Use the phrase "high-performance building" and many owners and facility managers will immediately think, "paperwork-intensive, LEED-certified building" or "complex, high-tech building with a steep operating learning curve."
Say "energy modeling," and they may recall a building that just didn't live up to the energy-savings projections under conditions of actual use. Maybe it wasn't constructed as designed. Maybe water or cold air leaked into the building through windows, walls or somewhere else. Or maybe the building systems were a nightmare to operate and maintain.
All too often, these concerns are justified. But it doesn't have to be that way.
A high-performance building can be designed for both performance and practicality. It can be constructed to specifications and the results verified through building-envelope commissioning to make sure it is water- and air-tight.
CPI Contributes $50,000 to Development of SPFA Certification Program
The Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) Spray Foam Coalition contributed $50,000 toward completion of the SPFA Professional Certification Program in December. This funding is intended to offset considerable developmental costs SPFA incurred in 2012 while developing the program, and support efforts toward completion and roll-out in 2013. “SPFA’s board and staff knew this certification program was just something that needed to be done this year and went at it,” said Kurt Riesenberg, SPFA Executive Director. “We were carrying the entire funding of all the meetings, materials development, ANSI/ISO compliance and much more. This contribution from the SFC will make a big difference in our ability to complete and deliver a true quality service to the industry.”
SPFA Technical Director Presents at Building Science Experts' Session
Well-known building scientist and architect Joseph Lstiburek, Building Science Corp., held a two-day Fall Building Science Experts Session in Westford, Mass., in December. The first day of the event was 100% SPF focused. Many people from SPFA presented various information on SPF, and SPFA’s Technical Director Dr. Richard Duncan presented upon installation, health and safety, and other related information to this essential audience.
SPFA Hosts Pilot Session at SPF Professional Certification Program
Just following Thanksgiving, SPFA held a pilot delivery of the new SPF Professional Certification Program in Wisconsin, hosted by Gaco Western. It was a condensed offering of only the Assistant, Installer and Field Examiner curriculum and testing. Almost 90 exams were delivered covering all four levels of certification and the field examiner. While the materials and jump start on the testing certainly was beneficial for the participants, this session was also intended to help SPFA pressure-test the curriculum and the tests to be certain of the completeness, timing and functionality of the program. One additional pilot session will be delivered at Premium Spray Systems in Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 15-17, 2013, in final preparations for delivery at the SPFA Annual Convention and Expo in Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 12-15, 2013.
Space in Atlanta is extremely limited. Should you be interested in seeing if there is still room for you or your staff, please contact Kelly Marcavage at email@example.com.
Learn More about Grassroots Government Activities in Dallas
If you’re planning to attend ASHRAE’s Winter Conference in Dallas (January 26-30), take time to check out a couple of sessions, which should help to inform future efforts at the regional and chapter levels in the Society’s new Grassroots Government Activities paradigm.
As has been reported in several past issues of the Update, last summer, ASHRAE’s Board of Directors approved the creation of a new Society-level committee to address government actions beyond those which happen in Washington, D.C. (i.e., state, local, provincial, national [beyond North America]). With the Grassroots Government Activities Committee (GGAC) coming online in earnest at the Annual Meeting in Denver (June 22-26), it is crucial that members and chapters are made aware of how this programming is taking shape.
Here are two opportunities to learn more in Dallas:
The training session for the new Regional Vice Chairs for GGAC will take place January 27, from 9 a.m. to noon. This session will cover the scope of what GGAC is at all levels of ASHRAE – from the Society down to the section. There will be very limited seating available, so get there early.
Seminar 41, “How Federal and State Energy Policy Impact ASHRAE Members,” will feature a moderated panel in which several experts discuss both how U.S. federal and state energy-efficiency matters are playing out and why it is imperative that ASHRAE gets involved. Keith Reihl, who will serve as the First Vice Chair of the GGAC, will moderate. Panelists include:
- Steve Skalko, Chair of ASHRAE’s Standing Standard Project Committee for Standard 90.1;
- John Cymbalski from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program; and Jeff Harris of the Alliance to Save Energy.
What Are You Doing for National Engineers Week? Occurs February 17-23
National Engineers Week (eWeek) provides guided opportunities for engineers to help students at all grade levels understand what engineering is all about, and encourage them to enter this diverse profession. Supported by over 100 partners, eWeek is truly a grassroots, volunteer-driven movement made up of a series of events and programs, including Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (February 21), the Future City® competition, New Faces of Engineering, the DiscoverE outreach program, and others.
Highlighting one of these programs, throughout the year, DiscoverE sends thousands of volunteers into K-12 classrooms to help students understand how the exciting world of engineering impacts their everyday lives. Volunteers are guided through the process of meeting with students during class or after school, and equipped with fun activity and presentation ideas. More information on DiscoverE is available at www.discoverengineering.org. (Note: Make sure you click through the introductory screen, which sometimes takes awhile to load.)
ASHRAE supports eWeek through its involvement as a member of the Engineers Week Committee, participation in several programs, and has previously co-chaired the celebration.
So... what are you doing for eWeek? Watch an informational webcast, order a volunteer kit, download posters, and get involved at www.eweek.org!
New Report Provides Recommendations for Utility Involvement in Promotion of Building Energy Codes
Utilities can be major partners in promoting building energy codes, however they often encounter barriers that deter these efforts. A new report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) lays out recommendations for overcoming these barriers and provides ideas for pilot programs.
To view the report and find additional information, click here.
ASHRAE's Government Affairs Updates detail information on government affairs-related activities of interest to ASHRAE members and others interested in the built environment. Archives of previous updates are available from the Government Affairs website.
Why is it so hot/cold in here? And why is it so noisy?
Those two thoughts are probably all that comes to mind for building occupants in regard to HVAC&R systems.
“Occupants aren’t like engineers who specialize in this,” Erik Miller-Klein, P.E., SSA Acoustics, LLP, Seattle, Wash., said. “They’re not wondering how energy efficient the system is or how the variable frequency drives are running or how sustainable the building is. The two metrics that occupants are concerned with are thermal comfort and noise.”
The question of why a space is quiet or noisy will be examined in a free ASHRAE session held as part of its 2013 Winter Conference.
The AHR Expo Session, “Basics of HVAC Noise Control,” takes place from 2-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, in Room C147 of the Dallas Convention Center. ASHRAE Conference registration is not required to attend and no badge is needed.
“Designing HVAC systems with good acoustic performance can be a challenge,” Miller-Klein said. “This session addresses three common issues to improve acumen for sound and vibration, including the idiosyncrasies of selecting fans that optimize acoustic and energy performance for improved system design and the physics of sound that explains the performance and limitations of silencers and acoustic louvers.”
The session also will allow attendees to fine tune the most valuable and effective tool for acoustics – their ears – by providing audio examples to connect them with the fundamental aural experience.
Presentations and speakers are:
- Fan Selection Impact on Noise, Mark E. Schaffer, P.E., Schaffer Acoustics Inc., Pacific Palisades, Calif. The noise produced by a fan depends not only on its duty point but also on its type and size. For a given duty point a fan that is the wrong type and/or the wrong size can be as much as 30 dB louder than the optimum selection. This presentation will show examples of quiet and noisy fan selections and offer simple guidelines for selecting fans to minimize excessive fan noise.
- Understanding the Physics of Silencers, Dan LaForgia, Industrial Acoustics, Bronx, N.Y. HVAC silencers or sound attenuators are used on many different types of HVAC equipment. Silencer manufacturers have various models designed to meet specific dynamic insertion loss and static pressure drop requirements. A properly selected silencer can reduce noise levels significantly across the entire frequency spectrum. However, if a silencer is improperly selected, issues in acoustic performance, pressure drop and self-noise may arise. The silencer itself may even become another noise source! This presentation will explain silencer definitions, testing procedures and how to properly select silencers to ensure the maximum performance is gained without disrupting the HVAC system.
- What Does That Sound Like and Mean? (Ear Training), Erik Miller-Klein, P.E., SSA Acoustics, LLP, Seattle, Wash. Understanding how noise can be an annoyance and what the goal criteria sounds like gives you, the designer and contractor the tools to be successful on the acoustic front. Explore the aural landscape of HVAC acoustics with your ears as we navigate successful projects and common issues and how to troubleshoot problems.
The 2013 Winter Conference runs Jan. 26-30 at the Sheraton Dallas. The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Expo, held in conjunction with the Winter Conference, runs Jan. 28-30 at the Dallas Convention Center. To register and for complete Conference information, click here
Convenience Products, the manufacturer of Touch ‘n Seal insulating foams and sealants, announced the availability of Canadian Construction Materials Centre (CCMC) Two-Component Class I Fire Retardant Spray Foam. This polyurethane foam not only acts as a Class I fire retardant, it provides air sealing, thermal insulating and sound attenuating capabilities.
“Our spray foam application products provide quick and easy solutions for repairs, renovations, new installations and production applications,” says Michael Sites, Touch ‘n Seal Marketing Manager. “Touch ‘n Seal’s new CCMC Spray Foam
is a great addition to our product line up for our Canadian market.”
Touch ‘n Seal CCMC Two-Component Class I Fire Retardant Spray Foam has passed all required testing and meets the requirements of CAN/ULC-S711.1-05, “Standard for Thermal Insulation – Bead-Applied Two-Component Polyurethane Air Sealant Foam” and has been issued CCMC Approval #13600-L.
Commercial or residential, new construction or renovation, CCMC Two-Component Spray Foam is ideal for use on a variety of traditional building material, including: wood, concrete, polystyrene, gypsum board, fiberboard, masonry and metal. It also works well on transportation applications, such as the trucking industry.
“CCMC Spray Foam is easy to apply and it dries in less than one minute to form a permanent air barrier,” says Sites. “When needed, it can be cut for a precise fit in just two to five minutes after application. The foam fully cures in about an hour, significantly increasing structural strength and blocking energy-robbing air infiltration.”
CCMC Spray Foam helps reduce building energy consumption when used with down-sized HVAC systems. When HVAC piping and ductwork are sealed with the spray foam, the HVAC system uses less energy, has fewer cycle times, provides a more consistent “comfort level,” and reduces equipment maintenance.
Other Touch ‘n Seal CCMC Two-Component Class I Fire Retardant Spray Foam features include:
-Closed cell structure
-High long-term R-value
-Permanent insulation maintains air seal — will not shrink or settle like cellulose
-Compatible with all fiber insulation systems including cellulose, fiberglass and rockwool
-Environmentally friendly — no ozone depleting chemicals and reduces use of fossil fuels
-Superior sound and thermal insulation
-Reduces energy loss by as much as 40 percent
-Reduces air exchanges by expanding to fill smallest to largest gaps, cracks and holes
-Significantly increases structural strength; important in high wind situations
Touch ‘n Seal CCMC Two-Component Class I Fire Retardant Spray Foam is available in portable, self-contained dispensing kits; CPDS cylinders made for use with Touch ‘n Seal’s CPDS spray foam system; and refill systems.
For more information, click here
or contact Touch ‘n Seal Customer Service at 800-325-6180.
The Building Codes Assistance Project releases regular updates on building energy codes through its quarterly BCAP Newsletter and weekly Code Alert Bulletin.
BCAP Newsletters are quarterly summaries of what's been happening at the Building Codes Assistance Project and building energy code progress around the nation. To access the full archive, click here.
BCAP Code Alert Bulletins are released weekly by the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) and its website, the Online Code Environment & Advocacy Network (OCEAN). Code Alert Bulletins are designed to share information and support timely participation in state and local activities related to the adoption and implementation of building energy codes. The bulletins highlight immediate opportunities to influence state and local policy outcomes, indicate code status, and recommend contacts for action. If you know of activity that should be on this bulletin or would like to sign up for this bujlletin, contact Matt Kerns at (202) 530-2252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Addendum cs to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, is open for advisory public review from Jan. 4-Feb. 3, 2013. The addendum proposes changes to definitions for computer rooms and data centers in Standard 90.1 to create a distinction between facilities covered by 90.1 and those which are intended to be under the scope of ASHRAE Standard 90.4P, Energy Standard for Data Centers and Telecommunications Buildings, proposed by ASHRAE in late 2012.
The definition proposed for computer rooms more closely aligns with ASHRAE Standard 100, Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS). In addition, the definition is consistent with Uptime Institutes’ “Tier Standard: Topology” and the Telecommunications Industry Association ANSI/TIA-942 class rating for low-risk Tier I data centers. High risk data centers such as those designed as Tier II or greater per ANSI/TIA942 or ones with mechanical cooling system redundancy are expected to be covered by the 90.4P standard now under development.
Steve Skalko, chair of the Standard 90.1 committee, said with the development of Standard 90.4P feedback is needed from the industry to clarify the scope and definitions of each standard. Energy conservation requirements for high risk data centers, initially covered by Standard 90.1-2010, are expected to be detailed in the 90.4P standard. Computer rooms, which can include low-risk data centers, would remain under the scope of Standard 90.1.
“The costs and approaches used in determining appropriate HVAC applications used to achieve energy efficiency are different,” he said.
Computer rooms, which by the proposed definitions include low-risk data centers, are usually associated with electronic equipment spaces that are not considered risks and therefore money is typically not spent to install levels of component and systems redundancies. Computer rooms may be ancillary functions and add loads in a larger building and often are served from the same central cooling plants.
Computer rooms are designed to provide local data processing and information storage for in-house end users and clients, which the owner has deemed very low risk. Risk choices are made to reduce total life cycle costs associated with not only system selection and operation, but potential failures, business interruptions, continuity plans and overall company specific business model features like staffing requirements, according to Skalko.
By comparison, data centers designed as Tier II or greater per ANSI/TIA942 or ones with mechanical cooling system redundancy carry more risk, he said. Industry studies indicate downtime associated with such risk can cost tens of thousands of dollars a minute, with the potential to negate both past energy savings and future business viability in a single act. The demand for data centers has grown, as the electronic equipment needs have evolved with the huge demand for data processing services and storage in the age of digital devices.
A data center has the function to support the electronic equipment that commonly provides services to outside or external clients, hence the heightened awareness of risk and risk mitigation approaches employed. Data centers can support everything from an individual enterprise all the way to hosting services on the internet and must provide maximum operational run time on a 24-7 basis. These facilities are built with multiple levels of component redundancy, providing at least an N+1 mechanical cooling capacity redundancy, if not greater, as well as operational resiliency (increased staffing hours and expertise), Skalko said.
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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will impact the bottom line of EVERY construction company. This webinar will provide you with the information necessary to make critical business decisions that will affect your company for years to come. Click here
On day one of the webinar, you’ll learn all of the key implementation dates of the ACA, the overall impact of the law on health plans (including multi-employer plans), and the impact of the individual mandate on business – an often disregarded issue for employers.
Day two will cover “Play or Pay” – the employer mandate provision that raises the most questions for employers. Small businesses and those with seasonal employees will especially benefit from learning the process for determining if your company must comply with the mandate. Vital tax and payroll issues will also be discussed.
On day three, get an inside look at the future of the insurance marketplace. Learn how insurance providers are adapting their plans and cost structures as a result of the new requirements as well as techniques to use when shopping around for health insurance plans for your company. Now is the time to take action by creating a strategy to address these critical issues.
Attend this webinar and you will learn:
Payroll implications and tax penalties
Important questions to consider when deciding to “Pay or Play”
Questions employers should consider BEFORE reducing the hours of employees
What companies are likely to find when shopping for health insurance How to prepare for both the near future and the long haul
*Cost includes full series. Individual webinars not sold separately.
DATE & TIME:
February 5, 7 & 12
2-3:30 p.m. ET
Johanna M. Novak
Foster Swift Collins and Smith PC
Susanin Widman & Brennan PC
John H. Widman
Susanin Widman & Brennan PC
The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the Association of State Energy Research and Technology Transfer Institutions (ASERTTI) will hold the 2013 State Energy Outlook Conference from February 5-8, 2013, in Washington, D.C. The event will bring together Congressional representatives, state and federal officials, corporate executives and industry leaders to focus on state-federal energy collaboration in a new budget and policy era. This year's conference will explore the national energy policy outlook and the state, federal and private sector partnerships that will advance U.S. energy policy. .
More information can be found on the event website
. Early Bird registration ends January 18, 2013.