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...
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 hum...
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 ha...
J2 Innovations, the developer of the easy-to-configure and use software platform for building automation and IoT applications, FIN Framework (FIN), unveiled a strategic partnership with Clivet SpA that will enable the global maker of specialist HVAC systems to develop innovative HVAC plant and building optimization solutions. By leveraging FIN, OEMs can rapidly launch their own software and control products to the market by leveraging FIN’s open platform and wide range of building au...
Volvo Group North America recently received a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Better Plants Better Practice Award for preventing and reducing waste at several North American facilities. The Volvo Group was chosen among a record number of applicants to receive the honor. The Better Practice Award is presented to partners for innovative and industry-leading accomplishments in implementing and promoting practices, principles and procedures of energy management. The Volvo Group implemented several...
Kiwi Energy, a New York and Ohio energy supplier providing environmentally conscious products, is pleased to announce that they have partnered with Cinch Home Services in order to offer new customers HVAC protection for their homes. The service will be incorporated as part of Kiwi Energy's Kiwi Guard product. They will soon offer a full suite of additional services for the home through the Cinch partnership. The premier offering available through the Cinch partnership will provide new customers...
IT Tech Packaging, Inc., a globally renowned manufacturer and distributor of diversified paper products in North China, has announced that its operating entity in China, Hebei Baoding Dongfang Paper Milling Company Limited (Dongfang Paper), expects to launch the construction of a combined heat and power generation project utilizing biomass technology (Biomass CHP project) with the total construction area of 80,373 square meters which is located in its Wei County production base. Biomass CHP The company's biomass CHP project included in the 13th Five-Year Biomass Power Generation Program of Hebei Province has recently been approved by the Development and Reform Commission of Xingtai Municipality. Biomass CHP, a kind of renewable energy power and heat generation, utilizes biomass resources, mainly crop straw and forestry waste. As one of the key industries encouraged and supported by the Chinese government, Biomass CHP, beneficial for both the environment and economy, can alleviate energy shortage, as well as improve the environment and employment to a certain extent. Biomass boilers and steam turbine units installed Dongfang Paper will construct two 75 t/h biomass boilers and two 4.5 MW back-pressure type steam turbine units According to the plan of the Biomass CHP project, Dongfang Paper expects to construct two 75 t/h biomass boilers and two 4.5 MW back-pressure type steam turbine units, as well as auxiliary production facilities. The whole project is expected to be finished at the end of 2021. With successful operation, the project is expected to generate annual electricity output of 56.45 million kw/h, from which the Company expects to generate revenue of RMB42.9 million per year based on the biomass electricity price of RMB0.76/kwh guided by the National Development and Reform Commission. Generation of large-scale heating steam The project is also expected to generate annual heating steam of 521,100 tons, from which the company expects to generate revenue of RMB114.64 million per year based on the heating steam's current market price of RMB220 per ton. Mr. Zhenyong Liu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman at IT Tech Packaging, Inc. commented, "The biomass CHP project is expected to not only provide adequate power and gas supply to the Company's tissue paper production located in Wei County Industrial Park, but also provide bio gas for production of enterprises in the Wei County Industrial Park, as well as heating steam and electricity supply for nearby residents." He adds, “The construction and operation of the Biomass CHP is expected to enable us to expand to the renewable energy field and continue to diversify our offerings of products, which we believe will bring more stable revenue streams in the future."
There is a demonstratable link between humidity and the infectivity and longevity of a variety of viruses, such as influenza and coronaviruses, according to a new whitepaper by Munters, a globally renowned company in energy-efficient and sustainable air treatment solutions. Titled ‘How Humidity Control Can Reduce Viral Infectivity and Longevity’, the scientific report addresses how it is possible to reduce the transmission and longevity of harmful viruses by controlling indoor Relative Humidity (RH) levels. ‘How Humidity Control Can Reduce Viral Infectivity’ The paper is based on gathered research, including studies on the efficiency of respiratory droplet transmission at humidity and temperature, virus survival and transmission at absolute humidity levels, and the effect of environmental parameters on the survival of airborne infectious agents. Among the most notable and timely findings, the research demonstrates that at RH levels between 40 and 50%, many types of common and harmful viruses such as influenza and coronaviruses are rendered inert much more quickly than at RH levels of less than 20%. “Viruses that cause respiratory illnesses are often transmitted by viral particles through coughing, sneezing, talking and breathing,” said Martin Ginty, Global Pharmaceutical Industry Manager for Munters. Controlling indoor Relative Humidity (RH) levels By effectively controlling indoor climates, it is possible to limit the transmission of harmful viruses" Martin adds, “Research referenced in our whitepaper suggests that maintaining an indoor RH% level between 40 and 50% yields the maximum protective effect from both aerosolized and settled virus particles and that by maintaining these levels, it is possible to contribute to a healthier, safer environment.” “This evidence is particularly relevant in locations where winter tends to consist of low outdoor temperatures and low indoor humidity, as these conditions offer a favorable environment for viral transmission,” added Ginty. Martin further said, “By effectively controlling indoor climates in these locations, it is possible to limit the transmission of harmful viruses.” Maintaining target RH levels Maintaining target RH levels can be accomplished using humidity control solutions which facilitate precise RH control for indoor environments. Furthermore, the whitepaper concludes that humidity control is always useful, but particularly during a typical ‘flu season,’ where outdoor temperatures and absolute humidity tend to be lower.
Alfa Laval, globally renowned company in heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling technology, has signed two frame agreements, running over the coming three years, for ballast water treatment systems. Alfa Laval PureBallast 3 The agreements comprise firm orders to deliver Alfa Laval PureBallast 3 to about 40 vessels, with options covering another 40 systems. Even as the shipping industry has been heavily hit by the current pandemic, Alfa Laval has continued working closely with its marine customers to secure their daily operations and keep them prepared for tomorrow. We are proud to have secured these orders - especially in these challenging times" "We are proud to have secured these orders - especially in these challenging times," said Sameer Kalra, President of the Marine Division at Alfa Laval, adding "This confirms PureBallast 3's status as a market-renowned solution, while also proving that our focus on business continuity has been successful. We have worked hard to ensure that we remain close to our customers and can support them when they need us, despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic." The value of the firm orders is approximately SEK 100 million, including Alfa Laval PureBallast 3 systems and in some cases, also deck houses and booster pump units. The orders will be booked in the Marine Separation & Heat Transfer unit. Energy efficient and heat recovery solutions expert Ships sailing in international waters are obliged to carry a ballast water cleaning system on board, to prevent invasive species potentially wiping out local ecosystems. Alfa Laval's innovative technologies are dedicated to purifying, refining, and reusing materials, promoting more responsible use of natural resources. They contribute to improved energy efficiency and heat recovery, better water treatment, and reduced emissions. The company is not only accelerating success for its customers, but also for the global population and the planet.
Building technology industries veteran Mike Fischer has joined Armstrong Fluid Technology as Commercial Director and Country Leader, USA. In this role he will be responsible for all sales and sales support functions for the United States and will report directly to Joachim Schulz, Global Commercial Director, Building Business. Executive management positions Fischer brings more than 30 years of experience working with the organizations focused on building technology. In his 29 years with Honeywell he held several executive management positions with the company’s Building Technologies, Building Products and Life Safety divisions. Most recently, he served as Global HBS Service Sales Leader with Honeywell Building Solutions. Fischer has an MBA from Texas Christian University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University.
J2 Innovations, the developer of the easy-to-configure and use software platform for building automation and IoT applications, FIN Framework (FIN), has launched the FIN microBMS, a compact feature-rich building management software package that enables its OEM partners to deliver easy-to-install solutions for small to mid-sized buildings across multiple sites. The entry-level FIN-based system is a powerful simple-to-use plug-and-play solution for efficient building management that has removed much of the complexity and cost found in many of BMSs from building control specialists. Fully-featured versatile solution “The driving force behind the development our first FIN microBMS had been the obvious lack of options in the market for managing smaller scale building environments,” explains Jeremy Wolfe, VP Sales Americas at J2 Innovations. “This isn’t a pared-down version that has compromised on functionality, the power of FIN Framework delivers a fully-featured versatile solution that is simple enough for installers [non-specialists] to configure and use yet offers high levels of automation and integration – engineered properly, the best things do come in small packages.” Users can monitor, control and visualize all the operational and energy assets such as HVAC, lighting and security systems inside a building or buildings across numerous sites to optimize the comfort levels, safety and energy efficiency. A dashboard flags the status or health as well as maintenance requirements of all the connected devices while trend monitoring and utility metering are reported by the system. Plug & play simplifies the installation of any pre-configured hardware solutions. Data-management, analytics and simplified workflows Natively built for tags and support for the Project Haystack 4 open standard FIN provides an intuitive user-experience with intelligent data-management, analytics and simplified workflows. J2’s Edge2Cloud capability provides operators with a secure remote connection to the Micro BMS for accessing building data, servicing and upgrading of the system. As Chris Irwin, VP Sales EMEA states: “The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) has boosted the energy performance of buildings across the EU and recent amendments have now made BACS mandatory for certain-sized buildings i.e. in the small-medium and simple category. The FIN microBMS meets the requirement of providing more sophisticated automation to help save energy and money.” Irwin continues: “In the future, all commercial buildings will be connected with intelligent controls. This shift towards smarter controls makes the FIN microBMS ideal for multi-site operators or electrical and mechanical contractors working on small retail premises, restaurants, local authorities, small offices and leisure sites.”
Johnson Controls, announced a series of acquisitions, namely of East Lancashire Refrigeration Ltd, H&C Contracts Ltd and McDowall Air Conditioning Ltd. These acquisitions form part of Johnson Controls’ ongoing strategic growth plan within the HVAC sector, allowing the company to diversify its product portfolio and fill geographical service gaps across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Johnson Controls offers a large portfolio of HVAC equipment and controls in the world, and these acquisitions show its commitment to growth and contributions to UK industry. Solutions were traditionally centered on business-critical environments and in particular, large tonnage chillers, but there is a substantial market for air conditioning in offices, shops and other commercial environments and as HVAC requirements continue to grow, these acquisitions will help Johnson Controls grow in this market. Specialist HVAC solutions East Lancashire Refrigeration Ltd (ELR), acquired in May 2019, provides specialist design, manufacture, installation and servicing of refrigeration, air condition and ventilation systems. The Blackburn-based company built up a strong client base and earned an excellent reputation before being acquired by Johnson Controls. ELR has a longstanding presence providing industry HVAC equipment to specialist customer segments in the pharmaceutical and data center sectors, among others. In addition, the acquisition has allowed Johnson Controls to utilize ELR’s in-house design capabilities to manufacture ductworks and plenum boxes to further enhance its market capabilities. Growth in the public sector H&C Contracts Ltd, acquired in December 2019, provides specialist heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration services. Based in Bordon, Hampshire, H&C Contracts offers a comprehensive range of HVAC services, including in-house design, sales, service & maintenance and project maintenance capabilities to ensure a smooth journey from start to finish. H&C Contracts Ltd has a particular expertise in the public sector where Johnson Controls’ presence hasn’t been as strong. In particular, it works extensively with the healthcare sector, providing a full range of HVAC solutions to the NHS and its supply chain, with emphasis on MRI scanning environments, operating theatres, general wards and more. Building retrofit market McDowall Air Conditioning Ltd, acquired in March 2020, provides customer service within the air conditioning and ventilation industry from design through to service and maintenance. Based in Walsall, West Midlands McDowall specializes in the design and build of air conditioning and ventilation systems to suit a wide range of building types and environments. In particular, McDowall’s expertise lies in the supply of HVAC solutions to the office building retrofit market. Its strong relationships with interior design and fit out firms, two areas where Johnson Controls’ presence hasn’t been as strong, provides an opportunity to further diversity its HVAC portfolio. Filling in a geographical service gap Together, the three acquisitions allow Johnson Controls to fill its geographical service gaps for national customers, namely those in the North West, South West and West Midlands. In addition, the acquisitions allow Johnson Controls to move into new customer segments and diversify its product portfolio to better service new, existing and future customers. “We are thrilled to welcome ELR, H&C Contracts and McDowall Air Conditioning to the Johnson Controls family,” said Gail Hunter, General Manager of HVAC UK&I at Johnson Controls. “We will now look to take the best practices from each business to better support our customers across the country.”
The profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the HVAC industry is being felt by all of us in the HVAC industry. The current challenges and threats have been well documented and, unfortunately, will continue to evolve over the coming days, weeks and months. However, as with many tragic events, there can be positive changes that come from this tragedy. One of these positive changes will be the more rapid development and deployment of smart HVAC systems and remote asset management solutions. Data and solutions to building owners Although the development of technologies for smarter, more connected buildings has been underway for some time, it is now being accelerated by the need for social distancing and remote working conditions. It’s now more critical than ever that HVAC systems learn, predict and optimize so they can provide critical data and solutions to building owners and other HVAC professionals remotely before problems occur. And, once potential problems or challenges are identified, experts must be able to communicate digitally with technicians onsite in real time to provide virtual assistance and troubleshooting. The technology can detect dead-heading, excessive heating, broken coupling, cavitation, excessive vibration How can we accomplish this task under such difficult conditions? Different manufacturers offer a variety of solutions. At Armstrong Fluid Technology we call it Active Performance Management. Active Performance Management At its heart, Active Performance Management is a new approach to maximizing performance in building systems through a combination of actively seeking system insights and applying those to improved performance. The technology aspect consists of connecting intelligent pumps with other critical HVAC components via cloud-computing to provide critical diagnostic analytics to building owners and managers through a neuro network. This allows the system to learn, predict and optimize in real time so it can alert building managers to potential issues and predictive maintenance needs well before they become a pressing problem. The technology can detect dead-heading, excessive heating, broken coupling, cavitation, excessive vibration and many other potential issues before they become costly problems. Digitization, digitalization via cloud computing, HVAC and building systems will exchange data, leading to smart building Equally important, it tracks such important operating efficiency data as energy savings, CO2 savings and much more.Over time, HVAC systems experience ‘operational drift’ as various components begin to operate less efficiently.This ‘drift’ can result in 30-40% wasted energy. By detecting and even predicting when this drift may begin to occur we can maintain peak performance and achieve significant energy and cost savings. Fifth Wave of Technology We believe the HVAC industry is experiencing a Fifth Wave of Technology that is being fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. This Fifth Wave is the decentralization of decision making which consists of adding ‘brains’ to equipment at all levels (pumps, heat exchangers, valves, etc.) to enable cross communications and create the neuro network mentioned previously. By providing a higher authority to lower level equipment, the analytics and decision making process is distributed throughout the larger group. This augments a building’s BAS system and provides combined brain power with more accurate data. When enabled by digitization and digitalization and connected via cloud computing, all HVAC and building systems will exchange data, leading to smart buildings – i.e. lighting systems talking to HVAC systems. Smart buildings will lead to smart cities that consist of similar buildings, all connected and learning from one another to further optimize performance and save energy. It’s now more critical than ever that HVAC systems learn, predict and optimize Remote Asset Management It is no longer necessary for technicians to go to the jobsite to check the system’s operation But what has all of this to do with the COVID-19 pandemic and the accelerated change we are now seeing? The data and analytics provided by Active Performance Management services are available to building managers remotely any time, anywhere, via cell phones, laptops and other connected devices. Now that many people are working remotely it is more important than ever that they have all the data and analytics they need at their fingertips.It is no longer necessary for technicians to go to the jobsite to check the system’s operation and/or switch control modes between manual, automatic, BAS or IO. And although this Remote Asset Management capability has been available for a while, it seems many building managers are hesitant to fully trust these systems and/or have the need for hands-on operation. Possible to cost-effectively upgrade existing pumps and system components into intelligent systems Switching Manual and Automatic modes In some instances, systems are put into manual mode for servicing but are never switched back to automatic mode. When this happens managers and building owners don’t realize all of the benefits and energy savings possible There are also instances where building managers don’t have intelligent pumps and components installed and think they don’t have the budgets to upgrade. However, it is now possible to cost-effectively upgrade existing pumps and system components into intelligent systems. Whatever the case, we are seeing more and more building managers and maintenance professionals feeling much more confident and accepting of these intelligent systems now that they must observe social distancing. Augmented reality app that even allows both parties to draw on their screens and highlight various system parts Digital Trouble-Shooting Tools But what happens when a potential problem or an emergency situation develops and it is necessary for the technician to speak with a system expert? Thanks to new technology, mobile apps now exist that allow both parties to video chat so the technician can show the expert exactly what is happening with the system. They can collaborate in real-time and even see what button they need to push or valve they need to turn. There is a brand new augmented reality app that even allows both parties to draw on their screens and highlight various system parts. Here again, we are seeing more and more customers that are feeling increasingly comfortable with remote service calls and probably will prefer this method moving forward. What Does The Future Hold? Although no one knows what the long-term effect of the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the HVAC industry, we believe the positive outcomes will be customers more willing and accepting of intelligent systems, a greater comfort level with remote analytics and an embracement of remote diagnostic troubleshooting. And of course, this will result in greater energy savings, greater cost savings and reduction in CO2 emissions worldwide. So, there is some good news that will come from this unfortunate pandemic afterall.
As the UK continues to battle through the coronavirus crisis, HVAC business owners and installers can be putting some of their enforced downtime to good use. This period of subdued trading is a rare opportunity to get into better shape for when economic activity picks up. One way of doing this is by sharpening the focus on markets which promise strong growth – and few markets are growing faster than that for heat pumps. The potential here is huge. Some 28,000 heat pumps are currently installed in the UK every year, and before the pandemic this number was rising annually at a rate of 15-30%. That equates to sales doubling every three to five years. New-builds account for the majority of those sales, but 30% are retrofits, and about 30% of those retrofits are in private residences. This means there’s a big opportunity for doing conversions from oil boilers to heat pumps at rural homes not connected to the gas grid. The ‘New Normal’ and Heat Pumps It is only realistic, of course, to expect a lingering dip in HVAC sales of all kinds, including heat pumps, until the post-pandemic world gets back on its feet. But when we do turn the corner into the ‘new normal’, heat pump sales will again climb strongly. One reason for this is consumer demand, the other is government policy. End-users are now increasingly aware of the dangers and disruptions threatened by carbon emissions and climate change – informally known as ‘the Blue Planet Effect’ – and more are being guided by their consciences to make environmentally-responsible heating choices. An Expected Spike In Demand Many end-users are also encouraged by the prospect of receiving payments from the government through the Domestic RHI tariff. When we do turn the corner into the ‘new normal’, heat pump sales will climb strongly If RHI tariffs are the carrot, however, the government is also going to wield a big stick. The Chancellor’s spring statement last year dropped the bombshell that low-carbon heating systems, not fossil-fuel heating, should be installed in all new homes built after 2025. Though this policy might perhaps get slightly delayed and diluted, there can be no doubting that radical change is on the way. With all this in the pipeline, the industry should be preparing now to cope with the increased demand. But there’s some way to go: of the UK’s 120,000 registered gas engineers, merely 600 or so are MCS-registered to install heat pumps. Many more will be needed. MCS Certification Some installers are already recognizing this opportunity. Some 28,000 heat pumps are currently installed in the UK every year, and before the pandemic this number was rising annually at a rate of 15-30% This is evident in the heightened level of interest in the one-day introductory heat pump courses run nationwide by the Viessmann Academy. These courses provide a useful overview of what heat pump installations involve, helping participants decide whether or not they would like to go on to qualify with the MCS quality assurance scheme. This is a crucial decision, because having MCS certification is an obligation when installing equipment eligible for Domestic RHI payments. Some course participants decide to take the next step to MCS certification straight away, others decide to wait a while – but standing still in a fast-moving market can mean getting left behind! F-Gas Certification So what else must HVAC businesses and installers consider about heat pumps, in order to stay ahead of the game? In addition to MCS certification, F-Gas certification is also necessary when split air source heat pumps are installed. This is because the outdoor and indoor units have to be connected on-site with refrigerant pipework. Some installers choose to get F-Gas certified themselves, others sub-contract this part of the job to someone who’s suitably qualified. Of the UK’s 120,000 registered gas engineers, merely 600 or so are MCS-registered to install heat pumps It is possible to sidestep this need, however, when it is appropriate to install a monobloc heat pump – and the widening choice and affordability of monobloc designs is making them appropriate for a wider range of properties. A good example of this is Viessmann’s new Vitocal 100-A, an outdoors unit which has no need for a complementary indoor unit and is also easy to install because most components are integrated in the unit. New, compact and affordable air source heat pumps such as this, offering much-needed space-saving solutions for urban homes, are another reason why the heat pump market will boom. The Challenges Of Heat Pump Installation Though technological advances are making things easier, installing a heat pump isn’t ever going to be quite as straightforward as replacing an old boiler with a new one. Before starting an installation, first it is necessary to assess whether a heat pump is suitable for the property. This means checking that the property is well-enough insulated; checking the existing system’s radiators, which may need supplementing or replacing with bigger radiators or underfloor heating because of the lower flow temperatures of a heat pump system; and calculating the required size of the heat pump according to the building’s heat loss (and not including hot water demand). This period of subdued trading is a rare opportunity to get into better shape for when economic activity picks up At the installation stage itself, much of the work will be familiar to boiler installers, though weather compensating controls are obligatory for all MCS-approved work and as part of building regulations Part L. It’s also important to note that planning permission requires minimum distances between the heat pump’s outdoor unit, the plot’s borders, and neighboring properties. If this seems complicated, it doesn’t have to be: some heat pump manufacturers provide a calculator to simplify the task. Now Is The Time To Be Proactive Just as installers need a little time to assess whether a property should switch from a boiler to a heat pump, end-users also need a little thinking time, to consider adopting a technology new to them. By being proactive, HVAC businesses and installers can reap what they sow When customers get in touch because their existing boiler has broken down, the pressure for a quick fix can rule this out. But right now, when many of us have time on our hands, there’s the chance to inform customers of alternative heating solutions before their boiler needs replacing. Taking such pre-emptive action, by emailing information or mailing leaflets to customers, does require a little effort, but at least now there’s the time to do it. We are heading into a new era which will see boiler sales decline while heat pump sales rise. By making preparations for these profound changes, and by being proactive, HVAC businesses and installers can reap what they sow.
These are unprecedented times for the cooling, heating and ventilation industries. Our ways of operating have been dramatically altered. For many organisations, the short-term focus has been on survival, but as we tentatively look towards the recovery phrase, we are being presented with the chance to embed new ways of working which offer the opportunity for our industries to lead the charge towards future growth. The impact of COVID-19 has the potential to amplify the skills shortages which were threatening to cripple our industries even before we were faced with the challenges of ‘working in lockdown’. Data from the Department of Education has shown that we are failing to attract enough young engineers to fill the posts available. For those that were starting an apprenticeship, a report by the Institute of Refrigeration found that core engineering skills deemed extremely important by employers were not being met by recently recruited apprentices. These issues combined with the disruption young people are now experiencing to their education and training, have the potential to dramatically increase the skills gap. Apprenticeship Trailblazers Having delivered training in the HVACR industry for over thirty years, I believe the launch of the new RACHP Engineering Technician Apprenticeship offers us the first real opportunity to work together to drive up standards and revive the interest of young people in considering a career in the cooling, heating and ventilation industries. A report by the Institute of Refrigeration found that core engineering skills deemed extremely important by employers were not being met by recently recruited apprentices Known as a Trailblazer, this new industry-led apprenticeship saw employers, for the first time, define the new frameworks and standards. This involvement means we should be confident that young people are being trained and assessed to the level required. However, to ensure the continued success of Trailblazers we need all in industry to engage with this new apprenticeship framework and work closely with Colleges and Training providers to implement it, especially in these difficult times. The young people we support today with quality advice, knowledge and skills, will be our workforce of tomorrow. Futureproofing Programmes I am aware that the introduction of the new Trailblazers has not been without its challenges, particularly around the introduction of End-Point Assessment. Yet I believe it is this, that will future-proof our apprenticeship programmes. I believe it is this [Trailblazers], that will future-proof our apprenticeship programmes Instead of being assessed continually throughout their course, all apprentices now must undertake an end-point assessment to complete their qualification. The independent End-Point Assessor’s role is to test whether each apprentice has gained the skills, knowledge and behaviours outlined in the standard set by employers. Unlike previous training programmes, the apprentice is then graded, and like it or not, this is playing an important role in developing the employability attributes of young people entering our industries. I have seen first-hand how the grading system is motivating apprentices to work harder and stretch themselves to achieve a pass, merit or distinction. Enhancing Training With Skills Competitions The new industry-led apprenticeship provides a strong platform for employers to raise standards in our industries, but there is more that we can do to develop our apprentices further. Each year, thousands of young people enhance the training they receive through their apprenticeship by participating in WorldSkills UK Competitions. The ACR industry skill competition ‘SkillFridge’, is delivered in partnership with WorldSkills UK, and assesses apprentices’ knowledge, practical and employability skills in time pressured conditions. The competition is free to enter, and employers can access the Apprenticeship Levy to support their apprentices’ involvement. At last year’s National Final, held in front of over 70,000 visitors at WorldSkills UK LIVE, the UK’s largest apprenticeship, skills and careers event, 95% of those competing said their personal and employability skills had improved after taking part in the competitions. Employers I have spoken with have also remarked on the positive impact competitions have had on their wider workforce, who, spurred on by the apprentices’ success have been encouraged to look at their own training needs. Mark Forsyth with apprentice Chris Bailie who won Silver at WorldSkills Sao Paulo 2015 The ongoing development of our workforce is an issue that has also been highlighted by the Institute of Refrigeration. It found that there is an urgent need for CPD for those who have entered our industries in the last five years, with many showing significant skills gaps. WorldSkills UK’s counterpart WorldSkills Russia has addressed this issue by working with employers and schools to extend its skills competition training programme to enable a wider age range and more diverse groups to enter, not just apprentices. Implementing Global Standards Age eligible winners of SkillFridge are invited to compete for a place in the team that will represent the UK at WorldSkills, the ‘Skills Olympics’. The new industry-led apprenticeship provides a strong platform for employers to raise standards in our industries I am currently remotely training apprentices Dominic Dray who works for Royale Refrigeration and attends Eastleigh College, and Jack Newton, who works for Crowther and Shaw Ltd and attend Leeds College for the next WorldSkills event which takes place in Shanghai, China, next year. There is only one place on the team to represent the UK in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, and whether its Dominic or Jack who is successful, they will experience an incredible journey and unique method of personal development. Representing your country on an international stage and competing alongside talented peers with the aim of being crowned the best in the world at your skill is an opportunity like no other. Powering The Technical Education Sector Working with my fellow trainers to support WorldSkills UK in bringing back international best practise to the UK, by using global benchmarking, WorldSkills UK is working to power the development of a world-leading technical education sector and it is my hope that this insight can be used to inform the future development of Trailblazers to ensure we continually raise standards to deliver new solutions for our clients and attract the best young talent. Crucial to the rebuilding of the UK economy, and to ensuring the sustainability of our industries, will be highly skilled, motivated young people. That is why, alongside concentrating on recovery strategies, I am urging business leaders to remain focused on supporting the next generation of engineers so they can play an active role in developing the future of our industries.
The American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act of 2019 would provide an orderly national framework to guide replacement of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) over the next several years in the United States, with newer refrigerants that have less negative impact on the environment. HFCs are potent greenhouse gases with very high global warming potential. The future of the HVAC industry is tied to the manufacture of next-generation refrigerants and their adoption. Versions of the AIM Act – Senate bill S.2754 and House bill H.R.5544 – are currently in the Senate Environment and Public Works and the House Energy and Commerce committees. The global market is moving away from the use of HFC refrigerants, given that the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol requires their phaseout; however, the United States has not ratified the Kigali Amendment. Over the next 15 years, the AIM Act would phase down HFC to a low of 15% of current production and consumption levels. In addition, aftermarket supplies from recovery, recycling and reclaiming would ensure adequate availability of the refrigerants for use in legacy systems and in applications for which substitutes are not available. Economic Stimulus For The U.S. HVACR Industry The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) contends passing the act would “serve as a potent form of economic stimulus for the U.S. HVACR industry,” in addition to providing clarity on the regulatory landscape. The AIM Act would create new manufacturing jobs in the United States, spur HVACR investment in the U.S. economy, and ensure the continued safety and training of licensed HVACR professionals, experts say. Over the next 15 years, the AIM Act would phase down HFC to a low of 15% of current production and consumption levels The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) support the federal approach to an HFC phasedown as preferable to a state-by-state approach, urging Congress to include preemption language in the AIM Act that would require states to follow a federal HFC phasedown schedule for the residential HVACR market. Addressing Safety Concerns Safety concerns arise with the introduction of A2L mildly flammable refrigerants as part of the next phase down of HFCs. ACCA says a unified approach across the United States will ensure the introduction of A2L refrigerants is done safely. Commercial and industrial HVAC markets have been using flammable refrigerants for years; however, building codes and safety standards in the residential market do not currently allow their use. ACCA also urges inclusion of language in the AIM Act to strengthen EPA certification programs and restrict the sale of HVACR systems and refrigerants to only trained and certified individuals. “If Congress does not provide the EPA the authority to regulate and implement an HFC phasedown, then the EPA may not be able to implement training and certification programs or restrict the sale of dangerous products to unqualified people,” according to testimony the ACCA submitted to the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Ending "Dumping" The future of the HVAC industry is tied to the manufacture of next-generation refrigerants The AIM Act would also seek to end the practice of “dumping,” in which foreign manufacturers export inferior products to the United States that are priced below the cost of manufacture. The AIM Act would restrict the import of HFCs as part of the production and consumption phasedown. However, the non-profit Competitive Enterprise Institute (CSI) rejects the need for the AIM Act. “The free market provides the best policy answer,” writes Ben Lieberman, CEI Senior Fellow. “Let the new refrigerants and equipment compete with the current ones, rather than favoring one over the other [through legislation].”
Members of a family were eating lunch in a restaurant in Guangzhou, China, seated at a table below an air outlet and return air inlet for the central air conditioner. At another table sat a family who had just traveled from Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. There was another family seated at a third table. One of the diners experienced the onset of fever and cough later in the day and went to the hospital, later diagnosed with COVID-19. That was on Jan. 24, 2020. By February 5 – some 12 days later – a total of nine others from the three families had become ill with COVID-19. The only known source of exposure for the affected persons was at the restaurant, and researchers have singled out droplet transmission prompted by air-conditioned ventilation as a likely means of the virus transmission. COVID-19 droplet transmission The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting on the case under the title “COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with Air Conditioning in Restaurant, Guangzhou, China, 2020.” Examination of the potential routes for transmission of the disease in this instance concluded that the most likely cause of the outbreak was droplet transmission. Furthermore, researchers theorize that strong airflow from the air conditioner could have propagated droplets among the three tables. Lower concentrations of aerosols might have been insufficient at greater distances to cause infection This route of transmission is probable because the people at the other two affected tables were further than 1m away, say researchers, beyond the usual range for large droplet transmission. Generally, larger respiratory droplets remain in the air for only a short time and travel only short distances, 1m or less. Also, in this case, pre-symptomatic transmission is likely, since the initial patient was asymptomatic during the lunch. Aerosol Transmission Appears Less Likely Virus-laden smaller aerosolized droplets can remain in the air and travel longer distances; however, none of the staff or other diners in the restaurant were infected, which makes this route of transmission less likely. Because aerosols tend to follow the airflow, lower concentrations of aerosols might have been insufficient at greater distances to cause infection in other parts of the restaurant. Avoiding recirculating indoor air “We conclude that in this outbreak, droplet transmission was prompted by air-conditioned ventilation,” say the researchers. “The key factor for infection was the direction of the airflow. To prevent spread of COVID-19 in restaurants, we recommend strengthening temperature-monitoring surveillance, increasing the distance between tables, and improving ventilation.” Researchers also point to the value of daylight to impact the viability of germs The research was conducted by the Department of Control and Prevention for Infectious Disease at the Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The case supports recommendations by experts at the University of Oregon and the University of California, Davis, to take care not to recirculate indoor air which could increase potential contamination. Impact of natural light on novel coronavirus Rather, bringing more air from outside and using higher rates of air exchanged can help to dilute indoor contaminants, including viral particles. A solution might be as simple as opening a window. Researchers also point to the value of daylight to impact the viability of germs in an indoor environment. However, they say more research is needed to fully understand the impact indoors of natural light on the novel coronavirus.
Which measures can lessen the spread of the novel coronavirus, and which can make it worse? As the pandemic continues to unfold, there is an overabundance of advice on the subject as it relates to HVAC systems. For example, one theory goes that air conditioning, by removing humidity from the air, may enable infectious droplets to linger longer than they would outdoors or in another space where humidity is higher. More humidity can weigh down viral droplets as they float through the air. Does it make sense, therefore, to turn the AC off to minimize spread of the virus? Not according to ASHRAE, which officially opposes the advice not to run residential or commercial HVAC systems. In fact, ASHRAE asserts that keeping air conditioners on during this time can help control spread of the virus. Ventilation And Filtration May Control COVID-19 Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the air is sufficiently likely that airborne exposure to the virus should be controlled, says ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Changes to building operations, including the operation of HVAC systems, can reduce airborne exposures, says the professional association. ASHRAE asserts that keeping air conditioners on during this time can help control spread of the virus Ventilation and filtration can reduce airborne concentration of the novel coronavirus and thus the risk of transmission through the air. Furthermore, unconditioned spaces can cause thermal stress to people that may be directly life threatening and may also lower resistance to infection. In general, disabling of HVAC systems is not a recommended measure to reduce the transmission of the virus, ASHRAE concludes. ASHRAE’s Epidemic Task Force In response to the pandemic, ASHRAE has created an Epidemic Task Force comprised of experts to address the relationship between the spread of disease and HVAC. “When called upon by circumstances to assist in situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, our technical and standards committees act within their spheres of competence to do whatever they can to help,” says William Bahnfleth, chair of the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force. Also, ASHRAE’s Environmental Health Committee has updated a Position Document on Infectious Aerosols. Observational studies and modeling of COVID-19 suggest the likelihood of transmission through the air via aerosols. Evidence-Based Infection Control ASHRAE pledges to take full advantage of the knowledge among its members to create evidence-based infection control practices during this pandemic and prior to future pandemics. The society will also conduct training on engineering guidelines and operation of interventions that promote healthy air quality, which are not always understood in the context of building design, construction and operations. Observational studies and modeling of COVID-19 suggest the likelihood of transmission through the air via aerosols ASHRAE will continue to support research that advances the knowledge base of indoor air management strategies aimed to reduce occupant exposure to infection aerosols. The association’s Healthcare Facilities technical committee has worked to produce guidance that can be implemented immediately to help hospitals and clinics cope with increasing volume of COVID-19 cases. Guidance includes design of existing infection isolation, intensive care and critical care rooms. Guidance also covers how to create additional observation/segregation rooms for a small-scale admission surge as well as to establish wards/suites for a large-scale surge.
AgraFlora Organics International Inc. announces that Propagation Services Canada Inc. the Company’s flagship cultivation asset located in Delta British Columbia has secured a Standard Cultivation License from Health Canada. “Obtaining the License at the Delta Facility marks the end of a journey commenced in Q4 2018 and is the key milestone in beginning cannabis sales from what is the 2nd largest and one of the most advanced greenhouses in Canada” stated Brandon Boddy AgraFlora Executive Chairman and CEO. environmentally friendly greenhouse We’re commencing the cultivation of a curated portfolio of elite live plant genetics" "With license in hand, we’re commencing the cultivation of a curated portfolio of elite live plant genetics that will enable us to execute on a focused strategy of high-potency low-cost cannabis to drive high-volume value brands from coast to coast.” The Delta Facility’s first phase represents 422828 sq. ft. of cultivation space utilizing a state-of-the-art pressurized semi-open Venlo greenhouse design considered to be one of the most technically advanced and environmentally friendly greenhouse platforms in North America and is uniquely located in an agricultural micro-climate on the shores of the Pacific. humidity control management The Delta Greenhouse is scalable up to 2200000 sq. ft. Key features of the Delta Greenhouse include: Fully integrated on-site natural-gas-powered power plant Advanced climate and humidity control management infrastructure Proprietary energy-efficient air exchange to maintain stable climate conditions at a fraction of the cost of traditional HVAC systems Ebb-and-flow watering systems to enhance complete irrigation recapture and water treatment Multistage supplemental lighting augmented by natural sunlight to foster optimized illumination equilibrium A proprietary ERP system to allow for efficient resource management and cost tracking agricultural micro-climate Our company brings 40 years of agricultural expertise to PSC as well as decades of experience within this greenhouse" Ruben Houweling, General Manager of Houweling Nurseries Stated “Our company brings 40 years of agricultural expertise to PSC as well as decades of experience within this greenhouse. We have a well-integrated organization with more than 200 employees. Our facility is located in a unique agricultural micro-climate on the shores of the Pacific Ocean that will help the company produce high-potency low cost cannabis.” PSC will now commence the cultivation of its curated portfolio of elite live plant genetics which were specially curated by an award winning Canadian cultivator with a focus on combining high potency with above-average yields and favorable agricultural traits such as disease and pest resistance. high potency THC genetics Combined with the agricultural experience and expertise of the PSC management team these genetics will support the Company’s strategy of producing high-potency low cost cannabis to support national value brands. With current granting of the standard cultivation license the company’s consultants in conjunction with the PSC team indicate that the inaugural harvest of high potency THC genetics at its Delta greenhouse complex will occur within the fourth quarter of 2020.
With the rise of veganism showing no signs of slowing down, plant-based meal provider, allplants decided to consolidate its seven sites into a single, central facility. When the contracting company, Forma London was presented with the challenge of sustainably fitting out the new building, it turned to Elta Fans to deliver an efficient ventilation solution. Vegan diets are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of different reasons, including health, climate change, and animal welfare. As plant-based diets become mainstream, there is a growing need for convenient, meat-free meals, and offering greater choice for consumers. Sustainable building solutions allplants set out to meet this demand, making delicious frozen meals and delivering them straight to customers’ doors. Its success derives from the passion of its two founders, JP and Alex, and has necessitated the consolidation of its multiple sites into one central facility. The new premises provided allplants the opportunity to fit out the building with sustainability at its core Moving to new premises provided allplants with the opportunity to fit out the building with sustainability at its core. All the desks, for example, are made from locally sourced, sustainable wood, but it was in the kitchen that the greatest challenge was posed. Forma London, a principal contractor based in the capital, was tasked with delivering the project. Combining construction expertise with eco and ethical credentials, the contractors began working on providing ventilation for the meal provider’s centerpiece, the development kitchen. Enhanced ventilation The kitchen is where the magic happens, allowing allplants to ensure the meals it produces are as tasty as possible. As specialists in microwavable food, the traditional ventilation set-up of a commercial kitchen was far greater than what the site needed. Anthony Afram, Building Services Manager at Forma London, said “Balancing energy efficiency with performance output is a priority in any project, but given the nature of the client, this took on a whole new level of importance.” He adds, “The challenge of equipping the kitchen with the right ventilation was highlighted by the two bifurcated axial fans that we were originally quoted. These would have been perfect for a busy commercial kitchen, but for this application they were overkill. In terms of expense and performance, they would have been much more than required, and ultimately incurred far higher running costs than necessary.” Energy-efficient ventilation systems It isn’t just for the purposes of corporate social responsibility or an altruistic mindset that businesses must pay close attention to the energy credentials of their ventilation systems. Building Regulations and Ecodesign Directives obligate everyone in the supply chain, from manufacturer through to contractor, to select and supply ventilation with maximum levels of efficiency. This means that most commercial and industrial fans need to be provided with functionality that allows control over fan speed and power. Skyflow SSRL EC axial roof fans For allplant’s kitchen, this meant specifying a fan that was appropriate for a busy, but pollutant-low kitchen In the context of allplant’s kitchen, this meant specifying a fan that was appropriate for a busy, but pollutant-low kitchen. Owing to its position as the first ErP compliant low silhouette axial roof fan on the market, the decision was made to turn to Elta Fans’ Skyflow SSRL EC. Equipped with an EC motor with an integral potentiometer commissioning device as standard, the fan is ideal for environments such as a light commercial kitchen. Intuitive controls Anthony continues, “For applications such as this, where ventilation requirements may be variable, the ability to control fan speed through intuitive controls is vital. “It also highlights the importance of not over-specifying, as it can be all too easy to opt for the highest performance available, without consideration of the energy expenditure. “Elta Fans’ Skyflow SSRL is a great example of the energy saving possibilities associated with the latest ventilation technology. Opting for the most efficient products can make a significant contribution to the overall energy credentials of a building, and projects such as this illustrate what is possible.” Energy savings and sustainable HVAC system allplants is understandably concerned with sustainability, and the fitting out of its premises necessarily reflects this. However, it is important to be aware that its growth as a company shows the overall trend towards an environmentally-conscious society. As legislation is introduced to reflect this, those tasked with providing ventilation must ensure they opt for solutions that balance performance with optimum energy efficiency.
Two new Burnham model MPC™ high efficiency commercial boilers were recently installed by The Witmer Company of New Holland, PA in the historic ‘High Point’ Mansion located in Hershey, PA. The Model MPC boilers will provide space heating for the 22-room Mansion which was built in 1908 as the home of Milton and Catherine Hershey. Mr. Hershey was the founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company, now known as The Hershey Company. Today, ‘High Point’ Mansion serves as the headquarters location for the Hershey Trust Company which, among other things, oversees the continued philanthropic efforts that were founded by Milton Hershey. Exceptional heat transfer Two, five-section model MPC boilers were selected to provide heat for the building through a combination of 5 air handlers, 52 fan coils and commercial finned tube radiation. The MPC’s are well suited for the job with their unique 3-pass flue design and Return Water Mixing Tube, which translates into exceptional heat transfer as well as the ability to accept return water temperatures as low as 80°F. The MPC’s 4-inch insulation blanket insulates the boilers so well that the jackets stay cool to the touch The MPC’s are manufactured in nearby Lancaster, PA using BC25-HSi cast iron sections, which contain high levels of silicon for exceptional flexibility and heat transfer capabilities. Even at start-up a big difference could be noticed – the boiler room temperature had dropped 30-degrees from the previous boilers. The MPC’s 4-inch insulation blanket insulates the boilers so well that the jackets stay cool to the touch, and the boiler room at the Hershey Mansion is now a much more comfortable place to work. Heat distribution systems Heat transfer and high efficiency is only part of the equation in this new installation, with a variety of heat distribution systems and controls the MPC’s needed to integrate with an advanced control system. The power burners were ordered with the powerful new Burnham SBC™ – or Sage Boiler Control, which made the control portion of this job simple for the Witmer crew. The SBC’s control many of the boiler room functions such as outdoor reset, multiple boiler modulation, lead-lag boiler rotation, combustion air louvers, and pump controls, all without the need for additional control systems. And the SBC’s tie right into the existing building management system so the whole system works together to deliver comfortable, efficient heat throughout the beautiful historic Hershey Mansion.
Mercyhealth, a healthcare provider with multiple hospitals in Illinois and Wisconsin, announced it will deploy Molekule's air purification technology, including its newly released commercial product, Air Pro RX, intended for healthcare facilities, to enhance protection for its patients and frontline medical personnel. The devices will be deployed throughout Mercyhealth's five hospitals in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Molekule's PECO air purification technology has been demonstrated to capture and destroy airborne viruses, including testing of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) proxy viruses. Waiting areas and emergency rooms air purification Mercyhealth will be prioritizing the use of Molekule's air purification devices to inpatient rooms for patients who are symptomatic or who have tested positive for COVID-19, providing even greater protection for patients and medical professionals who face potential increased exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The devices will also be integrated across several of Mercyhealth's waiting areas and emergency rooms. FDA issued guidance for the use of particular air purifiers against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) during COVID-19 Mercyhealth will be utilizing Molekule Air devices and Molekule's newly released medical-grade unit, Air Pro RX, which is intended for critical care environments including their Intensive Care Units and operating rooms. Air Pro RX has been granted 510(k) Class II Medical Device clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It uses the same PECO technology as Molekule's suite of consumer products, is portable, does not require any HVAC installation, and begins cleaning the air immediately. Quality air for employees and visitors "At Mercyhealth, our goal is to bring the latest standards of medicine and the best quality of care to the millions of patients we treat annually, as well as provide protection for our employees and visitors," said Ruth Yarbrough, Mercyhealth Vice President of Quality. "After a pilot study and further evaluation by our medical and quality teams, we are excited to be among the first hospitals in the United States to utilize Molekule's PECO technology in our facilities." This announcement comes shortly after the FDA issued guidance for the use of particular air purifiers against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) during the current COVID-19 emergency. Molekule's devices satisfy the performance criteria outlined by the FDA in the guidance, and thus can be sold during the current health emergency as medical devices intended to destroy the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Air purification technology Patients are in respiratory distress and healthcare workers are at a high risk of airborne exposure" Because SARS-CoV-2 can be aerosolized and transmitted through droplets in the air, having proper air purification technology that may be effective in the destruction of the virus, in addition to personal protective equipment (PPE) or other similar medical countermeasures (MCM), adds an important layer of protection to high-risk areas. In addition to the recent guidance provided by the FDA, Molekule's Air Pro RX device has specifically been granted 510(k) Class II Medical Device clearance by the FDA. "As a company rooted in scientific innovation, we are constantly looking at ways to bring the power of PECO technology to those who need it most," said Jaya Rao, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Molekule. "Today, we are facing an invisible threat in the air and it's more important than ever to get our PECO technology into medical facilities where patients are in respiratory distress and healthcare workers are at a high risk of airborne exposure. The work we are doing with Mercyhealth is a defining moment for getting new air purification technology deployed in the battle against this virus." SARS-CoV-2-like virus effectiveness Molekule's most recent third-party testing conducted with the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, Intertek, on virus Phi X 174, a proxy virus to SARS-CoV-2, demonstrated the ability of Molekule's PECO technology to destroy the virus and reduce the virus concentration by 98.7% in two hours. Additional testing recently conducted at Aerosol Research and Engineering Labs (ARE) using the virus MS2 Bacteriophage, a proxy virus for SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and measles, due to also being an RNA type virus and particle size, demonstrated the ability of Molekule's technology to reduce up to 99.99% of the virus concentration in just 2 hours. In December of 2018, Mercyhealth and Molekule concluded a pilot clinical trial in Mercyhealth's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), which was recently published in The Cureus Journal of Medical Science. The clinical trial pilot evaluated the effects of Molekule's patented air purification technology, PECO, for hospitalized children who were admitted with respiratory distress. Mercyhealth found during this pilot trial, that the use of PECO technology was associated with a reduction in the overall length of hospital stays, as well as reduced rates of intubation, nebulizer usage and non-invasive ventilation.
To improve access into the Four Queens Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Four Queens recently added a 48 foot air curtain. Built using Ruskin’s IAQ50 air flow measuring and control dampers, the new air curtain efficiently and economically maintains the pressure in the building. Designed to satisfy the needs of a variety of applications, the IAQ50 air flow measuring and control damper provides the perfect solution to difficult challenges. Downtown Las Vegas hasn’t been the same since the completion of the Fremont Street Experience revived this popular gambling and tourist destination. This four-block project has successfully turned a city street into a large canopy-covered walkway that has substantially increased the tourist and gambling business in the downtown area. Mist evaporation system The Fremont Street Experience which includes a mist evaporation system to protect the tourists from the sun and heat, and a laser light show presented several times nightly, created problems for the Four Queens Hotel and Casino. Business at the Four Queens Hotel and Casino, located on Fremont Street, was suffering because the two existing air curtains on each end of the casino were limiting access into the hotel and casino from the sidewalk where the crowds stroll and gather to watch the light shows. In order to share in the success of The Fremont Street Experience, the Four Queens Hotel and Casino contracted with Harris Consulting Engineers in Las Vegas to design an additional access opening. This new, 48 foot opening would be located between the existing entrances. The hotel wanted the new entrance to open without doors. This required the design and building of an air curtain to separate the casino from the outside elements. Precise control of the airflow Because of the hotel’s design, the air curtain would be obstructed by existing structural supports Here’s where the hotel encountered a problem. Because of the hotel’s design, the air curtain would be obstructed by existing structural supports. And, in order to maintain proper building pressure, the air curtain had to provide precise control of the airflow around the obstructions and down to the return air grate which is also the walkway into the casino. In addition to maintaining the pressure in the building to prevent the loss of conditioned air from the casino, energy consumption and comfort were significant design criteria. With the assistance of Long & Associates, Inc., Ruskin’s Las Vegas representative, the Harris team responded to the challenge by designing a custom air curtain that provides precision air flow around the existing structural supports. IAQ50 air flow measuring and control dampers Built using Ruskin’s IAQ50 air flow measuring and control dampers, the new air curtain successfully provides consistent airflow. The system includes two 65,000 cfm centrifugal fans installed in the space below the return air walkway grate. The air returns through the grate into the basement plenum and passes through two 144 square foot filter and coil banks. It is then ducted up from the fans into the plenum space above the air curtain supply opening. The air then passes through the IAQ50 air flow measuring/control dampers and is directed through an adjustable deflection type grille. The individual IAQ50 dampers measure and control the airflow between the existing structural supports The individual IAQ50 dampers measure and control the airflow between the existing structural supports. This helps guarantee the air curtain maintains the required velocity and prevents conditioned air from escaping through the opening. “Opening up the Four Queens to the Fremont Street Experience has been a tremendous success,” says Max Proctor, Four Queens Building Manager, adding “We are exceeding our revenue projections with this improved access to our casino.” Custom air curtain design “Ruskin’s IAQ50 air flow measuring and control dampers are the key to the design of this custom air curtain,” says Floyd Harris, Principal of Harris Consulting Engineers, adding “Without the precision control of the air velocity around the structural obstructions, it would result in uneven flow through the supply grille and loss of the air barrier." "That means conditioned air would have escaped into Fremont Street. The support given by Ruskin and Long & Associates throughout the design, installation and commissioning of this system was outstanding.” The IAQ50 air flow measuring control damper is designed to fit the needs of a variety of applications. It is this type of versatility that helped the project succeed. Harris Consulting Engineers demonstrated their commitment to providing engineered solutions for their customers by incorporating this unique product into their custom air curtain design. The Ruskin IAQ50 air flow measuring and control damper is one of many products available through Ruskin’s network of representatives.
The owners of St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma find comfort in knowing their emergency generator system is protected by Ruskin. A newly built penthouse using Ruskin’s Wind Driven Rain Resistant EME6625 Louver keeps the top-floor generator room dry and secure. Ruskin EME6625 Louver Designed to handle the severe weather conditions often found in the Midwest, the EME6625 Louver creates very low pressure drop while providing the best combination of rain protection and high airflow capacity. Closely spaced vertical blades prevent penetration of wind driven rain Certified performance per AMCA Publication 511 42% free area Low pressure drop Low maintenance aluminum construction All welded construction To meet an increase in demand for medical services, the owners of St. John Medical Center recently expanded their complex, including the 500 bed hospital. Located in the heart of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the medical center is subjected to the threat of rain throughout the year with occasional large hail and violent windstorms. Emergency generator system The new medical center expansion included a state-of-the-art emergency generator system located on the top floor. This meant that large intake openings had to be placed on the rooftop to feed the generators the proper amount of air. It also created a problem. The combination of wind and rain native to the area meant special accommodations had to be made to prevent water from seeping into the generator’s air intake openings. To protect the openings, a 54' x 15' x 5' tall vertical blade Wind Driven Rain Resistant Penthouse was mounted above the generator room. The penthouse solution was designed by Keith Browne of Lee and Browne Consulting Engineers using Ruskin’s Wind Driven Resistant EME6625 Louver. The engineers chose this Ruskin louver because they were able to design a structure that creates very low pressure drop and provides an excellent combination of rain protection with high airflow capacity. AMCA Wind Driven Rain Test approved The vertical blade design offers enhanced performance versus traditional horizontal blade" “The emergency generator installation which the penthouse serves has an intake air flow requirement of 375,000 CFM,” says Keith, adding “The vertical blade design offers enhanced performance versus traditional horizontal blade louvered penthouses.” The hospital’s new penthouse is the largest ever built by Ruskin using a Wind Driven Rain Resistant Louver. These louvers have been specifically designed and tested in the AMCA Wind Driven Rain Test for use in the most severe weather conditions. With the performance of the hospital’s generator equipment at stake, the decision to create a penthouse using the EME6625 Louver provides the owners a high level of comfort. Dampers and louvers “Water penetration though the penthouse would be unacceptable,” said Keith, adding “This design provides an excellent water barrier. In addition to the Wind Driven Resistant EME6625 Louver used in this project, Ruskin’s network of representatives provides a complete line of dampers and louvers.