This is a little bit out of left field, but I’m curious if any of our readers work for consulting firms who incorporate some community service or some variation on pro bono design work into their company’s culture.

We’re getting into that part of the year where you hear the warnings about leaving your pets in cars with the windows up, and it got me thinking about a variation on that problem. A healthy number of you may be dog and/or cat owners, and you may also know how many animals are not so lucky to have a good home. Shelters across the U.S. often face overcrowding problems, not to mention ongoing funding challenges, and many do not have the climate control that you might expect when you’re talking about tight quarters and a predominantly fur-covered clientele.

The effect of an adequate (or inadequate) HVAC system in these environments goes beyond simple thermal comfort. Decent ventilation and filtration for this particular application can be instrumental in minimizing the transmission of certain diseases, whose spread would compound the already significant task of finding new homes for these occupants. Other details such as attention to airflow patterns and radiant panels can have especially significant benefits in these particular settings as well.

So anyway, I’ve been rolling around an idea or two about how the HVAC industry might do some good for creatures in a tough situation (and the humans who look after them). Our sister publication, the ACHR News, ran a good piece a few years ago on a retrofit for a shelter in Iowa that featured a DOAS system, ERVs, and CO2-based sensors to help match the actual demand. I’m sure there are others, along with even more in need of decent systems. I’ve been wondering if there might be a partnership or two between the various parties, from manufacturer to designers to contractor and client, out there waiting to be struck.

If your firm ever takes on a project to benefit the community or might like this sort of opportunity (and the nice exposure that could come with it), drop me a note at



Did you catch last month’s online quiz on various engineering facts throughout the May issue? I hope so. This month’s batch of questions will test your reading (or your formidable inherent knowledge) on the topics of the:

  • Facility staffing consequences of using BAS to continuously monitor VAV boxes

  • The meaning of CHP - Spraying a noisy belt drive with soapy water and interpreting what you hear

  • The basis for old-school atrium smoke control systems - Behaviors of early BACnet systems So keep an eye out as you work through this month’s issue, and try your hand at earlier interactive quizzes while you’re there.



I’d like to congratulate columnist Dr. Stephanie Taylor for her latest stage role, leading a cross-discipline panel at the 2017 Harvard Healthcare Symposium at the end of May. The focus was on IAQ, and specifically indoor humidity strategy, in the ongoing fight against hospital-acquired infections (HAI). For more on that topic, dial up her recent ES webinar along those lines in our webinar archives.



Register for our free webinars, where registered users can also view any webinar from the last year on demand in our archive.


Kohler Webinar Series 2017

Presented by Julius Neudorfer
North American Access Technologies
Attendees can qualify for AIA or IACET CEU credits


June 8

“Advanced and Intelligent Back-Up Power Systems: Paralleling Generators for Redundancy and Capacity”


Future installments

October 12 / December 12




June 24-28

ASHRAE Annual Conference

Long Beach, CA

September 27-29

2017 ASHRAE Building Performance Analysis Conference