Metering equipment, such as light loggers, temperature loggers, and AC current loggers can be very useful tools and sometimes necessary in the world of energy efficiency consulting. They can provide useful data on how equipment is operating and performing. I have written about metering in previous blog posts including one called “EM&V Metering: Right Place, Right Time, Right Duration” where I described the importance of identifying the correct way of deploying meters. In this post I am going to discuss the importance of verifying that meters or loggers are working correctly even before a metering plan is developed or the devices are deployed, as well as the importance of ensuring that the correct sensors are chosen for the application.
Many of the readers of the Building Energy Resilience blog may not know that when I started working in the field of energy efficiency, my focus was on multi-family housing serving people with low incomes. ACEEE recently published this study on the income burden for low-income households. The energy burden is the percent of income paid for energy. It turns out that low-income households have two times the energy burden of the median household – paying over 7% of annual income in energy costs.
While watching coverage of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, I started looking into what it took to create the venue which accommodates many of the events. Similar to every Olympic game, Rio had a short period of time to build the extravagant stadiums and the other venues required. In this post, I will discuss what it took to construct this venue and some challenges with this particular location.
Chilled beams have been common in European building HVAC systems for decades, but they are just getting popular in the U.S. These units fit in a drop ceiling or can be hung flush to the ceiling and contain a chilled/hot water coil and, in the case of active beams, a duct bringing in ventilation air.
If you’ve worked in the Building Automation Systems (BAS) industry, you’ve probably heard of LonWorks, BACnet, and Modbus. These three open system networking technologies have been the foundation of most building automation systems over the last decade. They allow devices from different manufacturers to communicate data without issue (most of the time) so that a building’s chiller, boiler, and pumps may all work together as one system to give a building owner an integrated system that enables a high level of functionality.
I love simple concepts formulated using basic math. And even though I love all mathematics, I’ll be the first to admit that my math skills could always be stronger, so I am always trying to learn. I guess that’s why the basic formulas for really complicated concepts really resonate with my inner nerd. The Drake equation as a model for explaining the Fermi paradox is a wonderful example of these. Recently Bill Gates released a short speculation on YouTube regarding energy and CO2. This too really resonated with me as it’s an area where I see our industry really affecting change.
We are in the process of wrapping up an energy efficiency and building automation system upgrade project at an office building. The project involved converting an older boiler/tower heat pump loop system with constant speed pumping to variable flow, and the installation of a modern building automation system (BAS) with new energy efficient control sequences. The project has been a big success however, the project team experienced some challenges in really “dialing in” the controls. The main obstacle is that remote access to the BAS had not yet been established. Having remote access to building controls during the later stages of construction provides many benefits—including being able to monitor system performance remotely, review alarm logs and historical trends to identify problems, and even make adjustments on-the-fly to tune system parameters correctly. Without remote access we would have had to drive to the building, request access to a network closet from the property manager, plug into the server in a closet, and then spend time in a tight space trying to accomplish our goals before unplugging and heading back to the office. Needless to say it is not convenient to do frequently, and is expensive.
Are meetings a waste of time? Deriding them as such is common. But with some upfront effort, meetings can deliver outcomes that would otherwise take much longer to achieve.
Topics: Workplace & People
On a recent project at a large hospital Cx Associates examined the feasibility of consolidating two air handlers into one single air handler. One of the air handlers is nearing the end of its useful life, and is the reason this project was brought to Cx Associates. While making an in-kind replacement was looked at, the replacement of this air handler presented an opportunity to replace another that was also aging, and located in a position that would be difficult to replace in the future. By combining the two air handlers into a single air handler there was an opportunity to essentially upgrade two air handlers at once at a lower cost than replacing them individually at different times. Maintenance advantages can also be realized by reducing the number of air handlers to maintain in the facility by one.
In a recent blog post, I shared my experience as an Owners’ Project Manager for a mechanical system upgrade in an office building for a large organization in Burlington, Vermont. This role has provided me with several new related projects in a healthcare facility, each varying in type and having a very different effect on the overall environment of the organization. In the healthcare environment, I have become familiar with its unique construction challenges. This post will discuss a couple of these challenges and approaches for preventing these challenges from adversely affecting the overall success of the project.