Featured Stories

Malfunction At The Museum

An air handling unit that hasn’t worked since, well, ever. Chillers that have to work more often as a result — and an extra chiller just to attack the affected zone. These were the obvious symptoms, but what was the cause?
January 2, 2014
One of my favorite stories is about when I fixed a poorly performing air handling system at a local art museum.
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VFD Serial Communications: Which Points Should I Use And Why?

The available LEED credits and most obvious energy-saving possibilities are one thing. The potential for a ripple effect of system-wide savings by deploying VFDs as part of better overall monitoring are another.
January 2, 2014
Variable frequency drives (VFDs) have become omnipresent in the building automation world.
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Connecting New Boilers To Old Pipes

Combustion air, ventilation, piping, expansion tanks … with these and other factors affecting performance and safety, the boiler swap is not exactly a plug-and-play situation.
January 2, 2014
Designing a commercial boiler replacement where you were not the original designer or installer might have some hidden dangers that could haunt you for years.
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20 Reasons Your Green Building May Not Have Green Indoor Air

A few are more familiar and worth a reminder, while some are pretty sneaky. Others may have gotten there before the first occupant. In any event, any “sustainable facility” can sustain IAQ damage without attention to these sorts of risks.
January 2, 2014
The word green conjures images of a lush, vibrant ecosystem that is full of healthy living things and fresh air.
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Tablet As Building Engineering Tool, Part 3: Commissioning

What to use for capturing the images and data you need?
January 2, 2014
In the previous installment on using your tablet to engineer buildings, we focused on design, touching upon apps used to sketch concepts, review drawings, and perform calculations.
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Commissioning

Controls Programming Versus Design

Don’t let a “copy and paste” control submittal lead to errors.
December 1, 2013
This column is a continuation of last month’s topic addressing the coordination that needs to be focused solely on HVAC controls during the construction phase of a project.
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Building Automation

DDC Or Pneumatic?

Energy savings isn’t the only factor when considering a controls retrofit.
December 1, 2013
Much of our work involves energy studies and retrofits to commercial buildings.
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Are There Hidden Problems In Your Hydronic Boiler Project?

Putting a new boiler in is a lot more complicated than just putting a new boiler in. You’re often taking ownership for any problem, real or potential, anywhere in the hydronics system.
December 1, 2013
Designing a commercial boiler replacement where you were not the original designer or installer might have some hidden dangers that could haunt you for years.
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Tablet As Building Engineering Tool, Part 2: Designing

Reviewing documents, sizing equipment and systems, and sketching on the go: got an app for that? Also, we compare tablet vs. phone and the advantages or worries that come with taking your tablet into imperfect field conditions. How do you use yours?
December 1, 2013
After a brief hiatus, we are resuming exploration of the tablet as engineering tool. In the first article, we examined the energy study and how the tablet can facilitate tasks such as annotating existing documents, taking notes, and storing and accessing documents.
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Commissioning

Construction Phase HVAC Controls Coordination

Don’t be the team that finishes the building and then wonders why nobody brought the airflow measuring station.
November 1, 2013
HVAC systems continue to be the most challenging part of a new construction project to get right the first time, and the most challenging parts of the HVAC systems are their controls. I believe there are two root causes.
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Multimedia

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ES Gallery: Snapshots & Systems

Check out highlights from projects featured in our magazine this year!
3/25/14 2:00 pm EST

Improving Cooling and PUE in Existing Data Centers

On-Demand This webinar will provide cost-effective practical tips and feasible retrofit solutions that can be implemented in operational data centers to address some cooling issues and improve energy efficiency.

Engineered Systems Magazine

ES July 2014 cover

2014 July

Check out the July 2014 issue of Engineered Systems, with features on chiller retrofits in health care facilities, building automation, and much more!

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Data Collection

Following Paul Ehrlich's BAS column, what describes your team's performance with data collection, normalization/storage, and analytics/reporting?
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Tomorrow's Environment Podcast

This series from longtime columnist and chronic forward-thinker Howard McKew covers a lot of ground -- from retrocommissioning to systems training, on toward checklists for drawings and tips for meeting minutes. Click HERE to be taken to the podcast page!

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