Following last week’s Met Office amber extreme heat warning, a polymer specialist has warned current sustainable design must mitigate overheating in buildings as heat waves become more prevalent. Recent research of 520 M&E contractors and architects, 130 of which worked specifically on apartment buildings, in REHAU’s report ‘Designing Healthy Apartments,’ also raised similar concern. Efficient cooling methods The majority of these respondents felt that sustainabili...
The EME3625MD, a new, 3-inch deep, stationary Ruskin louver, approved by Miami-Dade, for its wind-driven rain resistance, is designed for structures in high-velocity hurricane zones that require louvers with basic impact protection. EME3625MD louver Mechanically fastened to add to its strength, the vertical louver also offers improved air and water performance over Ruskin’s previous Miami-Dade approved model, the EME3625DFLMD, and is AMCA 540 (Missile D) and 550 listed. We designed the...
Secure I.T. Environments Ltd, one of the UK’s design and build companies for modular, containerized, and micro data centers, announces the completion of a new UPS room, Air Handling Unit (AHU), and air conditioning upgrade at Principality Building Society in Cardiff, Wales – A mutual building society with over 500,000 members and 160 years of experience. With existing AHU and sensing equipment approaching the end of life, Principality wanted to upgrade to equipment that would offer...
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart, healthy, and sustainable building solutions, has significantly upgraded the testing lab facilities at its residential HVAC manufacturing plant in Wichita, Kan. upgrading HVAC testing facility The nearly US$ 15 million investment includes the addition of seven test chambers, automated testing and model shop equipment, and a new building, which adds 2,000 more square footage space, bringing the plant’s total testing facilities to 1...
Active air purification and HVAC specialists, Better Indoors, have formed a new strategic partnership with water and air quality providers, SMS Environmental, to help UK businesses, healthcare and education settings create safe indoor environments. Headquartered in Surrey, Better Indoors, is the sole UK distributor of RGF Environmental Group, manufacturers of innovative active air purification technology that instantly eliminates harmful viruses and bacteria, including SARS-CoV-2 at the point o...
Johnson Controls, the global front-runner for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, announced an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Kingston valued at CA$86 million, including taxes. Enabled through a collaboration with the Department of National Defence (DND), the project will combine infrastructure investments and a community awareness campaign to advance the base’s energy resiliency strategy. Johnson Controls has assessed CFB Kingston’s energy...
Uponor has extended its innovative EcoFlex VIP portfolio with the introduction of Ecoflex Aqua VIP, a high-performance pipe designed to make hot and cold water transportation around a home more sustainable than ever before. The pre-insulated pipe, introduced specifically for domestic water distribution, combines heat loss performance with outstanding flexibility, ease of installation and a service life in excess of 30 years. Total solutions provider By adapting ground-breaking Vacuum Insulation Panel (VIP) technology, the next generation pipe delivers hot water efficiently to its distribution point by significantly reducing the heat losses that typically occur when water travels from a heat source around a building. What’s more, Uponor, the total solutions provider of systems for the safe transportation of water around a building, has designed the new pipe to be as flexible as soft foam insulated products, but with a diameter up to 30% smaller. This means that less space is needed to run the pipework around a building, saving on time and labor while also making it easier to find suitable pathways for the pipes to run. In addition, Ecoflex Aqua VIP is also highly flexible and durable, making it ideal for complex designs and projects where the installer is working in confined spaces. Requiring additional connections These qualities help to reduce the installation time of the pipes by up to 20% With up to 60% less bending force compared to alternative solutions on the market, Ecoflex Aqua VIP can be navigated around obstacles or laid across bumpy ground without requiring additional connections. These qualities help to reduce the installation time of the pipes by up to 20% compared to hard foam insulated flexible pipes, and by more than double compared to steel pipes. This also minimizes potential weak points that could lead to leaks after the pipes have been laid. Ecoflex Aqua VIP joins Ecoflex Thermo VIP in the innovative range, which now provides developers and installers with the complete sustainable solution for all a project’s pipework requirements. High insulating performance Commenting on the portfolio, Mark Dowdeswell, Senior Category Manager at Uponor, said: “Vacuum insulation panels have already proven to be one of the best insulation materials, as they are widely used for applications in healthcare, vehicles, construction and household appliances. By adapting this technology to our Ecoflex VIP range, we have managed to achieve high insulating performance with less insulation material. The flexible, multi-layer aluminum diffusion barrier also makes our pipe extremely compact and easy to handle.” “The system can be utilized for a great variety of applications, from an extensive supply network to a single connection for one building, with the flexibility of the pipe material, the convenient connecting methods and the well-attested service life, all contributing to projects being completed quickly, economically and reliably.”
To kick off the hottest months of the year, Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS) launches its new website: MitsubishiComfort.com. The website serves as a hub for both homeowners and professionals to review information from METUS, a leading supplier of Ductless and Ducted Mini-split and Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heat-pump and air-conditioning systems. For Homeowners and professional A combination of the company’s homeowner and professional websites, MitsubishiComfort is a comprehensive resource with a refreshed user experience. The site highlights the ability of METUS systems to heat and cool any home, any building, anywhere. The new MitsubishiComfort is built to service the needs of homeowners and professionals. On the website, homeowners can learn about the benefits of Mitsubishi Electric heat-pump technology through articles, videos, and case studies. They can also use the website to find available rebates, financing information or request a consultation with a Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Contractor® or Ductless Pro qualified provider. Diamond Contractor and Ductless Pro qualified providers are independent professionals who have completed METUS training and have a high level of experience with METUS systems. Product and Application Catalog Professionals can use the website to locate a distributor, register systems, access tools, and sign up for training sessions The new site also boasts considerable content expansion in the product and application sections for ease of use, streamlined navigation, and to provide meaningful education for users. Professionals can use the website to locate a distributor, register systems, access tools, and sign up for training sessions and find the manufacturer-level support they need to make each project a success. The site includes custom portals for contractors, distributors, and METUS employees. The company’s history of innovation as a leader in VRF technology is displayed through articles on energy efficiency and sustainability — initiatives at the forefront of METUS product development. MitsubishiComfort also features a robust lead generation solution to connect homeowners and building owners with preferred local contractors while simultaneously sharing those leads with contractors. Authority Comment “From the beginning of this project, we knew we wanted to build a website to offer homeowners and professionals an easy way to access a deep amount of information about our systems and all the services we offer,” said Suzanne Rigdon, Director of Digital Marketing at Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US. “We’re confident we’ve met our goals with this new site and can’t wait for our customers to get their hands on it.”
The air quality of our indoor spaces has seen renewed interest in the past 18-months as a strong relationship emerges between the quality or flow of air and the spread of coronavirus. In the rush to get workers back into their physical workplaces, we have seen a surge of office buildings improving and reconfiguring their HVAC systems to better protect employees from COVID, even monitoring systems that provide building occupants a real-time view of air quality throughout the building. Better air quality has not only become beneficial for workplaces during the pandemic, however, there are also many other reasons to improve HVAC systems. COVID has simply made better air quality necessary for companies, rather than a nice-to-have. Honeywell Survey 60% said they are more likely to invest in indoor air quality optimization technology A June survey by Honeywell questioned 1,554 facility managers around the world on the impact of COVID-19, with 75% confirming that the pandemic has caused them to permanently rethink how their buildings operate. Within the results, nearly 60% said they are more likely to invest in indoor air quality optimization technology. Another study compiled by 39 scientists from 14 countries and published in the journal ‘Science’ has demanded universal recognition that infections can be prevented by improving air ventilation systems in buildings. While a survey of 436 human resources managers in the US, conducted by Pollfish on behalf of Omni CleanAir, found that nearly every business surveyed took steps to improve air quality during the pandemic. Pollfish Omni CleanAir Survey The Pollfish – Omni CleanAir survey found that 73% of surveyed organizations had upgraded existing HVAC systems to support improved filtration, namely the introduction of MERV13 filtration, while 63% reported the installation of medical-grade filtration such as HEPA into their central HVAC systems. A further half of respondents said their organizations had introduced portable HEPA filtration machines, while 42% had deployed ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) and 38% had deployed air ionization technologies. After years of relatively minimal improvements to air quality in workplaces, the pandemic has driven buildings to follow official guidance on best practices for clean air. Combining Filters and Air Cleaners According to ASHRAE, using combinations of filters and air cleaners that achieve MERV 13 or better levels of performance for air recirculated by HVAC systems is a core recommendation for reducing exposure to airborne infectious diseases. Meanwhile, public health information during the pandemic has made a clear distinction between the rate of transmission between indoor and outdoor air-quality environments. This has prompted commercial building designers to bring more of the outdoor air into the building through ventilation systems and new architectural design approaches. Authority Comment “Dozens of the world’s top experts in how diseases spread have called for big improvements to the air in buildings and there is now a recognition by the WHO and the CDC that coronavirus can spread through the air. However, cleaner air won’t just fight the COVID pandemic, it will also minimize the risk of catching flu and other respiratory infections that cost the US alone more than $50 billion a year,” said Phillip Dowds, the founder and director of OKTO. “Businesses are annually being hit with the costs associated with sick leave and loss of productivity due to poor air quality and ventilation systems, viruses, flu symptoms, asthma, chest infections, etc.” Varying Air Quality Conditions Workplace air quality is not just about reducing sickness eitherVarious studies have long proven a link between air quality and absenteeism. A 2002 study by Milton DK. et al., compared employee absenteeism in offices with varying air quality conditions. They found that short-term sick leave was 35% lower in offices ventilated by an outdoor air supply rate of 24 l/s compared to buildings with rates of 12 l/s. This staggering statistic may support Dowds “$50 billion a year” in losses claim and suggests that companies should have been investing much more significantly in air quality technology long before the pandemic. Employees not being able to work due to sickness is a huge drain on companies but workplace air quality is not just about reducing sickness either. Air Quality Better air quality also improves the overall health, wellness, and comfort of employees, thereby increasing their ability to concentrate and making them more productive. Several studies have found that high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), or low levels of oxygen, in offices make us drowsy, affecting our concentration and decision-making abilities. Traditional building regulations have brought about well-insulated office spaces, reducing temperature fluctuations but also reducing the fresh air circulation. Typical outdoor CO2 concentrations hover around 380 parts per million (ppm), while within offices CO2 concentrations were found to be as high as several thousand ppm. All organizations desire greater employee productivity and, therefore, all companies should seek better air quality. Cost-Effective All companies also want to reduce their costs, and while capital investments in better HVAC systems can be expensive, the operational cost reductions from smarter HVAC usually pay off in the long run. Combined with sensors and analytics, HVAC systems can better understand and react to the actual use of spaces in buildings to find new efficiencies, namely by not heating, cooling, and ventilating unused areas of the building. A layer of artificial intelligence applied to HVAC control can go further by using prediction and advanced analytics to find even greater efficiencies as well as better integrating with other systems to meet overall building objectives. AI Commercial Building Report “The quality of the air as a determinant of occupant health, wellbeing and satisfaction is steadily gaining greater recognition. Several of the more sophisticated offerings in this domain tie into building management and HVAC systems together, and are using AI to balance air quality, energy efficiency, and comfort priorities and determine optimal control systems,” explains the recent AI in commercial buildings report. COVID-19 has forced companies to invest in technology that can improve air quality “Others integrate with predictive analytics solutions, providing improved insight into systems maintenance requirements. A number of the solutions also use occupancy data to help drive optimized ventilation and airflow conditions depending on current levels of occupation in a building.” COVID-19 The COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to invest in technology that can improve air quality in their workplaces, through regulation and public pressure to better protect employees. However, once the smoke clears on this global crisis, office buildings around the world will find their workers are more resilient to many kinds of sickness, reducing absenteeism, and more productive when they are at work, due to the cognitive benefits of cleaner air. Many of the smart technologies required to improve air quality will also drive cost reductions and open the door to other smart systems such as occupancy and space analytics. While challenging almost every business in the world, the COVID-19 pandemic can also breathe new life into the smart workplace.
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart, healthy and sustainable building solutions, has launched the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program. As part of the program, Johnson Controls will give US$ 15 million, over the next five years, to support academic scholarships at non-profit community colleges. Community college Program Starting in the 2021‒2022 academic year, Johnson Controls’ program will endow a total of US$ 1 million to ten community colleges across the U.S. In addition to the funding, Johnson Controls employees will support the community colleges through volunteering and mentorships. The grants support the expansion of associate degree and certificate programs in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), fire and security, and digital building automation systems, all areas where the U.S. Bureau of Labor is predicting an increased need for skilled trade expertise in the coming years. Providing in-demand knowledge and skills A core objective of the program is to change the trajectory of the lives of students from underserved communities A core objective of the program is to change the trajectory of the lives of students from underserved communities, by equipping them with in-demand knowledge and skills that will support employment and a pathway for life-long careers upon graduation. “Just as smart, healthy buildings are critical to our well-being, well-educated and trained technicians are crucial to keeping our environments operating safely and efficiently. As a leader in the building industry for over a century, Johnson Controls is honored to share our expertise with the country's leading community colleges,” said Grady Crosby, Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer at Johnson Controls. Providing funding for institutions Grady Crosby adds, “The Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program supports institutions through its funding and supports their students through volunteerism and mentorships. We believe this will empower people to build life-long careers that will transform their lives and their cities.” The initial ten community colleges receiving grants are located in cities, where Johnson Controls has a significant customer base and employee presence. Funding for each community college differs based on its needs. In general, colleges will use the support to purchase and develop classroom materials, learning technologies, and student scholarships. Mentorship for students Local Johnson Controls employees in each market will serve as volunteer educators, providing students with counseling and real-world experiences. This mentoring will be directly incorporated into various college programs and also provide a pathway for student internships, and entry-level employment opportunities at Johnson Controls. 2021-2022 Community College Partnership award recipients include: Kennedy-King College (Chicago, IL): Founded in 1911, Kennedy-King College is part of the City Colleges of Chicago, a system of two-year education institutions. The college will use its funding to establish an HVAC certification boot camp, develop a job shadowing and field experience course, as well as provide students with their own HVAC toolsets. Suffolk County Community College (Selden, NY): Founded in 1959, Suffolk County Community College is a public community college, sponsored by SUNY and Suffolk County, NY. The college will use its funding to invest in state-of-the-art training simulators and the growth of a guided mentoring program, featuring Johnson Controls employees supporting peer mentoring and career counseling. Montgomery College (Rockville, MD): Founded in 1946, Montgomery College is a public community college in Montgomery County, Maryland. The college will use its funding to expand program marketing to local, low-income communities, hire additional faculty to serve as retention and recruitment associates, and create a Building Automation Systems lab. Community College of Baltimore County (Baltimore, MD): Founded in 1957, Community College of Baltimore County is a public community college with campuses across Baltimore County, Maryland. The college will use its funding to hire additional faculty and grow a guided mentoring program, featuring Johnson Controls employees supporting peer mentoring and career counseling. Lone Star College (Conroe, TX): Founded in 1992, Lone Star College is a Texas community college in The Woodlands, north of Houston. The college will use its funding to provide financial assistance for students to obtain HVAC toolkits, PPE, and learning materials, as well as tuition support. Further, the college will use the funding to grow programs that encourage students to go beyond HVAC/R certification courses and complete a full Associates Degree. Henry Ford College (Dearborn, MI): Founded in 1938, Henry Ford College is a public two-year college in Dearborn, west of Detroit, Michigan. The college will use its funding to expand the Energy Technology-HVAC program into modular units that will also be developed into open-source, online educational resources that can be shared and further developed by other learning institutions. Further, the college will purchase HVAC simulators, featuring industry-standard components. Essex Country Community College (Newark, NJ): Founded in 1968, Essex County College is a public community college in Essex County, New Jersey. The college will use its funding to purchase learning materials and training technologies, as well as create a partnership with CompTIA to expand IT certification programs for careers in IT and help desk positions. Camden County College (Blackwood, NJ): Founded in 1965, Camden County College is a public community college serving western central New Jersey and the greater Camden area. The college will use its funding to expand its HVAC technician training and Programmable Logic Controller Certificate of Achievement programs. Further, the college will develop a Programmable Logic Controller certificate program specifically tied to using Johnson Controls technology. Georgia Piedmont Technical College (Clarkston, GA): Founded in 1961, Georgia Piedmont Technical College is part of the Technical College System of Georgia, serving students in the greater metro Atlanta area. The college will use its funding to purchase additional lab equipment for the Building Automaton Systems program and upgrade hands-on training simulators. Further, the college will refresh its commercial refrigeration and welding programs, and update related program marketing to underserved communities. Milwaukee Area Technical College (Milwaukee, WI): Founded in 1912, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a public, two-year vocational-technical college. The college will use its funding to expand local recruitment for HVAC career training, as well as upgrade lab and training equipment. Cutting carbon emissions in buildings construction According to a 2020 report from the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, part of the United Nations’ environment program, the buildings construction industry accounts for 40% of total global energy-related carbon emissions. And three-quarters of those emissions are attributable to building operations. Yet, the current renovation rate of buildings is less than one percent. It will take commitment and expertise across generations to reverse the damage already done to the environment and then continue with a new, sustainable way of life. Specialty knowledge is needed to develop more sustainable spaces and deploy and maintain operational and informational technologies that drive healthier buildings. Therefore, Johnson Controls is investing in the technicians of tomorrow, today.
GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, announced a new Vertical Terminal Air Conditioner (VTAC) poised to reinvent the design of Single Packaged Vertical Units (SPVU). The GE Zoneline Ultimate V10 was designed in collaboration with hotel and residential property owners and architects, to create a new way of installing the air conditioning chassis that makes installation 60% faster. GE Zoneline Ultimate V10 With additional features like ultra-quiet cooling, onboard diagnostics and SmartHQ WiFi capabilities, the GE Zoneline Ultimate V10 is a low maintenance unit providing guest comfort and reliable performance. “At GE Appliances, our goal is to design products that meet owners’ needs and create custom solutions for their environment,” said Kristi Saathoff, Senior Director of Product Management for GE Appliances. Kristi adds, “The Zoneline UltimateV10 is designed, engineered and assembled in the U.S. This allowed us to integrate customer feedback into our design to eliminate the most common pain points for the category, shorten lead times for customers, and add connected and diagnostic capabilities. This product is exemplary of our commitment to design and engineer innovative HVAC products that fit the needs of the North American marketplace.” Featuring new chassis and platform design The product, manufactured in Selmer, Tennessee, features a new chassis and platform design The product, manufactured in Selmer, Tennessee, features a new chassis and platform design with industry-exclusive features and multiple patents pending. GE Zoneline engineers collaborated with builders, property managers and architects to design the Insta-Platform, an innovative platform that is paired with a quick-install plenum and a perfect fit chassis, making the Ultimate V10 the easiest-to-install system on the market today. GE Zonelines are the industry’s quietest PTACs and GE Appliances has applied that knowledge to this product. The UltimateV10 is already the preferred VTAC for quiet performance and sound quality, when tested against competitors. In testing, 91% of participants preferred the Ultimate V10 air conditioner for superior sound quality and quieter operation. Onboard diagnostics and optional WiFi module Other features that optimize the guest and owner experience include onboard diagnostics that provide clear and fast diagnostics data. The units are also available with an optional WiFi module that integrates with GEA’s SmartHQ system allowing property managers to monitor multiple units remotely. “I have used GE Zoneline products in my hotels for years, and GE Appliances has proven to be a reliable partner for SINA Hospitality,” said Ravi Patel, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sina Hospitality. Ravi adds, “I am building a new Residence Inn property in Charleston, West Virginia and look forward to seeing this innovative product installed there. GE Appliances builds reliable products, and I am impressed with the features and quiet operation of this new VTAC. I look forward to our continued partnership.” GE Zoneline UV-C solution GEA is improving indoor air quality for hotel guests with an industry-exclusive kit for GE Zoneline PTACs GEA is improving indoor air quality for hotel guests with an industry-exclusive kit for GE Zoneline PTACs that uses UV-C light technology. The GE Zoneline UV-C solution is a perfect fit kit for Zoneline PTACs and designed to treat indoor air, as it cycles through the unit. Using a high-powered LED array for maximum intensity and efficiency, this new technology applies UV-C light to air as it passes through the unit, focused and channeled where most air movement occurs to reduce airborne virus concentrations. UV-C kit customized for GE Zoneline PTACs The new UV-C kit is customized for GE Zoneline PTACs and can be installed to existing products. The kits will be available in the coming months. Soon, GE Appliances will also offer GE Zoneline units with UV-C-technology factory installed. “Clean air is critical to ensuring guests and residents’ well-being,” said Brigitte Mader-Urschel, Commercial Director for HVAC at GE Appliances, adding “This kit is a great option to increase indoor air quality. It works when added to existing Zoneline PTACs and can also be added to new units. GEA invented the PTAC category, and we continue to innovate and respond to the changing needs of our customers and the environment.”
Peterman Brothers of Greenwood, Indiana has been named the 2021 Bryant Dealer of the Year, the highest honor a Bryant dealer can receive. Each year, this award recognizes the company whose hard work, expertise and business acumen have helped them to stand out as a leader in the industry. Bryant, a pioneering supplier of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, the pioneering global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. “Being named as the 2021 Bryant Dealer of the Year means that we are doing things the right way,” said Chad Peterman, Owner and President, Peterman Brothers. “It is not what we do, but how we do it. We are committed to providing our people and customers with the best customer experience possible.” Bryant Medal of Excellence winner Peterman Brothers has been solving plumbing, heating, and cooling issues of the central Indiana community since 1986 when Pete Peterman started the company in his garage. Since its humble beginnings, the company has grown to employ over 300 people today. Two of those employees include Pete's sons, Chad and Tyler. Both grew up around the business and have taken on numerous responsibilities. Chad is the oldest and in his role as Owner and President, he is responsible for creating and executing the company’s vision and long-term strategy. Chad’s younger brother, Tyler, oversees all install operations. Peterman is now a complete family affair with all the Petermans involved in the day-to-day operations of the company. In addition, Peterman Brothers is a two-time Bryant Medal of Excellence winner. Bryant Factory Authorized Dealers “Bryant dealers continue to raise the bar in our industry and are among the best in the business,” said Justin Keppy, President, NA Residential & Light Commercial, Carrier. “Our 2021 Dealer of the Year, Peterman Brothers, exemplifies the values and commitment that the Bryant brand has come to represent in its more than 115-year history. Its entire team embodies all that is necessary to run a successful business, and the company serves as an example to the industry for how an organization should treat its customers and the community in which it operates.” Bryant selected its 2021 Dealer of the Year from 22 Medal of Excellence winners, comprised of Bryant Factory Authorized Dealers throughout North America. The candidates were judged on overall sales growth, high-efficiency and indoor air quality equipment sales, customer satisfaction and participation in dealer programs and promotions.
As our urban centers grow, so does our demand for key resources, such as energy. Currently, cities are accountable for over 60% of resource use and an estimated 70% of global carbon emissions. In the Middle East particularly, countries have experienced unprecedented population growth, increased economic activity and consequently, increases in energy consumption. Integration of sustainable systems Fortunately, industry leaders and governments are placing sustainability at the heart of regional plans for urban development. The integration of sustainable systems is no longer a value-added benefit, but rather a necessary requirement. I believe a vital element for sustainable development in our cities is energy management. Energy is a costly commodity representing an average of 25% of all operating costs in office buildings. This cost, however, can be reduced by using energy management to optimize HVAC systems employed in a building. Effective energy management Energy management involves proactive tracking, systemic management and thoughtful optimization of energy consumption in a building, with the goal of improving energy efficiency. The concept of energy efficiency takes into account a variety of factors; we must consider system design, quality of installation and maintenance, efficiency rates and personal use. If we assume a system is designed with greatest efficiency in mind, its effectiveness is still deeply impacted by installation, maintenance and use. ‘Performance drift’ issues One challenge we face with the efficiency of HVAC systems is ‘performance drift’ One challenge we face with the efficiency of HVAC systems is ‘performance drift’. When first installed, and even in the first few months, HVAC systems operate immaculately. Over time, however, component efficiency and system conditions ‘drift’ away from the originally installed operating curve, meaning that efficiency and performance of the system can degrade incrementally. The deteriorating performance of HVAC systems has consequences, such as unnecessary use of energy, resulting in higher costs and emissions, in addition to reduced comfort for building occupants. Energy efficient HVAC pumps In order to truly have an impact on energy consumption, a holistic approach must be adopted. Only by carefully examining and optimizing each part of the HVAC system, can we then find ways to improve it. In my experience with Armstrong Fluid Technology, in the last decade, the technology for HVAC pumps has been enhanced to provide up to 70% energy efficiency savings through demand-based control and parallel pumping technology. These innovations enable the pumps to operate at optimum levels, consuming as little energy as possible. Innovative smart technology Systems that incorporate innovative smart technology enable more accurate system performance analysis and optimization. Pumps can function as highly accurate flow meters that provide valuable insight for building managers and operators. Data from the intelligent connected pumps can be collected through active performance management software, which enables the HVAC system to learn, predict and optimize to deliver even greater energy efficiency and cost savings through maintained optimized performance. Systems incorporating innovative smart technology enable more accurate system performance analysis Active performance management software Active performance management software enables real time and historical data reporting that directly demonstrates system efficiency and savings. Given the global shift towards sustainable building construction, legislation on energy reporting is inevitable, therefore employing systems with this in-built capability can prove to be extremely beneficial in the future. The software can also help maintain client comfort at all times by enabling predictive maintenance. Systems can provide alerts when they detect faults, allowing for early replacement before a full breakdown. This can be particularly helpful in mission critical applications such as hospitals. Importance of analyzed data in system optimization Without the ability to analyze data, buildings managers and operators cannot properly optimize mechanical systems Evidently, collecting data is essential for many reasons, including preventing, and even reversing, the loss of energy efficiency. Without the ability to analyze data, buildings managers and operators cannot properly optimize mechanical systems, which results in unnecessary energy use, insufficient maintenance practices and any related costs. There may be hesitation in the industry to incorporate more sophisticated systems as they require initial investment, however, the returns from using more efficient mechanical systems are impressive. Executing energy upgrades for HVAC systems Simple payback on energy upgrade projects is usually reached within 3 to 5 years. Furthermore, energy savings continue for the life of the system. Properly executed energy upgrades deliver up to 40% savings on energy consumption related to HVAC operation. Savings on that level for a large facility can be impactful for business operations. Energy efficiency is not ‘visible’ but has the potential to have a transformative effect on climate change, if embraced on a large scale. If we consume energy only as we need to, then we consume less of it. This, in turn, reduces our consumption of fossil fuels and consequently our greenhouse gas emissions. Aside from short-term benefits, such as costs savings and increased operation efficiency, energy management has the ability to help conserve energy for generations to come. Embracing energy saving solutions If we embrace innovative energy saving solutions in the building services industry, then we can begin to make a difference. With the recent launch of plans for sustainable development, such as the Dubai Master Plan 2040, green infrastructure, supporting solutions, will thrive. The global shift towards embracing sustainability has made individuals and organizations call into question their impact on our planet. Embracing sustainability is no longer a preference but a strategic business approach that helps to create long-term value on a social, economic and environmental level. The role of energy efficiency, and the systems that enable it, will inevitably play a key role in creating more sustainable buildings, communities and cities.
Now, more than ever, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a major focus concerning the health and safety of students and faculty within the nation’s schools. As they prepare their facilities for a return to in-person learning, school officials are being forced to get an education in the most effective ventilation solutions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infections. Even without factoring in airborne threats like COVID-19, poor IAQ can negatively affect the health and learning of students. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the presence of dampness and mold increases the risk of asthma and other respiratory diseases by 30-50%, and that students in well-ventilated classrooms tend to achieve higher scores on standardized tests than children in poorly-ventilated classrooms. Ventilation Improvements Guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control indicates that ventilation system improvements can increase the delivery of clean air and dilute potential contaminants. The World Health Organization (WHO) also emphasizes the important role that HVAC improvements can play in keeping people safe indoors: Use of Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems (DOAS) is one option to improve ventilation and IAQ "A well-maintained and operating system can reduce the spread of COVID-19 in indoor spaces by increasing the rate of air change, reducing air recirculation, and increasing the amount of outdoor air coming in. Settings that recirculate the air should not be used. HVAC systems should always be regularly inspected, maintained, and cleaned." One option to improve ventilation and IAQ that is growing in popularity is the use of Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems (DOAS). These units can process high volumes of fresh outside air, tempering and dehumidifying it to avoid putting an excessive load on the facility’s cooling and heating systems. Conditioning Air The introduction of large volumes of outside air does create some extra challenges. The process to condition the air can be energy-intensive if the conditions outside are especially hot, cold, dry, or humid. That’s led to the development of energy recovery devices, usually a plate heat exchanger or heat recovery wheel that can be used to offset the power demand of the HVAC system. The devices work by capturing energy from the previously conditioned relief air as it is expelled from the facility. The devices are typically 60% efficient allowing for a significant amount of energy can be saved. This makes the improved ventilation a far more cost-effective proposition and reduces the size of the mechanical systems needed to serve the space. Other Steps to Take In addition to increasing the ventilate rate in classrooms, facilities managers can take other steps to improve the IAQ in schools: Better filtration. Because of increased concern about pathogens, MERV 13-and-higher filters are increasingly being used in schools instead of the traditional MERV 8. The higher-rated filters are able to filter out much smaller particles, but there is a trade-off. Their usage leads to a greater indoor pressure drop than normal. This is being addressed on the manufacturer level with the increased use of electronically commutated motors within HVAC systems. Active neutralization. The CDC recommends ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) applications as a supplementary measure to improve IAQ within schools. Control dehumidification. There is a growing use of dedicated humidity control systems in facilities outside of the humid southern states. Humidity control units can dehumidify indoor air while maintaining comfortable room temperatures. Proper maintenance. When considering IAQ issues affecting schools, lack of proper maintenance of HVAC equipment can have tangible effects on the quality of life of students. According to the EPA, those schools without major maintenance backlogs have a higher average daily attendance (ADA) by an average of 4 to 5 students per 1,000 as well as a lower annual dropout rate by 10 to 13 students per 1,000. School Funding Opportunities As school systems across the U.S. evaluate the state of their HVAC systems, many will have to reckon with the need to meet modern codes and standards. Older buildings can require substantial improvements to their HVAC systems, so it is to be expected that this will be an ongoing concern. American Rescue Plan includes $130 billion in funding that school systems can also use to improve ventilation systems To lower financial barriers for schools, there are new federal funding opportunities to help local school systems improve classroom ventilation. The American Rescue Plan includes $130 billion in funding dedicated to K-12 education that school systems can also use to improve ventilation systems in their facilities. This joins the $54.3 billion that the U.S. Congress approved for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II Fund) in 2020 to allow school systems to address “preparing schools for reopening, and testing, repairing, and upgrading projects to improve air quality in school buildings.” Innovation and Quest For Improvement The federal funding can provide the opportunity for a fresh start for schools, allowing them to upgrade their HVAC systems to meet modern standards. These standards continue to evolve and new metrics such as the Integrated Seasonal Moisture Removal Efficiency (ISMRE) will continue to be developed. The ISMRE has been incorporated into ASHRAE 90.1 as part of a measure to set minimum energy efficiency standards for DOAS applications. Thanks to the industry’s ongoing innovation and quest for improvement, there is an array of critical HVAC tools available that schools can use to protect the health, safety, and quality of life of students in the classroom. Upgrading school ventilation systems is the pathway to creating the comfortable, safe learning environments that all students deserve. Now with federal funding available, school systems have a better opportunity to update their heating and cooling systems to improve air quality while benefiting from reduced operational costs due to meeting modern efficiency standards.
With ongoing efforts from governments across the globe to reduce carbon emissions and with an ever greater focus on sustainability, it is vital that the HVAC sector does its part in becoming more environmentally conscious. And, while there have been steps to become more sustainable, there is a huge amount that still needs to be done to make sure that many of the targets that have been set are attainable. In buildings, both large and small, industrial heating accounts for roughly two thirds of industrial energy demand and around a fifth of global energy consumption. Figures like this show the need to have efficient and environmentally-friendly HVAC equipment in place to make the crucial steps towards reducing the contributions these systems make to our carbon footprint. High energy consumption in construction sector A 2019 report by The International Environment Agency (IEA) showed that the buildings and construction sectors combined were responsible for over 30% of global energy consumption and nearly 40% of carbon emissions. This is indicative of the steps the sector needs to take to play its role in a more eco-friendly society, some of which are already underway. However, much more needs to be done if the UK is to reach its goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. As we envisage what a post-COVID world might look like, businesses and governments are continuing to put sustainability and lower carbon emissions at the forefront of their planning and the HVAC sector is certainly no exception. But with change in the sector a daunting prospect, decision-makers often don’t know where to start. Smart Technology use in HVAC systems Smart HVAC uses sensors that integrate with a building’s automation system With the constant growth and greater deployment of smart technologies within the HVAC sector, this is certainly a way that systems can become more efficient. Smart HVAC uses sensors that integrate with a building’s automation system. These sensors then collect information about conditions throughout the building. Heat waves are now a far more common occurrence in the United Kingdom. The Met Office estimates they are up to 30 times more likely and will be a bi-annual occurrence by 2050. It is important that any uptake in HVAC usage doesn’t lead to a drastic increase in emission generation. This is one of the areas where smart systems will become crucial. Many scientists have been unequivocal in their sentiment that heat waves are a cause of greater emissions and expect temperature records in the UK and Europe to be broken more regularly, so sites will need to be equipped to handle these conditions. Regulating temperature with hand-held devices With wireless systems now much more commonplace, temperatures can be controlled easily from hand-held devices. With these new technologies, those managing the systems can also benefit from remote monitoring and maintenance, reducing the need to travel to the site for yet another environmental incentive. To accompany the smart systems, equipment including smart thermostats can be installed to maximize HVAC efficiency. Other smart systems available to businesses include smart furnaces and air conditioning units that are far easier to operate than their traditional counterparts. Reducing unnecessary ventilation While global temperatures continue to rise, air conditioning usage has increased and has contributed to greater levels of energy usage. A huge amount of needless emissions are generated by unnecessary ventilation, contributing heavily to heat loss and overall energy wastage. Recirculation of air is a traditionally lower energy cost method of retaining heat and keeping emissions low, however, we must be mindful of the risks associated with recirculating air. The risk of circulating diseases is negated somewhat with heat recovery ventilation, which both removes the risk of disease spreading and improves energy consumption. Efficiency performance of new AC units Air conditioning units in particular contribute significantly to a building’s energy consumption Air conditioning units in particular contribute significantly to a building’s energy consumption, equating to 10% of the UK’s electricity consumption and as such it is important that we bear in mind ways to counteract the emissions this creates. Global energy demand for air conditioning units is expected to triple by 2050, as temperatures continue to rise year on year. The efficiency performance of new air conditioning units will be the key, when it comes to ensuring that escalating demand does not equate to greater emissions. Another issue for suppliers and manufacturers to address is differing rates of consumption for AC units in different countries, with units sold in Japan and the EU typically more efficient than those found in China and the US. Modularization Modular HVACs have also become increasingly popular in recent years. Modular HVACs are responsible for heating, cooling and distributing air through an entire building, with their increase in popularity largely down to their greater levels of energy efficiency, cost effectiveness, flexibility and substantial ease of installation and maintenance. Modular HVACs can be tailored specifically for workspaces and they often allow work to be done on the systems without disturbing the workforce, achieved primarily through rooftop placement. Commercial workspaces are larger and often require differing needs to residential properties and can cater to a wide range of the specific requirements of work and commercial spaces. As we strive for lower carbon emissions, it seems that this trend will continue and will become a key area in reducing emissions that HVACs have traditionally generated. System maintenance and training To meet government and industry requirements, many new buildings will require HVAC systems that can be maintained simply in order to perform in a more energy efficient way. Many companies are looking at ways to become climate neutral and significantly reduce their footprint Many companies are looking at ways to become climate neutral and significantly reduce their footprint. Companies are following the likes of German-based company, Wilo Group, who have announced they are committing to sustainable manufacturing by developing a new carbon neutral plant and HQ in the next few years. Lowering carbon footprint As we continue to move towards an ever more environmentally conscious society, it will be of paramount importance for companies, governments and the public to think about ways in which we can lower carbon emissions. Smart technologies will certainly be at the forefront of this, negating many needless journeys and making it easier for industries to adjust settings and tackle issues remotely. Greater levels of training will help equip us with the tools to make sure we are best placed to reduce emissions and be more sustainable as a result. While the steps outlined above do show some progress and measures we can take, there is far more that we can do as a sector to significantly reduce HVAC’s carbon footprint and once we have moved beyond the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this will surely be at the front of industry leader minds.
It’s shaping up to be a long, hot summer for HVAC contractors and their customers. Disruptions in the nationwide supply chain that began during the COVID-19 pandemic still have not been resolved. Shutdowns last summer played havoc with the supply of parts, and suppliers are still playing catch up, as raw materials remain scarce. Furthermore, prices are going up among some components and key raw materials. Waiting times for parts can run into weeks or even months. Supply shortages of HVAC equipment Summer weather increases the demand for HVAC equipment, especially in hotter climates. A spike in air conditioner demand is generally welcomed by most contractors, but supply shortages make it difficult to deliver on customer needs. Managing a backlog of impatient customers is a new challenge for many HVAC companies. The shortages impact materials, such as steel, aluminum, copper and plastics, whose costs are expected to rise in coming months. Among metals, the price hikes could be 20 to 30%, while prices of plastics could almost triple. Copper futures recently reached an all-time high, and steel price indexes are also at record levels. Shortages of electrical components Shortages have been reported of copper and electrical components, such as motors and compressors Shortages have been reported of copper and electrical components, such as motors and compressors, which are specific to the units that use them. There is also a shortage of microchips that are components in high-efficiency systems and furnaces, and resins used in the evaporator coil pans are scarce. Some HVAC supply firms have had difficulty obtaining evaporator coils used in air conditioners. Specialty items such as control boards have a wait time of up to two to three weeks, or longer. Shortages projected till end of 2021 The shortages are projected to continue until the end of 2021. Even as small shipments trickle in, they are often sold quickly. The situation is unfamiliar to the HVAC trade, which has traditionally not had issues with equipment availability. Shortages in the HVAC market are a reflection of broader supply and cost challenges of the construction market. Prices for goods used in residential construction have increased almost 10% over the past 12 months, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Higher transportation costs impact supply chain Higher transportation costs are impacting both the supply chain and HVAC contractors. Personnel shortages continue to plague many HVAC companies, too, and a technician shortage is also contributing to longer wait times in some areas. A scarcity of labor has been a 20-year challenge for the HVAC industry, but it is reaching new levels as days go by. Order in advance and stockpiling equipment Alternatively, HVAC contractors may seek to switch brands to help ease availability issues One approach contractors are taking to the problem is to order equipment in advance and stockpile it for when they need it. One Denver contractor reportedly ordered almost a million dollars of equipment in advance. Alternatively, HVAC contractors may seek to switch brands to help ease availability issues. Identifying a manufacturer that has stock available can ease the inconvenience of customers having to wait for new equipment. need for regular HVAC maintenance Another approach is to educate homeowners about the importance of maintenance, such as changing filters, which can avoid a need for larger repairs involving equipment that is in short supply. Maintenance service is doable because it doesn’t require new equipment, replacements or add-ons that can be hard to come by. Unfortunately, among consumers, maintenance may have been delayed or ignored during the pandemic, which is aggravating the urgency of the current situation.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an emerging tool for a long list of applications, including the ability to analyze and ensure optimum performance of an HVAC system. Emerson’s Sensi Predict smart HVAC solution is an example of how AI can boost the capabilities of HVAC. It has been recognized with a Silver Edison Award in the Innovative Services – AI category. Sensi Predict smart HVAC solution Sensi Predict combines inputs from 10 sensors in an HVAC system and analyzes the performance of heating and cooling systems in real time. Intelligent monitoring alerts home owners and their contractors, when HVAC systems are not operating at full efficiency. The alerts, which can be accessed on a smartphone, can predict and prevent problems, ensure corrective maintenance, lower utility costs, and prolong the life of an HVAC system. Fault detection and diagnostics are a new frontier in HVAC technology, delivering a seamless and simple user experience. Sensi Predict HVAC system configuration Here is how the Sensi Predict system is configured: Sensors monitor the temperature of the air flowing from the HVAC system into the home, and also the return air temperature, coming from the home back into the system. Sensors also monitor temperatures in the liquid and vapor lines in the refrigerant loop, and the indoor and outdoor control lines, communicating back and forth from the thermostat to the outdoor unit. Other sensors monitor the current draw and indoor voltage of indoor units, and current and voltage to the outdoor units. Data from the sensors is used to analyze how well the HVAC is operating, including detailed monthly performance checks, with results issued to the home owner and the contractor. If a warning is detected, an alert will be sent in real time. 24/7 monitoring The 24/7 monitoring is summarized in a personalized home owner portal and monthly performance reports The 24/7 monitoring is summarized in a personalized home owner portal and monthly performance reports that include any alerts, loss of performance, runtime and estimated cost and filter status. Actionable alerts tell when a problem is detected, sent via an email with a straightforward explanation and recommended action. “Our heating and cooling systems are critical to the health and comfort of our families and the environment, yet we have little visibility into how they perform on a day-to-day basis,” said Jamie Froedge, Executive President of Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions business. The Sensi Predict systems seek to provide additional visibility. Sharing real-time system insights The Edison Awards highlight top-tier new product innovation, service development and human-centered design. Named after inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, the awards recognize and honor global innovation. The award to Emerson’s Sensi Predict system recognizes it as a 21st-century solution to the maintenance of home heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, sharing real-time system insights, in order to help home owners monitor performance and prevent unexpected problems. Maximize system lifetime and minimize energy costs “We are honored to be recognized for this innovative technology that provides both awareness and peace of mind, when it comes to an essential component of the home,” said Jamie Froedge. Sensi Predict also provides benefits related to installation, by validating a quality install and eliminating call backs. Over time, it maximizes system lifetime and minimizes energy costs. service and maintenance information In terms of maintenance, the system provides information to ensure that all contractor truck rolls generate revenue and decrease the average time on site. The 24/7 monitoring limits home visits to only when needed and increases transparency to the customer of suggested repairs and upgrades. Home owners can access the Sensi Predict Homeowner Portal on the official website for detailed information, based on real-time data about how their system is functioning and its performance history, energy usages and costs and predicted maintenance needs.
The term ‘robotics’ refers to technology or machines that substitute or replicate human actions. ‘Human augmentation’ is another term, referring to the use of technology to reduce strain and fatigue as workers perform strenuous tasks over long periods of time. Hilti Group has introduced robots and semi-automated technologies to the construction trades, including HVAC. The role of these technologies in the HVAC market is to increase efficiency and accuracy, reduce costs, and decrease physical strain/injury of HVAC installers on the jobsite. Two Hilti products, Jaibot and the EXO-O1 exoskeleton, can make workers’ lives better by reducing risk on the jobsite, increasing productivity, and improving the quality and consistency of work. Reducing worker fatigue Jaibot is a semi-autonomous mobile, overhead drilling robot. It executes its tasks based on building information modeling (BIM) data. The robot is a cordless and easy-to-use system that does not require expert skills. It locates itself accurately indoors, drills the holes while controlling dust, and finally marks them according to trade. Jaibot provides faster, safer and more accurate execution of digitally coordinated mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems on the jobsite. Jaibot performs the ceiling drilling and marking, thus allowing the workforce to focus on installation Jaibot is designed to work with workers, not replace them, by taking on strenuous and repetitive tasks that have been shown to put workers’ health at risk. Guided by a trained operator, Jaibot performs the ceiling drilling and marking, thus allowing the workforce to focus on installation. This makes jobsite teams faster, more productive, reduces worker fatigue and enables them to deliver a constant plannable output, according to Hilti. Required drilling information “One of the few pitfalls the BIM process encounters is getting the digitally coordinated and designed project from the office and out onto the job site,” says Aidan Maguire, Business Unit Manager for Hilti North America’s Measuring, Layout and Robotics technologies. “While traditional methods will take the BIM model and print out paper or utilize 2D blueprints to use to install anchors, the Jaibot works directly from the coordinated digital design or BIM model using a point cloud of the anchor locations. Jaibot can also read the required drilling information such as drilling diameter, drilling depth, trade or system from the BIM model. This allows the semi-autonomous Jaibot to operate directly from the most up-to-date digital model.” The Hilti EXO-O1 is a wearable human augmentation system designed to reduce fatigue and strain. The exoskeleton is designed for workers performing strenuous overhead tasks for long periods of time. Performing overhead work Long-term, the EXO-O1 contributes to prevention of musculoskeletal disorders This system will allow its user to perform the overhead installation of HVAC systems while reducing the injuries and errors that come with the normal fatigue common from this type of work. Hilti’s research shows that users who perform overhead work for more than 60% of their time benefit from up to 47% reduction of load on their shoulders. With decreasing strain and fatigue, the EXO-O1 allows users to remain productive while working safer for longer periods. Long-term, the EXO-O1 contributes to prevention of musculoskeletal disorders. The upfront costs of these systems are designed to be competitive when compared to traditional methods, says Maguire. “The other benefits of the systems such as rework, injuries, and labor costs, while increasing productivity and accuracy all provide extensive and sometimes immeasurable benefits for the systems’ operators,” Maguire adds. Human augmentation systems Human augmentation systems help overcome labor shortages in the HVAC trade in several ways. They are not designed to replace workers but rather to augment the workforce by taking over strenuous and repetitive tasks that have been shown to put workers’ health at risk. The augmentation systems help to reduce absentee days, fill gaps caused by a diminishing qualified workforce, and allow the workforce to focus on more value-adding tasks, thus contributing to higher and more consistent outputs. These systems help construction companies retain the tenured workforce already in place These systems help construction companies retain the tenured workforce already in place and attract new talent to the industry by offering more attractive working conditions and the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art technologies. The cost of a robotic system like Jaibot can be directly compared to other methods of overhead drilling all the way down to a per-point cost. Quicker project delivery These systems have a direct impact on the time and labor required to complete these tasks and can provide value through supplementing the requirement for skilled labor, reducing labor cost, and providing time savings on the critical path of a project to enable quicker project delivery and potentially meeting targeted schedule bonuses. Additionally, while these technologies are relatively new to the construction industry, as the utilization of these systems increases there will be the opportunity to study and quantify the health and safety savings over time. Both the Hilti Jaibot and EXO-O1 exoskeleton are new innovations currently being rolled out across the United States. “As with all innovations, it is often not the technology that drives adoption, but human beings,” says Maguire. Adopting new technologies The key to overcoming this mindset is to closely support the first adopters of this technology" “While we see a clear advantage of deploying mobile robotic or human augmentation solutions for certain tasks and observe an increase in activity in the market, it is hard to predict how long this will take. We envisage that significant progress will be made over the next five years. As the construction industry continues to move towards digitalization, more and more companies will look for technology that gives them an advantage over their competitors, and Jaibot and EXO-O1 will help them do exactly that.” The biggest obstacle for greater deployment is the construction industries’ resistance to change, says Maguire. The phrase ‘because this is how we’ve always done it’ is prevalent in construction. Many construction companies are risk-adverse and prefer to continue to utilize the tried-and-tested methods of the past. “The key to overcoming this mindset is to closely support the first adopters of this technology in order to quantify and provide proof of the many benefits of adopting these new technologies and methods,” says Maguire.
Teknotherm Marine España S.L. (Teknotherm) has landed its first new building contract. Teknotherm Marine España S.L. will deliver the complete HVAC maintenance and service, including installation work, on a suction dredger, to be built by Nodosa Shipyard. HVAC service for Omvac Catorce Nodosa Shipyard will build and design the 63.3 meters dredger, called Omvac Catorce, for Canlemar. Canlemar is dedicated to carrying out all kinds of maritime works, such as deepening and maintenance dredging in ports and bays, and construction of docks. Omvac Catorce is the third dredger that Canlemar has ordered with Nodosa Shipyard. Omvac Catorce will have a dredging capacity of 1200 m3 and a dredging depth of 30 m. The ship accommodates a crew of 10. The ship will comply with the IMO TIER III regulations of the International Maritime Organization, regarding the control and reduction of polluting and greenhouse emissions. With its adaptation to these regulations, this dredger will be able to navigate and operate anywhere in the world.
Pinder Cooling & Heating has completed a series of cooling and ventilation refurbishments as part of a new contract with popular fast-food chain, Mahmoods. The Bradford-based team of commercial refrigeration and air conditioning specialists has refurbished cold rooms within four of its restaurants between March and July. The Great Horton Road branch was the most recent to undergo the renovations, where Pinder also installed brand-new air conditioning units. Pinder’s founder, Andrew Pinder, said the refurbishments are a testament to the standards Mahmoods’ adheres to in terms of serving fresh, quality fast food. Maintaining cold rooms “Cold rooms in restaurants are an integral part of regulating food and keep it from becoming contaminated. Mahmoods has always been passionate about ensuring only the freshest food is served to its customers, and the investment into this new equipment demonstrates their commitment. Our team has really enjoyed working with the entire Mahmoods team and look forward to a long working relationship.” Mahmoods is a chain of fast-food restaurants founded in 2001 by Tariq Mahmood Mahmoods is a chain of fast-food restaurants founded in 2001 by Tariq Mahmood, with seven franchise sites across the UK. On 25th June 2021, the firm celebrated 20 years of serving quality and affordable Halal takeaway dishes. In recent weeks, it was listed as one of the top six highest rated takeaways to order in Bradford. Tariq Mahmood, Founder of Mahmoods said: “Cleanliness and the freshness of our food are at the top of our list, that’s why we ensure that we regularly maintain our cold rooms and have adequate ventilation throughout our restaurants.” Specialist HVAC services “Ahead of our 20th anniversary and the reopening of the hospitality industry, we made the decision to give our cold rooms and air conditioning units a major revamp, and appointed Pinder to carry out the work. Being a Bradford-based firm, we’ve heard a lot about the quality of service they provide, which is aligned to our values. That’s why we knew there was no other firm to support this part of the renovation.” Pinder Cooling & Heating has been providing specialist HVAC services to commercial firms across the UK since founding in 2016. It’s specialist areas include the installation of, and maintenance associated with commercial refrigeration, air conditioning, server room cooling, cellar cooling, cold rooms, and bar and restaurant equipment.
Located in Worcester Massachusetts, Doherty Memorial High School is typical of many schools designed in the 1960’s. With two classroom wings joined together by hallways and anchored by an auditorium and gymnasium, the red brick school is home to approximately 1500 students. After 40 years, the school needed to replace the original hot water boilers and unit ventilators serving the upper and lower classroom wings. To design their new heating and ventilating system, the school enlisted the services of Shooshanian Engineering (SEi), Boston, Massachusetts. Outdoor air ventilation The original system design incorporated two gas fired hot water boilers sized to provide individual classroom unit ventilators with enough heating capacity to condition both the return and outdoor air loads. Rooftop exhaust fans pulled room air from each class-room to complete the ventilation process. ERVs recycle energy from building exhaust air to efficiently precondition outdoor air ventilation As recommended by the EPA and DOE, SEi evaluated the use of Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) as part of the new design. ERVs recycle energy from building exhaust air to efficiently precondition outdoor air ventilation, thereby reducing annual operating costs and boiler size requirements. After evaluating several ERV strategies, including fixed plate and run around loop, SEi determined that an ERV incorporating Airxchange rotary energy recovery wheels provided the best value. Estimates of installation and operating costs were evaluated for two designs: one with ERV and one without. As expected, the ERV based design provided the lowest operating cost. Capital equipment savings However, SEi was pleasantly surprised to discover the ERV based design, incorporating a smaller boiler and less expensive fan coil units, also provided the lowest installed cost. The capital equipment savings, made possible by incorporating Energy Recovery Ventilation in the design, more than offset the added cost of the ERV’s resulting in an instant payback. Installation included thirteen rooftop ERV units, each supplying from 1200 to 4600 cfm of ventilation air along with a single boiler to replace the two original boilers. Existing exhaust ducts provided exhaust air to the ERVs while new ductwork was added to deliver fresh outdoor air to each classroom. The design called for removal of the outdoor air intakes in the walls and installation of fan coil units in place of unit ventilators. Automated Logic software Performance of the new system is monitored using Automated Logic software Performance of the new system is monitored using Automated Logic software. The new system has received positive comments from teachers who expressed appreciation for the added fresh air and the ability of the classrooms to come up to temperature quickly at the beginning of the school day. “Even at the coldest temperatures the comfort of the supply air is amazing,” said Jeffrey Lassey, Director of Facilities with Worcester Public Schools. “You can feel the class-room come up to temperature much faster than with the old unit ventilators, and with the ERV system, we’ve reduced our energy costs considerably,” he added. Reduction in energy use over a 20 year period is expected to save approximately 3400 tons of CO2 emissions and $625,540 at current energy prices. Reducing energy consumption “Selecting the ERVs was a good shift away from unit ventilators, since it significantly reduces our energy consumption. This is particularly important because the cost of energy is heading nowhere but up.” - Jeffrey Lassey, Director of Facilities Worcester Public Schools. NSTAR, the local gas utility serving the city of Worcester, provides incentives for installation of energy efficient equipment through an energy rebate program funded by its commercial customer base. For the installation of an ERV based system and reduced boiler size, Doherty Memorial High School was awarded a $32,000 rebate from NSTAR. “Make sure to select Energy Recovery Ventilation from the outset in the design process in order to take full advantage of utility rebates slated for energy efficiency.” - Tom Angelo, NSTAR.
After numerous water leaks, compressor failures, and damper control problems, it was time for South High Community School in Worcester, Massachusetts to replace their 30 year old HVAC rooftop units. Not only had the units outlasted their expected mechanical life, but the ability to deliver fresh outdoor air and maintain comfortable heating and cooling conditions became increasingly difficult and expensive. To specify a state-of-the-art replacement HVAC roof-top system, the energy and environmentally conscious school district enlisted the services of a local engineering firm. Energy recovery ventilation Director of Facilities, Jeff Lassey met with engineer Mike Lescar-beau of Lindgren & Sharples, P.C. to establish new system design requirements. Electric heat would need to be replaced with a lower cost energy source. To avoid altering the recently installed rubber roof, the new replacement units would need to utilize existing roof curbs and ductwork. Lassey wanted to include energy recovery ventilation (ERV) technology to minimize this energy load Because the replacement units would also be supplying outdoor air to meet the schools IAQ requirements, Lassey wanted to include energy recovery ventilation (ERV) technology to minimize this energy load. Lassey had utilized the technology on a neighboring high school three years earlier to successfully lower operating costs. To meet the new design challenge, Lescarbeau specified a total of (19) gas/electric rooftop units with integrated state-of-the-art Airxchange energy recovery wheels to replace the all-electric units. Building automation system Without energy recovery ventilation, HVAC systems waste energy contained in building exhaust air while consuming new energy to precondition code-driven fresh air requirements. By contrast, systems utilizing Airxchange wheels reuse (recycle) up to 80% of the energy in exhaust air to heat, cool, dehumidify or humidify a like amount of incoming fresh air. This recycling of energy can reduce HVAC design loads and annual energy use by as much as 50%. As a result, Lescarbeau was able to specify smaller, lower cost heating and cooling units to easily fit within the existing roof curb profile. Adaptor curbs were designed and fabricated by a local curb supplier to fit the new rooftop units to the existing curbs. Direct digital controls and modulating dampers were added for individual zone control by an existing building automation system. Outdoor air energy savings The wheels would have provided an additional $100,000 annually in outdoor air energy savings Airxchange energy recovery wheels were calculated to save South Community High School approximately $60,000 annually or $1.2 million in dollars over the average life of the new roof-top units. The initial added investment in wheel based rooftop units is expected to be recouped during the first year of operation based on savings from the Airxchange wheels alone. Had the school not converted their heating energy source from electric to gas, the wheels would have provided an additional $100,000 annually in outdoor air energy savings. “For roughly the same price as a larger more energy intensive rooftop unit, we can provide the same amount of work with a smaller, wheel based unit that performs with up to 40% greater efficiency. This translates to significant energy savings over the life of the equipment,” said Craig Campbell, Trumbull and Campbell Associates. Improving indoor comfort The replacement HVAC rooftop system earned South High Community School a Central Mass Green Award for energy efficiency. The award was created by the Worcester Business Journal (WBJ) to recognize organizations ‘going the extra mile’ to make green choices. According to the WBJ, “We all know being in business is about making money.” “But thanks to technological advancement, and a realization that our global resources are finite, making sustainable choices can both ease the conscience and help the bottom line.” South High’s energy recovery wheels are estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by 265 tons annually which translates to approximately 353 lbs per student. “With the wheels integrated into the DX rooftop units, the installation went very well. We’ve also received positive comments about the improved indoor comfort and air quality,” said Mike Lescarbeau, Lindgren and Sharples.
With help from celebrity investors like Dan Aykroyd and Aerosmith, House of Blues has been an iconic franchise in live music since 1992. The popular Boston location that opened in 2009 next to Fenway Park is a prime spot for concerts and private events. A packed schedule that leaves little downtime for the repair of the club’s HVAC equipment means that reliability and ease of maintenance are extremely important factors when making purchasing decisions. In 2016, energy recovery wheels in two rooftop air-handlers became blocked after six years of exposure to airborne particulates. Comfortable indoor environment Although efforts were made to unclog the damaged wheels, cleaning in place was not an option due to concerns that water and cleaning fluids could damage the ductwork and ceilings below. Without working energy recovery wheels, the heating and cooling systems were forced to work overtime, at increased cost, to provide a comfortable indoor environment for the 2000-plus concert goers. At House of Blues, airborne particles from the large crowds continue to clog the new wheels The building’s service contractor, Cullen Mechanical, determined that the wheels were beyond repair and needed to be replaced. Cullen’s engineers knew from past experience that simply replacing the wheels without solving the cleaning problem would invite the same undesirable maintenance situation. At House of Blues, airborne particles from the large crowds, special effects vapors, and confetti would continue to clog the new wheels if the energy transfer matrix could not be periodically maintained. Energy transfer segments When selecting replacement wheels, Cullen prioritized both ease of installation and the ability to clean or replace the energy recovery matrix once the units were in operation. As they’ve done in the past, Cullen chose Airxchange aftermarket replacement energy recovery wheels as the best solution moving forward. Airxchange offers a unique wheel design that allows a single person to remove pie-shaped energy transfer segments with basic hand tools to be cleaned outside of the cabinet. The refresh capability of Airxchange wheels means that they can be cleaned as often as the application dictates and counted on to last for the life of the HVAC system. In contrast to Airxchange wheels, the only cleaning or repair solution for the original wheels at House of Blues was to replace the entire wheel structure every 5-6 years, at great time and expense to the building owner. Rooftop air-Handling units An engineer from Airxchange presented Cullen Mechanical with a 6-8 hour wheel replacement plan After an onsite visit, an engineer from Airxchange presented Cullen Mechanical with a 6-8 hour wheel replacement plan that minimized HVAC system downtime, ensuring that the two units would be operational for the start of that evening’s show. Because of constraints of the air-handler designs, which blocked the removal or installation of fully assembled wheels, Cullen selected replacement wheel kits from Airxchange. These replacement kits could be easily carried through the theater and up the stairs to be quickly assembled within the cabinet of the rooftop air-handling units. In contrast, bringing any other manufacturer’s similarly sized wheel to the same rooftop would invite the cost and complexity of having a police detail shut down the sidewalk on Boston’s busy Lansdowne Street in order to operate a crane. HVAC comfort applications The replacement wheels were fully assembled and tested at the factory before being partially dismantled to fit into the unique access points of the air-handlers. Once the old wheels were removed by the service contractor, the two Airxchange wheels were assembled inside of the cabinets in less than four hours. Cullen took additional steps to reduce their client’s energy costs and HVAC system downtime Recognizing that entertainment venues often require more frequent cleanings than traditional HVAC comfort applications, Cullen took additional steps to reduce their client’s energy costs and potential HVAC system downtime. In addition to installing a fully serviceable wheel, they also ordered a complete set of replacement segments for each unit. Energy recovery wheels With a spare segment set on hand, operators can save time and maintenance costs by completely restoring the performance of any wheel in about 15 minutes. Once removed, dirty segments can be restored and prepared for the next cleaning cycle by soaking overnight in a cleaning solution. After the first successful winter in operation Cullen reports that the replacement wheels have lived up to the Airxchange Replacement Solutions motto; ‘Restore, Replace, Relax.’ And though there may be plenty of sad songs performed on their stage, the facility crew at House of Blues can now whistle a happy tune when it comes to maintaining their new energy recovery wheels.
The YMCA Association of Greater Rochester, New York, is one of the oldest associations in the United States. They currently have fifteen thriving locations built over the last century that range in size from 50,000 to more than 70,000 square feet. While the size and age of the facilities vary, high standards for energy efficiency and indoor air quality (IAQ) are key objectives in the design, construction, and operation of these buildings. "Good indoor air quality is very important" notes Eastside Family YMCA Executive Director Kevin Fitzpatrick. "Our members are quick to note if there is a problem." Indoor air pollution Indoor air quality is a constant challenge at a fitness center. Pollutants are present everywhere. In some respects, the effects of indoor air pollution are heightened in fitness centers because occupants are breathing heavily during workouts and inhaling more air through their mouths; this air forgoes the filters in the nose and travels deeper into the lungs. There is also a risk of mold growth and odor from sweaty garments and towels in the locker room There is also a risk of mold growth and odor from sweaty garments and towels in the locker room, or from moist air emanating from a swimming area. The work to mitigate the odors and air quality hazards associated with any fitness center requires diligence and careful planning. For example, the Eastside Family YMCA, the newest and largest branch in the Rochester Association, opens as early as 5:00 am and closes at 10:30 pm on weekdays. Healthy indoor environment After hours, cleaning crews work to refresh the space while ventilation operates 24/7 to keep the facility fresh and odor free. Even before the day-to-day upkeep of a facility, the managers of these modern fitness centers proactively specified HVAC solutions at the construction or renovation phases to ensure a clean and healthy environment. Exhausting contaminated air and continually replacing it with fresh outside air is an effective method of maintaining a healthy indoor environment. The drawback to high ventilation rates is increased heating and cooling costs to replace the exhausted air. Facilities can marginalize these increased costs, however, by utilizing an energy recovery ventilation (ERV) solution that can reduce outdoor air energy costs up to 80%. Outdoor energy challenges Airxchange wheels have proven reliable in multiple buildings over a number of years" All branches of the Rochester YMCA Association use ERV systems to overcome the outdoor energy challenges presented by Rochester's cold winters and hot, humid summers. According to Christopher Marks, Vice President of Properties, the association leadership team prefers Airxchange for all new installations because of their excellent reliability. "Airxchange wheels have proven reliable in multiple buildings over a number of years. We will specify Airxchange wheels in all buildings that utilize an ERV." Including ERVs in their buildings during construction or renovation allows the HVAC system designers to specify smaller and more efficient heating and cooling units, reducing the upfront cost and enabling the high ventilation rates that provide clean, healthy air. Unitary rooftop system The Eastside facility is an award winning building, recognized by the national YMCA as a ‘Top Ten’ building in the USA. At that facility, the Child Watch, gym, locker rooms and community spaces are all ventilated using energy recovery wheels as part of the commercial unitary rooftop system. "In the eight years since this HVAC system was installed, there have been no maintenance issues, and system reliability has been excellent," adds Fitzpatrick. The robust energy recovery performance of the Airxchange wheels also resulted in them being specified for an upcoming addition to the facility. When the addition is completed, the facility will be a total of 105,000 sq. ft., making it the largest branch in the region. Gas heat exchangers LaBella Associates chose to pretreat incoming outside air with energy recovery According to the principal engineers who designed the addition to the Eastside YMCA, Kathleen VanderZwaag and Casey Bernhard of LaBella Associates, because of the many energy savings measures used on the project, including energy recovery, the facility was awarded rebates from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) that assisted in reducing the up-front costs of the new space. They also note that Labella uses ERVs in any building where repurposing the energy in exhaust air allows them to reduce the size of the heating and cooling units. At the Eastside YMCA, LaBella Associates chose to pretreat incoming outside air with energy recovery in order to raise the temperature of the air on a winter design day, reducing the load of the gas heat exchangers. Enhancing patron experience LaBella has had great success with Airxchange over the last decade and continues to specify their products on new projects in the region. The fresh, clean air that enhances the patron experience is the result of the attention to air quality by the entire Rochester YMCA Association. These buildings are bright, airy, and inviting family destination. The proactive approach to building design and maintenance offers a fine example for any fitness center.
Round table discussion
Shifting demographics suggest a need for ‘new blood’ in the HVAC industry. It has never been a more important time to attract new applicants into the industry. Fortunately, there is a range of exciting opportunities for applicants of any age, including new disciplines and skills needed as HVAC systems transform in the digital age. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the emerging career opportunities in the HVAC industry?
The practice of working from home soared during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and many observers see a likely continuation of the trend, as infection risks gradually subside. Both environments – home and office – depend on HVAC systems to keep occupants comfortable (and safe!). Therefore, the industry stands to be impacted whichever way the trend plays out. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: How will remote working affect residential and commercial HVAC?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects embedded with sensors, software and other technologies to facilitate connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet. Use of the IoT is expanding among both business and residential applications. However, there are hurdles to overcome, including security, privacy and networking challenges. As more HVAC devices embrace the IoT, we asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on the HVAC market?
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