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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.

AHR Expo 2022 Innovation Awards winners announced

WESTPORT, Connecticut, 20 October 2021: The AHR Expo (International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition) announced the winners of the 2022 AHR Expo Innovation Awards, through a Press release.

Each year, winners are chosen in 10 industry categories to represent the most innovative products and technologies hitting the market in the coming year. “This past year was a challenge for everyone, and in unique ways, the HVACR industry,” said Mark Stevens, Show Manager. “Our industry was called to the front lines to put our very best products and technologies to the test. The Innovation Awards purpose is to honor those that are pushing the bar to create innovative solutions to difficult problems. We are thrilled to celebrate this year’s winners and what they bring to the industry, as well as to continue to champion innovation among our professionals.”

The Innovation Awards encourage exhibitors to submit new products and technologies for recognition via review and selection by a panel of third-party judges, comprising distinguished ASHRAE members, AHR Expo said. Entrants are evaluated based on overall innovative design, the creativity of the product or service offered, application, as well as potential market impact. “This industry is tremendously exciting for its role in our everyday lives,” Stevens said. “Now, more than ever, we have the chance to show the world just how important HVACR is. Manufacturers on the AHR Expo Show floor are in tune with their stakeholders and the greater needs of the world and are responding by developing new tools, products and services that offer safety, efficiency, and sustainable smart solutions.” According to AHR Expo, the Innovation Awards program serves as a metric to see the year-to-year growth in the industry. While the Awards officially recognize only a select few, the Show floor is a robust example of how manufacturers are growing the industry in exciting ways. “AHR Show Management would like to formally congratulate each of our 2022 AHR Expo Innovation Award winners, as well as finalists and all our entrants, for their continued leadership and contribution to HVACR,” Stevens said. “We look forward to seeing these innovators in the marketplace in the coming year, and in-person on the Show floor in 2022.”

The 2022 AHR Expo Innovation Award Winners and finalists were selected in 10 industry categories, including building automation, cooling, heating, indoor air quality, plumbing, refrigeration, software, sustainable solutions (formerly green building), tools and instruments, and ventilation.

The winners, with their products described in the words of AHR Expo, are:

BUILDING AUTOMATION

Winner: iSMA CONTROLLI S.p.A., iSMA-B-MAC36NL Hybrid IoT Controller, powered by Niagara Framework, Booth C969 Innovation: The iSMA-B-MAC36NL master application controller family provides an all-in-one solution for mini-BMS. Created visualization can be displayed and controlled via HDMI output and two USB ports that enable connection of a mouse/keyboard or dedicated touch for the HMI panel. No PC, additional licenses, or additional costs are required. As MAC controllers are based on the Niagara Framework, it enables the integration of almost any existing protocol on the building network. The onboard M-Bus port, 2 ethernet ports, and the RS485 port can be integrated with just one device. Finally, the controller has an onboard dip and rotary switches that can be used as a part of the application. All of the features of the controller are managed by dedicated modules in Niagara Framework to accelerate the installation process and thus reduce labor costs.

Finalists in this category include: BrainBox AI, BrainBox AI; CUBE USA, CUBE Edge IoT.

COOLING

Winner: Danfoss, Danfoss Turbocor® VTCA400 Compressor, Booth C3906 Innovation: The new VTCA400 from Danfoss offers improvements on traditional centrifugal compressor designs that are large in physical size and footprint, which ultimately lead to higher cost and space constraints for the end user. The VTCA400 solves this problem by using a patent-pending hybrid compression design that uses a combination of mixed flow and radial impellers, enabling high-performance and a compact footprint. In this design, the first-stage impeller uses a mixed flow impeller with both axial and radial components while the second-stage impeller uses a radial design. The hybrid compression design allows for a compressor footprint that is half the physical size and weight of a conventional radial-only design. It also maintains high efficiency levels — a 10% improvement in full load efficiency and 30% improvement in IPLV above ASHRAE 90.1-2019 minimums, when considering a three (3) compressor, 1200-Ton system.

Finalists in this category include: Copeland Compressors and Condensing Units / Emerson, Copeland™ oil-free centrifugal compressor; Teqtoniq GmbH, Teqtoniq TRC150 Oil-Free Centrifugal Compressor.

HEATING

Winner: Carrier, Infinity® 24 Heat Pump with Greenspeed® Intelligence, Booth C1310 Innovation: The Infinity® 24 Heat Pump with Greenspeed® Intelligence is Carrier’s highest-efficiency and most advanced heat pump with up to 24 SEER and 13 HSPF for premium energy savings, extremely quiet performance and premium comfort features. The unique, variable-speed compressor of this unit allows it to adapt its output to the needs of the home with infinite adjustments between 25% and 100% capacity. The heat pump offers excellent humidity control and is capable of removing up to 400% more moisture than standard systems. Based on Carrier testing, all data was run with the systems cycling once they met the assumed home load. The assumed load at AHAM conditions (80/70, 80) is the capacity of the variable-speed running continuously in dehumidification mode. The difficult conditions load was determined by a Wrightsoft® load calculation for a home in Florida at 69 OD 72/63 ID. This condition was provided by a customer in Florida as “worst case.”

Finalists in this category include: HVAC Manufacturing and Technology Inc., SpaceGain Air Handling Units; Addison, FrostShield Defrost-Free Heat Pumps.

INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Winner: Antrum, AntrumX™ IAQ Facilities Monitoring System, Booth C1071 Innovation: AntrumX is a patented centralized sensing technology. AntrumX monitors IAQ for 32 spaces from a single location, using one sensor for every 16 rooms. Consolidating one centralized sensor for multiple spaces increases sensor accessibility while ensuring better overall control. Centralized sensing ensures better overall control because the data from 16 spaces comes from a single source, allowing building managers to optimize their ventilation strategy, and save energy without sacrificing IAQ. Additionally, the AntrumX has the ability to transport air without moving parts. Leveraging the building’s pressure differential between supply and exhaust, AntrumX is able to move air samples from each space to the Sensor Pack without adding energy to the system. The Sensor Pack also monitors multiple data points across multiple rooms. Using over-the-air software updates and a state-of-the-art hardware design, the Sensor Pack can be customized to sense what’s required today and be easily exchanged or updated as requirements change over the life of the building.

Finalists in this category include: LG Electronics USA, Inc., LG Split Rooftop DOAS (Dedicated Outdoor Air System) with Energy Recovery Wheel; TZOA, HAVEN IAQ.

PLUMBING

Winner: Franklin Electric / Little Giant, Inline SpecPAK, Multi-Pump Pressure Boosting System, Booth C4334 Innovation: With only 14.5 inches in depth, its unique smaller footprint makes the Franklin Electric Inline 1100 SpecPAK Pressure Boosting System small enough to be hung in a small utility closet, or wall-hung to preserve critical floor space. The system’s Inline 1100 constant pressure pumps are quiet, compact, self-contained, and versatile. Powered by water-cooled motors, it delivers quieter operation versus traditional air-cooled motors. The self-contained design delivers a “plug and play” solution that is part of a complete package revolving around easy installation, operation, and durability. The ability to expand is a foundational and distinctive benefit. Both the suction and discharge headers are sized to accommodate the flow rate from the maximum speed of four pumps. Quick and easy disconnects to the main panel allow customers to disconnect each pump individually with minimal system disruption.

Finalists in this category include: Lochinvar, LLC, Lochinvar Commercial Heat Pump Water Heaters; Towle Whitney LLC, GEN-5 Platform.

REFRIGERATION

Winner: ebm-papst Inc., AxiEco 630-910 Axial Fan, Booth C3324 Innovation: The AxiEco 630-910 incorporates new impeller geometry with a rotating diffuser and optimized blade design in order to reach a low noise level and high-efficiency. The steep air performance curve provides a pressure increase of more than 700 Pa, which is extraordinary for axial fans. With a maximum air flow of up to 30,000 m³/h, the AxiEco 630-910 covers a wide range of different applications, especially those where high-efficiency and high back pressure are key. The integrated commutation electronics, with an active PFC (power factor correction) as an option, enables the fan to be used in applications with low harmonics requirements, without any external filtering measures.

Finalists in this category include: Copeland Compressors and Condensing Units / Emerson, Copeland™ horizontal variable speed scroll compressor for refrigeration (1 to 4 HP); and Johnson Controls, Inc., ZS series horizontal scroll compressors with R290 and variable speed compatibility.

SOFTWARE

Winner: Bluon, Inc., Bluon Support Platform, Booth C6617 Innovation: The Bluon Support Platform is a mobile application that becomes a centralized hub for HVAC technicians. Bluon was built for technicians, by technicians, and provides detailed system information, just-in-time training, best practices and 24/7 live tech support. The app’s most important function is its ability to make the lives of technicians easier by providing a single, trustworthy source of detailed HVAC system information, along with live tech support when needed in the field. The main features of the free app include: a comprehensive unit database of 40,000 HVAC model numbers, spanning 75+ brands, with 75,000+ original manuals, troubleshooting guides, wiring diagrams, and technical specifications; best practices known as “pro-hacks” for a wide-range of situations; easy-to-use calculators for SH/SC, airflow, pressure setpoints, TXV sizing, etc.; HVAC training videos and tools that techs can use on the job; a revolutionary HVAC forum that gets techs the info they need when they need it; 24/7 live tech support; and a replacement parts identification tool cross-referenced by model numbers and compatible part numbers.

Finalists in this category include: CoolAutomation, Service Provision App; Interplay Learning, SkillMill™.

SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS (formerly Green Building)

Winner: Enginuity Power Systems Inc, E/ONE Home Power System, Booth N7435 Innovation: Enginuity’s E/ONE Home Power System is a modern rethinking of a classic combined heat and power system. Using clean and plentiful natural gas, the E/ONE produces both electricity and heat for homes or businesses. Since the E/ONE is capable of making more power than the home or business requires, the additional power can be sold back to the grid, generating income for the E/ONE’s owner. In addition, the E/ONE leverages the reliability of the natural gas distribution network to replace conventional backup generators. E/ONE easily produces all the electricity needed to operate homes or businesses; therefore, the periodic blackouts, such as those recently seen in Texas and California, will not affect the product’s ability to function.

Finalists in this category include: Caleffi Hydronic Solutions, Commercial domestic hot water (DHW) recirculation systems combine energy efficiency and water conservation; Danfoss, Danfoss Turbocor® TGS380 Compressor.

TOOLS & INSTRUMENTS

Winner: Fluke Corporation, Fluke 378 FC Non-Contact Voltage True-rms AC/DC Clamp Meter with iFlex, Booth C2737 Innovation: The Fluke 378 FC true-rms clamp meter uses FieldSense technology to make testing faster and safer, all without contacting a live conductor. The meter measures accurate voltage and current measurements through the clamp jaw. It works by clipping the black test lead to any electrical ground and putting the clamp jaw around the conductor, which results in reliable, accurate voltage and current values on the display. The 378 FC clamp meter includes a unique PQ function that senses power quality issues automatically. When making FieldSense measurements, the 378 FC will detect and display power quality issues, relating to current, voltage, power factor or any combination of the three. This allows for quick determination if an upstream supply problem exists, or if there is a downstream equipment problem.

Finalists in this category include: Climatech International S.A., F-100 Cordless Stud Welder Machine; RIDGID / Emerson, RIDGID® PCS-500 Pipe Saw.

VENTILATION

Winner: Aldes, InspirAIR® Fresh, Booth C2734 Innovation: The InspirAIR® Fresh contains new innovative design features. A newly developed counterflow enthalpic core and unique fan scrolls ensure 75% sensible recovery efficiency at 32 degrees F, as tested to the new CSA 439 standard, required as of October 2020. Occupants can also expect to get ample fresh filtered air due to variable-speed EC motors that adjust speed to changes in pressure due to stack effect and filter loading. The InspirAIR® Fresh is designed to provide optimal fresh air, regardless of filter type. Currently, ERVs are rated for use with a basic filter, and when using a MERV13 or HEPA filter, the airflow is reduced significantly.

Finalists in this category include: Carrier, Carrier Aero® 39M with ECM Direct Drive Plenum Fans; LG Electronics USA, Inc., LG Split Compact DOAS (Dedicated Outdoor Air System).

“It’s always exciting to follow along as these products and services come to life in the marketplace,” Stevens said. “What’s more, is to see others work to keep pace with innovation and develop new solutions. We are thrilled to be back in-person and headed to Las Vegas for a return to business. We hope you’ll join us and these winners in action on the Show floor before they hit the market.”

Funds raised from the entry fees of the Innovation Awards competition will be donated to a Vegas-area charitable cause, AHR Expo said. Registration for the 2022 AHR Expo is free until January 30, 2021, and can be completed on ahrexpo.com.

AMCA initiates work on Standard 340

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Illinois, 18 October 2021: Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) International Inc. is seeking volunteers to serve on the technical committee for a new AMCA Standard: AMCA Standard 340 – Laboratory Method of Sound Testing of Large-Diameter Ceiling Fans.

Making the announcement through a Press release, AMCA said the standard will develop a method of sound testing for large-diameter ceiling fans (LDCF), sometimes referred to as High Volume Low Speed, or HVLS, fans. The method would allow for the third-party certification of sound data in a manner that is cost-effective and produces accurate, repeatable results, and to provide standardized design data for the application of LDCF in occupied spaces, AMCA added.

​Currently, each LDCF manufacturer uses a different method of test, AMCA said. Existing sound test standards require acoustical testing chambers that are cost-prohibitive due to the large size of LDCF – up to 24 feet in diameter, AMCA said. A method of test is needed to provide consistent, accurate and comparable sound performance data for designers and end-users, AMCA added.

Committee members would be expected to participate in reviewing the standard and resolving any comments received, AMCA said, adding that meetings will be held virtually by conference call.

According to AMCA, stakeholders for the Standard include manufacturers of LDCF, building design engineers and architects, end-users, testing labs of LDCF, and trade associations and professional societies within the HVAC industry.​

AMCA invited those interested in volunteering to click here and complete and submit the form by the close of business on November 17. For more information, it encouraged those interested to contact Shruti Kohli-Bhargava, Manager, Publications & Standards at shrutik@amca.org.

STULZ, Mirus, ebm-papst to host webinar on harmonic mitigation in data centres

FREDERICK, Maryland, 26 September 2021: STULZ, Mirus International and ebm-papst will be conducting part 2 of a e-discussion on harmonic mitigation in data centres, STULZ said through a Press release. The webinar is on September 28, the company added.

Dave Meadows

To improve energy efficiencies in today’s modern custom air handlers, highly efficient electronically commutated (EC) fans are often incorporated for air movement, STULZ said. This is because the fan systems can improve efficiencies over conventional AC motors equipped with variable frequency drives (VFDs) by 30% or more, it said. An EC fan incorporates a brushless DC permanent magnet motor (BLDC) controlled by an integrated rectifier, inverter and smart electronics.

Tony Hoevenaars

BLDC motors, with efficiencies greater than 90%, provide a more effective ventilation system, so that ‘free cooling’ becomes more easily achievable, which contributes to the energy savings potential, it said. Also, air distribution can be improved with multiple fan arrays allowing upstream or downstream components, such as filters or heat exchangers, to receive a more even airflow, thereby improving air filtering and heat transfer efficiency, it added.

In striving towards reliable and efficient systems, one significant factor sometimes overlooked is electrical harmonic distortion, STULZ said. One of the few things common with AC/VSD and EC fan systems is that they are both harmonic generating, non-linear loads, it said.

Joe Landrette

Without proper harmonic mitigation, non-linear loads can distort the AC power distribution and possibly expose a mission-critical facility to electrical issues, such as overheating distribution equipment and failure of sensitive equipment connected to the same electrical bus, it added.

The speakers include Dave Meadows, Director of Technology, STULZ USA; Tony Hoevenaars, President and CEO, Mirus International; and Joe Landrette, Director, VAC & Data Centers and Digital Solutions, ebm-papst. According to STULZ, the webinar, scheduled for a 2pm (Eastern Time, US and Canada) start, will be useful to electrical engineers, mechanical engineers and end-users.

New global study supports healthy buildings as a critical public health strategy

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida, 9 September 2021: For the first time on a global scale, new research has found that healthy buildings with enhanced ventilation can improve the cognitive function and health of occupants, suggesting that ventilation and filtration are pre-eminent healthy building strategies, Carrier Global Corporation said through a Press release. Primary support for the study came from Carrier.

The study, COGfx Study 3: Global Buildings, was led by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as part of the renowned COGfx Study series, which examines the impact of indoor air quality on how people think and feel, Carrier said.

The latest study supports the prior studies’ lab and US findings and further supports that indoor air quality is not only good for people’s health and safety, it’s good for the bottom line, as well – through increased productivity, fewer sick days and better cognitive function, Carrier said.

“As more people move toward returning to offices, schools and recreational activities, the health, safety and intelligence of indoor environments have come into greater focus,” said Dave Gitlin, Chairman & CEO, Carrier. “The COGfx Study continues to demonstrate that proper ventilation and filtration of indoor environments plays an important role across the globe in fostering a proactive health strategy. At Carrier, we are focused on delivering innovative solutions and services that positively impact the health, productivity and cognitive performance of occupants of all buildings.”

The COGfx Study 3: Global Buildings examined the impact of indoor air quality on the cognitive function of office workers across six countries – China, India, Mexico, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The research found that cognitive function declines as the levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and carbon dioxide (CO2) increase, Carrier said, referencing the study. Higher CO2 can be an indicator of poor ventilation in buildings, the company added.

Importantly, mechanical ventilation, such as an HVAC system with efficient filtration, can help to protect building occupants from the negative cognitive effects of PM2.5 and CO2, Carrier said. In addition to acute impacts on cognitive function, reducing exposure to PM2.5 is associated with many other health benefits, including reductions in cardiovascular disease, asthma attacks and premature death.

While the research focused on office employees in commercial buildings, the takeaways are applicable for all indoor environments, Carrier said, adding that as a company it offers numerous products and services that optimize indoor air quality, including a suite of advanced solutions through Carrier’s Healthy Buildings Program that serves key verticals including, healthcare, hospitality, education, retail and marine.

This latest research builds on previous COGfx studies that demonstrated better thinking and better health can be found inside healthier buildings. The first study found cognitive function test scores doubled when study participants were in simulated green building environments with enhanced ventilation as opposed to conventional building environments. The COGfx Study 2 examined real-world building environments in the United Stayes and showed that employees in green-certified buildings showed 26% higher cognitive function test scores and 30% fewer sick building symptoms versus buildings that were not green-certified.

According to Carrier, the COGfx Study 3 can be found at www.theCOGfxStudy.com.

‘Clean up indoor air, or else expect COVID to surge’

TROY, New York, 21 August 2021: An air quality engineer warned that the COVID-19 pandemic won’t end until Americans clean up the indoor air.

Jeremy McDonald

“With variants on the rise, all the talk this summer has been about vaccines,” said Jeremy McDonald, Vice President at New York-based firm, Guth DeConzo Consulting. “Now we’re hearing about masks again, which feels like a step back for most of us. But when it comes to preventing the spread of airborne viruses, like COVID-19, we also have to improve the quality of the air in our indoor spaces. As the seasons change, it seems like we’re going back to old, tired strategies that haven’t gotten us out of this mess. It’s time to listen to the engineers: It’s all about the air.”

Mc Donald on July 26 published an essay, titled ‘Moving Beyond COVID-19: It’s Time to Look at the Air We Breathe’, in which he argued that President Joe Biden’s ‘American Jobs Plan’ must include improvements to the indoor air quality (IAQ) infrastructure, if Americans are to finally beat the COVID-19 pandemic and improve defenses against future pandemics and common day-to-day air quality maladies. Toward the end of July, COVID-19 cases began to surge in parts of the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its mask guidance to once again recommend that Americans wear masks indoors, even if vaccinated.

McDonald encouraged improvements to ventilation and the use of high-performance air filters and other air purification technologies, where appropriate. Buildings that have deferred maintenance and investment in modern HVAC may require more complicated and expensive solutions, he said.

“Although some buildings may require an expensive investment, we need to weigh this against the cost of our health and well-being,” McDonald wrote in his essay. “Certainly, when considering our health, fixing ‘sick’ buildings is a much better choice than fixing ‘sick’ people.”

Yet, McDonald said, there are plenty of low-cost or no-cost solutions that can drastically improve IAQ, such as cracking a window, which reduces the intensity and quantity of virus particles and their ability to spread to more people, using air purification technologies, and simply ensuring that buildings meet the spirit of building code requirements for minimal fresh air for buildings.

Saying that there is a historical precedent for this common sense strategy, McDonald noted in his essay: “In response to the Pandemic of 1918, when more than 20,000 New Yorkers died, ventilation was seen as one of the key attributes to protect residents from the devastation of the pandemic. Back then, New York City officials dictated that building heating systems were to be designed and sized to operate with all the windows open, since it was recognized that ventilation was key to purge the virus from indoor spaces. If it worked 100 years ago, it will work today.”

One of the main challenges in getting people to pay more attention to poor indoor air quality is that the problem is invisible, an issue McDonald commented on in an original cartoon he commissioned to get his point across. In the first panel of the cartoon, two fish swim in a bowl. One fish says, “I think the poor quality of the water is making us sick.” The other fish asks, “What’s water?” In the second panel, two office workers and an HVAC engineer stand near the same fishbowl. “Glad to be done with masks, sanitizers and social distancing forever!” says one office worker. “If we don’t improve our air quality in our buildings, we will keep getting sick in the future,” the engineer chimes in. “The air looks good to me,” says the other office worker. Beside her, one of the fish in the bowl is floating upside down with Xs for eyes, indicating it has died. The caption below the cartoon reads, “We don’t know who discovered water, but we’re pretty sure it wasn’t a fish,” which is a modern proverb attributed to various sources. That saying, McDonald asserted, sums up our own troubled relationship to air quality – because air is so fundamental to our existence, most of us don’t even think about it. But HVAC engineers think about air every day, all day, and it’s time to listen to them in the fight against airborne illness, he added.

“My frustration, which motivates me to write and speak out on the issue of air quality, is that our leaders are not getting it, and they aren’t listening to engineers,” McDonald said. “But the public health officials aren’t really talking about indoor air quality either, so a lot of politicians probably don’t want to go against the narrative.”

McDonald said that some of the anti-vaccine sentiments may stem from incomplete messaging that does not address indoor air quality. “Some of the resistance to masks and vaccines might be because people know in the back of their mind there’s something missing from the common messaging that is ringing hollow 18 months into this pandemic,” McDonald said. “We are constantly hearing, ‘Wash your hands, wear a mask and socially distance, where possible. We need to add simple, yet time-tested, ventilation strategies to our messaging, which we all know implicitly makes sense to folks from all political persuasions.” Perhaps with improved messaging from our leaders and initiatives to fix our broken HVAC systems, we can truly address this pandemic without arguing about the viability of masking and vaccines, he added.

McDonald said he is clear that vaccines are a key tool in beating this pandemic. But, without addressing the fundamental issue of indoor air quality, he said, we may be putting a “BAND-AID” on the current problem, missing out on the opportunity to improve public health for the long term.

AHRI to participate in The Big 5 Dubai

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 17 August 2021: AHRI announced its participation in The Big 5 International Building and Construction Show, online from August 22 to November 17, and in-person from September 12 to 15 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The show features nine specialised events, three high-level summits, 70 free industry talks, and more, AHRI highlighted.

AHRI said it will be available at Stand 4A191 in Hall 4, which will be open from 10am to 6pm, GST. It added that it was open to discussing its turnkey solutions for the regulatory and environmental issues most relevant to HVACR businesses and the wider industry. It added that it was keen on learning about the challenges HVACR industry players face in these areas, and on discussing solutions.

AHRI added that it would provide its AHRI MENA USB Toolkit, a comprehensive guide to the AHRI standards, certification, and other programs relevant to the region, to visitors.

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

Chillventa launches new Web site

Nuremberg, Germany, 2 August 2021: Following the Chillventa eSpecial 2020, and after four years without an in-person gathering, the exhibition for refrigeration, air conditioning, ventilation and heat pump technology will run from October 11 to 13 at the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg, the organisers said.

The Chillventa CONGRESS, will take place on October 10, the organisers said, adding that exhibitors can register for the event immediately. The organisers said they have launched a new Web site, which offers an improved user experience and provides even more focused information.

Chillventa, the organisers said, will offer opportunities for networking in person and view innovations through live demonstrations. The planned trade fora, Chillventa CONGRESS and supporting programme will spotlight issues like energy performance, contributing to the energy revolution, combined cooling and heating and the cooling of data centres, the organisers said. The event will also look at topics like the circular economy and the cold chain in the pharmaceutical sector.

“We are preparing to finally see our exhibition halls back in action again and to welcoming the international refrigeration, AC, ventilation and heat pump community in person to Nuremberg,” said Daniela Heinkel, Director of Chillventa at NürnbergMesse. “We are sure that the kind of platform offered by Chillventa is now more in demand than ever and are confident that it will build on its successful 2018 round.”

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.

ASHRAE urged those interested in attending to visit ashrae.org/BuildPerform2021 and ashrae.org/2021lowdownshowdown.

 

‘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.

Eurovent Certita Certification launches its new website

PARIS, France, 30 June 2021: Eurovent Certita Certification launched a new version of its website, available at www.eurovent-certification.com, the organisation said through a Press release.

According to Eurovent, the new website was designed to provide a better user experience to a wider audience – comprising consultants, technical design offices, architects and end-users, among others – with a quick and easy access to certified data.

According to Eurovent, the website has the following new features:

  • An online search engine for third-party certified products, components and systems in the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration fields with an easy access to certified data by:
    • product families,
    • brands,
    • performances
  • Editorial contents related to the following topics:
    • Indoor air quality and Ventilation
    • Thermal Comfort
    • Heat Pumps
    • Refrigeration
  • Online configurators allowing to find the best certified product families and product types, according to visitor needs
  • Content available in the following nine languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, Arabic and Chinese.

ASHRAE introduces 2021-22 President, officers and directors

ATLANTA, Georgia, 30 June 2021: ASHRAE introduced its 2021-22 Society President, executive committee officers and directors. Mick Schwedler, Application Engineer at Trane, has assumed office as President, ASHRAE said through a Press release.

Mick Schwedler

During his inaugural presidential address, Schwedler announced the new Society theme will be ‘Personal Growth. Global Impact. Feed the Roots’. The theme, ASHRAE said, explores the Society’s expansive root system from its founding, through its extraordinary global growth and impact to the built-environment. Three sets of roots were established to help members grow – member-to-member connections, grassroots chapters and regions, and technology, ASHRAE said.

“This Society Year, we will examine how ASHRAE cultivates its deep, widespread, and strong roots to collectively provide global benefits today as well as for future generations,” Schwedler said. “Most importantly, we ask for your active participation in helping someone else grow.”

According to ASHRAE, the -elected officers who will serve one-year terms are:

  • President-Elect: Farooq Mehboob, P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, Principal Consultant, S. Mehboob & Company Consulting Engineers, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Treasurer: Ginger Scoggins, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, Principal, Engineered Designs Inc., Cary, North Carolina
  • Vice President: Don Brandt, CEM, Life Member ASHRAE, Instructor, Phoenix, Arizona
  • Vice President: Dunstan Macauley III, Member ASHRAE, Director of Mechanical Engineering, Setty & Associates, Rockdale, Maryland
  • Vice President: Sarah Maston P.E., BCxP, Member ASHRAE, President, Green Footprints Commissioning, Inc., Hudson, Massachusetts
  • Vice President: Tim McGinn, P.Eng., HBDP, Member ASHRAE, Principal, McGinn Technical Services, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

ASHRAE introduced its newest Directors and Regional Chairs who will serve three-year terms from 2021-24:

  • Region I Director and Regional Chair: Steven Sill, Plant Superintendent, New York State Department OPWDD, Sterling, New York
  • Region II Director and Regional Chair: Ronald Gagnon, President, Concept-R, Sorel-Tracy Quebec City, Canada
  • Region III Director and Regional Chair: Mark Tome, P.E., Development Engineer, Sitelogiq, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Region XI Director and Regional Chair: N. Eileen Jensen, P.E., Mechanical Engineer, Bonneville Power Administration, Vancouver, Washington
  • Region-at-Large Director and Regional Chair: Richie Mittal, Managing Director, Overdrive Engineering Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, India 

ASHRAE also introduced its newest Directors-at-Large (DALs):

  • Dru Crawley, Fellow/Director, Building Performance Research, Bentley Systems Inc., Washington, D.C.
  • Art Giesler, Director of Technical Sales, PermAlert ESP, Colleyville, Texas
  • Kishor Khankari, Ph.D., President, AnSight LLC., Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Heather Platt Gulledge, P.E., Senior Project Manager, Dewberry, Summerfield, North Carolina (Alternate Director-at-Large)

Eurovent, FAIAR sign MoU

BRUSSELS, BOGOTÁ, 23 June 2021: Eurovent and the Federation of Ibero-American Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Associations (FAIAR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, underlining their commitment to greater harmonisation and stronger ties between Europe and Latin America, Eurovent said through a Press release.

In the framework of the Memorandum, Eurovent said, the two organisations will collaborate on standards development, codes of good practice and networking events, among others. Eurovent and FAIAR will have their first high-level coordination meeting still this year to identify concrete opportunities for joint action, Eurovent said.

Raul Corredera Haener, President, Eurovent, said: “In order to raise and harmonise industry standards worldwide, Eurovent’s ambition is to strengthen its international partnerships with like-minded associations. FAIAR has proven to be such a partner, and we look forward to working together with our colleagues from Latin America much more closely in the future to bring new opportunities to our industry.”

Odete de Almeida, President, FAIAR, said: “To achieve FAIAR objectives, we understand the importance of integration of related associations of any territorial scope, in order to provide mutual collaboration and exchange experiences in the professional field, which benefit the partners.”

Eurovent said the two organisations have agreed to work together to promote energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, safe and reliable HVACR technologies based on common principles. The HVACR sector, it added, has an important role to play in the welfare of society and in the fight against climate change. The two regional associations, it further added, aim to avoid disjointed regional approaches to these questions, which would turn opportunities for growth and innovation into market barriers.

HMS launches new IR-based air conditioning interface

HALMS, Sweden, 17 June 2021: HMS Networks has launched an IR-based Intesis AC interface, which the company said enables integration of any air conditioning unit, regardless of brand, into Modbus or BACnet building automation systems.

Saying that HVAC systems are usually the largest consumers of energy in a building, HMS said it is crucial for building owners to monitor and control these systems to save costs and energy. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it increasingly important to find new ways of installing and using AC units, as ventilation and “clean air” have become a major concern, the company said. The air conditioning market is growing fast with new brands and different types of AC units constantly emerging, the company said. This, it added, makes it challenging for building owners to integrate AC-units into their specific Building Management System (BMS).

The Intesis offering, the company said, includes the most comprehensive portfolio of AC interfaces on the market, enabling monitoring and control of air conditioning units from any home or building automation system. The portfolio, it claimed, is now further strengthened through the launch of a universal IR-based Intesis AC interface for integrating AC units to Modbus- or BACnet-based automation systems. The new interface connects to the AC unit via the IR link, which is already used by most AC units to communicate with their remote control, it said. The Intesis IR-based AC Interface is already compatible with more than 100 IR remote controllers and their associated AC units, it added.

The new AC interface solution, the company said, is configured using the Intesis MAPS tool, which brings many advantages for the system integrator. With a project-based configuration, all the interfaces installed can be configured in a single MAPS template, making it easy to copy device configurations and set up new projects, it said. Thanks to the diagnostics function, it added, the commissioning process and any post-installation assistance is also simplified.

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.

The Big 5 Construct Egypt returns in 2021

CAIRO, Egypt, 7 June 2021: The third edition of The Big 5 Construct Egypt will take place from June 26 to 29 at the Cairo International Convention Centre (CICC), to facilitate business opportunities in Egypt’s growing construction project market, dmg events, the organiser said through a Press release.

Making the announcement through a Press conference, dmg said Egypt is the third largest construction market in the MENA region, and that activity remains a bright spot for the Egyptian economy with a pipeline of known and un-awarded projects worth USD 354.8 billion in the country*.

Khaled Abbas

Present at the press conference was Khaled Abbas, Deputy Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities for National Projects; Matt Denton, President, dmg events; Mohamed El Dahshoury, CEO, Hassan Allam Construction (HAC)’ Heike Harmgart, Managing Director, Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Region, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Mohamed Tarek, Area Managing Director of North Africa for Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC).

dmg said powerful face-to-face connections between industry stakeholders will be significant for the sector’s sustained development. It is more important than ever for us to offer a safe environment for the community to come together, where they can boost business activities, rebuild partnerships and apply lessons learnt to future projects all in one place, dmg said. To that end, in addition to offering vital trading opportunities this year, The Big 5 Construct Egypt will launch new high-level features focused on strategic industry development and innovation, making it an unmissable business event for the construction sector in the wake of Covid-19 disruption, it added.

The event will launch The Big 5 Egypt Impact Awards, which dmg described as designed to recognise the businesses and people driving innovation in Egypt’s industry, in addition to The Big 5 Egypt Leadership Conference, a three-day event scheduled to gather regional ministers and international leaders to explore the construction sector’s contribution towards economic growth and diversification in Egypt.

Harmgart, who is set to speak at the conference, said: “The Big 5 Egypt Leadership Conference is a great opportunity for policy makers, financial institutions and investors to discuss the priorities for Egypt and to promote sustainable green infrastructure and construction sectors.”

Mohamed El Dahshoury

Beyond the conference, the event also will offer free-to-attend, CPD-certified talks and the exhibition area, which dmg said, will gather hundreds of leading brands from more than 15 countries, such as Canada, Germany, Greece, Russia, Italy, UAE and Saudi Arabia, to name but a few. Heavyweights signed up to exhibit include the likes of Hassan Allam Holding, Orascom Construction, El Soadaa, ASGC, Hanimex, Al Zamil, Al Ahram, Wellbond and Al Amal, dmg said.

Speaking on the upcoming exhibition, El Dahshoury said: “The Big 5 Construct Egypt represents a great place for business leaders to discuss, sign agreements and present investment opportunities, at a time when infrastructure projects play a decisive role in the economic recovery, not only in Egypt but around the world.”

Eurovent, Eurovent Middle East and Eurovent Certita Certification to host webinar on global air filtration standard

BRUSSELS, DUBAI, PARIS, 19 May 2021: Eurovent, in cooperation with Eurovent Middle East and Eurovent Certita Certification, will host a webinar on June 9 with the aim of outlining the importance of adherence to the latest standards in air conditioning and ventilation. Making the announcement through a Press release, Eurovent said special focus will be placed on the application of the newest air filtration standard, ISO 16890, which has replaced EN 779 and other international standards in recent years. The virtual event, it added, is tailor-made for Africa, Middle East, India and Southeast Asia.

According to Eurovent, it will address the following topics:

  • ISO 16890: The global air filtration standard
  • Eurovent 4/23: Guidance for the selection of ISO 16890-rated air filter classes for general ventilation applications
  • Energy efficiency and filter certification

According to Eurovent, presentations will lead to a panel discussion and a dedicated Q&A session.

Marc Schmidt, Chairman, Eurovent Product Group – ‘Air Filters’ (PG-FIL), and one of the key speakers of the webinar, by way of underlining the importance of the transition to ISO 16890, said: “This standard has been developed to increase the awareness on Indoor Air Quality related to particulate matter suspended in the air and supports the World Health Organization’s fight in reducing illnesses related to smallest particle sizes. It is essential for the HVAC engineering community around the world to be aware of this standard and to understand its application.”

Eurovent said registration to the event is free of charge. It urged those interested in attending to register at via this link.

DriSteem releases Buyer’s Guide

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minnesota, 16 May 2021: Dri-Steem, manufacturer of humidification, evaporative cooling and water treatment products, released a buyer’s guide that focuses on humidification for laboratories, the company said through a Press release.

“This new buyer’s guide is written specifically for laboratory facilities personnel,” said Jennifer Montville, Director of Marketing, DriSteem. “Careful control of relative humidity levels in labs generates more accurate test results, prevents contamination, and promotes a healthier work environment. DriSteem has been designing and building world-class humidification equipment for more than 50 years and is committed to helping facilities use those products to optimize their businesses.”

According to the company, its humidification systems are made to fit each unique application, whether it is ensuring the success of critical research, preserving fragile and valuable materials and instrumentation, or protecting the health and wellbeing of building occupants. DriSteem said its mission is to support healthy environments – studies show that ideal room relative humidity (RH) is 40-60%.

Systemair Group announces changes in management team

SKINNSKATTEBERG, Sweden, 12 May 2021:Bjørn-Osvald Skandsen, Managing Director, Systemair Norway, has joined as member of Systemair Group Management, starting May 12, Systemair Group said through a Press release.

According to Systemair Group, Skandsen has many years of experience in the ventilation industry and in Systemair. Before re-joining Systemair in March 2018 as Managing Director, he was holding a director’s positions in GK Inneklima – a technical ventilation contractor in Norway. Even earlier in his professional life, from 2000 to 2006, he had headed the Systemair Group’s technical support department and domestic sales in Sweden. Skandsen holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA in brand management. He currently serves as board member of VKE, which is an organisation for ventilation and cooling companies in Norway.

“Bjørn-Osvald is an enthusiastic and loyal business leader, with a strong passion for new technology and modern trade,” said Roland Kasper, CEO, Systemair. “I am convinced he will be a good asset to the management of Systemair. He will take a special responsibility for our heating division Frico – an area where he has good knowledge and previous experience.”

ASHRAE publishes updated health care facility ventilation standard

ATLANTA, Georgia, 11 May 2021: ASHRAE has released an updated edition of ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170, Ventilation of Health Care FacilitiesMaking the announcement through a Press release, ASHRAE said the standard offers guidance, regulation and mandates to designers of health care facilities.

The 2021 edition, ASHRAE said, delivers critical guidance for designers and operators of these front-line facilities and incorporates 17 addenda to the 2017 edition of the standard.

According to ASHRAE, changes include:

  • Expanded requirements to allow airborne infectious isolation room exhaust discharge to general exhaust under certain conditions
  • Revised scope, with improved guidance on thermal comfort conditions
  • Extensive modifications to address the Outpatient and Residential sections
  • Extensive revisions to air filtration requirements
  • Addition of new columns in the ventilation tables to prescribe filtration requirement and designate unoccupied turndown
  • Expanded guidance on separation distance requirements for varied intake and exhaust arrangements, coordinating with related ASHRAE Standard 62.1 data
  • Improved guidance related to behavioral and mental health

ASHRAE supports USGBC IAQ schools survey and report

ATLANTA, Georgia, 29 April 2021: With technical support from ASHRAE, the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) published a new report on indoor air quality (IAQ) measures that schools have taken in response to the pandemic, ASHRAE said through a Press release.

The report, titled Preparation in the Pandemic: How Schools Implemented Air Quality Measures to Protect Occupants from COVID-19”, presents the survey responses of school districts representing more than 4,000 schools serving over 2.5 million students in 24 states, on the protocols and operations plans implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“Maintaining proper ventilation and good indoor air quality are vital in keeping school buildings healthy and operating as energy efficiently as possible,” said 2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E. Gulledge III. “This report provides a wide-scale, foundational framework to school leaders and lawmakers alike towards the implementation of new building design guidelines and to advance health and sustainability goals, while instilling confidence in the places where people learn.”

According to ASHRAE, the report is the only known national view of air quality measures implemented in schools during the pandemic. It highlights what school districts have prioritized, which actions they have taken, how they have made decisions and what the consequences have been. The results of the survey show that schools have implemented some protective measures to improve IAQ, prioritizing ventilation and filtration to reduce the transmission of the virus, ASHRAE said. However, school districts still have unmet needs and face numerous challenges related to costs and outdated building infrastructure, ASHRAE added.

“Indoor air quality continues to be a critical concern as more teachers and students are returning to the classroom,” said Anisa Heming, Director of the Center for Green Schools, USGBC. “Increasing clean air circulation for our teachers and students is vital to promoting public health and is a key green building strategy for school buildings. Our aim with this report is to inform policymakers and nonprofits that support our schools of the challenges that our education institutions face in combatting the spread of COVID-19, particularly given the deficient state of many school buildings across the country.”

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • The most-frequently-cited challenge to implementing protective air quality measures at schools was that school buildings were not designed to support the strategies that were being recommended.
  • School districts that have been able to act have leaned heavily on their mechanical systems, such as increasing air supply through HVAC systems or upgrading filters to implement protective air quality measures for students and teachers.
  • Only two-thirds of respondents were regularly monitoring IAQ before the pandemic, indicating that providing time, staff and funding for regular monitoring and data collection has not been a priority for many districts in the past.
  • Respondents want to continue the measures implemented during the pandemic, citing student and teacher health. Seventy per cent of school districts plan to continue some or all of the strategies they have implemented.

“As schools re-open and develop health and safety plans to mitigate airborne transmission of COVID-19, many are prioritizing and upgrading current HVAC systems to provide the highest indoor air quality for building occupants,” said Corey Metzger, Lead, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force Schools Team. “We know that improved indoor air quality has a positive impact on student performance and general well-being, and I’m hopeful that more schools will consider and implement the guidance provided by ASHRAE.”

Carel launches pCOe

BRUGINE, Padua, Italy, 22 April 2021: Carel said it has widened its range of I/O expansions in the first part of 2021 with the development of a new digital input expansion board. I/O expansions are modules that can be added to a typical air conditioning application, to increase the number of inputs and outputs available on the controller and, consequently, optimise the flexibility and modularity of the solutions, the company explained through a Press release for the purpose of making the announcement of the launch.

Carel said one of the most common uses of the digital input expansion board involves ventilation sections comprising several fans with electronic motors; in this case, the speed of the individual devices needs to be monitored in order to check their operating status and act on the other fans accordingly, if one of them fails. Carel said it has for many years now offered all of the tools needed to support large systems, such as air-handling units or dry coolers, in which the fans are equipped with electronics that communicate via Modbus®, making it possible to directly monitor their operating status.

However, units that are smaller in size and capacity have simpler and more economical fans that do not feature serial communication and provide a pulse signal based on the rotation speed, which can be read by fast digital inputs, Carel said. This is the basis for the development of its new digital input expansion board, which the company described as an ideal solution for all cases where numerous digital inputs – including fast inputs up to 500 Hz – need to be read, however, while limiting the total number of I/Os and space required, adding only those that are needed.

One typical example involves so-called “in row units” used for cooling data centres. The highly compact units do not require complex device control architecture or specific sensors for their operation, Carel said. These feature a single ventilation section with at least eight fans in parallel, which need to be monitored individually. In this case, reading the signal is a simple and effective way to verify operation, as well as being a more economical solution than installing expensive air flow-rate sensors, Carel said.

The new expansion board, Carel said, features a high number of digital inputs to ensure maximum flexibility in different applications. This is essential on units where the main controller features a limited number of inputs and outputs, while multiple digital inputs need to be connected, for example to detect alarms or various signals.

The entire range of I/O expansions, Carel said, can be integrated into solutions based on the CAREL pCO and c.pCO programmable controller platforms, or into architecture using different controllers.

AHRI, others petition EPA on HFC phase-down rule

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 13 April 2021: The Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration institute (AHRI) today joined more than 35 other industry and environmental organizations in petitioning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeking uniform national standards for stationary air conditioning and commercial refrigeration equipment in the transition to climate-friendly refrigerants under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act. If promulgated, these standards will result in an additional half billion tons of CO2 reduction, over and above what already is projected to be achieved by implementation of the AIM Act, AHRI said through a Press release.

The federal standards sought by the AHRI petition align with similar standards already in place in nine states. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) submitted similar petitions under the AIM Act, AHRI pointed out.

For new residential and light-commercial central air conditioning equipment, the petition, AHRI said, seeks a regulation requiring that equipment manufacturers use refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP) of 750 or less in equipment made after January 1, 2025, with the exception of variable refrigerant flow (VRF) equipment, whose deadline would be January 1, 2026. These transition dates would align the country with the dates adopted in December 2020 by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and nine additional Climate Alliance states, AHRI said.

For commercial refrigeration and chiller equipment, the petition seeks the GWP limits and transition dates according to the table below:

Through these petitions, AHRI said, a broad variety of stakeholders, including itself, hope to demonstrate that sufficient consensus already exists and that a regular notice and comment rulemaking would adequately represent all material interests, thereby allowing the agency to forego the negotiated rulemaking process it must consider – but is not required to undertake – for such petitions, pursuant to the AIM Act.

AHRI said its petition emphasizes that as a general matter, “the U.S. HVACR industry already is proceeding with the requested transition date as its goal; granting this petition provides order and structure to the market and streamlines industry preparation”.

The transition dates contained in its petition, AHRI said, allow “sufficient time for careful planning and preparation, both to avoid excessive costs that can unduly burden consumers, and to ensure all safety and other associated standards can be met”, according to the petition. “For example, contractors and technicians must receive appropriate training, state and local building codes must be updated and changed, and supply chains and distribution networks must be modified,” AHRI said.

“While AHRI has long believed that an earlier transition would not allow enough time for manufacturers to prepare, we have been equally clear that a later transition date would put long-term compliance with the AIM Act at risk,” said Stephen Yurek, AHRI President & CEO. “Aligning these dates also reduces costs for consumers and ensures long-term availability of energy-, environment-, and life-saving refrigerants for climate control and for the cold chain for food, vaccines, and other medicines.”

AHRI, the U.S. Department of Energy, CARB and other stakeholders have invested more than USD 7 million in research into alternative refrigerants in preparation for this transition, AHRI said, These more climate-friendly alternatives, it added, are in use today in Europe, Australia, Japan, Thailand and in more than 90% of new passenger vehicles currently sold in the United States.

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.

Camfil expands production in Taiwan

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, 29 March 2021: Camfil has commenced operation at its new plant in Tainan, Taiwan, which it said will contribute in a circular systematic way to benefit the business and the environment. Making the announcement through a Press release, Camfil said the new facility, with over 4,000 square metres in area, has started production and will create new employment opportunities and contribute directly towards Camfil’s mission for a sustainable future.

According to Camfil, the factory will act as a hub for molecular and particle filtration, focusing on supporting the growing semiconductor, life science and turbomachinery industry; and by producing locally, it will help reduce shipping time from other facilities located in Asia. The plant is well equipped with the latest technology and operational capability to adapt the green process to elaborate the Camfil sustainability promises to the customers and the environment, the company said. By using its technology, it said, it expects to reduce shipping costs, promote local manufacturing and reduce waste handling. It added that its manufacturing process will have a reduced environmental impact, as the facility will contribute to reducing waste generation for customers by adopting a reuse/recycle approach for many filter components.

During the opening ceremony, Bengt G Carlsson, representative of The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, was present and took the stage to highlight the benefits of this sustainable initiative and how it will shape the future of the air filtration market and leading towards reduced waste generation.

James Lin, Managing Director, Camfil Taiwan, said: “Camfil is thrilled to announce the start of our air filtration facility that will directly contribute to our commitment to sustainability and promote reduced waste generation through recycling and reusing. We believe that this kind of initiative in manufacturing and operations can be important drivers in the sustainable development of our process and the environment.”

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/.

Rubber World Industry launches AED 90mn HVAC production unit

DUBAI, UAE, 21 March 2021: Rubber World Industry, which manufactures and supplies HVAC and MEP products and accessories in the UAE, has launched ‘United Air-Conditioning’, a specialised company with an investment of AED 90 million (approximately USD 25 million), which includes a production plant in Al Jurf industrial area, Ajman, to meet what it described as a growing demand for its environmentally friendly products. Rubber World made the announcement through a Press release.

The new manufacturing unit, spanning over 10,000 square metres, is part of the company’s expansion plans backed by the rising demand for the company’s cooling, heating and now coronavirus-related products, Rubber World said through the Press release. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said it saw a sharp increase in health and environment-related products, such as disinfectant chambers, HVAC filters, air cleaners, optimised HVAC products, and configured rubber insulation and ducts to limit the spread of the virus.

Muzammil Shaikhani, Managing Director, Rubber World Industry, while attributing the new milestone to the company’s customers, said: “I am grateful to our local and international buyers, who have put a strong trust in us, which kept our growth not only intact but rising. In addition, during the pandemic, Rubber World thrived rather than survived and launched United Air Conditioning to cater to the increasing needs of its customers. Our R&D quickly responded to the new demand for health-related products that people and businesses need to maintain health [and] safety and [to] contain the spread of coronavirus and its variants, and started manufacturing this line, which helped doubled our growth and created the need for a specialized production line.”

The new entity, United Air Conditioning will complement Rubber World in manufacturing heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, cooling, mechanical, electrical and plumbing products, parts and accessories for commercial and residential use in the UAE, Rubber World said. United Air Conditioning will focus on health and environment-related products, modified HVAC and MEP parts, such as rubber insulation and ducting lines, which have become essential in the current environment, Rubber World said. It will help in reducing emissions, improve energy efficiency and contribute to the climate change agenda, it added. Rubber World has two units in the UAE and one in Sri Lanka. The company said it plans to set up six new production facilities in South Asia and the Middle East in the next three years to cater to the needs of its growing customer base.

Rubber World said that United Air-Conditioning has helped it increase its range of products, such as cooler tubes and sheets, which are CFC-free and are designed for exposed pipe area, as commonly seen in supermarkets, hospitals and schools. Another key area of demand for United Air-Conditioning’s products is all types of flexible ducts and ducting accessories with a broad range of adhesive tapes, Rubber World said. Rubber World said it currently serves several customers, including Leminar Air Conditioning Company, Century Mechanical Systems Factory, Gulf-O-Flex AC Spare Parts Trading, Gmark Middle East FZC and Al Emadi Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Equipment.

‘The cost of ignoring much-needed IAQ upgrades is far greater’

Amid the celebratory news of the roll-out of vaccination programs around the globe, we must all remember one of the biggest lessons that COVID-19 taught the world: Buildings – as they are designed, constructed, and operated and maintained – play a significant role in the health and wellbeing of not only their occupants but also the people and communities around them. These include our private commercial office buildings, residential buildings of all sizes, hospitals, entertainment venues, schools, public buildings and more.

We have also learned that infrastructure inequities in cities, states and countries across the globe – including those in transportation, healthcare, agriculture and housing – matter and have a big role to play when it comes to effectively managing a health crisis. And sadly, we learned that much like climate change, a pandemic will also disproportionately affect those with the least amount of resources.

The successful development of a vaccine for COVID-19 does not mean that we do not need to develop new practices when designing the places, spaces and communities around us. Why? Because vaccines are only one component of how we will recover and move forward. This is not a once-in-a-generation crisis. As a global community of sustainability and health professionals, we must embrace the lessons learned about virus transmission and apply them to ensure a permanent recovery and resiliency plan. History cannot repeat itself; the cost to humanity is too great.

This is a point in time when leadership matters. This is a point in time for deep inflection. And this is a point in time for purposeful and forward-looking action. We now have the opportunity – and a moral obligation – to completely re-think how our buildings and spaces should be designed, constructed, operated and maintained. We must turn our buildings and spaces into places that positively contribute to our health and wellbeing. That means that we have to take a fresh and honest look at the inequities in the communities around us and build back better with an eye toward achieving resiliency and equity. Multiple studies, including one just released by Oxfam, have found that the world’s richest people have made significant financial gains during COVID-19, while the world’s poor have fallen even further behind.

At USGBC and GBCI, we believe that better buildings and communities equal better lives. That’s why we are dedicated to continuing to invest in LEED, the world’s most widely used and trusted green building certification program. The success of LEED around the world is a testament to its effectiveness. As of this writing, we have more than 100,600 registered and certified LEED commercial projects, nearly two million registered and certified LEED residential units, projects in 181 countries and territories and nearly 205,000 LEED APs implementing the rating system around the world. Much like LEED’s commitment to environmental sustainability, human health and wellness strategies have been a foundation of the LEED program since its beginning, with over 70% of the rating system’s credits tying back both directly and indirectly to human health and wellness.

Mahesh Ramanujam

We know that addressing the systemic challenges revealed by COVID-19 won’t happen overnight and without significant planning. And while we know that addressing these systemic needs will not come without significant investment, we also know that healthy people, in healthy places and spaces, equal a healthy and robust global economy – and that the price we will pay for not addressing these needs will be far greater than addressing them now.

We can start by focusing our efforts on one of the primary targets of preventing virus spread: Indoor air quality (IAQ). Public health data has shown that buildings are safer to occupy when their mechanical systems, especially HVAC systems, promote good ventilation, air scrubbing and purification and enhanced outside air exchange. While these enhancements alone cannot eliminate the risk of virus transmission, they are a critical component of a larger mitigation strategy. Upgrades to outdated and inefficient HVAC systems in existing buildings across the world have been delayed for decades owing to cost concerns. However, the cost of ignoring these needed upgrades is far greater, as the pandemic has demonstrated in human lives lost, shuttered economies and schools and overburdened healthcare delivery platforms. Now is the time to invest in a resilient future and build back the trust between people and the buildings around them.

One way that USGBC and GBCI have strived to build back trust between people and the buildings around them is through our LEED Safety First Pilot Credit, related to managing IAQ as a component of our LEED green building rating system. The pilot credit builds on existing IAQ credits in LEED and helps building owners and managers ensure that IAQ systems are operating as designed. It also helps determine temporary adjustments to ventilation that may minimize the spread of COVID-19.

The pandemic has also called attention to the condition of schools. For well over a decade, USGBC has been advocating for a major and long overdue global investment in school buildings. We have already seen some of the adverse effects of schools being shut down and students being forced to learn from home for nearly a year, and the value placed on schools and in-person education is as high as ever. Now is the time to leverage that goodwill and invest in these facilities on a global scale, so that such disruptions never happen again. We need to ensure that every school across the globe has proper ventilation, air purification equipment, carbon dioxide monitors and proper outdoor air exchange in order to reduce the risk of spreading airborne pathogens as a key component in their back-to-school engagement strategy. Every student needs to have a chance to thrive, and a key component of that is a healthy school building.

These investments alone will not create a strong, healthy and resilient planet. We also need to look at cities and their infrastructures. Despite predictions of an exodus of people leaving dense urban population centers for the suburbs, we did not see the global abandonment of cities during the pandemic. Not everyone has the resources to simply pack up and leave, and many rely on the resources that cities provide. And many of those that did leave their cities simply relocated to other cities.

Cities that set themselves apart through substantial investments in sustainability, health and wellness, resiliency and equity will be the leaders of tomorrow. People by their very nature need to feel confident, comfortable and safe with the community around them. That’s why it is critical to provide a framework that communicates the importance of investing in urban infrastructure.

I am proud of the 114 cities and communities across the globe who have certified through the LEED for Cities and Communities rating systems, including the City of Dubai and the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) project. These rating systems revolutionize the way cities and communities are planned, developed and operated, in order to improve their overall sustainability and quality of life. LEED for Cities and Communities is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and encompasses social, economic and environmental performance indicators and strategies with a clear, data-driven means of benchmarking and communicating progress. The rating system also addresses pandemic-specific challenges with two LEED Safety First Pilot Credits, one addressing the preparedness for pandemic planning and the other ensuring social equity in pandemic planning.

At some point, we will enter a post-pandemic world. However, leaders must not then forget the lessons learned from COVID-19. We must remain focused on letting science, data and the health and wellness of future generations drive each and every decision that we make. Better buildings and communities do lead to better and healthier lives. Let’s make that our collective legacy.

Mahesh Ramanujam is President and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). He may be contacted at mr@usgbc.org.

Eurovent publishes recommendation on air leakages

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 17 February 2021: The Eurovent Product Group, ‘Air Handling Units’ (PG-AHU) published the first edition of Eurovent Recommendation 6/15 – Air Leakages in Air-Handling Units, Eurovent said through a Press release. The Recommendation presents guidelines for improving Indoor Air Quality and correcting the performance of air-handling units due to internal leakages.

Eurovent Recommendation 6/15 is the first comprehensive publication that gives an in-depth overview of the issue of air leakages in Air Handling Units, including:

  • Explanation of leakage types
  • Reference to related standards and regulations
  • Clarification of leakage indicators
  • Typical leakage rates for various design options
  • Guidance on design, commissioning and maintenance for eliminating or minimising leakages
  • Correction of Air-handling unit performance due to internal leakages

Igor Sikonczyk, Secretary of the Eurovent PG-AHU, said: “The fundamental role of mechanical ventilation is to renew polluted indoor air with fresh outdoor air, in order to provide a safe and healthy indoor environment. One of the problems in achieving this objective is air leakage occurring in the duct network and in the air-handling units. Our new Recommendation sets out the principles for good practices to limit air leakages to ultimately improve Indoor Air Quality and reduce energy consumption.”

According to Eurovent, Recommendation 6/15 is addressed to all ventilation and air conditioning professionals, including system planners, installers and manufacturers. The association added that It is available for download free of charge at the Eurovent Document Web Shop.

ASHRAE 2021 Annual Conference to be held virtually

ATLANTA, Georgia, 17 February 2021: ASHRAE said its 2021 Annual Conference,scheduled to be held in Phoenix, will now take place virtually.

Making the announcement through a Press release, ASHRAE said the event (2021 ASHRAE Virtual Annual Conference ) is designed to provide the latest insights from industry-leading expert in the built environment. It will provide focused, actionable and innovative content to support HVACR and building systems professionals, it added.

“Our pivot to virtual conferences over the past year has been met with great success,” said 2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E Gulledge III. “Engagement from members and industry professionals from around the world in these events is a testament to the quality of our conferences and the importance of staying connected within the ASHRAE community. The 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Annual Conference will be a wonderful forum to share fresh ideas and unique approaches to tackle the challenges of our rapidly changing world. I look to extending our digital connection, and I anticipate an immense level of interest and participation.”

According to ASHRAE, conference attendees can expect:

  • Technical sessions from industry experts and thought leaders
  • Online networking and social opportunities
  • A chance for professionals to come together and connect with collaborators around the world
  • A keynote presentation, roundtable decisions and expanded learning opportunities
  • Updates and announcements from Society leaders

ASHRAE said additional information on the conference, including committee meetings and registration details, will be made available in the coming weeks. It recommended that those interested in the event could visitashrae.org/2021annual for more information.

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

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.

  1. 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

  1. 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.

ASHRAE announces nominees for 2021-22 officers, directors

ATLANTA, Georgia, 5 February 2021: The ASHRAE Nominating Committee has made nominations for officers and directors from a list recommended by individual members and from Chapters Regional Conferences, ASHRAE said through a Press release.

According to ASHRAE, the 2021-22 nominees are:

  • President-Elect: Farooq Mehboob
  • Treasurer: Ginger Scoggins
  • Vice Presidents: Don Brandt, Dunstan Macauley, Sarah Maston, Tim McGinn
  • Directors and Regional Chairs: Steven Sill (Region I), Ronald Gagnon (Region II), Mark Tome (Region III), Eileen Jensen (Region XI), Richie Mittal (Region-at-Large)
  • Directors-at-Large: Dru Crawley, Art Giesler, Kishor Khankari
  • Alternate Director-at-Large: Heather Platt Gulledge 

According to ASHRAE, its members will vote on the nominees via electronic ballot in May. The Society added that Mick Schwedler will serve as ASHRAE President for 2021-22.

ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force releases updated Building Readiness Guide

ATLANTA, Georgia, 02 February 2021: With the performance of many HVAC systems in buildings still being evaluated, the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force has updated its reopening guidance for HVAC systems to help mitigate the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, ASHRAE said through a Press release.

“The Building Readiness Guide includes additional information and clarifications to assist designers and commissioning providers in performing pre- or post-occupancy flush calculations to reduce the time and energy to clear spaces of contaminants between occupancy periods,” said Wade Conlan, Lead, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force Building Readiness team. “New information includes the theory behind the use of equivalent outdoor air supply, method for calculating the performance of filters and air cleaners in series, and filter droplet nuclei efficiency that help evaluate the systems’ ability to flush the building.”

According to ASHRAE, major updates to the building readiness guidance include the following:

  • Pre- or post-flushing strategy methodology: The strategy has been updated to include the use of filter droplet nuclei efficiency, which is the overall efficiency of filter, based on viable virus particle sizes in the air, to assist in determining the impact of the filter on the recirculated air on the equivalent outdoor air. This allows the filter efficiency as a function of particle size, using ASHRAE Standard 52.2 test results, to be estimated based on the expected size distribution of virus-containing particles in the air. This calculation is currently based on Influenza A data and will be updated as peer-reviewed research becomes available for the distribution of particle sizes that contain a viable SARS-CoV-2 virus. Additionally, a chart has been added to help determine the time to achieve 90%, 95% or 99% contaminant reduction, if the equivalent outdoor air changes per hour is known.
  • Flushing time calculator: There is now a link to a view-only Google Sheet that can be downloaded for use, to help determine the available equivalent outdoor air changes and time to perform the flush. This sheet is based on a typical mixed AHU with filters, cooling coil, with potential for in-AHU air cleaner (UVC is noted in the example), and in-room air cleaning devices. Provided efficiencies of MERV-rated filters are based on the performance of over 200 actual filters from MERV 4 through 16, but the tool also allows users to enter custom characteristics for specific filters.
  • The sheet also calculates the filter droplet nuclei efficiency, based on the cited research but allows a user to adjust the anticipated distribution of virus, as desired. It also allows specification of the zone (room) air distribution effectiveness from ASHRAE Standard 62.1 to account for the impact of the HVAC system air delivery method on the degree of mixing. Default calculations assume perfect mixing. Finally, the tool allows for the target air changes to be adjusted if an owner wants to achieve a different per cent removal in lieu of the recommended 95%. 
  • Heating season guidance: The guide now includes data to consider for heating of outdoor air and the potential impact on pre-heat coils in systems.
  • Adjustments to align with Core Recommendations: The Core Recommendations were released in January 2021, and this guidance document needed to be updated to ensure that the information provided aligned with the intent of those recommendations. This included minimum outdoor air supply and filter efficiency requirements and their role in an equivalent outdoor air supply-based risk mitigation strategy.

According to ASHRAE, the guidance still addresses the tactical commissioning and systems analysis needed to develop a Building Readiness Plan, increased filtration, air cleaning strategies, domestic and plumbing water systems, and overall improvements to a system’s ability to mitigate virus transmission.

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

Ashok Jha

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.

 

Oman 

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

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.”

UAE

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.”

ASHRAE releases core recommendations for reducing airborne infectious aerosol exposure

ATLANTA, Georgia, 14 January 2021: The ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force has released new guidance to address control of airborne infectious aerosol exposure and recommendations for communities of faith buildings, ASHRAE said through a Press release.

An infectious aerosol is a suspension in air of fine particles or droplets containing pathogens, such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which can cause infections when inhaled, ASHRAE said. They can be produced by breathing, talking, sneezing and other as well as by flushing toilets and by certain medical and dental procedures, it added.

ASHRAE’s Core Recommendations for Reducing Airborne Infectious Aerosol Exposure concisely summarize the main points found in the detailed guidance documents produced by the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force, it said. They are based on the concept that ventilation, filtration and air cleaners can be combined flexibly to achieve exposure reduction goals, subject to constraints that may include comfort, energy use and costs, it added.

“This guidance outlines a clear approach for lessening the risk of infectious aerosol exposure for building occupants that can be applied in a wide range of applications, from homes to offices, to mobile environments, such as vehicles and ships,” said William Bahnfleth, Chair, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force. “ASHRAE’s Core Recommendations are based on an equivalent clean air supply approach that allows the effects of filters, air cleaners, and other removal mechanisms to be added together to achieve an exposure reduction target.”

 According to ASHRAE, specific recommendations include the following:

  • Public health guidance
    • Follow all regulatory and statutory requirements and recommendations.
  • Ventilation, filtration, air cleaning 
    • Outdoor airflow rates guidance for ventilation, as specified by applicable codes and standards.
    • Recommendations on filters and air cleaners that achieve MERV 13 or better levels of performance.
    • The use of air cleaners.
    • Control options that provide desired exposure reduction while minimizing associated energy penalties.
    • Air distribution.
    • Promote the mixing of space air.
  • HVAC system operation
    • Maintain temperature and humidity design set points.
    • Maintain equivalent clean air supply required for design occupancy.
    • Operate systems for a time required to achieve three air changes of equivalent clean air supply.
    • Limit re-entry of contaminated air.
  • System commissioning
    • Verify that HVAC systems are functioning as designed.

 According to ASHRAE, the task force’s Communities of Faith Buildings guidance offers recommendations on conducting worship services under epidemic conditions. 

Rick Karg, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force member, said: “The intent of the Communities of Faith guidance is to offer those who operate and care for buildings used for worship a plan for implementing short- and long-term HVAC strategies to reduce the possibilities of transmission of the SARS-CoV2-2 virus. The document also helps communities move toward a new ‘normal’ operation after this public health emergency nears an end.”

According to ASHRAE, recommendations for Communities of Faith include the following:

  • Identify HVAC system characteristics. Compile and review operation and maintenance manuals and schedules.
  • Verify HVAC systems are well maintained and operating as intended. For maintenance, follow the requirements of ASHRAE Standard 180 – 2018, Standard Practice for the Inspection and Maintenance of Commercial HVAC Systems.
    • Consider PPE when maintaining HVAC systems, including filters, coils and drain pans.
  • Operate HVAC systems, if present, with system fan set to run continuously when building is occupied for services or cleaning.
  • Operate the system for a time required to achieve three equivalent air changes of outdoor air (effect of outdoor air, filtration and air cleaners) before the first daily occupancy and between occupied periods, if appropriate. Three equivalent air changes can be calculated using ASHRAE’s Building Readiness Guide.

 To view the complete ASHRAE Core Recommendations For Reducing Airborne Infectious Aerosol Exposure and Communities of Faith Building guidance, ASHRAE suggested visiting ashrae.org/COVID-19.

ASHRAE Learning Institute opens registration for Spring online courses

ATLANTA, Georgia, 8 January 2021: ASHRAE Learning Institute announced that registration is open for its 2021 Spring online instructor-led course series. The 16 online offerings, including eight new courses, run from January through June, the Institute said

 A new course, ‘Reopening Commercial Buildings: Evaluating Your HVAC System’s Readiness to Mitigate the Spread of SARS-CoV-2’, taking place on January 27, will expound the online ASHRAE COVID-19 details for reopening buildings and the Building Readiness Plan for HVAC systems, the Institute said. The course will help reiterate mitigation strategies available and understand specific buildings arrangements, the Institute added.

 The course, ‘Health Impacts of Indoor Air Extraction, Ventilation, and Filtration – Same or Different’, scheduled for February 17, the Institute said, will cover the future design of forced air ventilation systems and the most cost-effective HVAC operational changes and system modifications to improve existing indoor environments in reducing the spread of viruses.

 The course, ‘Hospital HVAC – Infection Mitigation, Comfort, Performance’, scheduled for February 23, will address the role of HVAC systems in helping to reduce Hospital Associated Infections (HAI), explaining airborne versus contact transmission, the Institute said. This course will describe the why and how filtration, air patterns, air changes, dilution, temperature, humidity, UV and pressurization in hospital HVAC can either help or hinder efforts to reduce HAI, the Institute added.

 According to the Institute, the following is the full schedule of online instructor-led course offerings:

January 26: COVID-19 and Buildings: Re-occupation after Lockdown

January 27: Reopening Commercial Buildings: Evaluating Your HVAC System’s Readiness to Mitigate the Spread of SARS-CoV-2

February 17: Health Impacts of Indoor Air Extraction, Ventilation, and Filtration – Same or Different?
February 23: Hospital HVAC – Infection Mitigation, Comfort, Performance
February 24: Evaluating Your HVAC System’s Readiness to Mitigate the Spread of SARS-CoV-2
March 2: Latest in High-Performance Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems
March 4: Humidity Control I: Design Tips and Traps
March 25: Save 40% by Complying with Standard 90.1-2019
April 6: Commercial Building Energy Audits – Part I
April 13: Commercial Building Energy Audits – Part II
April 20: Air-to-Air Energy Recovery Fundamentals
April 22: V in HVAC – What, Why, Where, How, and How Much
May 4: An Introduction to ASHRAE Existing Building Commissioning
May 11: Fundamentals of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) for Air and Surface Disinfection
May 20: Introduction to BACnet
June 1: Principles of Building Commissioning: ASHRAE Guideline 0 and Standard 202
June 8: Powering with Renewable Resources: Thermal Energy Storage

Kingspan Insulation launches product for external ductwork applications

DUBAI, UAE, 5 January 2021: Kingspan Insulation launched the KDuct, which the company described in a Press release as catering to external ductwork applications.

According to the company, the KDuct incorporates its pre-clad ductwork system, made of thermoset, fibre-free pre-insulated duct board with a heavy-duty outer jacket. The company described the product as ideal for external applications, plantrooms, risers, congested spaces and lightweight specifications. The KDuct, Kingspan claimed, offers high performance, rigid, closed-cell insulation core, manufactured with a blowing agent with zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP) and low Global Warming Potential (GWP). At the same time, it said, the panels are faced on both sides with an embossed aluminium foil. The new product line would provide ultra-strength and rigidness; cost-savings over traditional exterior ductwork; extra-low air leakage, which does not allow conditioned air to escape; and high-compressive strength, among several other benefits, the company said.

Sarmad Fakhri, Managing Director, Kingspan Insulation, said, “KDuct Ductwork system would help our customers to save extra cost and time due to its lightweight and single-fix properties.” Unlike the traditional approach to ductwork construction, which requires sections to be lagged with insulation, once installed, the KDuct panels are pre-insulated with a high-performance insulation core, the company said. This single-fix and lightweight design, the company added, reduces installation time and transfers the cost benefits to the building owners.

How to kill enveloped viruses in just 30 minutes

Poor ventilation in closed indoor environments is associated with increased transmission of respiratory infections. There have been numerous SARS-CoV-2 transmission events associated with closed spaces, including some from pre-symptomatic cases. The role of ventilation in preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission is not well-defined – that is, by preventing dispersal of infectious particles in small waterdrops to minimise the risk of transmission or preventing transfer of an infectious dose to susceptible individuals.

SARS-CoV-2 is thought to be primarily transmitted through large respiratory droplets; however, an increasing number of outbreak reports implicate the role of aerosols in SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks. Aerosols consist of small droplets and droplet nuclei, which remain in the air for longer than large droplets. Studies indicate that SARS-CoV-2 particles can remain infectious on various materials, such as air conditioning surfaces in air ducts and air handlers, as well as in aerosols in indoor environments, with the duration of infectivity depending on temperature and humidity.

While HVAC coatings are often the most cost-efficient insurance for the longevity of your air-handling system, there’s much more to them than just increasing your building systems’ lifespan. The rising demand for antimicrobial coatings was triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and tenants worried about their wellbeing from airborne diseases. In the same category, antimicrobial coatings can make a huge difference for indoor air quality and occupant safety. There are a number of HVAC coatings that drive energy savings, primarily desiccant-coatings.

Found on AHU heat exchangers, coils and in duct systems, they enable recovering heat and moisture, which then helps building owners to save on operational cost. Recent studies have uncovered an extreme antimicrobial effect of desiccant coating systems, in high relative humidity, as present in air conditioning systems. It appears the surfactants can break the exterior protein of a virus or bacteria strain. Once the protein is destroyed, the virus cannot attach to cells and transfer or alter human ribonucleic acid (RNA).

In many circumstances, once microbes have begun to proliferate on a painted surface, constant cleaning and disinfecting is required to keep growth under control, which is highly unwanted inside an air conditioning system. Recognising that the ability to clean constantly is unreasonable in most air conditioning systems, the best weapon against corrosion and microbial growth is an antimicrobial paint that prevents growth of, or eliminates, bacteria and viruses. Both the coating and the possible active ingredient should not produce any environmental, safety or health issues during application. Any off-gas from the film is unwanted, because ideally, the coating must be applied to air conditioning systems in operation without any concern of release of poisonous additives.

Antimicrobial efficacy based on silver ions

Generally, an antimicrobial surface contains an additive, like Agion, which inhibits the antimicrobial property that is composed primarily of silver ions, which have been proven in antimicrobial use throughout history. It incorporates silver ions inside a zeolite carrier, providing an area for these ions to exchange with other positively charged ions – often sodium – from the moisture in the environment.

Once exchanged, these now “free” silver ions are attracted to oppositely charged hydrogen ions, commonly found in most bacteria and microbes. The bacteria and microbes’ respiration and growth are now abruptly halted, since the hydrogen ions are no longer available. Silver based antimicrobial coatings contain a pesticide additive that evaporates slowly from the coating surface and raises questions on the durability of discharge. In Europe and North America, these coatings require a registration by the government authorities.

Antimicrobial efficacy based on desiccation

Enveloped viruses, like the H1N1 influenza virus, Corona (COVID-19) and bacteria have membranes of protein and enzymes to protect the infecting contents. The spreading of the viruses and bacteria in closed spaces and air conditioning systems is carried out by smaller aerosols. Alternative antimicrobial functionality is based on desiccation, a physical process to extract the moisture from the virus and bacteria particles. This approach may seem relatively primitive; however, it is extremely effective in slowing down or even preventing microbes from spreading and transmission. This method is similar to other physical treatments, such as UV irradiation, filtering and heating.

Desiccant coatings inactivate a wide variety of microbes that adhere to the surface through their hydrophilic surface properties. The antiviral functionality of the coating has been tested on the Phi6 virus, which is commonly used as surrogate for enveloped Corona viruses.

 

 

 

Studies

A recent study shows that a desiccant coating can have an extremely quick kill-rate of enveloped viruses after just 30 minutes.

Further studies have proven that strong antimicrobial working was additionally confirmed. Surface activity results in full kill-rates of > 99,99%, which were confirmed on the following micro-organism strains:

  • Salmonella
  • Legionella
  • E-Coli
  • MRSA
  • Klebsiella Pneumoniae

 

An important note should be added to this paper: No claim or assertion should be made that the antimicrobial properties in the coating will improve air quality or eliminate the threat of disease-causing microbes in the air supply system. A healthy indoor air system is highly dependent on a combination of design, maintenance and cleaning measurements that are incorporated in the air conditioning system and facility management procedures.

  1. Knibbs LD, Morawska L, Bell SC, Grzybowski P. Room ventilation and the risk of airborne infection transmission in 3 health care settings within a large teaching hospital. Am J Infect Control. 2011 Dec;39(10):866-72.
  2. Lu J, Gu J, Li K, Xu C, Su W, Lai Z, et al. COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with Air Conditioning in Restaurant, Guangzhou, China, 2020. Emerg Infect Dis. 2020 Apr 2;26(7).
  3. Rothe C, Schunk M, Sothmann P, Bretzel G, Froeschl G, Wallrauch C, et al. Transmission of 2019-nCoV Infection from an Asymptomatic Contact in Germany. N Engl J Med. 2020 Mar 5;382(10):970-1.
  4. World Health Organization (WHO). Natural Ventilation for Infection Control in Health-Care Settings. 2009 [updated 4 May 2020].
  5. Ong SWX, Tan YK, Chia PY, Lee TH, Ng OT, Wong MSY, et al. Air, surface environmental, and personal protective equipment contamination by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from a symptomatic patient. Jama. 2020;323(16):1610-2.
  6. Bahl P, Doolan C, de Silva C, Chughtai AA, Bourouiba L, MacIntyre CR. Airborne or droplet precautions for health workers treating COVID-19? The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2020.
  7. Dietz L, Horve PF, Coil DA, Fretz M, Eisen JA, Van Den Wymelenberg K. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID19) Pandemic: Built Environment Considerations To Reduce Transmission. mSystems. 2020 Apr 7;5(2):e00245-20.

8 Evaluation of Phi6 Persistence and Suitability as an Enveloped Virus Surrogate Aquino de Carvalho, Nathalia; Stachler, Elyse N.; Cimabue, Nicole; Bibby, Kyle Environmental Science & Technology (2017), 51 (15), 8692-8700CODEN: ESTHAG; ISSN:0013-936X. (American Chemical Society)

Recent outbreaks involving enveloped viruses, such as Ebola virus and SARS COVID-2, have raised questions regarding the persistence of enveloped viruses in the water environment. Efforts have been made to find enveloped virus surrogates due to

challenges investigating viruses that require biosafety-level 3 or 4 handling. In this study, the enveloped bacteriophage Phi6 was evaluated as a surrogate for enveloped waterborne viruses. The persistence of Phi6 was tested in aq. conditions chosen based on previously published viral persistence studies. Our results demonstrated that the predicted T90 (time for 90% inactivation) of Phi6 under the 12 evaluated conditions varied from 24 minutes to 117 days depending on temperature, biological activity, and aq. media compn. Phi6 persistence was then compared with persistence values from other enveloped viruses reported in the literature. The apparent suitability of Phi6 as an enveloped virus surrogate was dependent on the temperature and compn. of the media tested. Of evaluated viruses, 33%, including all conditions considered, had T90 values greater than the 95% confidence interval for Phi6. Ultimately, these results highlight the variability of enveloped virus persistence in the environment and the value of working with the virus of interest for environmental persistence studies.

  • The use of bacteriophages of the family Cystoviridae as surrogates for H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses in persistence and inactivation studies

Adcock, Noreen J.; Rice, Eugene W.; Sivaganesan, Mano; Brown, Justin D.; Stallknecht, David E.; Swayne, David E.

Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A: Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering (2009), 44 (13), 1362-1366CODEN: JATEF9; ISSN:1093-4529. (Taylor & Francis, Inc.)

Two bacteriophages, .vphi.6 and .vphi.8, were investigated as potential surrogates for H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in persistence and chlorine inactivation studies in water. In the persistence studies, .vphi.6 and .vphi.8 remained infectious at least as long as the H5N1 viruses at both 17 and 28 degrees C in fresh water, but results varied in salinated water. The bacteriophage .vphi.6 also exhibited a slightly higher chlorine resistance than that of the H5N1 viruses. Based upon these findings, the bacteriophages may have potential for use as surrogates in persistence and inactivation studies in fresh water.

  • Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Persistence and Disinfection of Human Coronaviruses and Their Viral Surrogates in Water and Wastewater, Andrea I. Silverman and Alexandria B. Boehm, April 2020
  • Determination of the Antiviral Activity of Water-Based Coating for Air Conditioning Applications against phi6 Bacteriophage using a Method Based on ISO 21702:2019, the laboratories of Industrial Microbiological Services Ltd at Pale Lane Hartley Wintney, Hants, RG27 8DH, UK. December 2020

The writer is with Aqua Aero Coatings and may be contacted at wouter@aquaaero.net

Biomimicry profiling reduces CO2 consumption

Kuenzelsau, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, 21 March 2019: Ziehl-Abegg said through a Press communiqué that it is further utilising biomimicry in a bid to bolster its efforts towards mitigating climate change. To further reduce CO2 consumption, the company said through the communiqué, the humpback whale served as the model for the latest composite material fan development, which also incorporates biomimicry features of owls and trees. This improves the carbon footprint equally in two ways – through a significant reduction in the material used as well lower energy consumption, when operating in climate control equipment and industrial ventilation systems.

Ziehl-Abegg, the communiqué said, is already at more than 70% peak efficiency with its centrifugal fans, so every opportunity for the optimisation of performance must be utilised. The new centrifugal impeller possesses features of three completely different approaches to Biomimicry: from both aerodynamics (ornithology) and hydrodynamics (marine biology) and biomechanics (trees), the communiqué said. Savings in material content and improved aerodynamics halve CO2 emissions associated with manufacturing, whilst maintaining the same ventilation performance, the communiqué added. Modern injection-moulding tools, each costing more than half a million euros, enable the company to implement the geometries, which have been optimised through the application of Biomimicry, the communiqué further added.

According to the communiqué, the trailing edges of the fan blades are modelled on the owl wing. “As the quietest bird of prey, the owl has already been used as a role model for several designs,” said Peter Fenkl, CEO. Serrated trailing edges of fans are now seen as a trademark of Ziehl-Abegg. In the new fan however, the design of the serrations was a little smoother, the communiqué said.

Evolution has optimised the flow efficiency of the humpback whale overall in such a way that, despite its body size, it is considered a very good and agile swimmer. If this had not been the case, it would also have been unable to make its long journeys through the world’s oceans without having to feed. The latest generation of centrifugal fans at Ziehl-Abegg is now benefitting from this knowledge of biomimicry, the communiqué said.

The developers at Ziehl-Abegg, the communiqué said, also drew inspiration from Professor Claus Mattheck. The “tree whisperer” or “tree pope”, “as the media call him, creates a bridge between nature and technology. The professor is, after all, a pioneer of the science of biomechanics. Trees are a prime example of optimum strength with minimum use of materials. The five blades of the centrifugal ZAbluefin fan, the communiqué said, merge into both the cover and back plate in exactly the same way as trees grow upwards – at a slight radius to the ground. This is scarcely visible with the naked eye, because the curves, which mimic a tree, are minimal. Nevertheless, these bionic approaches in the blade transition provide the same strength as heavy wings –  enabling the use of materials to be significantly reduced. Less material consumption in production also means a lower carbon footprint, the communiqué said.

According to the communiqué, the air flow in centrifugal fans hits the fan blades at different angles, depending on the volume flow. The whale has to overcome similar challenges when swimming in the sea – the movement of the fins causes their angular position to constantly change. If its pectoral fins were to be positioned at too steep an angle to the opposing current, strong turbulence would result in the water separating from the fins. “High flow losses and noise are characteristic features of strong turbulence,” said Dr Walter Angelis, Technical Director, Ziehl-Abegg. The design of the fins on a humpback whale has been optimised over millions of years. That’s why the leading edges of the whale fins contain golf ball-sized nodules (technical term: tubercle). This allows an animal weighing 25 to 30 tonnes to swim very quickly and nimbly using its long pectoral fins. “We recreated this aspect at the leading edge of the fan blades and implemented it in the form of a rippled surface,” Angelis said.

The flow engineers also took a closer look at the whale’s tail fin, the “fluke”, the communiqué said. The V-shaped contour of the tail fin section, the communiqué said, delays any potential flow separation ­– which enables the fan to be used for numerous pressure ranges. The latest generation of centrifugal fans at Ziehl-Abegg, the communiqué said, is now benefitting from this knowledge of biomimicry.

 

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