Featured Stories

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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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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