Featured Stories

Less Capacity Is The Coolest

By Howard McKew, P.E., C.P.E.
One Comment
Sometimes, what seems like a need for more cooling capacity could be the need to take a hard look and fine-tune the existing chiller plant. With a hospital expansion coming up, the team on this UMass Memorial Health Care project avoided adding up to 120 tons of capacity with tactics that included attacking inefficiencies in piping, valves, cooling towers, and controls.
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Are We Unknowingly Wrong-Sizing Ducts?

By Ernie MacFerran
5 Comments
A small team led by an award-winning Florida engineer decided to test conventional wisdom about pressure loss, both in a straight run and in comparing supply and exhaust scenarios. Early returns suggest the data may be flowing in an unexpected fashion.
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Wireless Pneumatic Thermostats Deliver Smoother Upgrade

By Ron Wilkinson P.E., ASHRAE CPMP, LEED® AP
No Comments
Follow the engineer at a large hospital complex in Phoenix as he pursues less disruptive and less expensive ways to boost BAS performance and budget wellness, all in the name of patient comfort.
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Energy-Efficient Dehumidification In Health Care Facilities

By Jared Edwards, P.E., LEED® AP BD+C
No Comments
With a wide spectrum of specialized spaces and particular outside air requirements, a hospital’s en-ergy-efficiency efforts start when arranging which areas go where. From there, the author leaves no technology unturned — chilled beams, geothermal, DOAS, VRF, etc. — in evaluating which ap-proaches might best contribute proper ventilation and humidity in which environments, with an eye on minimizing facility energy consumption.
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The Importance Of Facility Air Balance

By Luke Facemyer
No Comments
Brush up on the environmental factors that can throw things out of, well, balance, and note how space pressure problems can create assorted complications.
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Commercial vs. Industrial Automation In Data Centers

By Sean Graham, P.E.
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Since data centers are atypical in several aspects, unique BMS approaches are required to optimize their control, monitoring, and operation. Learn why it is important to know the detailed pros and cons between commercial and industrial automation system hardware, software, and instrumentation as you consider the facility’s automation design and associated costs.
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Right Steps For Retrofits

By Kendra Tupper, P.E., LEED® BD+C, ASHRAE BEMP & HPDP
No Comments
Achieving deep energy savings is especially challenging when you’re faced with an existing structure with poor orientation, historic preservation requirements, and little space for renewables. The Byron Rogers Federal Office Building’s retrofit is scheduled to be completed in 2013; the post-renovation building is projected to consume less than half the energy it did before.
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A New Generation Of Smoke Detectors

By Fred J. Conforti
No Comments
Here, we depart from our occasional focus on controlling smoke, yielding the floor to a life safety veteran weighing in about a new development for detecting it. Some historical context around detector types and testing methods paves the way for an explanation of why the new approach may become a welcome option for many applications … if it catches on.
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Geothermal Heating And Cooling Options

By Christopher Qualls, P.E., CEM
No Comments

After reviewing basic design options, the next steps for potential geothermal designers are to challenge the common concerns and myths, study how different choices have different cost impacts, and be aware of the ways a good design can yield bad performance if the installation isn’t done well. Add the habit of turning a retrofit’s circumstances to your advantage, and this underground approach can rise above client expectations in short order.


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Up The Commercial Kitchen Ventilation Hood Type I Stack: No Problems Or Complaints

By John Clark, P.E.
One Comment
Leakage caused by modern cleaning techniques, evolving codes, increased airflow requirements ... kitchen ventilation design has become more complicated than the old sizing and design challenges. Of course, they’re still around, too. Grease is the word, so review these tips to keep it from popping up in the wrong places.
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