The impact of COVID-19 has hit all areas of industry in a variety of different ways; with mass redundancies, restructures and the need for diversification now dominating the headlines. It has also made a lot of people question their own careers and what is important to them; in fact, Google searches for the term ‘career change’ are up more than 500% on this time last year. With more than half of the heating and plumbing industry’s workforce due to retire in the next decade, an...
LG Air Conditioning Technologies USA has expanded its robust portfolio of single- and multi-zone products with LGRED (Reliable to Extreme Degrees) technology, bringing powerful heating capability to more single zone products, so as to push the industry forward in the electrification of residential and light commercial building sectors. Single zone products with LGRED Boasting superior heating capacity performance down to 5 °F and continuous heating operations down to -13 ˚F, products featu...
As the evidence around the health impacts of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) continues to build, experts from across the ventilation sector have come together to drive awareness amongst installers and the wider public that the Green Homes Grant can cover ventilation improvements alongside insulation installations. Green Homes Grant scheme The UK Government scheme, which launched back in September 2020, aims to support improvements to energy efficiency and indoor air quality (IAQ). The scheme hig...
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...
Pete Mills, Commercial Technical Operations Manager at Bosch Commercial & Industrial outlines how cities are using heat networks to achieve UK carbon emission targets. Heat networks, or district heating, are becoming an ever-greater part of our industry’s involvement in larger scale schemes. The ability to help the decarbonization of heat both now and in the future has made them an attractive solution to the new-build sector, as well as those undergoing deep renovation works. Net zer...
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 f...
The YORK brand of Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart and sustainable building solutions, and the architect of OpenBlue connected solutions, unveiled a new complete home comfort system with state-of-the-art zoning technology, offering improved, high-efficiency comfort with simplified installation and setup. Hx3 Communicating Zoning System The Hx3 Communicating Zoning System gives consumers ultimate control of individual room temperatures, in up to eight zones that they can manage anywhere, with the new and improved Hx app. In addition, the new app gives contractors remote access and monitoring with homeowner permission. “More than ever, today’s connected consumers expect a complete system that provides efficient performance, worry-free reliability and customizable functionality that fits their family’s lifestyle,” said Jason Wilson, Product Manager at Johnson Controls. Jason adds, “That’s exactly what the best-in-class technology of the Hx3 Communicating Zoning System delivers, making it the ideal solution for the new generation of smart homes.” Remote access and control The entire system can be directly controlled by the homeowner on a mobile device, using the completely re-engineered Hx app or via the Wi-Fi-enabled Hx3 Main Controller, which acts as the primary control point for the entire home. It features multiple, customizable schedules for up to eight zones and advanced settings, such as humidity control, geo-fencing, away mode and vacation mode, which can be set for individual zones or the entire home. It partners with additional, secondary thermostats or sensors to enable control of the remaining zones, which can be customized based on the homeowner’s needs and budget. Innovative Hx app The innovative, easy-to-use Hx app empowers consumers to take full control of their HVAC system The innovative, easy-to-use Hx app empowers consumers to take full control of their HVAC system, featuring a simplified set-up process and intuitive schedule control for enhanced efficiency. The app has a new, refreshed interface with a user-friendly design, allowing first-time users to seamlessly navigate based off in-depth customer research. It’s available on the Apple Store and Google Play and compatible with Apple Watch and Amazon Alexa voice control. Compatible with 3-wire, 24V power open/close damper Unlike zoning equipment that require bypass and barometric dampers, the Hx3 Communicating Zoning System is compatible with any existing 3-wire, 24V power open/close damper. This reduces changes to existing ductwork, saving homeowners on material and costs, while saving contractors on installation time. In addition, the system features intuitive, easy-to-read error messages and one-touch testing of airflow and damper settings without additional sensors and probes. Installation is further simplified for contractors with an easy setup and maintenance interface on the Hx app, along with remote access and monitoring with homeowner permission. Maximizing energy savings and performance The Communicating Zoning System is compatible with YORK Affinity premium variable capacity or two-stage indoor and outdoor communicating equipment with QuietDrive technology and a full range of indoor air quality products. These high-efficiency HVAC systems maximize energy savings, while offering superior performance.
The European HVACR industry association, Eurovent has announced extending its scope of representation with the addition of J2 Innovations to its Associate Members list. Following a formal approval of the Eurovent Board of Directors, J2 Innovations, globally renowned provider of control and management software for HVACR equipment, has joined Eurovent (Association for Indoor Climate, Process Cooling and Food Cold Chain Technologies) as its newest Associate Member. FIN Framework software platform FIN Framwork enables partners to bring new products to the market faster, with the latest technology for competitive advantage Established in 2008, J2 Innovations is a provider of control and management software for HVACR equipment. They created the FIN Framework, the next generation software platform for building automation and IoT devices. FIN Framwork enables their partners to bring new products to the market faster, with the latest technology for competitive advantage. Mr. Chris Irwin, Vice President of Sales for EMEA and Global Marketing at J2 Innovations, said “At J2 Innovations, we are committed to supporting the indoor climate and HVAC industry through our open platform for smart buildings, smart equipment and IoT.” Close association with Eurovent Chris adds, “We are delighted to be an Associate Member of Eurovent, as we strongly believe in cooperation and collaboration, in order to help build a greener and better world. We look forward to working with Eurovent to help shape the future of our industry.” Mr. Felix Van Eyken, Secretary General of Eurovent Association, said “We are proud to welcome J2 Innovations to the Eurovent family. It is great to see our association grow with the different stakeholders of the European HVACR industry coming together around their common objectives.” Eurovent Associate Members Eurovent’s Associate Members are organizations that are engaged in activities related to sectors covered by the association. Associate Membership is open to, for example, associations of engineers and consultants, exhibition organizers, laboratories, universities, or software providers. Information on all Eurovent Associate Members can be found online on the Eurovent website.
Johnson Controls, a globally renowned solutions provider for smart and sustainable buildings, is offering a high efficiency pleated air filter that provides an affordable solution instead of costly HEPA filtration upgrades. Its MERV 13 performance rating make the filter an excellent upgrade in existing equipment for applications such as hospitals, laboratories and pharmaceutical plants, commercial office buildings, industrial plants, or any HVAC system in which a higher degree of clean air is desired. KOCH Multi-Pleat Green13 filter The KOCH Multi-Pleat Green13 filter can help improve indoor air quality and potentially reduce exposure to COVID-19 virus. The Multi-Pleat Green13, along with other lines of KOCH filter products, support Johnson Controls mission to help make buildings more safe, secure and sustainable. “As buildings re-open, air filtration and other HVAC system components are key to maintaining occupant safety by creating clean, healthy indoor environments,” said Mark Mattingly, Vice President and General Manager, Air Filtration Products, Johnson Controls. Enhanced air filtration capability The Multi-Pleat Green13 offers an increased level of protection over disposable and ordinary pleated filters Mark adds, “We developed the Multi-Pleat Green13 Filter with more than 55 years of air filtration research and development experience so our customers can be confident this product will introduce clean, highly-filtered air into their buildings.” In addition, many facilities are unable to afford costly upgrades needed to install new systems that support HEPA filtration. The Multi-Pleat Green13 offers an increased level of protection over disposable and ordinary pleated filters and can work in the majority of existing ventilation systems. Designed with electrostatically charged synthetic fibers The media in the Multi-Pleat Green13 is produced with a specialized blend of electrostatically charged synthetic fibers for use in extended surface air filtration. This unique fiber configuration ensures greater stability of the electrostatic charge, reduced pressure drop and prolonged efficiencies compared to other filter media. The performance data is based on ASHRAE Test Standard 52.2-2017. The KOCH Multi-Pleat Green13 is a sustainable component of green building development. With its high MERV 13 performance rating, the Green13 can earn points toward LEED certification in the US Green Building Council’s Green Building Rating System.
NSK customers around the world, including those in Europe, are set to benefit from the construction of a new heat treatment facility at the organization’s NSK Toyama plant, in Japan. The move comes as part of a continuous effort to strengthen the structural resilience of the NSK Group, while simultaneously providing a productivity and efficiency boost. NSK Toyama heat treatment facility Following the completion of the ¥3 billion (approximately 23.78 million euros) heat treatment plant at NSK Toyama, the company has transferred a percentage of heat treatment processes from NSK Fujisawa to the new 3,641 sq. meter facility. BCP measure has been implemented to help protect supply chains in the event of a natural disaster This business continuity planning (BCP) measure has been implemented to help protect supply chains in the event of a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or flood. By distributing the company’s heat treatment requirements between plants, an inherent level of safeguarding is introduced to protect customers against unforeseen production stoppages. Streamlining heat treatment processes NSK has also taken this opportunity to streamline the company’s heat treatment processes and invest in cutting-edge technologies that are not only environmentally friendly, but further improve productivity and efficiency. For instance, NSK Toyama is currently working towards the implementation of autonomous parts transportation between processes. Operating since 1937, NSK Fujisawa focuses on the production of rolling bearings for industrial machinery. The plant undertakes principal manufacturing processes that include turning, heat treatment, grinding and assembly. Operations at NSK Toyama, which was established in 1966, have historically centered on the forging and turning of large rolling bearings, such as those used in wind turbines and railcars.
Carrier AquaSnap scroll chiller range is now available with R-32 refrigerant, which improves performance and reduces direct greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%, compared to the previous range using R-410A refrigerant. The innovative air-cooled range meets requirements for the European F-Gas phase-down of HFC refrigerants and Ecodesign requirements for 2021. Carrier, a globally renowned provider of high-technology heating, air conditioning and refrigeration solutions, is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, an international organization in the field of innovative heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. AquaSnap scroll chiller range Carrier selected R-32 refrigerant, which has a low global warming potential (GWP) of 675 Carrier selected R-32 refrigerant, which has a low global warming potential (GWP) of 675, for use in commercial scroll chiller ranges. R-32 has a GWP that is two thirds less than the GWP of the current R-410A version and this change, combined with a significant system refrigerant charge reduction – up to 30% – allows for an exceptional 80% reduction in direct greenhouse gas emissions. The AquaSnap range reaches an outstanding Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER12/7) of up to 5.33 and a Seasonal Coefficient of Performance (SCOP) of up to 3.77. The range covers capacities from 40 kW to 940 kW. Equipped with R-32 refrigerant “Carrier’s AquaSnap range with R-32 refrigerant allows our customers to anticipate compliance to Ecodesign 2021 requirements while supporting the next phase down steps of the European F-Gas regulation for HFC,” said Didier Genois, Vice President, Carrier HVAC-Commercial (Europe), adding “The range also provides customers with best-in-class performance in heating and cooling conditions.” The AquaSnap with R-32 refrigerant can meet the needs of a wide scope of applications. The range ½ covers an extended operating map, up to 48 degrees Celsius outdoor air temperature, and features Carrier’s best-in class technologies for maximum efficiency in all conditions, including: - Multiple scroll compressors able to match load requirements. - Brazed asymmetric plate heat exchangers with true dual-circuit design for high performance in both full and partial-load conditions. - Smart energy monitoring function providing real time capacity provided and energy consumption measurement. - Greenspeed intelligence on premium versions: variable-speed fans and variable-speed pumps.
Danfoss has announced updating and enhancing its service offering to create a more sustainable, scalable and secure cloud-based portal for managing food retail operations. Alsense IoT Food Retail Services Previously known as Danfoss Enterprise Services (DES), Alsense is optimized to provide new levels of efficiency. Supermarkets and food retail stores can reduce their net energy consumption by up to 30% with Alsense, saving money and reducing food waste. ”We’re excited to introduce this fully connected service platform featuring a modern interface and powerful capabilities,” says Peter Dee, Sales Director Food Retail, North America for Danfoss. Peter adds, “By providing insights and recommendations backed by real-time data, food retail customers can manage their refrigeration, HVAC and other IoT assets more efficiently and reduce expenses related to energy costs and food waste.” Increased efficiency and streamlined performance All services are integrated into one hub, offering a seamless user experience and added functionalities. Some of these functionalities include: Actionable insights — Alsense delivers relevant, easy-to-digest insights. This allows customers to take corrective actions faster, significantly reducing food and energy waste. Increased security and availability — Alsense allows for easy expansion to different regions, with higher serviceability and a new VPN structure for added security. Improved performance and stability — The new service platform on Microsoft Azure provides smoother service operation, faster reaction to alarms, reduced nuisance alarms and higher asset uptime. Dynamic feature roadmap — The feature provides customers with continued enhancements based on real-time feedback. Responsive portal — Whether on a mobile device, tablet or desktop, users will experience a seamless, responsive portal. This increases ease of use and accessibility to necessary information at a desk or on the go. Danfoss – Microsoft trusted partnership With the updated Alsense platform, customers can depend on the combined expertise of two notable enterprises With the updated Alsense platform, customers can depend on the combined expertise of two notable enterprises. Danfoss brings more than 80 years of engineering and mechanical experience to its cloud-based services enabled by the new platform powered by Microsoft Azure. Microsoft has the trusted security, scalability and sustainability that customers have come to expect in their digital tools. Danfoss and Microsoft announced the partnership in October 2019. The new Alsense platform is the first of many solutions to come from this IoT collaboration. Tangible benefits with an IoT platform “With Alsense Danfoss have proven the ability to understand and tackle device diversity and connectivity challenges of the food retail industry and deliver tangible benefits with an IoT platform that reduces operational costs and energy savings. This is how we empower enterprises to deliver sustainability through the smart use of technology,” said Nina Lund, EMEA Retail & Consumer Goods Lead at Microsoft. Existing DES customers will experience the added value of Alsense via an automatic update on the current platform. New customers can explore the solutions that best fit their needs by contacting a sales representative.
While lockdown restrictions are being eased, it is likely that COVID-19 will leave a lasting legacy on our attitudes to ventilation, building management, and safety. As schools readjust to operating within the new norm, one thing is for certain: there is always room for vigilance when it comes to school processes and safety. Whether to reduce costs, maximize efficiencies, or achieve optimal well-being of school-going children, smart technologies are here to stay for their extensive benefits. Schools of the future will be smarter COVID-19 has underscored the importance of automated processes, which are adaptable to different building occupancies and shifting challenges. As schools around the world take the first steps towards digital transformation, the simplicity and ease of integration of some smart technologies are showing marked cost savings; streamlined safety, maintenance and operational efficiencies; and enhanced green potential. Real-time reporting from sensors and technologies are mobilizing schools to adopt a data-driven approach to take their schools into the future. COVID-19 considerations Real-time reporting from sensors and technologies are mobilizing schools to adopt a data-driven approach Since withdrawn, the government’s guidelines on schools’ management during COVID-19 provided food for thought for governing bodies and facilities managers in the school setting, driving the adoption of data-based smart solutions to counteract operational challenges and reduce costs. The guidelines dealt with partially closed facilities - and guidelines for full opening have since been issued. Within the school context, the categories outlined in the original guidelines are perennially important and, with a bearing on safety, the more precise, the better. Coronavirus and temperature checking Across different facilities, temperature screening has become a naturalised daily occurrence, with elevated temperatures a good indicator of underlying illness. In the school setting, crowd screening technology has the potential to give live temperature readings, alerts, and access control functionality. It can also be used as a contact traceability tool when high temperatures are detected. Using infrared sensors, this technology provides medically accurate readings in real time with minimal disruptions or student backlogs. Hot and cold water systems It is likely that COVID-19 will leave a lasting legacy on our attitudes to ventilation, building management, and safety The dormancy of school buildings has created a secondary worry around Legionella - and the latest guidance from The Department of Education encourages the usual pre-term building checks are conducted. This bacteria causes Legionnaires’ Disease, which is preventable yet potentially fatal. Mitigating the risk of Legionella spread is an ongoing responsibility; one which is traditionally labour-intensive, involving hot and cold water temperature testing and flushing. Automated Legionella testing removes the need for human effort, cost, potential exposure, and manual record-keeping. It also provides alerts of undesirable temperature readings and expedited response times (which, in buildings of extensive pipework, can avoid hefty maintenance bills). This smart approach to Legionella maintenance is a simple compliance tool, which will help to ensure statutory obligations and prevent sometimes punitive penalties. A Smarter Outlook On Energy And Green Transformation Without question, saving energy is smart - and smart technologies are leading the charge in helping schools to reduce consumption and achieve green goals. This is being achieved in a range of ways - from constant monitoring of HVAC usage, heating systems, and lighting to the development of data-driven maintenance schedules to keep equipment performing efficiently. Smart sensors can deliver real-time insights on usage and occupancy, reducing waste to a minimum. Ventilation Air quality is a fundamental component of a healthy indoor environment, with compromised air quality linked to disease and allergies. Research has also shown a correlation between indoor air quality, student performance, and teacher retention. Proper ventilation is one of the best ways to work towards good air quality. Smart technologies assist in myriad ways. One example is by providing real-time alerts on changes or undesirable metrics around pollutants, noxious gases, atmospheric conditions and humidity (with mold and damp in mind). In trying to achieve a balance of mechanical and natural ventilation, one is able to monitor and remotely control HVAC usage, as well as monitor and record the frequency of opened and closed windows in selected areas, to evidence effort in this regard. There’s Smart and There’s Smarter Proper ventilation is one of the best ways to work towards good air quality Iot (Internet of Things) solutions providers, like us, have developed a suite of smart solutions which cater to the schools of the future. Wireless, long-lasting and cost-effective solutions combine a system of tags, sensors, and pressure pads, which transmit data over a secure and private network. These powerful tools send data to a remote dashboard in real time, with alerts for undesirable readings, breaches, and metrics - tailored to facilities owners’ buildings, assets, and needs. With a user-friendly interface, these systems also collect data for thorough record-keeping and meaningful data insights, which have the potential to inspire informed decision-making and strategic development as schools continue to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
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.
Control Systems have always played an important part in the function of HVAC systems and for many years were centered around the safe and optimum performance of the hardware deployed. Every HVAC system is a closed-loop process, with inputs fed into control logic that determines the best course of action to achieve the desired output. Energy management and integration into Building Information Management saw the advent of energy-saving techniques like free cooling and night-time purge reduce mechanical cooling loads, whilst occupation data allowed greater holistic management of systems. These are well-recognized practices that are being refined using predictive weather data, additional focus on heat recovery and more environmentally energy sources. Control Systems have always played an important part in the function of HVAC systemsThe scope of the typical systems loosely described above are around the management of systems on one site and their operation and maintenance tends to be centered around that particular location. Multi-site Development & Management The UK temperature-controlled warehousing market tends to develop on a project-by-project basis that fosters the site-by-site focus of ongoing management and maintenance. For multi-site logistics operators and manufacturers and distributors with a multi-site portfolio. this approach has the following disadvantages: Disparate system KPI data collection and reporting Setpoint adjustment left to untrained operators who apply their individual assessment of compliance risk and often don’t consider the financial and operational implications of fine-tuning (or meddling) Enterprise-wide energy management is difficult to control Duplication of staff tasked with reporting and maintenance Inconsistency of measurement and interpretation Slow response to system failures Poor interpretation of operational processes that impact system efficiency Portfolio Management The distinction here is that a portfolio of temperature-controlled sites is managed centrally instead of independently. The enabler to the solution is the rapid Energy management and integration into Building Information Management saw the advent of energy-saving techniquesdevelopment of access control systems and data communication. The next step is vital in the customer engagement process; what do they want to see? What’s important and what is not? How often do they want to see it and in what format? From experience of going through this process this is a voyage of discovery for the warehouse operator in understanding the stakeholders in their business. Quality and compliance managers are the obvious starting point, facilities managers, finance managers who are tasked with reducing energy costs, customer service and the end customer. Alongside the KPI monitoring, Jet Environmentals created a hierarchy of alarms management that alerts the right people with system information, that triggers a sequence of actions driven by the data. Trends are monitored to predict where there might be a problem on the horizon so action can be taken before there is an issue. Faults and failures are alerted instantly and corrective action alerts sent to the right people. Conclusion The continuous development of HVAC controls and reliability of secure data connections has provided a means of improving performance, lowering cost and building trust in provider/user relationships. To be successful, the roll-out of such a project requires the willingness and collaboration of all parties and the groundwork defining stakeholder requirements is vital in defining a scope that meets expectations.
In an economic sense, the COVID-19 pandemic has created winners and losers. While the tragic human and societal consequences are undeniable, when it comes to economics, some businesses have clearly fared better than others. For example, the hospitality industry has basically been decimated. Meanwhile, the HVAC business has thrived during the pandemic. Part of our success has been driven by increasing awareness of the role of air ventilation in fighting the virus. There has been renewed interest in air filtration, not to mention the benefits of UV-C to mitigate germs circulating in the air. Useful And Timely Information When customers wonder about how HVAC can be leveraged to make home and office environments safer, our industry’s business owners and technicians have mostly provided useful and timely information, while resisting (hopefully) any tendencies to exaggerate product claims or oversell possible solutions. The most successful HVAC professionals during this time have been the ones who have educated their customers without taking advantage of their understandable anxieties about the spread of the virus. Importance Of Comfort Work-from-home movement has increased awareness about the importance of comfort as we spent more time in our homesThe whole work-from-home movement has arguably increased awareness about the importance of comfort as we have spent more time in our homes. Staying at home makes consumers more conscious of how well – or badly – their HVAC systems are operating. Investing to improve home systems makes an even better economic sense if we are spending more time at home. In contrast, for instance, to an urge to invest more in our cars and trucks because we were spending all that time commuting. Pandemic Shutdown Shielding the HVAC market from the worst of the pandemic’s economic downside was the designation of HVAC industry employees among “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During the COVID-19 Response” by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The designation, in effect, enabled HVAC companies to continue to operate throughout various pandemic shutdowns. Challenges Faced Furthermore, HVAC technicians and companies have risen to the challenges of social distancing and wearing masks as they are invited into customers’ homes and businesses during the pandemic. Personally, “I experienced a couple of visits from my local HVAC technicians early in the pandemic, and they could not have been more considerate and compliant with the prevailing norms to promote good health.” Renovation Of Spaces Business shutdowns also provided a window of opportunity to renovate spaces (including HVAC upgrades) without any worry about interfering with a customer’s operations. Many facilities were manned by skeleton crews or completed shut down, and the quiet operation eliminated any of the usual concerns about disruption of business operations to address HVAC repairs or maintenance. Business Opportunities HVAC systems became the focus of strategies to make environments safer There have certainly been business challenges during the pandemic, and some installer companies saw a slowdown during the worst of it. However, when it came time to open up businesses and schools again, HVAC systems became the focus of strategies to make environments safer. These requirements also provided new business opportunities for HVAC professionals and helped to keep their employees engaged and employed. Negative And Positive Effect The impact of a global pandemic can be devastating for any industry. As the COVID-19 pandemic has played out, the tremendous impacts can be seen in almost any market sector. However, as these things go, the pandemic has translated into a pretty good year for many HVAC companies, certainly better than some of the other small- to medium-sized businesses in a long list of industries. The pandemic’s impact on increased demand for the HVAC industry’s products and services provided new opportunities to serve customer needs and solve their problems. 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, but hopefully, HVAC businesses will finish the year in decent shape and looking ahead to an even more prosperous 2021.
The cannabis industry offers unique challenges to the HVAC market, including the need to create an optimum indoor grow room environment that perfectly balances variables such as temperature, humidity and airflow at each stage of a plant’s growth cycle. The consequence of a system failure could be the catastrophic financial loss of an entire crop. Despite these weighty challenges, there is opportunity aplenty for HVAC installers in the emerging cannabis industry. Legalized cannabis is expanding - there are currently 33 states that have legalized marijuana for medical use and 14 that allow recreational use of the drug among adults. Changing attitudes toward marijuana suggest a trend toward even greater acceptance - and growth. According to a Pew Research study, 67% of Americans believe marijuana use should be legalized, a number that has doubled since 2000. federal government guidelines The percentage of adults aged 50 to 64 who report using marijuana has also doubled in the past decade to 9%, and use among adults 65 and older has jumped seven times to 3% in the last 10 years. Even wider acceptance has grown around cannabidiol or CBD oil, a natural compound found in cannabis plants that is non-psychoactive and provides a variety of health benefits such as relieving pain, lowering anxiety, and fighting depression. However, marijuana is still considered a controlled substance under U.S. federal government guidelines However, marijuana is still considered a controlled substance under U.S. federal government guidelines. A practical impact of the prohibition is a hesitancy of banks to provide services to these businesses lest they face money laundering charges. However, the American Bankers’ Association has been seeking to bridge the gap between federal and state law and achieve legal clarity. plant life cycles In addition to providing easier capital for cannabis businesses, access to banking would lower the risks and inconvenience of marijuana companies having to operate on a cash basis. For thousands of years, cannabis grew outdoors. However, its prohibition drove cultivation indoors without the aid of sunlight. In any case, an indoor environment can be more closely controlled. However, finely tuned growing environments are a recent development since growing became legal. Cultivation techniques that are less-than-ideal are a lingering result of the Black Market era. A big challenge for HVAC professionals looking to enter the cannabis market is a requirement to understand the unique needs of growers, from controlling humidity and heat to understanding plant life cycles. Controlling these elements maximizes the health and chemical profile of the final product. An integrated, centralized system can manage temperature and humidity most effectively. control air flow Syncing a system with smart devices can help to display real-time conditions and enable adjustments on the fly. Higher levels of engineering and design skills are involved. There is no one-size-fits-all system because needs vary according to the specific strains and desired potency of plants. Specific ranges of temperature and humidity vary for each crop. Odor management is another issue that must be mitigated. Applying the industry’s current menu of options to a cannabis facility may not yield suitable results One option is an Indirect-Direct Evaporative Cooling (IDEC) system, which uses up to 80% less energy and provides flexibility to control air flow and humidity. The costs of an HVAC system for a grow room are high - four to five times as much as a traditional system. Even a small project could cost $50,000 or more. remote monitoring systems Applying the industry’s current menu of options to a cannabis facility may not yield suitable results; rather, there are new systems being developed that are specifically geared toward the new industry’s needs. Specialized HVAC systems for cannabis will continue to emerge. Because so much is at stake in case of an HVAC failure in a cannabis application, there is greater need for remote monitoring systems that can provide an instant alert of any issue with the HVAC system. There is also a greater need for redundancies to avoid failure. Technicians must be on-call 24 hours a day. Energy consumption is another concern. In addition to power-hungry HVAC systems, energy is also needed for specialized lighting that may be on 24 hours a day. Alternative technology such as solar panels can reduce operating costs.
Closed and cramped environments are especially problematic to the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. A ‘smart’ glass-paneled bus stop shelter, developed in Korea, embodies new approaches to making such spaces safe, including elements of HVAC. Smart shelters The smart shelters are closed-in glass cubes that serve as bus stops in the Seongdong district in northeastern Seoul, South Korea. The local district office collaborated with LG Electronics to develop the futuristic technology, which is designed to combat summer heat, monsoon rain and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Air conditioning and ultraviolet (UV) light sterilizers clean and cool the air Air conditioning and ultraviolet (UV) light sterilizers clean and cool the air. A solar panel on the roof provides back-up power. Surveillance cameras keep watch over the bus riders and intelligent video, an alert bell and an artificial intelligence (AI) noise sensor can provide information immediately to police and fire professionals, in case of an emergency response. Equipped with digital video screens Digital video screens provide warning when a bus approaches, and the sound system plays therapeutic music. Other amenities include free WiFi, charging stations for laptops or mobile phones, and even hand sanitizer. A thermal camera mounted at the entrance measures temperatures and allows entry through the automatic doors only to those with temperatures below 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit (37.5 degrees Celsius). Mounted at a lower height is a separate camera installed for children. Smart bus shelters to prevent COVID-19 spread A Seongdong district official said the smart shelters provide an environment where people can escape scorching weather and pouring rain, while preventing virus infections. The smart bus shelters represent a new approach to preventing coronavirus infection. Ideally, people should avoid small, closed-in spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, crowded urban areas make it harder to do so. Also, the persistence of the pandemic and its continuation for months and likely into 2021, makes development of new solutions even more urgent. Technologies to protect against infection When social distancing is difficult, solutions such as the smart shelters will enable societies to return to some semblance of normalcy. However, people entering the shelter are still encouraged to wear masks, practice good hygiene and to stay one meter apart from others. Such technology developments will be crucial in large cities around the world, where crowded populations cannot return to their productive lives until additional mitigating approaches are developed to slow the virus spread. Avoiding disruption of transportation infrastructure Smart shelters contribute positively to economic recovery as the coronavirus impact subsides By helping to ensure operation of the transportation infrastructure, the smart shelters can contribute positively to economic recovery as the coronavirus impact subsides. However, the smart shelters are expensive, about a million dollars for the 10 units installed in South Korea or some US$ 84,000 for each shelter. Since they were installed, each shelter has been used by about 300 to 400 people a day. Obviously, many more of the shelters would be needed to provide a comprehensive solution. New innovations to counter continuous pandemic spread South Korea has not been spared by the novel coronavirus, despite deployment of widespread testing and tracing. The country is credited with waging one of the world’s most successful fights against COVID-19 and never imposed a nationwide lockdown. Of the country’s more than 50 million people, there have been around 23,000 cases and 385 deaths. However, as Asia’s fourth largest economy, the country has continued to suffer persistent outbreaks, especially in the more densely populated areas. The smart shelter demonstrates the need for new innovative solutions to address the novel coronavirus, and the important role of HVAC systems as a component of those solutions.
Situated almost halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles, Perris was a place where sheep casually roamed the valley, and where people discovered what the land had to offer; a moderate climate with rich soil good for farming. But Perris’s sleepy image began to change in the spring of 1886, when it became a stop along the Transcontinental Route of the Santa Fe Railroad. Perris continues to thrive. With a current population of 45,000, and continued population growth over the last several decades, dramatic improvements and expansion have been made to the Val Verde Unified School District. Val Verde, with its 23 school buildings serves a 60-mile radius, including Perris, Moreno Valley and Riverside County, California. To remain flexible in accommodating the number, as well as the individual needs of students, Val Verde employed modular construction techniques with many of its buildings. Prototype classroom Bard began solving the needs of schools by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment These modular units are built off-site, employ a stucco wrap and have a flat roof and a wood floor. Although they are relatively inexpensive to build they do have the unfortunate characteristic in that they can also be noisy. “For a long time we were looking at ways to improve the quality of our building’s construction, and with them their acoustical environment,” said Todd Butcher, Director of Maintenance and Operation at Val Verde Unified School District. This idea led Val Verde to develop its own prototype classroom, one that used a sloped roof with a 4-foot overhang and a concrete floor. This prototype, which would create better sound insulation from outside noise while providing needed shade from the sun, would be used to build the new May Ranch Elementary School slated for opening in 2008. Bard selection Thirty years ago, Bard 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 a 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. With features like self-diagnostics and self-programming energy monitors, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for today’s modern school facilities. Bard’s Contribution We quickly ascertained that Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 series was the perfect option for what they needed" “In conjunction with our prototype construction, we also wanted to see if we could obtain quieter operating air conditioning units,” said Butcher. “Our ultimate goal was to additionally reduce the overall decibel levels within each of our classrooms.” That’s when Val Verde turned to Geary Pacific, the local distributor of Bard HVAC equipment. “Based upon their needs, we quickly ascertained that Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 series was the perfect option for what they needed,” said Dave Gorman, Head of School Sales for Geary Pacific. Already impressed from their previous working experience with Bard, Val Verde decided to test the Quiet Climate 2 in the single best environment for testing noise levels – Val Verde’s Audiology Laboratory where student’s hearing is tested. “The environment for evaluating our students has improved by at least 200%,” said Randy Lerner, District Audiologist for Val Verde Unified School District. Ambient noise level Since the Bard Quiet Climate 2 has been installed, the overall ambient noise level in the clinic has dropped considerably from 58 dbA to 37 dbA (decibels recorded ten feet in front of the unit). “With the old unit, I used to have to turn it off during a testing session because it sounded like there was a farm tractor outside the window,” says Lerner. “Now students comment on how quiet the lab is – and that’s when the unit is on!” The Quiet Climate 2 provides operating sound levels that are 20 to 35 times quieter than a standard wall-mounted heat pump Bard’s Quiet-Climate 2 heat pump is an innovative wall-mount ever made. Designed specifically to provide quiet operation in classrooms, the Quiet Climate 2 provides operating sound levels that are 20 to 35 times quieter than a standard wall-mounted heat pump. Ventilation and IAQ Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 can provide the following features: A one-piece factory unit designed for fast installation and easy servicing Higher energy efficiency Additional sound curbing accessories including, an isolation curb and return air and supply air plenums Improved ventilation Enhanced IAQ Val Verde’s Results “Bard overwhelmingly proved to us that they are able to help us reduce the sound levels in our school’s classrooms”, said Butcher. “If they can make our audiologist as confident as he is with the Laboratory’s ambient noise level, we know the units will perform just as well in our regular classrooms.” Comfortable environment Val Verde Unified is planning to use Quiet Climate 2 units in its new May Ranch Elementary School Because of its success with the Audiology Laboratory, Val Verde Unified is planning to use Quiet Climate 2 units in its new May Ranch Elementary School. “It’s great that a company like Bard has not only the reputation that they do for making quiet units, but that they also have an interest in helping create a quiet, comfortable environment in which our children can better learn,” added Lerner. Bard’s experience working with school systems around the country helps them design, manufacture and support the best HVAC systems on the market. Bard units operate quietly, are energy efficient and are also able to save customers money on their maintenance costs because they are simple to maintain and service. “Working together with Geary Pacific and Bard, we were able to create an even more quiet, comfortable environment in which our students can better hear and learn in,” added Butcher.
BG Energy Solutions (BGES) has been appointed to design building management systems for Keadby 2, a new 840MW gas-fired power station under construction in North Lincolnshire. Keadby 2 power station Keadby 2 is expected to become the cleanest and most-efficient gas-fired power station in Europe, enabling the UK to move away from coal in the 2020s and to integrate more renewables into the power grid. It will also be capable of being upgraded to further decarbonize its generation through carbon capture or hydrogen technology, as routes to market develop. When completed, the power station will provide electricity to up to 840,000 homes and businesses in the UK. Siemens Energy is the principle contractor delivering the power station, with specialist HVAC company, Exyte Hargreaves supporting the delivery of mechanical and electrical / HVAC within five buildings on the site. BGES has been appointed to design the building management systems, which will be commissioned in spring 2021. BMS and energy solutions major BGES is a member of the Engineering Construction Industry Association and adheres to the NAECI framework BGES is one of the UK’s renowned BMS and energy solutions companies, with roots dating back to 1995. The company has offices in Sheffield and London and is known for its unique approach to customer challenges, using state-of-the-art technologies. BGES is a member of the Engineering Construction Industry Association and adheres to the NAECI framework (the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry). Adrian Woodhead, Project Lead at Exyte Hargreaves said “As a committed and responsible member of Britain’s Energy Cluster we are delighted with this appointment. Our delivery build methodology incorporates the use of our MMC Offsite Assembly Facility to supply horizontal modules, vertical risers and a prefabricated plant room, housing the centric energy center and heating distribution for the whole facility.” Design and build BMS systems Simon Shaw, Project Director at BG Energy Solutions (BGES) said “We are delighted on our appointment to design and build BMS systems for the world-renowned Keadby 2project. In doing so we’re proud to play our part in delivering a future-ready power station that will help the UK transition to a net zero energy system.” Commercial operation of Keadby 2 is scheduled for 2022 as coal power plant closures come into effect.
Infinitum Electric, creator of the breakthrough printed circuit board (PCB) motor, has announced the first product shipment from its revolutionary line of IoT-enabled electric motors to Comefri USA, a renowned HVAC fan original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Twenty-five trillion kilowatt hours of electricity are consumed per year, of which 45 percent is consumed by electric motors. This leaves a significant opportunity for many industries, including HVAC, to develop or replace machines using traditional motors with more efficient electric motors, which consume far less energy. Infinitum Electric is enabling this transition with its IEs series of motors. IoT-enabled IEs series electric motors Infinitum Electric’s IEs205 10 horsepower electric motor will be used by Comefri to power more efficient, space-saving commercial plenum fans, used in commercial and industrial buildings to deliver more sustainable heating and cooling airflow, along with helping in fighting climate change. The company’s award-winning electric motors meet the industry’s highest standards for efficiency and are significantly quieter than the competition. By replacing traditional iron and copper wire winding components with an IoT-enabled circuit board, Infinitum Electric motors are not only smaller, quieter and up to 50% lighter, but they have fewer structural requirements than others on the market. Cloud-connected IoT capabilities The motor’s cloud-connected IoT capabilities enable remote monitoring of key operational data Additionally, the motor’s cloud-connected IoT capabilities enable remote monitoring of key operational data, such as power, speed and temperature, for superior smart building and HVAC equipment intelligence. Over-the-air software updates to motors also enable customers to benefit from new features and enhance existing efficiency and operations. “Infinitum Electric’s motor provides Comefri USA’s independent design team with access to the latest high horsepower, integrated control, EC motor technology for projects of all sizes, in a robust, and field repairable package,” said Sylvie Braun, Chief Operations Officer (COO) of Comefri. Sylvie adds, “We’re excited to lead the way in innovative, environmentally-responsible HVAC design and look forward to the impact it will have in the marketplace.” Integrated with printed circuit board (PCB) technology Unlike 20-week lead times required by other motor competitors, Infinitum Electric’s motors can be manufactured with common printed circuit board (PCB) technology, drastically reducing the cost and complexity involved in motor manufacturing. Once production is fully ramped, Infinitum Electric’s standard lead time will be less than six weeks. “Much like an LED light bulb, our next-generation, integrated electric motors help HVAC customers like Comefri stand out as the planet’s most sustainable choice to power the world’s heating and cooling systems,” said Ben Schuler, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Infinitum Electric. Ben adds, “In addition to being the responsible choice for our environment, they contribute to a much lower cost of ownership over time. We’re thrilled to achieve this major milestone of shipping our first product and look forward to ramping up production to deliver a myriad of units in the coming years for customers in the HVAC, home appliance, electric vehicle and other industries.”
It is common knowledge that a geothermal heating and cooling system provides a school with one of the most energy efficient climate control options available. What tends to be overlooked is that there are several geothermal system options available, which offer varying degrees of cost savings. Bard offers a type of geothermal system that provides the climate control and ventilation that a classroom deserves and maximizes cost savings. This was the challenge recently posed to Bill Stalker, a Marketing Manager for the Tennessee Valley Authority. To assist his efforts, Mr. Stalker called on Blake Neville, P.E., of Neville Engineering to perform an independent study of two different geothermal systems. Bard system chosen for the study The Bard system chosen for the study featured a 4-ton packaged QW series ground source heat pump The Bard system chosen for the study featured a 4-ton packaged QW series ground source heat pump with its patented, built-in energy recovery ventilator. The other system consisted of a 3-ton console heat pump and a separate, dedicated ventilation air unit (both provided by two widely-used, well-known HVAC manufacturers.) General assumptions like the number of occupants, ventilation loads, cooling/heating hours, installation costs and well drilling expenses were identical for both systems. Increases Savings Per Classroom Based on the study’s numbers, the Bard unit would not only save a school district $1,300 per classroom in upfront installation costs, it would continue to save them $493 per classroom every year in operating costs. Multiply both the upfront and operating savings by the number of classrooms in one’s school, and it all adds up to additional budget money for a few more field trips, a few more library books, a few more teaching supplies, etc.
Nicknamed the gateway to Southern California, the city of Ontario, as well as neighboring city Montclair, is home to the third largest elementary school district in California, the Ontario-Montclair School District (OMSD). Founded in 1884, the district also incorporates portions of the city of Upland, and unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County, comprising 24,000 students in 26 elementary schools and six middle schools. Ontario-Montclair School District Ontario-Montclair School District’s overall mission is simple yet speaks volumes to its dedication to all students, to do whatever it takes to guarantee its commitment in providing the highest quality education for all students. To meet this mission head-on, OMSD contracted with TMAD Taylor Gaines, a professional engineering consulting and services firm. Ontario Montclair School District was interested in reducing their overall energy costs by 20%" “Ontario Montclair School District was interested in reducing their overall energy costs by 20%, they along with other school districts throughout California were mandated to reduce their overall energy costs,” said John Simmons, RCDD, LEED AP, and Project Manager for TMAD Taylor Gaines. He adds, “We initially ran some numbers based upon information we found on Bard HVAC’s website, and through consultation with Geary Pacific Supply, Bard’s largest West Coast distributor.” Geary Pacific, distributor of new HVAC units Based upon the scope of the projects in consideration, the money available to fund them and the overall cost of the units in consideration, as well as overall potential energy savings, TMAD Taylor Gaines recommended that OMSD select Geary Pacific as the distributor of the new HVAC units. “We considered other companies as part of our overall recommendation but in all honesty we were impressed by a couple of things. First, Bard Manufacturing had a wealth of product and technical information about their products on their website, including case studies of other customer successes. That in combination with Geary Pacific’s previous experience working successfully with the School District made our recommendation a simple one,” added John Simmons. Bard wall-mounted HVAC units deployed “Our District was already familiar with Bard because we had success using some of their other wall mounted units on several of our modular school buildings,” said Craig Misso, Director of Facility Planning & Operation at Ontario Montclair School District, adding “Our goal was to not only upgrade our facilities and make them more energy efficient, but also work to reduce some of the HVAC noise inside the classroom, as well as save on the purchase, operation and maintenance of all of the units at our schools.” TMAD Taylor Gaines and Geary Pacific’s approach was to do the retrofit in several phases. The pilot project encompassed one site, Sultana Elementary School, which included 24 re-locatable buildings, made up of both newer and some older construction. Bard WG*S Step Capacity Series units with CO2 sensors TMAD Taylor Gaines and Geary Pacific started doing groups of schools, encompassing 14 different building sites “Sultana was a great school for the pilot because there were a lot of little issues to contend with and work through,” stated Simmons, adding “The Bard WG*S Step Capacity Series units with Energy Recovery Ventilators and CO2 sensors worked great and we were initially very surprised at how quiet they actually operated.” After that, TMAD Taylor Gaines and Geary Pacific started doing groups of schools, encompassing 14 different building sites. Group one included 6 schools and approximately 83 units while Group 2 included 8 schools and 101 units. It was during the second group of installations that TMAD Taylor Gaines realized that putting in units that required the installation of underground gas piping was not the best solution for all classrooms. Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 units That’s when Geary Pacific recommended utilizing Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 units with Energy Recovery Ventilators and CO2 sensors in about 1/3 of the overall installation. “Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 units are some of the most energy-efficient HVAC units on the market today,” said Maury Tiernan of Geary Pacific, adding “Plus the operational sound level is extremely low and is greatly appreciated by the students and teachers.” John Simmons said, “We were really pleased at how easily these units were able to be retrofitted into the re-locatable classrooms. There are almost no changes and smooth sailing in almost all cases.” Quiet, efficient operation The dramatic reduction in operating noise levels was an added improvement and benefit for which Craig Misso was particularly proud. “At Sultana, we invited some of the teachers and our principal over to see the new classrooms. Our principal asked, ‘Why aren’t the new HVAC units running’? I had to laugh, because I knew they were on. They were just so quiet nobody could tell that they were working. That moment sold every teacher on the Bard units,” added Craig Misso of Ontario Montclair School District. “From the very beginning, Geary Pacific became our partner in the success of the project,” stated Simmons, adding “Always available to answer questions on-site and knowledgeable about all aspects of the product and installation I can honestly say they can’t do anything wrong by me. Geary Pacific and the engineers at Bard Manufacturing came through in every way possible and more.” Wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment expert Bard’s HVAC products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency Over thirty years ago, Bard Manufacturing began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s HVAC products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency, with unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice for schools. With three, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to research and development. With features like self-diagnostics and self-programming energy monitors, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for any school. Energy and cost savings “The Bard units reduced ambient classroom noise levels by over 75% and further gave us a 50% savings in energy,” said Misso, adding “This savings allowed us to also install software on our computers that automatically turns off the lights and the AC, when the classrooms are unoccupied, which further increased our savings. Our hope is to have the funds necessary to install all 280 Bard units as specified by TMAD Taylor Gaines.” Misso concluded, “Geary Pacific has been extremely professional and service oriented throughout the project. Because of our School Board’s commitment to energy conservation, our District will receive a dual reward, recognized energy savings and efficiency with an enhanced classroom environment for our students and teachers. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Living in the McLean County Unit District No. 5 region ensures one thing that children will receive one of the finest educations available. With one of its high schools ranked in the Top 50 Public High Schools in Illinois and listed in U.S. News & World Report’s Nation’s Top Schools, Unit District No. 5 is the place where excellence in education takes on a new meaning. Replacing antiquated HVAC systems But excellence doesn’t come without a price. In the current economic environment, maintaining and improving upon existing school facilities remains one of the most significant challenges for administrators and educators alike. That’s why officials turned to a solution that proved both unique and highly practical, when six schools in the district faced antiquated HVAC systems, nearing the end of their life-cycle. Upgrading and retrofitting school HVAC systems CM Engineering and Earth City Distributing understand the challenge of maximizing facility investment dollars CM Engineering and Earth City Distributing understand the challenge of maximizing facility investment dollars when it comes to upgrading and retrofitting school facilities. They also realize the key role those facilities play in keeping a school educationally competitive. The first schools from the Unit 5 School District to undergo retrofits included Oakdale Elementary School and Glenn Elementary School. Each school had ceiling limitations which made a conventional rooftop boiler-chiller system impractical. “We wanted a system that would be easy to service and maintain, provide cooling and be energy efficient,” said Jeff Monahan, Director of Maintenance for McLean County Unit District No. 5. Bard QTEC ground source heat pump installed “We had experienced earlier success working with a school in McComb, Illinois, where using a new type of piping system and the Bard QTEC ground source heat pump saved us over 50% in installation costs,” said Kirk Mescher, President of CM Engineering. Kirk adds, “Using Bard Manufacturing’s QTEC product in the Unit 5 School District applications was not only practical, it was the win-win solution in terms of reliability and efficiency in operation.” Between 2006 and 2008, 112 Bard QTEC units were installed in 6 schools. “Between CM Engineering’s unique design approach and Bard’s very efficient QTEC unit, the installation at all of the Unit District No. 5 schools couldn’t have gone any better, “ said Mike McManus, Owner of Earth City Distributing, a local Bard distributor, adding “Not only are the units energy-efficient and incredibly quiet when operating, they can be easily accessed for service.” Bard’s wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment Over thirty years ago, Bard Manufacturing Company began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency, with unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice for schools. With three, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to wide-scale research and development (R&D). With features such as self-diagnostics and self-programming energy monitors, Bard Manufacturing Co. delivers state-of-the-art products that provide tangible solutions for any school’s needs. Enhanced serviceability The QTEC’s serviceability is also a contributing factor to Unit District No. 5’s overall success “What we got by using Bard Manufacturing’s QTEC product was an HVAC system that not only provided heating and cooling, but did so while also providing more than a 40% savings in total utility costs, without upgrading windows or insulation,” said Jeff Monahan. The QTEC’s serviceability is also a contributing factor to Unit District No. 5’s overall success. “I love the fact that the units are virtually maintenance-free,” stated Monahan, adding “They’ve basically reduced our service calls to near zero.” Energy estimate from CM Engineering “Whenever any of our school clients are open to the idea of having an in-room unit installed, we always spec the Bard QTEC units. In fact, in all the years, since we’ve been in business, we’ve never installed anything else inside a classroom,” said Kirk Mescher, President of CM Engineering. With Unit District No. 5, CM Engineering initially gave them an energy estimate that proposed they could provide the schools with heating and cooling at no additional operating cost. Energy and cost savings Mescher adds, “Not only were we able to achieve that goal, but because of the Bard QTEC units, we were able to surpass it, helping the schools reduce their overall utility costs significantly, in some cases by over 40%.” He further stated, “For any school, anywhere in the country trying to save money on installation, service and energy costs, not to mention lowering overall ambient noise in a classroom, these are significant enough results that simply can’t be ignored.” Quiet and comfortable QTEC units Bard’s QTEC unit is designed to be installed inside the classroom, fully engineered to be quiet and comfortable Success with the retrofit of their six schools has, in fact, led McLean County Unit District No. 5 to approve installation of additional Bard QTEC units in a seventh school during the summer of 2009. Bard’s QTEC unit is designed to be installed inside the classroom, fully engineered to be quiet, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. QTEC units are designed and tested to operate at 20% above federal standards with easy installation features that make servicing fast and simple. Bard’s QTEC units can provide the following features: A one-piece factory unit with individual room climate control Designed for fast installation and easy servicing Sound deadening insulation Simple utility hookups Integrated energy recovery ventilator Controlled dehumidification A rating for efficiency that is 20% above Federal Standards
Round table discussion
Sustainability has been a core concept in the HVAC industry for decades. Environmental concerns often drive product innovation, for example. However, environmental challenges persist and there is ongoing pressure on the industry to respond responsibly. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What steps is the HVAC industry taking to address climate change and sustainability?
Welcome to our Expert Panel Roundtable, a new feature of HVACInformed.com. We will be asking timely questions about the HVAC market and seeking out experts in the field to provide responses. Our goal is to promote a useful exchange of information on a variety of topics and to create a forum for discussion of important issues facing the industry. Launching this new feature in the middle of a global pandemic made choosing our first question quite easy. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What has been the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the HVAC market?