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...
Johnson Controls, the global front-runner for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, announced an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Kingston valued at CA$86 million, including taxes. Enabled through a collaboration with the Department of National Defence (DND), the project will combine infrastructure investments and a community awareness campaign to advance the base’s energy resiliency strategy. Johnson Controls has assessed CFB Kingston’s energy systems and equipment and, based on its findings, will oversee infrastructure and energy efficiency improvements. The base-wide project is expected to reduce CFB Kingston’s GHG emissions by 33% while enhancing soldier welfare and occupant comfort. Authority Comment “The need for making net zero leadership easier to achieve and the demand for net-zero carbon solutions are greater than ever," said Nate Manning, President Building Solutions North America at Johnson Controls. “Johnson Controls is proud to partner with CFB Kingston to transform its operations and create long-term energy resiliency,” said Nate Manning, President Building Solutions North America at Johnson Controls. “The need for making net zero leadership easier to achieve and the demand for net-zero carbon solutions are greater than ever. We look forward to using our efficient buildings equipment and our industry-leading digital technology to oversee the base’s infrastructure investments and support its efforts to build greater sustainability awareness in the community.” Panel installation and digital technology Replacing HVAC systems and removing CFC emitting refrigerants To support CFB Kingston in its energy resiliency mission, Johnson Controls will install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, distributed energy storage, and its innovative digital technology to optimize performance during Ontario’s peak electricity times. The project is expected to deliver up to CA$1.2 million in utility rebates and incentives. Additional energy-efficient infrastructure improvements include: Controls optimization and recommissioning to enhance digitized energy-efficient building infrastructure, Converting base lighting to LED technology to improve lighting levels and energy efficiency Correcting water distribution leaks and improving digital water metering to reduce water wastage and help prevent future leaks, plus upgrading water fixtures to using water more efficiently Replacing HVAC systems and removing CFC emitting refrigerants Optimizing the central steam plant and upgrading central heating and distribution systems to reduce natural gas consumption Upgrading building envelope and window replacements to enable deep retrofits for long-term energy-efficient buildings. Partnership for an innovative awareness program Complementing its infrastructure improvements, Johnson Controls will partner with CFB Kingston to build an innovative awareness program to promote sustainability initiatives and calls to action at the base and in the surrounding Kingston community. The program will raise awareness of CFB Kingston’s energy efficiency program and help educate base personnel about energy-saving best practices. Beyond CFB Kingston, the awareness program will work to provide educational tools and other resources about DND’s sustainability strategy to the community.
HMS Networks launches a new IR-based Intesis® AC interface that enables integration of any Air Conditioning unit, regardless of brand, into Modbus or BACnet Building Automation Systems. controlling Air Conditioning systems HVAC systems are usually the largest energy consumers in a building. Therefore, building owners must monitor and control these systems to save costs and energy. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it increasingly important to find new ways of installing and using AC units, as ventilation and “clean air” have become a major concern. The Air Conditioning market is growing fast with new brands and different types of AC units constantly emerging. This makes it challenging for building owners to integrate AC units into their specific Building Management System (BMS). A Universal IR interface The Intesis offering includes the most comprehensive portfolio of AC interfaces on the market, enabling monitoring and control of air conditioning units from any home or building automation system. The portfolio is now further strengthened as HMS launches a universal IR-based Intesis AC interface for integrating AC units to Modbus or BACnet-based automation systems. The new interface connects to the AC unit via the IR link which is already used by most AC units to communicate with their remote control. The Intesis IR-based AC Interface is already compatible with more than 100 IR remote controllers and their associated AC units. Fast configuration and diagnostics The new AC interface solution is configured using the Intesis MAPS tool, which brings many advantages for the system integrator. With a project-based configuration, all the interfaces installed can be configured in a single MAPS template, making it easy to copy device configurations and set up new projects. Due to the diagnostics function, the commissioning process and any post-installation assistance is also simplified.
The Board of Directors of BELIMO Holding AG has appointed Dr. Adrian Staufer as the new Head of Group Division Europe and Member of the Executive Committee. On January 1, 2022, Adrian Staufer takes over from Lukas Eigenmann, who, as communicated in February 2021, has decided to step down from his current position by the end of 2021 after more than 36 years with Belimo. Lukas Eigenmann will continue to support the Group as a Senior Advisor. Adrian Staufer has been employed by Belimo since November 1, 2016, initially as Business Development Manager Sensors. On January 1, 2019, Adrian Staufer was appointed Head of Strategy and Brand Management and a Member of the extended Executive Committee of the Belimo Group. Work Experience Adrian Staufer has the necessary prerequisites to lead the Group Division Europe to a prosperous future From 1998 to 2011, Adrian Staufer was working at Siemens Building Technologies in various positions, amongst others, he was leading the global Business Segment OEM Air Conditioning & Refrigeration. From 2006 to 2011, he lived in Beijing, China, where he, as Vice President of Controls Products & Systems, Asia, built up the local development and production for HVAC controls products (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) for Siemens. After returning to Switzerland, Adrian Staufer worked from 2011 to 2016 for Schindler Elevators in Ebikon, Switzerland, most recently as Vice President of the Internet of Elevators & Escalators and Remote Services. Education Dr. Adrian Staufer studied Electrical Engineering (Bachelor) and Industrial Engineering & Management (Master) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. Additionally, he has a Master in Advanced Manufacturing Systems from the Brunel University in London, United Kingdom. From 1994 to 1998, Adrian Staufer completed his Ph.D. in Innovation Management at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. Smooth transition With his impressive experience in the areas of HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning), building technology, Internet of Things, his international leadership background, and the exemplary living by Belimo values, Adrian Staufer has the necessary prerequisites to lead the Group Division Europe to a prosperous future. The Board of Directors thanked Lukas Eigenmann for his very successful engagement as Head of the Group Division Europe and for getting Adrian Staufer off to a successful start in his new position to ensure a smooth transition.
GE Appliances. (GEA), a Haier company is opening its newest production line making 4-door refrigerator models – the fastest-growing segment in high-end refrigeration – at its Louisville-based headquarters and largest U.S. manufacturing site. More than 245 new manufacturing jobs have been added to support the new production line. Foremost appliance manufacturer “Since 2016, GE Appliances has invested $1 billion in new products, technology and its U.S. operations, and created more than 2,000 new jobs, with close to 1,000 new jobs in Louisville,” said Kevin Nolan, President and Chief Executive Officer for GE Appliances. “We are committed to growing our manufacturing footprint in the United States to serve customers faster and better. This investment demonstrates our commitment to becoming the leading appliance manufacturer in the U.S. We are thrilled to produce these high-end refrigerators in the United States.” The $60 million investment, which increases manufacturing capacity, enhances the company’s ability to meet consumer demand and positions GEA for long-term growth. Innovator and jobs-creator “GE Appliances has a long history as an innovator and jobs-creator here in Louisville, and with today’s announcement is showing a renewed commitment to our commonwealth, our people and our growing manufacturing industry,” said Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, who also attended the event. “With more than 245 new jobs for Kentuckians, we are furthering our positive momentum and growth as we continue to build an economy that works for every Kentucky family.” Design and Installation of new line The plant expansion was completed during COVID and teams ensure progress without disrupting production Despite the pandemic, the GEA refrigeration team successfully navigated many challenges as they worked to design and install the new line. “The completion of this investment shines a light on the dedication of our workforce,” stated Bill Good, Vice President of Manufacturing for GE Appliances. “The plant expansion was completed during COVID, while suppliers and vendors were unable to travel to the plant and product demand was a record levels. Our teams worked tirelessly to ensure progress without disrupting production.” Product innovation The 4-door refrigerator consists of a traditional fresh food area, a freezer, and a convertible section that can be used as either a freezer or refrigerator. The plant will also add new quad-door and counter-depth models to its line-up in the future. Product sustainability The investment also marks another milestone in GEA’s ongoing commitment to creating more sustainable products and manufacturing processes. These new refrigerators use R600a, a low global warming potential refrigerant. These models are environmentally friendly refrigerators that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2008, GEA was the first appliance manufacturer to apply for and receive approval from the Environmental Protection Agency to begin using HFC-free refrigeration gases. In 2011, GEA launched the use of HFC-free foam insulation in its refrigerators and freezers. In 2012, GEA introduced the first-ever HFC-free refrigerator in the U.S.
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.”
To kick off the hottest months of the year, Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS) launches its new website: MitsubishiComfort.com. The website serves as a hub for both homeowners and professionals to review information from METUS, a leading supplier of Ductless and Ducted Mini-split and Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heat-pump and air-conditioning systems. For Homeowners and professional A combination of the company’s homeowner and professional websites, MitsubishiComfort is a comprehensive resource with a refreshed user experience. The site highlights the ability of METUS systems to heat and cool any home, any building, anywhere. The new MitsubishiComfort is built to service the needs of homeowners and professionals. On the website, homeowners can learn about the benefits of Mitsubishi Electric heat-pump technology through articles, videos, and case studies. They can also use the website to find available rebates, financing information or request a consultation with a Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Contractor® or Ductless Pro qualified provider. Diamond Contractor and Ductless Pro qualified providers are independent professionals who have completed METUS training and have a high level of experience with METUS systems. Product and Application Catalog Professionals can use the website to locate a distributor, register systems, access tools, and sign up for training sessions The new site also boasts considerable content expansion in the product and application sections for ease of use, streamlined navigation, and to provide meaningful education for users. Professionals can use the website to locate a distributor, register systems, access tools, and sign up for training sessions and find the manufacturer-level support they need to make each project a success. The site includes custom portals for contractors, distributors, and METUS employees. The company’s history of innovation as a leader in VRF technology is displayed through articles on energy efficiency and sustainability — initiatives at the forefront of METUS product development. MitsubishiComfort also features a robust lead generation solution to connect homeowners and building owners with preferred local contractors while simultaneously sharing those leads with contractors. Authority Comment “From the beginning of this project, we knew we wanted to build a website to offer homeowners and professionals an easy way to access a deep amount of information about our systems and all the services we offer,” said Suzanne Rigdon, Director of Digital Marketing at Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US. “We’re confident we’ve met our goals with this new site and can’t wait for our customers to get their hands on it.”
The last 18 months have seen an acceleration in digitalization across many aspects of work and home life. Home spaces have become workspaces, and commercial buildings have had to adapt to changed use and lower occupancy rates. Coupled with this, there is a growing need to dramatically reduce carbon emissions from buildings - according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the buildings and construction sectors combined are responsible for over 30 percent of global energy consumption, and nearly 40 percent of carbon emissions. Installing separate systems This means that demand for a smarter approach to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) management is crucial for building managers, who need to ensure that their properties can adapt to changed use, respond to the wellbeing of their occupants, and run efficiently to keep emissions as low as possible. Armed with this data, facility managers can take proactive steps to improve usage Of course, architects and developers have been installing separate systems to control HVAC for decades which have given building managers greater control and access to different areas of a site. However, with digitalization comes the addition of web-based platforms to allow these verticals to integrate seamlessly with each other, providing data on how efficiently and effectively a building operates through a single view application. Armed with this data, facility managers can take proactive steps to improve usage, which will see properties proactively react to the environmental and personal needs of their occupants. Centrally controlled lighting Many commercial buildings will already have a certain element of smart technology installed – from centrally controlled lighting and HVAC systems to remote management of security and energy management systems. However, it is often the case that these multiple applications are managed in silo. This means facilities managers don’t have a consolidated view of their data. In addition, not all managers will be using the data these devices produce to take steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their properties. Embracing smart technology – and a central control platform - gives building managers access to instant data on how their HVAC assets are performing in one place. This insight can be used to gain a thorough understanding of how the different systems in the building interact, and the external factors that may impact them. Effective building controls By using this data, operators can implement effective building controls to manage efficiencies By using this data, operators can implement effective building controls to manage efficiencies, identify maintenance issues, ensure the wellbeing of occupants, and inform future investment priorities. So, for example, if a building is now being used in a different way due to changed occupancy, the data will show the manager what needs to be done to ensure it is operating as efficiently as possible. We know that there will be increased demand for more flexible spaces as companies move towards remote or hybrid working models. It is likely that we will visit our offices less for day-to-day work and use them more as hubs to meet and collaborate. The ability to turn a traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ building into an agile asset that can learn and adapt to its surroundings will become increasingly important. Smart HVAC management Smart offices will become independently intelligent, learning how occupants use the space and services, adjusting lighting, HVAC and other systems to maximize health and comfort. Smart HVAC management will create a trend for ‘healthier’ buildings that will have a positive impact in terms of improved quality of life and wellbeing of occupants, ultimately resulting in higher productivity levels. In short, there has never been a better time to adopt smart HVAC technologies. Intelligent buildings that would have been unimaginable a few decades ago are now a reality. As buildings become smarter, they can learn how occupants use the space and services and proactively adjust lighting, HVAC and other systems to improve use, cut emissions and reduce energy consumption.
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.
Forget the fact that heat pump installations in the average home could cost several thousand pounds more than a conventional gas boiler and that fully insulating those homes will add even greater cost to the homeowner. It’s not really the cost issue that could be the only potential bump in the road on the way to the target set by the UK Government, because a more pressing problem to solve will be the shortage of trained ‘green’ heating engineers that will be the key to delivery of the plan. Gas boiler production I’m sure I’m not alone within the industry in adding my support to any drive that leads to a more effective use of environmentally responsible sources of energy for home heating. And following the news that ministers are currently discussing a cut off date of 2035 for all domestic gas boiler production, with an earlier 2025 ban on their installation in new homes, it is encouraging to think that technologies with which we in the industry have been working for a decade or more, will finally become the norm, rather than the green exception. However supportive I and colleagues in the sector might be, we should not shy away from challenging the Government on the delivery of the targets it has announced, because currently we haven’t heard enough in the Government’s Heating and Buildings Strategy about the market’s skills shortage. Heat source technologies At Ameon we’ve been working with green technologies for over a decade, on large scale public sector The truth is that there are simply not enough heating engineers currently who are experienced in the installation of alternative heat source technologies, such as ground or air source heat pumps, and given that tens of thousands of new or re-skilled engineers will be required if the Government’s plan to install 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028 is to be achieved, then the drive needs to be supported by the associated training provisions to help it meet its goal. At Ameon we’ve been working with green technologies for over a decade, on large scale public sector and residential developments but I feel that aside from building services infrastructure companies like ourselves and others in our sector, there isn’t currently a large enough skills base and therefore the infrastructure needs to be put in place to be able to train enough people to carry out the installation program. Low carbon technologies This could be more of a factor in the achievement of 2035 target aspirations, than even the potential public reluctance to embrace the technology for cost reasons. Whilst specialists in our sector have teams of qualified heating and ventilation engineers who are hugely experienced in low carbon technologies, it has to be acknowledged that their experience and skill set has taken considerable time and investment to develop; therefore I hope the Government hasn’t underestimated the vital importance of training. This could be more of a factor in the achievement of 2035 target aspirations You can’t simply ask domestic heating engineers, who are used to fitting conventional gas boilers, to switch to installing ground or air source heat pumps overnight. There are significant differences in the science and the technology, together with the requirement by law for engineers to be F-gas registered, proving that they are qualified in the safe handling of fluorinated refrigerant gases (F-gas), which are ozone depleting substances crucial to the heat pump delivery process. Conventional gas boilers Then, there’s the need for engineers to understand how to design low temperature water systems and avoid such things as Legionella bacteria creeping into the system. There is much more to learn for someone used to installing boilers that heat water to a temperature to pasteurize it, because the public health element is a key factor too. So there needs to be significant retraining and, of course, the time to create the infrastructure to deliver the training. The other related issues, such as where training would be delivered and who funds it can be more easily addressed. After all, the Chancellor has protected UK businesses at the drop of a hat in the midst of a pandemic, and the country has, in short time, created a hugely efficient mass-vaccination program; proving that anything is possible. Reducing carbon emissions Steve Baker, has warned of public anger if all implications of the Government’s plans are not explained Currently discussions in Whitehall include such ideas as homeowners being required to install ‘green’ heating before they can sell their property, or levying a surcharge on gas boilers to subsidize production of heat pumps: although no firm decision has yet been taken. It is reported that former Conservative minister, Steve Baker, has warned of public anger if all implications of the Government’s plans are not explained fully to homeowners, which is why I and others will add our voices to the many questions that really need to be answered. That doesn’t mean we in industry are not fully supportive of the Government’s aspirations. The public too appears to be broadly behind this move to reduce carbon emissions, particularly as gas boilers account for a percentage of CO2 produced annually; therefore it is an important area to focus upon if ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050 are to be achieved. Newly trained engineers Roughly 85% of UK homes currently rely on gas for heating, which is around 25 million homes, so the scale of the change required is immense. Even if the UK had the qualified engineers to start from day one, which it doesn’t, the targets are ambitious to say the least. It is my view that investment in training has to be at the heart of the Government’s planning. That could be delivered on the job, in the classroom, or, as has become the norm during lockdown, via online platforms such as Teams, Zoom or Skype. So if the will is there and the resources are in place to fund training, the method is the easier part of the process. What’s less certain is whether the army of re-skilled and newly trained engineers can be deployed quickly enough to achieve the target set. The clock is ticking...
Interfacing with HVAC products is increasingly complex. The tiny 1-inch LCD display included on systems does not lend itself to complicated functions. Keeping the HVAC user interface simple limits control options to on/off, mode change or choosing a temperature. Thermostat controls company COTHERM has developed a smartphone app that can be used to control complex functions such as product settings during installation, programming or providing technical information about an HVAC product. Near field communication (NFC) relays information from the smartphone app to the HVAC equipment. Conventional HVAC equipment “NFC technology can be leveraged by heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) manufacturers so that installers can adjust the settings for radiators, as well as water or space heaters, via a mobile phone,” says Alain Maillard, Marketing Director of COTHERM. NFC is a contactless technology that enables transfer of short messages between a smartphone and an object. The technology is widely used and is already popular for uses such as contactless payment The technology is widely used and is already popular for uses such as contactless payment, access control and transportation. The large color screen display of a smartphone and the familiarity of app usage provides a strong tool for user interface and is much more user-friendly than conventional LED or LCD displays with keypads that commonly equip conventional HVAC equipment. This is particularly evident for advanced settings that need a lot of menu navigation like programming. Using NFC technology NFC provides a remote user interface using a smartphone to facilitate the configuration or setting of the product. In effect, the smartphone becomes the user interface of the product, and there is no need to use a complex display with a keyboard. The approach also does not require complex IT installation or pairing as would be required with other technologies like Bluetooth or Wifi. Because communication is based on proximity, data exchange is safe, and you do not need a password or login to connect. The Electric Radiator is COTHERM’s first equipment to use NFC technology, and the first market introduction is in France. The first company to introduce the technology is ‘Univ’R Chauffage’ for the 2021 winter season. For an installer, simplicity is key. Permanent communication link The actual appliance is simplified to include only the most commonly used functions The NFC approach provides time savings for installation as it does not require a login/password of a local network. And it is error free: An app can have a pre-defined setting package that is impossible using a native LCD+ keyboard on traditional equipment. For the user, the actual appliance is simplified to include only the most commonly used functions. There is no pairing or setting, ensuring simplicity. And the system is hacker-free as it requires a proximity exchange and works without the cloud. Data exchange is only activated while the smartphone is close to the radiator; there is no need for a permanent communication link. As a consequence, there are no waves pollution and no energy consumption that may be due to maintaining permanent communication. For appliance manufacturers, the cost-effective solution is innovative and easy to use. Limited support is needed as there is no installation (except downloading an app from the store). Industrial HVAC products The approach also enables a contactless customization of the appliance at the end of the production line in the factory with no power supply on the appliance because NFC is energy harvesting. The approach can be used for industrial HVAC products as well as residential appliances. NFC provides cost advantages, eliminating the need for a high-end display on an appliance. Some sensitive technical data or setting may be reserved for a technician only Information is also addressable: A filter can be set with data from the appliance accessible by profile. Some sensitive technical data or setting may be reserved for a technician only or for use at the factory. In the HVAC application as implemented, the controller of the appliance is used as the NFC tag and the smartphone is used as a reader/writer terminal with color display. The controller of the appliance includes an NFC antenna and a small, dedicated NFC controller with memory. Providing additional benefits On the other hand, the smartphone can be iOS or Android and needs to have the COTHERM NFC App downloaded. NFC is available on iPhone from iPhone 7 and on Android; all smartphones with NFC are compatible. NFC technology provides additional benefits, too, including: Traceability and storage of historical data. Easy setting of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth configuration when combined with NFC. Preset of the appliances or any equipment at the factory, including enabling or disabling. Functions or changing settings to enable customization based on distribution channel for brand. Directly points to the correct app on the store for download when using the smartphone for the first time. Self-launch of the app when the smartphone is close to the NFC tag. Further expansion is planned in Europe. The combination of the technology has received an innovation reward as a European funding project Touch & Heat by DIGIFED Europe program (Horizon H2020). Partners in the DIGIFED program are IoTize, a French startup, and Lucht LHZ, a German manufacturer of Electric Radiator. Product introduction in other European countries is planned for 2022. HVAC equipment such as water heaters or heat pump water heater controllers are the next target for the technology.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the world lives, escalating the need to prioritize health and safety where we live, work, learn and play. As organizations around the world respond to the pandemic, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) has leveraged its expertise to help. Impact of building surroundings IWBI is a public benefit corporation focused on deploying “people-first places” to advance a global culture of health. The community has adopted the WELL Building Standard, which is the anchor in an ecosystem of certifications and ratings focused on creating and benchmarking health and well-being in built environments. IWBI understands that companies have realized the importance of feeling safe inside and the importance of mental health — and how building surroundings impact that. WELL Building Standard (WELL) IWBI is focused on the ways that buildings, and organizations, can improve comfort and enhance health and well-being IWBI is focused on the ways that buildings, communities, and organizations, and everything in them, can improve comfort, drive better choices and generally enhance health and well-being. The work is global, covering 2.5 billion square feet of real estate in nearly 100 countries as of June 2021. The WELL Building Standard (WELL) is a vehicle for buildings and organizations to deliver more thoughtful and intentional places that enhance human health and well-being, according to IWBI. It’s the standard for buildings, interior places, and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and well-being, leading to official certification. Measures to become WELL Certified A building becomes WELL Certified (WELL Building) following the adoption of features from the WELL Building Standard, achieving a threshold based on measures that are validated by a third party. These measures include building performance and their impact on people’s health and well-being. HVAC is a key element of WELL buildings. The primary purpose of HVAC systems is usually to improve the environmental conditions for the building users. Introducing outdoor air combats the buildup of carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds, which at high levels can lead to sick building syndrome. Particle filters can remove much of the pollution from traffic or forest fires before it is introduced indoors. Problems with HVAC But HVAC systems can create their own problems. For example, cooling coils and drain pans can become a habitat for mold growth if not properly maintained. The WELL Building Standard addresses issues related to air quality and HVAC systems with a holistic approach, with adaptable strategies covering air, thermal comfort, and material. WELL Certification The WELL Building Standard includes strategies in 10 WELL Concept areas, from HVAC systems to architectural details The WELL Building Standard is a global framework for creating and certifying places that advance health and well-being. It includes strategies in 10 WELL Concept areas, covering topics ranging from HVAC systems to architectural details to human resource programs. WELL Certification is granted following a third-party review that these requirements have been met in a process that involves both submissions of documentation and on-site testing and inspection. Organizations can also enroll groups of projects in the WELL Portfolio, enabling them to document and celebrate their incremental progress in WELL feature achievement and employ the strategies at scale. Professional engagement Stakeholder engagement, including engagement by professionals in the HVAC space, has always been a key part of the development of WELL. For example, there was a 6-month public comment period to solicit feedback on the WELL v2 pilot before its graduation in 2020. Also, just before completing WELL v2, a Task Force on COVID-19 and Other Respiratory Diseases sought to identify any additions that could be added in light of the pandemic. There is also a network of more than 230 experts who participate in 14 IWBI advisories. Within this, there is an advisory for each of the 10 WELL Concepts, including 35 advisors in the Air and Thermal Comfort advisories. Challenges The most important challenge IWBI faces is the same one facing all others: Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the ticking clock of climate change — and all that goes along with it. “As we continue to combat COVID-19, we recognize that feeling comfortable and safe inside is more important than ever,” says Nathan Stodola, Chief Engineer at the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). “The pandemic has taught us the importance of air quality in preventing the spread of disease. This is a critical moment to keep the public informed on the latest scientific findings and best practices.” Adding a human element to buildings IWBI is working toward a future where buildings are designed with people — the human element — in mind" “We have also learned the value and importance of mental health, and how much employees want their employers to know that,” Stodola adds. “And IWBI is working toward a future where buildings are designed with people — the human element — in mind. There is an interconnectedness to all of this, and that’s how IWBI is working to serve the needs of the public.” WELL Health-Safety Rating In response to a rising need in the wake of COVID-19, IWBI introduced the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management in June 2020, a third-party validated tool designed to build confidence in the safety of a building. The WELL Health-Safety Rating provides an efficient and effective opportunity to guide, validate, recognize and scale the efforts of owners and operators on critical health and safety issues. Strategies undertaken Specific to the HVAC arena, many strategies that have come to light in the pandemic have been part of WELL since its inception, including sufficient ventilation rates, operable windows, awareness of mental health needs, and proper ergonomic design of workstations. But the Task Force on COVID-19 and Other Respiratory Infections also identified changes that have been implemented in the program, such as treating or eliminating recirculated ventilation air or allowing virtual training courses rather than requiring in-person classes. Most strategies in WELL are “evergreen:” They will continue to have benefits to building users even after the risk of COVID-19 diminishes, says IWBI. Programs and resources IWBI offers several education programs and resources, as well as professional credential courses, for people in the architecture, engineering, construction, and design industries--and beyond. IWBI offers a training program for schools to educate people on how to maintain a healthy and safe school environment The WELL Accredited Professional (AP) program is designed for those looking to gain skills to help inform WELL projects to further advance human health and well-being in buildings and communities IWBI also offers a training program for schools to educate people on how to maintain a healthy and safe school environment. Focus on health and well-being WELL buildings are not just about design and construction, but also about how to operate space and create policies that change people’s behavior for advanced health and well-being, says IWBI. For instance, the Nourishment Concept is about providing access to healthy food, and biophilia features can help improve people’s mental health. Caters to all markets and budgets Additionally, people tend to think that WELL buildings are expensive or only for the luxury market. WELL applies to all types of places and can be implemented with various budget sizes based on individual projects’ health and well-being needs. Air and Thermal Comfort concepts The HVAC requirements in WELL are dependent on the facilities team in addition to the design team. People need buildings to provide places to live and work, and buildings need people to care for their systems. There are several features in the Air and Thermal Comfort concepts related to the ongoing measurement of conditions within the space and maintenance of the ventilation system.
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.
Pinder Cooling & Heating has completed a series of cooling and ventilation refurbishments as part of a new contract with popular fast-food chain, Mahmoods. The Bradford-based team of commercial refrigeration and air conditioning specialists has refurbished cold rooms within four of its restaurants between March and July. The Great Horton Road branch was the most recent to undergo the renovations, where Pinder also installed brand-new air conditioning units. Pinder’s founder, Andrew Pinder, said the refurbishments are a testament to the standards Mahmoods’ adheres to in terms of serving fresh, quality fast food. Maintaining cold rooms “Cold rooms in restaurants are an integral part of regulating food and keep it from becoming contaminated. Mahmoods has always been passionate about ensuring only the freshest food is served to its customers, and the investment into this new equipment demonstrates their commitment. Our team has really enjoyed working with the entire Mahmoods team and look forward to a long working relationship.” Mahmoods is a chain of fast-food restaurants founded in 2001 by Tariq Mahmood Mahmoods is a chain of fast-food restaurants founded in 2001 by Tariq Mahmood, with seven franchise sites across the UK. On 25th June 2021, the firm celebrated 20 years of serving quality and affordable Halal takeaway dishes. In recent weeks, it was listed as one of the top six highest rated takeaways to order in Bradford. Tariq Mahmood, Founder of Mahmoods said: “Cleanliness and the freshness of our food are at the top of our list, that’s why we ensure that we regularly maintain our cold rooms and have adequate ventilation throughout our restaurants.” Specialist HVAC services “Ahead of our 20th anniversary and the reopening of the hospitality industry, we made the decision to give our cold rooms and air conditioning units a major revamp, and appointed Pinder to carry out the work. Being a Bradford-based firm, we’ve heard a lot about the quality of service they provide, which is aligned to our values. That’s why we knew there was no other firm to support this part of the renovation.” Pinder Cooling & Heating has been providing specialist HVAC services to commercial firms across the UK since founding in 2016. It’s specialist areas include the installation of, and maintenance associated with commercial refrigeration, air conditioning, server room cooling, cellar cooling, cold rooms, and bar and restaurant equipment.
Johnson Controls recently partnered with Air One Heating & Cooling, Star Air Conditioning & Heating, and YORK Factory Direct to install YORK® heating and cooling systems in two Building Homes for Heroes mortgage-free homes for wounded veterans in Daytona, Florida., and Orlando, Florida. Air One Heating & Cooling installed equipment donated by YORK Factory Direct in the home of Sergeant Carlos Cruz in Daytona, Florida, Cruz, who joined the military out of San Antonio, Texas in 1997, was injured during his 20-year deployment, causing him to suffer from severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), herniated discs in his back, left ACL reconstruction, migraines, and chronic pain. Suffer multiple injuries Star Air Conditioning & Heating installed equipment that was also donated by YORK Factory Direct in the home of U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Jorge Zapata in Orlando, Florida, Zapata, who joined the military out of Parris Island, S.C., was injured during his deployment to Iraq, causing him to suffer multiple injuries, including PTSD and a traumatic brain injury. The injuries of both veterans require specific modifications in their homes in order to live safely and focus on their recoveries. "We’re proud to partner with Johnson Controls and Building Homes for Heroes to give back to a real hero within our local community who has made great sacrifices for our country,” said Larry Franklin Sr., Owner, Star Air Conditioning & Heating. “We’re honored to contribute our services to help Sergeant Jorge Zapata and his family live comfortably in their home.” Renovate quality homes The organization strives to build or renovate quality homes and donate them to injured veterans Building Homes for Heroes is a national organization that recognizes those who serve in the United States Armed Forces by supporting the needs of severely wounded or disabled soldiers and their families. The organization strives to build or renovate quality homes and donate them, mortgage-free, to injured veterans nationwide. “The customized amenities that Johnson Controls brings to these homes provide not only a foundation for these heroes, but a hopeful path to a bright future with the opportunity to reach dreams they may have never thought imaginable when injured,” said Andy Pujol, Founder and CEO of Building Homes for Heroes. Veteran-Friendly company “We are so grateful to partner with Johnson Controls, Air One Heating & Cooling, Star Air Conditioning & Cooling and YORK® Factory Direct to help these veterans and their families to live in greater comfort.” The YORK brand of Johnson Controls has been a proud sponsor of Building Homes for Heroes since 2014. The company has been recognized by US Veterans Magazine as a top veteran-friendly company. Johnson Controls is also committed to hiring veterans and military spouses. Veteran employees are honored to design, engineer, and assemble systems that help improve the lives of fellow veterans.
Located in Worcester Massachusetts, Doherty Memorial High School is typical of many schools designed in the 1960’s. With two classroom wings joined together by hallways and anchored by an auditorium and gymnasium, the red brick school is home to approximately 1500 students. After 40 years, the school needed to replace the original hot water boilers and unit ventilators serving the upper and lower classroom wings. To design their new heating and ventilating system, the school enlisted the services of Shooshanian Engineering (SEi), Boston, Massachusetts. Outdoor air ventilation The original system design incorporated two gas fired hot water boilers sized to provide individual classroom unit ventilators with enough heating capacity to condition both the return and outdoor air loads. Rooftop exhaust fans pulled room air from each class-room to complete the ventilation process. ERVs recycle energy from building exhaust air to efficiently precondition outdoor air ventilation As recommended by the EPA and DOE, SEi evaluated the use of Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) as part of the new design. ERVs recycle energy from building exhaust air to efficiently precondition outdoor air ventilation, thereby reducing annual operating costs and boiler size requirements. After evaluating several ERV strategies, including fixed plate and run around loop, SEi determined that an ERV incorporating Airxchange rotary energy recovery wheels provided the best value. Estimates of installation and operating costs were evaluated for two designs: one with ERV and one without. As expected, the ERV based design provided the lowest operating cost. Capital equipment savings However, SEi was pleasantly surprised to discover the ERV based design, incorporating a smaller boiler and less expensive fan coil units, also provided the lowest installed cost. The capital equipment savings, made possible by incorporating Energy Recovery Ventilation in the design, more than offset the added cost of the ERV’s resulting in an instant payback. Installation included thirteen rooftop ERV units, each supplying from 1200 to 4600 cfm of ventilation air along with a single boiler to replace the two original boilers. Existing exhaust ducts provided exhaust air to the ERVs while new ductwork was added to deliver fresh outdoor air to each classroom. The design called for removal of the outdoor air intakes in the walls and installation of fan coil units in place of unit ventilators. Automated Logic software Performance of the new system is monitored using Automated Logic software Performance of the new system is monitored using Automated Logic software. The new system has received positive comments from teachers who expressed appreciation for the added fresh air and the ability of the classrooms to come up to temperature quickly at the beginning of the school day. “Even at the coldest temperatures the comfort of the supply air is amazing,” said Jeffrey Lassey, Director of Facilities with Worcester Public Schools. “You can feel the class-room come up to temperature much faster than with the old unit ventilators, and with the ERV system, we’ve reduced our energy costs considerably,” he added. Reduction in energy use over a 20 year period is expected to save approximately 3400 tons of CO2 emissions and $625,540 at current energy prices. Reducing energy consumption “Selecting the ERVs was a good shift away from unit ventilators, since it significantly reduces our energy consumption. This is particularly important because the cost of energy is heading nowhere but up.” - Jeffrey Lassey, Director of Facilities Worcester Public Schools. NSTAR, the local gas utility serving the city of Worcester, provides incentives for installation of energy efficient equipment through an energy rebate program funded by its commercial customer base. For the installation of an ERV based system and reduced boiler size, Doherty Memorial High School was awarded a $32,000 rebate from NSTAR. “Make sure to select Energy Recovery Ventilation from the outset in the design process in order to take full advantage of utility rebates slated for energy efficiency.” - Tom Angelo, NSTAR.
After numerous water leaks, compressor failures, and damper control problems, it was time for South High Community School in Worcester, Massachusetts to replace their 30 year old HVAC rooftop units. Not only had the units outlasted their expected mechanical life, but the ability to deliver fresh outdoor air and maintain comfortable heating and cooling conditions became increasingly difficult and expensive. To specify a state-of-the-art replacement HVAC roof-top system, the energy and environmentally conscious school district enlisted the services of a local engineering firm. Energy recovery ventilation Director of Facilities, Jeff Lassey met with engineer Mike Lescar-beau of Lindgren & Sharples, P.C. to establish new system design requirements. Electric heat would need to be replaced with a lower cost energy source. To avoid altering the recently installed rubber roof, the new replacement units would need to utilize existing roof curbs and ductwork. Lassey wanted to include energy recovery ventilation (ERV) technology to minimize this energy load Because the replacement units would also be supplying outdoor air to meet the schools IAQ requirements, Lassey wanted to include energy recovery ventilation (ERV) technology to minimize this energy load. Lassey had utilized the technology on a neighboring high school three years earlier to successfully lower operating costs. To meet the new design challenge, Lescarbeau specified a total of (19) gas/electric rooftop units with integrated state-of-the-art Airxchange energy recovery wheels to replace the all-electric units. Building automation system Without energy recovery ventilation, HVAC systems waste energy contained in building exhaust air while consuming new energy to precondition code-driven fresh air requirements. By contrast, systems utilizing Airxchange wheels reuse (recycle) up to 80% of the energy in exhaust air to heat, cool, dehumidify or humidify a like amount of incoming fresh air. This recycling of energy can reduce HVAC design loads and annual energy use by as much as 50%. As a result, Lescarbeau was able to specify smaller, lower cost heating and cooling units to easily fit within the existing roof curb profile. Adaptor curbs were designed and fabricated by a local curb supplier to fit the new rooftop units to the existing curbs. Direct digital controls and modulating dampers were added for individual zone control by an existing building automation system. Outdoor air energy savings The wheels would have provided an additional $100,000 annually in outdoor air energy savings Airxchange energy recovery wheels were calculated to save South Community High School approximately $60,000 annually or $1.2 million in dollars over the average life of the new roof-top units. The initial added investment in wheel based rooftop units is expected to be recouped during the first year of operation based on savings from the Airxchange wheels alone. Had the school not converted their heating energy source from electric to gas, the wheels would have provided an additional $100,000 annually in outdoor air energy savings. “For roughly the same price as a larger more energy intensive rooftop unit, we can provide the same amount of work with a smaller, wheel based unit that performs with up to 40% greater efficiency. This translates to significant energy savings over the life of the equipment,” said Craig Campbell, Trumbull and Campbell Associates. Improving indoor comfort The replacement HVAC rooftop system earned South High Community School a Central Mass Green Award for energy efficiency. The award was created by the Worcester Business Journal (WBJ) to recognize organizations ‘going the extra mile’ to make green choices. According to the WBJ, “We all know being in business is about making money.” “But thanks to technological advancement, and a realization that our global resources are finite, making sustainable choices can both ease the conscience and help the bottom line.” South High’s energy recovery wheels are estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by 265 tons annually which translates to approximately 353 lbs per student. “With the wheels integrated into the DX rooftop units, the installation went very well. We’ve also received positive comments about the improved indoor comfort and air quality,” said Mike Lescarbeau, Lindgren and Sharples.
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.
The YMCA Association of Greater Rochester, New York, is one of the oldest associations in the United States. They currently have fifteen thriving locations built over the last century that range in size from 50,000 to more than 70,000 square feet. While the size and age of the facilities vary, high standards for energy efficiency and indoor air quality (IAQ) are key objectives in the design, construction, and operation of these buildings. "Good indoor air quality is very important" notes Eastside Family YMCA Executive Director Kevin Fitzpatrick. "Our members are quick to note if there is a problem." Indoor air pollution Indoor air quality is a constant challenge at a fitness center. Pollutants are present everywhere. In some respects, the effects of indoor air pollution are heightened in fitness centers because occupants are breathing heavily during workouts and inhaling more air through their mouths; this air forgoes the filters in the nose and travels deeper into the lungs. There is also a risk of mold growth and odor from sweaty garments and towels in the locker room There is also a risk of mold growth and odor from sweaty garments and towels in the locker room, or from moist air emanating from a swimming area. The work to mitigate the odors and air quality hazards associated with any fitness center requires diligence and careful planning. For example, the Eastside Family YMCA, the newest and largest branch in the Rochester Association, opens as early as 5:00 am and closes at 10:30 pm on weekdays. Healthy indoor environment After hours, cleaning crews work to refresh the space while ventilation operates 24/7 to keep the facility fresh and odor free. Even before the day-to-day upkeep of a facility, the managers of these modern fitness centers proactively specified HVAC solutions at the construction or renovation phases to ensure a clean and healthy environment. Exhausting contaminated air and continually replacing it with fresh outside air is an effective method of maintaining a healthy indoor environment. The drawback to high ventilation rates is increased heating and cooling costs to replace the exhausted air. Facilities can marginalize these increased costs, however, by utilizing an energy recovery ventilation (ERV) solution that can reduce outdoor air energy costs up to 80%. Outdoor energy challenges Airxchange wheels have proven reliable in multiple buildings over a number of years" All branches of the Rochester YMCA Association use ERV systems to overcome the outdoor energy challenges presented by Rochester's cold winters and hot, humid summers. According to Christopher Marks, Vice President of Properties, the association leadership team prefers Airxchange for all new installations because of their excellent reliability. "Airxchange wheels have proven reliable in multiple buildings over a number of years. We will specify Airxchange wheels in all buildings that utilize an ERV." Including ERVs in their buildings during construction or renovation allows the HVAC system designers to specify smaller and more efficient heating and cooling units, reducing the upfront cost and enabling the high ventilation rates that provide clean, healthy air. Unitary rooftop system The Eastside facility is an award winning building, recognized by the national YMCA as a ‘Top Ten’ building in the USA. At that facility, the Child Watch, gym, locker rooms and community spaces are all ventilated using energy recovery wheels as part of the commercial unitary rooftop system. "In the eight years since this HVAC system was installed, there have been no maintenance issues, and system reliability has been excellent," adds Fitzpatrick. The robust energy recovery performance of the Airxchange wheels also resulted in them being specified for an upcoming addition to the facility. When the addition is completed, the facility will be a total of 105,000 sq. ft., making it the largest branch in the region. Gas heat exchangers LaBella Associates chose to pretreat incoming outside air with energy recovery According to the principal engineers who designed the addition to the Eastside YMCA, Kathleen VanderZwaag and Casey Bernhard of LaBella Associates, because of the many energy savings measures used on the project, including energy recovery, the facility was awarded rebates from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) that assisted in reducing the up-front costs of the new space. They also note that Labella uses ERVs in any building where repurposing the energy in exhaust air allows them to reduce the size of the heating and cooling units. At the Eastside YMCA, LaBella Associates chose to pretreat incoming outside air with energy recovery in order to raise the temperature of the air on a winter design day, reducing the load of the gas heat exchangers. Enhancing patron experience LaBella has had great success with Airxchange over the last decade and continues to specify their products on new projects in the region. The fresh, clean air that enhances the patron experience is the result of the attention to air quality by the entire Rochester YMCA Association. These buildings are bright, airy, and inviting family destination. The proactive approach to building design and maintenance offers a fine example for any fitness center.
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?
Residential HVAC: Manufacturers & Suppliers
- Bryant Residential HVAC
- American Standard Residential HVAC
- Trane Residential HVAC
- Goodman Residential HVAC
- Marley Engineered Products Residential HVAC
- Rheem Residential HVAC
- Daikin Residential HVAC
- Broan-Nutone Residential HVAC
- Lennox Residential HVAC
- Nortek Residential HVAC
- YORK Residential HVAC
- Luxaire Residential HVAC
- Frigidaire Residential HVAC
- Bosch Thermotechnology Residential HVAC
- Revolv® Residential HVAC
- Carrier Residential HVAC
- Honeywell Home Residential HVAC