GrayWolf’s DirectSense® II probes will now connect via Bluetooth LE wireless to Apple and Android devices. Their highly reliable, adaptable DSII probes for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Toxic Gas testing/monitoring will imminently have Apps for iOS and Android operating systems available (free) on the Apple and Google App stores. Use smartphone or tablet as a multi-parameter display, data-logger, and far more. Indoor air quality Choose from over 25 highly accurate, smart indoor air q...
The EME3625MD, a new, 3-inch deep, stationary Ruskin louver, approved by Miami-Dade, for its wind-driven rain resistance, is designed for structures in high-velocity hurricane zones that require louvers with basic impact protection. EME3625MD louver Mechanically fastened to add to its strength, the vertical louver also offers improved air and water performance over Ruskin’s previous Miami-Dade approved model, the EME3625DFLMD, and is AMCA 540 (Missile D) and 550 listed. We designed the...
With indoor air quality more essential than ever with the infectious COVID-19 still active worldwide, eradicating the virus while it's airborne is crucial to mitigating its transmission. Energy Cloud, a clean-tech company specializing in healthy buildings and energy-efficient environments has a solution: Hummingbird™ EQ, an air purification system that captures and deactivates airborne COVID-19 virus. Air Vaccine™ technology Hummingbird™'s EQ with Air Vaccine™ tec...
Secure I.T. Environments Ltd, one of the UK’s design and build companies for modular, containerized, and micro data centers, announces the completion of a new UPS room, Air Handling Unit (AHU), and air conditioning upgrade at Principality Building Society in Cardiff, Wales – A mutual building society with over 500,000 members and 160 years of experience. With existing AHU and sensing equipment approaching the end of life, Principality wanted to upgrade to equipment that would offer...
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart, healthy, and sustainable building solutions, has significantly upgraded the testing lab facilities at its residential HVAC manufacturing plant in Wichita, Kan. upgrading HVAC testing facility The nearly US$ 15 million investment includes the addition of seven test chambers, automated testing and model shop equipment, and a new building, which adds 2,000 more square footage space, bringing the plant’s total testing facilities to 1...
Active air purification and HVAC specialists, Better Indoors, have formed a new strategic partnership with water and air quality providers, SMS Environmental, to help UK businesses, healthcare and education settings create safe indoor environments. Headquartered in Surrey, Better Indoors, is the sole UK distributor of RGF Environmental Group, manufacturers of innovative active air purification technology that instantly eliminates harmful viruses and bacteria, including SARS-CoV-2 at the point o...
Uponor has extended its innovative EcoFlex VIP portfolio with the introduction of Ecoflex Aqua VIP, a high-performance pipe designed to make hot and cold water transportation around a home more sustainable than ever before. The pre-insulated pipe, introduced specifically for domestic water distribution, combines heat loss performance with outstanding flexibility, ease of installation and a service life in excess of 30 years. Total solutions provider By adapting ground-breaking Vacuum Insulation Panel (VIP) technology, the next generation pipe delivers hot water efficiently to its distribution point by significantly reducing the heat losses that typically occur when water travels from a heat source around a building. What’s more, Uponor, the total solutions provider of systems for the safe transportation of water around a building, has designed the new pipe to be as flexible as soft foam insulated products, but with a diameter up to 30% smaller. This means that less space is needed to run the pipework around a building, saving on time and labor while also making it easier to find suitable pathways for the pipes to run. In addition, Ecoflex Aqua VIP is also highly flexible and durable, making it ideal for complex designs and projects where the installer is working in confined spaces. Requiring additional connections These qualities help to reduce the installation time of the pipes by up to 20% With up to 60% less bending force compared to alternative solutions on the market, Ecoflex Aqua VIP can be navigated around obstacles or laid across bumpy ground without requiring additional connections. These qualities help to reduce the installation time of the pipes by up to 20% compared to hard foam insulated flexible pipes, and by more than double compared to steel pipes. This also minimizes potential weak points that could lead to leaks after the pipes have been laid. Ecoflex Aqua VIP joins Ecoflex Thermo VIP in the innovative range, which now provides developers and installers with the complete sustainable solution for all a project’s pipework requirements. High insulating performance Commenting on the portfolio, Mark Dowdeswell, Senior Category Manager at Uponor, said: “Vacuum insulation panels have already proven to be one of the best insulation materials, as they are widely used for applications in healthcare, vehicles, construction and household appliances. By adapting this technology to our Ecoflex VIP range, we have managed to achieve high insulating performance with less insulation material. The flexible, multi-layer aluminum diffusion barrier also makes our pipe extremely compact and easy to handle.” “The system can be utilized for a great variety of applications, from an extensive supply network to a single connection for one building, with the flexibility of the pipe material, the convenient connecting methods and the well-attested service life, all contributing to projects being completed quickly, economically and reliably.”
The air quality of our indoor spaces has seen renewed interest in the past 18-months as a strong relationship emerges between the quality or flow of air and the spread of coronavirus. In the rush to get workers back into their physical workplaces, we have seen a surge of office buildings improving and reconfiguring their HVAC systems to better protect employees from COVID, even monitoring systems that provide building occupants a real-time view of air quality throughout the building. Better air quality has not only become beneficial for workplaces during the pandemic, however, there are also many other reasons to improve HVAC systems. COVID has simply made better air quality necessary for companies, rather than a nice-to-have. Honeywell Survey 60% said they are more likely to invest in indoor air quality optimization technology A June survey by Honeywell questioned 1,554 facility managers around the world on the impact of COVID-19, with 75% confirming that the pandemic has caused them to permanently rethink how their buildings operate. Within the results, nearly 60% said they are more likely to invest in indoor air quality optimization technology. Another study compiled by 39 scientists from 14 countries and published in the journal ‘Science’ has demanded universal recognition that infections can be prevented by improving air ventilation systems in buildings. While a survey of 436 human resources managers in the US, conducted by Pollfish on behalf of Omni CleanAir, found that nearly every business surveyed took steps to improve air quality during the pandemic. Pollfish Omni CleanAir Survey The Pollfish – Omni CleanAir survey found that 73% of surveyed organizations had upgraded existing HVAC systems to support improved filtration, namely the introduction of MERV13 filtration, while 63% reported the installation of medical-grade filtration such as HEPA into their central HVAC systems. A further half of respondents said their organizations had introduced portable HEPA filtration machines, while 42% had deployed ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) and 38% had deployed air ionization technologies. After years of relatively minimal improvements to air quality in workplaces, the pandemic has driven buildings to follow official guidance on best practices for clean air. Combining Filters and Air Cleaners According to ASHRAE, using combinations of filters and air cleaners that achieve MERV 13 or better levels of performance for air recirculated by HVAC systems is a core recommendation for reducing exposure to airborne infectious diseases. Meanwhile, public health information during the pandemic has made a clear distinction between the rate of transmission between indoor and outdoor air-quality environments. This has prompted commercial building designers to bring more of the outdoor air into the building through ventilation systems and new architectural design approaches. Authority Comment “Dozens of the world’s top experts in how diseases spread have called for big improvements to the air in buildings and there is now a recognition by the WHO and the CDC that coronavirus can spread through the air. However, cleaner air won’t just fight the COVID pandemic, it will also minimize the risk of catching flu and other respiratory infections that cost the US alone more than $50 billion a year,” said Phillip Dowds, the founder and director of OKTO. “Businesses are annually being hit with the costs associated with sick leave and loss of productivity due to poor air quality and ventilation systems, viruses, flu symptoms, asthma, chest infections, etc.” Varying Air Quality Conditions Workplace air quality is not just about reducing sickness eitherVarious studies have long proven a link between air quality and absenteeism. A 2002 study by Milton DK. et al., compared employee absenteeism in offices with varying air quality conditions. They found that short-term sick leave was 35% lower in offices ventilated by an outdoor air supply rate of 24 l/s compared to buildings with rates of 12 l/s. This staggering statistic may support Dowds “$50 billion a year” in losses claim and suggests that companies should have been investing much more significantly in air quality technology long before the pandemic. Employees not being able to work due to sickness is a huge drain on companies but workplace air quality is not just about reducing sickness either. Air Quality Better air quality also improves the overall health, wellness, and comfort of employees, thereby increasing their ability to concentrate and making them more productive. Several studies have found that high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), or low levels of oxygen, in offices make us drowsy, affecting our concentration and decision-making abilities. Traditional building regulations have brought about well-insulated office spaces, reducing temperature fluctuations but also reducing the fresh air circulation. Typical outdoor CO2 concentrations hover around 380 parts per million (ppm), while within offices CO2 concentrations were found to be as high as several thousand ppm. All organizations desire greater employee productivity and, therefore, all companies should seek better air quality. Cost-Effective All companies also want to reduce their costs, and while capital investments in better HVAC systems can be expensive, the operational cost reductions from smarter HVAC usually pay off in the long run. Combined with sensors and analytics, HVAC systems can better understand and react to the actual use of spaces in buildings to find new efficiencies, namely by not heating, cooling, and ventilating unused areas of the building. A layer of artificial intelligence applied to HVAC control can go further by using prediction and advanced analytics to find even greater efficiencies as well as better integrating with other systems to meet overall building objectives. AI Commercial Building Report “The quality of the air as a determinant of occupant health, wellbeing and satisfaction is steadily gaining greater recognition. Several of the more sophisticated offerings in this domain tie into building management and HVAC systems together, and are using AI to balance air quality, energy efficiency, and comfort priorities and determine optimal control systems,” explains the recent AI in commercial buildings report. COVID-19 has forced companies to invest in technology that can improve air quality “Others integrate with predictive analytics solutions, providing improved insight into systems maintenance requirements. A number of the solutions also use occupancy data to help drive optimized ventilation and airflow conditions depending on current levels of occupation in a building.” COVID-19 The COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to invest in technology that can improve air quality in their workplaces, through regulation and public pressure to better protect employees. However, once the smoke clears on this global crisis, office buildings around the world will find their workers are more resilient to many kinds of sickness, reducing absenteeism, and more productive when they are at work, due to the cognitive benefits of cleaner air. Many of the smart technologies required to improve air quality will also drive cost reductions and open the door to other smart systems such as occupancy and space analytics. While challenging almost every business in the world, the COVID-19 pandemic can also breathe new life into the smart workplace.
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart, healthy and sustainable building solutions, has launched the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program. As part of the program, Johnson Controls will give US$ 15 million, over the next five years, to support academic scholarships at non-profit community colleges. Community college Program Starting in the 2021‒2022 academic year, Johnson Controls’ program will endow a total of US$ 1 million to ten community colleges across the U.S. In addition to the funding, Johnson Controls employees will support the community colleges through volunteering and mentorships. The grants support the expansion of associate degree and certificate programs in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), fire and security, and digital building automation systems, all areas where the U.S. Bureau of Labor is predicting an increased need for skilled trade expertise in the coming years. Providing in-demand knowledge and skills A core objective of the program is to change the trajectory of the lives of students from underserved communities A core objective of the program is to change the trajectory of the lives of students from underserved communities, by equipping them with in-demand knowledge and skills that will support employment and a pathway for life-long careers upon graduation. “Just as smart, healthy buildings are critical to our well-being, well-educated and trained technicians are crucial to keeping our environments operating safely and efficiently. As a leader in the building industry for over a century, Johnson Controls is honored to share our expertise with the country's leading community colleges,” said Grady Crosby, Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer at Johnson Controls. Providing funding for institutions Grady Crosby adds, “The Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program supports institutions through its funding and supports their students through volunteerism and mentorships. We believe this will empower people to build life-long careers that will transform their lives and their cities.” The initial ten community colleges receiving grants are located in cities, where Johnson Controls has a significant customer base and employee presence. Funding for each community college differs based on its needs. In general, colleges will use the support to purchase and develop classroom materials, learning technologies, and student scholarships. Mentorship for students Local Johnson Controls employees in each market will serve as volunteer educators, providing students with counseling and real-world experiences. This mentoring will be directly incorporated into various college programs and also provide a pathway for student internships, and entry-level employment opportunities at Johnson Controls. 2021-2022 Community College Partnership award recipients include: Kennedy-King College (Chicago, IL): Founded in 1911, Kennedy-King College is part of the City Colleges of Chicago, a system of two-year education institutions. The college will use its funding to establish an HVAC certification boot camp, develop a job shadowing and field experience course, as well as provide students with their own HVAC toolsets. Suffolk County Community College (Selden, NY): Founded in 1959, Suffolk County Community College is a public community college, sponsored by SUNY and Suffolk County, NY. The college will use its funding to invest in state-of-the-art training simulators and the growth of a guided mentoring program, featuring Johnson Controls employees supporting peer mentoring and career counseling. Montgomery College (Rockville, MD): Founded in 1946, Montgomery College is a public community college in Montgomery County, Maryland. The college will use its funding to expand program marketing to local, low-income communities, hire additional faculty to serve as retention and recruitment associates, and create a Building Automation Systems lab. Community College of Baltimore County (Baltimore, MD): Founded in 1957, Community College of Baltimore County is a public community college with campuses across Baltimore County, Maryland. The college will use its funding to hire additional faculty and grow a guided mentoring program, featuring Johnson Controls employees supporting peer mentoring and career counseling. Lone Star College (Conroe, TX): Founded in 1992, Lone Star College is a Texas community college in The Woodlands, north of Houston. The college will use its funding to provide financial assistance for students to obtain HVAC toolkits, PPE, and learning materials, as well as tuition support. Further, the college will use the funding to grow programs that encourage students to go beyond HVAC/R certification courses and complete a full Associates Degree. Henry Ford College (Dearborn, MI): Founded in 1938, Henry Ford College is a public two-year college in Dearborn, west of Detroit, Michigan. The college will use its funding to expand the Energy Technology-HVAC program into modular units that will also be developed into open-source, online educational resources that can be shared and further developed by other learning institutions. Further, the college will purchase HVAC simulators, featuring industry-standard components. Essex Country Community College (Newark, NJ): Founded in 1968, Essex County College is a public community college in Essex County, New Jersey. The college will use its funding to purchase learning materials and training technologies, as well as create a partnership with CompTIA to expand IT certification programs for careers in IT and help desk positions. Camden County College (Blackwood, NJ): Founded in 1965, Camden County College is a public community college serving western central New Jersey and the greater Camden area. The college will use its funding to expand its HVAC technician training and Programmable Logic Controller Certificate of Achievement programs. Further, the college will develop a Programmable Logic Controller certificate program specifically tied to using Johnson Controls technology. Georgia Piedmont Technical College (Clarkston, GA): Founded in 1961, Georgia Piedmont Technical College is part of the Technical College System of Georgia, serving students in the greater metro Atlanta area. The college will use its funding to purchase additional lab equipment for the Building Automaton Systems program and upgrade hands-on training simulators. Further, the college will refresh its commercial refrigeration and welding programs, and update related program marketing to underserved communities. Milwaukee Area Technical College (Milwaukee, WI): Founded in 1912, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a public, two-year vocational-technical college. The college will use its funding to expand local recruitment for HVAC career training, as well as upgrade lab and training equipment. Cutting carbon emissions in buildings construction According to a 2020 report from the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, part of the United Nations’ environment program, the buildings construction industry accounts for 40% of total global energy-related carbon emissions. And three-quarters of those emissions are attributable to building operations. Yet, the current renovation rate of buildings is less than one percent. It will take commitment and expertise across generations to reverse the damage already done to the environment and then continue with a new, sustainable way of life. Specialty knowledge is needed to develop more sustainable spaces and deploy and maintain operational and informational technologies that drive healthier buildings. Therefore, Johnson Controls is investing in the technicians of tomorrow, today.
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) — also known as the HVAC Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Association announces that its highly anticipated Fall Technical Conference will take place September 16-18 at the Hilton Charlotte University Place in Charlotte, North Carolina. NADCA’s Fall Technical Conference is an annual event that is popular with air duct cleaning technicians throughout every stage of their careers. It features hands-on training in every aspect of HVAC system cleaning. Plus, technicians seeking Air Systems Cleaning Specialist (ASCS) or Certified Ventilation Inspector (CVI) certifications will have the opportunity to participate in the pre-conference training course on September 16, and exams for both certifications will be offered on September 18. Educational training program The conference provides attendees with an opportunity to gain education credits necessary for certification renewals The event will offer a robust educational program, with industry expert-led sessions featuring topics like tackling exposed and exterior ductwork, upselling to grow sales, reading blueprints, commercial estimating, the impact of filtration in HVAC systems, indoor air quality, and more. Technicians also have access to advanced training tracks about cleaning variable air volume (VAV) boxes, fan coils, and the hidden hazards of duct cleaning, as well as highly technical tracks with hands-on training stations for real-world technical experience. The conference also provides attendees with the opportunity to gain continuing education credits necessary for certification renewals. Opportunity to attain certifications “We’re so excited to return to an in-person format for our Fall Technical Conference. Like so many other organizations, the unknowns and safety concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to move to a virtual format for our 2020 event,” said Jodi Araujo, CEM, NADCA's Chief Executive Officer. “We really had no sense for the appetite of our members to attend a virtual conference, but clearly the desire was there, as we saw almost 200 attendees at the event and the post-meeting networking happy hour.” “Despite a highly successful virtual event in 2020, our Fall Technical Conference is always a not-to-be-missed in-person event for air duct cleaning technicians, providing extremely valuable hands-on training and education, as well as the opportunity to take the coursework and exams for our ASCS and CVI certifications,” Araujo continued.
GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, announced a new Vertical Terminal Air Conditioner (VTAC) poised to reinvent the design of Single Packaged Vertical Units (SPVU). The GE Zoneline Ultimate V10 was designed in collaboration with hotel and residential property owners and architects, to create a new way of installing the air conditioning chassis that makes installation 60% faster. GE Zoneline Ultimate V10 With additional features like ultra-quiet cooling, onboard diagnostics and SmartHQ WiFi capabilities, the GE Zoneline Ultimate V10 is a low maintenance unit providing guest comfort and reliable performance. “At GE Appliances, our goal is to design products that meet owners’ needs and create custom solutions for their environment,” said Kristi Saathoff, Senior Director of Product Management for GE Appliances. Kristi adds, “The Zoneline UltimateV10 is designed, engineered and assembled in the U.S. This allowed us to integrate customer feedback into our design to eliminate the most common pain points for the category, shorten lead times for customers, and add connected and diagnostic capabilities. This product is exemplary of our commitment to design and engineer innovative HVAC products that fit the needs of the North American marketplace.” Featuring new chassis and platform design The product, manufactured in Selmer, Tennessee, features a new chassis and platform design The product, manufactured in Selmer, Tennessee, features a new chassis and platform design with industry-exclusive features and multiple patents pending. GE Zoneline engineers collaborated with builders, property managers and architects to design the Insta-Platform, an innovative platform that is paired with a quick-install plenum and a perfect fit chassis, making the Ultimate V10 the easiest-to-install system on the market today. GE Zonelines are the industry’s quietest PTACs and GE Appliances has applied that knowledge to this product. The UltimateV10 is already the preferred VTAC for quiet performance and sound quality, when tested against competitors. In testing, 91% of participants preferred the Ultimate V10 air conditioner for superior sound quality and quieter operation. Onboard diagnostics and optional WiFi module Other features that optimize the guest and owner experience include onboard diagnostics that provide clear and fast diagnostics data. The units are also available with an optional WiFi module that integrates with GEA’s SmartHQ system allowing property managers to monitor multiple units remotely. “I have used GE Zoneline products in my hotels for years, and GE Appliances has proven to be a reliable partner for SINA Hospitality,” said Ravi Patel, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sina Hospitality. Ravi adds, “I am building a new Residence Inn property in Charleston, West Virginia and look forward to seeing this innovative product installed there. GE Appliances builds reliable products, and I am impressed with the features and quiet operation of this new VTAC. I look forward to our continued partnership.” GE Zoneline UV-C solution GEA is improving indoor air quality for hotel guests with an industry-exclusive kit for GE Zoneline PTACs GEA is improving indoor air quality for hotel guests with an industry-exclusive kit for GE Zoneline PTACs that uses UV-C light technology. The GE Zoneline UV-C solution is a perfect fit kit for Zoneline PTACs and designed to treat indoor air, as it cycles through the unit. Using a high-powered LED array for maximum intensity and efficiency, this new technology applies UV-C light to air as it passes through the unit, focused and channeled where most air movement occurs to reduce airborne virus concentrations. UV-C kit customized for GE Zoneline PTACs The new UV-C kit is customized for GE Zoneline PTACs and can be installed to existing products. The kits will be available in the coming months. Soon, GE Appliances will also offer GE Zoneline units with UV-C-technology factory installed. “Clean air is critical to ensuring guests and residents’ well-being,” said Brigitte Mader-Urschel, Commercial Director for HVAC at GE Appliances, adding “This kit is a great option to increase indoor air quality. It works when added to existing Zoneline PTACs and can also be added to new units. GEA invented the PTAC category, and we continue to innovate and respond to the changing needs of our customers and the environment.”
Filtration Group has welcomed Jason Clayton to its team of entrepreneurs. Clayton has assumed the critically important role of Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) for Filtration Group. “We are on a mission to make the world safer, healthier, and more productive while building a remarkable business that will long outlast us,” said Tim McCarty, President & CEO of Filtration Group. “We are excited that Jason is joining our team to help elevate our ability to attract and develop the very best team to accomplish our ambitious goals.” Role and Responsibility In addition to leading all aspects of the company’s human resources, Clayton will focus on fortifying the entrepreneurial culture of Filtration Group by working with its leaders around the world to optimize their ability to build the best teams. Clayton’s focus will help ensure that Filtration Group is an employer of choice in every market and that the company continues to invest in attracting and developing the best talent to its team. Experience “Filtration Group is becoming known for the people they attract and the leaders they create in the business,” said Clayton. “I’m excited to be a part of a mission-oriented team with such a strong culture.” Mr. Clayton has deep experience as a Human Resources leader, including executive leadership roles at top global manufacturing companies and consumer brands. In the role of CHRO at Filtration Group, Clayton succeeds Mike Ellis—who is now focused entirely on his role of CHRO at Madison Industries.
As our urban centers grow, so does our demand for key resources, such as energy. Currently, cities are accountable for over 60% of resource use and an estimated 70% of global carbon emissions. In the Middle East particularly, countries have experienced unprecedented population growth, increased economic activity and consequently, increases in energy consumption. Integration of sustainable systems Fortunately, industry leaders and governments are placing sustainability at the heart of regional plans for urban development. The integration of sustainable systems is no longer a value-added benefit, but rather a necessary requirement. I believe a vital element for sustainable development in our cities is energy management. Energy is a costly commodity representing an average of 25% of all operating costs in office buildings. This cost, however, can be reduced by using energy management to optimize HVAC systems employed in a building. Effective energy management Energy management involves proactive tracking, systemic management and thoughtful optimization of energy consumption in a building, with the goal of improving energy efficiency. The concept of energy efficiency takes into account a variety of factors; we must consider system design, quality of installation and maintenance, efficiency rates and personal use. If we assume a system is designed with greatest efficiency in mind, its effectiveness is still deeply impacted by installation, maintenance and use. ‘Performance drift’ issues One challenge we face with the efficiency of HVAC systems is ‘performance drift’ One challenge we face with the efficiency of HVAC systems is ‘performance drift’. When first installed, and even in the first few months, HVAC systems operate immaculately. Over time, however, component efficiency and system conditions ‘drift’ away from the originally installed operating curve, meaning that efficiency and performance of the system can degrade incrementally. The deteriorating performance of HVAC systems has consequences, such as unnecessary use of energy, resulting in higher costs and emissions, in addition to reduced comfort for building occupants. Energy efficient HVAC pumps In order to truly have an impact on energy consumption, a holistic approach must be adopted. Only by carefully examining and optimizing each part of the HVAC system, can we then find ways to improve it. In my experience with Armstrong Fluid Technology, in the last decade, the technology for HVAC pumps has been enhanced to provide up to 70% energy efficiency savings through demand-based control and parallel pumping technology. These innovations enable the pumps to operate at optimum levels, consuming as little energy as possible. Innovative smart technology Systems that incorporate innovative smart technology enable more accurate system performance analysis and optimization. Pumps can function as highly accurate flow meters that provide valuable insight for building managers and operators. Data from the intelligent connected pumps can be collected through active performance management software, which enables the HVAC system to learn, predict and optimize to deliver even greater energy efficiency and cost savings through maintained optimized performance. Systems incorporating innovative smart technology enable more accurate system performance analysis Active performance management software Active performance management software enables real time and historical data reporting that directly demonstrates system efficiency and savings. Given the global shift towards sustainable building construction, legislation on energy reporting is inevitable, therefore employing systems with this in-built capability can prove to be extremely beneficial in the future. The software can also help maintain client comfort at all times by enabling predictive maintenance. Systems can provide alerts when they detect faults, allowing for early replacement before a full breakdown. This can be particularly helpful in mission critical applications such as hospitals. Importance of analyzed data in system optimization Without the ability to analyze data, buildings managers and operators cannot properly optimize mechanical systems Evidently, collecting data is essential for many reasons, including preventing, and even reversing, the loss of energy efficiency. Without the ability to analyze data, buildings managers and operators cannot properly optimize mechanical systems, which results in unnecessary energy use, insufficient maintenance practices and any related costs. There may be hesitation in the industry to incorporate more sophisticated systems as they require initial investment, however, the returns from using more efficient mechanical systems are impressive. Executing energy upgrades for HVAC systems Simple payback on energy upgrade projects is usually reached within 3 to 5 years. Furthermore, energy savings continue for the life of the system. Properly executed energy upgrades deliver up to 40% savings on energy consumption related to HVAC operation. Savings on that level for a large facility can be impactful for business operations. Energy efficiency is not ‘visible’ but has the potential to have a transformative effect on climate change, if embraced on a large scale. If we consume energy only as we need to, then we consume less of it. This, in turn, reduces our consumption of fossil fuels and consequently our greenhouse gas emissions. Aside from short-term benefits, such as costs savings and increased operation efficiency, energy management has the ability to help conserve energy for generations to come. Embracing energy saving solutions If we embrace innovative energy saving solutions in the building services industry, then we can begin to make a difference. With the recent launch of plans for sustainable development, such as the Dubai Master Plan 2040, green infrastructure, supporting solutions, will thrive. The global shift towards embracing sustainability has made individuals and organizations call into question their impact on our planet. Embracing sustainability is no longer a preference but a strategic business approach that helps to create long-term value on a social, economic and environmental level. The role of energy efficiency, and the systems that enable it, will inevitably play a key role in creating more sustainable buildings, communities and cities.
Now, more than ever, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a major focus concerning the health and safety of students and faculty within the nation’s schools. As they prepare their facilities for a return to in-person learning, school officials are being forced to get an education in the most effective ventilation solutions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infections. Even without factoring in airborne threats like COVID-19, poor IAQ can negatively affect the health and learning of students. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the presence of dampness and mold increases the risk of asthma and other respiratory diseases by 30-50%, and that students in well-ventilated classrooms tend to achieve higher scores on standardized tests than children in poorly-ventilated classrooms. Ventilation Improvements Guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control indicates that ventilation system improvements can increase the delivery of clean air and dilute potential contaminants. The World Health Organization (WHO) also emphasizes the important role that HVAC improvements can play in keeping people safe indoors: Use of Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems (DOAS) is one option to improve ventilation and IAQ "A well-maintained and operating system can reduce the spread of COVID-19 in indoor spaces by increasing the rate of air change, reducing air recirculation, and increasing the amount of outdoor air coming in. Settings that recirculate the air should not be used. HVAC systems should always be regularly inspected, maintained, and cleaned." One option to improve ventilation and IAQ that is growing in popularity is the use of Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems (DOAS). These units can process high volumes of fresh outside air, tempering and dehumidifying it to avoid putting an excessive load on the facility’s cooling and heating systems. Conditioning Air The introduction of large volumes of outside air does create some extra challenges. The process to condition the air can be energy-intensive if the conditions outside are especially hot, cold, dry, or humid. That’s led to the development of energy recovery devices, usually a plate heat exchanger or heat recovery wheel that can be used to offset the power demand of the HVAC system. The devices work by capturing energy from the previously conditioned relief air as it is expelled from the facility. The devices are typically 60% efficient allowing for a significant amount of energy can be saved. This makes the improved ventilation a far more cost-effective proposition and reduces the size of the mechanical systems needed to serve the space. Other Steps to Take In addition to increasing the ventilate rate in classrooms, facilities managers can take other steps to improve the IAQ in schools: Better filtration. Because of increased concern about pathogens, MERV 13-and-higher filters are increasingly being used in schools instead of the traditional MERV 8. The higher-rated filters are able to filter out much smaller particles, but there is a trade-off. Their usage leads to a greater indoor pressure drop than normal. This is being addressed on the manufacturer level with the increased use of electronically commutated motors within HVAC systems. Active neutralization. The CDC recommends ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) applications as a supplementary measure to improve IAQ within schools. Control dehumidification. There is a growing use of dedicated humidity control systems in facilities outside of the humid southern states. Humidity control units can dehumidify indoor air while maintaining comfortable room temperatures. Proper maintenance. When considering IAQ issues affecting schools, lack of proper maintenance of HVAC equipment can have tangible effects on the quality of life of students. According to the EPA, those schools without major maintenance backlogs have a higher average daily attendance (ADA) by an average of 4 to 5 students per 1,000 as well as a lower annual dropout rate by 10 to 13 students per 1,000. School Funding Opportunities As school systems across the U.S. evaluate the state of their HVAC systems, many will have to reckon with the need to meet modern codes and standards. Older buildings can require substantial improvements to their HVAC systems, so it is to be expected that this will be an ongoing concern. American Rescue Plan includes $130 billion in funding that school systems can also use to improve ventilation systems To lower financial barriers for schools, there are new federal funding opportunities to help local school systems improve classroom ventilation. The American Rescue Plan includes $130 billion in funding dedicated to K-12 education that school systems can also use to improve ventilation systems in their facilities. This joins the $54.3 billion that the U.S. Congress approved for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II Fund) in 2020 to allow school systems to address “preparing schools for reopening, and testing, repairing, and upgrading projects to improve air quality in school buildings.” Innovation and Quest For Improvement The federal funding can provide the opportunity for a fresh start for schools, allowing them to upgrade their HVAC systems to meet modern standards. These standards continue to evolve and new metrics such as the Integrated Seasonal Moisture Removal Efficiency (ISMRE) will continue to be developed. The ISMRE has been incorporated into ASHRAE 90.1 as part of a measure to set minimum energy efficiency standards for DOAS applications. Thanks to the industry’s ongoing innovation and quest for improvement, there is an array of critical HVAC tools available that schools can use to protect the health, safety, and quality of life of students in the classroom. Upgrading school ventilation systems is the pathway to creating the comfortable, safe learning environments that all students deserve. Now with federal funding available, school systems have a better opportunity to update their heating and cooling systems to improve air quality while benefiting from reduced operational costs due to meeting modern efficiency standards.
When we think of remote working our thoughts often jump to office workers taking laptops to the kitchen table or of Zoom calls interrupted by needy pets. Remote working, however, isn’t just confined to office jobs. Within the HVAC industry, engineers have been working remotely for large parts of the pandemic thanks to advancements in connected technology and automation of HVAC systems. So, just how has technology enabled remote work in the HVAC industry, and is the rise of the ‘work from home HVAC engineer’ here to stay? Full remote potential It’s important to note that the HVAC industry has been going through a digital transformation for many years now, with the pandemic only uncovering new uses for connected technology, such as remote work. The technology that underpins these remote capabilities has been implemented across multiple environments for several years already, but the requirement of social distancing and ‘work from home where possible’ in early 2020 provided the catalyst for the industry to begin realizing the full remote potential of this technology. The HVAC industry has been going through a digital transformation for many years now However, with the restrictions of the pandemic beginning to lift, what is the continued benefit to sustaining these capabilities longer term? There are multiple beneficiaries to these new remote capabilities, including Facilities Maintenance companies, their paying clients, the engineers themselves and crucially, the environment. Remote work solutions With the development of new, controls agnostic technology, even organizations with legacy machines and HVAC infrastructure can utilize new remote work solutions to reap the benefits of connected technology without any disruption to existing infrastructure or expensive start-up costs. These ‘work-from-home’ capabilities not only facilitate remote fixes, but also enable more accurate diagnostics and insights into root cause, meaning engineers are much more likely to be able to achieve a first-time-fix as they are able to arrive to site with the right tools, parts and skills to solve the problem. These newly enabled efficiencies can lead to a reduction in return visits, an increase in average jobs per day and an improvement in long term health and availability of HVAC equipment. Facilities management contractors Remote diagnostics is a win-win for customers, engineers and facilities management companies In addition, in the current environment where the volume of people in any given location is being closely monitored and kept to a minimum, organizations, such as food retailers, are benefiting more than ever from a reduction of site visits and the remote control and management of critical assets. This increase in engineer efficiency also leads to a cost incentive for both facilities management contractors and the HVAC system owners. Engineers who are able to diagnose faults without having to physically visit a site will inevitably be more cost-effective for their customers, and in turn also become more profitable. In other words – remote diagnostics is a win-win for customers, engineers and facilities management companies. Write-Back capabilities With HVAC systems now being effectively managed remotely, the advanced capability for engineers to diagnose and even fix faults remotely leads to more accurate and efficient fixes for machine faults, and ultimately presents an opportunity to dramatically reduce the industry’s carbon footprint through fewer trucks on the road for contractor visits. Machine health and performance can be continually optimized, all from a remote location Sophisticated digitized write-back capabilities (the technical term for remote fixes) – of which some already exist and others are being developed – will further help to reduce the number of journeys by cementing the ability of engineers to work from afar. Furthermore, by analyzing the data collected through IoT sensors, machine health and performance can be continually optimized, all from a remote location. This optimization, combined with accurate diagnostics and efficient fixes, can also contribute to environmentally beneficial outcomes. Technology-Enabled engineering Ensuring machines are running as efficiently as possible means they consume a significantly reduced amount of energy which not only enables a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to HVAC, but also delivers huge cost benefits for all involved parties. Working from home has been one of the standout consequences of the pandemic across almost every industry. This period has also seen significant leaps forward in digital innovation, and the HVAC sector is set to benefit from both more widespread use of connected technology and the evolution of digital insights. With the environmental, financial and operational benefits of technology-enabled engineering proving hard to ignore, the rise of the remote engineer is no doubt here to stay.
It’s shaping up to be a long, hot summer for HVAC contractors and their customers. Disruptions in the nationwide supply chain that began during the COVID-19 pandemic still have not been resolved. Shutdowns last summer played havoc with the supply of parts, and suppliers are still playing catch up, as raw materials remain scarce. Furthermore, prices are going up among some components and key raw materials. Waiting times for parts can run into weeks or even months. Supply shortages of HVAC equipment Summer weather increases the demand for HVAC equipment, especially in hotter climates. A spike in air conditioner demand is generally welcomed by most contractors, but supply shortages make it difficult to deliver on customer needs. Managing a backlog of impatient customers is a new challenge for many HVAC companies. The shortages impact materials, such as steel, aluminum, copper and plastics, whose costs are expected to rise in coming months. Among metals, the price hikes could be 20 to 30%, while prices of plastics could almost triple. Copper futures recently reached an all-time high, and steel price indexes are also at record levels. Shortages of electrical components Shortages have been reported of copper and electrical components, such as motors and compressors Shortages have been reported of copper and electrical components, such as motors and compressors, which are specific to the units that use them. There is also a shortage of microchips that are components in high-efficiency systems and furnaces, and resins used in the evaporator coil pans are scarce. Some HVAC supply firms have had difficulty obtaining evaporator coils used in air conditioners. Specialty items such as control boards have a wait time of up to two to three weeks, or longer. Shortages projected till end of 2021 The shortages are projected to continue until the end of 2021. Even as small shipments trickle in, they are often sold quickly. The situation is unfamiliar to the HVAC trade, which has traditionally not had issues with equipment availability. Shortages in the HVAC market are a reflection of broader supply and cost challenges of the construction market. Prices for goods used in residential construction have increased almost 10% over the past 12 months, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Higher transportation costs impact supply chain Higher transportation costs are impacting both the supply chain and HVAC contractors. Personnel shortages continue to plague many HVAC companies, too, and a technician shortage is also contributing to longer wait times in some areas. A scarcity of labor has been a 20-year challenge for the HVAC industry, but it is reaching new levels as days go by. Order in advance and stockpiling equipment Alternatively, HVAC contractors may seek to switch brands to help ease availability issues One approach contractors are taking to the problem is to order equipment in advance and stockpile it for when they need it. One Denver contractor reportedly ordered almost a million dollars of equipment in advance. Alternatively, HVAC contractors may seek to switch brands to help ease availability issues. Identifying a manufacturer that has stock available can ease the inconvenience of customers having to wait for new equipment. need for regular HVAC maintenance Another approach is to educate homeowners about the importance of maintenance, such as changing filters, which can avoid a need for larger repairs involving equipment that is in short supply. Maintenance service is doable because it doesn’t require new equipment, replacements or add-ons that can be hard to come by. Unfortunately, among consumers, maintenance may have been delayed or ignored during the pandemic, which is aggravating the urgency of the current situation.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an emerging tool for a long list of applications, including the ability to analyze and ensure optimum performance of an HVAC system. Emerson’s Sensi Predict smart HVAC solution is an example of how AI can boost the capabilities of HVAC. It has been recognized with a Silver Edison Award in the Innovative Services – AI category. Sensi Predict smart HVAC solution Sensi Predict combines inputs from 10 sensors in an HVAC system and analyzes the performance of heating and cooling systems in real time. Intelligent monitoring alerts home owners and their contractors, when HVAC systems are not operating at full efficiency. The alerts, which can be accessed on a smartphone, can predict and prevent problems, ensure corrective maintenance, lower utility costs, and prolong the life of an HVAC system. Fault detection and diagnostics are a new frontier in HVAC technology, delivering a seamless and simple user experience. Sensi Predict HVAC system configuration Here is how the Sensi Predict system is configured: Sensors monitor the temperature of the air flowing from the HVAC system into the home, and also the return air temperature, coming from the home back into the system. Sensors also monitor temperatures in the liquid and vapor lines in the refrigerant loop, and the indoor and outdoor control lines, communicating back and forth from the thermostat to the outdoor unit. Other sensors monitor the current draw and indoor voltage of indoor units, and current and voltage to the outdoor units. Data from the sensors is used to analyze how well the HVAC is operating, including detailed monthly performance checks, with results issued to the home owner and the contractor. If a warning is detected, an alert will be sent in real time. 24/7 monitoring The 24/7 monitoring is summarized in a personalized home owner portal and monthly performance reports The 24/7 monitoring is summarized in a personalized home owner portal and monthly performance reports that include any alerts, loss of performance, runtime and estimated cost and filter status. Actionable alerts tell when a problem is detected, sent via an email with a straightforward explanation and recommended action. “Our heating and cooling systems are critical to the health and comfort of our families and the environment, yet we have little visibility into how they perform on a day-to-day basis,” said Jamie Froedge, Executive President of Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions business. The Sensi Predict systems seek to provide additional visibility. Sharing real-time system insights The Edison Awards highlight top-tier new product innovation, service development and human-centered design. Named after inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, the awards recognize and honor global innovation. The award to Emerson’s Sensi Predict system recognizes it as a 21st-century solution to the maintenance of home heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, sharing real-time system insights, in order to help home owners monitor performance and prevent unexpected problems. Maximize system lifetime and minimize energy costs “We are honored to be recognized for this innovative technology that provides both awareness and peace of mind, when it comes to an essential component of the home,” said Jamie Froedge. Sensi Predict also provides benefits related to installation, by validating a quality install and eliminating call backs. Over time, it maximizes system lifetime and minimizes energy costs. service and maintenance information In terms of maintenance, the system provides information to ensure that all contractor truck rolls generate revenue and decrease the average time on site. The 24/7 monitoring limits home visits to only when needed and increases transparency to the customer of suggested repairs and upgrades. Home owners can access the Sensi Predict Homeowner Portal on the official website for detailed information, based on real-time data about how their system is functioning and its performance history, energy usages and costs and predicted maintenance needs.
What do customers want from their HVAC company? It’s a challenging question, and the answers reveal a path to a more successful and customer-centric company. There are numerous articles written that offer consumers advice on choosing an HVAC company. In the simplest terms, wouldn’t it be possible to ‘reverse engineer’ that advice to provide a roadmap to guide HVAC companies in how to succeed? Addressing consumer concerns Often, consumers’ concerns surround whether a company is a reputable and/or a well-managed business. Answering questions about basic requirements, such as insurance should be easy. Another element of consumer-oriented advice on choosing an HVAC company is to find one that is qualified to do the job. For example, able to work on the specific type of equipment a consumer has, whether central air conditioning, humidifiers, heating sources, or whatever. From the perspective of the HVAC contractor, this advice points to a need for constant training and updating of skills related to various equipment types. Seeking HVAC specialists Customers may be looking for specialty service, specific to a certain type of equipment or type of installation Consumers are also advised to seek out specialists in the work they need doing, whether a repair, a new installation or related to a specific type of equipment. Contractors must both understand their own strengths and weaknesses and be able to communicate them clearly to put customers at ease. Consumers will also be looking for contractors, who are experienced in repairing the brand or type of system they have. Customers may be looking for specialty service, specific to a certain type of equipment or type of installation. Contractors should constantly evaluate their skills-sets, their strengths and weaknesses, and provide full transparency to enable customers to make the most informed decisions. Better to walk away from a job than to overextend or misrepresent a contractor’s skillset. Such overreach never ends well and can damage a contractor’s broader reputation. HVAC contractors come in all sizes Customers will also be looking to evaluate the size and stability of the HVAC company that they work with. HVAC contractors come in all sizes, of course, and the size of a company does not necessarily reflect on the quality of work. However, stability and a good reputation are essential, especially for a smaller company or one-man shop. Consumers are often advised to ask for references, especially if dealing with a smaller contractor. HVAC businesses can be proactive in this regard by keeping references handy and even collecting customer testimonials to share with prospective customers. Positive reviews a key indicator Online reviews, hopefully all positive, are another element that can help to put prospective customers’ minds at ease. Ideally, if an HVAC contractor is doing a good job, positive reviews, testimonials and references will happen organically. Consumers are often advised to ask for certifications to document an installer’s skillset, so keeping up with the related paperwork will ensure that a customer is comfortable with any contractor’s skill level. Specific HVAC contractor license requirements Specific contractor license requirements vary by state and even at the local level Specific contractor license requirements vary by state and even at the local level. Required license numbers should be displayed on websites and promotional materials, and most states have an online directory listing of licensed contractors. Be attentive to other requirements, too, such as the special EPA certifications required to use refrigerant. Consumers expect their HVAC contractors to guide their buying decision, whether determining the correct size HVAC unit to serve a specific home size, analyzing flow rates, or recommending systems to meet specific needs. Striking a balance between simplicity and technical detail Delivering on these expectations requires a delicate balance between simplicity and technical detail. The customer needs to be comfortable that the installer knows his stuff but does not want to be overwhelmed by arcane technical discussions or puzzling acronyms. Best by far is to keep it simple (and be willing to provide additional detail – described in layman’s terms – if the customer has questions). Membership in local trade associations can provide additional credibility to a contractor, and provide additional sales and networking opportunities, too. Importance of warranties Warranties are another critical issue for consumers. Everyone offers manufacturers’ warranties, but there is an opportunity for HVAC contractors to offer even more, whether an extended warranty, inclusion of labor, as well as parts, work guarantee on repairs, and/or an extended maintenance contract. Availability 24/7 could enable a contractor to take work away from a competitor Customers should be warned that maintenance or repairs performed by an unqualified company may void the manufacturer warranty. Availability in an emergency or on short notice is another way HVAC companies can differentiate themselves among consumers. Availability 24/7 could enable a contractor to take work away from a competitor who is closed for the weekend. Emphasizing on customer services Customer service also requires a personal touch, so an ability to communicate well with potential customers can generate extra business. Emphasize listening skills and make sure customers know they are being heard. In all dealings with customers, be straightforward and honest in order to build long-term trust. To grow a successful HVAC business, prepare proactively to answer the questions customers are most likely to ask.
Teknotherm Marine España S.L. (Teknotherm) has landed its first new building contract. Teknotherm Marine España S.L. will deliver the complete HVAC maintenance and service, including installation work, on a suction dredger, to be built by Nodosa Shipyard. HVAC service for Omvac Catorce Nodosa Shipyard will build and design the 63.3 meters dredger, called Omvac Catorce, for Canlemar. Canlemar is dedicated to carrying out all kinds of maritime works, such as deepening and maintenance dredging in ports and bays, and construction of docks. Omvac Catorce is the third dredger that Canlemar has ordered with Nodosa Shipyard. Omvac Catorce will have a dredging capacity of 1200 m3 and a dredging depth of 30 m. The ship accommodates a crew of 10. The ship will comply with the IMO TIER III regulations of the International Maritime Organization, regarding the control and reduction of polluting and greenhouse emissions. With its adaptation to these regulations, this dredger will be able to navigate and operate anywhere in the world.
With help from celebrity investors like Dan Aykroyd and Aerosmith, House of Blues has been an iconic franchise in live music since 1992. The popular Boston location that opened in 2009 next to Fenway Park is a prime spot for concerts and private events. A packed schedule that leaves little downtime for the repair of the club’s HVAC equipment means that reliability and ease of maintenance are extremely important factors when making purchasing decisions. In 2016, energy recovery wheels in two rooftop air-handlers became blocked after six years of exposure to airborne particulates. Comfortable indoor environment Although efforts were made to unclog the damaged wheels, cleaning in place was not an option due to concerns that water and cleaning fluids could damage the ductwork and ceilings below. Without working energy recovery wheels, the heating and cooling systems were forced to work overtime, at increased cost, to provide a comfortable indoor environment for the 2000-plus concert goers. At House of Blues, airborne particles from the large crowds continue to clog the new wheels The building’s service contractor, Cullen Mechanical, determined that the wheels were beyond repair and needed to be replaced. Cullen’s engineers knew from past experience that simply replacing the wheels without solving the cleaning problem would invite the same undesirable maintenance situation. At House of Blues, airborne particles from the large crowds, special effects vapors, and confetti would continue to clog the new wheels if the energy transfer matrix could not be periodically maintained. Energy transfer segments When selecting replacement wheels, Cullen prioritized both ease of installation and the ability to clean or replace the energy recovery matrix once the units were in operation. As they’ve done in the past, Cullen chose Airxchange aftermarket replacement energy recovery wheels as the best solution moving forward. Airxchange offers a unique wheel design that allows a single person to remove pie-shaped energy transfer segments with basic hand tools to be cleaned outside of the cabinet. The refresh capability of Airxchange wheels means that they can be cleaned as often as the application dictates and counted on to last for the life of the HVAC system. In contrast to Airxchange wheels, the only cleaning or repair solution for the original wheels at House of Blues was to replace the entire wheel structure every 5-6 years, at great time and expense to the building owner. Rooftop air-Handling units An engineer from Airxchange presented Cullen Mechanical with a 6-8 hour wheel replacement plan After an onsite visit, an engineer from Airxchange presented Cullen Mechanical with a 6-8 hour wheel replacement plan that minimized HVAC system downtime, ensuring that the two units would be operational for the start of that evening’s show. Because of constraints of the air-handler designs, which blocked the removal or installation of fully assembled wheels, Cullen selected replacement wheel kits from Airxchange. These replacement kits could be easily carried through the theater and up the stairs to be quickly assembled within the cabinet of the rooftop air-handling units. In contrast, bringing any other manufacturer’s similarly sized wheel to the same rooftop would invite the cost and complexity of having a police detail shut down the sidewalk on Boston’s busy Lansdowne Street in order to operate a crane. HVAC comfort applications The replacement wheels were fully assembled and tested at the factory before being partially dismantled to fit into the unique access points of the air-handlers. Once the old wheels were removed by the service contractor, the two Airxchange wheels were assembled inside of the cabinets in less than four hours. Cullen took additional steps to reduce their client’s energy costs and HVAC system downtime Recognizing that entertainment venues often require more frequent cleanings than traditional HVAC comfort applications, Cullen took additional steps to reduce their client’s energy costs and potential HVAC system downtime. In addition to installing a fully serviceable wheel, they also ordered a complete set of replacement segments for each unit. Energy recovery wheels With a spare segment set on hand, operators can save time and maintenance costs by completely restoring the performance of any wheel in about 15 minutes. Once removed, dirty segments can be restored and prepared for the next cleaning cycle by soaking overnight in a cleaning solution. After the first successful winter in operation Cullen reports that the replacement wheels have lived up to the Airxchange Replacement Solutions motto; ‘Restore, Replace, Relax.’ And though there may be plenty of sad songs performed on their stage, the facility crew at House of Blues can now whistle a happy tune when it comes to maintaining their new energy recovery wheels.
Indoor air quality and affordable building ventilation are increasingly important for businesses fighting to stay open and operable during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Casinos, with their 24/7 operating schedules and high levels of tobacco smoke and other indoor air contaminants, face a unique challenge to maintain optimum indoor air quality at an affordable cost. Airxchange energy recovery wheel technology was specifically designed to operate in demanding casino environments to deliver improved fresh air ventilation and dramatically reduced energy costs. Solution To Improve Ventilation And IAQ The Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, IN sought a fresh solution to improve ventilation and indoor air quality at its 400,000-square-foot gaming vessel located on Lake Michigan. The property, owned by Caesars Entertainment, had an original HVAC system designed with energy recovery wheels to offset the long heating season, control humidity in the summer, and improve indoor air quality with clean outdoor air year-round. However, after 12 years of continuous operation, the system’s original aluminum wheels became plugged with tar and contaminants and routine maintenance became ineffective and inefficient. The casino’s management was in dire need of a maintainable and affordable long-term solution to provide fresh, clean air for the patrons who ultimately drive the casino’s bottom line. The Airxchange Advantage The Horseshoe Casino partnered with Airxchange to replace the original 10 ft. diameter wheels with a practical energy recovery wheel solution to ensure easy maintenance, durability, and uninterrupted operation to match the casino’s 24/7 schedule. Airxchange provided on-site assistance and ongoing customer service to ensure the wheels were built and operating Airxchange’s rugged polymer energy transfer medium is fully segmented and removable for cleaning as needed. No special equipment or training is required to clean the energy recovery media making it possible for on-site facility teams to maintain factory-level wheel performance, airflows, and energy savings for the life of the equipment. An additional set of segments limits downtime to under an hour per routine cleaning schedule. Airxchange’s stainless steel wheel design alleviated corrosion concerns associated with the property’s unique location on Lake Michigan. The field assembled frame and wheel design were compact enough for barge transport without the need for heavy machinery. Airxchange provided on-site assistance and ongoing customer service to ensure the energy recovery wheels were built and operating to factory specifications while adhering to the property’s operational requirements. Proven Results Airxchange’s reliable, service-friendly wheel design answered the Horseshoe Casino’s call for an affordable fresh air solution. Tobacco smoke and odors are eliminated at the source for a more comfortable customer experience, and the rooftop HVAC units operate more efficiently to dramatically reduce energy costs. A follow-up air quality study recorded the lowest CO2 values on record which can now be maintained thanks to the cleanable wheel design and higher airflows not achieved with the original wheels. Impressed with the results, energy payback, and exceptional customer service provided throughout the Horseshoe Casino project, Caesars Entertainment has implemented Airxchange’s unique energy recovery wheel solution in several other properties nationwide.
The underfloor system at the prominently positioned Mayfair offices was originally installed in the year 2000 for Japanese construction company Teisei and has proved to be an adaptable services solution for the building over the past 18 years. The system at Hanover Street is the CAM-C system with underfloor supply air and underfloor return air. Each floor is effectively one zone, with a single CAM downflow unit supplying conditioned air to the underfloor plenum. Access flooring system This conditioned air is supplied into the workspace via fan terminal units, known as Fantiles which are recessed into the floor plenum. Approximately 80 standard size TU4 Fantiles are located over the building’s five floors and a fully stringered Nesite raised access flooring system supplied by AET is installed throughout. AET engineers worked with fit-out contractor Think-inside on the recent Cat-B works The original refurbishment of the property was specified to a high standard, designed by Architect, D.E.G.W offering a large, open plan floorplate, a generous floor to ceiling height of 2.7m, featuring full height glazing, 600mm2 carpet tiles for added flexibility and a high specification metal tile ceiling. M+E Consultant, Roger Preston & Partners specified the underfloor services solution to permit this high specification and offer maximum flexibility for future change and reconfiguration according to tenant demands. AET engineers worked with fit-out contractor Think-inside on the recent Cat-B works. Granting additional privacy The space had been returned to Cat-A status after the previous tenancy ended, leaving a blank canvas for new first floor occupier Quadreal. An initial validation survey of the UfAC system on the first floor identified repairs required to the underfloor baffle and a number of damaged return air grilles to be replaced. The underfloor baffle being essential to maintain properly as it divides the underfloor plenum into supply and return air paths. As well as the essential repairs, three additional Fantiles were supplied to cater for occupational increase and Quadreal opted to install sound attenuator boxes beneath all Fantiles in order to minimize noise transfer between cellular offices and grant additional privacy. Five Flextouch wall controllers were installed in the boardroom and offices permitting users easy control of temperature and fan speed as well as CO2 monitoring. The services upgrade and interior fit-out works were completed in April 2018 with Quadreal occupying the space immediately after completion.
Drury Southwest is a Missouri-based, family owned and operated hotel system with more than 130 hotels in 21 states. Founded in 1973, the Drury brands include Drury Inn & Suites®, Drury Inn®, Drury Plaza Hotel®, Drury Suites®, Pear Tree Inn by Drury®, and other brands. The company’s focus on exceptional customer service, spotless rooms, and best-in-class value earned the company a JD Power and Associates ranking of ‘Highest in Guest Satisfaction’ award from 2006-2014. Exceptional indoor air quality (IAQ) has long been a highlight of the guest experience at any Drury Hotel. Many hotels simply ventilate hallways and rely on bathroom exhaust fans to ventilate rooms by drawing fresh air through undercut doors. Delivering fresh outside air In contrast, Drury has delivered fresh outside air directly into each guest room for more than three decades. At the same time, return vents continually extract and exhaust stale air from each room. The management of Drury Southwest, currently headed by company president Dennis Vollink, believes that entering a room that smells and feels fresh is a key to guest satisfaction and repeat business. We feel that mold and humidity control is also an important factor in maintaining our buildings" “We believe that our strategy of bringing fresh air directly into our customer rooms and ventilating appropriately contributed to our winning of the JD Power and Associates Award for Guest Satisfaction, year over year,” shares Vollink. “We feel that mold and humidity control is also an important factor in maintaining our buildings,” adds Gregg Mrzlak, the Mechanical Project Manager for new constructions and renovations at Drury Southwest. Energy recovery wheels The challenge of prioritizing IAQ and using high ventilation rates is to cost effectively treat the fresh outdoor air for temperature and humidity. For the past fifteen years, Drury Southwest has utilized rotary energy recovery wheels manufactured by Airxchange, Inc. in new hotel constructions and HVAC system renovations of older buildings. Using an energy recovery wheel to recycle up to 80 percent of the energy in room exhaust air provides ‘free’ conditioning of the fresh outdoor air. For hotels located in humid climates, energy recovery wheels can be configured with desiccant that momentarily extracts water molecules from the incoming airstream and deposits them into the exhaust airstream, greatly decreasing the moisture load for building dehumidifiers. “ERV’s make it affordable to bring in the ever increasing large amounts of outside air required by both codes (ASHRAE 62.2) and our own in house standards,” notes Mrzlak. High ventilation rates Airxchange used by the Drury design team in 2006 at the Alamo Bank Building in San Antonio A pair of similar projects spanning a decade show how Airxchange wheels can be of particular use in the renovation of HVAC systems within the older buildings that are frequently refurbished and converted to Drury hotels. Airxchange used by the Drury design team in 2006 at the Alamo Bank Building in San Antonio, which was converted into a 370-room Drury Plaza Hotel. As part of the HVAC design, Dennis Vollink, acting as the principal mechanical engineer in addition to his role as company president, specified Airxchange cassettes. Long an advocate of using ERV technology to enable high ventilation rates, he was also faced with installation challenges and access limitations for the 100 year old building. The HVAC system would be located in a small attic and needed to be brought into the space through normal door-ways and stairwells. With flexibility in mind, Vollink selected an Airxchange’s ‘split-wheel,’ also known as the Field Assembled Cassette, that could be assembled onsite. Innovative polymer material The energy recovery surface is a durable and innovative polymer material that has proven to last for over 30 years in comfort HVAC applications. The polymer is formed into a matrix and segmented for easy removal or installation from the rigid stainless steel frame, making Airxchange wheels both light and serviceable. Drury uses ERVs in every project, whether it is a new build or a historic renovation" “Without Airxchange’s split wheel design, we would have had a very difficult time finding a way to install the ERV system,” offers Gregg Mrzlak. “Drury uses ERVs in every project, whether it is a new build or a historic renovation. The historic renovations are usually quite challenging as we have had to design and specify units that have to be brought into the building in pieces, with the largest piece small enough to fit into an elevator and then assembled in place.” Electric heater downstream The Drury team’s innovation at the Alamo Bank conversion did not stop with use of the split-wheel design. Drury decided to implement a unique strategy for providing heat, deciding to implement a central electric heater downstream from the Airxchange wheel. The effective pre-conditioning by the wheel minimized the required heating load enough that only supplemental heating was required. This design proved to have a lower first cost and Drury Hotels found it to be an efficient and practical solution. A similar theme is evident in one of Drury’s latest renovation projects, the 2015 transformation of the historic Board of Education building into a 180-room Drury Plaza Hotel. Working in tandem with the Cleveland Landmarks Commission to preserve the ornate appearance of the East Sixth Street building, Drury is initiating a complete internal renovation, including the installation of a new HVAC system. Air handling units were recently purchased from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that met their exact specifications, with one exception: Drury specifically requested that the energy recovery wheels that are normally included with those units be replaced.
A large manufacturer of steel cables from Detroit, Michigan contacted Wattco with a problem that the cables they manufactured were corroding in their warehouse and needed a solution to prevent this from happening. Steel products that often sat in inventory for long periods of time were more prone to corrosion. Traditionally, light lubricating oil was used to coat the cables, preventing rust from settling in. The cables were exposed to a steam heating tank, containing light oil at ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit. The problem was that the oil had a lower than average viscosity and tended to disappear after a period of time. Oil immersion heaters Oil that has a higher viscosity can solve this problem. It would coat the cables and offer a longer storage life than before Oil that has a higher viscosity can solve this problem. It would coat the cables and offer a longer storage life than before. The trick was to heat it up to 220F, and make the oil more viscous without sacrificing the quality of the cables. Wattco provided 12 immersion heaters, each with 9KW 480V 3PH that had control panels and a redundancy system that prevented downtime. Thermocouples for heater safety Two thermocouples were used – one for temperature control and the other for high limit shutoff to safeguard the heaters. The heaters were also overrated to provide the customer additional power available. 120,000 LBS of cable was able to be treated with oil reaching 210 degrees temperature. Wattco suggested a high limit setting of 275 degrees to avoid overheating. This was easily programmed in the digital temperature controllers. Once we installed the new system, the process was monitored for 6 months and found no additional signs of corrosion. Benefits include: No maintenance costs on process heaters Safety temperature controller that prevents overheating Cables are fully protected from corrosion Electric industrial heaters are fairly inexpensive and last for years
Round table discussion
Shifting demographics suggest a need for ‘new blood’ in the HVAC industry. It has never been a more important time to attract new applicants into the industry. Fortunately, there is a range of exciting opportunities for applicants of any age, including new disciplines and skills needed as HVAC systems transform in the digital age. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the emerging career opportunities in the HVAC industry?
The practice of working from home soared during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and many observers see a likely continuation of the trend, as infection risks gradually subside. Both environments – home and office – depend on HVAC systems to keep occupants comfortable (and safe!). Therefore, the industry stands to be impacted whichever way the trend plays out. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: How will remote working affect residential and commercial HVAC?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects embedded with sensors, software and other technologies to facilitate connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet. Use of the IoT is expanding among both business and residential applications. However, there are hurdles to overcome, including security, privacy and networking challenges. As more HVAC devices embrace the IoT, we asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on the HVAC market?
International Standards: Manufacturers & Suppliers
Automated After Hours HVAC Software And How You Can Quantify Its ValueDownload