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...
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 P...
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...
The future of residential comfort heating has arrived with the introduction of the ECO Tec high-efficiency boiler from Weil-McLain, North America’s renowned boiler manufacturer. The new ECO Tec is a high-quality boiler that meets nearly all residential application needs including multi-zone and combi applications. ECO Tec high-efficiency boiler The ECO Tec high-efficiency boiler features a long-lasting fire tube heat exchanger The ECO Tec high-efficiency boiler features a long-lasting...
Grundfos, a globally renowned company in water technology, is pleased to announce the groundbreaking of its Americas Regional Center, located in Brookshire, Texas. LEED Platinum certification The 45,000 square foot facility is expected to be completed during the spring season of 2021. Grundfos is currently seeking to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The new offices will house company sales, operations, engineering, HR, finance, and other support functions. “To better serve the marke...
Manufacturers continue to make improvements in heat-pump technology, including higher efficiencies, contractor-friendly designs, and innovative extras like two-stage compressors that allow them to run at lower speeds and cut down energy use and homeowners’ bills. Below is a sampling of six of the latest products to hit the heat pump market. Nortek Global HVAC introduced the W-Series of air conditioning and heat pump equipment for residential and light commercial applications, completing its redesign of Gibson®, NuTone®, and Frigidaire® branded 1.5- to 5-ton, single-phase air conditioning units and heat pumps. The redesign offers contractors a ‘good-better-best’ strategy (the premium F-Series, the mid-range E-Series, and the economically-priced W-Series) to accommodate varying consumer price ranges. Coil-Protecting wire guard The W-Series heat pump is available in 14- and 16-SEER models. Standard features include Copeland scroll compressors and a liquid line filter-drier for field installation in an accessible position to facilitate easy periodic change-outs. It also has a coil-protecting wire guard that adds cabinet structural integrity and holds a plastic mesh in place to safeguard against hail and accidental contact damage, plus an anti-corrosive polymer drain pan with more drainage holes to eliminate potential standing water. On the unit’s exterior cabinet, above the refrigerant access port, is a weather-proof QR code called ‘Charge Me’ that can be scanned to access Nortek’s charge assist tool. “The new W-series of heat pumps recently introduced by Gibson, Frigidaire, and NuTone features a high-tech way to charge,” said Dave Garvin, product manager, Nortek Global HVAC. Variable Speed Heat Pump Rheem’s next generation Prestige® heat pump harnesses the power of the new EcoNet Smart Thermostat “The proprietary website helps account for subcooling, fixed orifices, thermostatic expansion valves, ambient temperature at time of charging, lineset length, and other variables that can trip up contractors when charging any heat pump brand.” The Rheem® Prestige® Series EcoNet®-Enabled Variable Speed Heat Pump features a contractor-friendly design, which means expanded valve space and triple service access, for fast and easy install and repairs. Corner-service access allows optimal access to internal components, while individual louver panels speed coil cleaning and cabinet reassembly. Plus, Rheem’s next generation Prestige® heat pump harnesses the power of the new EcoNet Smart Thermostat, which provides control, monitoring, and one-touch alert capability. Proper installation and reduced time “Rheem’s Prestige Heat Pump powered by our EcoNet Smart Thermostat keeps contractors in control,” said Ryan Teschner, product manager for Rheem Mfg. “From real-time alerts and system notifications to a charge mode capability, which allows for proper installation and reduced time on the job, Rheem’s heat pump increases job site efficiencies and reduces labor costs for contractors.” The hybrid electric Voltex® from A. O. Smith has an energy factor (efficiency based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day) of 2.3, and is Energy Star® qualified. “Heat pump water heaters use electricity to pull heat from the surrounding air rather than generating their own heat,” said Brandon Stepanek, national field marketing manager at A. O. Smith. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions Carrier’s Hybrid Heat systems automatically switch between electric and gas heating “This means that they can be a logical choice for dedicated green home builders interested in enhancing energy efficiency. Because a heat pump water heater uses energy efficiently, it can save customers up to 10 percent on energy bills, which adds up to thousands of dollars over the life of the water heater,” he continued. “The significant reduction in electricity use also has a direct effect on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” Carrier’s Performance™ Series heat pumps offer a range of efficiencies that start at 14 SEER and reach 17.5 SEER and up to 9.5 HSPF. Combining a gas furnace, an electric heat pump, and a compatible thermostat, Carrier’s Hybrid Heat systems automatically switch between electric and gas heating to optimize the efficiency of each fuel source, helping defend homeowners against utility cost fluctuations. They have Energy Star designation. Carrier indoor furnace “Our microtube coil technology saves space and provides lasting comfort with its corrosion-resistant construction,” the company stated. “In addition, some models include innovative extras, like a two-speed compressor for added benefits like higher efficiency and even, consistent comfort. When installed with a custom-matched Carrier indoor furnace or fan coil and a Côr® Wi-Fi® thermostat, our two-stage heat pumps can operate on low stage up to 80 percent of the time to keep airflow and temperatures even and consistent while adding humidity control during cooling operation.” Heating operation is rated down to minus 5˚F outdoor temperature Fujitsu General America Inc. recently debuted the RGLX Series, three medium-static pressure ducted indoor units for the single-zone Halcyon mini split line. They have sufficient static pressure to heat or cool a whole house. Heating operation is rated down to minus 5˚F outdoor temperature. The 12,000-, 18,000-, and 24,000-Btuh models are Energy Star qualified. V-Shaped heat exchanger Units are available in seven sizes ranging from 12,000 to 48,000 Btuh, with efficiency ratings up to 21.3 SEER. The evaporators are slim enough to fit most ceiling spaces, making them ideal for hidden installations, while the condensing units can be installed below a window or in a narrow space. The new models can be installed in applications that require static pressure up to 0.80 inches of water column and offer maximum piping lengths of up to 246 feet. A built-in drain pump with 33.5 feet of vertical lift comes standard. “The combination of the V-shaped heat exchanger, air stabilizer, and the energy-efficient DC fan motor results in high efficiency and quiet operation,” Fujitsu wrote in the product specs. Customized indoor comfort The Goodman GSZC18 Heat Pump features the next-generation Copeland Scroll™ two-stage compressor coupled with Goodman’s ComfortBridge® communicating technology to deliver up to 19 SEER and 10 HSPF performance. ComfortBridge ‘off-the-wall’ technology gives contractors more installation options and intelligent controls. It works with any thermostat, including single-stage ones. ComfortBridge constantly gathers data, making automatic adjustments for peak performance ComfortBridge constantly gathers data, making automatic adjustments for peak performance, using the minimum energy needed for consistent, customized indoor comfort. A companion CoolCloud™ app connects technicians wirelessly via Bluetooth to ComfortBridge. Advanced ComfortAlert™ Diagnostics constantly monitor the system, reducing failures and pinpointing trouble spots. “Our 18-SEER heat pumps provide high-efficiency, energy-saving indoor comfort with the ease of installation as compared to less sophisticated products,” said Cory Gottfredson, senior product manager, Outdoor Split Systems for Goodman. Compressor crankcase heater “We have incorporated ComfortBridge technology to optimize installation while allowing homeowners to use any thermostat. This truly enhances both operation and installation, freeing contractors from hassles and leaving money in the hands of homeowners where it belongs.” The scroll compressor inside the GSZC18 is designed with fewer moving parts, and the high-efficiency, two-speed electronically commutated condenser fan motor with advanced fan design provides quiet airflow. Other features include SmartShift® technology with short-cycle protection, a bi-flow liquid-line filter-drier, suction line accumulator, high- and low-pressure switches, coil and ambient temperature sensors, a transformer, compressor crankcase heater, high-capacity muffler, and a color-coded terminal strip for non-communicating set-up.
In an effort to strengthen its AirTech business and sharpen alignment with its strategic objectives, Munters, a globally renowned company in energy efficient air treatment and climate solutions, will exit the non-core part of the commercial desiccant dehumidification market. This decision primarily affects the U.S. market as it is the primary region where Munters’ commercial products are sold. Desiccant dehumidification units Commercial products have been manufactured in the company’s Selma, Texas plant. This facility will now manufacture desiccant dehumidification units for key account customers only. This will allow the facility to return to its legacy strength of delivering high-volume, pre-engineered solutions for this customer type. Additionally, the Texas plant will provide needed production capacity for the increased demand for Munters cooling solutions for the data center market. The segments of healthcare, ice arenas and laboratories and archival preservation, associated with universities and colleges previously served through Munters’ commercial product offering, will now be served through its industrial product offering. These systems are manufactured in the organization’s Amesbury, Massachusetts location. Focus on Evaporative Cooling, Innovation and Service The decision to depart commercial markets is one that did not come quickly or easily for Munters" “The decision to depart commercial markets is one that did not come quickly or easily for Munters. However, this will allow us to focus not only on key accounts, but also on markets such as food, pharmaceutical, lithium battery, evaporative cooling and Munters Innovation and Service,” said Andrew Cook, Vice President for Sales & Services Americas Business Area AirTech, Munters. Munters U.S. products are sold through third-party representatives, and those selling the commercial dehumidification product lines have been informed of the company’s pivot away from these products. product development and energy efficient products All accepted commercial product orders with shipment dates on or before December 31, 2020, will be honored and Munters is committed to working closely with representatives during the transition period. The discontinued relationship with representatives will not impact any of Munters’ warranty obligations for previously sold products. As part of this initiative, Munters does not foresee any major changes to its supply chain in the U.S. It remains committed to product development and profitable support and sale of energy efficient and innovative products. However, some products will be discontinued and adjustments to demand forecasts will be made accordingly. Contacting suppliers impacted by changes is underway. “Throughout the evaluation, deliberation and analyzation process of arriving at this decision, top priority was given to retaining as many employees as possible. For positions being eliminated, it was of the utmost importance to make every effort to find other roles within the organizations for impacted employees,” added Cook.
Johnson Controls announces it has acquired the remaining stake of Qolsys Inc., a residential and commercial security and smart-home manufacturer, after owning a majority since 2014. Qolsys enhances Johnson Controls global innovation platform delivering next generation security and smart building solutions. The Qolsys founders and leadership team will remain in Silicon Valley (San Jose, CA) assuming key roles in Johnson Controls global intrusion business. Delivering safety and security Johnson Controls continues its mission to deliver smarter, safer, intelligent and more connected buildings by deploying emerging technologies such as embedded IP, artificial intelligence and machine learning through best-in-class solutions and partnerships. Johnson Controls is a fundamental transformation of how spaces and places are perceived and enjoyed Johnson Controls is a fundamental transformation of how spaces and places are perceived and enjoyed by balancing and responding to the flow of information, services and people that occupy buildings. By applying data from both inside and outside buildings, Johnson Controls OpenBlue digital platforms empowers customers to manage operations while delivering safety and security in dynamic and agile environments. Increasing user engagement "Qolsys has grown from a startup to a leading security platform provider with over 4,000 dealers and service providers worldwide. Johnson Controls sees long-term opportunities to bring Silicon Valley innovation and culture to our broader cloud-enabled IoT solutions in building management, fire and HVAC businesses," said Jeff Williams, president of Global Products, Johnson Controls. "The opportunity to acquire Qolsys allows Johnson Controls to achieve operational efficiencies and scale across our global markets, while further enhancing the suite of products and services offered on our digital platform, OpenBlue." The award-winning IQ Panel 2 Plus and peripherals have driven explosive growth in North America and across the globe with future-proof features supported by over-the-air software updates, built-in panel camera, Bluetooth disarming and innovative installation and diagnostic tools to reduce costs and increase user engagement and satisfaction. Cloud-Enabled solutions Qolsys continues to show consistent growth of services and dealers, which led to $150 million in revenues during fiscal year 2019. "As the world becomes more connected and the innovation curve continues to ramp at unprecedented speed, we are excited to join Johnson Controls," said Dave Pulling, Qolsys CEO. Dave will become vice president and general manager of the global intrusion products business for Johnson Controls, which had $500 million in revenue in fiscal year 2019. We are committed to our customers in the security channel while continuing to invest in our roadmap" "We are committed to our customers in the security channel while continuing to invest in our roadmap and emerging verticals around the globe. This is a major milestone in our 10-year journey to disrupt and transform the security industry with advanced cloud-enabled solutions that transcend traditional intrusion offerings including advanced automation, energy management, apartment management, building management and wellness for aging in place." Mesh networking solution The combined volume of Qolsys, DSC, Bentel, Visonic, PowerG and Tyco products positions Johnson Controls as the market share leader in advanced security solutions world-wide. Qolsys recently announced roadmap products including the IQ Hub, a lower-priced, third-generation IQ Panel; the IQ Router, a next-generation mesh networking solution to elegantly address the rapidly complex connected home; IQ Water, a connected water shutoff valve designed for mass market retrofit; and a fourth generation IQ Panel due in 2021 with Qualcomm chipset supporting AI, M2M and next generation connectivity. Johnson Controls will offer Qolsys products throughout global markets. The IQ Panel 2 Plus and a full line of security and home automation devices are available from Authorized Qolsys distributors.
Almost 5 years ago, Danfoss introduced NovoCon S, the first –of-its-kind digital actuator, specially designed for AB-QM pressure independent control valves (PICVs). At the time, this was a revolutionary actuator for controlling flow through terminal units in hydronic HVAC applications. NovoCon S digital actuator With its bus-communication for BACnet MS/TP or Modbus RTU protocols, NovoCon S is a front runner in establishing new and innovative IoT solutions for smart buildings. The concept of NovoCon is widely spread and used by many fans of smart HVAC solutions Meanwhile, the concept of NovoCon is widely spread and used by many fans of smart HVAC solutions. The increased attention and usage also leads to new demands. As NovoCon S fits to AB-QM valves in sizes - DN 10 up to DN 32, the nominal flow is limited to 4,000 l/h. Other hydronic HVAC applications, such as Air Handling Units (AHUs), chillers and other high flow applications, still need to be controlled with conventional actuators. NovoCon M, L and XL digital actuators Danfoss announced that the company is proud to introduce the new NovoCon M, L and XL digital actuators. The new actuators, in conjunction with the AB-QM valves, achieve high-precision dynamic hydronic balancing and control for high flow applications. The NovoCon M, L and XL digital actuators are specifically designed to accurately control high flow rates. In specific: The NovoCon M is used for AB-QM NovoCon valves in DN 40-100 suited for flows from 3-59 m3/h, e.g. for air handling units. The NovoCon L is used for AB-QM valves in DN 125-150 suited for flows from 36-190 m3/h, e.g. for chillers. NovoCon XL is used for AB-QM valves in DN 200-250 suited for flows from 80-370 m3/h, e.g. for district cooling. Daisy-chain wired using standard cables Unlike the NovoCon S, the new NovoCon M, L and XL digital actuators don’t use plug & play connectors and cables. Instead, the new actuators can be daisy-chain wired using standard cables, which makes it easier to cover longer distances. The actuators are equipped with 3 resistance inputs to connect, e.g. temperature sensors. When such sensors are installed on the supply and return connections, the NovoCon actuators can be used for advanced control functionalities, like Delta T limitation or return temperature control. With these functionalities, the energy efficiency of the AHU or chiller can be optimized. NovoCon 4-in-1 solution Danfoss NovoCon digital actuators effectively combine four functions into one smart solution: Accurate flow control due to linear characteristic at different differential pressures and built-in step motor Bus actuator due to the BACnet MS/TP and Modbus RTU communication protocols I/O device due to the Resistance inputs (3x), Analog input (1x) and Analog output (1x) Energy manager due to the advanced algorithms for monitoring and energy management Integration via BACnet or Modbus communication protocols Danfoss NovoCon digital actuators can be digitally controlled via BACnet or Modbus communication protocols Danfoss NovoCon digital actuators can be digitally controlled via BACnet or Modbus communication protocols, enabling easy integration and providing actual system performance data into higher-level building management systems. The I/O interfaces can, for example, be used to connect sensors to measure supply and return temperatures and calculate the energy consumption. The I/O ports are also available for controlling individual devices, such as fans or connecting BMS (Building Management Systems) room temperature controllers. This means that all relevant system parameters and control options are always available for centralized HVAC energy management and energy efficiency optimization, as part of comprehensive smart building concepts. Engineering HVAC 4.0 for smart buildings The combination of AB-QM and NovoCon actuators is a good example of the increasing digitalization in HVAC. The combination established high precision, dynamic, hydronic balancing and control. The digital actuators provide BMS with real-time HVAC data to enable Active Energy Management (AEM). Digital valve control via fieldbus also offers advantages in remote commissioning, flow setting, flushing, predictive maintenance and energy allocation. Automatically generated alarm messages support fast and accurate troubleshooting. HVAC 4.0 continuously optimizes the energy efficiency and comfort of buildings by using smart and connected products and services. The now established full-range series of NovoCo digital actuators enable HVAC 4.0 solutions in smart building concepts. In this way they create a fundamental basis for efficient energy use in large non-residential and commercial buildings, such as hotels, office buildings, data centers, shopping centers and hospitals.
Security dealers now have the opportunity to offer their customers substantial energy savings while earning recurring monthly revenue (RMR) with a new integration developed between the Connect ONE cloud-hosted interface and ecobee WiFi SmartThermostats. Connect ONE Connect ONE, an award-winning service and management platform from Connected Technologies, now provides seamless support and control of popular ecobee, allowing dealers to expand into managed services for energy management and environmental monitoring. With ecobee, an ENERGY STAR certified product designed to meet the highest standards of comfort and energy conservation, users can save up to 23% on annual energy costs. Energy management “Energy management is an area where users can attain tangible cost savings, even hundreds of dollars annually depending on the facility,” said Dan Simon, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Connected Technologies. Dan adds, “The Connect ONE and ecobee integration gives security dealers another way to bring valuable services to the customer with lower utility bills, while they earn regular and predictable revenue from ongoing service.” Connect ONE-ecobee integration The Connect ONE-ecobee integration works via WiFi with all control panels and requires no wiring or Z-Wave connectivity The Connect ONE-ecobee integration works via WiFi with all control panels and requires no wiring or Z-Wave connectivity, making it a snap for customers to start saving on energy bills. In addition, while some smart thermostats need a separate mobile app for configuration, requiring the end user to set up a password and log-in credentials, with Connect ONE and ecobee a smartphone app is not necessary for installation. The end user simply activates a free ecobee account online from a PC or web browser, allowing Connect ONE to actively manage the new connection through a single interface. SmartThermostats with energy-savings mode Once configured within Connect ONE, customers view real-time data on energy and make on-the-fly adjustments, temperature changes and setbacks. Integrated with intrusion or access control systems, when armed and the facility is unoccupied, ecobee SmartThermostats switch to energy-saving settings. When disarmed and the building becomes occupied, ecobee automatically switches to its standard schedule mode. A complete schedule can be configured in Connect ONE, with the ability to batch commands to multiple thermostats for easy programming and setup. Cloud-hosted integrated security management solution Connect ONE by Connected Technologies is a cloud-hosted integrated security management solution which leverages one user interface to control intrusion, access control, video surveillance, critical environmental monitoring and energy management. Connect ONE works with the Bosch B and G series as well as DMP XR/XT series, ELK M1 series and Honeywell Vista Turbo security and access control panels.
Danfoss is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its popular TU stainless steel thermostatic expansion valve, trusted for the most demanding refrigeration applications by OEMs and installers worldwide. TU thermostatic expansion valve With more than 15 million valves sold since its launch in 1995, TU's combination of high precision and unique stainless-steel construction has made it a staple of cold-chain systems in particular. Equipment manufacturers have come to value the TU's robustness, reliability and consistent performance in challenging environments, using it everywhere from refrigerated shipping containers and trucks/trailers to ice makers and ice cream machines. Heat resistant and flexible design The valve's flexible design allows customization for a wide variety of applications Moreover, the valve's flexible design allows customization for a wide variety of applications, sizes, refrigerants and connections. A more recent innovation enables each valve to be OEM/custom laser-engraved with its exact configuration, ensuring the correct version is always used. A newly developed low-GWP bulb charge also helps significantly reduce CO2 emissions. The TU stainless steel thermostatic expansion valve is no less popular with installers. Its heat-resistant stainless-steel casing and bi-metal connections makes it easy to braze, with no need for time-consuming wet wrapping. At the forefront of a sustainable cooling industry While the valve was first designed in response to the original Montreal protocol agreement, the resulting hermetically sealed construction also make it ideal for current refrigerant transition challenges, like handling A2L refrigerants without leakage. The TU remains a key part of Danfoss's work to qualify the widest possible portfolio of components for all viable low-GWP alternatives. The TU valve anniversary celebration embodies Danfoss's passion and unique expertise in designing top-end expansion devices, including other iconic valves like the T2 and ETS Colibri, which meet the most stringent application and regulatory requirements. Thermostatic expansion range valves "The TU is one of the crown jewels of our thermostatic expansion range," said Arpit Sharma, Danfoss Global Product Portfolio Manager for Expansion Valves, adding "Manufacturers love it because of its high degree of quality and reliability exhibited in the field. And like all Danfoss expansion valves, it’s accurate to a very narrow set point, which means even systems in challenging environments can be energy efficient too." He further said, "It's fitting that a valve Danfoss developed to protect the environment is still at the forefront of reducing direct and indirect impact from the refrigeration industry, now and into the future."
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.
Residential HVAC is a fulfilling business to be in. Whether be it servicing a furnace or installing an air conditioning unit, the individual is doing important work to help keep families in the community safe and comfortable. The work also comes with perks such as good margins, some great customers, and the ability to set varying pricing and schedule. If an individual is in a growing business in this space, chances are that they have seen more than a few hectic days. Days where it becomes difficult to juggle crews, instruct technicians on necessary job details, and answer client calls, all at the same time. In theory, this chaotic day-to-day is a good problem to have. In practice, it can get really tiring, pretty fast. Robust system to streamline operations The work can be extremely overwhelming and if the right systems aren’t in place, the business could suffer. Lines of communication can get crossed and if time is being spent working on the wrong things, the individual could miss out on opportunities to grow. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing a high growth HVAC business, by applying the right operational strategies, businesses can flourish. Coordinating requests while dispatching techs out to do work is where many administrators and operations managers hit a roadblock in business growth. This is precisely why businesses need to implement software that lets them track jobs, view technician schedules, and flag new jobs to crew members all in one place. This will eliminate the need to play ‘phone tag’ across the organization, which in turn will keep operations running smoothly and reduce manual errors. What’s more, if the software allows techs to automatically trigger an invoice that customers can pay on the spot, businesses can avoid hours of chasing down past-due payments and create a better cash flow. mobile apps: Picking The right software Businesses are encouraged to choose software with a mobile app where customers can enter the payment type Businesses are encouraged to choose software with a mobile app where customers can enter the payment type, such as cash, check, credit, debit and a receipt can be automatically emailed to customers. This will also cut out out-of-date operations, while giving businesses access to what they need (schedules, work orders, customer information and more) at anytime from anywhere. Having a central hub for keeping everything organized also creates the operational flexibility needed to take on work. To ensure businesses don’t have to turn new jobs down due to delayed responses or scheduling issues, a crew member can be kept flexible for this task. In order to do this right, businesses need to calculate how much emergency work they’re losing due to unavailability and adjust accordingly, by creating a schedule with allotted time. Spacing out work won’t impact the number of scheduled installs and replacements retained, while giving businesses added time and revenue to take on emergency repairs. This strategy is only doable if businesses have the requisite software that can provide an accurate and full look into employees’ workloads. pricing services Research Is Important A business in high-growth mode needs to ensure their pricing reflects the services being offered. This can be done with researching of other companies in the area that are charging for the same services offered, so that the business can have a number to compare to when setting prices and also prepare to justify higher price to customers. Setting prices higher can be advantageous for a business, if they can show customers the differentiators. Most people want work done right, and an added premium that ensures top service often won’t turn them away. Additionally, it’s important to make sure all expenses are covered, down to the credit card fees. When pricing services, businesses need to build a file of overhead expenses, then determine the percentage profit want to charge clients. Different jobs require unique services, so prices should reflect that Varied pricing per customer Different jobs require unique services, so prices should reflect that. A business might charge more for commercial clients than homeowners. These minor adjustments will ensure that a business makes the profit that the work deserves. Feedback is also very important for repeat orders. If a business is not getting repeat clients due to pricing, they should keep that in mind when building profit margins. Pricing shouldn’t be static, continuous adjustments has to be made where it makes sense and extra time invested to do the research. Ensuring exceptional customer service It’s important to set up systems and expectations for teams to follow right out of the gate With business growth also comes customer growth, and for residential HVAC companies that physically go into a customer’s home, it’s crucial that their services reflect the highest quality. It’s important to set up systems and expectations for teams to follow right out of the gate. Helping crews do their best work from a technical and customer service perspective by establishing guidelines for what the business wants every homeowner to experience is the key. Open lines of communication Aside from ensuring that the crew keeps a clean workplace, keeping open lines of communication with customers should be a top priority for businesses. This can be as simple as answering the phone and getting a technician to a job site as soon as possible. Often, customers come from positions of stress due to broken equipment, so having quick response time is a key differentiator between good and bad service. A good solution for this is to evolve into automating key communications that allow techs to send ‘on my way’ text messages. How a business interacts with customers is a key signifier into how the company operates, so businesses need to ensure that have the best customer service practices in place. Never take valuable employees for granted While it sounds simple, a high-growth business needs reliable employees to scale, so that their competition does not swoop in and scoop up an employee who doesn’t feel valued. As business ramps up, it’s easy to miss that technicians are not being dispatched to jobs that they enjoy. If employees are constantly doing a job because they’re good at it and they don’t feel fulfilled doing that specific job, at the end of the day, they are not going to be happy. To avoid losing employees, businesses should take the time to ask what jobs they like to do and see if they can accommodate schedules to reflect their preferences. employee retention And loyalty A crucial factor in building a top performing team is employee retention and loyalty A crucial factor in building a top performing team is employee retention and loyalty. Businesses should focus on creating a great atmosphere to work in. This includes keeping a pulse on what’s happening in the team’s personal lives and use that to show appreciation in meaningful ways. One way to do this is by investing in the team’s education. For example, paying tuition fees for techs so they can get new certifications and licensing. These types of gestures show that the business cares about the success of their employees, while also helping them retain the most qualified crew members. Incorporating software solutions and automating tedious tasks Developing a high-growth residential HVAC company doesn’t have to be stressful if businesses know what systems and processes to implement to better manage operations. By adopting strategies that incorporate software solutions, like Jobber, to streamline operations, automate tedious tasks and improve customer communications, the opportunity for growth is more accessible for businesses. Organizations should focus on creating a solid operational system by doing research before pricing services, keeping customer service a top priority and not letting great employees slip away. All these strategies will work together to help maximize business growth.
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.
Lower prices in the oil and gas industry have led to job losses as the sector has contracted recently, and that was even before the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked additional havoc on the national and world economies. The COVID-19 crisis is accelerating what was already shaping up to be one of the oil industry’s most challenging years. More than a dozen oil companies have declared bankruptcy so far in the United States alone, and widespread industry layoffs are expected to continue. Oil field closures But displaced oil industry employees may provide a benefit to the HVAC industry, which faces struggles to attract sufficient skilled labor to meet customer needs. Might those displaced workers be great candidates for the HVAC industry? Definitely, says Brett Hobson, owner of Perfect Technician Academy, an HVAC technician school in Weatherford, Texas, near Dallas. “Many similarities exist between the oil and HVAC industries,” says Hobson. “That’s largely why [our school] has garnered a variety of new students from oil-heavy states around the U.S. in recent months.” Perfect Technician Academy has paid attention to the turmoil unfolding in the oil industry and is taking steps to mitigate it. Previously, the HVAC trade school has catered to veterans and active-duty military, helping them to transition to civilian life. Lately, the school has expanded the focus to include the men, women and families displaced by oil field closures in and around Texas. Providing stability during pandemic Having your livelihood pulled out from under you and beginning a new career path is an incredibly stressful situation" Perfect Technician Academy offers courses in HVAC Repair Service Technician, Residential Install Technician, Maintenance Service Technician, and installer Assistant Technician. “When people learn about the nature of the HVAC industry, they typically are left wishing they had come to the school sooner,” says Dr. Thomas Moorman, Provost and School Director. “Having your livelihood pulled out from under you and beginning a new career path is an incredibly stressful situation to be in.” Perfect Technician Academy seeks to provide stability to those in need during the pandemic, emphasizing that opportunity exists in the HVAC market for those willing to pursue it. An advantage of an HVAC job over the life of oil company employees is the ability for an employee to sleep in their bed at home, rather than being off in an oil patch for three or six weeks at a time, Hobson says. Climate-Control systems Heath Averitt was laid off after spending 23 years in the oil field. “Oil hit zero dollars a barrel,” he told KOKH-TV Fox25 News in Oklahoma City. “What am I going to do to make it? How am I going to get out to make some money to pay bills the fastest?” With two brothers-in-law working in HVAC in South Texas, Averitt approached Perfect Technician Academy to explore the possibilities of a career change. “We can get them back in the workforce in an accelerated period, in a career that probably has a lot more stability,” says Hobson. Employment of heating, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians and installers was projected to grow 21% from 2012 to 2022 based on U.S. Labor statistics. The growing number of sophisticated climate-control systems is expected to increase demand for qualified HVAC technicians, according to Perfect Technician Academy.
HVAC systems are the most common home repair, representing 19 percent of service incidents facing homeowners. More than half of homeowners (53%) have faced a home repair emergency of some kind in the past 12 months. Furthermore, about a third of homeowners have US$ 500 or less set aside to pay for emergency home repairs, with some 17 percent having no money at all set aside for emergency home repair work. 10th Edition of the Biannual State of the Home Survey These are among the results of the 10th Edition of the Biannual State of the Home Survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of HomeServe USA Corp., a provider of home repair solutions in the U.S. and Canada. The survey carried out covered 2,026 U.S. adults (of which 1,454 are US homeowners) was conducted during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. HomeServe’s real-time repair data shows that customers are continuing to require urgent repair help during the COVID-19 pandemic period. Greater strain on home infrastructure and HVAC systems More Americans are putting extra strain on their homes’ infrastructure and major systems More Americans are putting extra strain on their homes’ infrastructure and major systems. As parents are spending more time working from home, and the children are in home schools, the shortcomings of existing systems are becoming more obvious, especially as the summer temperatures rise. In the current uncertain times, comfort is more of a need than a luxury. Concerns about air quality in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is occurring at the height of the allergy season, are also driving new business for HVAC technicians. Technicians using personal protective gear at homes Service technicians are using proper social distancing protocols and personal protective gear (PPE) while performing maintenance and service tasks at consumers’ homes. Consumers want to know what companies are doing differently to protect their customers during the pandemic. At the very least, installers should keep contact to a minimum and meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local requirements to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Following social distancing protocols in repair works “We’re wearing gloves, washing our hands between calls, wearing masks, and we have sanitizers and soaps in our cars, making sure we are maintaining safety,” said Michael Concannon, Repair Technician for Bell Brothers, located in Sacramento, California, USA. There is also an opportunity for HVAC companies to provide expert advice on subjects that customers are asking about now, such as indoor air quality. In the midst of economic uncertainty, routine maintenance can provide greater peace of mind, as well as extend the life of equipment. Consumers to foot bill for home repair work According to the HomeServe survey, many homeowners do not know it is their responsibility to pay for home repairs According to the HomeServe survey, many homeowners, especially younger ones, do not understand that it is their responsibility to pay for home repairs. Many mistakenly believe repairs will be covered by a city/municipality, a water utility, or a homeowner’s insurance. “The findings of the latest survey clearly show that homeowners, especially younger ones, are unaware of their responsibility when it comes to common home repairs,” said John Kitzie, HomeServe USA Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Smart financial planning tools John adds, “HomeServe seeks to educate homeowners and to provide them with smart financial planning tools so they are prepared when an inevitable home emergency strikes.” HomeServe USA serves more than 4.4 million customers across the U.S. and Canada under the HomeServe, Home Emergency Insurance Solutions, Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) and Service Line Warranties of Canada (SLWC).
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
One won’t find bustling cities or lots of traffic in Montgomery County and that is just the way residents like it. Montgomery County is located in south-central North Carolina, an hour drive from Charlotte and just under two hours from Raleigh and Fayetteville. Eighty percent of the county comprises the geologically pristine Uwharrie National Forest, which provides a beautiful, scenic backdrop for quiet, country living. With children under 18 accounting for just over 25% of the local population, Montgomery County Schools' mission is to ensure that all students are prepared for the opportunities by addressing the challenges. Cost-Effective solution One of these challenges was directly related to a new elementary school – Green Ridge Elementary School - the district was planning to build in the town of Biscoe. “We recently completed building another school in the district that used a combination boiler/chiller to heat and cool the school”, said Bill Mingin, Maintenance Director for Montgomery County Schools. All Seasons recommended utilizing the wall-mounted design of Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 unit “Unfortunately, we found the high cost of fuel oil combined with the high cost of installing this type of system, forced us to come up with a better, more cost-effective solution for Green Ridge.” That’s when Montgomery County Schools turned to Drayton Stott of All Seasons Commercial HVAC Distributors, the local Bard dealer. Overall construction costs “I was very familiar with Bard because we had great success using some of their wall mounted units on several of our retrofitted schools,” said Mingin. “We were hoping, however, to reduce some of the overall operational noise and costs within the new building even more.” That’s when All Seasons recommended utilizing the wall-mounted design of Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 unit – albeit on the outside of the building. “The Bard Quiet Climate 2 units are some of the quietest HVAC units on the market today,” said Stott. “Green Ridge Elementary School also benefitted from a reduction in overall construction costs, including cement work, steel framing, the cost of running ductwork and construction of a maintenance and mechanical boiler/chiller shed.” Utilizing the Quiet Climate 2, Stott was also able to also provide each room and teacher with individual control over their room’s temperature. Enhanced operational efficiency “This enhanced operational efficiency in several ways, including better and more even temperature control throughout each classroom,” said Mingin. “Plus, if any particular unit needed maintenance, it wouldn’t mean that the whole system had to be shut down. By having the units installed on the outside of the building we could work on the units without disturbing the teachers or the students inside.” The school had the added benefit of turning units off or on as needed" “The school had the added benefit of turning units off or on as needed depending on whether or not individual rooms were in use.” Another big improvement was the overall cost and installation of the Bard system. “Our mission is to provide our students with the educational building blocks that will prepare them to ultimately compete in a global economy,” said Donna Kennedy, Principal of Green Ridge Elementary School. Wall-Mounted heating “Working with Bard, we were able to save Green Ridge Elementary over $800,000 in installation and purchasing costs over a conventional system. That savings gave us the opportunity to purchase a complete technology package for our school, including smart boards and computer labs in every classroom. As a former AC service technician, I have to say that I’m extremely impressed with the Bard Quiet Climate units– they actually make no noise at all,” said Matt Wolf, a teacher at Green Ridge Elementary School. “They make teaching and learning a quiet, comfortable experience.” Over 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, and energy efficiency, with unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice for schools. Self-Programming energy monitors Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for any school 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. “With the Quiet Climate 2 units our teachers and students never have to worry about room temperature interfering with classroom learning,” said Kennedy. “Whenever we have a weekend community activity, teachers tutoring in off hours, or classes going on night, we know we can make those spaces comfortable without wasting energy in unused classrooms.” “Our experience with Bard products over the years in retrofitted schools has been excellent and the Green Ridge Elementary School results confirm that Bard performs as well in new schools as they do in older, existing school buildings,” said Mingin. “Bard’s ability to give us individual room dehumidification is another benefit that’s hard to quantify – we just don’t have any of the problems associated with high humidity.”
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.”
Tuscumbia, Alabama was first settled in 1815. Originally the site of a Cherokee Indian village, Tuscumbia was also home to the first railroad west of the Allegheny Mountains. Today, Tuscumbia has retained its original charm. With a population of just over 9,000, Tuscumbia also enjoys one of the best school systems in the state of Alabama. It is this singular desire to support its rich educational system which prompted Tuscumbia’s City Board of Education to pursue a plan to remodel two of its more than 40 year old school buildings. chilled water HVAC systems It was decided that one central air handler also needed to be installed in each building “We wanted to give our students a comfortable environment in which to learn and recognized that we had a number of things that needed to be updated, including both schools chilled water HVAC systems, and we had to do so within a budget with no margin of error,” said Royce Massey, Superintendent, Tuscumbia City Schools. Since new building codes require that a certain amount of fresh air be delivered to each classroom based on the number of occupants, it was decided that one central air handler also needed to be installed in each building. To help with the renovations, Tuscumbia’s School Board hired Parker Architects who in turn hired Paul Smith and Associates. air conditioner units “At first we specified Bard’s standard gas/electric wall mount air conditioner units with an additional roof top make up air unit for each school,” said Paul Smith, PE, Environmental Systems Corporation. “Unfortunately, after final bids were collected from all of the contractors involved, the project came back nearly $200,000 over budget.” 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. provide tangible solutions We also decided to add energy recovery ventilator cassettes and the dehumidification option to each unit" 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. After the bids were returned, Tuscumbia’s School Board and Parker Architects realized that they had to find a way to resolve the cost barrier or they would have to forgo the bulk of renovations. energy recovery ventilator “Bard really came through when the bids came back,” said Massey. To solve the problem, John Hayes, who works for the George Wheelock Company - one of Bard’s distributors in Alabama - proposed eliminating the two central make up air units and adding features to the Bard WG units that would allow each to provide fresh air to each classroom. “It required some re-engineering of the units on Bard’s part,” said Hayes. “We also decided to add energy recovery ventilator cassettes and the dehumidification option to each unit.” These features would allow each unit to pre-treat the outside air - removing heat and moisture in the summer, adding heat in the winter - and also adding dehumidification, allowing each unit to control humidity in each space. WG Series Wall Mount The WG Series is designed to be mounted on the exterior wall surface of the classroom – fully engineered to be quiet, comfortable, aesthetically pleasing and secure. All of Bard’s WG Series units are designed to meet or exceed federal standards with easy installation features that make servicing fast and simple. Bard’s WG Series units provide the following features: A one-piece factory unit with individual room climate control Optional ventilation packages including energy recovery Controlled dehumidification Simple utility hookups Integrated energy recovery ventilator Easy installation, maintenance and service no additional installation costs Because of Bard’s initiative and everyone’s willingness to work together, we were able to complete the product" “Bard’s willingness to come forward and work towards a solution helped to save the project,” said Brad Bernard, Parker Architects. By eliminating all of the ductwork and subsequent demolition of each hallway ceiling, as well as changing the lighting, wiring and plumbing within the ceiling, Bard saved the Tuscumbia School Board over $300,000. “As part of the savings, there were no additional installation costs because the new features came Bard factory installed with each unit,” said Smith. Bard’s experience working with school systems around the country helps them design manufacture and support the best HVAC system currently on the market. traditional HVAC systems Not only can Bard save its customers money on the installation of traditional HVAC systems, Bard’s units, like the ones installed in Tuscumbia, can save their customers money on their maintenance costs because they are simple to maintain and service. “It’s win-win for everyone involved,” said Massey. “Because of Bard’s initiative and everyone’s willingness to work together, we were able to complete the product, on time and within budget - allowing our students to get the best education in an environment that’s comfortable and one that fosters their hard work and creativity.”
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned provider of for smart and sustainable building solutions, has announced the completion of phase one of its project with Gunnison County, in Colorado, USA, which included the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and LED lighting in five County buildings. PV panels and LED lighting The phase one improvements are the continuation of the Gunnison County’s long-standing commitment to reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities and operations. The solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and LED lighting will help the County reduce greenhouse gas emissions, made possible by an Energy Services Agreement (ESA). The County has been electrifying and improving the efficiency of its facilities over many years The County has been electrifying and improving the efficiency of its facilities over many years, and the addition of PV generation is an exciting next step in a long-standing commitment to lowering the environmental impact of County operations. The project was enabled through the Colorado Energy Office. Solar arrays deployed When considering their sustainability mission, Gunnison County officials were committed to leveraging solar power to achieve their strategic GHG reduction goals. Selected for its specialized experience in solar PV technology, energy storage, lighting and structured finance programs, Johnson Controls worked with county leaders over the past year to put their plan into action. The completed solar arrays, built on six County buildings, will total approximately 308 kilowatts (kW) in provided power. All-electric heating and cooling systems Two of the sites are located on buildings that have previously been converted to all-electric heating and cooling systems, using highly efficient ground source heat pumps. The solar arrays will directly offset the electric power needs of facilities and the County estimates solar will generate 40% of the power for the Courthouse and 80% of the power at the Health and Human Services Building. “There is a lot of pride in Gunnison County having large-scale solar arrays provide power for public buildings, proving our commitment to being a leader in sustainability,” said Gunnison County Commissioner, Jonathan Houck. Achieving strategic GHG emissions reduction goals Reducing our County’s GHG emissions is a crucial part of our dedication to a greener, healthier community" Jonathan adds, “Reducing our County’s GHG emissions is a crucial part of our dedication to a greener, healthier community. Our partnership with Johnson Controls allows us to continue exploring new energy efficiency opportunities to serve future generations of Gunnison County.” When considering their sustainability mission, Gunnison County officials were committed to leveraging solar power to achieve their strategic GHG reduction goals. Selected for its specialized experience in solar PV technology, energy storage, lighting and structured finance programs, Johnson Controls worked with county leaders over the past year to put their plan into action. Energy Services Agreement (ESA) By employing an Energy Services Agreement (ESA), the project leverages energy cost savings to help pay for the project over time. In addition, this project is supported by additional funding secured through a US$ 497,500 grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). These funding methods enabled the County to quickly make necessary infrastructure improvements for long-term sustainability. "Funding from the DOLA Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund (EIAF) program is helping Coloradans socially or economically affected by the development, processing, or energy conversion of minerals and mineral fuels," said Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Executive Director, Rick M. Garcia, adding "It is also an incentive for eligible local governments to launch planning and implementation of renewable energy solutions that meet the needs vocalized by their communities." Making buildings energy efficient “Johnson Controls has been making buildings efficient and safe for 135 years, and our obligation to deliver comprehensive, best in class solutions to our customers has never been more important,” said Rowena Adams, Account Executive for Performance Infrastructure at Johnson Controls. Rowena adds, “Solar and energy solutions like the ones we’ve implemented throughout Gunnison County’s facilities will continue to make the community a healthier place to live, work and play. These energy projects are the result of strong leadership at Gunnison County. They are an impressive force.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic spread, phase one of the project was completed in compliance with the social distancing practices to be followed, as per the federal government and health organizations’ health and safety guidelines. Phase two of the project will be completed by leveraging the same safety measures and is scheduled for completion in Fall 2020. Installing ground source heat pump system Phase two includes building envelope improvements within the County’s Blackstock Government Building Phase two includes building envelope improvements within the County’s Blackstock Government Building and a ground source heat pump system which will dramatically reduce energy use and will make the building the County’s 3rd all-electric building. “Gunnison County has had a long-standing commitment to reducing energy use and lowering greenhouse gas emissions from its operations through energy efficiency and adoption of alternative HVAC strategies, such as ground source heat pumps,” said John Cattles, Sustainable Operations Director at Gunnison County. Modernizing equipment and building systems John adds, “The solar arrays are an exciting next step along the energy journey the County has been on. I’m proud to be a part of an organization that is able to take the vision and values set by our elected leaders and efficiently and consistently turn that into great projects and outcomes for our community.” Johnson Controls has a long history of working with local governments throughout North America to create environments that inspire and engage both residents and leaders. Through Performance Infrastructure projects, we have helped nearly six hundred local governments modernize equipment and building systems, improve infrastructure and energy spend, and address on-going maintenance needs.