyflow SSRL is a great example of the energy saving possibilities associated with the latest ventilation technology. Opting for the most efficient products can make a significant contribution to the overall energy credentials of a building, and projects such as this illustrate what is possible.” Energy savings and sustainable HVAC system allplants is understandably concerned with sustainability, and the fitting out of its premises necessarily reflects this. However, it is important to be aware that its growth as a company shows the overall trend towards an environmentally-conscious society. As legislation is introduced to reflect this, those tasked with providing ventilation must ensure they opt for solutions that balance performance with optimum energy efficiency.