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Entries in LEED (3)


HVAC 360 - Episode 066 - LEED Basis of Design

This week on HVAC 360 I talk about the LEED Basis of Design.  Starting from definitions from ASHRAE Guideline 0 and LEEDUser, I share what I feel makes a good Basis of Design.  I also share my perspective on how the design team should view this document going forward.  To many view this document as an added burden of the LEED process where I suggest that teams integrate this into their Standard of Care and make it a part of doing business.  Allowing the BOD to be a tool that makes sure that they have all the information they need and that they are headed in the right direction.  It can also be used as a training tool for younger engineers and a way to integrate firm practices further into their projects.  As with many things the importance of this document is just to start now.  It can always be changed and often times large portions of it can be reused.  If you like this episode, please share and spread the word.

Here are some links that you might find of interest:


ASHRAE Guideline 0

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ASHRAE Winter Meeting 2010 - Day 2

Today was spent attending educational sessions are here some of the nuggets of knowledge that I will pass on to you:

  • ASHRAE 90.1 - 2010 is being reviewed and is slated to exceed the 2004 version in energy savings by 30 percent.  However, preliminary data is coming in that in its current form the standard is saving only 11.4%.  The standards committee is confident that the goal will be reached and that they have a couple of large addenda that may make that possible.
  • On the commissioning front, common places to look for improper operation include economizer operation, hot and chilled water resets, static pressure control, equipment scheduling, and lighting scheduling.  Despite how basic these may sound they are often not set and end up just falling through the cracks.
  • Also on commissioning, when you start your project, and hopefully that's during the design, you might first read through the sequence of operations, then draw a system schematic, and finally graph equipment function interaction.  If you didn't follow me just then let me explain.  First the sequence should make sense, be completely testable, and have the proper set points identified. Next draw the system to help make sure that you understand the system, this will also help with the documentation for your LEED System Manual. Lastly create a graph with the Y-axis labeled 0-100% and the X-axis labeled with operating temperature range.  Now if you graph the sequence of the, say, HW Valve, CW Valve, and OA damper for air-handling units all in different colors you have just made a graphical representation of the sequence that may show scenarios that the written sequences just don't.
  • Here was the thought question of the day: If you are restricted by the architect for mechanical room space because extra square footage is expensive, do you not run the risk of forever increasing the energy inefficiency of the system because of the severe duct and piping transitions?

Now its time to get some sleep and rest my puppies before I go to the AHR Expo tomorrow.


Net-Zero Ready?

I have been looking at the HVAC industry online recently and have come to the conclusion that companies in our industry are lagging behind that rest of the world when it comes to the technology train.  When I graduated from college I was excited to get involved in the engineering world with all the lastest technology, only to find out that most firms were still drawing on paper (and thats if they wanted designs done fast). 

Things haven't changed much from then, it seems only the largest firms are adopting the BIM way of designing today.  One could pin that blame on the learning curve involved or the cost of the product, but even when designing green buildings today I see many engineers struggling to achieve the basic LEED points.  All I know is that the future is coming at us fast and it won't be long now before net-zero buildings become the design standard. So my question to you is, "Will the world's engineers be ready to design them?"