May 30, 2013: Vol. 12, No. 22 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



 

 

 
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Industry News

June Groundbreaking Set for New World's Tallest Building
CHANGSHA, China—Excavation and construction will begin in June for Sky City, the planned world's tallest building, according to construction company Broad Sustainable Construction (BSC). The builder calls the planned 2,749 ft (838 m) tower a "pragmatic" building, in contrast to the "trophy" Burj Khalifa, the current world's tallest building. BSC says its concept will make better use of land and take cars off the road by trading cars for elevators and placing schools, businesses and recreational facilities within the single building. Also, BSC says that Sky City will feature energy-efficient technologies such as 8 in. (204 mm) thick insulated walls and exterior shading on windows. The company says it can complete the structure in only 90 days.

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bEQ Expands With 'As Designed' Label
ASHRAE's Building Energy Quotient (bEQ), a building energy labeling program that allows the industry to zero-in on opportunities to lower building operating cost and make informed decisions to increase value has been expanded. With the inclusion of a newly implemented "AS Designed" label, the program is now two labels in one. Its "As Designed" label rates the building’s potential energy use under standardized conditions independent of the building’s occupancy and use. The "In Operation" label rates the building’s actual measured energy use as influenced by the building’s occupancy and use.

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Buildings Saving Energy After First Year of Better Buildings Challenge
WASHINGTON—Participants in the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Better Buildings Challenge reduced their energy intensity by 2.5% last year. resulting in about $58 million in annual energy savings. According to DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz, 1,300 of the 7,700 commercial and institutional buildings participating in the program have reduced energy intensity by 20% or more, while another 2,100 have reduced energy intensity by at least 10% since their baseline years. Over the first year of the Challenge, partners have also completed more than 50 showcase projects that highlight innovative, cost-effective, energy-saving strategies.

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Shipments of Remote Control Thermostats Turning Up
LONDON—Annual shipments of remote access and control thermostats will quadruple within the five-year period ending in 2017, according to a new report from IMS Research. Approximately 1.1 million, or 3% of the 38 million thermostats shipped globally in 2012 enabled users to remotely adjust the temperature and other comfort settings through smart phones or tablets, the study found. Shipments last year of thermostats with such functionality amounted to 1.3 million units, with the number projected to increase more than fourfold to 5.9 million units by 2017.

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'Water-Energy Nexus' Key to Future Prosperity, Say Researchers
SAN JOSE, Calif.—By 2025, more than 2.8 billion people in 48 countries will face either water stress or water scarcity conditions, according to recent research at San Jose State University. The paper found that energy and water resources will soon be very limited by adhering to conventional resource management plans. In the paper, the authors investigated water, associated energy use, and their implications within a university campus. Water is required to produce energy, and energy is required to use water appropriately, which the researchers termed “water-energy nexus.” The concluded that water scarcity will result in a shortage of freshwater that limits food production, deteriorates the environment or ecosystems, and prevents economic development. Thus energy conservation efforts should be coupled with reductions in water use.

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Energy Efficiency Needed for Ever-Growing India
NEW YORK—Real estate developers in India are predicting a rise in demand for commercial retail space in that country. An estimated two-thirds of the commercial and high-rise residential structures that will be in India in 2030 have yet to be built. The widespread blackouts of July 2012, which left 680 million people without power, revealed the severity of the country’s energy crisis. The Indian government is looking for ways to adequately and affordably provide power for India's growing infrastructure and population. It is planning hundreds of new coal-fired power plants, hydroelectric dams, and expanding solar power and other renewable energy sources. However, the cheapest, cleanest, and fastest way for India to bring power to people who need it is energy efficiency. According to McKinsey & Company, India can save $42 billion every year just by reducing energy waste in buildings.

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AIA Testifies Federal Design-Build Laws Hurting Small Architectural Firms
WASHINGTON—Current federal contracting laws are harming the livelihood of small architecture firms, costing the government more money by increasing the number of firms competing, while discouraging small firms from entering the market, according to AIA testimony on Capitol Hill. Testifying before the House of Representatives Small Business Committee, an AIA official called for reform of the design-build contracting process so that design and architectural firms can bid on federal contracts without fear of bankrupting themselves in the process. “When teams are shortlisted in two-step design-build, an architecture firm spends a median of $260,000 to compete for a design-build project, by making plans, models and other materials,” Helene Combs Dreiling testified. When approximately 76% of firms make less than $1 million annually, this creates a “Hobson’s Choice” on spending limited capital for the chance to win a federal contract.

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In other news...

GHG Emissions in 2011 Lower Than Previously Estimated
'Huge' Potential for Wind Energy in Cold Climates
Brazil Plans Massive Building Projects to Create a Sustainable 2014 World Cup
Groups Urge Congress, President to Approve Energy-Efficiency Bill
EPA Proposes Rules to Protect Americans from Exposure to Formaldehyde
HRAI Warns Fire Marshals of Potential Fire Risk of Hydrocarbon Refrigerant
MARS Acquires Heat Controller Inc.
Four-Story 'Treehouse' Design Cuts Energy Costs in Half
App to Control Nest Thermostat Developed for Google Glass

ASHRAE News

ASHRAE Joins Campaign for More Energy-Efficient RTUs
ATLANTA—Older commercial rooftop units (RTUs) can waste from $1,000 to $3,700, depending on building size and type, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). To encourage building owners to replace these inefficient units, ASHRAE and Retail Industry Leaders Association have teamed up with the DOE’s Better Buildings Alliance to launch the Advanced RTU Campaign. Signing up for the campaign provides access to tools, expert assistance from DOE and National Laboratories, and up-to-date information on tax deductions and utility incentives for implementing energy-efficient measures and replacing older equipment. The campaign runs through November 2014.

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Feature of the Week

Adsorption Refrigeration: New Opportunities for Solar
By Kai Wang, Ph.D., Member ASHRAE; and Edward A. Vineyard, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE
Adsorption (also called “solid sorption”) refrigeration systems are attracting increasing attention because they can be activated by low-grade thermal energy and use refrigerants having zero ozone depletion potential and low global warming potential. This article covers adsorption systems' advantages over vapor compression refrigeration systems, as well as challenges to overcome before they can be considered viable alternatives to current vapor compression systems.


This article originally was published in September 2011. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through June 13.

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Product News

Centrifugal Chiller From Trane
WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn.—Trane introduces the Series S CenTraVac centrifugal chiller, designed to delivers improved full-load and part-load efficiencies. The chiller features the company's AdaptiSpeed technology. The technology integrates an all-new direct-drive compressor that uses mixed-flow impellers and optimized specific speed; a permanent magnet motor; and the Trane Adaptive Frequency (AFD3) drive.

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BACnet® Communicating Thermostats From KMC Controls
NEW PARIS, Ind.—KMC Controls introduces the AppStat series of communicating thermostats, designed to be cost-effective alternatives for unitary control in commercial or institutional applications. The thermostats combine a BACnet® applications-specific controller and sensor options into a single space-mounted device.

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IAQ Monitor From Honeywell Analytics
LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill.—Honeywell Analytics introduces IAQPoint2, a touchscreen indoor air quality monitor designed to increase energy efficiency, health, comfort and productivity within commercial buildings. IAQPoint2 monitors three indoor air quality parameters: carbon dioxide or volatile organic compounds (VOCs), temperature, and humidity.

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