October 03, 2013: Vol. 12, No. 39 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



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Industry News

'Blobitecture' Changing Cities' Skylines
HAMBURG, Germany—Unconventionally shaped, right-angle-free buildings are increasingly popular in city centers around the world. Emporis, the international provider of building data, has compiled a list of what it considers the most spectacular examples of "blob architecture," or "blobitecture." The odd building designs, made possible by computer-aided processes, evoke often comical nicknames from the general public, such as "Misshapen Egg," "Motorcycle Helmet" and "Onion." The Experience Music Project in Seattle, with its soft, flowing form, has laid claim to the name "The Blob."

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Sneaking Through a Duct System: A Cautionary Tale
MILWAUKEE—Staffers at a Milwaukee veterinary hospital recently had their morning interrupted by sounds they could not locate. After one employee heard a call of "help," they called 911. Responders found a 19-year-old man trapped in the recovery unit of the building’s ventilation system. The fire department cut him out of the ventilation unit, where he had been trapped for roughly 11 hours. He emerged naked and bleeding. The teen apparently took his clothes off and climbed into the ventilation system to try to steal morphine and ketamine. However, he began panicking as the shaft narrowed and fell 10 ft (3 m) through the ventilation system to the ground level in the 3 ft by 2 ft (0.9 m by 0.6 m) recovery unit. His injuries occurred as he fell through halos of three-inch screws in the ventilation system. He caused $5,000 in damage trying to hammer his way out.

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Study Finds Humidity Reduces Airborne Flu Virus
ATLANTA—A recent study by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) found that airborne transmission of the influenza virus is significantly reduced by maintaining an environment of 43% relative humidity (RH) and above. To test the effects of humidity on airborne influenza, aerosols of flu virus were “coughed” into a room’s atmosphere by a mechanical manikin at humidity ranging from 7% RH to 73% RH, while the air intake from a "breathing" manikin in the room was monitored. The air inhaled by the breathing manikin showed that at ≤23% RH the airborne flu virus retained 71% to 77% infectivity, while at ≥43% RH infectivity dropped to just 15% to 22%. The study showed that inactivation of the virus at the higher humidity occurred rapidly after coughing, with most of the decline occurring in the first 15 minutes.

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Nonresidential Architecture Activity Continues Steady Growth, Says AIA
WASHINGTON—Continued increases in billings at U.S. architecture firms occurred in August, according to the American Institute of Architects (AIA). AIA's Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for the month reflected the strongest growth in activity in six months, and marked the twelfth time in the last 13 months that design activity has increased nationally. The ABI assigns a score to the level of construction spending over time. AIA says that the strength of recent readings in the ABI, coupled with the extended period that architecture firms have been reporting generally favorable conditions, points to an impending healthy upturn in nonresidential activity. This matches the recently released results from the AIA’s "Consensus Construction Forecast Survey," which forecasts nonresidential construction spending picking up in the fourth quarter of 2013 and accelerating through 2014.

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Green Roofs Installed on Empire State Building
NEW YORK—The Empire State Building now features four green roof systems, with a total area of nearly 10,000 ft2 (929 m2). Green roofs have been installed on four rooftop areas: the 21st floor (east and west), the 25th floor (northwest), and the 30th floor (west). The green roofs on the 21st floor feature rooftop patios with outdoor furniture for building tenants. The green roofs are constructed with a German-designed system that uses prevegetated mats.

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In other news...

Study Finds Legionella in Majority of UK Commercial Compost Products
EPA Finalizing Rule to Restrict Harmful Chemicals in Carpets
Senators Working to Revive Stalled Energy-Efficiency Bill
Labor Not Primary Driver of Solar Manufacturing Costs, Says Study
Coca-Cola Launches First Electric Refrigerated Truck Fleet
EPA Evaluates Alternatives to Flame-Retardant Chemical HBCD
Ultraefficient Clothes Dryer Earns DOE Prize for University of Maryland


ASHRAE/IES Publish First Standard on Commissioning Process
A newly published standard focusing on the commissioning process is intended to help ensure a fully functional, fine-tuned facility. ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 202, Commissioning Process for Buildings and Systems, identifies the minimum acceptable commissioning process for buildings and systems as described in ASHRAE’s Guideline 0-2005, The Commissioning Process. The standard defines the commissioning process through 13 functional steps, each of which contains deliverables.

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Feature of the Week

Making the Case for Energy Metering
By Jim Plourde
Meters provide information that can empower building owners and operators to make sound decisions about how their buildings use energy. Without the appropriate meters, they will not have the necessary tools to do more than just collect information. This article covers goals of energy metering, specifying the right meters, and analyzing and leveraging data.

This article originally was published in April 2011. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Oct. 17.

After Oct. 17, 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 ashrae.org online store.

Product News

Compressor From Danfoss Turbocor Compressors
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Danfoss Turbocor Compressors offers the Model TT350 300 kW to 400 kW nominal capacity compressor for 380 V, 50 Hz and 60 Hz applications. It features shrouded impellers for high efficiency at full-load and part-load conditions. Part-load efficiency is further aided by a built-in variable frequency drive. It also features computerized control, monitoring and diagnostics.

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Tubeaxial Fan From Continental Fan
BUFFALO, N.Y.—Continental Fan's FAIB fiberglass tubeaxial fan is designed to provide aerodynamically efficient performance in a belt drive design. The fan is available in a variety of diameters for corrosive environments or contaminated airstream applications. It features a fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) airfoil axial impeller and an optional vane section.

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ERV From RenewAire
MADISON, Wis.—RenewAire announces the EV90P residential and light commercial energy recovery ventilation system. It features the company's static plate energy exchange core, as well as a motorized impeller for low electricity consumption, quiet operation and long life.

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