Jeff Seewald touched on the progress of home thermostats — and in particular, the Nest products that have done so well the last couple of years — when he sent me his latest installment on using tablets and new tech in engineering (look for it in March).
The U.S. Defense Department is pursuing energy efficiency and other measures to lower its energy bill and increase its energy security, officials told the U.S. House Armed Services Committee in late March. The department spends $4 billion a year on energy, Dorothy Robyn, deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, testified at the hearing on planned energy investments. DOD operates more than 300,000 buildings, which have an environmental footprint six times greater than the General Services Administration and three times larger than Walmart, Robyn said.
Retrofitting more than a half-million square feet of heavily used space for better life safety coverage is never simple. Peculiarities of building design and existing materials only made the task tougher for this project team as they sought to integrate NFPA and GSA requirements into a successful and safe solution.
Leaning on experience and data from various K-12 cities and projects, the author pursues some less conventional design approaches. They may revolve around radiant heating and/or cooling, but depending on school size and other factors, the smart use of heat recovery, DOAS, and improved central plants could also put a project on the HVAC honor roll.