Building Energy Resilience

Ideas to fuel a sustainable built environment

3 min read

Small Decisions with Big Impact

By Jamie Hand on May 5, 2021 10:00:00 AM

A while back, we ran out of freeze spray, an essential tool we use for functional testing. I was about to order some new bottles, when Matt Napolitan suggested I pick a brand with a low global warming potential (GWP). Great idea! Although I'm generally quite aware of sustainability issues, I confess I probably wouldn't have thought about this; I would have just purchased the same brand we had ran out of. So, I wanted to share this quick story about the impact that seemingly small decisions can have on greenhouse gas emissions.

Topics: Sustainability Climate Change
5 min read

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Assessment Process and Report

By Katie Mason on Apr 8, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Cx Associates has posted several blogs about an HVAC systems’ contribution to keeping building occupants as safe as possible from the COVID-19 virus. But for some building owners and tenants, understanding what they have for an HVAC system and what they can do to make their systems better isn’t immediately known without some help from experts in this industry.

Topics: COVID-19 ventilation indoor air quality
6 min read

Ventilation Control Strategies During COVID-19: Why & How

By Eveline Killian on Jan 27, 2021 10:15:00 AM

Over the past several months, it has been proven that HVAC systems play a role in the mitigation of the spread of a virus like COVID-19. The first line of defense – personal masking and social distancing – is by far the most effective in mitigation, but we’ve learned a lot about HVAC’s contribution to keeping people safe indoors. My last blog covered the why & how of ventilation (fresh air). In this blog I want to focus on ventilation control strategies: why & how the industry evolved from pre-pandemic minimalization, to early-pandemic wind tunnel 24/7, to a common sense, balanced approach on ventilation control.    

Topics: HVAC COVID-19 ventilation
5 min read

School Airflow Testing and ASHRAE 62.1

By Jamie Hand on Dec 23, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Over the last few months, Cx Associates has helped a number of schools throughout Vermont test their ventilation rates. As we’re discussed in previous blog posts, providing adequate ventilation rates is an important part of providing good indoor air quality (IAQ), both during the pandemic and normal times. While most buildings were designed to meet a ventilation standard, there are numerous reasons why rooms may not meet the current ventilation recommendations. In most buildings, measuring airflow is really the only way to know that you meet the recommendation.

Topics: Higher Education COVID-19 PK-12 Education ventilation airflow
3 min read

COVID-19 Water System Recommendations for Vacant Buildings

By Katie Mason on Dec 17, 2020 2:59:06 PM

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, HVAC system recommendations have been a primary focus because of the impact they can have on mitigating the spread of the virus inside buildings. Since we saw a period of time when many buildings were completely vacant and unused, it’s important to ensure your water systems are also safe for occupants before reopening. The concern here is not the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but harmful pathogens such as Legionella (bacteria that can cause Legionnaire’s disease) that can grow in stagnant water.

Topics: COVID-19 water safety
6 min read

Ventilation During COVID-19: Why & How

By Eveline Killian on Dec 9, 2020 10:00:00 AM

We’ve learned a lot about COVID-19, the spread of a virus, and the mitigation of the spread over the past several months. The recommendation of the first line of defense - masking and social distancing – hasn’t changed since this pandemic started in January 2020, but it seems like every other recommendation has evolved throughout these long months. In our business of HVAC, we have kept up with the industry and CDC recommendations on ventilation and filtration and have been active in assessing commercial and institutional buildings. 

Topics: HVAC COVID-19 ventilation
4 min read

How to Avoid Air Handling Unit Steam Coil Issues

By Tate Colbert on Oct 7, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Basics of steam coil and face and bypass operation

Many air handling units in colder climates are equipped with steam heating coils. These coils use control valves to modulate the flow of steam to the coil. Due to the low mass of water in a steam coil, it has a higher propensity to freezing when conditions are right. One of the neat ways we’ve design around this is to use a Face and Bypass (F&B) damper arrangement to allow the coil to have maximum steam flow to prevent freezing. The F&B dampers direct a portion of the airflow through the steam coil and another portion bypasses the coil in order to achieve the necessary discharge air temperature and prevent a freezing airstream from damaging the steam coil. Pretty neat, huh?

Topics: HVAC
9 min read

How to do Building Automation System (BAS) Graphics Right: Part II

By Rick Stehmeyer on Sep 17, 2020 10:00:00 AM

In my previous post How to do BAS Graphics Right: Part I, I wrote about the 5 basic rules to BAS graphics I learned during my years as a controls system master integrator. If you’ve not read that post yet, I’d encourage you to go back and give a glance as it’ll put the rules below into perspective, and feel free to ask a question if you got one using the comment section at the bottom of the post. Here’s a quick recap of the rules:

Topics: New Construction Existing Building bas building automation system Controls upgrade
3 min read

Common VRF Issues Part II: Controls

By Walker Calderwood on Aug 20, 2020 10:00:00 AM

In my first blog on Common VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) Installation Issues I focused on issues during mechanical and hardware installation that typically lead problems during startup and pre-functional checkout commissioning. This blog will focus on controls issues identified during commissioning design review which usually lead to issues during start up if not addressed up front during design. As mentioned in the previous article, VRF systems can allow for better comfort and overall satisfaction, but if not properly programmed for the owner’s specific application, can lead to numerous complaints during the first year of occupancy.

Topics: commissioning New Construction Controls upgrade design review
3 min read

To Return or Not to Return: Considerations for Reopening the Office

By Rachael Straub on Aug 12, 2020 10:15:00 AM

COVID-19 has turned our world upside down. From what we’ve learned about the transmission of COVID, spending time in an enclosed space with others is ill advised, and social distancing means working from home and homeschooling. I’ve been doing the former since March, even though Cx Associates’ offices reopened in June. Reopening the office was not an easy choice to make, as was my decision to remain at home, and I thought I’d write a bit about it.

Topics: COVID-19 coronavirus remote

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