Consumer advise experts at The Heating Hub have warned consumers not to get ‘hooked’ on the latest technologies in the drive to reduce carbon emissions, stating that they should focus on selecting the most appropriate system for their household requirements. The UK Government recently announced ambitious plans to install 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028 and has committed to phasing out natural gas boilers in new build homes by 2025. Decarbonizing homes Decarbonizing homes is a...
Armstrong Fluid Technology announced that the company has moved to a new expanded facility for European production and warehousing of circulator products. New Expanded Facility The new facility, located in Jimbolia, Romania, offers greater capacity for the production of Armstrong high-efficiency and standard wet rotor circulators. Supported by Armstrong’s global supply chain, the site will employ 65 team members dedicated to producing circulators for customers worldwide. Reflecting on t...
Registration is now open for the 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Winter Conference, slated to take place from February 9th to February 11th, 2021. The convenient online format of the conference will allow for global participation with a group of the world’s renowned presenters delivering timely and useful industry content. 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Conference “ASHRAE’s Virtual Winter Conference will include three-days packed with learning and live discussions from top experts,” said 2020...
REHVA (Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations) has announced that they will take part in the KGH 51st International HVAC&R Congress and Exhibition: the Serbian HVAC&R Virtual Congress that will be held online from 2nd December to 4th December 2020, confirming the longstanding collaboration with KGH. 51st International HVAC&R Event Following the welcome greetings from the REHVA President, Frank Hovorka, REHVA (Federation of European Heating, Ve...
PuriFi Labs, who creates whole-building air and surface purification systems, has announced the formation of its new Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), comprised of prominent research experts and pioneers in the field of plasma physics. The SAB will help guide the company's journey toward cleaning indoor air of tested particulates, viruses, bacteria, odors, smoke, mold, ozone, and harmful chemicals. Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where the concentrati...
Millennials have been shaped by their experiences growing up with technology and by their heightened awareness of the environment. These facets of a consumer market dominated by millennials will guide the future of the HVAC market over the next several years. Each generation reshapes markets in their own image. In the case of millennials, trends and behaviors are influencing how companies design new solutions, including those in the world of HVAC. Sustainable solutions and personalized experie...
Registration is now open for HVAC Design and Operations training through ASHRAE Learning Institute (ALI). The training course will run from December 2020 through June 2021. HVAC Design training “As technology continues to change, the need for training that incorporates the latest building performance solutions will become critical,” said 2020-21 ASHRAE President Chuck E. Gulledge III, P.E., adding “ASHRAE’s HVAC Design training offers comprehensive professional development that is useful in addressing the current industry challenges.” HVAC Design: Level I – Essentials provides intensive, practical training ideal for recent technical or engineering school graduates and engineers new to the HVAC field. Developed by industry-renowned professionals selected by ASHRAE, the training provides attendees with the fundamentals and technical aspects of HVAC design, installing and maintaining HVAC systems, which can be put to immediate use. HVAC Design Level II – Applications provides instruction in HVAC system design for experienced HVAC engineers and those who have completed the HVAC Design: Level I – Essentials. The training covers the technical aspects of design and methods to increase energy savings through innovation in HVAC design. In light of COVID-19 and the safety of ASHRAE course participants, the HVAC Design trainings will be held online.
Renowned water heating manufacturer, Ariston has a range of high quality, energy efficient products designed with landlords, HMOs and rental properties in mind. Ariston’s electric water heaters are reliable, robust and suitable for buy-to-let applications including apartments, family homes, bed sits and en-suite rooms as an alternative to traditional cylinders. UK landlords are legally responsible for ensuring their tenants have adequate hot water at all times. They are also responsible for any repairs and replacements required under the Landlord and Tenant Act (1985). As a result, any water heater needs to be robust and reliable, while also complying with the latest energy efficiency legislation. Electric water heaters Ariston’s electric water heaters are lightweight and easy to install, offering tremendous cost savings, both in terms of the initial price of the units, as well as lower energy bills. Electric storage water heaters, such as Ariston’s Velis Evo Wi-Fi, boast fast reheat times and best in class ErP energy efficiency ratings, making them the ideal option for rental properties – benefitting both landlords and tenants alike. These compact models utilize ultra slim (27cm depth) twin tank technology for optimum performance. With a choice of 45 or 80-liter models available, units offer up to 16% more hot water availability compared to an equivalent capacity standard electric water heater, alongside superfast reheat times of under 30 minutes! Wi-Fi compatibility Each unit’s Wi-Fi compatibility offers additional energy saving opportunities In addition, each unit’s Wi-Fi compatibility offers additional energy saving opportunities, as the products work with the Aqua Ariston Net app for remote smartphone control. This allows tenants to monitor their energy consumption and achieve savings of up to 25%, via daily and weekly programming. In turn, fitting modern water heaters with such smart functionality provides landlords with an enticing selling point when marketing a property. Another electric storage water heating option for rental properties is Ariston’s Andris range, with the Andris Lux and Andris Lux Eco units both boasting capacities of 6, 10, 15 and 30 liters. These compact products offer impressive reheat times, while Andris Lux Eco models also benefit from anti-legionella functionality. Aures Slim Multi wall mounted, instantaneous unit Finally, an alternative to electric storage water heaters is Ariston’s Aures Slim Multi, a wall mounted, instantaneous unit that does not need any time to heat up. Water does not need to be stored – instead, it is heated instantly when it comes into contact with a powerful heating element as it flows through the unit, resulting in unlimited availability on demand. Victoria Gutierrez, Marketing Manager at Ariston, said "Our range of market-renowned electric water heaters offer landlords a number of long-term benefits, including lower repair bills and enhanced efficiency, complying with all necessary EPC requirements. We also ensure that renters remain healthy and safe for the duration of their tenancy by offering products that eliminate the risk of being exposed to legionella.”
The future of residential comfort heating has arrived with the introduction of the ECO Tec high-efficiency boiler from Weil-McLain, North America’s renowned boiler manufacturer. The new ECO Tec is a high-quality boiler that meets nearly all residential application needs including multi-zone and combi applications. ECO Tec high-efficiency boiler The ECO Tec high-efficiency boiler features a long-lasting fire tube heat exchanger The ECO Tec high-efficiency boiler features a long-lasting fire tube heat exchanger and is available in combi versions with response time and domestic hot water (DHW) output designed to meet the demanding needs of residential replacement applications. ECO Tec is easy to install, use and service, operates whisper quiet, and is among the most energy efficient residential boilers available in the market. It is available in four heat only sizes, ranging from 80 to 199 MBH. Integrated with ECO BOOSTTM technology The combi versions of the ECO Tec boiler are available in three varied sizes, 110, 150 and 199 MBH, with hot water output up to 5.4 gallons per minute (GPM). They also feature Weil-McLain’s advanced ECO BOOSTTM technology to provide rapid DHW response. ECO Tec boilers also feature built-in zone controls that can connect up to four thermostat inputs and an easy-to-use setup wizard, along with heating system presets. “ECO Tec is a premium residential boiler designed to provide entire home comfort and offers great value, priced below most premium boilers available in the market currently,” said Mike Boyd, Product Manager with Weil-McLain. Mike adds, “ECO Tec boilers feature exceptional domestic hot water performance and was developed with Weil-McLain’s next generation, easy-to-use Unity 2.0 control with touch screen display. Contractors will appreciate the ease of installation, use and service, while homeowners will enjoy high-performance and energy-efficient comfort home heating.” Energy efficient resident boiler Featuring a 95% AFUE rating, ECO Tec is among the highest energy efficient residential boilers in the industry. ECO Tec achieved the ‘Most Efficient’ rating level from Energy Star in 2020 and is rated to deliver maximum operational cost savings to homeowners and provide qualification for local utility rebates, if available. The unit’s durable stainless steel fire tube heat exchanger features a vertical orientation for ‘self-rinsing’ during operation The unit’s durable stainless steel fire tube heat exchanger features a vertical orientation for ‘self-rinsing’ during operation and a polypropylene condensate-collector base that provides better corrosion resistance than traditional stainless steel, thereby helping to ensure a long service life and efficient operation. A sound suppressing air silencer on the heat exchanger provides whisper quiet operation. Easy maintenance and service ECO Tec is designed for easy maintenance and service with a spacious cabinet that allows for full access to internal components, common parts for all unit sizes and the easy-to-use control touch screen display. Other key features of the ECO Tec include: Up to 10:1 turndown ratio that self-adjusts to minimize fuel usage Low NOx emission certified NSF/ANSI 372 certified domestic hot water components Built-in energy-saving ECM circulator to conserve energy Built-in zone control that can operate up to 4 circulators (plus internal) Natural or propane gas capable Multiple venting options for different home styles and buildings Sleek, modern wall mount design The ECO Tec boiler’s sleek, modern design makes it easy to transport, deliver and install and offers versatile placement options with included and optional kits. Its wall mount design frees up valuable floor space, while its optional pedestal can be used for floor standing installations. All units are tested and certified to the industry’s highest standards and include a warranty of up to 12 years on the heat exchanger and up to 5 years on parts with registration (2 years on parts without registration).
Renowned UK manufacturer of boilers, Baxi Heating is delighted to announce the appointment of Karen Boswell as Managing Director of Baxi Heating UK and Ireland. She will lead the next stage of Baxi Heating’s journey towards a sustainable future and net zero carbon. Karen joins from Hitachi Rail and is an accomplished leader, whose career spans different industry sectors. She has a strong focus on business improvement and accelerating growth, is passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion and has extensive experience in manufacturing, supply chain and customer service. Sustainable future and net zero carbon Baxi Heating has some of the best known and respected brands in the market" One of Karen’s outstanding achievements was to manage Hitachi Rail’s UK rapid growth from annual revenue of £248 million to £1.4 billion, and circa 3,000 people. Of her new position, Karen Boswell said “In a world where everyone has something to gain by living and working for a sustainable future, I am thrilled to be joining at this most crucial time.” “Baxi Heating has some of the best known and respected brands in the market, and people who are passionate and successful in delivering for customers. It is well placed to build on its core solutions with new sustainable technologies. I look forward to leading the business through the exciting next phase of its story,” she added. Visionary behind ‘One Business’ legacy Karen will replace David Pinder, who is retiring from Baxi Heating. David joined in September 2012 and has contributed greatly to the company. Perhaps his greatest legacy will be his vision of ‘One Business’, removing internal barriers to make it easier for people to do business with us. David Pinder said, “I have very much enjoyed my time at Baxi Heating and there have been many highlights along the way, such as celebrating our 150th anniversary and developing the new hydrogen boiler. I am extremely proud of the way our people have built up the business with the right principles and the right values. Baxi Heating is in great shape, and I know I am leaving it in capable hands.”
In an effort to strengthen its AirTech business and sharpen alignment with its strategic objectives, Munters, a globally renowned company in energy efficient air treatment and climate solutions, will exit the non-core part of the commercial desiccant dehumidification market. This decision primarily affects the U.S. market as it is the primary region where Munters’ commercial products are sold. Desiccant dehumidification units Commercial products have been manufactured in the company’s Selma, Texas plant. This facility will now manufacture desiccant dehumidification units for key account customers only. This will allow the facility to return to its legacy strength of delivering high-volume, pre-engineered solutions for this customer type. Additionally, the Texas plant will provide needed production capacity for the increased demand for Munters cooling solutions for the data center market. The segments of healthcare, ice arenas and laboratories and archival preservation, associated with universities and colleges previously served through Munters’ commercial product offering, will now be served through its industrial product offering. These systems are manufactured in the organization’s Amesbury, Massachusetts location. Focus on Evaporative Cooling, Innovation and Service The decision to depart commercial markets is one that did not come quickly or easily for Munters" “The decision to depart commercial markets is one that did not come quickly or easily for Munters. However, this will allow us to focus not only on key accounts, but also on markets such as food, pharmaceutical, lithium battery, evaporative cooling and Munters Innovation and Service,” said Andrew Cook, Vice President for Sales & Services Americas Business Area AirTech, Munters. Munters U.S. products are sold through third-party representatives, and those selling the commercial dehumidification product lines have been informed of the company’s pivot away from these products. product development and energy efficient products All accepted commercial product orders with shipment dates on or before December 31, 2020, will be honored and Munters is committed to working closely with representatives during the transition period. The discontinued relationship with representatives will not impact any of Munters’ warranty obligations for previously sold products. As part of this initiative, Munters does not foresee any major changes to its supply chain in the U.S. It remains committed to product development and profitable support and sale of energy efficient and innovative products. However, some products will be discontinued and adjustments to demand forecasts will be made accordingly. Contacting suppliers impacted by changes is underway. “Throughout the evaluation, deliberation and analyzation process of arriving at this decision, top priority was given to retaining as many employees as possible. For positions being eliminated, it was of the utmost importance to make every effort to find other roles within the organizations for impacted employees,” added Cook.
TN Fireplace & Chimney, East Tennessee's chimney care company and a proud supporter of Tennessee football, encourages homeowners in the area to maintain healthy indoor air quality (IAQ) by making sure their chimney air circulates properly and isn't drawing outside dust, pollen, and other outside pollutants inside. Air drawn in by the chimney can contribute to odors, allergies, mold, and poor performance of the fireplace or stove. Chimney safety and performance issues "This is a situation where energy efficiency can work against you," said Josh Cate, owner of TN Fireplace & Chimney. "When air goes out of the chimney, it has to be replaced. Modern construction has advanced to the point that new homes are airtight, so the only route for replacement air to come in is down the chimney. When that happens, it can bring in particles and contaminants from outside as well as material that accumulates inside the chimney." Any accumulation in the chimney can also result in safety and performance issues, including back drafts and the buildup of a flammable material called creosote. Indoor air quality Cate recommends a professional inspection if one suspects their chimney is drawing down air that negatively affects one’s home's indoor air quality. For immediate relief, one can open a window near the fireplace or stove or remove weather stripping around doors and windows in that room. "For a permanent solution, adding an exterior vent is one option," Cate said. "Another is installing an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) to the HVAC system. These are designed to maintain the right balance of air pressure and also filter outside air before it comes in, so most particles and irritants are eliminated. This is one of the most effective methods for improving and maintaining your home's IAQ."
As a Managing Director of a company that provides temperature and humidity solutions to predominantly the warehousing and industrial sectors, I thought I would share my dilemma that I’m sure other business owners and managers also face. I don’t pretend to know the answers, but thought it might be worth sharing some of the considerations that I’m facing in whether to reshape, recruit and build or hunker down until the World, Europe and the UK offers some sort or predictability. I promise to not refer to ‘new normal’, masks or social distancing as this is extensively covered elsewhere. Context Our business has seen steady growth in the past 5 years, as a result of our efforts to create and retain relationships with customers who value our offer. Our focus has always been to offer solutions to large scale complex HVAC projects. We invest heavily in intellectual talent sponsoring PhD and MSc students, to keep us on our toes and develop leading edge solutions. We also feed off each other and our network of equally talented suppliers. My dilemma as Managing Director is do I continue our ambitious Research & Development (R&D), IP and Business Development or throttle back and take a cautionary approach until the economy offers a more certain platform? ‘Fortune favors the brave’ they say, but when you have a good business and employees look to business managers to ensure their livelihoods, how brave is brave? The Dilemma Immediate transactional or contractor resources are easy to obtain with the right screening and due diligence Immediate transactional or contractor resources are relatively easy to obtain with the right screening and due diligence, but for more developmental strategic roles, do you recruit in an emerging post pandemic, catastrophic employment forecast, that to in a mid/post Brexit world? From my personal perspective, it boils down to attitude, communication, enthusiasm and buy-in from everyone in the company. Nothing new there, but it feels that the stakes are higher so confidence is key. Do we or don’t we? Inaction is the riskiest response to the uncertainties of an economic crisis. Rash or scattershot action can be nearly as damaging. Rising anxiety (How much worse are things likely to get? and for how long is this going to last?) and the growing pressure to do something often produces a variety of moves that target the wrong problem or overshoot the right one. Within the world of HVAC, changes to legislation, environmental considerations, technological changes and research and development might be slowed or influenced, but won’t stop as a consequence of the immediate economy, which is a good thing. Recruiting on a need basis Many companies recruit when needed, to fill a vacant position or when a large project demands more manpower than the current headcount supports. This approach is obvious and addresses immediate transactional and resource needs. Using headcount as a KPI for growth, at a glimpse may illustrate positivity, but may be signaling a stop gap and may not be a true indicator of strategic growth. Of all the things I have observed over the last 5 months, reading the news, talking to colleagues and peers, a few things have stuck out for me, such as how companies have treated their employees, customers and suppliers, how creative and flexible some big organizations have been in responding to market changes and demands and how, despite uncertainty, their core business skills, intelligence and ability enabled them to prosper in a new and unforeseen environment. Finally, how companies will be remembered post crisis. Robust business planning The ability to respond quickly to market changes relies on creativity and attitude My belief is that those companies that have and continue to float to the top had the key ingredients of a successful business, enabled by capable enthusiastic talent that were given the opportunity to shine. These people weren’t hired to fill a stop gap, but rather these people were hired as part of a robust business plan. So, ‘do we or don’t we?’ Our philosophy at Jet Environmental Systems is to have a solid platform, identify future markets, trends and technologies and hire the absolute best people that we can to get us there. Recruitment in our business is a process that supports our strategic development and so for us our answer is yes, have confidence and continue to invest in the best talent. The ability to respond quickly to market changes relies on creativity and attitude with support from equally enthusiastic management who create the opportunity for individuals who present this talent to grow. Conclusion I hope the thought process I’ve shared has been useful, for me it has been a checkpoint in whether our choice of investment in people is right, not just now but in all situations. For me, it’s a resounding yes! I think we will create opportunities by having vision and giving people opportunity.
The Wyss Institute at Harvard University has developed an evaporative cooling system that uses a specially coated ceramic to cool air without adding humidity. Researchers say the approach can yield more affordable and environmentally friendly air conditioning systems for the future. ‘cold-SNAP’ system The ‘cold-SNAP’ system uses a water-repellent nano-scale surface coating that is applied selectively to surfaces of a 3D-printed ceramic heat exchange. The result is much cooler buildings with less humidity. ‘cold-SNAP’ is short for cold superhydrophobic nano-architecture process. The invention uses evaporative cooling, which happens when hot air is put in contact with water. As the water evaporates, it cools the air but adds moisture. Use of the water-repellent coating separates the moisture from the cool air to provide an inexpensive source of cooler, dryer air that can cool a building in lieu of traditional air conditioners. Evaporative Cooling technology The hydrophobic coating is selectively applied to components that will manage the flow of dry air The approach is a union of old and new – combining ceramic, one of the oldest, cheapest and most widely available building materials, with the novel hydrophobic surface coating developed by Wyss Institute. Because ceramic is malleable, the heating exchange unit can be produced via extrusion or 3D printing of a single piece, with its shape adjusted to maximize surface area available for heat transfer and evaporation. The hydrophobic coating is selectively applied to components that will manage the flow of dry air. Variation on indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) systems The specialized coating separates incoming hot air from outgoing wet air, allowing the hot air to be cooled by circulating water without adding humidity to the inside of a building. ‘cold-SNAP’ is a variation on indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) systems, which use complex heat exchange units that make them difficult and expensive to manufacture. Researchers say the approach can create low-cost, efficient air-cooling units to meet the world’s increasing demand while using 75% less energy. The system can be up to four times more efficient than conventional air conditioners as measured by the coefficient of performance (COP), the ratio of cooling to required energy. ‘cold-SNAP’ was designed by a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and designers from the Wyss Institute’s Adaptive Material Technologies Platform, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), and the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (HCGBC). Integration into evaporative cooling systems The new technology could be integrated into existing evaporative cooling systems and sold as environmentally friendly air conditioners in a variety of climate zones. It could even be manufactured into the facades of buildings, thus cooling the space within, using only the energy needed to pump water to the system. With global warming causing a rise in the Earth’s average temperature, worldwide demand for air conditioning systems that do not contribute to that climate change increasingly will be in demand. A growing middle class throughout the world is also contributing to demand. No humidity added to the air ‘cold-SNAP’ does not add humidity to the air and works well in humid, tropical climates, as well as dry, hot climates Because ‘cold-SNAP’ does not add humidity to the air, it works well in humid, tropical climates (where it is sorely needed) as well as in dry, hot climates like the Middle East. Traditional electric air conditioners use mechanical vapor compression to convert a chemical refrigerant back and forth between its liquid and vapor forms, absorbing heat during vaporization and then removing moisture during condensation. Traditional systems use a large amount of energy to cycle the refrigerant, which increases costs, not to mention the refrigerants contribute to global warming. Historically, the environmental impact of such systems was a hidden cost that was not considered. Wyss Institute Validation Project In 2019, ‘cold-SNAP’ was named a Wyss Institute Validation Project, which puts it on track to become commercialized. The validation program seeks to ‘de-risk' technologies and demonstrate that they can be scaled up for commercialization. The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University emulates Nature’s design principles to engineer new, ‘bio-inspired’ materials and devices with high-impact applications in healthcare, manufacturing, robotics, energy, and sustainable architecture. The cross-disciplinary faculty, technical staff, students, and fellows undertake high-risk research and technology development.
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).
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 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.”
Boiler manufacturers Baxi Heating and Worcester Bosch have installed hydrogen burning boilers at ‘HyStreet’, in specially built demonstration houses at DNV GL’s specialist test site at Spadeadam in Northumberland, United Kingdom. The site has been used to complete over 200 tests, researching and proving the safety of converting homes and gas networks to hydrogen. The project is part of H21, a Network Innovation Competition project sponsored by Ofgem. Northern Gas Networks is leading the project with partners Cadent, Scottish Gas Networks, Wales & West Utilities, National Grid, DNV GL and the Health and Safety Executive’s science division. Combi boilers installed H21 is demonstrating how existing natural gas networks can be re-purposed to safely carry 100% hydrogen H21 is demonstrating how existing natural gas networks can be re-purposed to safely carry 100% hydrogen. For the first demonstration, both Worcester Bosch and Baxi Heating have installed combi boilers into the houses on HyStreet. The boilers have been developed as part of the UK Government-funded Hy4Heat program, which is also supporting the development of hydrogen-ready gas cookers, fires and gas meters. As around 85% of UK homes currently rely on natural gas for heating and hot water supply, re-purposing the natural gas grid for use with hydrogen would mean a low disruption option for householders to decarbonize their heating, without the need for extensive changes to their existing system. Tackling carbon emissions due to home heating Tackling carbon emissions resulting from home heating is utterly essential and one of the most difficult challenges in achieving net-zero emissions, given the need to make adaptations in almost every home. A growing library of studies and reports conclude that all viable scenarios for the UK to hit net-zero include hydrogen as a vital component. That is why Government and industry are working on various projects across the United Kingdom. Wide deployment of hydrogen boilers Tim Harwood, Northern Gas Networks’ Project Director for H21, said “Seeing the boilers in situ at Spadeadam is an exciting step in the journey to realizing our goal of a gas network transporting 100% hydrogen to customers. The hydrogen boiler looks and feels just like the natural gas version we all have today and is just as user-friendly, showing that a transition could cause minimal disruption to customers.” Dan Allason, Head of Research and Innovation, at DNV GL’s Spadeadam Research and Testing, said “Eight out of ten homes in the UK use a gas boiler to heat their homes and provide hot water and replacing all gas boilers with electric alternatives could be extremely costly. Both of the boiler manufacturers have developed options with their hydrogen ready prototypes to assist the switch to a lower carbon alternative.” Proof of concept and public acceptability We are delighted to be able to demonstrate this innovative new technology in a real-life setting in the UK" Dan adds, “Having these fitted to the HyStreet demonstration project at Spadeadam gives gravitas to the proof of concept and public acceptability of appliances such as these. The boilers are one of the first important steps.” Karen Boswell, Managing Director of Baxi Heating, said “This is an important step forward on our hydrogen journey and we are delighted to be able to demonstrate this innovative new technology in a real-life setting in the UK.” Zero-carbon alternative to natural gas Carl Arntzen, the Chief Executive Officer of Worcester Bosch commented “It is fantastic to see our prototype hydrogen boiler running successfully at this demonstration site. The boiler has operated seamlessly in its first month of operation and continues to provide both heating and hot water.” Carl adds, “It proves that hydrogen gas has great potential as a zero-carbon alternative to natural gas for heating and hot water in the UK and beyond. These initial tests are incredibly encouraging and will hopefully give key decision makers confidence to deploy hydrogen gas as a fuel for the future.”
As Albert Einstein once said, “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” That wisdom has been put into practice in the form of a smarter approach in the way modular schools can be built and used. Pre-fabricated, modular classroom In 2006, the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, in partnership with the Council for Educational Facility Planners (CEFPI), held a national design competition, The Portable Classroom Design Challenge, to create a pre-fabricated, modular classroom unit that was environmentally sustainable, or green. This competition led to eventual development and installation of one of the most uniquely created modular spaces ever conceived, indeed the award winner of the design competition. Triumph Modular of Littleton, Massachusetts, in partnership with ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge and builder NRB Inc., won the design challenge because of their revolutionary, new modular classroom. Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Relocatable Green Modular Classroom comes designed with many LEED-focused design elements Aptly named the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom, it's also the first modular classroom to be designed with many LEED-focused design elements. “Our goal was to create a high-quality, portable classroom that was green, one with environmentally conscious materials used in its design and operation. The design was smart in the way that it used resources and provided heat, light, unsurpassed acoustics and air quality within the space,” said Cliff Cort, Founder of Triumph Modular. In fact, it’s estimated that the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom performs 56% better, in terms of overall energy costs, than similar, older style modular units that often use almost three times as much of energy as a permanent school building. Wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment Thirty years ago, Bard Manufacturing Co. Ltd began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, patented ventilation packages, unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice of many school officials. With three, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to research and development. Self-programming energy monitors and green refrigerants With features like self-programming energy monitors, unsurpassed energy efficiency, green refrigerants and the lowest acoustic profile on the market, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for modern school facilities. Already impressed from their previous working experience with Bard, Triumph Modular wanted to incorporate the Quiet Climate 2 into their green modular design. “Building green is good for the environment, good for the wallet and good for the occupants of the building,” said Cliff Cort, adding, “And Bard’s HVAC unit is a big factor in why the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom performs as well as it does.” Green modular design Bard’s HVAC System in the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Unit contributes to its high energy efficiency According to an independent third party analysis, the green modular design provides a 68% reduction in heating energy and a 49% reduction in cooling energy, most of which can be attributed to Bard Quiet Climate 2. An efficiently designed HVAC system is perhaps the single largest building component that can influence a building’s sustainability. Bard’s HVAC System in the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Unit contributes significantly to its high energy efficiency and quiet, almost undetectable acoustic profile (37 bBHL) within the classroom. Quiet-Climate 2 heat pump Bard’s Quiet-Climate 2 heat pump is the most innovative wall-mount HVAC equipment ever made. Designed specifically to provide superior energy efficiency and quiet operation in classrooms, the Quiet Climate 2 uses green refrigerants and provides operating sound levels that are 20 to 35 times quieter than a standard wall-mounted heat pump. Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 can provide the following features: Higher energy efficiency and greater comfort through step-capacity technology Unmatched acoustical performance Sound levels vary with applications and construction techniques, but integrated operating sound levels as low as 35 dbA have been achieved when combined with Bard Quiet-Climate acoustical accessories Improved ventilation and Enhanced IAQ Continuous blower operation – without noise – keeping fresh air constantly in the classroom Optional UV lighting which keeps the coils free of bacteria and mold Enhanced filtration capabilities A one-piece factory unit designed for fast installation and easy servicing Additional sound curbing accessories including, an isolation curb and return air and supply air plenums The Carroll School Serving over 75 communities around Lincoln, Massachusetts, The Carroll School was founded in part by Dr. Edwin Cole who wanted to provide a special school for children with language-based learning challenges. The Carroll School supports nearly 300 students, in grades 1 – 8, with a 3.4 student to teacher ratio using multisensory and individualized teaching methods for specific learning needs. Progressive by nature, The Carroll School’s thriving community brings children together in an environment that values their differences and remediates their learning difficulties. “Cliff Cort, a Lincoln resident and friend of the school, approached us with the idea to replace one of our existing modular building with the green modular design,” said Margaret Gebhard, Director of Finance and Operations at The Carroll School, adding “Our existing modular space was not a popular one with either faculty or students due to its poor lighting, sound characteristics and overall appearance.” Occupancy sensors and vestibule The classroom incorporates many unique green components, such as formaldehyde-free, low VOC paints Things changed when teachers, students and administrative personnel moved into the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom for the first time. The classroom incorporates many unique green components, including formaldehyde-free, low VOC paints and coatings that reduce off-gassing, occupancy sensors that conserve energy by turning the lights off, when people come and go, a vestibule that safeguards the inside from inclement weather while buffering outside noise and helps retain heating and controlling levels for its green and virtually silent HVAC system – the Quiet Climate 2. Enhancing schools’ energy efficiency Margaret adds, “The Relocatable Green Modular Classroom is truly amazing and smart to incorporate into any schools modular planning, we’re quickly approaching our original 3 year leasing agreement with Triumph and I see us keeping the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom around for many more years to come.” She further stated, “It has the best lighting, best HVAC system, and is the most energy-efficient building on our campus, which is why it’s also the most coveted space on our campus. Now we can not only say our kids here are special but now they have a truly special and smart environment in which to learn.”
Munters, a global renowned company in energy efficient air treatment and climate solutions, has received an order for a desiccant dehumidification solution, providing a climate with very low humidity, for a U.S.-based lithium battery production facility. dehumidification solutions The lithium battery manufacturing market segment is one of Munters’ prioritized areas for growth and expansion. The order for the dehumidification solution has a value of approximately US$ 12 million. Munters Group AB (MTRS), energy efficient air treatment and climate solutions firm, announced the order to provide desiccant dehumidification solutions for a lithium battery production facility in the US, including equipment and services. ICA and IDS systems Munters will deliver Integrated Custom Air Handler and Industrial Desiccant Dehumidification systems Munters will deliver ICA (Integrated Custom Air Handler) and IDS (Industrial Desiccant Dehumidification) systems, utilizing proprietary Green PowerPurge technology and delivery is expected to start in Q4 2020 and continue through mid-2021. Peter Gisel-Ekdahl, President Business Area AirTech, Group Vice President Group at Munters said of the order, “We are very pleased to have received a large order for our dehumidification solutions in the fast-growing lithium battery market, which is one of our three prioritized market segments." Energy-efficient and complete solutions Peter adds, “In this project, we worked very closely with all parties involved to develop the best overall solution, from equipment performance to energy efficiency to service needs." He further stated, “Our focus is always to deliver strong customer value by providing energy-efficient and complete solutions. By utilizing our application and industry knowledge, we can ensure every customer gets the best value.”
With news of the coronavirus' airborne droplets being able to be neutralized via advanced filtration, Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical is responding by providing Houston homeowners with state-of-the-art HVAC testing and next-gen products to combat the COVID-19 pandemic surge. As the virus re-surges throughout Texas and parts of America, infectious disease experts are learning that COVID-19 can be contracted by inhaling tiny, invisible particles that hang in stagnant air for hours. HEPA filters and UV light A recent investigation by ABC's Good Morning America (GMA) revealed that a combination of HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters and UV light are homeowners' best defense against the virus droplets. New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo said recently that large malls should be required to install HEPA systems before re-opening. Delta Airlines is also equipping its fleet of aircraft with HEPA filters, while American Airlines said its planes have been using the systems since the 1990s. The licensed HVAC professionals at Abacus Plumbing can inspect current residential systems and suggest a solution from their extensive line of HEPA and UV products. Cleaning air to clear out COVID-19 particles HEPA systems, such as the REME HALO, can remove 99.7% of particles as small as 0.3 microns" "Obviously, cleaning surfaces is still important, but cleaning the air that recirculates through homes and buildings is now a huge focus," Industrial Hygiene Specialist, Nancy McClellan told GMA. “HEPA systems, such as the REME HALO, can remove 99.7% of particles as small as 0.3 microns,” said Dr. Rajat Mittal, a professor studying the dynamics of COVID-19 particles adding, "That is potentially good news, because almost all the droplets that are going to be carrying viruses are all within that range." REME HALO air purification system Abacus Plumbing so trusts the REME HALO that it's installed in the company's own HVAC systems. "To help keep our employees as healthy as possible, Abacus installed the same air filtration equipment in our offices that we install in our customer homes," said Abacus Plumbing Founder & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alan O'Neill, adding "In an essential business like ours, we have to do everything possible to help prevent our team members from allergies, germs and viruses. We owe it to our employees to invest in their health, and our customers who depend on us to be ready to serve 24 hours a day.” The HALO purifies the air in homes from the source, the HVAC system. Its patented technology is hospital tested and military approved to reduce allergies, fight odor and kill bacteria, mold and viruses. Ensuring health and safety of Houstonians "We haven't come across anything that it can't handle," said Rene Luna, whose company, The Partner Group, has been selling HALOs to Houston distributors, like Abacus Plumbing, since 2006, adding "It doesn't wait to clean the air in the equipment and it actually cleans your air and your living space. It's by far the leader in the industry." With COVID-19 finding new ways to harm Houstonians, Abacus is ready to help homeowners protect the health and safety of their family by installing the best defense available.
Alfa Laval, a globally renowned company in the field of heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling, has announced winning an order to supply compact heat exchangers to a refinery and petrochemical plant in China. The order has a value of approximately SEK 95 million. It is booked in the welded heat exchangers unit and the gasketed plate heat exchangers unit of the Energy Division, with delivery scheduled for 2021. Alfa Laval compact heat exchangers The order comprises Alfa Laval compact heat exchangers which will be used to recover and reuse heat in the refinery The order comprises Alfa Laval compact heat exchangers which will be used to recover and reuse heat in the refinery and petrochemical complex, which produces both transportation fuels and petrochemical products. “With China slowly recovering after the pandemic, I am very pleased to announce this order for our energy efficient heat exchangers from one of our refinery and petrochemical customers.” said Susanne Pahlen Aklundh, President of the Energy Division at Alfa Laval. She adds, “Our products and solutions play a vital role in maintaining a functioning society by providing fundamental basics such as energy supply.” Safety protocol In China, the Alfa Laval offices and sites were closed one extra week after the Chinese New Year and were then re-opened with a clear safety protocol to ensure the health and safety of the employees, as well as to maintain the continuity of the business. Jan Debruyn, President of North East Asia & Alfa Laval China commented, “It is very encouraging that we during these challenging times could work together with our customer to secure the order. By using digital communication channels, we were able to move our business forward.” HVAC products in critical infrastructure Alfa Laval’s equipment and solutions often play an integral role in their customers’ processes, and are part of critical infrastructure in areas such as food and pharmaceutical production, sanitation, HVAC, electricity generation, etc.
Hess Tower is a 29 story, 844,000 square foot mixed use building containing commercial office, retail and dining space with an adjacent parking garage. It’s located in Houston’s Inner Loop East area adjacent to Discovery Green park, a 12 acre urban green space for outdoor activities, concerts and other entertainment events. Originally named Discovery Tower, it was renamed in 2009 for the Hess Corporation, its current lessee. It was formally completed in 2010 and is Houston’s first downtown LEED Platinum office building. Great functional and architectural feature “Discovery Tower, now known as Hess Tower, was a very challenging project for NOW due to several obstacles. No access to the backside of the majority of the louvers as well as having to deal with multiple penetrations and architectural accent fins as an integral part of the louvers were the most notable.” “Ruskin did an outstanding job in engineering a blind attachment using interlocking aluminum zee clips as well as coordinating louver blade leave outs for both architectural fin attachment and blank off plates for current and future piping penetrations." "Overall the project was a success and the Ruskin louvers added a great functional and architectural feature to this monumental project.” Says Dan Ozuna, Co-owner of NOW Specialties. Protection against rain penetration Being a high-profile building in downtown Houston, the aesthetic design was a critical component to the success of the project. The architectural design incorporated a significant amount of architectural louvers in the lower elevations. The louvers needed to provide HVAC airflow in some areas with protection against rain penetration in storm conditions. Being in a hurricane-prone area, the louvers had to stand up to the high velocity winds that can occur in the area Other areas were to be inactive with blankoff panels on their interior. All louvers, whether active and inactive, needed to have the same exterior appearance with consistent transitions from one area to the next. The louvers required custom fabrication for various features such as pipe penetrations, mitered corners, door openings and decorative architectural fins. Being in a hurricane-prone area, the louvers had to stand up to the high velocity winds that can occur in the area. Providing vital information Additionally, many of the areas of louver installations were inaccessible from the rear which required those louvers to be installed and fastened entirely from the exterior. Ruskin and its sales representative, Steve Bryan of ADW Corporation, partnered with NOW Specialties to successfully complete this LEED ® Platinum Certified project. ADW and NOW provided vital information on field conditions and adjoining construction to Ruskin’s project management team. This enabled the engineers to precisely design the complex louver system and its custom installation details. The louver model selected for this prestigious project was the EME745. Its Wind Driven Rain (WDR) rating as well as its architectural continuous blade design was the perfect product for this demanding application. The two-piece louver construction includes an exterior 4” deep stationary louver with hidden mullions and a rear 3” deep vertical WDR louver that provides excellent weather protection for HVAC intakes. Custom fabrication and installation requirements The louver system is a key element in the building’s form and function The two louvers are factory combined prior to shipment to the jobsite. Integral to the model is a special design for inactive areas. To keep the clean lines of the exterior louver, the 3” louver is replaced with a solid blank-off panel to block weather & humidity. Ruskin’s Geneva, Alabama production facility fabricated the louvers & delivered to the jobsite in coordination with NOW’s installation schedule. Ruskin’s in-house painting facility is state-of-the-art that not only shortens the lead time to the job site, but includes a 20-year standard warranty for painted finishes. For Hess Tower, the louvers were coated with Ruskin’s Pearledize 70 finish (70% Floropolymer) in a custom Meteor Gray pearlescent color. Due to the extensive custom fabrication and installation requirements, a team effort was needed to successfully design, build and supply the louvers. Ruskin's louver system is a key element in the Hess Tower building’s form and function. With innovative products, comprehensive project design and management services and quality in fabrication, Ruskin is prepared to tackle any architectural challenge.