Back in April of last year, I wrote about a few sales engineers who were influential in my HVAC and business education that had passed on.

Recently, I was talking with one of this 21st-century generation of sales engineers, and she came up with a really great idea that follows the “It’s Our Turn to Lead, Mentor, & Share” theme from that April 2007 column. She is a graduate engineer with about a dozen years of HVAC design experience to go along with her current sales engineering career. One of her goals is to share with younger engineers, as well as with those older engineers who recognize they still need to learn, her experience based on the blending of design engineering and equipment capabilities. She keeps her lessons learned and tricks of the trade information in her “Carbone Cookbook” and, based on our discussion, is creating a new section titled “Design & Construction Checklists.”

For those who read my columns and are familiar with my penchant for checklists, you know my opinion on the power of checklist. When she mentioned she was working on expanding her Cookbook with her own library of checklists, she got my attention. Just imagine, if you are a design engineer or a design-builder, and a sales engineer comes into your office to assist in a chiller equipment selection, and this sales professional pulls up a series of electronic checklist documents on her laptop that offers the following.

HVAC Replacement/Phasing Considerations

  • When will be the optimum replacement period (e.g., winter season only)?
  • Have you considered how the old unit will be removed and the new equipment rigged in?
  • Are there isolation valves in place (and will they hold), or will a special shutdown be required to add them?
  • Is the equipment room up to code (particularly if it’s in the same room as the boiler equipment)?

Electrical Considerations

  • Is there adequate electrical power to serve the new equipment?
  • Have you considered the harmonic influence from the VSD?
  • Will there be a utility rebate for the new, high-efficient equipment?
  • Have you reviewed existing equipment logs to consider the current electrical draw?

Plumbing Considerations

  • Coordinate the optimum floor drain locations, and avoid the need to run drain piping across the floor (tripping hazard).
  • Can you even locate a new floor drain in an existing floor that isn’t pitched correctly for proper water flow to the new drain?
  • Coordinate the need for backflow preventer(s).
  • Have you consider a chemical treatment workstation along with an emergency eye-wash station?
  • Is there adequate gas pressure for the gas-fired equipment?

Structural Considerations

  • Do you really need a concrete inertia pad or spring isolators when the equipment is slab-on-grade?
  • Do you really need a concrete housekeeping pad under equipment that comes with steel rail base?
  • Have you considered seismic criteria when renovating an equipment room?
  • Have you consider requesting a 6-in. high concrete curb to be placed around floor openings when the chiller room is located above another floor, to help avoid equipment room water spills leaking down to the floor below?


Facility Management Considerations

  • Is there an existing PM workorder system in place?
  • Have you coordinated new PM workorders to be included in the existing workorder system?
  • Will you specify system flow diagram (ATC/FPT, TAB, etc.) to be laminated and posted in equipment room?
  • Have you consider “smart” sustainable software? (“Design & Construction Administration for the 21st Century,” ES magazine August 2006)

Other references that can be included in this Cookbook could be Amanda Parolise's “HVACR Designer Tips” checklists and a select few “Tomorrow’s Engineer” columns (e.g., September 2006, “Walking Through An Equipment Room”). And, no Cookbook is complete without sample PM workorders, a troubleshooting checklist, seasonal startup and shutdown, and of course, safety requirements associated with the sales engineer’s specific equipment.

Based on my conversation with this particular sales engineer, I can see this book being multiple volumes, with other Cookbooks created for each HVAC system (boilers, fans, etc.). With this kind of proactive engineering educating approach, I believe helping others in this industry may be in good hands with this new generation of sales engineers armed with their personalized, electronic Cookbooks. If you want to learn more about this concept, check out my podcast, titled “A Sales Engineer’s Cookbook.” ES

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