Johnson Controls joins World Business Council for Sustainable Development
GENEVA, Switzerland, 23 March 2022: Johnson Controls joined over 200 companies as the newest member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
Making the announcement through a Press release, Johnson Controls said it continues to take significant steps to further improve its environmental impact and has committed to achieving net zero Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 2040 – 10 years ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement goal. By 2030, the company said, it aims to cut its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 55% and reduce Scope 3 emissions by 16%. These ambitious 2030 emissions reduction targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, it added.
Johnson Controls said it also recently became the first S&P500 industrial company to release an Integrated Sustainable Finance Framework as well as issue a Sustainability-Linked Bond. This, it said, builds on its green finance initiative, following its prior green bond issuance and the linking of its senior credit facility to sustainability metrics. As part of its Integrated Sustainable Finance Framework, Johnson Controls said, it further committed to achieving interim absolute emission reduction targets by 2025.
Johnson Controls said it is a member of both the WBCSD decarbonization and circular economy working groups for the Built Environment. With an integrated focus on designing buildings with low to no carbon, standardizing measurement across the industry and delivering nature-positive solutions, the two working groups are on the forefront of designing the future of sustainable, equitable cities, it said.
“We are delighted to join WBCSD”, said Katie McGinty, Vice President and Chief Sustainability and External Relations Officer, Johnson Controls. “The building sector accounts for nearly 40% of global annual CO2 emissions, so there is no tackling climate change without substantial investment in buildings. We look forward to working with, and learning from, fellow WBCSD members, leading the way to a low carbon, nature positive, sustainable economy, together.”
Peter Bakker, President and CEO, WBCSD, said: “WBCSD is working to accelerate the system transformations needed for a net-zero, nature-positive, and more equitable future. To achieve our vision of creating a world in which nine+ billion people are living well, within planetary boundaries, by mid-century, we need to engage executives and sustainability leaders in business. Therefore, I am delighted to welcome Johnson Controls as the newest member of WBCSD. As a global leader in the built environment sector, with an ambitious goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, we are excited to work alongside Johnson Controls to solve the intertwined sustainability challenges of the climate emergency, biodiversity loss, and mounting inequality.”
ASHRAE celebrates inauguration of global HQ building
ATLANTA, Georgia, 18 November 2021: ASHRAE formally opened its new global headquarters building, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by its board of directors, top building campaign donors, elected officials and local guests. Making the announcement through a Press release, ASHRAE added that it completed a USD 20 million building renovation project intended to prove the economic viability of a fully net-zero-energy (NZE) operation.
“The completion of this project is an important milestone for ASHRAE as a professional society and for the built environment worldwide,” said Mick Schwedler, 2021-22 ASHRAE President. “Our investments in energy efficiency and sustainability will boost innovation within the built environment and inspire others to replicate our headquarters’ project model. Our Society reimagined a pathway forward for existing building stock and is pleased to provide an example of the future of high performance buildings.”
The renovated, 66,700-square-foot building, situated on 11 acres of land at 180, Technology Parkway in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, is the culmination of a 10-month project, completed in October 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, ASHRAE said.
“One could make the assertion that constructing a new net-zero-energy building from the ground up would have been much easier than renovating an existing building,” said Ginger Scoggins, 2021-22 ASHRAE Treasurer and Former Building Ad Hoc Committee Chair. “We decided that ASHRAE could make the greatest impact by showing others how to renovate an existing building with net-zero-energy as the focus, using our own standards and guidelines. ASHRAE is making net-zero-energy the ‘new norm’ in sustainable design and construction. It has been an honor to lead this historic project.”
ASHRAE said the building’s grand opening comes at the conclusion of highly successful building campaign that raised more than USD 10.3 million in monetary donations and contributions of equipment and services from multiple ASHRAE members and 33 corporate donors. Top corporate building donors, NIBE and Cisco, were represented at the ceremony, it added.
“When NIBE was presented with the opportunity to be a part of ASHRAE’s new headquarters, it was an easy decision to play a part in the growth and sustainability of the HVACR industry,” said Eric Lindquist, CEO, NIBE Industrier AB. “Our US brands are focused on continued promotion of systems and solutions that provide comfort, affordability, and betterment of the environment. We look forward to the new headquarters and what the future holds.”
Jeremy Witikko, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Global Industry Business Strategy, Cisco, said: “When ASHRAE embarked on creating a workspace that reflected their organization’s vision of advancing human well-being through sustainable technology, Cisco was ALL-IN on partnering. Cisco is committed to power an inclusive future for all and were thrilled to be a part of that journey with ASHRAE. Together, let’s continue to build a place where we can meet human needs and protect the planet though technology, our actions, our people and our intentions. An inclusive future starts with a livable planet where people and the environment can thrive together.”
ASHRAE said that although it has occupied the building for more than one year, with limited onsite staff presence, the installation of a Photovoltaic (PV) solar array system was completed in October 2021, marking the beginning of the building’s operation at fully net-zero-energy performance. The PV system is a combination of three sub-arrays, totaling 332kW, mounted on the rooftop and in an unused section of the parking lot, it added.
ASHRAE said that in addition to the PV system, innovative approaches incorporated in the building include:
- Eighteen new skylights and reconfigured window/wall ratio.
- Radiant ceiling panel system: This is used for heating and cooling and dedicated outdoor air system for outdoor air ventilation with enthalpy heat recovery.
- Overhead fresh air distribution system augmented with reversible ceiling fans in the open office areas and displacement distribution in the learning center.
- Six water-source heat pumps (WSHPs): There are four on basement level and two on upper level atrium that will be used to condition these spaces.
- A robust Building Automation System with remote access.
- Demand Control Ventilation (DCV): This will be used for high occupancy spaces in the meeting and learning center.
- On-site electric vehicle charging stations available for guests and staff.
In attendance at the ceremony were representatives from the offices of US Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock and Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux, along with county and city officials, ASHRAE said.
“We are very pleased that a professional association of ASHRAE’s distinction selected Peachtree Corners as the site of its global headquarters,” said Mike Mason, Mayor, Peachtree Corners. “Technology Park is a natural fit for an organization whose focus mirrors the city’s efforts in technology innovation, sustainability and green living.”
ASHRAE said its Building Ad Hoc Committee and Technical Advisory Subcommittee, comprising Society volunteers, oversaw the building renovation project. Partners involved in the design, engineering and construction of the building project include: Houser Walker Architecture, McLennan Design, Integral Group, Collins Project Management, Skanska, Shumate Mechanical and Epsten Group, it said. The PV installation was completed by Creative Solar USA, it added.
ASHRAE addresses climate change solutions at COP26
ATLANTA, Georgia, 11 November 2021: ASHRAE addressed climate change solutions at the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, held from October 31 to November 12.
ASHRAE said it formally participated as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and an official COP observer. The United Nations granted permission for select organizations to participate in COP26 activities.
More than 60 of the largest and most influential international architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, planning and construction firms, along with two dozen organizations representing over one million building industry professionals worldwide, issued a Communiqué to government leaders headed to COP26 challenging them to step up their emissions reduction targets for the built-environment. The firms and organizations are signatories of the 1.5°C COP26 Communiqué — an open letter to sovereign governments demonstrating the firms’ and organizations’ commitment to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C carbon budget and demanding governments do the same.
ASHRAE said its focus at COP26 was to emphasize the importance of the building community’s participation in addressing the climate crisis. Architecture 2030 and ASHRAE hosted a COP26 Official Side Event on November 10, featuring the 1.5°C COP26 Communiqué and its signatories. The event, titled ‘65% by 2030 / ZERO by 2040: Top 200 Global Firms and Organizations Lead With 1.5°C Climate Actions’, highlighted ways in which the signatories are responding to the urgency of the climate crisis and specific actions to decarbonize the built world and meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C carbon budget.
At the side event, 2021-22 ASHRAE Treasurer, Ginger Scoggins, highlighted the world’s growing building stock and the role of built-environment organizations, such as ASHRAE, in assisting both policymakers and industry leaders in better understanding their impact on our climate change solutions.
“ASHRAE signed onto the 1.5°C COP26 Communiqué, and we are here today because engineers and scientists involved with HVACR and building systems have been, and will continue to be, advancing solutions to address climate change,” Scoggins said. “We are here, because we recognize that the built-environment is a key source contributing to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and with the building stock continuing to expand and doubling by 2050, solutions from the buildings community is ever more critical.”
Additionally, Scoggins spoke about the credibility of ASHRAE’s technical resources and global standing in the development of consensus-based standards. “ASHRAE’s flagship Energy Conservation Standard 90.1 is the benchmark for commercial building energy codes in the United States and has been a key basis for codes and standards around the world for more than 45 years, reducing energy consumption by 50%, yet only 38 countries have specifically named building standards and codes in their Nationally Determined Contributions,” Scoggins said. “Many of the countries where the building stock is expected to grow do not require energy standards for buildings. ASHRAE signed the buildings industry’s communique, and we are ready to help policy makers and the buildings industry around the world transform our building stock into one that is sustainable, resilient, and healthy. We are here to be part of the solution and we are up to the challenge.”
In a separate statement, 2021-21 ASHRAE President Mick Schwedler, commented on ASHRAE’s participation at COP26 and shared additional ways that the Society is addressing climate change. “ASHRAE’s climate action efforts exemplify the Society’s core dedication to engineering excellence in environmental stewardship,” Schwedler said. “The ASHRAE Global Headquarters building renovation project demonstrates that existing buildings can be transformed into net-zero-energy structures cost-effectively, using current, off-the shelf technologies. Our Advanced Energy Design Guides, developed with our partners, provide zero energy K-12 schools and office buildings guides to equip designers in achieving zero energy and significantly reducing carbon. ASHRAE is proud to work with other world leaders to not only raise awareness of the issues surrounding climate change, but collectively seek to redefine the built environment for the times and continually explore what is possible through industry leading innovation.”
DriSteem introduces Buyer’s Guide
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minnesota, 17 August 2021: DRI-STEEM Corporation, manufacturer of humidification, evaporative cooling and water treatment products, announced the introduction of a new buyer’s guide focused on humidification for electronics manufacturing.
DriSteem said it knows the importance of maintaining the appropriate humidity level within electronics manufacturing facilities, as proper relative humidity (RH) levels between 30% and 70% can significantly help decrease damage and stress to electronic components. When humidity levels are greater than 70%, corrosion can become an issue, the company said. In a controlled environment, manufacturers experience a reduction of electrostatic discharge, fewer brittle components, and fewer issues with soldering and de-soldering; they as well are able to create a safe environment for staff, the company added.
“This specific buyer’s guide is positioned to educate facility directors at electronics manufacturing plants about the importance of maintaining proper humidity to not only protect the products they are developing but to also keep workers safe and healthy,” said Randall Potter, Business Development Leader, DriSteem. “Many facility directors have expressed a need for educational materials and meetings. This buyers guide is an easily accessible way to help educate building management about the importance of humidity and how best to manage it throughout a facility.”
ASHRAE announces call for abstracts for 2022 Annual Conference
ATLANTA, Georgia, 16 August 2021: ASHRAE announced it is accepting abstracts for the 2022 ASHRAE Annual Conference, from June 25 to 29, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
According to ASHRAE, the conference will address the changes to buildings created by the pandemic and will present papers and programs that are pertinent to the future of the built-environment.
“As we move into 2022 and face climate extremes and natural disasters along with the pandemic, buildings continue to be critical to our everyday lives,” said Kristen Cetin, Conference Chair. “These commercial, industrial and residential buildings, in particular, face an increasingly complex set of competing priorities to balance, as well as an increasing number of technologies and solutions to use and implement. The 2022 ASHRAE Annual Conference focuses on such diverse priorities and methods to address them, while considering the dynamic nature of such priorities over time.”
According to ASHRAE, the conference’s technical program comprises eight tracks:
The “Buildings in the Aftermath of COVID-19” track highlights the significant impacts on how buildings are used, the priorities associated with building operations to ensure healthy environments for occupants, and the transition to design and operation in the aftermath of the pandemic.
The “Connected Buildings, Connected Communities” track focuses on advanced smart building technologies and renewable energy resources, and the coordinated efforts in accomplishing improved building performance and demand flexibility.
The “IAQ, Energy Use, Comfort and Health of Sustainable Buildings” track features the following topics, and how they interact and impact one another: Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ), energy use and efficiency, occupant comfort and health, sustainability goals and owner/operator priorities.
The “Cold Climate Building System Design, Operation and Resilience” track covers efforts and topics specifically focused on buildings, building systems and equipment in cold, arctic and sub-arctic climates. The track will also cover specific considerations for the building envelope and HVAC&R systems, and the resulting thermal and hygrothermal performance.
The “Professional Development” track will cover all aspects of business outside of engineering/technical applications and lends itself to interactive session types, such as workshops and forums.
The “HVAC&R Systems and Equipment” track will focus on the development of new systems and equipment, improvements to existing systems and equipment and the proper application and operation of systems and equipment.
The “Fundamentals and Applications” track will provide opportunities for papers of varying levels across a large topic base. Concepts, design elements and shared experiences for theoretical and applied concepts of HVAC&R design are included.
Finally, the “Research Summit” features active research, and the exchange of research findings, critical to the development of the HVAC&R industry and built environment. The track includes a partnership with ASHRAE’s archival journal, Science and Technology for the Built Environment.
ASHRAE said that abstracts – 400 words or less – are due on September 20, 2021. If accepted, final conference papers (8-page maximum) are due on December 1, 2021, it added.
In addition, it said, technical papers – complete 30-page maximum papers published in ASHRAE Transactions – are also due September 20, 2021, and considered for Science and Technology for the Built Environment.
ASHRAE urged those interested in submitting to visit ashrae.org/2022Annual for more information on the call for abstracts and the 2022 ASHRAE Annual Conference.
ASHE recognizes member achievements within health care engineering
CHICAGO, Illinois, 12 August 2021: The American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association said it celebrated the outstanding contributions its members have made to improve the health care physical environment. ASHE presented several awards during its 58th Annual Conference and Technical Exhibition, from August 8 to 11 in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Crystal Eagle Leadership Award, considered ASHE’s lifetime achievement award, went to Timothy Eugene Adams, FASHE, CHFM, CHC, an ASHE member since 1990. Presently, he is employed by Indiana University Health as program director of system environment of care and life safety, developing and directing a systematic program to promote best practices for all health care facilities throughout the health system.
Adams served as the director of leadership development for ASHE from 2013-19 and held numerous other positions within the society since joining the team in 2005 after 30 years working in health care technical services and clinical engineering. Adams is a Certified Healthcare Facilities Manager, a Certified Healthcare Constructor, a Certified Life Safety Specialist and a Fellow status member with ASHE (FASHE).
He is a past president and a long-term Board member of the Indiana Society for Healthcare Engineering, a 15-year member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 72 Technical Committee and a member of the national development team for the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS).
The ASHE President’s Award, which is presented at the discretion of the sitting ASHE president to an individual who goes above and beyond to optimize the health care physical environment, was presented to Sean M Goings, CEM, CHSP, SASHE, President, DAC, Inc. in Houston, Texas. Goings has spent much of his over 20-year career working for global solution providers that serve health care, such as Siemens and Schneider Electric, and he continues to deliver efficient solutions in the built-environment, ASHE said.
Goings is a Senior status member with ASHE (SASHE), a Certified Energy Manager and a Certified Healthcare Safety Professional. He has been a featured conference speaker for numerous organizations including ASHE and several affiliated chapters.
He has served on the Board of the Texas Association of Healthcare Facilities Management (TAHFM) for over a decade. He is a past president for the Houston Area Association of Hospital Engineering, and from 2016-2020, he served as an ASHE Associate Member Advisory Board Representative.
Also at the Annual Conference, ASHE recognized members who attained senior (SASHE) status this year and members who have fellow (FASHE) status within ASHE.
The SASHE designation is bestowed on those who have been ASHE members in good standing for at least five years and have supported ASHE in terms of education and leadership. The following members are new SASHE recipients:
- Lindsey Brackett, CHC, CHFM, SASHE, Legacy FM, LLC, Little Rock, Arkansas
- Joseph G. Buri, CHFM, SASHE, UNC Health Southeastern, Lumberton, North Carolina
- Mark H. Dease, CHFM, SASHE, Prisma Health, Greenville, South Carolina
- Robert J. Heidelbaugh, SASHE, WellSpan Health, York, Pennsylvania
- Frank D. Rudilosso, PE, M.Eng, CHSP, SASHE, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York
- Clayton Smith, CHFM, SASHE, Children’s Health System of Texas, Dallas, Texas
- Mark J. Thuringer, CHFM, CHC, SASHE, St. Croix Regional Medical Center, St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin
ASHE’s Regional Leader Award recognizes people for their contributions to the fields of health care engineering and facility management; planning, design, and construction; safety; clinical and biomedical engineering; and technical management. The recipients are:
- Region 1: Charles Brown, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Providence, Rhode Island
- Region 2: Joyce Malone, Broadmead Senior Living, Cockeysville, Maryland
- Region 3: Jerry L. Thompson, PE, CHE, Duke Health, Durham, North Carolina
- Region 4: Terry E. Bowen, PE, CPE, CHFM, Tift Regional Health System, Tifton, GA
- Region 5: Jason Michael Hawk, St. Joseph Memorial Hospital, Murphysboro, Illinois
- Region 6: Robert J. Dubiel, CHFM, CHC, Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire,Eau Claire, Wisconsin
- Region 7: Taylor Vaughn, MBA, CHFM, CLSS-HC, CHEPP, Children’s Health, Rockwall, Texas
- Region 8: Nic Riesenberg, CHFM, CHC, North Kansas City Hospital, North Kansas City, Missouri
- Region 9: Anthony K. Crawford, CHFM, CHEM, Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center, Vacaville, California
- Region 10: Clay Ciolek, CHFM, Providence Health & Services, Olympia, Washington
ASHRAE opens registration for Building Performance Analysis Conference
ATLANTA, Georgia, 15 July 2021: ASHRAE opened registration for the 2021 ASHRAE Building Performance Analysis Conference, between November 10 and 12 in Denver, Colorado.
Making the announcement through a Press release, ASHRAE said it will be its first ever hybrid conference, where virtual attendees will have access to live sessions, participate in speaker Q&A as well as interact with virtual and in-person conference attendees. The theme of the conference, “Design and Operation for Resilient and Healthy Buildings,” focuses on the practices of energy modeling and building performance simulation using existing simulation tools, software development, and future simulation research and applications, ASHRAE said.
“The past year has brought forward new challenges for the design and operation of new and existing buildings, in particular challenges related to the health and well-being of occupants,” said John Bynum, Conference Chair. “This conference will provide an opportunity for building professionals across disciplines to share and learn about these topics and many others, as we continue to work towards a better built environment.”
According to ASHRAE, conference attendees will learn from more than 60 presentations by leading industry practitioners and academic researchers on topic such as machine learning, exascale computing, data visualization and zero-carbon initiatives, along with advanced techniques, innovative workflows and future trends in building performance modeling.
The conference will also feature the 7th annual ASHRAE LowDown Showdown modeling competition, ASHRAE said, adding that 10 teams, with members from across the globe, have signed on to compete in this year’s competition. Teams comprise building analysts, designers, architects, engineers and other participants. and will be responsible for creating the architectural design and a performance analysis model based on model building data, ASHRAE said. The teams may use any software, or a combination of software, to complete their projects. The 2021 competition will ask teams to expand their comfort zone and take on the challenges of a tropical climate with particular challenges for resiliency and “near net zero” design, ASHRAE said.
Smart Farnek launches HITEK solution 4.0
DUBAI, UAE, 11 July 2021: UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company, Farnek, today unveiled its new 24/7 command and control room, located in Farnek Village, the company’s new staff accommodation centre in Jebel Ali.
Making the announcement through a Press release, Farnek said that through its 5G and Wi-Fi 6-enabled, operational ‘nerve centre’, it will be able to take advantage of increased bandwidth, ultra-low latency and enhanced security, to connect assets from multiple sites, so that they can be centrally monitored and managed.
This, Farnek said, will allow it to rollout connected and transformative applications of technology that not only uplift the face of FM digitalisation but also offer enhanced efficiency. This is achieved through the concept of a digitally connected workforce and customers, to its in-house stream of technically advanced and cost-effective solutions, utilising the Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud, Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based technologies, amongst others, the company said.
Following a tour of Farnek Village and the inauguration of its command and control room, H.E. Frank Eggmann, Consul General of Switzerland to Dubai said: “I was particularly impressed with the innovative approach Farnek has taken by developing its own in-house ‘Swiss made’ technology. Equally impressive is the way this is being utilised, which will not only improve cost-efficiency but also has staff welfare and sustainability at its core. This is an excellent example of Swiss state-of-the-art technology at its very best.”
According to Farnek, beyond operational efficiencies and sustainability, its HITEK solution 4.0 will save its customers significant amounts of money. The company said it has estimated that it can save up to 17% in manpower costs after traditional FM operational management has been transferred to HITEK’s smart management.
In addition, through IoT sensors, there is also the massive benefit of predictive and proactive maintenance, which can reduce downtime and improve the lifecycle of assets, facilitating remote monitoring with a fully connected and mobile workforce, Farnek said.
Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek, said: “In the case of manhours, a centralised system can manage multiple sites, whereas operating a traditional Building Management System (BMS) could well require a series of operators in each building. In addition, they may not be experts in every aspect of facilities management and probably will not have the advantage of benchmarking property performance.”
So far, Farnek said, its in-house technology team has developed initiatives, such as a smart washroom, wearable technology, eProcurement, telematic solutions, facial recognition as well as benchmarking and forecasting software to make buildings more sustainable.
Oberlin said: “As the technical specifications of 5G continue to evolve and expand that will capture and encourage even more advanced IoT and AI applications, which could start to become a reality, next year. So, we want to be ready to capitalise on these market opportunities, just as soon as the technology and connectivity is available.
“It is certainly going to take remote FM work to a whole new elevated level, enabling technicians to carry out tasks in either virtual reality or augmented reality environments, which are absolutely ideal for training purposes as well.”
According to Farnek, standalone 5G deployment consists of user equipment – the RAN and NR interface – and the 5G core network, which relies on a service-based architecture framework with virtualised network functions. Network functions that usually operate on hardware, become virtualised and actually run as software, the company said.
Javeria Aijaz, Senior Director – Technology & Innovations, Farnek, said: “We have managed to develop our own 5G network infrastructure-based intelligent and connected platforms, which has its own cloud-native network core, which connects 5G New Radio (NR) technology, and non-standalone (NSA) infrastructures, which still partially rely on existing 4G LTE infrastructure.
“Until Etisalat and Du are able to build out the independent infrastructure needed for 5G, our approach uses a combination of 5G Radio Access Network (RAN), 5G NR interface, and existing LTE infrastructure and core network to provide a 5G-like experience.”
‘We are headed back to Las Vegas with a vengeance’
ATLANTA, Georgia, 1 July 2021: ASHRAE hosted its 2021 Virtual Annual Conference from June 28 to 30, which the Society said saw 970 virtual global registrants exploring topics related to critical environments, building operation and maintenance, and plant and animal environments.
According to ASHRAE, the conference featured over 100 live and on-demand sessions with updates from Society leaders and virtual networking events. Top sessions included Fundamentals of Climate Change (Seminar 1), Keynote: The COVID-19 Pandemic and Built Environment: Update on ASHRAE’s Response and the Meeting of the Members, ASHRAE said.
According to ASHRAE, other highly attended sessions included topics on IAQ, energy efficiency and ASHRAE standards. “The 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Annual Conference brought our community of industry professionals together for a full slate of highly relevant and valuable content,” said 2021-22 ASHRAE President, Mick Schwedler. “The conference provided an opportunity to learn, share, and explore new ways to translate research and knowledge into built environment solutions that impact everyone. We are truly fortunate to be a part of this strong community that supports each other to accomplish great things. It is the power of this community that will propel us to future successes.”
According to ASHRAE, Day One included a final State of the Society and farewell address from 2020-21 ASHRAE President, Charles E. Gulledge III, as well as a Secretary’s Report from ASHRAE Executive Vice President and Society Secretary, Jeff Littleton.
“Plans for the January 2022 ASHRAE Winter Conference and AHR Expo in Las Vegas are well underway, and if you have any doubts about whether the industry is ready to reconvene in January, let me share some facts with you,” Littleton said. “Fully 90% of the 498,000 net square feet of AHR Expo exhibit space available in Las Vegas is already sold. That’s 1,200 exhibiting companies already under contract. We may have had to cancel the show and the face-to-face Winter Conference this past January, but we are headed back to Las Vegas with a vengeance. Put it on your calendar today – January 29th to February 2nd. We’ll see you in Las Vegas.”
ASHRAE said that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, its Epidemic Task Force (ETF) presented an update on its global headlining work to share guidance on minimizing the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2. The keynote, titled ‘The COVID-19 Pandemic and Built Environment: Update on ASHRAE’s Response’, included a brief history and status of the ETF, as well as a higher-level discussion on non-HVAC issues, such as vaccines, data, transmission routes and reopening.
During the conference, ASHRAE’s Task Force on Building Decarbonization also gave an update on its progress, ASHRAE said. The task force was formed to develop technical resources and provide guidance in mitigating the negative impact of buildings on the environment and to the inhabitants of our planet, it added.
The conference was also an opportunity to honor retiring board members for their service. Further, the event saw a virtual installation ceremony for the 2021-22 Board of Directors and officers.
On the final day of the conference, Schwedler gave his address on the Society theme for the coming year, ‘Personal Growth. Global Impact. Feed the Roots’.
“We each are involved in ASHRAE for different reasons and volunteer in our chosen ways,” Schwedler said. “We do it because we grow – professionally and personally – and help others do the same. We do it because that global impact serves the world’s, as well as our personal, future generations. All this occurs because we are true to our deep, widespread and strong technical roots, grassroots and personal roots.”
According to ASHRAE, all technical sessions are now available on-demand to registrants for the next 18 months.
DriSteem to host webinar on humidification systems for laboratories
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minnesota, 16 June 2021: DriSteem said it will be hosting a free webinar, which will focus on humidification systems for laboratories. Making the announcement through a Press release, the company said the webinar is scheduled for June 22 at 10.30 am CST. David Baird, Senior Applications Manager, DriSteem, will make the presentation, it added.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all working environments, DriSteem said. Maintaining precise conditions in laboratories is crucial in protecting research integrity as well as keeping them clean and safe, and this includes controlling the relative humidity within this complex environment, it said. Properly controlled laboratories will generate more accurate test results, prevent contamination and promote a healthier environment for staff, it said. Studies show that maintaining the indoor relative humidity level between 40% and 60% RH creates a healthier environment, decreasing the amount and infectivity of viruses in the air, resulting in fewer respiratory infections among building occupants, it added.
“Researchers are keenly aware of how critical the temperature and humidification levels are in a laboratory setting,” said Valerie Bradt, Communications Manager, DriSteem. “Too much fluctuation of temperature or humidification in either direction can disrupt critical testing or interfere with results. This webinar is to help facilities directors and laboratory personnel be proactive and educated in their decisions for controlling humidity levels in their labs.”
According to DriSteem, the webinar will address the role of humidity in achieving accurate test results and employing humidification to reduce contamination. Topics that will be covered are:
- Why humidification is important
- The role of humidity in reducing airborne contaminants
- Preserving equipment
- Promoting wellness of staff
- Employing humidification in a laboratory
- Practical considerations for controlling humidity
Registration for the webinar is free of charge, DriSteem said, adding that those interested in attending could register at https://attend.zoho.com/juht
Camfil donates air purifiers to Pertini
STOCKHOLM, Sweden, 15th June 2021: Camfil Italy in Cinisello Balsamo donated air purifiers to the municipality for the Il Pertini Cultural Center, Camfil said through a Press release, adding that it was a gesture of generosity and attention to the city, in which it has been operating for the last 46 years. The air purifiers, the company said, have been placed in the study room in one of the buildings, which has become an important step as many young students and professionals spend hours studying there.
Following an inspection, Camfil proposed the installation of three air purifiers in the study room. The clean air solutions, capable of purifying the air from pollen, bacteria, viruses, particulate matter, ozone, chemicals and other harmful contaminants, are also the same adopted by the French and Spanish regional authorities in the canteens, laboratories, and study rooms of their schools, Camfil said. Silent and with very low energy consumption, the City M air purification systems will guarantee about 16 changes per day of purified air, thanks to HEPA H14 filters, with a certified filtration efficiency of 99.995% even on the smallest particles in the air, it added.
Luciano Rogato, Managing Director, Camfil Italy, said: “We are humbled to have donated three air purifiers to the reading room of the Pertini Cultural Center, which plays a central role in promoting culture, socialization, and creativity in the Cinisello Balsamo community. It is an important contribution, as the local communities and public places have remained under strict restrictions due to the pandemic. Our clean air solutions ensure a healthy and safe indoor environment.”
Mayor Giacomo Ghilardi, said: “I thank Camfil for this donation to our city library, which is a hub for so many young people for studying, reading, and as a meeting place. Due to the health emergency, which is still ongoing, the Pertini was closed for some time, and we know how much discomfort this has created for many students and young professionals. The installation of these machines will allow more comfortable and healthy use of the indoor environments.”
ASHRAE participates in High Performance Buildings Coalition Congressional Event
ATLANTA, Georgia, 9, June 2021: In recognition of High Performance Building Week, 2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E Gulledge III, spoke on a panel, titled ‘Building Better: Congressional and Private Sector Efforts to Promote High Performance Buildings’. Congressman, Peter Welch (D-VT), Co-Chair, High Performance Buildings Caucus, and the High Performance Building Coalition organized the event. The Coalition comprises more than 200 manufacturers, trade associations and other stakeholders who support policies and legislation that advance the next generation of buildings.
Joining Gulledge on the panel were chief executives from the International Code Council (ICC), the Green Building Initiative (GBI) and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAMPO), ASHRAE said. This was followed by a Q&A session moderated by Lakisha A Woods, CAE, President and CEO, National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS).
In his remarks, Gulledge spoke from ASHRAE’s current Society theme, ‘The ASHRAE Digital Lighthouse and Industry 4.0’, which focuses on reimaging the building industry, ASHRAE said.
“With the technological transformation of how we design, build, and operate buildings, the lines within the built environment including energy and infrastructure are increasingly blurred,” Gulledge said. “We must think about how existing buildings fit into this transformation. About half of the commercial buildings in the U.S. were constructed more than 35 years ago. Revitalizing these existing buildings represents Congress’s single best opportunity for making a significant impact on sustainability, resiliency, and energy efficiency. ASHRAE is committed to working with Congress to provide resources and knowledge which continually drive the innovative and strategic improvements needed during this transformation of the built environment.”
According to ASHRAE, Gulledge highlighted the new ASHRAE Global Headquarters building to demonstrate how to transform older existing buildings into high-performance workplace environments in a cost-effective and practical way.
JCI named to FT European Climate Leaders list
CORK, Ireland, 18 May 2021: Johnson Controls (JCI) said it has been named to the inaugural FT Climate Leaders in Europe list.
Europe’s Climate Leaders 2021 is a list of companies across Europe that have shown the highest reduction of their emission intensity – that is, core greenhouse gas emissions in relation to revenues, between 2014 and 2019. Johnson Controls reported that it was one of only 300 companies selected from 4,000 across Europe.
“We are extremely proud to be recognized by the Financial Times as a European climate leader,” said George Oliver, chairman and CEO, Johnson Controls. “Sustainability has long been at the heart of everything we do, and it is an honor to be included on this prestigious list. With COP26 approaching at this critical moment in the battle against climate change, it is important that companies continue to play their part in cutting emissions and delivering clean, sustainable solutions across the entire value chain.”
According to JCI, companies on the list – compiled by research firm, Statista – were invited to submit emissions reported following the emission categories of the greenhouse gas protocol (scope 1, 2 and 3). In addition, Statista scrutinized publicly available data, mainly from financial and non-financial reports as well as from CDP (formerly the “Carbon Disclosure Project”).
Although JCI reports all three emissions scopes, the ranking only considers scope 1 and scope 2 emissions, since not all companies publish their scope 3 emissions, it said. Since 2002, JCI said, it has reduced its emissions intensity by more than 70% – equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 17,000 acres of forest. The company said it has also helped its customers save more than 30.6 million tonnes of CO2 globally and $6.6 million through guaranteed operational savings.
At the European level, JCI said, it has been effectively supporting the EU’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2050. The European Commission recently committed to at least 55% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels) by 2030 under the European Green Deal. Decarbonizing Europe’s building stock through the European Commission’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive has a crucial role to play in this effort – 40% of greenhouse gases come from buildings, the company said.
According to JCI, digitalization has been recognized as a key enabler for the building renovation wave in Europe and the rest of the world. Already, JCI said, it has been deploying its OpenBlue digital platform for optimizing buildings sustainability across its entire value chain – drastically improving the company’s own environmental impact and helping customers consume less energy, conserve resources and identify pathways to achieving healthy, net zero carbon communities.
Katie McGinty, Vice President & Chief Sustainability, Government and Regulatory Affairs Officers, JCI, said: “We are making positive change within our own corporation and believe we are uniquely positioned to help customers and suppliers achieve their sustainability goals. By driving global change, we are ultimately creating an environment for healthy people, healthy places and a healthy planet.”
JCI said it is also helping meet the growing demand for energy-efficient technologies. It said it has provided heat pump solutions for customers at more than a dozen district heating and cooling applications in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy and Norway.
Heat pumps, it said, have an important role to play in decarbonizing buildings and industry. They have long been in the DNA of industrial refrigeration – utilised in food and beverage, dairy and other process industries for reclaiming low-temperature waste heat and turning it into low-cost, high-temperature heat.
VC funds, Hollywood stars invest heavily in climate change innovation
CHICAGO, Illinois, 18 May 2021: The year 2021 has already seen multiple climate-focused fund launches. London-based One Planet Capital launched a fund for green tech, fintech and sustainability-based B2C businesses, while Hollywood ‘Iron Man’ actor, Robert Downey Jr has founded FootPrint Coalition Ventures to invest in high-growth, sustainability-focused companies.
The financial world used to think environmental issues couldn’t generate viable rewards, but another climate-focused fund, Congruent Ventures, believes a tipping point has been passed.
Congruent raises investment specifically for Climate Change solution start-ups and, with USD 300 million under management after closing its second fund at USD 175 million, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Abe Yokell, said: “If you brought up the word ‘cleantech’ to any institutional investor allocating to venture 10 years ago, they would do their best to avoid the meeting, but now, there’s a fundamental belief there will be significant financial returns investing broadly in climate tech over time.”
Congruent’s portfolio includes electric vehicle-charging provider, Amply, which raised USD 13.2 million last year from investors, including Soros Fund Management and Siemens. Digitally controllable electrical panel company, Span raised USD 20 million in January through Congruent, with investors including Munich Re Ventures’ HSB Fund and Amazon’s Alexa Fund.
And Congruent itself is well-founded, with investors including UC Investments, the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Three Cairns Group, Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust and Surdna Foundation, among other institutions, foundations and family offices.
Regulation A+ crowdfunding companies are also seeing investment, such as digital twins company, Cityzenith, who recently launched their international ‘Clean Cities, Clean Future’ campaign as part of the Race to Zero movement.
Cities worldwide generate 70% of the world’s carbon emissions, but Cityzenith’s AI Digital Twin platform technology can help property asset management groups, city planners and developers reduce emissions and move to carbon neutrality in the next 10 years.
Michael Jansen, CEO, Cityzenith, said at the launch of the ‘Clean Cities – Clean Future’ initiative: “We have to help the most polluted urban centers become carbon neutral, and we plan to do this by donating the company’s Digital Twin platform, SmartWorldOS to key cities, one at a time, after every USD 1 million we raise. We’re able to do this because of the recent surge of investment we’ve had as part of our USD 15m raise.”
Cityzenith is already benefiting from the funding shift, reportedly attracting USD 2.5 million in investment since late 2020 through Regulation A+ crowdfunding and a surge in shares from USD 0.575 to USD 1.50 in just five months. The US company has raised USD 10 million to date.
Jansen said: “In the past decade, investors struggled to justify backing Climate Change solutions, but global demand for net-zero carbon by 2050 and a sustainable future means a tipping point has been passed.
“Products, such as our own SmartWorldOS™, which monitors and collects data on future and existing building assets, so construction and maintenance can occur at optimal efficiency, will be essential to reducing carbon emissions and energy waste. We must invest in climate solutions now so that we can protect our planet sooner and more effectively.
“We’ve seen a significant amount of interest in our current USD 15m raise from accredited investors in recent months, as there are tangible, financial upsides in the built-environment to going climate-friendly, and carbon credits are going to become an enormous part of this in the next few years.”
European-based fund 2150 also launched this year, investing €200m (USD 240 million) into start-ups developing sustainable technologies to lower carbon emissions in Europe’s cities.
Co-founder Christian Hernandez has seen a shift in perceptions, too. He said: “There are enough proof points now that those two (profitable investments and investing in climate solutions) can coexist.”
AHRI Board approves decarbonization general position statement
ARLINGTON, Virginia, 18 May 2021: The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) on May 14 released a General Position Statement on Decarbonization, advancing the association as a resource for states and localities grappling with how to successfully, sustainably and affordably reduce emissions related to the built-environment.
AHRI revealed the paper as noting, “The air conditioning, heating, ventilation, refrigeration, and water heating industry has a long history of providing innovative, high-quality, energy-saving, affordable products that enhance the comfort, safety, health, and productivity of businesses and people around the world”. It expresses AHRI’s support for “the ongoing, science-based transition to a lower carbon society, in which consumer choices for heating, cooling, water heating, and commercial refrigeration are the most energy efficient, environmentally beneficial available anywhere in the world, while maintaining appropriate and adequate levels of safety, health, comfort, and affordability”.
Stephen Yurek, President & CEO, AHRI, said: “Our member companies – which have more than 100 years of experience and expertise in product solutions, technology, and innovation – can serve as a valuable resource in helping the nation achieve a lower carbon society.”
The statement, AHRI said, comes on the heels of the success of the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, passed by Congress in 2020, which provides authority to the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the production of high-global warming potential hydrofluorocarbons and establishes a national phase down structure for the refrigerants that are widely used in air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. That effort, AHRI said, more than 10 years in the making for the industry, is forecast to ultimately result in a 0.5 degree reduction in global temperatures over the next 30 years, even as it creates jobs and helps the industry’s global trade posture.
ASHRAE launches Vision 2030 webpage
ATLANTA, Georgia, 27 April 2021: ASHRAE announced the launch of its Vision 2030 webpage (ashrae.org/vision2030).
As technology continues to improve every aspect of the built-environment, ASHRAE’s Vision 2030 is committed to leading, serving and providing all professionals in the buildings industry with the resources and knowledge to continually drive the innovative and strategic improvements needed during the revolution of the built-environment, ASHRAE said.
“The Vision 2030 webpage provides guidance to support intelligent design, construction, and operation for a more adaptable and resilient built environment,” said 2018-19 ASHRAE Presidential Member and Vision 2030 Chair Shelia J. Hayter. “We believe that the contributions of the Vision 2030 team will serve as a powerful resource to industry professionals and the general public alike.”
According to ASHRAE, the webpage features the following five sections:
- Connected Communities
- Data and Integration
- Team Processes
- Member Services
Members of the Vision 2030 team, ASHRAE said, are as follows:
- Sheila J. Hayter, P.E., Presidential Fellow ASHRAE, chair, ASHRAE Vision 2030
- Thomas H. Phoenix, P.E., BEMP, Presidential Fellow ASHRAE, vice chair, ASHRAE Vision 2030
- Chip Branscum, PE, LEED AP, ASHRAE Vision 2030 Ad Hoc Committee
- Robin Bryant, ASHRAE Director & Regional Chair Region XII
- Jayson Bursill, Ph.D.
- Michael Cooper, P.E., ASHRAE Headquarters Building Ad-hoc Committee
- Drury B. Crawley, Ph.D., Fellow ASHRAE, BEMP, FIBPSA, chair, ASHRAE Standards Committee, AIA
- Christopher M. Gray, Ph.D., P.E.
- William R. MacGowan
- Tim J. McGinn, P.Eng., HBDP, ASHRAE Vice President
- Francis A. Mills
- Daniel H. Nall, P.E., FAIA, Fellow ASHRAE, LEED® Fellow, BEMP, HBDP, CPHC
- Lan Chi Nguyen Weekes, ing., P.Eng., chair, ASHRAE Multidisciplinary Task Group Health and Wellness in the Built Environment
- Joe Noworatzky Ed.D., ASHRAE Foundation Trustee
- W. Andrew Perrin, BASc
- Chandra Sekhar, Ph.D., Fellow ASHRAE, ASHRAE Director-at-Large, Distinguished Lecturer
- Manish K. Sharma
- Jiri Skopek
ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force releases updated airborne transmission guidance
ATLANTA, Georgia, 5 April 2021: The ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force released an updated, unequivocal statement on the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in buildings, ASHRAE said through a Press release.
ASHRAE released the following statement: “Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is significant and should be controlled. Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, can reduce airborne exposures.”
ASHRAE said the statement replaces its April 2020 statement, which said airborne transmission was “sufficiently likely” that airborne precautions should be taken. At that time both, ASHRAE said, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) contended that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was by droplet and fomite modes, not airborne. Subsequently, both have acknowledged the risk of airborne transmission indoors, ASHRAE added.
“This may seem like a small step, but we feel it is important to leave no doubt about our position, given the muted support for ventilation and filtration as important tools in the effort to stop the pandemic, from some organizations that should be leading more strongly,” said William P Bahnfleth, Chair, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force.
According to ASHRAE, the Task Force has been developing and disseminating guidance for the control of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 since its formation in March 2020. “ASHRAE volunteers have played a huge role in evaluating evidence and developing detailed guidance to improve indoor environmental quality,” Bahnfleth said. “The public, globally, is benefitting from the volunteer efforts of some of the most knowledgeable scientists and engineers in our field and this updated guidance is proof of it.”
To view the complete airborne transmission statement and other COVID-19 resources, ASHRAE suggested visiting ashrae.org/COVID-19.
ASHRAE announces call for abstracts for Winter Conference
ATLANTA, Georgia, 26 March 2021: Abstracts are now being accepted for the 2022 ASHRAE Winter Conference, to be held from January 29 to February 2, 2022 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, ASHRAE said through a Press release.
With an eye on future resources, the conference seeks to present papers and programs that cover sustainable use of energy and water, reduction of waste and improved Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ), while addressing other challenges and opportunities in facilities, applications and processes, ASHRAE said.
“It is estimated that the world population will grow from eight billion now to around nine billion in 2050; global GDP is expected to stabilize at +2%/year,” said Raul Simonetti, Chair, 2022 Conference. “This will increase the need for food, energy and other resources to support a growing population in the coming future. The 2022 Virtual Winter Conference will provide an opportunity to examine holistically – that is, at 360° – what we do and the way we do it in order to minimize the impact on our planet.”
According to ASHRAE, the following tracks are developed to support the conference theme, ‘Holism and Perspectives towards Decarbonization’…
- Buildings use a large share of a country’s final energy, particularly for heating, cooling and various services. Papers in the “Buildings at 360°” track will focus on explaining methods, equipment, systems and solutions to satisfy occupants’ needs, to guarantee buildings’ performances and resilience, and to save resources like energy and water.
- Energy is omnipresent in our daily lives in ways like electricity for appliances or heat and cooling for industrial processes. The integration of various energy sources, processes and transportation allows us to better exploit the available energy and reduce waste. The “Energy System Integration” track will explore renewables, fossil fuels, grid integration, aggregation, demand-side flexibility, smart devices, IoT, synthetic hydrogen and synthetic fuels, CCUS and electrification.
- Indoor environment is essential for our well-being and productivity, but is often regulated differently in various parts of the world due to local conditions, circumstances, history and traditions. Papers that explain local norms and trends with an eye on energy usage would fit in the “Environmental Health and IEQ in the International Arena” track.
- The “HVAC for Industrial and Commercial Purposes” track will focus on papers that examine the challenges and opportunities in improving energy efficiency of commercial and industrial facilities and transferring lessons learned to other types of facilities.
- Refrigerants play an important role in maximizing performances and minimizing direct and indirect GHG emissions. The “Refrigerants, Safety and Performance” track will focus on papers that present advancements and developments about flammability of refrigerants that can reduce the direct emissions, but that may have safety, regulatory and performance issues when deployed on the field.
- The “Refrigerants and Refrigeration” track will explore refrigeration systems, which generate and use cold for a range of processes, from food preparation and conservation to vaccine preservation, and from long-term protection of fragile ancient inks of historical documents to others.
- The “HVAC&R Systems and Equipment” track will focus on the development of new systems and equipment, improvements to existing systems and equipment and the proper application and operation of systems and equipment.
- The “Fundamentals and Applications” track will provide opportunities for papers of varying levels across a large topic base. Concepts, design elements and shared experiences for theoretical and applied concepts of HVAC&R design are included.
According to ASHRAE, Abstracts (400 words or less) are due April 5, 2021. If accepted, final conference papers (eight pages, maximum) are due July 12, 2021.
In addition, technical papers (complete 30-page maximum papers) are also due March 29, 2021, ASHRAE said, adding that accepted conference papers and technical papers are published in ASHRAE Transactions, cited in abstracting indexes and considered for Science and Technology for the Built Environment, ASHRAE’s research journal.
For more information on the call for papers and the 2022 ASHRAE Winter Conference, ASHRAE urged those interested to visit https://ashrae.org/2022Winter.
In conjunction with the ASHRAE Winter Conference is the 2022 AHR Expo, to be held from January 31 to February 2, 2022, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For more information on the 2022 AHR Expo, ASHRAE urged those interested to visit https://www.ahrexpo.com/.
Condair releases whitepaper on healthy buildings
PFÄFFIKON/FREIENBACH, Switzerland, 14 February 2021: Humidity specialist, Condair, which specialises in humidity management solutions in the built-environment, has released a whitepaper, titled Making Buildings Healthier.
Making the announcement through a Press release, Condair said the paper contains information on how building managers can protect occupant health with a holistic approach to controlling their indoor environments.
According to Condair, the pandemic instigated by SARS-CoV-2 has focused public attention on the risks posed by viral transmission in buildings. Contributory factors that have been known about for some time, have now been placed centre stage, emphasising the influence that elements such as fresh air, temperature, minimum relative humidity and even sunlight all have on the spread of viruses.
The aim of the whitepaper is to provide an overview of these factors and promote dialogue amongst facility managers, users, and health and safety officers, enabling the right package of health protection measures to be considered, Condair said. The whitepaper also includes a checklist so that readers can take stock of their building’s current situation, discover the extent to which their premises protects against the spread of infections and identify where improvements could be made, the company added.
Oliver Zimmermann, CEO, Condair Group, said: “The Condair Group is the world’s leading specialist on humidity control, and for years, we’ve collaborated with scientists and healthcare experts to understand and promote the importance of optimal humidity for health. Through this research, we appreciate that humidity control is just one, but a decisive, weapon that can be used in the fight against respiratory infections.
“Upgrading our built-environment to better protect human health from the current COVID-19 and future potential pandemics, whilst not sacrificing the important gains we have made in energy efficiency, is the single largest challenge the HVAC industry will face in our lifetime. To achieve this objective, we must act as a sector to educate, cooperate and implement practical solutions as rapidly as possible. This whitepaper presents a clear and concise overview of the steps building operators can and should be taking to enhance occupant health, using a holistic approach, rather than a one-size-fits-all, to indoor environmental management.”
According to Condair, the whitepaper can be downloaded from www.condair.ae/making-buildings-healthier-whitepaper.
ASHRAE recognizes members for “outstanding industry accomplishments”
ATLANTA, Georgia, 14 February 2021: ASHRAE recognized what it evaluated as the outstanding achievements and contributions of members to the Society and to the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry, during the 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Winter Conference, which took place from February 9 to 11.
ASHRAE released the following list of awards and their recipients:
Fellow ASHRAE is a membership grade that recognizes members who have attained distinction and made substantial contributions in HVACR and the built-environment, such as education, research, engineering design and consultation, publications, presentations and mentoring. The Society elevated 14 members to the grade of Fellow:
- Cynthia Cogil, P.E., principal, SmithGroup, Chicago, Illinois, United States
- Donald C. Herrmann, BEAP, HBDP, vice president, D.C. Herrmann and Associates, Tampa, Florida, United States
- David Michael Platt, retired, Corning, New York, United States
- Martin Dieryckx, general manager, Daikin Europe, Oostende, Belgium
- Tianzhen Hong, Ph.D., P.E., senior scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California, United States
- Rajan Rawal, professor, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
- E. Curtis Eichelberger, Jr., P.E., principal consultant, Eichelberger Acoustics LLC, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States
- John M. House, Ph.D., principal, John House Consulting Services, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- Steven Tredinnick, P.E., CEM, associate senior project manager, Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc., Lisle, Illinois, United States
- Blake E. Ellis, P.E., principal, Burns & McDonnell, Overland Park, Kansas, United States
- Ronald Judkoff, chief architectural engineer emeritus, Center for Building Technologies and Science, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Lakewood, Colorado, United States
- John O. Varley, P.E., HBDP, mechanical discipline manager, AAA Engineering Ltd., Chicago, Illinois, United States
- Donald L. Fenton P.E., Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, United States
- R. Christopher Mathis, president, MC2 Mathis Consulting Company, Asheville, North Carolina, United States
- Ibrahim Galal Hassan, P.Eng, Ph.D., professor, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Doha, Qatar
- James L. Newman, BEAP, OPMP, founding member and managing partner, Newman Consulting Group, LLC, Farmington, Michigan, United States.
ASHRAE Hall of Fame
William M. Mackay and Hugh J. Barron, founders of the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers (ASHVE). The ASHRAE Hall of Fame honors deceased members of the Society who have made milestone contributions to the growth of ASHRAE-related technology or the development of ASHRAE as a society.
- Paul Anderson Award
Samir R. Traboulsi, Ph.D., P.Eng., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE received the F. Paul Anderson Award. The award, ASHRAE’s highest honor, for technical achievement, is named in memory of Presidential Member F. Paul Anderson, who was a pioneer in the study of environmental conditions for comfort. Traboulsi is an engineer with Thermotrade SAL, Beirut, Lebanon.
Louise & Bill Holladay Distinguished Fellow Award
Charles C. Copeland, P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE received the Louise and Bill Holladay Distinguished Fellow Award. This annual award is given to an ASHRAE Fellow for continuous preeminence in engineering or research work. The honor was initiated in 1979 by Presidential Member Bill Holladay. Copeland is president and CEO, Goldman Copeland Associates, P.C., New York, NY, United States.
Andrew T. Boggs Service Award
Bjarne W. Olesen, Ph.D., Presidential Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, received the Andrew T. Boggs Service Award. The award, named after ASHRAE’s executive vice president emeritus, recognizes an Exceptional Service Award recipient for continuing unselfish, dedicated and distinguished service. Olesen is director, International Center for Indoor Environment and Energy, and professor, Danish Technical University, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark.
YEA Inspirational Leader Award
Vanessa J. Freidberg, P.E. received the YEA Inspirational Leader Award. The award recognizes a Young Engineer in ASHRAE member who has gone above and beyond to make considerable contributions to the industry and community. Freidberg is in business development, Siemens, Austin, Texas, United States.
E.K. Campbell Award of Merit
Chandra Sekhar, Ph.D., Fellow Member ASHRAE, received the E.K. Campbell Award of Merit. The award honors an individual for outstanding service and achievement in teaching and is presented by the Life Members Club. Sekhar is a professor, National University, Singapore.
Lincoln Bouillon Award
Ryan Pinckard, of the Oregon Chapter, received the Lincoln Bouillon Award, which recognizes a member who performs the most outstanding work in increasing membership. The award commemorates Presidential Member Bouillon’s efforts in recruiting new members. Pinckard is business development engineer, CHC Hydro, Vancouver, WA.
William J. Collins, Jr. RP Award
Reed Coggins, P.E., of the Atlanta Chapter, received the William J. Collins Jr. RP Award. The award, named in honor of Presidential Member Collins, recognizes a chapter RP chair who excels in raising funds for ASHRAE’s RP campaign. Coggins is application engineer, Lincoln Associates, Marietta, Georgia, United States.
Homer Addams Award
Gabrielle McMorrow, of the National Capital Chapter, received the Homer Addams Award, which recognizes a graduate student who has been engaged in an ASHRAE research project at a university that has graduate programs in the areas of heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and has achieved a high standard of performance in this work. McMorrow is a mechanical engineer (Energy), Architect of the Capitol, Washington, DC, United States.
Ralph G. Nevins Physiology & Human Environment Award
Shichao Liu, Ph.D., of the Boston Chapter, received the Ralph G. Nevins Physiology and Human Environment Award, which is given to a researcher under the age of 40 for significant accomplishments in the study of bioenvironmental engineering and its effect on human comfort and health. Liu is assistant professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States.
John F. James International Award
Peter Simmonds, Ph.D., received the John F. James International Award. The award recognizes a member who has done the most to enhance the Society’s international presence. Simmonds works for Building and Systems Analytics, Los Angeles, California, United States, and Hong Kong, China.
Standards Achievement Award
Paul A Lindahl, Jr., Life Member ASHRAE, of the Kansas City Chapter, received the Standards Achievement Award, which recognizes exceptional service in the area of standards leadership and technical contribution. Lindahl is a consultant, SPX Cooling Technologies, Overland Park, Kansas, United States.
Dan Mills Chapter Programs Award
Beatriz Salazar, of the Toronto Chapter, received the Dan Mills Chapter Programs Award, which recognizes excellence in chapter program endeavors. Salazar is designer – electrical, Smith and Andersen, Toronto, Ontario.
Student Activities Achievement Award
- Kapilan, Ph.D., of the ASHRAE Bangalore Chapter, received the Student Activities Achievement Award, which recognizes a chapter student activities chair for growth of student activities. Kapilan is professor and head, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Nagarjuna College of Engineering and Technology, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
Lou Flagg Historical Award
Bruce Flaniken, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, of the Houston Chapter, received the Lou Flagg Historical Award, which recognizes an individual for preparing the most outstanding historical presentation related to HVAC&R. The award is named in recognition of Presidential Member Lou Flagg, who promoted an interest in history. Flaniken is manager of facility system design & construction engineering, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, United States.
Donald Bahnfleth Environmental Health Award
Paul W. Francisco, Fellow Member ASHRAE, of the Central Illinois Chapter, received the Donald Bahnfleth Environmental Health Award, which recognizes excellence in volunteer service focused on environmental health issues. Francisco is associate director for building science, Applied Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois, United States.
Youth Outreach Award
Elise Kiland, P.E., of the San Jose Chapter, received the Youth Outreach Award, which recognizes the outstanding effort of a member who actively engages a youth audience in their country, region, or local community through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities. Kiland is a project manager, Critchfield Mechanical, Inc., San Jose, California, United States.
Government Affairs Award
Elizabeth Tomlinson, P.E., of the Minnesota Chapter, received the Government Affairs Award. The award recognizes individuals for outstanding effort and achievement in state, provincial and local government activities in connection with technical issues related to the Society. Tomlinson is senior mechanical engineer, Facilities Sustainability and Resilience Leader, TKDA, St. Paul, Minnesota, United States.
Exceptional Service Award
The Exceptional Service Award recognizes Distinguished Service Award recipients who have continued to serve faithfully and with exemplary effort. Ten members were recognized:
- George W. (Billy) Austin, BCxP, BEAP, BEMP, CHD, HBDP, HFDP, OPMP, principal, Shultz Engineering Group, PC, Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
- Wade H. Conlan, P.E., BCxP, commissioning discipline manager, Hanson Professional Services, Inc., Maitland, Florida, United States
- Mark W. Fly, P.E., Fellow Member ASHRAE, executive director, Norman Asbjornson Innovation Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
- Jeff Gatlin, P.E., central energy plant manager, Aramark Healthcare/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, United States
- Carl C. Hiller, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, is president, Applied Energy Technology, Davis, California, United States
- M. Dennis Knight, P.E., Fellow Member ASHRAE, owner, Whole Building Systems, LLC, Charleston, South Carolina, United States
- Nicolas Lemire, P.Eng., HFDP, Fellow Member ASHRAE, president and CEO, Pageau Morel & Associates, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- Kevin L. Marple, president, Benz Air Engineering Co., Inc., Beaverton, Oregon, United States
- Tim McGinn, P.Eng., HBDP, retired, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- R. Lee Millies, Jr., P.E., Fellow Member ASHRAE, president, Millies Engineering Group, Munster, Indiana, United States.
Distinguished Service Award
The Distinguished Service Award salutes members of any grade who have served the Society faithfully and with distinction and who have given freely of their time and talent in chapter, regional and Society activities. The following 43 members were recognized:
- Jason Alphonso, BEAP, OPMP, branch manager, Wood plc, Orlando, Florida, United States
- Kevin Amende, P.E., associate professor, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, United States.
- John S. Andrepont, Life Member ASHRAE, president, The Cool Solutions Company, Lisle, Illinois, United States
- Nathaniel Boyd, associate director, Utilities and Energy Services, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, United States
- Robin Bryant, project manager, B&I Contractors, Inc., Fort Myers, Florida, United States
- Andrew Cochrane, P.E., vice president, Industrial Air, Inc., Greensboro, North Carolina, United States
- Michael Collarin, BEMP, senior engineer – Mechanical, Gresham Smith, Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
- Wade H. Conlan, P.E., BCxP, commissioning discipline manager, Hanson Professional Services, Inc., Maitland, Florida, United States
- John M. Constantinide, P.E., energy manager, U.S. Air Force, Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, United States
- Michael P. Cooper, P.E., executive vice president, Bernhard, Metairie, Louisiana, United States
- Derek A. Crowe, P.E., senior associate/mechanical team leader, Stantec, Berkley, Michigan, United States
- Keith I. Emerson, Life Member ASHRAE, retired, Denver, Colorado, United States
- Vanessa J. Freidberg, P.E., business development manager, Siemens, Austin, Texas, United States
- Joseph L. Furman, senior sales engineer, Automated Logic, Wallingford, Connecticut, United States
- James T. Hanley, retired, Cary, North Carolina, United States
- Nathan P. Hart, P.E., managing principal, RWB Consulting Engineers, Dallas, Texas, United States
- Kristin Heinemeier, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow Member ASHRAE, principal development engineer, Frontier Energy, Inc., Davis, California, United States
- Carl C. Hiller, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, president, Applied Energy Technology, Davis, California, United States
- Trenton S. Hunt, vice president, Mechanical Products NSW, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
- Mark Jackson, Ph.D., sr. product manager, Indoor Environmental Quality, Daikin North America LLC, Waller, Texas, United States
- Thomas Allen Justice, Life Member ASHRAE, principal, Zene, LLC, Williamsburg, Virginia, United States
- Ganeson Kandasamy, product engineer, Trane Technologies, Lexington, Kentucky, United States
- Firouz Keikavousi, Life Member ASHRAE, retired, Orlando, Florida, United States
- Hyojin Kim, Ph.D., associate professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Newark, New Jersey, United States
- Lindsey King, energy model analyst, Oglethorpe Power Co, Tucker, Georgia, United States
- M. Dennis Knight, P.E., Fellow Member ASHRAE, owner, Whole Building Systems, LLC, Charleston, South Carolina, United States
- Stephanie Kunkel, P.E., associate, Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, Inc. (JMT), Hunt Valley, Maryland, United States
- Wichai Laksanakorn, P.E., Fellow Life Member, founder and chairman, W. and Associates Consultants, Co. Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand
- Nicolas Lemire, P.Eng., HFDP, Fellow Member ASHRAE, president and CEO, Pageau Morel & Associates, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- Xiaobing Liu, Ph.D., R&D staff, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, United States
- Brian Lynch, HBDP, owner, Western Mechanical Solutions, Denver, Colorado, United States
- Steven A. Marek, P.E., mechanical engineer, self-employed, Hanahan, South Carolina, United States
- Farhan Mehboob, consultant/director, S. Mehboob & Company, Karachi, Pakistan
- Tim Merrigan, Life Member ASHRAE, consultant, Energy Information Services, Parker, Colorado, United States
- Corey B. Metzger, P.E., principal, Resource Consulting Engineers, LLC, Ames, Iowa, United States
- Ahmed Alaa Eldin Mohamed, Ph.D., chairman, Middle East Gate Holding Group, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Carrie Anne Monplaisir, mechanical EIT, Clark Nexsen, Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States
- Michael P. Sheerin, P.E., chairman and CEO, TLC Engineering Solutions, Inc., Orlando, Florida, United States
- Michelle Swanson, mechanical project manager, The RMH Group, Lakewood/Denver, Colorado, United States
- Michael L. Watz, Jr., P.E., engineering manager – Commercial Dampers, Greenheck Fan Corporation, Schofield, Wisconsin, United States
- Ronald L. Westbrook, P.E., Life Member ASHRAE, retired associate director of Physical Plant Utilities, State University of New York, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York, United States
- Robert W. Yost, technical director, National Refrigerants, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
- Chariti Young, software product manager, Automated Logic, Kennesaw, Georgia, United States
Distinguished 50-Year Member Award
The Distinguished 50-Year Member Award is given to individuals who have been a member for a minimum of 50 years, and are a past Society president, Fellow ASHRAE or Distinguished Service Award recipient or who have performed outstanding service to ASHRAE or its predecessor societies – the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers (ASHVE), the American Society of Refrigerating Engineers (ASRE), and the American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHAE). Twenty-three members were recognized:
- Stephen A. Becker, P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, senior mechanical engineer, Fellow, Lawrence Engineering Group, Fresno, California, United States
- John B. Bisset, P.Eng., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, founder, Chorley + Bisset Ltd., London, Ontario, Canada
- Richard Burr, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, Spring, Texas, United States
- Charles D. Callahan, Life Member ASHRAE, retired general manager of commercial market, Oklahoma Natural Gas Co., Placitas, New Mexico, United States
- Richard E. Cawley, P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, retired, Tyler, Texas, United States
- Douglas Dewerth, Life Member ASHRAE, Cleveland, Ohio, United States
- Francis Ferreira, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, New Bedford, Massachusetts, United States
- Robert H. Fuller, P.E., Life Member ASHRAE, mechanical engineer, Gutridge Mechanical, Dublin, Ohio, United States
- David F. Geary, Life Member ASHRAE, retired, Annapolis, Maryland, United States
- Ralph Goldman, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, Dedham, Massachusetts, United States
- Mark P. Hershman, P.E., Life Member ASHRAE, consulting engineer, Mark P. Hershman, PE, Richboro, Pennsylvania, United States
- Ronald H. Howell, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, retired, Meridian, Idaho, United States
- H. Gerhard Kerschbaumer, Ph.D., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, retired, Ludwigshafen, Germany
- John H. Klote, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, owner, SmokeControlExpert.com, Leesburg, Virginia, United States
- Wichai Laksanakorn, P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, founder and chairman, W. and Associates Consultants, Co. Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand
- Valentine Lehr, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, Kings Park, New York, United States
- Franklin Y.S. Lum, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, San Antonio, Texas, United States
- Stanley A. Mumma, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, professor emeritus, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, United States
- Ramesh Paranjpey, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, Kothrud, Pune, India
- Mirza Mohammed Shah, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, director, Engineering Research Associates, Redding, Connecticut, United States
- Charles Simpson, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, Monroe, North Carolina, United States
- Stanley Slabinski, Life Member ASHRAE, Monroe Township, New Jersey, United States
- Frantisek Vaculik, Life Member ASHRAE, Nepean, ON, Canada
Crosby Field Award
Charles S. Barnaby, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE and Peter Simmonds, Ph.D., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, are recipients of the Crosby Field Award for “Development of a Unified Tool for Analysis of Room Loads and Conditions”, which was judged to be the best paper presented before the Society. The Crosby Field Award is named for a former Presidential Member.
Barnaby is an independent consultant, Moultonborough, New Hampshire. Simmonds is president, Building Systems and Analytics, Los Angeles, California, United States.
Willis H. Carrier Award
Emily Ann Oldham received the Willis H. Carrier Award given to a member 32 years of age or younger for presenting an outstanding paper at a Society conference. The award is presented for “Energy Performance of an Occupancy-Based Climate Control Technology in Guest Rooms.” Oldham is designer, DLR Group, Washington, DC, United States.
ASHRAE Technical Paper Award
The following papers received a Technical Paper Award, which recognizes the authors of the best papers presented at Society conferences.
- Di Lu, Dennis L. O’Neal, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, and Peng Yin, Ph.D., receive an award for “A Comparison of the Annual Energy Use of Fixed and Variable Airflow Parallel Fan-Powered Terminal Units in a Small Office Building.” Lu is a graduate research assistant, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, United States. O’Neal is Dean, School of Engineering and Computer Science, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, United States. Yin is assistant professor of mechanical engineering, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana, United States.
- Lisa Meline, P.E., and Stephen Kavanaugh, Ph.D., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, receive an award for “Geothermal Heat Pumps: Simply Efficient.” Meline is owner and principal engineer, Meline Engineering Corporation, Sacramento, California, United States. Kavanaugh is professor emeritus, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States.
- Douglas Reynolds, Life Member ASHRAE, and Michael A. Schwob, P.E., receive an award for “The Effect of Length on the Insertion Loss of Fiberglass Lined Sheet Metal Ducts, Part I: Rectangular Duct.” Reynolds is director, Center for Mechanical and Environmental Systems Technology, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. Schwob is president, Schwob Acoustics, Inc., Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.
- Ngoc Dung (Rosine) Rohatgi, Ph.D., receives an award for “Effects of System Materials towards the Breakdown of Lubricants and Low GWP Refrigerants.” Rohatgi is president, Spauschus Associates, Inc., Bethlehem, Georgia, United States.
ASHRAE Journal Paper Award
Gwelen Paliaga, P.E.; Hui Zhang, Ph.D.; Tyler Hoyt; and Edward Arens, Ph.D., Life Member ASHRAE; receive the Journal Paper Award for the article, “Eliminating Overcooling Discomfort While Saving Energy,” judged to be the best article published in ASHRAE Journal. The article was published April 2019.
Paliaga is technical director, TRC, Oakland, California, United States. Zhang is professional researcher, Center for the Built Environment, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States. Hoyt is Staff Engineer, Comfy, Oakland, California, United States. Arens is director, Center for the Built Environment, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States.
Science and Technology for the Built Environment Best Paper Award
Mehdi Mehrabi, Ph.D., P.E. and David Yuill, Ph.D., P.E. are recipients of the Science and Technology for the Built Environment Best Paper Award for “Fouling and its Effects on Air-cooled Condensers in Split System Air Conditioners (RP-1705).” The article was published July 2019. The award is for the best paper published in the volume year of the Science and Technology for the Built Environment, the ASHRAE research journal.
Mehrabi is mechanical engineer, Paradigm Consulting Engineers, West Chester, Pennsylvania, United States. Yuill is Assistant Professor, Architectural Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Omaha, Nebraska, United States.
Student Design Competition
The 2020 Student Design Project Competition focused on building a new 17,500-square-foot document storage and archive center in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. The new facility’s purpose was to store rare documents, books, manuscripts, photos, and audio recordings in a manner that will ensure the preservation of historical items for future generations.
First place in the HVAC System Selection category was awarded to the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, United States. Team members are Ashley Everitt, John Kramer, Jessica Lee and Mitchael Sieh.
First place in the HVAC Design Calculations category was awarded to Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt. Team members are Eslam Mohamed Ali, Ahmed Mohamed Soltan, Amr Gamal Fawzy, Moustafa Ahmed El-Saeid and Mark Magdy Fouad.
First place in the Integrated Sustainable Building Design category was awarded to Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom. Team members are Alekhya Yalamanchili, Amr Suliman, Jacob George and Mohamad Abdul Gaffoor Seyad.
Setty Family Foundation Applied Engineering Challenge
The 2020 Setty Family Foundation Applied Engineering Challenge required students to design a system to be used by building occupants to report operational issues to building operators.
First place was awarded to Bandung Institute of Technology – Wetonia, Bandung, Indonesia. Team members are R Muhammad Nadhir Nasrudin Tanujiwa, Alpinus Raditya Dewangga, Kamilita Hening Musono, Reza Dzikri Khusaini, Hilman Prakoso and Selvia Diwanty.
The ASHRAE Technology Awards
The ASHRAE Technology Awards recognize outstanding achievements by ASHRAE members who have successfully applied innovative building designs. Their designs incorporate ASHRAE standards for effective energy management and indoor air quality and serve to communicate innovative systems design. Winning projects are selected from entries earning regional awards.
First place recipients for the ASHRAE Technology Awards are:
- Kwai Ping Lau and Raymond M. H. Yau, Ph.D., commercial buildings – existing buildings commissioning, Two Pacific Place, Hong Kong, China. The building is owned by Swire Properties Limited.
- Tomoaki Ushio, PE, P.Eng, Harunori Yoshida, Ph.D., and Shigemi Mori, existing commercial buildings category, Kyoto Station in Kyoto, Japan. The building is owned by Kyoto Station Building Development Company Limited.
- Shana Scheiber, PE and Roger W. Lautz, PE new commercial buildings category, American Family Insurance “The Spark,’ Madison, Wisconsin, United States. The building is owned by American Family Insurance.
- Brian K. Rose, PE, existing educational facilities category, Historic Mercy High School Renovation/Cincinnati Public Schools Gamble Montessori project, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. The building is owned by Cincinnati Public Schools.
- Aaron Smith, P.Eng, BEAP, BEMP, Denis A. Morris and Andrew Bartlett, new educational facilities, the Dalhousie IDEA and Design Buildings project, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The building is owned by Dalhousie University.
- Reece Kiriu, PE and Jeff Stein, existing healthcare facilities category, Kaiser Vallejo Medical Offices, Vallejo, California, United States. The building is owned by Kaiser Permanente.
First Place and Award of Engineering Excellence
The Award of Engineering Excellence was created in 1989 to recognize a first-place winner of the Society-level Technology Award competition for an outstanding application of innovative design and effective energy utilization. The recipient of the Award of Engineering Excellence will have demonstrated the best overall compliance with the judging criteria.
First place and recipient of the Award of Engineering Excellence is:
- Ned Greene, P.E., new health care facilities category, OHSU Knight Cancer Research Building, Portland, Oregon, United States. The building is owned by OHSU.
Building for the “new normal”
As the world continues to grapple with an ever-shifting economic landscape, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, stakeholders in the building sector across the GCC region have observed how the pandemic has triggered an evaluation and reassessment of priorities. Ashok Jha, Head FM and Retrofit Projects, Universal Voltas, points out that the unprecedented disruption caused by COVID-19 has prompted many organisations to take actions they have been putting off for some time, including launching new digital services and evolving their business models, enabling greater flexibility in their working and implementing cost optimisation measures.
However, Jha says, perhaps the most notable trend would be the move towards a greater number of retrofit projects in the region. “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the oil prices plummeted to one of the lowest levels and government revenues went down in the GCC region,” he says. “This has led to reduced spending across all sectors, including new construction, with the current market seeing greater push towards shallow retrofitting, deep retrofitting, energy conservation and reducing the building carbon footprint in the existing buildings to make them more sustainable.” Jha says that since the number of existing buildings in Oman, Kuwait and the UAE is very high compared to new buildings, there was also a need to address the physical deterioration of the buildings, due to functional and economic obsolescence, and to make them more sustainable. “Because of this, there is a surge in demand for the retrofitting of the existing buildings across the GCC region,” he says (see sidebar).
Andrea Di Gregorio, Executive Director, Reem, Ras Al Khaimah Municipality, also believes the region is poised to see a strong pipeline of retrofit projects. “More focus is being put in refurbishing existing buildings, to bring them up-to-speed with the latest best practices in sustainability,” he says. “We see an increase in interest from building owners in retrofit activities, and we expect this interest to further increase throughout 2021 and in the coming years.”
Energy efficiency and sustainability
Another major driver for retrofits is the move towards energy efficient and sustainable practices, which has long been heralded by experts in the sector. Jha points out that because of the detrimental impact of buildings on the environment, with occupied buildings and the construction sector accounting for 36% of the global energy consumption and nearly 40% of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions according to International Energy Agency (IEA), the UAE has begun to actively transition into smart and sustainable cities, which has turned the focus on the energy efficiency of the buildings, specifically existing ones.
In addition to its impact on overall sustainability efforts, much of the move can be attributed to growing awareness on return of investment in terms of reduced operational cost. As Jha points out, retrofitting primarily refers to the measures being taken to replace legacy energy and utility systems with new and energy-efficient technologies. “These technologies not only reduce energy consumption and decrease carbon emissions but also lower maintenance costs, improve safety, enhance productivity, boost property valuations and also prolong the useful life of the assets and the building as a whole,” he says. “In a nutshell, we can say that OPEX of the building reduces and the asset value increases. Hence, it is becoming important day by day to retrofit buildings to not only make them more sustainable for the future but also to derive economical value by reducing the operational cost and, in turn, optimise the rentals and make them more lucrative for the tenants.”
Weighing in, Di Gregorio says that sustainable buildings often result in lower life cycle cost of the building itself. “If sustainability features are carefully selected, operational savings – in terms of energy and water usage and equipment maintenance – typically exceed any incremental investments that those features require,” he says. “For this reason, in a perfect market, where developers are able to fairly monetise their investments in higher quality buildings, we would expect for tenants any rent premiums for more sustainable buildings to be exceeded by the value of operational savings.”
Jha adds that as energy prices continue to rise, the relative benefits of energy efficiency will become increasingly important, and this is leading to a huge surge in demand for equipment, such as Smart LED lights and motion sensors, air curtains and FAHUs, energy-efficient AHUs, FCUs or split units and VAV systems. This has also led to greater demand for water usage reduction through the use of low-flow fixtures, sensors, waterless urinals and low-flush WCs, and also for photovoltaic panels on rooftops to generate electricity from the solar power, among other solutions.
A renewed focus on IAQ
While the return on investment (ROI) from retrofitting for energy efficiency is becoming clear, stakeholders are hopeful that the new wave of retrofits would also accommodate enhancements of indoor air quality (IAQ), which has been typically overlooked over the past years. Di Gregorio says that he believes this would be the case. “There is increasing interest in IAQ, partly driven by COVID-19 concerns,” he says. “Some awareness and technical barriers are there; nonetheless we foresee development in this area in the future.”
Jha shares a similar opinion. He says: “Fear of pandemic is looming large in the minds of the people, and therefore, while carrying out the retrofitting of their buildings, owners are ensuring that retrofit projects also take into consideration IAQ of the buildings, where people are currently spending more than 90% of their time and also to reduce the chances of contamination through virus, bacteria, moulds and fungi.”
Di Gregorio says there is a lot of focus on safety and security from building owners, particularly in what concerns disinfection of common areas. “This sometimes adds to other measures, like filtration, turning into improved air quality,” he says. Jha adds that some of the measures that building owners are taking include Demand Control Ventilation through C02 sensors, fitting volume control dampers, ultraviolet lamps in AHUs, ultraviolet germicide irradiation and MERV 13/14 filters. He further adds that there has been an increase in the use of humidifiers and dehumidifiers to maintain humidity in the range of 40-60%, where the microbial and fungal growth is minimal.
Jha also says that the majority of the offices are allowing their staff to work from home and that people are spending more than 90% of their time indoors. “This further necessitates that apt measures are taken by the occupants to ensure proper lux levels, ergonomics and IAQ, as these will have a profound impact on their health and wellbeing and, in turn, impact their productivity,” he says. “Hence, there cannot be a better time than now to address the Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ) issues, if any.” Jha says these are the factors driving a lot of investment being done by the property owners in the built-environment to retrofit their buildings to ensure proper IAQ against the traditional retrofit, where emphasis was mainly towards energy efficiency.
Making a case for retrofits
Keeping in mind the tangible and intangible benefits of retrofitting, Di Gregorio believes there is more than enough evidence to drive building owners to invest in such initiatives. “If building owners are not thinking about retrofits, they definitely should!” he says. “Retrofit projects tend to have very favourable returns. We are observing that for comprehensive retrofits of commercial buildings in Ras Al Khaimah, the payback time is 3-5 years. And the contracting standards that are being adopted often provide forms of guarantees for the investor on those returns.”
Jha, agreeing, says that in spite of the change in the occupancy profile of buildings, property owners must continue to retrofit within the built-environment. “Retrofitting of existing buildings offers tremendous opportunities for improving asset performance in terms of utilities,” he says. “Retrofitting also offers a potential upside in the overall performance of the building through improved energy efficiency, increased staff productivity, reduced maintenance costs, and better thermal comfort.” Jha believes that such key drivers should serve as a motivation and incentive for building owners, who are on the fence about investing in retrofit projects.
A complete 180
In view of the shifting political landscape, how will the new administration affect the country’s commitment to climate change mitigation?
It’s going to be a complete 180 from the [Donald] Trump administration. In [Joe] Biden’s plan, he mentions “a historic investment” in upgrading four million commercial buildings to return almost a quarter of the savings from retrofits to cash-strapped state and local governments. Specifically, it says that he will “mobilize a trained and skilled American workforce to manufacture, install, service and maintain high-efficiency LED lighting, electric appliances, and advanced heating and cooling systems that run cleaner and less costly”.
Given our focus on energy savings, I think that this will be great for business as well as for building owners. Some suggest that large rebates may be involved to directly incentivise businesses and make it affordable to pursue these upgrades.
That being said, although the Trump administration was not at all focused on energy conservation, I found that individual building owners and managers were still pursuing these measures during the Trump administration. Most organisations in the US are interested in conserving energy and saving money. With government focus and incentives, it will just accelerate the demand.
In view of COVID-19, do you see a greater uptake of IAQ equipment throughout the country?
Yes, for sure. However, these things come with a cost, and with COVID destroying the economy, there is going to have to be some kind of funding or incentives given to get these types of retrofits in place. I will give you an example. Two of our clients in the US requested ultraviolet lighting proposals to be retrofitted into their air handlers and FCUs. We put together the proposals and delivered them; however, neither has been approved yet due to the difficulties these buildings are facing financially due to delinquent tenant rent payments and occupancy.
Another interesting fact is that most of these IAQ retrofits are not intended to deliver energy savings. That is another hurdle to getting these projects approved. One last point – and I don’t think this is limited to the US – customers in the UAE have also asked for ultraviolet lighting to be installed, and it is still difficult to get the approval here, for the same reasons mentioned earlier.
Has there been a heavier-than-usual concentration on the air side of things from building owners, tenants and manufacturers?
The EPA has recommended that guidance provided by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) for managing IAQ during the current pandemic be followed. ASHRAE’s statement is as follows: “Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the air is sufficiently likely that airborne exposure to the virus should be controlled. Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, can reduce airborne exposures.”
The two solutions we have seen implemented in the buildings we service in the USA are AHU filter upgrades and increasing the intake of outside air into the building. Both of these changes are very effective and relatively easy to implement as well as low cost.
How has the change in occupancy profile thrown everything into a state of chaos in terms of commercial and residential property requirements? Will this be a driving force towards more retrofit projects?
In terms of energy conservation measures, this has thrown everything into a state of chaos. One, the commercial buildings are hardly occupied, which has led to energy bills dropping dramatically. However, with less occupancy comes less rent, thus less money to invest in retrofit projects. In addition, building owners, who are still looking for energy savings, are hesitant to move forward, because they are not sure if and when tenants will be returning to the buildings, so to be honest, unless it’s a well-funded customer, this could actually slow the conservation efforts.
Residential buildings face the same issue. People are leaving the dense, populated cities, preferring the suburbs right now, leaving residential multi-family buildings unoccupied and no rents being paid. Until we get herd immunity with the vaccine, and people are comfortable returning to the cities to work and live, this will continue to be challenging.
How have these trends potentially influenced building owners?
As I stated earlier, most building owners are hesitant even if they want to move forward on new projects, given the current situation. However, some forward thinkers, with ability and the confidence that things will return to normal, are taking this time to invest in conservation efforts, so that when the buildings are occupied, they can take advantage of the maximum savings.
Have there been efforts to retrofit among specialised facilities such as healthcare?
At the moment, it is difficult to even get a meeting with a healthcare facility in the US. They are overwhelmed and have overcapacity with COVID patients and are focused on saving lives before anything else. Their priority right now is the conservation of life.
Has the pandemic finally trained the spotlight on the importance of having a balance between energy efficiency and IAQ?
I think that yes, people will be investing in IAQ, or at least investigating their options, especially healthcare facilities and the like. However, in my experience, to be honest, it’s a tough sale, unless there’s a Return on Investment (ROI) in the project. Having said that, UV lighting does have some energy-saving benefits, so maybe a combination of IAQ and energy savings should be highlighted to the building owners in the presentation of these retrofit solutions.
Retrofitting in Kuwait, Oman and the UAE
COVID-19 has had a significant adverse impact on organisations, people’s health, their livelihoods and the economy at large in the GCC region countries, says Ashok Jha, Head, FM & Retrofit Projects, Universal Voltas LLC. However, Jha is quick to point out that while the duration and severity of COVID-19’s impact on economies and sectors will undoubtedly vary, companies and governments in the GCC region have done well to set in motion a “look ahead, anticipate, innovate and adjust” roadmap, which has led the construction sector to focus on energy optimisation and retrofitting in existing buildings, which is a key to sustainable construction.
Citing figures from Global Data, a leading data and analytics company, Jha says that Oman’s construction industry contracted sharply in 2020, plummeting by nearly around -10.3%. “The industry is struggling with challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak, low oil prices, and the impact of sovereign credit rating downgrades,” he says. Further compounding the downside risks to the outlook for the industry, the Omani Government has had to rationalise spending.”
Jha adds that given the limited prospects for the government to boost investment in infrastructure and other investment projects, a recovery in the construction sector is expected to be very slow. “Global Data currently expects the construction industry to fall further in 2021, with output contracting by -5.8%,” he says. “The fiscal plan by the Oman Government is intended to reduce public debt, increase the state’s reserves, and diversify revenue away from the oil sector.”
Owing to these factors, Jha believes that new construction spend will be very minimal, and more impetus will be on the retrofitting, deep retrofitting, fit-outs and energy performance optimisation in the built-environment in Oman.
Kuwait has faced similar challenges, Jha says, adding that the construction market shrunk in the year 2020 at about -9.5% approximately, as per Global Data. “The construction industry is struggling with the challenges presented by the outbreak of COVID-19, low oil prices and the impact of sovereign credit rating downgrades,” he says. “Because of this, focus is more towards existing buildings in Kuwait.”
Jha adds that within the built-environment in Kuwait, residential buildings constitute around 81%, commercial buildings are 11%, whereas government buildings constitute four per cent; the remaining four per cent includes commercial, industrial, agricultural and services. “Also, Kuwait has one of the highest per capita electricity consumption and carbon footprint globally, which further necessitates the retrofitting of the buildings to make them more sustainable,” he says. “All the above factors, along with the economic strain, is forcing Kuwait to focus on energy conservation, deep retrofitting, retrofitting and fit-outs in the built-environment with a very minimal spending on new construction.”
Sharing observations on the UAE market, in particular, Jha says that the COVID-19 outbreak, coupled with low oil prices, has led the construction output in the UAE to contract by nearly 4.8% in 2020, but that a rebound is expected in 2021, as per Global Data. “New project opportunities are expected to be minimal in the coming quarters, as the government is consolidating its widening fiscal debt and COVID-19-related force majeure,” he said. “Over the medium- to longer-term, government investment will remain focused on upgrading physical infrastructure and reforming the financing and regulatory environment.”
Jha adds that the UAE has set high targets for building retrofit, which are reflected in the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy. “The latter targets an overall 30% reduction in energy and water use by 2030,” he says. “To support this, Etihad ESCO aims to retrofit 30,000 buildings in the next 10 years and generate 1.68TWh energy savings and around 5.64 BIG of water savings by year 2030.”
‘The UAE leadership has a view of the future – and it is not just tomorrow’
Congratulations on your appointment as Denmark’s Climate Ambassador. Could you speak on the potential areas of cooperation between the UAE and Denmark?
I think it’s remarkable the far-sighted leadership the UAE has taken as an oil- and gas-producing country. The leaders have a view of the future – and the future that is not just tomorrow, not just five or 10 years, but they are thinking ahead to 20 or 50 years from now.
We are talking about the major transformation of energy systems. The largest solar farms in the world are in the UAE, and a lot of investment is being done in this area. The country is taking energy efficiency in buildings seriously and addressing the challenge of having had, years ago, the highest carbon footprint per inhabitant.
In that sense, cooperation between the UAE and Denmark on energy and other topics related to food and maritime issues makes imminent sense. We are the country in the EU with the largest oil -production. We have oil and gas in the North Sea. But we are slowly ending our exploration of that oil and gas, and in December 2020, the Danish Parliament decided to end fossil extraction in the North Sea by 2050 with a plan for the just transition of impacted workers and a conversion of the oil and gas fields to Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS)].
There is also a huge market for renewable energy, globally, as this transformation [can be seen] worldwide. In Denmark, we are building better and taller wind farms and offshore wind farms, including over the next two years in two new energy islands. As a result, there has been global interest surrounding Danish windfarm operators and wind constructors, many of whom are now in demand in a number of countries such as the US, Korea and Australia.
Could you speak more about the competitive advantage that countries such as the UAE can have from specialising in sustainable cooling solutions, both in terms of developing the expertise within the country and in terms of pioneering solutions? Do you see this to be a growing market?
The world is undergoing an energy transformation, and the UAE is also very well positioned to be part of it and, in some instances, to lead this transformation. As such, a partnership with a country like Denmark makes great sense.
When it comes to the development of cities, it’s clear that if you look at trends as a whole, [the population] is moving from the countryside to cities at an increased rate. I think the latest figures from UN Habitat and other global organisations is that almost half of the human population lives in cities. We have been going from 30-40% of the population to half, and the trajectory is pointing towards a world where most of the people are in cities.
There have been large movements in the Global South. In China, you have more than 70 cities with more than one million inhabitants, and many are newly constructed with poor quality of buildings that need to be retrofitted and rebuilt. In India, you have a growing middle-class population, and this has led to growth of new buildings in new cities or more modern buildings in new parts of the city. The same trend can be seen in the Gulf region. For a very long time, Dubai was home to most of the cranes in the world. In Africa, large cities that are already big, continue to grow. In Indonesia, we see a population in the process of moving Jakarta to a new island, because it is sinking.
Basically, in many places, the built-environment is not a done deal. We are at the beginning, not at the end. It’s only in older industrial countries in the West that the city structure is permanent. I would think the opportunities for both new buildings and retrofitting are very large, especially in warmer climates, where expertise is needed in challenging environments.
For us, in Denmark, it’s more about reverse engineering our experience with energy efficiency and insulation, and usinge and applying them in the UAE. Also, there would be solutions we need to develop from scratch, based on the circumstances and the physical environment.
It’s clear that cooling also has some attributes different from heating. [In Denmark], some companies are experimenting with district cooling, but most are district heating, with a lot of combined power and heat plants. Also, some of them are doing this with garbage waste disposal and heat and power. With the more recent climate law, because of the move towards circular economy, we are now looking at recycling and reusing our waste rather than incinerating it.
What can further drive the development of expertise and solutions in the sustainability arena in a country?
A combination of energy pricing and embedding efficiency in building codes and regulation by central and local governments are key here. The building owner and operator might not be interested in building more efficiently because of the perceived cost, and they will try to defer the cost onto the tenants. That means rent goes up, bills go up, and they are not too happy either. That’s always a question for the less well off, that’s also the question of the fair and equitable distribution of the cost and benefit, [[when it comes to implementing sustainable solutions.].
In Denmark, people have been investing in energy efficiency because of energy cost and due to strict regulation since the 1970’s. Because of the cost of energy, there are huge paybacks at a shorter time.
In what ways can the public sector in the GCC region incentivise sustainability initiatives in the built-environment, both in terms of introducing retrofit targets and also ensuring new buildings adhere to higher energy- efficiency goals?
For one, I would say that educating the general public is extremely important, in terms of the cost, economy, sustainability and potential social benefits.
The very practical education of engineers and economists, integrating energy efficiency into curricula in the built-environment, so that you have your own skilled engineers and technicians ¨to operate systems, do the buildings and learn from it. It is a mentality and way of thinking. We have done it for the last 50 or more years; we didn’t do it before that. It took us a long time and heavy regulation, strong incentives and a lot of private discussion among government and private sector and institutions of higher education to get that sector to operate in an efficient and integrated way. I would encourage public policy makers to think through different dimensions of how to establish a cluster of knowledge and expertise. The young students of today will be the leaders of tomorrow, and they have to make it work 10-15 years down the road.
ASHRAE, CIBSE sign strategic partnership agreement
ATLANTA, Georgia, 15 December 2020: ASHRAE and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) have signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) formalizing the organizations’ relationship, ASHRAE said through a Press release.
Charles E Gulledge III, 2020-21 ASHRAE President, and Stuart MacPherson, CIBSE President, signed an SPA during a virtual signing ceremony on December 10. The agreement outlines how ASHRAE and CIBSE will work cooperatively on activities that serve their respective memberships, to promote the advancement of a more sustainable built-environment through HVAC&R technologies and their applications.
According to ASHRAE, areas of collaboration include:
- Joint initiatives aimed at accelerating the progression of digital technologies and research
- Virtual design and construction to improve the resilience of buildings and the health of occupants in an increasingly challenging climate
- Coordinated promotion of joint grassroots meetings and conferences
- Advocacy and work on common public affairs goals and ideologies
- Consistent leadership communication
- Publication development and distribution
- Education and professional development co-development and cross marketing
“Our continued collaboration with CIBSE provides a meaningful opportunity to coordinate efforts on innovative technologies and resources to advance the growth of the built environment,” Gulledge said. “We value this partnership with CIBSE and are excited to leverage this collaboration to move the industry and buildings towards a more sustainable future.”
MacPherson said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement with ASHRAE and strengthen the long-standing relationship between our organisations. The increasing local and global challenges of maintaining safe, healthy and efficient built-environments marks this as a particularly auspicious time to share knowledge and expertise to enhance our offerings for the benefit of both our members and wider society.”
Sustainable cooling vital for smart cities, says MIT professor
Dubai, UAE, 24 March 2019: Although cities occupy only two per cent of the world’s surface, they host up to 50% of the world’s population and are responsible for 75% of global energy consumption and 80% of CO2 emissions, said Carlo Ratti, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Founding Partner, Carlo Ratti Associati, during his keynote address for the ‘Design and the City of the Future’ event on March 19, at the American University in Dubai (AUD). During a comprehensive discussion on how IoT is shaping the built-environment, Ratti underscored the important role that sustainable cooling must play in cities of the future. “Fixing energy usage and occupancy is vital,” he said, “when you think about how much energy you spend cooling your homes.”
Ratti said trends in modern architecture are steadily placing greater emphasis on the importance of designing better ways to control temperature with minimum use of energy. This, he said, is especially the case in office spaces, which continue to evolve based on digital connectivity and individual requirements. Providing an example, Ratti pointed to the redesign of the Agnelli Foundation headquarters, in Turin, Italy, where Carlo Ratti Associati developed a customised environmental bubble that provides personalised heating, cooling and lighting systems to occupants throughout the building. By leveraging IoT technologies, Ratti said the building was able to optimise space and energy usage. While the company was deeply involved in the overall architecture of the historic structure, Ratti said the implementation of key technologies related to heating and cooling was done by Siemens Italy, which equipped the building with sensors for different data sets, including the location of the building’s occupants, temperature, CO2 concentration and the availability of meeting rooms.
Ratti said that he believes such an approach is scalable for other projects. “I really see it happening in high-end buildings,” he said. “Monitoring occupancy in a very fine way to create a climate around ourselves.” This, he said, is a best way to harness energy otherwise wasted from cooling in an inefficient manner.