Facility Managers Nationwide Learn About Indoor Air Quality and HVAC Energy Efficiency

Pure Air Control Services Inc., will feature building health, occupant comfort and HVAC energy efficiency at Building Operating Management’s National Facilities Management and Technology Expo 2018.

NFMT Baltimore General Session

Baltimore MD, Facility Managers know the daily grind of juggling multiple assets and systems to keep their buildings operating the best they can. Often times budgets and maintenance programs are put at odds. Preventative maintenance quickly becomes deferred maintenance. This is when the vast majority of indoor air quality (IAQ) and HVAC energy efficiency issues begin to occur. In most cases addressing these issues later rather than sooner end up costing more in downtime and dollars spent.

We spend 90% of our time in shared, indoor environments. If something is amiss, it can wreak havoc on the organization’s biggest asset within their building: the people! Consider that a World Health Organization (WHO) report found that 1 in 3 buildings are afflicted with Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) which affects 64 million U.S. workers. These workers experience two or more of the following symptoms that can lead to lost productivity or absence: Nose irritation, Eye irritation and Headaches. SBS can be attributed to the failing of key performance metrics in a building operations and engineering, including the HVAC system.

Consider this, less than 3/16 of an inch of fouling across an evaporator coil can decrease the efficiency of that air handling unit by 21% or more! That performance hit, combined with a cool, damp, environment creates the worst-case scenario for mold and bacteria growth which can affect building occupants!

Pure Air Control Services Inc., will be talking about how they have helped their clientele to improve IAQ and energy efficiency at Booth 2515. On display will be their three specialized divisions, Building Sciences, Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory, and Building Remediation Sciences. Each of these teams works together to provide testing, analysis and engineered solutions to optimize facility IAQ and HVAC system performance, including energy efficiency.

At the booth will be an interactive HVAC evaporator coil demonstration to shows the efficacy of Pure Air’s proprietary PURE-Steam coil cleaning method compared to doing nothing to a clogged coil. The demo also outlines the benefits of their HVAC New Life total hygienic restoration. This unique restoration process allows facilities to extend the life of aging HVAC equipment for 1/10th of the cost of total replacement! IAQ Solutions Specialists will be on hand to discuss IAQ problem solving through testing and remediation services that can put building health and energy efficiency back on track!

NFMT 2018
Booth 2515
March 20-22
Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore Maryland

For more information or to register for the conference please click here.

About Pure Air Control Services, Inc.
Pure Air Control Services, Inc. was established in 1984 as a small, mechanical, contracting firm and has since set the industry standard for indoor environmental quality diagnosis, environmental laboratory and remediation. Pure Air Control Services has serviced more than 600 million square feet of indoor environments in over 10,000 facilities.

The company’s nationally performed services include: Building Sciences evaluations; Building Health Check IAQ assessments; a CDC ELITE Environmental Microbiology Laboratory; Environmental Project Management; HVAC New Life Restoration and PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning/Mold Remediation Services, among other indoor environmental services.

Article Source: http://pureaircontrols.com/facility-managers-learn-iaq-hvac-energy-efficiency/

Harvard University’s 58,000sqft Energy Facility is under construction

Harvard Univeristy's Allston Campus District Energy Facility is under construction

Construction has begun on the Allston Campus District Energy Facility (DEF), located at Harvard University.

The 58,000sqft facility has been designed by Boston-based architect, Leers Weinzapfel Associates.

The project is considered to be a ‘cogeneration plant’ – a new, efficient infrastructure typology that will provide hot and cold water, as well as energy, to the campus.

The new facility will be located on one of Harvard’s most prominent sites, the Allston campus

RMF Engineering are responsible for developing the buildings efficient and resilient systems – which are also adaptable for any future needs on the campus, encouraging sustainability.

The building will continue to work in the event of electrical grid failure through its independent operations, whilst the site can use thermal energy through the chilled water tank.

“The realization of the new District Energy Facility will enhance reliability and resiliency and maximize the use of academic space,” commented Principal Jane Weinzapfel, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA).

“It will actively support the academic growth of Harvard’s expanding Allston campus,” she added.

Rendering: Leers Weinzapfel Associates.

Original Source: http://www.energydigital.com/sustainability/harvard-universitys-58000sqft-energy-facility-under-construction

Judge orders Trump administration to implement energy limits

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in San Francisco on Thursday ordered the Trump administration to implement energy-use limits for portable air conditioners and other products that were adopted during the last days of the Obama presidency.

The U.S. Department of Energy was required to put the energy-efficiency standards into effect after a 45-day period to identify any errors and did not have the authority to continue to assess them, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said.

The ruling came in two lawsuits — one filed by New York, California and other states and the other by environmental groups.

The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately comment. The lawsuits over the energy standards are among a spate of legal actions challenging decisions by the Trump administration to roll back environmental protections.

The states argued that the new standards would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save businesses and consumers billions of dollars, and conserve enough energy to power more than 19 million households for a year.

Chhabria gave the DOE 28 days to publish the standards — the step needed to make them legally enforceable.

 The standards at issue also cover air compressors, commercial packaged boilers and uninterruptible power supplies. There is currently no federal energy standard for air compressors, uninterruptible power supplies or portable air conditioners, according to the states’ lawsuit.

The Obama administration signed off on them in December 2016 and posted them online for a 45-day review period intended to spot any errors.

Chhabria said the Trump administration did not have the authority assess, modify or withdraw an energy standard after that period.

The other states in the lawsuit are: Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Vermont, Washington, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Maryland. The City of New York is also a plaintiff.

Article Source: http://www.telegraphherald.com/ap/business/article_92ad26a9-b419-5206-8b50-7cc2461a956b.html

Household products make surprisingly large contributions to air pollution

smog over LA

AUSTIN, Texas — To reduce your impact on air quality, you might expect to trade in your gas-guzzling clunker of a car — but you can also unplug those air fresheners.

In urban areas, emissions from consumer goods such as paint, cleaning supplies and personal care products now contribute as much to ozone and fine particulate matter in the atmosphere as do emissions from burning gasoline or diesel fuel.

The finding is largely a sign of success, study coauthor Brian McDonald said February 15 during a news conference at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Steps taken to clean up car exhaust over the past few decades have had a huge effect, and as a result, “the sources of air pollution are now becoming more diverse in cities,” said McDonald, a chemist at Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences in Boulder, Colo.

VOC-emitting consumer products


Everyday products like these emit a bouquet of volatile organic compounds that contribute to air pollution. A spritz of perfume or a spray of disinfectant has a small effect, but frequent use of these products by millions of people adds up to a big impact.

  • Shampoo
  • Hairspray
  • Deodorant
  • Perfume
  • Air fresheners
  • Cleaning sprays
  • Laundry detergent
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Glue
  • Paint

“When you have a big mountain in front of you, it’s difficult to know what lies behind it,” says Spyros Pandis, a chemical engineer at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh who wasn’t part of the study. Now, other sources of air pollution are becoming more visible.

The new study, also published in the Feb. 16 Sciencefocused on volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that are derived from petroleum. These are a diverse array of hundreds of chemicals that easily vaporize and make their way into the atmosphere. Some VOCs can be harmful when directly inhaled — molecules released by bleach and paint make people lightheaded, for example.

Beyond their immediate effects, VOCs react with other molecules in the air, such as oxygen and nitrogen oxides, to generate ozone as well as fine particulate matter. (Those nitrogen oxides come, in large part, from vehicle exhaust.) High levels of fine particulate matter make it hard to breathe and contribute to chronic lung problems (SN: 9/30/17, p. 18). And while ozone high in the atmosphere helps shield Earth from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, at ground level, it mixes with fine particulates to form breath-choking smog.

Over a period of six weeks, the researchers collected air samples in Pasadena, located in the notoriously smoggy Los Angeles valley. They also evaluated indoor air quality measurements made by other scientists. The team traced the molecules found in these air samples to their original sources using databases that show the specific volatile organic compounds released by specific products.

Consumer products that emit VOCs have an outsized effect on air pollution, the team found. About 15 times as much oil and natural gas is used as fuel than ends up in consumer products ranging from soaps, shampoos and deodorants to air fresheners, glues and cleaning sprays. And yet these everyday products were responsible for 38 percent of the VOC emissions, the researchers found, while gasoline and diesel emissions accounted for only 33 percent. Consumer products also contributed just as much as fuels to chemical reactions that lead to ozone and fine particulate matter. The emissions from consumer products also dwarfed those from the production of oil and gas, called upstream emissions.

Extra emissions

Consumer goods like paints, inks and bath products make up only a tiny sliver of the sources releasing volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere. But they have an outsized impact, contributing about as much to VOC emissions as gasoline and diesel do.

Emission sources: Use versus contribution to smog


Regulations on VOCs vary by state, but most consumer products are regulated only for their potential contribution to ground-level ozone, not fine particulate matter. This study makes it clear that even though most volatile emissions from consumer products happen indoors, that air eventually gets vented outside, where it can contribute to larger-scale atmospheric pollution in multiple ways, McDonald said.

More work needs to be done to see whether other cities show the same pattern, the researchers add, as well as to figure out which kinds of VOCs might be particularly problematic. Because there are so many VOCs and they all react differently in the atmosphere, there’s still a lot to learn about which might be most likely to form fine particles and therefore be the best targets for reduction.

Part of the challenge with many these volatile-emitting products is that they’re specifically designed to evaporate as part of their job, says study coauthor Jessica Gilman, an atmospheric chemist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder. For some products, like paints, there are low-VOC formulations available. But finding replacements for key ingredients in other products can be hard. Picking unscented versions of personal care products when possible and using the minimum amount necessary can help reduce the impact on air quality.

Article: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/household-products-make-surprisingly-large-contributions-air-pollution

L.A. Takes Big Step to Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Buildings

the Los Angeles City Council adopted a resolution targeting drastic cuts to greenhouse gas emissions from commercial and residential buildings—the latest step by the nation’s second-largest city to shrink the environmental footprint of its built environment.

The measure gives L.A.’s Building and Safety Department and the Department of Water and Power (DWP) 90 days to recommend methods for reducing reliance on natural gas and shifting toward electricity from clean sources for heating, water heating, and cooking; and requires DWP to set ambitious goals for building electrification in 2028 and 2038. The targets are in line with mayor Eric Garcetti’s aggressive sustainability plan, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent before 2035. “Our vision for L.A. is to be fossil fuel-free, and we need building electrification to make this vision a reality,” says Lauren Faber O’Connor, L.A.’s chief sustainability officer. Currently, the L.A. region burns more fossil fuels in its buildings than in its power plants.

The two departments tasked with the 90-day study may recommend changing local building codes, or crafting incentives for adopting efficient electric-powered building technologies, says Maria Stamas, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s climate and energy programs. The DWP, the nation’s largest public utility, must also include the new electrification goals in its planning, “which will create internal pressure to invest in electrification so it can meet anticipated future demand,” she says.

Like L.A., forward-thinking U.S. cities have been taking a leadership role in mitigating climate change, many acting even before the current administration’s 2017 decision to withdraw the country from the Paris Agreement. These cities are using a mix of regulatory measures and incentive programs to slash energy use and curb carbon emissions from buildings, says Tim Pryce, energy and buildings program director for the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a global initiative focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. New York is in the process of passing legislation requiring owners to retrofit existing buildings greater than 25,000 square feet to meet minimum energy efficiency standards. In addition, New York and several other cities, including Denver and Minneapolis, have adopted broad “80×50” mandates to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2050. In April 2016, San Francisco became the first major U.S. city to approve legislation requiring rooftop solar on new buildings with 10 or fewer stories. In Boston, a voluntary program for property owners called The Mayor’s Carbon Cup asks participants to commit to a 35 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 for at least one million square feet of building space; through 2016, participants have cut their emissions by 52 percent compared to their baselines.

Back in L.A., the move by City Council is a welcome shift from setting ambitious targets toward outlining steps needed to reach them, says Leigh Christy, an associate principal in the local office of Perkins+Will. “Of course, we as architects should still design buildings for maximum energy efficiency, with tight building envelopes and reduced heating and cooling loads to curb emissions,” she says. “But any measure that aims to reduce the use of fossil fuels is a step in the right direction.”

Article Source: https://www.architecturalrecord.com/articles/13253-la-takes-big-step-to-curb-greenhouse-gas-emissions-from-buildings