November 07, 2013: Vol. 12, No. 44 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



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Industry News

Vatican May Limit Sistine Chapel Visitors if IEQ Problems Aren't Fixed
VATICAN CITY—The head of the Vatican Museums has warned he might be forced to limit the number of visitors to the Sistine Chapel if its new air-conditioning and air purification systems don't significantly reduce "dangerous" pollution levels. Antonio Paolucci said at a recent news conference that he was confident the new systems, which are expected to be operational at the end of 2014, would curb the dust, humidity and carbon dioxide that are dulling and discoloring Michelangelo's frescoed masterpiece. However, he warned, "If this project doesn't work, I'll be forced to impose a limited number (of visitors). But that would be a painful solution." During high season, around 20,000 people a day enter the Sistine Chapel, which was last restored in the 1990s. The numbers, which have increased three-fold in the past 30 years, mean a significant increase in the amount of humidity and dirt that are brought into the small space each day.

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LEED v4 Could Change Business
SAN FRANCISCO—The new LEED v4 material and resource requirements to publicly disclose product ingredients, life-cycle environmental impacts, and raw material sources will accelerate four sustainable business trends for building product manufacturers, according to a article. LEED v4's materials and resource credits create global incentives for products to meet new transparency, life-cycle assessment (LCA), responsible sourcing, and hazardous ingredient reporting standards. The new requirements could usher in an era where businesses may become much more responsible for the sustainability of their second- and third-tier suppliers.

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University, Walmart to Study Green Roofs
PORTLAND, Ore.—Portland State University (PSU) will construct a green roof research site atop a new Walmart store in North Portland in a bid to better understand how green roofs work and how they can be improved. The two-year partnership with Walmart will enable PSU’s Green Building Research Laboratory to study the way the roof filters rainwater, enhances energy efficiency, mitigates heat island issues and improves wildlife habitat on a 40,000 ft2 (3700 m2) installation. The team will embed sensors and a weather station on the store along with vegetation. The balance of the Walmart roof will have a 52,000 ft2 (4800 m2) white membrane roof for comparison purposes. A similar green roof in Chicago will provide comparison data to the Portland structure.

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Microsoft Turns to Wind Power for Texas Data Center
HOUSTON—Microsoft has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement to buy wind energy from RES America. The software company plans to buy all of the energy produced by the Keechi wind project, a 110 MW wind facility 70 miles (113 km) northwest of Ft. Worth, Texas. The wind farm shares the grid with Microsoft’s data center in San Antonio, and is part of its strategy to reduce the carbon footprint of its data centers. Construction on the 55-turbine Keechi wind power project is scheduled to begin in December and it is expected to be operational by June 2015.  

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Start Early to Inspire Future Engineers, Say Educators
BOSTON—"Children think engineers drive trains," says Christine Cunningham, an education researcher and vice president at the Museum of Science in Boston. Some picture engineers as construction workers assembling buildings, bridges or roads. "The kids think engineers build these structures, not design them. If you have no idea what engineers do, then it’s not very likely that you’ll think about this as a career path," she says. The human—engineering—side of science rarely appears in education curriculums until college, according to an article in Discover magazine. That lack of focus is leading to the "leaky engineering talent pipeline" in the U.S. The article says engineering instruction should build on young students' natural problem-solving skills to prepare a future generation of critical thinkers.

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In other news...

Nov. 15 Webcast Kicks Off 2014 Engineers Week
AMCA International Names New Executive Committee and Board of Directors
Water Heaters Make Gains in Latest AHRI Heating, Cooling Equipment Shipment Data
India Blocks U.S. Proposal to Use Montreal Protocol to Phase Down HFCs
Firestone Connecticut Plant Goes 'Green' With Solar PV, Cool Roof
Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Website Helps Users Find Energy-Efficient Homes


2013 Versions of Key Standards Covered in Courses at 2014 Winter Conference
Courses addressing the 2013 versions of key ASHRAE standards will be featured at the 2014 ASHRAE Winter Conference. In all, 23 professional development seminars and short courses will be offered by the ASHRAE Learning Institute. Of special interest are courses related to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2013, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, and ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, both of which were recently published, along with the soon-to-be-published Standard 55-2013, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy. The 2014 Winter Conference will be held Jan. 18–22 in New York.

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Call for Presenters

ASHRAE/IBPSA-USA Building Simulation Conference Issues Call for Presenters
A call for presenters has been issued for the 2014 ASHRAE/IBPSA-USA Building Simulation Conference. The new jointly cosponsored conference encompasses the ASHRAE Energy Modeling and IBPSA-USA SimBuild Conferences. The call for presenters is focused on the theme "BIM, BEM and SIM—Integrated Building Design and Modeling," which will be addressed through five broad tracks. Tracks include "State-of-the-Art BIM," "Design Firms," "BIM in the Cloud," "Codes and Rating Systems," and "Life Cycle Cost Analysis: Show Me the Money." The 2014 ASHRAE/IBPSA-USA Building Simulation Conference will be held Sept. 10–12 in Atlanta.

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Feature of the Week

Commissioning Design/Build Projects
By Stephen C. Turner, P.E., Member ASHRAE; Mark Hogil Jung; and Seung Hwan Hwang
According to the authors, the commissioning (Cx) process is not one-size-fits-all. For example, in a design/build project, design occurs during the construction phase, requiring changes to the traditional commissioning process. This article discusses these differences in commissioning for a design/build project vs. a design/bid/build project using examples from practice, including an example from a net zero energy school project.

This article originally was published in October 2012. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Nov. 21.

After Nov. 21, 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 online store.

Product News

Rooftop Units From Johnson Controls
MILWAUKEE—Johnson Controls has launched a new line of York Prestige rooftop units, designed to match the footprints of other manufacturers’ units without a curb adapter. The 3 ton to 12.5 ton (10.6 kW to 44 kW) units feature microprocessor control technology with an LED display, as well as a programmable USB interface and digital diagnostic readouts. Also, the VelociTach motor control board enables real-time performance monitoring and infinitely variable fan speeds.

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Natatorium Dehumidification System From Munters
AMESBURY, Mass.—The Wringer pool natatorium dehumidification and energy recovery system from Munters uses dry outdoor air, when conditions allow, to control the indoor environment. The system uses air-to-air energy recovery to reduce supplemental heating and cooling requirements and provide precooling and reheating of supply air during periods requiring mechanical dehumidification. By recovering energy from the exhaust air using an air-to-air heat exchanger, the amount of time that the space can be conditioned with outdoor air only is increased substantially.

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Boilers, Water Heaters From Bradford White
AMBLER, Pa.—Bradford White introduces the Brute Series line of residential and commercial gas-fired boilers and volume water heaters for hydronic applications. The products are available in a variety of venting and mounting configurations.

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