Featured Stories

Restoring The Low Limit For Indoor Relative Humidity

The research is consistent over the years, and the cost of low humidity continues to rise. Even our increasingly computer-oriented lifestyle exacerbates the problem.
By Gary L. Berlin
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Industry leaders realized hundreds of years ago that their processes and machines operate best when the indoor relative humidity is maintained at an optimum level for their process
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Problems Found In The Field: How Retrocommissioning Can Solve Them

The symptoms are familiar: hot and cold complaints, higher-than-expected costs, etc. Here’s a look at how the retrocommissioning process should work to tackle these and other developments for your facility.
By Scott Blackman, LEED AP and Michael Falkenstern, CxAP, LEED AP BD+C
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In the last few years, major cities throughout the country have passed new energy code requirements mandating that commercial buildings perform regular retrocommissioning audits.
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Biomass CHP Serves Ohio Veterans Well

Sure, it was an award-winning first biomass design for the VA. And yes, it’s a big efficiency improvement.
By Thomas Sucher
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Just as interesting, though, were the judicious choices along the way to maneuver tricky valve logistics, use CAD to pre-empt other problems, and occasionally recondition instead of replace. These moves reduced first cost, saved installation time, and freed up valuable floor space on top of the project’s long-term savings.
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Trust But Verify

After 40 years and other engineering studies, a large university building still suffered from humidity problems. Our intrepid author dug into the data and the dark corners of the building in pursuit of the culprit — or culprits?
By Douglas Lucht, P.E.
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Sebesta Blomberg was commissioned to study a humidity problem for a 400,000–sq-ft library at a university in the Midwest a few years ago.
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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?
By Douglas Lucht, P.E.
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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.
By Michael R. Olson
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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.
By Ray Wohlfarth
3 Comments
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.
By Dale Walsh, MS, CIH, LEED-AP BD+C
One Comment
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?
By Jeffrey Seewald, P.E,
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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.
By Rebecca Thatcher Ellis, P.E.
2 Comments
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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9/25/14 2:00 pm EDT

Test Anxiety? Learn How and When to Test Your Standby Generator

This webinar will discuss generator reliability, testing, and troubleshooting from a practical perspective and make recommendations for a comprehensive inspection and testing program.

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2014 September

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