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Industry News Obama Pledges Unilateral Action on Climate Change, Sustainable Energy
WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address pledged to take action on climate change if Congress does not. "I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change," Obama said. ""But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy."
AIA Forecasts Steady Growth in U.S. Construction Through 2014
WASHINGTON—The American Institute of Architects (AIA) forecasts healthy gains this year in nonresidential construction activity. AIA projects construction spending for buildings rising by 5% in 2013 before accelerating to 7.2% in 2014. The construction of commercial facilities is expected to lead the upturn, with spending gains of almost 9% this year and nearly 11% next year, with hotel construction leading the way. Industrial construction spending is projected to nearly match the overall nonresidential building totals this year and next, while institutional construction activity should lag behind, with modest single-digit gains over each of the next two years. AIA expects health care to be the strongest institutional sector.
AHRI Issues White Paper on Avoiding Contaminated Refrigerants
ARLINGTON, Va.—The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) has published a white paper to assist contractors and others in the industry in identifying and avoiding counterfeit refrigerants. Recently, batches of R-134a, R-22, R-404A, and R-410A have been found to be counterfeit, and in some instances badly contaminated with other refrigerants, such as R-40. This increases the risk of explosion. The paper "Reports of R-134a Contaminated with R-40 and Other Refrigerants," is available for free download.
Click here to read the white paper.
Comment Sought on Taxonomy of Building Codes, Standards
WASHINGTON—The National Institute of Building Sciences National Council of Governments on Building Codes and Standards (NCGBCS) has issued a call for comment on the content of a new Code Taxonomy of Building codes and Standards. Code officials; codes and standards developers; government agencies; architects, engineers and contractors; consumer advocates and other constituents are encouraged to provide input. The comment period is open until March 8. The taxonomy is a compilation of codes and standards relating to the built environment. It is intended to serve as a resource when educating the industry, government and the public about the regulations and referenced documents that are used when constructing buildings and facilities.
Click here to read more and access the draft document.
Japanese Skyscraper Being Shrunk, Not Razed
TOKYO—A Japanese contractor has come up with a novel way of demolishing buildings in tightly packed urban areas by shrinking them. The company is jacking down each floor of a 40-story hotel building while keeping the roof on the building. The demolition technique is being used to remove The Akasaka Grand Prince Hotel in downtown Tokyo over a six-month period by lowering it to the ground almost imperceptibly two floors at a time by a deadline of this May. The levels being dismantled are sealed within an enclosure that wraps around the building, while huge jacks slowly lower the original roof down as floors are removed. The company says that enclosing the demolition area reduces the volume of dust emitted from the site by a factor of 100 compared with conventional methods.
ASHRAE News Performance Measurement Guide Published by ASHRAE
A new guide published by ASHRAE provides tools and techniques for measuring, managing and improving the performance of a facility as demonstrated by its energy and water use and indoor environmental quality. “Performance Measurement Protocols for Commercial Buildings: Best Practices Guide” serves as the how-to guide for continuously evaluating and improving the performance of commercial buildings throughout their service life. The book provides specific best practices in the areas of energy use, water use and four elements of indoor environmental quality: thermal comfort, indoor air quality (IAQ), lighting/daylighting and acoustics.
Feature of the Week Streamlining Energy Simulation to Identify Building Retrofits
By Aleka Pappas, P.E., Member ASHRAE; and Sue Reilly, P.E., Member ASHRAE
According to the authors, developing a streamlined and cost-effective energy modeling process is critical for existing building energy retrofits. The process should provide building owners with accurate and timely information at a reasonable cost to allow them to make informed decisions about implementing energy efficiency improvements.
This article originally was published in November 2011. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Feb. 28.
After Feb. 28, 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 Piston Compressors From GEA Bock
BOCHUM, Germany—GEA Refrigeration Technologies offers the GEA Bock piston compressors in models from 5 cfm to 6,100 cfm (2.4 L/s to 2900 L/s) using refrigerants including R-134a, R-404A, CO2, NH3 and others. The compressors are designed for applications such as bus and train cooling systems, refrigerated transport vehicles, supermarket refrigeration systems, comfort air conditioning and marine refrigeration applications.
In-Line Fans From Continental Fan
BUFFALO, N.Y.—Continental Fan introduces the MFT line of mixed flow in-line fans for light commercial ventilation applications. The fans are available in a variety of diameters and airflow capacities for supply and exhaust ventilation systems. They feature energy-efficient two-speed motors in a UV- and corrosion-resistant, durable plastic housing.
Brazed-Plate Heat Exchangers From Bell & Gossett/Xylem
MORTON GROVE, Ill.—Xylem announces four new models in the Bell & Gossett BPX line of brazed-plate heat exchangers suitable for large hydronic heating applications, refrigerant evaporators, and condensers with large chillers. The devices feature an innovative corrugated plate design that provides high heat transfer coefficients. They also feature design pressure of 435 psig (3000 kPa), and min/max design temperatures of 310°F/450°F (154°C/232°C).
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