Sustainability has been a core concept in the HVAC industry for decades. Environmental concerns often drive product innovation, for example. However, environmental challenges persist and there is ongoing pressure on the industry to respond responsibly. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What steps is the HVAC industry taking to address climate change and sustainability?
The YORK® brand of Johnson Controls, the global provider for smart and sustainable buildings, is driving greater efficiencies in residential and light commercial markets with its launch of the next generation of YORK Residential Package Equipment. The comprehensive AC and heat pump range is offered in both 14 SEER and ENERGY STAR® certified 16 SEER efficiencies with electric or gas heating, providing affordable performance and reduced energy use compared to older models. YORK Residentia...
As a Managing Director of a company that provides temperature and humidity solutions to predominantly the warehousing and industrial sectors, I thought I would share my dilemma that I’m sure other business owners and managers also face. I don’t pretend to know the answers, but thought it might be worth sharing some of the considerations that I’m facing in whether to reshape, recruit and build or hunker down until the World, Europe and the UK offers some sort or predictability....
The YORK® brand of Johnson Controls, the global provider for smart and sustainable buildings, is launching an efficient, reliable and competitive package unit designed to lower smog-producing gases while delivering high performance and reliable comfort. The YORK Ultra-low NOx Residential Package Equipment offers a compact, robust, all-in-one HVAC system that provides reliability and quick installation for space-challenged homes. “The YORK Ultra-low NOx Residential Package Equipment pr...
Johnson Controls announced - the YORK Mission Critical Horizontal Computer Room Air Handler (YORK MCH CRAH) designed to meet the unique cooling requirements of the world’s most demanding data centers. Offered in three standard capacities (105 kW, 210 kW and 315 kW rated at a 22F delta air temperature) with higher capacities available through customization, the YORK MCH CRAH is engineered with high-performance in mind and can be configured to meet the specific needs of each application.&nbs...
Building services professionals from all over the UK will once again have the opportunity to take part in a series of virtual CPD courses focusing on key construction industry topics, from REHAU. REHAU’s virtual CPD courses With social distancing restrictions still in place, the polymer solutions provider is continuing its virtual training course offering to keep construction professionals up-to-date with the latest technology and solutions. Following the success of the last run of virt...
Johnson Controls will showcase solutions and thought leadership critical to safe building reopening during the virtual Global Security Exchange Plus (GSX+) conference. From Sept. 21 through Sept. 25, Johnson Controls experts will demonstrate and discuss the latest security innovations that have become integral to intelligent security during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Attendees can interact with Johnson Controls leaders during keynote event sessions, technology demos and a thought leader interview to discover the future of safe, healthy and innovative buildings. data-Driven digital solutions “The industry leaders who are attending GSX+ are currently faced with not only reacting to the COVID-19 crisis, but also continuing to innovate for a smarter future,” said John Hudson, Vice President and General Manager of Security at Johnson Controls. Johnson Controls experts will be at the virtual marketplace showcasing digital security solutions “Our experts are excited to share how data-driven digital solutions allow them to do both - protect occupants during a pandemic and create more intelligent buildings. From alt - infection control to employee screening, this technology provides the flexibility they need to create safer, more resilient environments, no matter what.” digital security solutions Johnson Controls experts will be at the virtual marketplace throughout the conference, showcasing digital security solutions that better protect occupants and employees while streamlining daily operations, including: OpenBlue: An open digital platform that transforms how occupants interact with their buildings, this comprehensive suite of solutions and services creates dynamic and intelligent spaces. Leveraging AI and data-powered capabilities, OpenBlue accelerates building reopening by maximizing the health and safety of environments through a connected combination of hardware and software. OpenBlue includes solutions to re-enter, reoccupy and reimagine, including contact tracing, social distancing monitoring, thermal cameras, infection control, clean air solutions and more. Smart Elevated Skin Temperature Scanning Solution: Leveraging Tyco Illustra Pro thermal cameras, this contactless and frictionless solution rapidly scans groups of individuals for elevated body temperatures quickly, accurately and reliably. Advanced technology instantly alerts users to an elevated temperature, enabling them to leverage thermal imaging to identify the individual for a swift staff response. This thermal solution can be integrated with additional security systems such as access control and video management systems. Emergency Preparedness and Response: From gunshot and weapons detection, to mass notification systems (MNS), to AI analysis, Johnson Controls emergency preparedness and response portfolio ensures buildings can be safeguarded from the unexpected and help deliver successful emergency outcomes. Cyber and Physical Security As a GSX+ sponsor, Johnson Controls thought leaders will participate and host sessions throughout the conference to provide insight on the biggest security themes and trends of 2020 and beyond: Thought Leader Interviews, including: Digital Security and Open Blue, presented by Mike Ellis, EVP, Chief Customer and Digital Officer. Tuesday, Sept. 22, 11:30 – 11:50 a.m. EDT. Cyber and Physical Security, presented by Jason Christman, VP, Chief Product Security Officer. Wednesday, Sept. 23, 11:30 – 11:50 a.m. EDT. Gamer Changer session, HR and Travel Security Issues After COVID-19 Lockdowns, hosted by Hank Monaco, Vice President, Marketing, Johnson Controls, Building Solutions North America. Tuesday, Sept. 22, 10:15 – 11:05 a.m. EDT. Featuring: Eduard Emde, Head of the Health, Safety and Security Section ESA/ESTEC at ESA European Space Agency, ESTEC Radek Havlis, Director CEE and Central Asia at PricewaterhouseCoopers Geert Coremans, Director, Corporate Safety & Security at The Radisson Hotel Group Nicole McDargh, Regional Security and H&S Director at Richemont secure and intelligent Product demos, including: Thermal Cameras and Access Control Frictional Solutions, hosted by Jason Ouellette, ACVS Technology Business Development. Global and George Grammer, Strategic Product Manager, Access Control and Integrated Systems. Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1:30 p.m. EDT. Emergency Preparedness and Response, hosted by Alka Khungar, Senior Portfolio Manager, Emergency Preparedness and Response. Tuesday, Sept. 22, 11:30 a.m. EDT. “Our experts have years of experience reimagining buildings to be more secure and intelligent,” said Hank Monaco, Vice President of Marketing at Johnson Controls, Building Solutions North America. “Now we are leveraging that experience to create environments that can not only safely reopen but remain resilient for years to come. Our team is excited to share our vision of this future at GSX+, and the solutions that will help us get there. We are more committed than ever to powering our customers’ missions for a safe and healthy world.”
To help facilitate remote HVAC management during the on-going COVID-19 global pandemic, Armstrong Fluid Technology has announced that it will extend, until the end of 2020, the offer of free subscriptions for its cloud-based remote asset management and analytics service platform, Pump Manager. “The original offer of three free months of Pump Manager service to new customers was scheduled to expire in August but we recognize that there is still a need to maintain social distancing wherever possible,” said Tunji Asiwaju, Global Performance Management Services with Armstrong. Tunji adds, “Pump Manager helps buildings operate at peak efficiency without the need for onsite monitoring.” Pump Manager Pump Manager is a highly secure IoT-enabled remote asset management and analytics service Pump Manager is a highly secure IoT-enabled remote asset management and analytics service that provides pump performance tracking, viewable from any location using a phone, tablet or laptop. The platform provides real-time notifications, as well as trending and analysis across multiple platforms, to ensure optimum performance and secure operation. Pump Manager can notify maintenance engineers and/or service technicians if there is a problem, so that they arrive on site with the appropriate tools or replacement parts, fully equipped and prepared to solve any existing problem. This process also helps eliminate any in-person meetings, which is not advised in the current period, as per the COVID-19 safety protocols in place. Armstrong Connectivity Kit Existing Design Envelope pump customers can request an Armstrong Connectivity Kit (Router and GSM SIM card) with instructions on how to install it. Pump Manager can be activated on new pumps and is included at no extra cost with the purchase of an extended warranty package.
Jobber, the global provider of home service management software, has announced the availability of two-way text messaging within its platform. The new feature enables service professionals, such as landscapers, plumbers, HVAC technicians, and more, to stay better connected with their clients, respond to leads faster and improve customer satisfaction. “Home service professionals work in industries that are centered around creating relationships and loyalty with customers,” said Sam Pillar, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at Jobber. Two-way text messaging service Meeting and exceeding homeowner expectations is the key to developing customers for life" Sam adds, “Meeting and exceeding homeowner expectations is the key to developing customers for life. With two-way text messaging, service providers are able to offer a real-time communication option that’s fast and convenient, giving small businesses another way to stand out from competitors and be more successful.” Two-way text messaging joins Jobber’s suite of customer communication tools that are designed to help service providers keep their clients in the loop at key points before, during, and after a job is complete. Customize, automate text and email communications Through these tools, service providers can customize and automate text and email communications, such as invoice and quote follow-ups, appointment reminders, ‘on my way’ messages and client follow-ups for reviews and feedback. Now, with two-way text messaging, Jobber customers can receive replies back on automated notifications and can communicate with their clients instantly. A Jobber-commissioned survey of 1,400+ U.S. homeowners (age 18+) shows that two-way texting is a communication method preferred by respondents. Key findings in the study include: Homeowners Value Texting as an Option, Especially Millennials Overall, 58% of homeowners feel it is important to be able to text a home service business. This sentiment is especially true among 24-34 year-olds, with 84% of respondents agreeing that this is important. Fast Response Times Fast response times rank as the top benefit of being able to text home service professionals. In addition, 32% of homeowners state that texting is the preferred notification method when a home service professional is running late. When asked how long it takes to receive a reply from a home service provider via text, 58% say within an hour. Overall, 82% receive a response within a few hours. Quicker communication is beneficial to home service companies that are having difficulty receiving responses from homeowners or are experiencing long delays in receiving replies. Record of Conversations With text messaging, home service companies don’t have to solely rely on emails that may end up in the client’s spam folder or in multiple threads that can get lost. Texting provides a reliable communication stream that creates a statement of record with customers. This benefit isn’t only valuable for businesses, but is ranked by homeowners as the second highest benefit of being able to text home service professionals.
WINT - Water Intelligence, a globally renowned company in cutting-edge water management and leak prevention solutions for construction, commercial and industrial applications, has developed a solution that detects and prevents leaks and other issues in chilled water systems and pipes. Leak prevention solution The solution prevents water damage by detecting issues, automatically shutting off water flows and isolating impacted areas. WINT has developed a solution specifically designed to detect leaks and other issues in chilled water HVAC systems. Damage from water leaks in buildings is one of the biggest sources of damage to facilities. Large buildings use chilled water systems to cool the facility and ensure that occupants are comfortable. These systems consist of lengthy piping networks filled with massive amounts of water that flow throughout the building. Water is pumped at many thousands of gallons per hour so when a pipe breaks water accumulates quickly, causing massive damage within a very short timeframe. Advanced AI and machine learning technologies WINT uses advanced artificial intelligence, machine learning and signal processing technologies WINT uses advanced artificial intelligence, machine learning and signal processing technologies to deliver extremely high detection accuracy. The solution detects drip-level leaks in chilled water pipes, allowing maintenance staff to perform corrective action before the issue becomes significant. And if pipes burst and reach damage-potential levels, the system shuts water off and isolates the impacted area. "Ongoing waste and leaks are a major source of damage and cost in most facilities," said Yochanan Mor, Head of Logistics at The Phoenix Insurance Company, adding "It's a day-to-day battle for facilities teams and insurance companies. We use WINT's suite of solutions across Phoenix's facilities to protect everything from domestic water to chilled water systems.” He adds, “Also, WINT's AI-powered technology ensures our facilities are protected against the massive damage of a water leak while cutting our ongoing water bills." Edge devices WINT's edge devices are installed on the chilled pipes in key locations throughout the facility. They use AI technology designed specifically for chiller systems combined with cloud-based computing and a user-friendly mobile app that alerts staff and enables remote control and valve shut-off. Each WINT edge device includes a high-accuracy flow meter, a processor that analyzes water flow in real time, a communication device and an optional automatic shut-off valve. Water Intelligence devices learn a building's typical water flow pattern using machine learning technology so they can detect small leaks and anomalies before they become problems. "A leak or burst chiller pipe is the stuff of nightmares for facility and operations managers," said Yaron Dycian, WINT's Chief Product and Strategy Officer, adding "Water gushes out at very fast rates and accumulates rapidly. It then flows down the building and causes massive damage in its path. Physical damages can easily reach millions of dollars, let alone the business disruption and the time to bring the facility back to order."
NearU HVAC Services announced the successful completion of its acquisition of Hagan Heating and Air, in Anderson, South Carolina. This marks NearU's fourth acquisition in six months. Under NearU's ownership, Hagan will strategically join forces with Carolina Heating Services, another NearU company that is based in nearby Greenville, South Carolina. Paul Hagan, the Founder of Hagan Heating and Air, will continue to lead the company's customer service efforts. Hagan heating and Air "Hagan Heating and Air has loyally served thousands of customers over the last three decades. Their local brand is associated with premium and honest customer service. We look forward to building on this reputation by providing more bandwidth and expertise to the talented Hagan team. Our portfolio in Upstate South Carolina now boasts two strong and strategically-combined local brands: Carolina Heating Services in Greenville and Hagan Heating and Air in Anderson. We welcome the customers and employees of Hagan Heating and Air to the rapidly growing NearU family," said Ashish Achlerkar, NearU's Founder, Chairman and CEO. Customer and employee experience "At Hagan, we have worked hard and honestly to always do right by our customers and employees. We chose to transition our brand to NearU because of our confidence in NearU's vision for the HVAC industry. The NearU team delivered a fair value to our shareholders and a clear plan to add more value to our customers and employees. I am confident that our customer and employee experience will further flourish under NearU's ownership. I am committed to partnering in that endeavor in my new role as a NearU team member," said Paul Hagan, the Founder of Hagan Heating and Air. Carolina Heating Services "I am excited to see the Carolina Heating Services brand grow with the acquisition of Hagan Heating and Air. Paul Hagan and his team exemplify what HVAC contracting is all about: customer service and quality workmanship. NearU has a bright future ahead, and I am dedicated to supporting their team in its continued growth in the Carolinas," said Scott Kelly, the Founder of Carolina Heating Services, a NearU company.
Breathing safe fresh air is essential for healthy living, especially considering the majority of COVID-19 transmissions result from the aerosolization of the virus from coughing, sneezing and breathing. CIMR Tech, a provider of clean air defense solutions, helps to achieve a safe return to indoor spaces and drive economic recovery. In July 2020, Auburn University's McCrary Institute and Air University released a report proposing a "multi-layered air defense for critical infrastructure." CIMR® (Continuous Infectious Microbial Reduction) Tech is critical in this air defense model by continuously sanitizing indoor air 24/7/365. Clean air solution Its 'pathogen scavenging technology' is the clean air solution that envelopes indoor occupants in a safe and effective low-dose hydrogen peroxide gas (.02ppm) to eliminate infectious threats. The technology is self-regulating and ozone-free. "The hydrogen peroxide, ionization, and other technologies we are able to provide seek out these pathogens, attaches itself to them, and destroys them in real-time, creating what we call 'Mighty Safe Air,'" said Alton Holt, Founder & CEO of CIMR Tech. “Furthermore, it has been scientifically tested and experientially proven in hundreds of applications against viruses, bacteria, germs, mold and odors.” Indoor air quality While wiping down surfaces and washing hands are important for reducing the spread of COVID-19, it does not address the issue of transmission through shared air indoors — but CIMR Tech does. Its innovative technology is able to shield occupants in a wide range of indoor spaces, so we can safely return to businesses, hospitals, schools and more.
Control Systems have always played an important part in the function of HVAC systems and for many years were centered around the safe and optimum performance of the hardware deployed. Every HVAC system is a closed-loop process, with inputs fed into control logic that determines the best course of action to achieve the desired output. Energy management and integration into Building Information Management saw the advent of energy-saving techniques like free cooling and night-time purge reduce mechanical cooling loads, whilst occupation data allowed greater holistic management of systems. These are well-recognized practices that are being refined using predictive weather data, additional focus on heat recovery and more environmentally energy sources. Control Systems have always played an important part in the function of HVAC systemsThe scope of the typical systems loosely described above are around the management of systems on one site and their operation and maintenance tends to be centered around that particular location. Multi-site Development & Management The UK temperature-controlled warehousing market tends to develop on a project-by-project basis that fosters the site-by-site focus of ongoing management and maintenance. For multi-site logistics operators and manufacturers and distributors with a multi-site portfolio. this approach has the following disadvantages: Disparate system KPI data collection and reporting Setpoint adjustment left to untrained operators who apply their individual assessment of compliance risk and often don’t consider the financial and operational implications of fine-tuning (or meddling) Enterprise-wide energy management is difficult to control Duplication of staff tasked with reporting and maintenance Inconsistency of measurement and interpretation Slow response to system failures Poor interpretation of operational processes that impact system efficiency Portfolio Management The distinction here is that a portfolio of temperature-controlled sites is managed centrally instead of independently. The enabler to the solution is the rapid Energy management and integration into Building Information Management saw the advent of energy-saving techniquesdevelopment of access control systems and data communication. The next step is vital in the customer engagement process; what do they want to see? What’s important and what is not? How often do they want to see it and in what format? From experience of going through this process this is a voyage of discovery for the warehouse operator in understanding the stakeholders in their business. Quality and compliance managers are the obvious starting point, facilities managers, finance managers who are tasked with reducing energy costs, customer service and the end customer. Alongside the KPI monitoring, Jet Environmentals created a hierarchy of alarms management that alerts the right people with system information, that triggers a sequence of actions driven by the data. Trends are monitored to predict where there might be a problem on the horizon so action can be taken before there is an issue. Faults and failures are alerted instantly and corrective action alerts sent to the right people. Conclusion The continuous development of HVAC controls and reliability of secure data connections has provided a means of improving performance, lowering cost and building trust in provider/user relationships. To be successful, the roll-out of such a project requires the willingness and collaboration of all parties and the groundwork defining stakeholder requirements is vital in defining a scope that meets expectations.
It is said that the COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the single biggest driving forces behind the digitalization of industries ever seen. And although not new within HVAC infrastructures – especially within the food retail environment where it has been rolled out extensively – remote management and automation of HVAC systems is increasingly being used to support supermarket responses to COVID-19. From air filtration through to dynamic scheduling, digitalization of HVAC within the food retail sector is going through something of a renaissance. Pre-COVID Digitalization Software solutions that use Internet of Things (IoT) technology to analyze data from HVAC infrastructures, for example, are common in food retail stores. These solutions work by monitoring mission critical aspects of HVAC systems, from simple temperature data through to complex asset monitoring. This data can then either be fed back to the retailer for them to perform their own analysis or, using more advanced IoT technology, can be used to enact automated HVAC outcomes. Software solutions that use IoT technology to analyze data from HVAC infrastructures are common in food retail stores From preventing HVAC asset’s overworking – and therefore expending too much energy – through to detecting the first stages of a fault and alerting the relevant maintenance engineers, automation has been shown to deliver numerous benefits. These combine to serve the retailer’s primary purposes; enhancing the consumers in-store experience, improving the bottom line and decreasing energy usage to lower carbon footprint. But not only is the digitalization of HVAC helping food retailers drive down costs and energy, advances in areas such as air filtration and dynamic scheduling have meant that it is also being seen as a potential solution to COVID-19 related issues. Filtering Out the Virus Air filtration is a primary focus when looking for ways to keep internal spaces free from pathogens. While not exactly a new feature for HVAC systems, food retailers have been increasingly working towards implementing or improving their existing air filtration techniques in their stores. The solution to keeping air clean and fresh is actually quite straightforward and relies on the same technology that many stores already use to monitor CO2. Advances in areas such as air filtration and dynamic scheduling have meant that HVAC is being seen as a potential solution to COVID-19 By connecting CO2 monitors to a central controls panel (the technical way of describing the place where all of the sensor data is collected and, in some cases, analyzed), sensors are able to detect the CO2 levels instore, signal if they begin to drift past a pre-determined base level, and automatically alert the HVAC systems to provide more fresh air into the store. This is a simple process of optimization. Additional sensors detect when fresh air is either too humid, hot or cold to be filtered into the store and rectify this by automatically adjusting the HVAC. Essentially, monitoring CO2 and air quality levels makes sure the air in a store is constantly fresh and filtered to keep the chances of airborne transmission as low as possible without causing the HVAC systems to expend any more energy than is necessary. Research has shown that COVID-19 spreads through small respiratory droplets that are released into the air from an infected person when coughing, talking or even breathing. Within a store environment therefore, where surface contamination and proximity to other people are likely to increase the chances of transmitting the virus, optimized fresh air flow to dilute indoor air is desirable. By detecting higher levels of CO2 within the air which in turn increases the chances of pathogens floating around, food retailers can automate their HVAC systems to filtrate the air and significantly reduce chances of transmission. Dynamic HVAC Response Air filtration isn’t the only way that food retailers are combining digitalization and HVAC systems to help them navigate the ‘new normal’. With store opening times continually changing, fewer people inside a store at any one time and staff performing additional and stricter clean regimes after hours, the requirements for optimum store temperature have moved from static to dynamic. Before the pandemic, HVAC systems would have to keep an average non-24 hour store at the optimum temperature for between say, 7am and 11pm, and would have to work a little harder to deliver more air into the store during the lunch time rush and post-work peaks – a mostly predictable routine. Research has shown that COVID-19 spreads through small respiratory droplets that are released into the air from an infected person Now, however, with adjusted store schedules and social distancing regulations, the footfall and peak traffic times have changed dramatically. Through digitally enabled remote management of HVAC temperatures and schedules, new schedules could be deployed across the estate at the touch of a button. Real-time monitoring of in-store temperatures and the volume of people inside also enables HVAC systems to run more efficiently by stopping them from filtering in more outside air than is necessary in a shop that contains fewer customers than normal. IoT solutions are ensuring HVAC infrastructures are running efficiently, saving energy, helping a retailer’s bottom line and most importantly, ensuring the comfort and safety of customers and colleagues. However, as retailers look for solutions to the challenges posed by the post-COVID landscape, digitalized HVAC is breathing fresh air into the industry. From improved air filtration to dynamic schedule monitoring, digitalized HVAC systems are proving to be an important tool in a food retailer’s arsenal as they navigate the new normal.
Nobody could deny that the UK's overall construction and maintenance industry is male-dominated. You only need to walk past a building site or watch an episode of Grand Designs to see that there are very few women working in this area. But the problem might be a lot worse than you think. In fact, according to Innovate UK, only 3% of those in manual trades, 5% of those in engineering, 8% of haulage workers, and 12% of people in professional roles within this sector are women. There are many benefits to diversifying your workforce. Not only will it give you a wider breadth of experience and viewpoints, so challenges can be approached in new and effective ways, but it can also make it easier to recruit and retain the best talent out there. In order to encourage more women to apply for the roles you're advertising, you need to look at why they might have been deterred from doing so in the past. To help you out, I'm going to offer my top tips for ensuring women feel welcome and supported in your workplace. Start inspiring women and girls early Because the construction, maintenance, and engineering industry is so male-dominated, women and girls can often feel it isn't the place for them from a very young age. Again, they might see that it's typically men who work on their local sites, or come round to install their home's air conditioning units, which makes them feel like they won't be welcome. Only 3% of those in manual trades, 5% of those in engineering, 8% of haulage workers, and 12% of people in professional roles within this sector are women One of the most effective ways to combat this is by inspiring them to consider a career in the HVAC sector early on. Could you create a partnership with nearby schools to encourage pupils — both boys and girls — to come along to your workplace? Maybe they could safely help with some easy jobs and get an idea of what life in our industry is like. This would give you the chance to stress the importance of a diverse workforce, and you could explain why it's important that more girls think about joining the sector. You could also offer students the chance to give you feedback about why they think women are underrepresented in the industry, so you can either debunk some of the myths surrounding this problem, or use their concerns to improve your operations in a way that will make your workplace more attractive to women in the future. Offer flexible working arrangements Across the globe, women devote up to 10 times as much time as men to unpaid care responsibilities (OECD Development Centre). Perhaps they're the ones who drop their kids off at school and pick them up every day, or they might have elderly parents that they feel a duty to care for. This is a huge factor that can prevent women from getting into the HVAC industry, which often required long working hours, irregular shift patterns, and periods of working away. There are many benefits to diversifying your workforce As a result, companies need to seriously consider how they can stop this from blocking women's paths into the sector. One of the best ways to attract more women to roles in any industry is to introduce flexible working policies. This won't just benefit the female talent you're looking to attract, either. It will help to give everyone a better work/life balance, which is sure to make for a happier and more productive workforce. Could you find a way to allow your employees to choose their own work patterns, so they know they'll always have the time to tend to their responsibilities offsite? It will take time to get this right, but you could start by asking interviewees how you could ensure their job won't encroach on their life outside of work. Make sure there's no gender pay gap In 2019, research by RICS and Macdonald & Company found that men are typically paid 20% more than women in the construction and maintenance industry. It was also revealed that this disparity grows as the age of employees increases, with those aged 46–55 earning an average of £83,000 if they are male and £64,000 if they are female. If you're an HVAC business owner who is looking to attract more women to your job roles, you need to ensure this isn't a problem you're contributing to. Take a look at the existing salaries among your workforce, and make sure men and women in the same jobs, with similar levels of experience, are being paid the same. Then, when new talent joins your workforce, ensure they're always being paid fairly from the very start. It's also a good idea to avoid basing new employees' wages on how much they were receiving in their previous positions, or you could just end up repeating the mistakes of other businesses. Now that companies are being forced to reveal information about their gender pay gaps, women will be able to see whether you value them as much as their male counterparts. And, if they feel they're going to be underpaid, they'll be very unlikely to apply for your positions. Make sure you have Bathroom facilities for both men and women If your workforce has always been overwhelmingly male, you might have never had to think about ensuring there are suitable bathroom facilities for both men and women. But this is actually a huge barrier that's deterring female jobseekers from applying for jobs in the construction and maintenance space. Men are typically paid 20% more than women in the construction and maintenance industry For example, Unite the Unions conducted a survey of women working in the construction sector to find out what challenges they would face on a daily basis. And, one of the major issues that came up time and time again is that there's often a lack of welfare facilities, including clean toilets, feminine hygiene bins, and shower facilities for women. So, if your workplace tend to be lacking in this area, it's worth taking these concerns on board and putting some time and effort into fixing the problem. The constructions, maintenance, and HVAC space has always been male-dominated, but it's time things changed and companies took steps to encourage more women to consider a career in this industry. These tips are a great place to start, but it's also important that you speak to your existing female workers, do more research, and ask women who apply for your jobs what would help to make them comfortable in your workplace. Harriet Constantinou has worked for the tool and building equipment specialists Zoro for more than two years.
As schools work to reopen safely in the midst of a global pandemic, HVAC is at the center of the mission. Adequate ventilation and effective air filtration are critical elements to ensure safe indoor air quality for educational institutions. Many schools are housed in older buildings that may not have been adequately maintained. Transforming them to address the new challenges of minimizing exposure to the novel coronavirus is that much more difficult. In fact, a recent study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that more than half of the nation’s school districts have outdated building systems. Some 40% of the nation’s 13,000 school districts need new or updated HVAC systems in at least half of their schools - that’s almost 40,000 schools that have issues of poor indoor air quality. Funding is an ongoing problem, especially as the pandemic has undermined the financial health of many school systems. interior building components Even so, classroom air quality is now more important than ever before. Introducing more fresh air into a building - with better ventilation - is an important consideration to minimize spread of the novel coronavirus. Already, many schools are chronically under-ventilated. Extending HVAC system operating hours can provide more ventilation before and after the building is occupied. Building code standards typically require schools to circulate the air inside classrooms at least three times per hour. With the threat of COVID-19, the recommendation is to target five clean air changes per hour. However, increasing outdoor air ventilation comes with a toll of more indoor humidity and less comfortable temperatures. Additional dehumidification is needed to avoid condensation on interior building components such as piping and ductwork. And the solutions are not one-size-fits-all. supplemental air cleaning Related to filtration, ASHRAE suggests use of MERV 13 filters, which can capture particles as small as 03-1.0 microns There are many variables in terms of the educational facilities and HVAC systems such as complexity, flexibility, age and condition. Mechanical needs of each school depend on available resources, school demographics and building characteristics. As classroom occupancy becomes less dense through social distancing, the changing impact on HVAC needs should be factored in, too. In addition to ventilation, there are considerations of filtration and supplemental air cleaning. Related to filtration, ASHRAE suggests use of MERV 13 filters, which can capture particles as small as 03-1.0 microns. However, higher efficiency filters can restrict airflow and cause strain on HVAC systems, especially older models. An alternative is using portable air filters with HEPA filtration for each classroom. Another consideration is possible use of UV-C for in-duct air disinfection, although the systems must be compatible to existing HVAC systems. airborne infectious diseases There are also upper-room germicidal UV-C fixtures for infection control, which work by interrupting the transmission of airborne infectious diseases in high traffic communal areas. Use of bipolar ionization is another way of deactivating airborne viruses using proactive air purification. HVAC-mounted devices use positive and negative ions to destroy viruses for cleaner, healthier air and less risk of infections. However, there is limited information about the effectiveness of ionization systems, especially related to the novel coronavirus. In addition, schools should examine air handling systems to ensure dampers are connected, fan belts are operative, and that cooling and heating coils are working. Cleanliness of units, condensate drain pans and related components is also paramount.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the power provider in the United States, is offering incentives to businesses and schools to install UV-C germicidal lights to fight germs in indoor air. Customers that buy from TVA’s Preferred Partners Network can receive a $30-per-ton incentive toward adoption of approved UV-C technologies, which remove viruses and bacteria from indoor air. “Schools and businesses realize they need solutions to purify indoor air, and we want to help them install it as they reopen,” says Jason Snyder, Manager, TVA EnergyRight. Commercial HVAC systems UV-C light is a short wavelength ultraviolet light used to disinfect air. Studies show UV-C is 99.9% lethal to bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms, and is an alternative to chemical disinfection. The technology has been commercially available since the 1930s, and UV rays have been used to treat disease since the late-1800s. The technology has historically helped to control outbreaks of other airborne pathogens over the years While research is continuing to assess the effectiveness of UV lights against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the technology has historically helped to control outbreaks of other airborne pathogens over the years. Since the emergence of COVID-19, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) has taken a higher profile as a technology that could have an impact when installed in the ductwork of existing commercial HVAC systems. Inactivate airborne microorganisms The technology can ensure safer indoor air at hospitals, schools, reception areas, retail establishments, nursing homes, churches, hair dressers and business officers. TVA is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies in parts of seven Southeastern U.S. states, serving nearly 10 million people. According to ASHRAE, UVGI systems must deliver a sufficient dose of UV-C rays to inactivate airborne microorganisms within a 2-ft. (0.6 m) minimum irradiation zone down the length of a duct or plenum, providing roughly 0.4 seconds of exposure time in moving air. An irradiation level, Ultraviolet Rating Value (URV) of 13 is the minimum recommended UV intensity level to deliver a sufficient dose to inactivate airborne microorganisms. Improve indoor air quality Another CDC recommendation is to increase ventilation and outdoor air flow by opening windows and doors Demand for air filters and UV lights has been on the increase as HVAC customers have looked for alternatives to improve indoor air quality and negate spread of the novel coronavirus. Use of additional filters and UV light is among the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) before workers return to offices after the pandemic lockdown. Another CDC recommendation is to increase ventilation and outdoor air flow by opening windows and doors and using fans to dilute recirculated indoor air. Milestone Electric, a Dallas, Texas, HVAC installer, says sales of in-home UV light units have doubled this year compared to 2019. Less-Expensive alternative “Some people ordered them before the pandemic, but they weren’t aware of the full benefits until recently,” Milestone Electric Spokeswoman Britton Swanson told the Dallas Morning News. UV lights are a less-expensive alternative (about $1,300) to the use of HEPA filters (about $3,000) to improve air quality. Combining both is the best combination to decrease chances of spreading the virus. Even before the pandemic, people spent about 90% of their time indoors. With the emphasis on staying home to avoid spread of the virus, the number could be even higher.
Building Information Management (BIM) software creates an intelligent 3D model of a design or building project and provides documentation, coordination and simulation through each step of the project’s lifecycle, from planning to design, building to operation and even maintenance. Use of a 3D model enables stakeholders across various disciplines to visualize and understand every detail of a project before it is built, makes it easier to document a project, and facilitates communication among various parties. Construction logistics and details are shared among contractors, including HVAC, and teams can work more efficiently. Any updates to a project can be made easily and communicated universally; there are fewer mistakes because of miscommunication. Reworks are minimized. BIM modeling software, for example, can help designers lay out ductwork and pipes in a new structure, and automatically detect any collisions or clashes among objects before they become a problem in the “real world.” Facilitating communication of specifications Contractors can create an accurate virtual model of proposed new systems and/or of existing systems. BIM modeling also provides a central repository for all construction design documents, characteristics and operational details. BIM software therefore becomes a resource where designers and planners can access information and solve any future problems during the planning stage. Facilitating communication of specifications saves money during construction. If there is a change to a diffuser or other component on a floorplan, that change is automatically updated wherever the diffuser is located, thus making engineering design changes easier and more efficient. Any equipment or component can be easily swapped out to improve performance, and all drawings are updated automatically with the changes. Higher productivity equates to less project time and costs. enhance construction productivity Learning how to leverage BIM can provide a key differentiator from more traditional HVAC competitors Having a single, accurate point of reference enhances construction productivity and cuts down on cross-referencing and approval times. Understanding BIM and being familiar with operating in a BIM environment provides an advantage for HVAC companies seeking to be considered for projects. Learning how to leverage BIM can provide a key differentiator from more traditional HVAC competitors. And it makes the job easier: BIM facilitates coordination in the field among HVAC installers, energy contractors, and building owners. In the building industry, BIM enables extra HVAC planning during preconstruction and construction phases. Ductwork can be routed for the most efficient air flow and while avoiding clashes with structural elements or other equipment. An engineer can download data from BIM drafting files and carry out load and performance calculations using software to ensure a better design. building heating system Increasing use of BIM for HVAC projects enables engineers to design systems that are energy-efficient, which is an important factor given that the HVAC system will account for 30 to 40% of a building’s energy costs. New advantages of BIM for HVAC are emerging, too. For example, Austrian technology researchers have examined the use of BIM data to automatically generate control strategies for energy systems, thus simplifying and accelerating the commissioning phase. The methodology creates control strategies of a building heating system with several variations of renewable energy systems and includes both heat provisioning and a distribution system.
Nicknamed the gateway to Southern California, the city of Ontario, as well as neighboring city Montclair, is home to the third largest elementary school district in California, the Ontario-Montclair School District (OMSD). Founded in 1884, the district also incorporates portions of the city of Upland, and unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County, comprising 24,000 students in 26 elementary schools and six middle schools. Ontario-Montclair School District Ontario-Montclair School District’s overall mission is simple yet speaks volumes to its dedication to all students, to do whatever it takes to guarantee its commitment in providing the highest quality education for all students. To meet this mission head-on, OMSD contracted with TMAD Taylor Gaines, a professional engineering consulting and services firm. Ontario Montclair School District was interested in reducing their overall energy costs by 20%" “Ontario Montclair School District was interested in reducing their overall energy costs by 20%, they along with other school districts throughout California were mandated to reduce their overall energy costs,” said John Simmons, RCDD, LEED AP, and Project Manager for TMAD Taylor Gaines. He adds, “We initially ran some numbers based upon information we found on Bard HVAC’s website, and through consultation with Geary Pacific Supply, Bard’s largest West Coast distributor.” Geary Pacific, distributor of new HVAC units Based upon the scope of the projects in consideration, the money available to fund them and the overall cost of the units in consideration, as well as overall potential energy savings, TMAD Taylor Gaines recommended that OMSD select Geary Pacific as the distributor of the new HVAC units. “We considered other companies as part of our overall recommendation but in all honesty we were impressed by a couple of things. First, Bard Manufacturing had a wealth of product and technical information about their products on their website, including case studies of other customer successes. That in combination with Geary Pacific’s previous experience working successfully with the School District made our recommendation a simple one,” added John Simmons. Bard wall-mounted HVAC units deployed “Our District was already familiar with Bard because we had success using some of their other wall mounted units on several of our modular school buildings,” said Craig Misso, Director of Facility Planning & Operation at Ontario Montclair School District, adding “Our goal was to not only upgrade our facilities and make them more energy efficient, but also work to reduce some of the HVAC noise inside the classroom, as well as save on the purchase, operation and maintenance of all of the units at our schools.” TMAD Taylor Gaines and Geary Pacific’s approach was to do the retrofit in several phases. The pilot project encompassed one site, Sultana Elementary School, which included 24 re-locatable buildings, made up of both newer and some older construction. Bard WG*S Step Capacity Series units with CO2 sensors TMAD Taylor Gaines and Geary Pacific started doing groups of schools, encompassing 14 different building sites “Sultana was a great school for the pilot because there were a lot of little issues to contend with and work through,” stated Simmons, adding “The Bard WG*S Step Capacity Series units with Energy Recovery Ventilators and CO2 sensors worked great and we were initially very surprised at how quiet they actually operated.” After that, TMAD Taylor Gaines and Geary Pacific started doing groups of schools, encompassing 14 different building sites. Group one included 6 schools and approximately 83 units while Group 2 included 8 schools and 101 units. It was during the second group of installations that TMAD Taylor Gaines realized that putting in units that required the installation of underground gas piping was not the best solution for all classrooms. Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 units That’s when Geary Pacific recommended utilizing Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 units with Energy Recovery Ventilators and CO2 sensors in about 1/3 of the overall installation. “Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 units are some of the most energy-efficient HVAC units on the market today,” said Maury Tiernan of Geary Pacific, adding “Plus the operational sound level is extremely low and is greatly appreciated by the students and teachers.” John Simmons said, “We were really pleased at how easily these units were able to be retrofitted into the re-locatable classrooms. There are almost no changes and smooth sailing in almost all cases.” Quiet, efficient operation The dramatic reduction in operating noise levels was an added improvement and benefit for which Craig Misso was particularly proud. “At Sultana, we invited some of the teachers and our principal over to see the new classrooms. Our principal asked, ‘Why aren’t the new HVAC units running’? I had to laugh, because I knew they were on. They were just so quiet nobody could tell that they were working. That moment sold every teacher on the Bard units,” added Craig Misso of Ontario Montclair School District. “From the very beginning, Geary Pacific became our partner in the success of the project,” stated Simmons, adding “Always available to answer questions on-site and knowledgeable about all aspects of the product and installation I can honestly say they can’t do anything wrong by me. Geary Pacific and the engineers at Bard Manufacturing came through in every way possible and more.” Wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment expert Bard’s HVAC products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency Over thirty years ago, Bard Manufacturing began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s HVAC products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency, with unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice for schools. With three, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to research and development. With features like self-diagnostics and self-programming energy monitors, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for any school. Energy and cost savings “The Bard units reduced ambient classroom noise levels by over 75% and further gave us a 50% savings in energy,” said Misso, adding “This savings allowed us to also install software on our computers that automatically turns off the lights and the AC, when the classrooms are unoccupied, which further increased our savings. Our hope is to have the funds necessary to install all 280 Bard units as specified by TMAD Taylor Gaines.” Misso concluded, “Geary Pacific has been extremely professional and service oriented throughout the project. Because of our School Board’s commitment to energy conservation, our District will receive a dual reward, recognized energy savings and efficiency with an enhanced classroom environment for our students and teachers. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Living in the McLean County Unit District No. 5 region ensures one thing that children will receive one of the finest educations available. With one of its high schools ranked in the Top 50 Public High Schools in Illinois and listed in U.S. News & World Report’s Nation’s Top Schools, Unit District No. 5 is the place where excellence in education takes on a new meaning. Replacing antiquated HVAC systems But excellence doesn’t come without a price. In the current economic environment, maintaining and improving upon existing school facilities remains one of the most significant challenges for administrators and educators alike. That’s why officials turned to a solution that proved both unique and highly practical, when six schools in the district faced antiquated HVAC systems, nearing the end of their life-cycle. Upgrading and retrofitting school HVAC systems CM Engineering and Earth City Distributing understand the challenge of maximizing facility investment dollars CM Engineering and Earth City Distributing understand the challenge of maximizing facility investment dollars when it comes to upgrading and retrofitting school facilities. They also realize the key role those facilities play in keeping a school educationally competitive. The first schools from the Unit 5 School District to undergo retrofits included Oakdale Elementary School and Glenn Elementary School. Each school had ceiling limitations which made a conventional rooftop boiler-chiller system impractical. “We wanted a system that would be easy to service and maintain, provide cooling and be energy efficient,” said Jeff Monahan, Director of Maintenance for McLean County Unit District No. 5. Bard QTEC ground source heat pump installed “We had experienced earlier success working with a school in McComb, Illinois, where using a new type of piping system and the Bard QTEC ground source heat pump saved us over 50% in installation costs,” said Kirk Mescher, President of CM Engineering. Kirk adds, “Using Bard Manufacturing’s QTEC product in the Unit 5 School District applications was not only practical, it was the win-win solution in terms of reliability and efficiency in operation.” Between 2006 and 2008, 112 Bard QTEC units were installed in 6 schools. “Between CM Engineering’s unique design approach and Bard’s very efficient QTEC unit, the installation at all of the Unit District No. 5 schools couldn’t have gone any better, “ said Mike McManus, Owner of Earth City Distributing, a local Bard distributor, adding “Not only are the units energy-efficient and incredibly quiet when operating, they can be easily accessed for service.” Bard’s wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment Over thirty years ago, Bard Manufacturing Company began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency, with unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice for schools. With three, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to wide-scale research and development (R&D). With features such as self-diagnostics and self-programming energy monitors, Bard Manufacturing Co. delivers state-of-the-art products that provide tangible solutions for any school’s needs. Enhanced serviceability The QTEC’s serviceability is also a contributing factor to Unit District No. 5’s overall success “What we got by using Bard Manufacturing’s QTEC product was an HVAC system that not only provided heating and cooling, but did so while also providing more than a 40% savings in total utility costs, without upgrading windows or insulation,” said Jeff Monahan. The QTEC’s serviceability is also a contributing factor to Unit District No. 5’s overall success. “I love the fact that the units are virtually maintenance-free,” stated Monahan, adding “They’ve basically reduced our service calls to near zero.” Energy estimate from CM Engineering “Whenever any of our school clients are open to the idea of having an in-room unit installed, we always spec the Bard QTEC units. In fact, in all the years, since we’ve been in business, we’ve never installed anything else inside a classroom,” said Kirk Mescher, President of CM Engineering. With Unit District No. 5, CM Engineering initially gave them an energy estimate that proposed they could provide the schools with heating and cooling at no additional operating cost. Energy and cost savings Mescher adds, “Not only were we able to achieve that goal, but because of the Bard QTEC units, we were able to surpass it, helping the schools reduce their overall utility costs significantly, in some cases by over 40%.” He further stated, “For any school, anywhere in the country trying to save money on installation, service and energy costs, not to mention lowering overall ambient noise in a classroom, these are significant enough results that simply can’t be ignored.” Quiet and comfortable QTEC units Bard’s QTEC unit is designed to be installed inside the classroom, fully engineered to be quiet and comfortable Success with the retrofit of their six schools has, in fact, led McLean County Unit District No. 5 to approve installation of additional Bard QTEC units in a seventh school during the summer of 2009. Bard’s QTEC unit is designed to be installed inside the classroom, fully engineered to be quiet, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. QTEC units are designed and tested to operate at 20% above federal standards with easy installation features that make servicing fast and simple. Bard’s QTEC units can provide the following features: A one-piece factory unit with individual room climate control Designed for fast installation and easy servicing Sound deadening insulation Simple utility hookups Integrated energy recovery ventilator Controlled dehumidification A rating for efficiency that is 20% above Federal Standards
In the spring of 1999, Wilkes County, North Carolina had a difficult and challenging problem to contend with. With an ever-increasing student population the school system faced the daunting task of building four new middle schools to improve its countywide school facilities. Committed to excellence in teaching and to the belief that all students can learn, Wilkes County Schools strive for student success through a partnership of school, home and community. Building on funds already allocated by the State Board of Education, Wilkes County Schools received approval for up to $24 million in additional funding from the County Commissioners. Because of the needs of the growing middle school student population countywide, it was decided that one school would be built in each of Wilkes County’s four school districts – Central, West, North and East. Budget constraints Wilkes County Schools turned to the heating and cooling expertise and experience of the Bard Manufacturing Company But the challenges didn’t end with the County’s approval to build. Staying on budget would be an even greater challenge, given all of the amenities, and opportunities for greater learning that the school system wanted to provide for its students. Aware of the impacting impression a new school has on individual students, Wilkes County remained determined to build its schools so they were aesthetically pleasing, both inside and out, and comfortable throughout every season. That’s when Wilkes County Schools turned to the heating and cooling expertise and experience of the Bard Manufacturing Company. Wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment Thirty years ago, Bard began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country. Providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment, Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, patented ventilation packages, unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice by many school officials. With three state-of-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to research and development. With features like self-diagnostics and self-programming energy monitors, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for today’s modern school facilities. Bard’s Contribution What we liked best overall about the Bard units was having control over the environments in each of our classrooms" Wilkes County Schools were already familiar with Bard Manufacturing and its products, having successfully installed and operated Bard’s previous generation of wall-mounted units nearly 15 years ago in its other school facilities. “What we liked best overall about the Bard units was having individual control over the environments in each of our classrooms,” said Phil Couch, Maintenance Director and Assistant Superintendent for Wilkes County Schools. "When Wilkes County first suggested Bard units for the design, we were skeptical – we didn’t know a lot about Bard and we were more comfortable using the traditional four-pipe system,” said Frank Williams, Partner, Pinnacle Architecture. “However, now that we’ve seen how Bard units work, we’re comfortable recommending them wherever the incremental design makes sense. Teachers love the control, and we like the simplicity of installation!” Energy efficient Bard first developed its incremental wall-mounted cooling units in 1963. Since that time, Bard has made many advances and enhancements to its units, making them ideal for new schools and classroom renovations. Aware of Wilkes County Schools’ desire to also make their new facilities aesthetically pleasing, as well as energy-efficient and comfortable to learn in, Bard recommended its QTEC self-contained cooling unit. QTEC - The Quiet “Hidden” Technology QTEC units are designed and tested to operate at 20% above federal standards with easy installation features The QTEC unit is designed to be installed inside the classroom – fully engineered to be quiet, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. QTEC units are designed and tested to operate at 20% above federal standards with easy installation features that make servicing fast and simple. Bard’s QTEC units can provide the following features: A one-piece factory unit with individual room climate control Design for fast installation and easy servicing Sound deadening insulation Simple utility hookups Integrated energy recovery ventilator Controlled dehumidification Wilkes County Schools’ Results Wilkes County opened its four new schools in time for the 2002 fall semester and they were able to do it on budget, thanks to Bard. “Bard’s experience working with school systems around the country helped us design, engineer and install the best system we could have hoped for,” said Couch. “Not only do the units operate quietly, they’re energy efficient. They also save us money on our maintenance costs because we can work on them ourselves with our own in-house maintenance staff.” Comfortable environment And because Bard QTEC units take up less space and are less costly to install over traditional boiler/chiller systems, Bard also helped save Wilkes County Schools $3.5 million on their overall construction costs. Wilkes County Schools then used these savings to fund four computers in each classroom, and three computer labs for each school. “Working together with Pinnacle Architecture, Bard not only helped us create a comfortable environment for our students to learn in, they enabled us to purchase, through savings, additional technology equipment,” said Couch.
One won’t find bustling cities or lots of traffic in Montgomery County and that is just the way residents like it. Montgomery County is located in south-central North Carolina, an hour drive from Charlotte and just under two hours from Raleigh and Fayetteville. Eighty percent of the county comprises the geologically pristine Uwharrie National Forest, which provides a beautiful, scenic backdrop for quiet, country living. With children under 18 accounting for just over 25% of the local population, Montgomery County Schools' mission is to ensure that all students are prepared for the opportunities by addressing the challenges. Cost-Effective solution One of these challenges was directly related to a new elementary school – Green Ridge Elementary School - the district was planning to build in the town of Biscoe. “We recently completed building another school in the district that used a combination boiler/chiller to heat and cool the school”, said Bill Mingin, Maintenance Director for Montgomery County Schools. All Seasons recommended utilizing the wall-mounted design of Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 unit “Unfortunately, we found the high cost of fuel oil combined with the high cost of installing this type of system, forced us to come up with a better, more cost-effective solution for Green Ridge.” That’s when Montgomery County Schools turned to Drayton Stott of All Seasons Commercial HVAC Distributors, the local Bard dealer. Overall construction costs “I was very familiar with Bard because we had great success using some of their wall mounted units on several of our retrofitted schools,” said Mingin. “We were hoping, however, to reduce some of the overall operational noise and costs within the new building even more.” That’s when All Seasons recommended utilizing the wall-mounted design of Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 unit – albeit on the outside of the building. “The Bard Quiet Climate 2 units are some of the quietest HVAC units on the market today,” said Stott. “Green Ridge Elementary School also benefitted from a reduction in overall construction costs, including cement work, steel framing, the cost of running ductwork and construction of a maintenance and mechanical boiler/chiller shed.” Utilizing the Quiet Climate 2, Stott was also able to also provide each room and teacher with individual control over their room’s temperature. Enhanced operational efficiency “This enhanced operational efficiency in several ways, including better and more even temperature control throughout each classroom,” said Mingin. “Plus, if any particular unit needed maintenance, it wouldn’t mean that the whole system had to be shut down. By having the units installed on the outside of the building we could work on the units without disturbing the teachers or the students inside.” The school had the added benefit of turning units off or on as needed" “The school had the added benefit of turning units off or on as needed depending on whether or not individual rooms were in use.” Another big improvement was the overall cost and installation of the Bard system. “Our mission is to provide our students with the educational building blocks that will prepare them to ultimately compete in a global economy,” said Donna Kennedy, Principal of Green Ridge Elementary School. Wall-Mounted heating “Working with Bard, we were able to save Green Ridge Elementary over $800,000 in installation and purchasing costs over a conventional system. That savings gave us the opportunity to purchase a complete technology package for our school, including smart boards and computer labs in every classroom. As a former AC service technician, I have to say that I’m extremely impressed with the Bard Quiet Climate units– they actually make no noise at all,” said Matt Wolf, a teacher at Green Ridge Elementary School. “They make teaching and learning a quiet, comfortable experience.” Over thirty years ago, Bard began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency, with unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice for schools. Self-Programming energy monitors Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for any school With three state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to research and development. With features like self-diagnostics and self-programming energy monitors, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for any school. “With the Quiet Climate 2 units our teachers and students never have to worry about room temperature interfering with classroom learning,” said Kennedy. “Whenever we have a weekend community activity, teachers tutoring in off hours, or classes going on night, we know we can make those spaces comfortable without wasting energy in unused classrooms.” “Our experience with Bard products over the years in retrofitted schools has been excellent and the Green Ridge Elementary School results confirm that Bard performs as well in new schools as they do in older, existing school buildings,” said Mingin. “Bard’s ability to give us individual room dehumidification is another benefit that’s hard to quantify – we just don’t have any of the problems associated with high humidity.”
Darlington Middle School is in Darlington, South Carolina, located in the eastern region of the state along the I-95 Corridor. The school serves approximately 1,025 students. Committed to excellence in teaching and the belief that all students can learn, the staff strives for student success through a partnership of school, home, and community. The Choice Larry Stegner is the Maintenance Director for Darlington County Schools, who is responsible for roughly 2.1 million square feet of space in his schools. Larry said why he chose to utilize the Bard system in his new school. In 2006, the team was hard at work constructing Darlington Middle School. The decision to use the Bard system was easy in this case. The district made a proactive decision to standardize systems wherever practical. Reliability and maintenance From a maintenance standpoint, all the troubleshooting and repairs required are done outside the building" Larry said, “In the classrooms, we have gone exclusively to a Bard exterior wall-mounted unit. There are several reasons for this; the cost of a 4-pipe system is almost cost-prohibitive for us in a classroom setting. In addition, if that system goes down, the entire school is down. With the Bard system, if we lose one unit we only affect one classroom.” Larry shared about the reliability and maintenance of the Bard system. He said, “The instances that I have lost a Bard unit are rare.” “From a maintenance standpoint, all the troubleshooting and repairs required are done outside the building so we never disturb the classroom and we can service them ourselves.” Design Attributes During the design process, the Darlington County Schools team saw value in the Bard System. Larry shared some attributes the design team discovered through the process. “Something that impressed us with Bard that I wasn’t aware of, was the availability of colors. When we ordered them, we could get them in a variety of cabinet finishes.” Larry shared if there were any objections by the architect to using this system. He had these insights, “Architects don’t particularly like them, they don’t like things hanging on “their” buildings and messing up “their” lines. With the Bard units and building in a complementary color selection, they virtually disappear on the building. You don’t even see them.” “We used the dark bronze units on Darlington Middle School because they matched the trim finish, and it looks like an architectural component of the building.” Classroom Preferred Solution While energy prices continue to rise, the district’s energy demands increase as well The district staff was persistent in selecting Bard’s Classroom Preferred Solution for their new school, primarily because of the economics of the system, ease of maintenance, and the ability to control each classroom independently. Like most districts today, energy efficiency and reducing operating costs play a significant role in Darlington County. While energy prices continue to rise, the district’s energy demands increase as well. Modern teaching methods and practices require the use of current technologies. Today, students must be prepared for a modern globally competitive world. Educators must have the tools and resources available to educate their students. This new reality translates to more technology in the classroom, such as computers and Smartboards. Increased demands Schools utilizing the Bard Classroom Preferred Solution have realized substantial energy savings Additionally, the demands on educational facilities have increased dramatically. Today, schools serve beyond the traditional 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. schedule. With increasing demands for workers to equip themselves to be competitive in today’s economy, often ones find adult education classes being taught in the evening. On occasion, drivers education courses are taught after school. It is not a rare occurrence to drive by Darlington Middle School on the weekend and see the school packed with students, parents, teachers, and community members for extracurricular activities. These enhancements to children’s education and community involvement in the schools serve as an invaluable asset to everyone. Schools utilizing the Bard Classroom Preferred Solution have realized substantial energy savings through optimal building performance strategies. Taking advantage of the unprecedented flexibility of this system allows the facility staff to tailor their operating strategy to the specific use of their schools. Conditioning For example, when Mr. Stegner has an adult education class using one classroom in the evening, this system conditions that single classroom. In a more traditional HVAC system (4-Pipe/ Central), one would condition an entire building or wing to use one classroom. Obviously, this strategy would significantly increase energy/operating costs. When it comes to HVAC systems on the market today, comfort and noise are a concern. That’s not nearly as valuable as hearing from someone who lives and works with the building and its systems. Mr. Stegner and Mrs. Carlita Davis, the Principal, shared about their experiences with the comfort and noise of this system. Ease of maintenance Darlington County made a decision to move to Bard’s Classroom Preferred Solution because of its reliability Darlington County made a conscious decision to move to Bard’s Classroom Preferred Solution because of its reliability, ease of maintenance, and efficiency. On being asked if there are ever complaints about noise, Mr. Stegner said, “We never have complaints about noise in this school. I don’t think you even know it’s there and that’s how it should be.” “Naturally, comfort is a major concern in the education environment. We want to ensure the teachers are comfortable in their working environment. It’s important to make sure students are comfortable so they can focus on learning.“ In a school the size of Darlington Middle, universal comfort can be a challenge for traditional systems. Larry, on concerns around comfort in the school, said, “I have never heard a complaint about the comfort of a classroom in this school. It is a lot easier to make our teachers and students comfortable with each classroom having its own individually controlled unit.” Aesthetics The Bard Classroom Preferred Solution can be tailored to adapt to one’s building design. A variety of colors and applications along with the flexibility to reach their goals during the design process. Darlington County had never heard a complaint or concern over the appearance of their buildings. In addition to colors and size, one can choose to locate the system components inside or outside the building, while virtually attaining the same results. Reliability “Of all the systems, units, and manufacturers we have and work within our district, Bard’s systems give us the least amount of trouble,” says Larry Stegner, Facilities Director Darlington County. “This system has been really good for our school, I can’t name any issue we have had with the heating and cooling system. I know it’s very economical for our district,” says Carlita Davis, Principal.
As Albert Einstein once said, “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” That wisdom has been put into practice in the form of a smarter approach in the way modular schools can be built and used. Pre-fabricated, modular classroom In 2006, the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, in partnership with the Council for Educational Facility Planners (CEFPI), held a national design competition, The Portable Classroom Design Challenge, to create a pre-fabricated, modular classroom unit that was environmentally sustainable, or green. This competition led to eventual development and installation of one of the most uniquely created modular spaces ever conceived, indeed the award winner of the design competition. Triumph Modular of Littleton, Massachusetts, in partnership with ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge and builder NRB Inc., won the design challenge because of their revolutionary, new modular classroom. Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Relocatable Green Modular Classroom comes designed with many LEED-focused design elements Aptly named the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom, it's also the first modular classroom to be designed with many LEED-focused design elements. “Our goal was to create a high-quality, portable classroom that was green, one with environmentally conscious materials used in its design and operation. The design was smart in the way that it used resources and provided heat, light, unsurpassed acoustics and air quality within the space,” said Cliff Cort, Founder of Triumph Modular. In fact, it’s estimated that the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom performs 56% better, in terms of overall energy costs, than similar, older style modular units that often use almost three times as much of energy as a permanent school building. Wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment Thirty years ago, Bard Manufacturing Co. Ltd began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, patented ventilation packages, unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice of many school officials. With three, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to research and development. Self-programming energy monitors and green refrigerants With features like self-programming energy monitors, unsurpassed energy efficiency, green refrigerants and the lowest acoustic profile on the market, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for modern school facilities. Already impressed from their previous working experience with Bard, Triumph Modular wanted to incorporate the Quiet Climate 2 into their green modular design. “Building green is good for the environment, good for the wallet and good for the occupants of the building,” said Cliff Cort, adding, “And Bard’s HVAC unit is a big factor in why the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom performs as well as it does.” Green modular design Bard’s HVAC System in the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Unit contributes to its high energy efficiency According to an independent third party analysis, the green modular design provides a 68% reduction in heating energy and a 49% reduction in cooling energy, most of which can be attributed to Bard Quiet Climate 2. An efficiently designed HVAC system is perhaps the single largest building component that can influence a building’s sustainability. Bard’s HVAC System in the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Unit contributes significantly to its high energy efficiency and quiet, almost undetectable acoustic profile (37 bBHL) within the classroom. Quiet-Climate 2 heat pump Bard’s Quiet-Climate 2 heat pump is the most innovative wall-mount HVAC equipment ever made. Designed specifically to provide superior energy efficiency and quiet operation in classrooms, the Quiet Climate 2 uses green refrigerants and provides operating sound levels that are 20 to 35 times quieter than a standard wall-mounted heat pump. Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 can provide the following features: Higher energy efficiency and greater comfort through step-capacity technology Unmatched acoustical performance Sound levels vary with applications and construction techniques, but integrated operating sound levels as low as 35 dbA have been achieved when combined with Bard Quiet-Climate acoustical accessories Improved ventilation and Enhanced IAQ Continuous blower operation – without noise – keeping fresh air constantly in the classroom Optional UV lighting which keeps the coils free of bacteria and mold Enhanced filtration capabilities A one-piece factory unit designed for fast installation and easy servicing Additional sound curbing accessories including, an isolation curb and return air and supply air plenums The Carroll School Serving over 75 communities around Lincoln, Massachusetts, The Carroll School was founded in part by Dr. Edwin Cole who wanted to provide a special school for children with language-based learning challenges. The Carroll School supports nearly 300 students, in grades 1 – 8, with a 3.4 student to teacher ratio using multisensory and individualized teaching methods for specific learning needs. Progressive by nature, The Carroll School’s thriving community brings children together in an environment that values their differences and remediates their learning difficulties. “Cliff Cort, a Lincoln resident and friend of the school, approached us with the idea to replace one of our existing modular building with the green modular design,” said Margaret Gebhard, Director of Finance and Operations at The Carroll School, adding “Our existing modular space was not a popular one with either faculty or students due to its poor lighting, sound characteristics and overall appearance.” Occupancy sensors and vestibule The classroom incorporates many unique green components, such as formaldehyde-free, low VOC paints Things changed when teachers, students and administrative personnel moved into the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom for the first time. The classroom incorporates many unique green components, including formaldehyde-free, low VOC paints and coatings that reduce off-gassing, occupancy sensors that conserve energy by turning the lights off, when people come and go, a vestibule that safeguards the inside from inclement weather while buffering outside noise and helps retain heating and controlling levels for its green and virtually silent HVAC system – the Quiet Climate 2. Enhancing schools’ energy efficiency Margaret adds, “The Relocatable Green Modular Classroom is truly amazing and smart to incorporate into any schools modular planning, we’re quickly approaching our original 3 year leasing agreement with Triumph and I see us keeping the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom around for many more years to come.” She further stated, “It has the best lighting, best HVAC system, and is the most energy-efficient building on our campus, which is why it’s also the most coveted space on our campus. Now we can not only say our kids here are special but now they have a truly special and smart environment in which to learn.”
Round table discussion
Welcome to our Expert Panel Roundtable, a new feature of HVACInformed.com. We will be asking timely questions about the HVAC market and seeking out experts in the field to provide responses. Our goal is to promote a useful exchange of information on a variety of topics and to create a forum for discussion of important issues facing the industry. Launching this new feature in the middle of a global pandemic made choosing our first question quite easy. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What has been the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the HVAC market?