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Berner releases Architectural Contour Air Curtain Series

NEW CASTLE, Pennsylvania, 15 June 2022: Air curtain manufacturer, Berner International said it has added the Architectural Contour Air Curtain Series to its Architectural Collection, giving specifiers a technologically advanced design for protecting commercial building main entrances when the door is open.

Making the announcement through a Press release, Berner claimed the Architectural Contour 8 and 10 models feature the HVAC industry’s quietest operation from a high-performance air curtain. The design targets healthcare, hotels, retail, restaurants and other applications, where thermal comfort, front entrance doorway aesthetics and energy savings are critical, the company said.

Air curtain by Berner International

Berner said the Series’ patented, unprecedented aesthetic is the company’s second departure from the industry’s decades-old rectangular box shapes after recently introducing the Architectural Elite.

Featuring a sleek, discreetly contoured cabinet constructed of anodized aluminum, the Architectural Contour complements 21st Century anodized aluminum doorways and metal architecture, the company said.

The Architectural Contour 8 and 10 feature low profiles of 8-1/4 H x 20-inch D (20.9 x 50.8-cm) and 12-3/4 H x 25-3/4 D (30.3 x 60.4-cm) without sacrificing performance for protecting up to eight- and 10-foot-high (2.4- and 3.0-meter) doorway heights, respectively, the company said. Both models – including heating options – are certified under AMCA-220, which qualifies them for the new construction cost-saving vestibule exception, now included in building and energy codes, ASHRAE 90.1-2019; the IECC -2015; and the IgCC, the company added.

According to the company, the Architectural Contour equals the aesthetics of the Architectural Collection’s full-featured, Golden Ratio-inspired Architectural Elite air curtain, but offers an economical alternative. Specifiers can add the Elite’s standard features as à la carte options to the Contour, such as electronically commutated (EC) motors or the Berner AIR smart controller and app, the company said. When combined with the Collection’s entry level Architectural Low Profile 8 and High Performance 10 models, the Contour and Elite offer building owners a diverse “good, better, best” selection, respectively, the company claimed.

According to Berner, all air curtains in the Architectural Collection use the company’s factory-installed Intelliswitch digital controller platform, which features pre-set programs, a time clock, time delay, built-in thermostat, 10-speed fan control, and other integrated, end-user-customizable features. The optional Berner AIR smart controller and app, the company said, can be added to the platform, allowing operation and monitoring from a smartphone. The Berner AIR, it added, includes true BACnet integration and a proactive adaptive setting based on the weather.

According to the company, the Contour and Elite models are the industry’s quietest high-performance air curtains. These patented designs combine out-of-sight top intake panels; Berner’s patented high-efficiency, low-noise, articulating Pro-V Nozzle; and quiet-running 1/5th-HP AC or EC motor choices, the company said. Depending on the selected motor and speed, the company added, typical operating noise is 49 to 55-dB, which is similar to a coffee percolator or quieter than normal conversation.

AMCA introduces tools to aid transition to Fan Energy Index

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Illinois, 2 August 2021: AMCA International introduced tools to aid transition to the Fan Energy Index. The body did so against the backdrop of recent developments related to energy efficiency in the United States.

On July 28, the US Department of Energy (DOE) issued determinations that the 2019 edition of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, and the 2021 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) “will achieve greater energy efficiency in buildings subject to the code” and “will improve energy efficiency in residential buildings,” respectively. Upon publication of these affirmative determinations, the DOE said, states in the country must review and certify their building codes relative to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2019 and the 2021 IECC.

As states begin to examine and update their energy codes, some are adopting an earlier edition of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1 (2016 or 2013) or the IECC (2018 or 2015), AMCA said. In so doing, they are prolonging the use of fan efficiency grade (FEG) as the metric for efficiency provisions for commercial and industrial fans and blowers, AMCA said. FEG, which the DOE concluded in an as-yet-unfinished rulemaking is not an appropriate metric for a federal appliance/equipment regulation, was replaced by Fan Energy Index (FEI) for ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2019 and the 2021 IECC, AMCA said, adding that it advises states adopting earlier editions of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1 and the IECC to “leapfrog” the outdated FEG metric to take advantage of the energy-saving, compliance-easing FEI.

For example, Florida, which on December 31 became the first state to adopt FEI when the seventh (2020) edition of Florida Building Code: Energy Conservation was published, adopted the 2018 IECC, but the 2021 IECC fan-efficiency provision, AMCA pointed out.

“Florida has set the example of how to leapfrog model-energy-code provisions to avoid prolonging the use of an outdated metric,” Aaron Gunzner, Senior Manager, Advocacy, AMCA International, said. “To help other states achieve the goal of phasing in the new FEI metric, AMCA International has, with permission from ASHRAE and the International Code Council, developed templates with exact strike-out/underline language.”

Additionally, to describe the rationale for and the benefits of changing metrics, AMCA said it recently updated its Advocacy Brief: New Fan Energy Index (FEI) Metric and Scope for Energy Codes, a document for code officials and others considering proposals to transition from FEG to FEI.

Formalized in ANSI/AMCA Standard 208-18, Calculation of the Fan Energy Index, FEI considers the effects of motors and drives, not just fans, and aids the right-sizing of fan systems for the conditions they will operate in, AMCA said. In addition to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2019 and the 2021 IECC, it added, FEI has replaced FEG in:

  • 2021 International Green Construction Code (IgCC)
  • ANSI/ASHRAE/ICC/USGBC/IES 189.1-2020, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings

AMCA recommended visiting www.amca.org/FEI, to download the templates and to view Advocacy Brief: New Fan Energy Index (FEI) Metric and Scope for Energy Codes. The microsite, AMCA said, additionally includes links to related codes and standards, technical articles and white papers, webinar recordings, and presentations.

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