September 05, 2013: Vol. 12, No. 35 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



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Industry News

'Walkie-Talkie' Skyscraper Melts Car
LONDON—An under-construction London skyscraper, called the "Walkie-Talkie" because of its shape, has been blamed for reflecting sunlight that melted parts of a car parked nearby. A local businessman said he had parked his Jaguar on a nearby street and after he returned two hours later, noticed damage to the vehicle’s mirror, panels and Jaguar badge. He also told the BBC that he found a note from the construction company on the windshield that said, "Your car’s buckled, could you give us a call?" The building developers, Land Securities and Canary Wharf, apologized to the Jaguar owner and paid for repairs, and are now investigating. "As a precautionary measure, the City of London has agreed to suspend three parking bays in the area which may be affected while we investigate the situation further," the companies said in a joint statement. 

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Demand for Commissioning Growing, Says Survey
PORTLAND, Ore.—Demand for the services of commissioning professionals is rising and will continue to rise into the near future, according to a survey by the Building Commissioning Association (BCA) and Portland Energy Conservation (PECI), a nonprofit that designs and manages energy-efficiency programs for utility providers and government organizations. Around 72% of respondents to the survey of attendees of the BCA’s National Conference on Building Commissioning have experienced more demand for new building commissioning services in the past year. Sixty-nine percent said have experienced more demand for existing building commissioning in the past year. "Green" building certifications were the most-cited motivator for commissioning. Corporate environmental goals were also cited as a key reason commissioning is growing in popularity.

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Researchers Developing Low-Energy Personal Heating, Cooling System for Offices
BERKELEY, Calif.—Researchers from UC Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment (CBE) are using a $1.6 million grant from the California Energy Commission to develop and promote a new set of tools to enable more efficient temperature control in buildings by using input from building occupants, a network of Web-based applications, and a user-responsive Personal Comfort System (PCS). The PCS uses low-wattage devices embedded into a system of chairs, foot warmers and fans that can quickly warm or cool individual users on demand. The system targets the most thermally sensitive parts of the body such as the face and head, the torso and feet, to provide warmth or cooling as needed and desired, rather than trying to maintain one temperature for an entire building or floor. “It’s even better than having a thermostat at every workstation, if that were possible,” said Edward Arens, Ph.D., Member ASHRAE, the project’s co-principal investigator. The PCS also will interface with smart phone apps, software, and sensors to relay building temperatures, weather forecasts, and thermal satisfaction responses to the people who make decisions about energy use in the building.

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New Federal Commercial Refrigeration Rules to Reduce GHGs, Costs
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed new efficiency rules that would reduce expenses and emissions from commercial refrigerators and coolers. The requirements for equipment used in commercial applications such as restaurants, convenience stores and ice-cream shops will require decreased use of electricity to reduce costs and greenhouse-gas emissions. The two proposals, if unchanged when issued as final rules, would reduce electricity use by as much as $28 billion and cut 350 million tons of carbon-dioxide emissions over the next 30 years, according to the White House.

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Individuals' 'Inner Thermostats' Hard to Adjust
ATLANTA—Why do some people thrive when the temperature rises, while others can't think straight without air conditioning? Variables such as where a person grew up, their amount of body fat and even their hydration level can influence how they feel in hot or cold temperatures, says Michael Sawka, Ph.D., a professor at the School of Applied Physiology at Georgia Tech. People who avoid going outside when it's hot—preferring to move straight from an air-conditioned office to air-conditioned transportation to a well-chilled restaurant, store or home—can quickly lose their ability to acclimate, Sawka says. Without regularly experiencing heat, the body becomes less efficient at sweating and has more difficulty increasing blood flow to the skin—functions that help the body cool itself. Most people have greater difficulty adapting to cold, says Sawka. Some can eventually learn to ignore uncomfortably low temperatures, but "it's a lot more dependent on body fat and the size of your body." Since few people are exposed to extremes, most people have "a narrow range of comfort."

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In other news...

Commercial Heating, AC Equipment Shipments Show Gains in Latest AHRI Data
Dallas Code Proposal Would Limit Building Reflectivity
At Least 15 Dead After Ammonia Leak at Chinese Cold Storage Plant
Project to Create 'Electricity Superhighway' Under London Achieves Breakthrough
Japan to Build 'Ice Wall' to Contain Radioactive Water Leaks at Nuclear Plant
Cleveland Suburb Mandates Fire, Smoke Damper Inspections by Certified Techs


Balance Between IEQ and Energy Efficiency Subject of IAQ Conference Paper
Finding the balance between environmental health and energy efficiency in the pursuit of low energy buildings is examined in a paper at the upcoming ASHRAE IAQ 2013 conference. "Neglecting indoor air quality while pursuing other goals can result in building environments that negatively impact the health, comfort and productivity of occupants and therefore defeat the overall goal of building design, including reduced costs," said paper author Kevin Teichman, a senior science advisor at the U.S. Environment Protection Agency. Teichman’s paper, "Indoor Air Quality in High-Performing Building Case Studies: A Wealth of Intent, A Dearth of Data," is among 80 conference papers and extended abstracts being presented at IAQ 2013, Environmental Health in Low-Energy Buildings, which will be held Oct. 15–18, in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Click here
for information on the conference and to register.

Feature of the Week

Using BIM in HVAC Design
By Dennis Knight, P.E., Member ASHRAE; Stephen Roth, P.E., Member ASHRAE; and Steven L. Rosen, Member ASHRAE
According to the authors, a building information model (BIM) is analogous to a spreadsheet. It is an expandable system that helps engineers and designers make decisions throughout the process. This article provides an overview of the BIM process, gives guidance for producing an effective BIM design and covers possible hurdles to more widespread use of BIM in the buildings industry.

This article originally was published in June 2010. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Sept. 19.

After Sept. 12, access to the article from this eNewsletter will no longer be available. It will remain available for free download by members here and for purchase by nonmembers in the online store.

Product News

Chiller Plant Control System From Armstrong Fluid Technology
TORONTO—The OPTI-VISOR from Armstrong Fluid Technology is a relational control solution for the operation of an all-variable-speed chiller plant. It controls the key components of a chiller plant, providing the optimal operating settings for equipment such as water-cooled variable speed chillers, variable flow cooling towers and variable speed pumps on the chilled water and tower water circuits. By controlling the chiller plant settings, the product helps to improve efficiency and save energy.

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Inline Flow Meter From Sierra Instruments
MONTEREY, Calif.—The QuadraTherm 780i inline mass flow meter from Sierra Instruments is designed to provide gas mass flow rate accuracy of +/- 0.5% of reading above 50% of full scale for wastewater treatment applications, hazardous areas, facilities management, and general process control applications. The device features Armstrong's QuadraTherm four-sensor technology, as well as the company's DrySense no-drift velocity sensor.

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Condensing Boiler Technology Catalog From ebm-papst
FARMINGTON, Conn.—ebm papst’s new condensing boiler technology catalog presents combustion engineers who are developing high-efficiency condensing boilers with a variety of options from components to complete system solutions for their efficient premix combustion applications. The online catalog contains information about the company's product offerings, including its premix gas blower, complete pneumatic system and electronic gas-air ratio control system.

Click here to access the catalog.

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