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?
The YORK® brand of Johnson Controls, the global provider for smart and sustainable buildings, is driving greater efficiencies in residential and light commercial markets with its launch of the next generation of YORK Residential Package Equipment. The comprehensive AC and heat pump range is offered in both 14 SEER and ENERGY STAR® certified 16 SEER efficiencies with electric or gas heating, providing affordable performance and reduced energy use compared to older models. YORK Residentia...
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....
The YORK® brand of Johnson Controls, the global provider for smart and sustainable buildings, is launching an efficient, reliable and competitive package unit designed to lower smog-producing gases while delivering high performance and reliable comfort. The YORK Ultra-low NOx Residential Package Equipment offers a compact, robust, all-in-one HVAC system that provides reliability and quick installation for space-challenged homes. “The YORK Ultra-low NOx Residential Package Equipment pr...
Danfoss’ refrigeration HECUs meet strict design qualification requirements for the incentive programs implemented by Energy Solutions on behalf of the sponsors of Mass Save® and National Grid Rhode Island. The incentives take the form of rebates issued at the time of the HECUs’ sale. The HECUs are available via MARS, Danfoss master distributor, to their participating distributors/wholesalers. These incentive programs are great for all involved: contractors will save on component...
Building services professionals from all over the UK will once again have the opportunity to take part in a series of virtual CPD courses focusing on key construction industry topics, from REHAU. REHAU’s virtual CPD courses With social distancing restrictions still in place, the polymer solutions provider is continuing its virtual training course offering to keep construction professionals up-to-date with the latest technology and solutions. Following the success of the last run of virt...
To help facilitate remote HVAC management during the on-going COVID-19 global pandemic, Armstrong Fluid Technology has announced that it will extend, until the end of 2020, the offer of free subscriptions for its cloud-based remote asset management and analytics service platform, Pump Manager. “The original offer of three free months of Pump Manager service to new customers was scheduled to expire in August but we recognize that there is still a need to maintain social distancing wherever possible,” said Tunji Asiwaju, Global Performance Management Services with Armstrong. Tunji adds, “Pump Manager helps buildings operate at peak efficiency without the need for onsite monitoring.” Pump Manager Pump Manager is a highly secure IoT-enabled remote asset management and analytics service Pump Manager is a highly secure IoT-enabled remote asset management and analytics service that provides pump performance tracking, viewable from any location using a phone, tablet or laptop. The platform provides real-time notifications, as well as trending and analysis across multiple platforms, to ensure optimum performance and secure operation. Pump Manager can notify maintenance engineers and/or service technicians if there is a problem, so that they arrive on site with the appropriate tools or replacement parts, fully equipped and prepared to solve any existing problem. This process also helps eliminate any in-person meetings, which is not advised in the current period, as per the COVID-19 safety protocols in place. Armstrong Connectivity Kit Existing Design Envelope pump customers can request an Armstrong Connectivity Kit (Router and GSM SIM card) with instructions on how to install it. Pump Manager can be activated on new pumps and is included at no extra cost with the purchase of an extended warranty package.
Jobber, the global provider of home service management software, has announced the availability of two-way text messaging within its platform. The new feature enables service professionals, such as landscapers, plumbers, HVAC technicians, and more, to stay better connected with their clients, respond to leads faster and improve customer satisfaction. “Home service professionals work in industries that are centered around creating relationships and loyalty with customers,” said Sam Pillar, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at Jobber. Two-way text messaging service Meeting and exceeding homeowner expectations is the key to developing customers for life" Sam adds, “Meeting and exceeding homeowner expectations is the key to developing customers for life. With two-way text messaging, service providers are able to offer a real-time communication option that’s fast and convenient, giving small businesses another way to stand out from competitors and be more successful.” Two-way text messaging joins Jobber’s suite of customer communication tools that are designed to help service providers keep their clients in the loop at key points before, during, and after a job is complete. Customize, automate text and email communications Through these tools, service providers can customize and automate text and email communications, such as invoice and quote follow-ups, appointment reminders, ‘on my way’ messages and client follow-ups for reviews and feedback. Now, with two-way text messaging, Jobber customers can receive replies back on automated notifications and can communicate with their clients instantly. A Jobber-commissioned survey of 1,400+ U.S. homeowners (age 18+) shows that two-way texting is a communication method preferred by respondents. Key findings in the study include: Homeowners Value Texting as an Option, Especially Millennials Overall, 58% of homeowners feel it is important to be able to text a home service business. This sentiment is especially true among 24-34 year-olds, with 84% of respondents agreeing that this is important. Fast Response Times Fast response times rank as the top benefit of being able to text home service professionals. In addition, 32% of homeowners state that texting is the preferred notification method when a home service professional is running late. When asked how long it takes to receive a reply from a home service provider via text, 58% say within an hour. Overall, 82% receive a response within a few hours. Quicker communication is beneficial to home service companies that are having difficulty receiving responses from homeowners or are experiencing long delays in receiving replies. Record of Conversations With text messaging, home service companies don’t have to solely rely on emails that may end up in the client’s spam folder or in multiple threads that can get lost. Texting provides a reliable communication stream that creates a statement of record with customers. This benefit isn’t only valuable for businesses, but is ranked by homeowners as the second highest benefit of being able to text home service professionals.
WINT - Water Intelligence, a globally renowned company in cutting-edge water management and leak prevention solutions for construction, commercial and industrial applications, has developed a solution that detects and prevents leaks and other issues in chilled water systems and pipes. Leak prevention solution The solution prevents water damage by detecting issues, automatically shutting off water flows and isolating impacted areas. WINT has developed a solution specifically designed to detect leaks and other issues in chilled water HVAC systems. Damage from water leaks in buildings is one of the biggest sources of damage to facilities. Large buildings use chilled water systems to cool the facility and ensure that occupants are comfortable. These systems consist of lengthy piping networks filled with massive amounts of water that flow throughout the building. Water is pumped at many thousands of gallons per hour so when a pipe breaks water accumulates quickly, causing massive damage within a very short timeframe. Advanced AI and machine learning technologies WINT uses advanced artificial intelligence, machine learning and signal processing technologies WINT uses advanced artificial intelligence, machine learning and signal processing technologies to deliver extremely high detection accuracy. The solution detects drip-level leaks in chilled water pipes, allowing maintenance staff to perform corrective action before the issue becomes significant. And if pipes burst and reach damage-potential levels, the system shuts water off and isolates the impacted area. "Ongoing waste and leaks are a major source of damage and cost in most facilities," said Yochanan Mor, Head of Logistics at The Phoenix Insurance Company, adding "It's a day-to-day battle for facilities teams and insurance companies. We use WINT's suite of solutions across Phoenix's facilities to protect everything from domestic water to chilled water systems.” He adds, “Also, WINT's AI-powered technology ensures our facilities are protected against the massive damage of a water leak while cutting our ongoing water bills." Edge devices WINT's edge devices are installed on the chilled pipes in key locations throughout the facility. They use AI technology designed specifically for chiller systems combined with cloud-based computing and a user-friendly mobile app that alerts staff and enables remote control and valve shut-off. Each WINT edge device includes a high-accuracy flow meter, a processor that analyzes water flow in real time, a communication device and an optional automatic shut-off valve. Water Intelligence devices learn a building's typical water flow pattern using machine learning technology so they can detect small leaks and anomalies before they become problems. "A leak or burst chiller pipe is the stuff of nightmares for facility and operations managers," said Yaron Dycian, WINT's Chief Product and Strategy Officer, adding "Water gushes out at very fast rates and accumulates rapidly. It then flows down the building and causes massive damage in its path. Physical damages can easily reach millions of dollars, let alone the business disruption and the time to bring the facility back to order."
NearU HVAC Services announced the successful completion of its acquisition of Hagan Heating and Air, in Anderson, South Carolina. This marks NearU's fourth acquisition in six months. Under NearU's ownership, Hagan will strategically join forces with Carolina Heating Services, another NearU company that is based in nearby Greenville, South Carolina. Paul Hagan, the Founder of Hagan Heating and Air, will continue to lead the company's customer service efforts. Hagan heating and Air "Hagan Heating and Air has loyally served thousands of customers over the last three decades. Their local brand is associated with premium and honest customer service. We look forward to building on this reputation by providing more bandwidth and expertise to the talented Hagan team. Our portfolio in Upstate South Carolina now boasts two strong and strategically-combined local brands: Carolina Heating Services in Greenville and Hagan Heating and Air in Anderson. We welcome the customers and employees of Hagan Heating and Air to the rapidly growing NearU family," said Ashish Achlerkar, NearU's Founder, Chairman and CEO. Customer and employee experience "At Hagan, we have worked hard and honestly to always do right by our customers and employees. We chose to transition our brand to NearU because of our confidence in NearU's vision for the HVAC industry. The NearU team delivered a fair value to our shareholders and a clear plan to add more value to our customers and employees. I am confident that our customer and employee experience will further flourish under NearU's ownership. I am committed to partnering in that endeavor in my new role as a NearU team member," said Paul Hagan, the Founder of Hagan Heating and Air. Carolina Heating Services "I am excited to see the Carolina Heating Services brand grow with the acquisition of Hagan Heating and Air. Paul Hagan and his team exemplify what HVAC contracting is all about: customer service and quality workmanship. NearU has a bright future ahead, and I am dedicated to supporting their team in its continued growth in the Carolinas," said Scott Kelly, the Founder of Carolina Heating Services, a NearU company.
Breathing safe fresh air is essential for healthy living, especially considering the majority of COVID-19 transmissions result from the aerosolization of the virus from coughing, sneezing and breathing. CIMR Tech, a provider of clean air defense solutions, helps to achieve a safe return to indoor spaces and drive economic recovery. In July 2020, Auburn University's McCrary Institute and Air University released a report proposing a "multi-layered air defense for critical infrastructure." CIMR® (Continuous Infectious Microbial Reduction) Tech is critical in this air defense model by continuously sanitizing indoor air 24/7/365. Clean air solution Its 'pathogen scavenging technology' is the clean air solution that envelopes indoor occupants in a safe and effective low-dose hydrogen peroxide gas (.02ppm) to eliminate infectious threats. The technology is self-regulating and ozone-free. "The hydrogen peroxide, ionization, and other technologies we are able to provide seek out these pathogens, attaches itself to them, and destroys them in real-time, creating what we call 'Mighty Safe Air,'" said Alton Holt, Founder & CEO of CIMR Tech. “Furthermore, it has been scientifically tested and experientially proven in hundreds of applications against viruses, bacteria, germs, mold and odors.” Indoor air quality While wiping down surfaces and washing hands are important for reducing the spread of COVID-19, it does not address the issue of transmission through shared air indoors — but CIMR Tech does. Its innovative technology is able to shield occupants in a wide range of indoor spaces, so we can safely return to businesses, hospitals, schools and more.
HVAC industry veteran Steven R. Scarbrough has been named senior vice president and general manager of Air Conditioning Technologies for LG Electronics USA. Scarbrough, who brings nearly two decades of experience to his new role at LG, will be responsible for leading LG’s commercial, residential, and applied air conditioning business in the United States. Based at LG’s U.S. air conditioning headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, Scarbrough reports to Senior Vice President DJ Kang, who leads the LG Electronics Air Solutions division in the U.S. Scarbrough succeeds Kevin McNamara, who has retired from LG. HVAC industry experience He brings strong sales leadership capability, industry experience and expertise in wholesale distribution sales management Scarbrough joins LG from Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC U.S., where he has held a variety of key roles over the past decade, most recently as vice president overseeing its U.S. residential business. Previously, he was President of HVAC distributor Climatic Comfort Products. He brings strong sales leadership capability, industry experience and expertise in wholesale distribution sales management to LG. Residential and commercial air conditioning “Steve’s broad experience in the residential and commercial air conditioning sector will take our vision to the next level,” said Kang. “His market expertise and focus on the customer and strategic growth will help strengthen our position as an HVAC industry innovator.” Scarbrough added, “LG has made tremendous inroads over the past decade with an incredible leadership team and has a well-defined vision for bringing groundbreaking HVAC products and controls to market. My focus is to build on this momentum to help the business achieve its full potential while further increasing recognition of the powerful reputation the LG brand has created in the HVAC industry.”
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.
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.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the power provider in the United States, is offering incentives to businesses and schools to install UV-C germicidal lights to fight germs in indoor air. Customers that buy from TVA’s Preferred Partners Network can receive a $30-per-ton incentive toward adoption of approved UV-C technologies, which remove viruses and bacteria from indoor air. “Schools and businesses realize they need solutions to purify indoor air, and we want to help them install it as they reopen,” says Jason Snyder, Manager, TVA EnergyRight. Commercial HVAC systems UV-C light is a short wavelength ultraviolet light used to disinfect air. Studies show UV-C is 99.9% lethal to bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms, and is an alternative to chemical disinfection. The technology has been commercially available since the 1930s, and UV rays have been used to treat disease since the late-1800s. The technology has historically helped to control outbreaks of other airborne pathogens over the years While research is continuing to assess the effectiveness of UV lights against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the technology has historically helped to control outbreaks of other airborne pathogens over the years. Since the emergence of COVID-19, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) has taken a higher profile as a technology that could have an impact when installed in the ductwork of existing commercial HVAC systems. Inactivate airborne microorganisms The technology can ensure safer indoor air at hospitals, schools, reception areas, retail establishments, nursing homes, churches, hair dressers and business officers. TVA is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies in parts of seven Southeastern U.S. states, serving nearly 10 million people. According to ASHRAE, UVGI systems must deliver a sufficient dose of UV-C rays to inactivate airborne microorganisms within a 2-ft. (0.6 m) minimum irradiation zone down the length of a duct or plenum, providing roughly 0.4 seconds of exposure time in moving air. An irradiation level, Ultraviolet Rating Value (URV) of 13 is the minimum recommended UV intensity level to deliver a sufficient dose to inactivate airborne microorganisms. Improve indoor air quality Another CDC recommendation is to increase ventilation and outdoor air flow by opening windows and doors Demand for air filters and UV lights has been on the increase as HVAC customers have looked for alternatives to improve indoor air quality and negate spread of the novel coronavirus. Use of additional filters and UV light is among the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) before workers return to offices after the pandemic lockdown. Another CDC recommendation is to increase ventilation and outdoor air flow by opening windows and doors and using fans to dilute recirculated indoor air. Milestone Electric, a Dallas, Texas, HVAC installer, says sales of in-home UV light units have doubled this year compared to 2019. Less-Expensive alternative “Some people ordered them before the pandemic, but they weren’t aware of the full benefits until recently,” Milestone Electric Spokeswoman Britton Swanson told the Dallas Morning News. UV lights are a less-expensive alternative (about $1,300) to the use of HEPA filters (about $3,000) to improve air quality. Combining both is the best combination to decrease chances of spreading the virus. Even before the pandemic, people spent about 90% of their time indoors. With the emphasis on staying home to avoid spread of the virus, the number could be even higher.
The Wyss Institute at Harvard University has developed an evaporative cooling system that uses a specially coated ceramic to cool air without adding humidity. Researchers say the approach can yield more affordable and environmentally friendly air conditioning systems for the future. ‘cold-SNAP’ system The ‘cold-SNAP’ system uses a water-repellent nano-scale surface coating that is applied selectively to surfaces of a 3D-printed ceramic heat exchange. The result is much cooler buildings with less humidity. ‘cold-SNAP’ is short for cold superhydrophobic nano-architecture process. The invention uses evaporative cooling, which happens when hot air is put in contact with water. As the water evaporates, it cools the air but adds moisture. Use of the water-repellent coating separates the moisture from the cool air to provide an inexpensive source of cooler, dryer air that can cool a building in lieu of traditional air conditioners. Evaporative Cooling technology The hydrophobic coating is selectively applied to components that will manage the flow of dry air The approach is a union of old and new – combining ceramic, one of the oldest, cheapest and most widely available building materials, with the novel hydrophobic surface coating developed by Wyss Institute. Because ceramic is malleable, the heating exchange unit can be produced via extrusion or 3D printing of a single piece, with its shape adjusted to maximize surface area available for heat transfer and evaporation. The hydrophobic coating is selectively applied to components that will manage the flow of dry air. Variation on indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) systems The specialized coating separates incoming hot air from outgoing wet air, allowing the hot air to be cooled by circulating water without adding humidity to the inside of a building. ‘cold-SNAP’ is a variation on indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) systems, which use complex heat exchange units that make them difficult and expensive to manufacture. Researchers say the approach can create low-cost, efficient air-cooling units to meet the world’s increasing demand while using 75% less energy. The system can be up to four times more efficient than conventional air conditioners as measured by the coefficient of performance (COP), the ratio of cooling to required energy. ‘cold-SNAP’ was designed by a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and designers from the Wyss Institute’s Adaptive Material Technologies Platform, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), and the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (HCGBC). Integration into evaporative cooling systems The new technology could be integrated into existing evaporative cooling systems and sold as environmentally friendly air conditioners in a variety of climate zones. It could even be manufactured into the facades of buildings, thus cooling the space within, using only the energy needed to pump water to the system. With global warming causing a rise in the Earth’s average temperature, worldwide demand for air conditioning systems that do not contribute to that climate change increasingly will be in demand. A growing middle class throughout the world is also contributing to demand. No humidity added to the air ‘cold-SNAP’ does not add humidity to the air and works well in humid, tropical climates, as well as dry, hot climates Because ‘cold-SNAP’ does not add humidity to the air, it works well in humid, tropical climates (where it is sorely needed) as well as in dry, hot climates like the Middle East. Traditional electric air conditioners use mechanical vapor compression to convert a chemical refrigerant back and forth between its liquid and vapor forms, absorbing heat during vaporization and then removing moisture during condensation. Traditional systems use a large amount of energy to cycle the refrigerant, which increases costs, not to mention the refrigerants contribute to global warming. Historically, the environmental impact of such systems was a hidden cost that was not considered. Wyss Institute Validation Project In 2019, ‘cold-SNAP’ was named a Wyss Institute Validation Project, which puts it on track to become commercialized. The validation program seeks to ‘de-risk' technologies and demonstrate that they can be scaled up for commercialization. The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University emulates Nature’s design principles to engineer new, ‘bio-inspired’ materials and devices with high-impact applications in healthcare, manufacturing, robotics, energy, and sustainable architecture. The cross-disciplinary faculty, technical staff, students, and fellows undertake high-risk research and technology development.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is moving forward with rulemaking that sets limits and deadlines to decrease the use of refrigerants with global warming potential (GWP) in the commercial refrigeration market and in the residential and commercial stationary air conditioning equipment markets. California regulations are widely expected to influence the direction of other states seeking to regulate GWP of refrigerants. Declining to delay planned deadlines because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, CARB is proposing a GWP limit of 150 for new stationary refrigeration systems that contain more than 50 pounds of refrigerant, irrespective of end use, beginning on January 1, 2022. GWP Of Air Conditioning Systems California State Fire Marshal currently does not allow use of mildly flammable refrigerants in the state’s building codes For residential and commercial stationary air conditioning systems, the proposed new rule will take effect on January 1, 2023, and will include a GWP limit of 750. CARB held a public workshop in July to discuss the proposals. There is another challenge of implementing the limits. The alternative materials that enable compliance include lower-GWP A2L refrigerants that are mildly flammable; however, the California State Fire Marshal currently does not allow use of mildly flammable refrigerants in the state’s building codes. Presumably, the building codes will be updated in time to allow use of A2L refrigerants as an alternative to meet the limits, but the uncertainty makes it harder to plan ahead. Washington state has already revised its state building codes to allow the use of A2L, and other states are in the process of doing the same. VRF Manufacturers Concerns The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) industry group has been in discussions with CARB about anticipated industry and supply chain compliance challenges caused by COVID-19 disruptions, and because California building codes do not yet reference required safety standards. At the public workshop, AHRI proposed January 1, 2025, transition date for 750 GWP for newly manufactured air conditioning equipment, but CARB did not comment on the proposal. Manufacturers of variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems have also expressed concerns with meeting the compliance deadlines. However, the current 2023 deadline coincides with the implementation of new U.S. Department of Energy efficiency requirements for residential central air conditioner and air-source heat pump systems. This timing allows manufacturers to design systems to meet both the CARB and DOE requirements at the same time, rather than having to redesign systems twice. Destructive Measure of climate pollutants Global warming potential (GWP) is a measure of how destructive a climate pollutant is, compared with carbon dioxide Global warming potential (GWP) is a measure of how destructive a climate pollutant is, compared with carbon dioxide (CO2), which is assigned a value of 1. GWPs are also used to define the impact greenhouse gases will have on global warming over various time periods; a time horizon of 100 years is used by CARB, which maintains a list of GWPs for common refrigerants. Driving the new rulemaking in California are regulations passed in 2016 that commit California to reduce HFC emissions in the state by 40% below 2013 levels by 2030. Release for public comment By enacting the 750 GWP limit for new stationary air conditioners in 2023, CARB projects a reduction of 2.3 million metric tons in CO2 equivalents of annual emissions in 2030. That is almost a fourth of the progress needed to achieve the target and equates to removing about half a million passenger cars from California roadways each year from 2023 to 2040. A finalized “notice package,” which includes details of the new limits and deadlines, will be released for a 45-day public comment period on October 23, 2020, with the comment period ending right before the CARB’s board hearing in mid-December, when the board could approve the package.
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
In the spring of 1999, Wilkes County, North Carolina had a difficult and challenging problem to contend with. With an ever-increasing student population the school system faced the daunting task of building four new middle schools to improve its countywide school facilities. Committed to excellence in teaching and to the belief that all students can learn, Wilkes County Schools strive for student success through a partnership of school, home and community. Building on funds already allocated by the State Board of Education, Wilkes County Schools received approval for up to $24 million in additional funding from the County Commissioners. Because of the needs of the growing middle school student population countywide, it was decided that one school would be built in each of Wilkes County’s four school districts – Central, West, North and East. Budget constraints Wilkes County Schools turned to the heating and cooling expertise and experience of the Bard Manufacturing Company But the challenges didn’t end with the County’s approval to build. Staying on budget would be an even greater challenge, given all of the amenities, and opportunities for greater learning that the school system wanted to provide for its students. Aware of the impacting impression a new school has on individual students, Wilkes County remained determined to build its schools so they were aesthetically pleasing, both inside and out, and comfortable throughout every season. That’s when Wilkes County Schools turned to the heating and cooling expertise and experience of the Bard Manufacturing Company. Wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment Thirty years ago, Bard began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country. Providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment, Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, patented ventilation packages, unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice by many school officials. With three state-of-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 What we liked best overall about the Bard units was having control over the environments in each of our classrooms" Wilkes County Schools were already familiar with Bard Manufacturing and its products, having successfully installed and operated Bard’s previous generation of wall-mounted units nearly 15 years ago in its other school facilities. “What we liked best overall about the Bard units was having individual control over the environments in each of our classrooms,” said Phil Couch, Maintenance Director and Assistant Superintendent for Wilkes County Schools. "When Wilkes County first suggested Bard units for the design, we were skeptical – we didn’t know a lot about Bard and we were more comfortable using the traditional four-pipe system,” said Frank Williams, Partner, Pinnacle Architecture. “However, now that we’ve seen how Bard units work, we’re comfortable recommending them wherever the incremental design makes sense. Teachers love the control, and we like the simplicity of installation!” Energy efficient Bard first developed its incremental wall-mounted cooling units in 1963. Since that time, Bard has made many advances and enhancements to its units, making them ideal for new schools and classroom renovations. Aware of Wilkes County Schools’ desire to also make their new facilities aesthetically pleasing, as well as energy-efficient and comfortable to learn in, Bard recommended its QTEC self-contained cooling unit. QTEC - The Quiet “Hidden” Technology QTEC units are designed and tested to operate at 20% above federal standards with easy installation features The 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 Design for fast installation and easy servicing Sound deadening insulation Simple utility hookups Integrated energy recovery ventilator Controlled dehumidification Wilkes County Schools’ Results Wilkes County opened its four new schools in time for the 2002 fall semester and they were able to do it on budget, thanks to Bard. “Bard’s experience working with school systems around the country helped us design, engineer and install the best system we could have hoped for,” said Couch. “Not only do the units operate quietly, they’re energy efficient. They also save us money on our maintenance costs because we can work on them ourselves with our own in-house maintenance staff.” Comfortable environment And because Bard QTEC units take up less space and are less costly to install over traditional boiler/chiller systems, Bard also helped save Wilkes County Schools $3.5 million on their overall construction costs. Wilkes County Schools then used these savings to fund four computers in each classroom, and three computer labs for each school. “Working together with Pinnacle Architecture, Bard not only helped us create a comfortable environment for our students to learn in, they enabled us to purchase, through savings, additional technology equipment,” said Couch.
Darlington Middle School is in Darlington, South Carolina, located in the eastern region of the state along the I-95 Corridor. The school serves approximately 1,025 students. Committed to excellence in teaching and the belief that all students can learn, the staff strives for student success through a partnership of school, home, and community. The Choice Larry Stegner is the Maintenance Director for Darlington County Schools, who is responsible for roughly 2.1 million square feet of space in his schools. Larry said why he chose to utilize the Bard system in his new school. In 2006, the team was hard at work constructing Darlington Middle School. The decision to use the Bard system was easy in this case. The district made a proactive decision to standardize systems wherever practical. Reliability and maintenance From a maintenance standpoint, all the troubleshooting and repairs required are done outside the building" Larry said, “In the classrooms, we have gone exclusively to a Bard exterior wall-mounted unit. There are several reasons for this; the cost of a 4-pipe system is almost cost-prohibitive for us in a classroom setting. In addition, if that system goes down, the entire school is down. With the Bard system, if we lose one unit we only affect one classroom.” Larry shared about the reliability and maintenance of the Bard system. He said, “The instances that I have lost a Bard unit are rare.” “From a maintenance standpoint, all the troubleshooting and repairs required are done outside the building so we never disturb the classroom and we can service them ourselves.” Design Attributes During the design process, the Darlington County Schools team saw value in the Bard System. Larry shared some attributes the design team discovered through the process. “Something that impressed us with Bard that I wasn’t aware of, was the availability of colors. When we ordered them, we could get them in a variety of cabinet finishes.” Larry shared if there were any objections by the architect to using this system. He had these insights, “Architects don’t particularly like them, they don’t like things hanging on “their” buildings and messing up “their” lines. With the Bard units and building in a complementary color selection, they virtually disappear on the building. You don’t even see them.” “We used the dark bronze units on Darlington Middle School because they matched the trim finish, and it looks like an architectural component of the building.” Classroom Preferred Solution While energy prices continue to rise, the district’s energy demands increase as well The district staff was persistent in selecting Bard’s Classroom Preferred Solution for their new school, primarily because of the economics of the system, ease of maintenance, and the ability to control each classroom independently. Like most districts today, energy efficiency and reducing operating costs play a significant role in Darlington County. While energy prices continue to rise, the district’s energy demands increase as well. Modern teaching methods and practices require the use of current technologies. Today, students must be prepared for a modern globally competitive world. Educators must have the tools and resources available to educate their students. This new reality translates to more technology in the classroom, such as computers and Smartboards. Increased demands Schools utilizing the Bard Classroom Preferred Solution have realized substantial energy savings Additionally, the demands on educational facilities have increased dramatically. Today, schools serve beyond the traditional 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. schedule. With increasing demands for workers to equip themselves to be competitive in today’s economy, often ones find adult education classes being taught in the evening. On occasion, drivers education courses are taught after school. It is not a rare occurrence to drive by Darlington Middle School on the weekend and see the school packed with students, parents, teachers, and community members for extracurricular activities. These enhancements to children’s education and community involvement in the schools serve as an invaluable asset to everyone. Schools utilizing the Bard Classroom Preferred Solution have realized substantial energy savings through optimal building performance strategies. Taking advantage of the unprecedented flexibility of this system allows the facility staff to tailor their operating strategy to the specific use of their schools. Conditioning For example, when Mr. Stegner has an adult education class using one classroom in the evening, this system conditions that single classroom. In a more traditional HVAC system (4-Pipe/ Central), one would condition an entire building or wing to use one classroom. Obviously, this strategy would significantly increase energy/operating costs. When it comes to HVAC systems on the market today, comfort and noise are a concern. That’s not nearly as valuable as hearing from someone who lives and works with the building and its systems. Mr. Stegner and Mrs. Carlita Davis, the Principal, shared about their experiences with the comfort and noise of this system. Ease of maintenance Darlington County made a decision to move to Bard’s Classroom Preferred Solution because of its reliability Darlington County made a conscious decision to move to Bard’s Classroom Preferred Solution because of its reliability, ease of maintenance, and efficiency. On being asked if there are ever complaints about noise, Mr. Stegner said, “We never have complaints about noise in this school. I don’t think you even know it’s there and that’s how it should be.” “Naturally, comfort is a major concern in the education environment. We want to ensure the teachers are comfortable in their working environment. It’s important to make sure students are comfortable so they can focus on learning.“ In a school the size of Darlington Middle, universal comfort can be a challenge for traditional systems. Larry, on concerns around comfort in the school, said, “I have never heard a complaint about the comfort of a classroom in this school. It is a lot easier to make our teachers and students comfortable with each classroom having its own individually controlled unit.” Aesthetics The Bard Classroom Preferred Solution can be tailored to adapt to one’s building design. A variety of colors and applications along with the flexibility to reach their goals during the design process. Darlington County had never heard a complaint or concern over the appearance of their buildings. In addition to colors and size, one can choose to locate the system components inside or outside the building, while virtually attaining the same results. Reliability “Of all the systems, units, and manufacturers we have and work within our district, Bard’s systems give us the least amount of trouble,” says Larry Stegner, Facilities Director Darlington County. “This system has been really good for our school, I can’t name any issue we have had with the heating and cooling system. I know it’s very economical for our district,” says Carlita Davis, Principal.
As Albert Einstein once said, “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” That wisdom has been put into practice in the form of a smarter approach in the way modular schools can be built and used. Pre-fabricated, modular classroom In 2006, the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, in partnership with the Council for Educational Facility Planners (CEFPI), held a national design competition, The Portable Classroom Design Challenge, to create a pre-fabricated, modular classroom unit that was environmentally sustainable, or green. This competition led to eventual development and installation of one of the most uniquely created modular spaces ever conceived, indeed the award winner of the design competition. Triumph Modular of Littleton, Massachusetts, in partnership with ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge and builder NRB Inc., won the design challenge because of their revolutionary, new modular classroom. Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Relocatable Green Modular Classroom comes designed with many LEED-focused design elements Aptly named the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom, it's also the first modular classroom to be designed with many LEED-focused design elements. “Our goal was to create a high-quality, portable classroom that was green, one with environmentally conscious materials used in its design and operation. The design was smart in the way that it used resources and provided heat, light, unsurpassed acoustics and air quality within the space,” said Cliff Cort, Founder of Triumph Modular. In fact, it’s estimated that the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom performs 56% better, in terms of overall energy costs, than similar, older style modular units that often use almost three times as much of energy as a permanent school building. Wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment Thirty years ago, Bard Manufacturing Co. Ltd began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, patented ventilation packages, unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice of many school officials. With three, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to research and development. Self-programming energy monitors and green refrigerants With features like self-programming energy monitors, unsurpassed energy efficiency, green refrigerants and the lowest acoustic profile on the market, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for modern school facilities. Already impressed from their previous working experience with Bard, Triumph Modular wanted to incorporate the Quiet Climate 2 into their green modular design. “Building green is good for the environment, good for the wallet and good for the occupants of the building,” said Cliff Cort, adding, “And Bard’s HVAC unit is a big factor in why the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom performs as well as it does.” Green modular design Bard’s HVAC System in the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Unit contributes to its high energy efficiency According to an independent third party analysis, the green modular design provides a 68% reduction in heating energy and a 49% reduction in cooling energy, most of which can be attributed to Bard Quiet Climate 2. An efficiently designed HVAC system is perhaps the single largest building component that can influence a building’s sustainability. Bard’s HVAC System in the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Unit contributes significantly to its high energy efficiency and quiet, almost undetectable acoustic profile (37 bBHL) within the classroom. Quiet-Climate 2 heat pump Bard’s Quiet-Climate 2 heat pump is the most innovative wall-mount HVAC equipment ever made. Designed specifically to provide superior energy efficiency and quiet operation in classrooms, the Quiet Climate 2 uses green refrigerants and provides operating sound levels that are 20 to 35 times quieter than a standard wall-mounted heat pump. Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 can provide the following features: Higher energy efficiency and greater comfort through step-capacity technology Unmatched acoustical performance Sound levels vary with applications and construction techniques, but integrated operating sound levels as low as 35 dbA have been achieved when combined with Bard Quiet-Climate acoustical accessories Improved ventilation and Enhanced IAQ Continuous blower operation – without noise – keeping fresh air constantly in the classroom Optional UV lighting which keeps the coils free of bacteria and mold Enhanced filtration capabilities A one-piece factory unit designed for fast installation and easy servicing Additional sound curbing accessories including, an isolation curb and return air and supply air plenums The Carroll School Serving over 75 communities around Lincoln, Massachusetts, The Carroll School was founded in part by Dr. Edwin Cole who wanted to provide a special school for children with language-based learning challenges. The Carroll School supports nearly 300 students, in grades 1 – 8, with a 3.4 student to teacher ratio using multisensory and individualized teaching methods for specific learning needs. Progressive by nature, The Carroll School’s thriving community brings children together in an environment that values their differences and remediates their learning difficulties. “Cliff Cort, a Lincoln resident and friend of the school, approached us with the idea to replace one of our existing modular building with the green modular design,” said Margaret Gebhard, Director of Finance and Operations at The Carroll School, adding “Our existing modular space was not a popular one with either faculty or students due to its poor lighting, sound characteristics and overall appearance.” Occupancy sensors and vestibule The classroom incorporates many unique green components, such as formaldehyde-free, low VOC paints Things changed when teachers, students and administrative personnel moved into the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom for the first time. The classroom incorporates many unique green components, including formaldehyde-free, low VOC paints and coatings that reduce off-gassing, occupancy sensors that conserve energy by turning the lights off, when people come and go, a vestibule that safeguards the inside from inclement weather while buffering outside noise and helps retain heating and controlling levels for its green and virtually silent HVAC system – the Quiet Climate 2. Enhancing schools’ energy efficiency Margaret adds, “The Relocatable Green Modular Classroom is truly amazing and smart to incorporate into any schools modular planning, we’re quickly approaching our original 3 year leasing agreement with Triumph and I see us keeping the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom around for many more years to come.” She further stated, “It has the best lighting, best HVAC system, and is the most energy-efficient building on our campus, which is why it’s also the most coveted space on our campus. Now we can not only say our kids here are special but now they have a truly special and smart environment in which to learn.”
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.
Round table discussion
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?