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Industry News Small Buildings Prompt Big News for Building Certification Organizations
WHATELY, Mass.—Two of the world's foremost building certification programs have been active in the early part of the year. The Living Building Challenge added to its exclusive portfolio. Smith College’s Bechtel Environmental Classroom, a new 2,300 ft2 (214 m2) learning center set on 240 acres (97 ha), has become only the fifth building in the world to be certified as a Living Building. Meanwhile, the Green Building Initiative, developer of the Green Globes program, has named Jerry Yudelson as its new president. The Tucson, Ariz.-based consultant says he wants to update the six-year-old program to make it faster and more accessible for smaller projects.
Click here to learn more about the new Living Building on the Smith College campus.
Click here to learn more about Green Building Initiative naming Jerry Yudelson as its new president.
More Workers, Better Technology Brightening Solar Industry
WASHINGTON—The U.S. solar industry employed 142,698 Americans as of November 2013, according to the "Solar Jobs Census 2013" report by The Solar Foundation. This figure includes an additional 23,682 solar industry workers over the previous year, representing 19.9% growth in employment since September 2012. Those workers likely will work with a variety of new technologies that are being developed to bolster the growing solar industry. One example is a new approach to harvesting solar energy developed by MIT researchers that could improve efficiency. The prototype device uses sunlight to heat a high-temperature material whose infrared radiation would then be collected by a conventional photovoltaic cell. The technique could also make it easier to store the energy for later use, the researchers say.
Click here to access the "Solar Jobs Census 2013" report.
Click here to learn more about MIT's new solar harvesting technology.
Reasons to Breathe Easier About Bad Air
WASHINGTON—The air above the U.S. is becoming cleaner, and voters want action to make it even more so. U.S. voters strongly want action by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to limit carbon pollution from power plants. According to a new survey conducted for the Sierra Club, around 70% of respondents support strong carbon pollution limits on power plants. The survey of 1,000 voters also found strong support among voters for moving away from coal and other dirty fuels and a preference for investing in clean energy. Total releases of toxic chemicals decreased 12% from 2011-2012, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report released this week. The decrease includes an 8% decline in total toxic air releases, primarily due to reductions in hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions. "People deserve to know what toxic chemicals are being used and released in their backyards, and what companies are doing to prevent pollution," said EPA administrator Gina McCarthy.
Click here to read more about the Sierra Club survey.
Click here to read more about EPA's Toxics Release Inventory.
Energy Efficiency Investments: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
ATLANTA—Every million dollars invested in energy-efficiency programs in the southeastern U.S. generated $3.87 million in economic output and 17.28 new jobs, according to a new report by the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA). The report found that the economic results were achieved by completing more than 10,000 building energy audits and 6,000 home and commercial building retrofits in the nine southeastern states that comprise SEEA. North Carolina was one of the four states that produced economic benefits lower than the region average. The experience of one city in North Carolina shows how efficiency investments can go wrong. Greensboro, N.C.’s Better Buildings program missed the mark to the tune of millions of dollars spent without proper benefit. The federally funded program paid for 1,280 homes to be more energy efficient. That’s only about 60% of the 2,120 houses city officials hoped to reach. Program participants spent $13.9 million on their upgrades—$11.1 million shy of the city’s goal to spur $5 of private investment for every $1 in grant money.
Click here to read more about the SEEA report.
Click here to read more about Greensboro's energy-efficiency investment program's woes.
Surveys Track Compensation in A/E Industry
NEWTON, Mass.—PSMJ Resources, a publisher and consultant on the effective management of architecture, engineering, and construction firms, annually surveys architecture and engineering (A/E) firms on management compensation. For 2014, the company has added a new “Staff Compensation Survey,” which asks for base salary, bonus, etc., not relevant to a person’s management (or nonmanagement) role in a firm. Instead, the survey is based on respondents' years of experience in their area of expertise. The deadline to participate in any of the surveys is Feb. 28.
Click here to participate in an industry survey.
ASHRAE News ASHRAE Publishes 2013 Editions of Refrigerant Safety Standards
The 2013 editions of ASHRAE’s major refrigerants-related standards, incorporating 41 new addenda, have been published. Requirements in ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34-2013, Designation and Safety Classification of Refrigerants, and ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 15-2013, Safety Standard for Refrigeration Systems, complement each other in that Standard 34 describes a shorthand way of naming refrigerants and assigns safety classifications based on toxicity and flammability data. Standard 15 establishes rules for safe application in equipment and systems. ASHRAE sells the standards as a set.
Conference Program Announced for ASHRAE Hot Climate Conference
The full program has been announced for the First International Conference on Energy and Indoor Environment for Hot Climates, and includes four keynote addresses, three internationally-organized special sessions, 13 conference paper sessions and 43 papers. In all, there are some 60 presentations on latest trends, new ideas, research and applications of energy efficiency in high ambient temperature climates. Organized by ASHRAE, the ASHRAE Qatar Oryx Chapter and the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), the Conference will be held Feb. 24–26, in Doha, Qatar.
Click here for the conference schedule and to register.
Feature of the Week Using Time-of-Day Scheduling to Save Energy
By Michael D. Larrañaga, Ph.D., P.E., Member ASHRAE; Mario G. Beruvides, Ph.D., P.E.; H.W. Holder, Member ASHRAE; Enusha Karunasena, Ph.D.; and David C. Straus, Ph.D.
According to the authors, using a DOAS in series or parallel with non-DOAS HVAC systems offers cost-effective humidity control when compared to dehumidification methods using cooling coils and reheat. This article shows how engineers used a supply air dew point of 45°F (7°C) on an HVAC system retrofit with active desiccant dehumidification on a high school HVAC system retrofit project, resulting in significant energy savings for the district. The design and installation addressed concerns associated with chronic high indoor humidity at a high school in the hot and humid southern valley of Texas.
This article originally was published in May 2008. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Feb. 21.
After Feb. 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 ashrae.org online store.
Supermarket Refrigeration Control System From Danfoss
BALTIMORE—The ADAP-KOOL AK-SM 800 Series from Danfoss is a supermarket refrigeration control system accessible from a Web browser or mobile device. The service app for mobile devices gives flexibility to service personnel and the Web application enables owners and operators to monitor and manage data and alarms across store locations.
Combustion Air Intake From Tjernlund
WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn.—In-Forcer commercial combustion air intakes from Tjernlund are packaged systems engineered to provide controlled, interlocked combustion air to minimize flue gas spillage, flame roll-outs, decreased efficiencies, and reduction to heating equipment life. The product uses small diameter ductwork to deliver outdoor air up to 100 ft (30 m) away from the intake hood.
Boiler/Water Heater From Laars
ROCHESTER, N.H.—The new MagnaTherm from Laars is a 95% thermal efficiency modulating-condensing boiler or volume water heater available in 2-, 3- and 4-million Btu/h capacities. The product offers a 5:1 turndown, small footprint, slim vertical design with removable top section, a stainless steel heat exchanger and multiple voltage options to match building service. Its VARI-PRIME pump control seamlessly matches boiler firing rate to boiler pump flow.
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