When Miller Bonded Inc. (MBI) decided to design its new pipe fabrication facility in Albuquerque, NM, the HVAC mechanical contractor not only wanted to streamline production, it also wanted an energy-efficient building.
What is the difference between a typical BAS scenario and one that involves building analytics? And why did one library start to see its utility costs and trouble calls start to spiral upward? As you might imagine, the answers to these questions are related …
Since the early ’80s, building automation technology (BAS) have played an integral role in engineers’ ability to aid facility owners and operators in achieving operational efficiency, dependable comfort, and lower energy costs. However, despite significant capital investments, often times the full potential of these systems is not realized, resulting in less than optimal building performance.
Whether one calls it a commissioning action list, a master issues log, a deficiency list, a corrective action list, etc., every commissioning project includes a matrix of items needing attention by someone on the project team. This table is the responsibility of the commissioning professional to create, maintain, and share with the team.
When I got started in the HVAC business half a century ago, I was very fortunate to work for a small firm where I learned a lot about design engineering from some really knowledgeable and practical HVAC engineers. The business we were in was designing HVAC for hospitals, colleges, universities, research facilities, and museums. All of these facilities required very sophisticated central air systems, heating systems, and chilled water systems.
We’ve been working double time this month to produce not only the issue of ES before you now, but also the spring edition of Today’s Boiler. That is the official publication of the American Boiler Manufacturers Association, and it also gets a facelift as of this month, thanks to a redesign and the first phase of some editorial additions.
In the beginning, the goal is to enable the operations and maintenance staff to work with the system to give it the best chance to perform as designed. Later, the vision is a culture of continuous improvement that can withstand changes in technology and personnel. In between? Plenty of opportunity for thoughtful operations and standardized routines.
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.