Don’t Let Rising Costs of Building Materials Cut Short Your High Performance Buildings Journey

According to a study by Navigant Research, the worldwide market for green construction materials will more than double in the next seven years to more than $250 billion by 2020. Just how this impending spike in demand will impact the cost of green construction is difficult to predict, but it’s safe to say that construction costs will increase for projects that involve these materials.

Is the global increase in demand for energy efficient building materials and technologies raising the cost of the very solutions that are meant to save your organization money? While it could spell increased costs for organizations looking to build a high performance building from the ground up, there are still many options available to increase building efficiency without blowing your budget.

With costs of materials and technologies on the rise, it’s important that organizations considering new construction projects or building retrofits understand the value that different choices can bring to their project. For instance, while upgrading choices in building materials might improve the baseline efficiency of a building, there can be opportunity costs that arise if these material costs lead to offsets elsewhere in the building budget.

Instead, organizations should look at the project as a whole and consider how each decision related to building design will impact total project costs and bottom line building performance over the entire life of the building. Factors beyond building materials to consider include the design of the building’s heating and cooling systems, and building management and automation systems, which can play a significant role in achieving better outcomes.

Whether its maximizing the return on investment or making choices that help stretch a tight budget, Trane works closely with building owners to understand their options and prioritize energy conservation measures (ECM) that are best suited to their unique situation.

Sometimes, the latest building materials are a part of the best solution. Other times, more efficient systems or a change in maintenance or management procedures may be in order. Either way, a good energy management services company like Trane has you covered.

Click here to learn more about the measurable, year-over-year benefits of the Trane high performance buildings approach to optimizing building efficiency.

Trane Introduces Variable Refrigerant Systems

VRF3Intended for commercial applications, Trane’s Advantage VRF variable refrigerant systems — featuring variable-speed  compressor technology — offer customizable solutions for improved  temperature control and occupant comfort in an energy-efficient package that reduces operating expenses.

Using refrigerant to move energy around the building is far more efficient  than other conventional heating, ventilation and air conditioning  systems. Variable-speed compressor technology precisely matches energy use to the demands of the building and only heats and cools the areas  that require it.

The new systems are highly scalable and can supplement other heating and cooling solutions for difficult climate control areas. They are suited for use as a stand-alone or additional system in  historic buildings, multi-tenant buildings, diversely occupied  buildings, tenant-finished commercial properties and other  area-containing buildings such as luxury suites, ticket offices and administrative  rooms, where full control over temperatures can provide additional  comfort and value.

The external and internal units themselves are compact and come in a  variety of options, from 3- to 36-ton outdoor units which require no  equipment room to ½- to 7 ½ ton indoor units, which can be concealed  above ceilings or installed in the desired space. Because the systems are ductless, less installation space is needed and climate control solutions are available in entire buildings or areas within  that don’t allow room for ductwork.

The systems offer simultaneous heating and cooling, transferring energy  within a building to provide cooling to one area while providing heating to another area of the same building. This feature creates a solution for buildings with multiple zones that naturally heat up and cool down  in varying patterns.

Trane Advantage VRF systems provide multiple options for unit configuration  and control that make spaces more attractive to tenants, including  zone-level control of individual indoor units and centralized-level controls for control of up to 256 total indoor units in up to 16  groups. Building-level controls can manage an entire structure’s  multiple-VRF systems on-site or via BACnet® connectivity, or remote  internet access.

Individual zone control gives occupants and building managers more flexibility and efficiency in their use of energy. The ability to track individual unit energy use allows owners to bill tenants based on energy use and indicate areas that might need repair or would benefit from  energy efficiency improvements.

For more information: www.trane.com

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The HVAC Factor: Spiral Round Ductwork

Striving to achieve ever higher levels of building performance, designers of many of the most energy efficient high performance, commercial buildings are using spiral round ductwork, and with good reason. Static regain designed spiral round ducting costs about one-fourth less, weighs 25% less, is quicker and easier to install, and takes up less space than conventional rectangular ducting in variable air volume (VAV) or constant volume systems, according to the Spiral Duct Association (SPIDA). Doing more with less (less cost, less energy, and less material) is a hallmark of the high performance building concept.

Static regain is a method in which ducts are sized so that the regain in static pressure due to decreased velocity between two points totally or partially compensates for the frictional resistance between the points. This helps create more uniform static pressure at the various branches and outlets aiding in self balancing of the system and reduced sound levels due to duct over-pressurization.

An aspect of particular interest to facility managers (fms) is that spiral round ducting also enables better HVAC system performance than does rectangular ductwork. Systems that include static regain designed spiral round ductwork use less energy, deliver air to every VAV box, and create a more comfortable indoor environment for occupants and visitors.

For example, duct leakage of as much as 10% was common in buildings with rectangular ductwork just 10 years ago. With newer sealing technologies, leakage in rectangular ductwork can be reduced to about 3%. However, round ductwork can provide leakage rates of less than 1%, according to SPIDA.

Reducing leakage can have a profound impact on both HVAC energy efficiency and occupant comfort by ensuring that the right amount of conditioned air is directed to the intended locations within a facility. The result is fewer comfort calls for the facility staff and higher levels of indoor air quality.

Tighter ductwork also means better energy efficiency. In fact, with a modern, high efficiency HVAC system in place, reducing leakage from 10% to 1% has the equivalent effect of a 29% boost in fan energy. Even a reduction from 3% to 1% in leakage can deliver a 6% savings in fan energy according to calculations by Trane, a provider of indoor comfort solutions and services.

With spiral round ductwork, system designers can use significantly higher air velocity than they can with conventional rectangular duct systems, according to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). This can be done with equal or lower acoustic performance compared to rectangular ductwork. Higher velocity, static regain designs are state-of-the-art for current lower installed cost VAV systems.

Another positive aspect is that round ductwork can be designed using higher velocities without higher external fan static pressures. The fitting losses of round ductwork are lower than those of rectangular ductwork. Since fitting losses represent a significant percentage of ductwork friction losses, a high velocity, static regain round duct system can be designed at equal, or even lower, fan static pressure than with traditional rectangular ductwork.

This efficiency advantage can be further enhanced by use of direct digital control (DDC) strategies. For example with DDC/VAV controls, fan pressure optimization can be achieved by identifying which VAV box in the system requires the maximum static pressure and then controlling the fan to provide just that amount of static pressure and no more. This strategy has the potential to save 20% to 40% compared to a non-optimized system, Trane has found. The good news for operators is there are cost-effective ways to upgrade older, pneumatically controlled VAV boxes to also use this technology. Meanwhile, various building automation systems can provide advanced control strategies like fan pressure optimization.

Spiral round ductwork is a suitable alternative to rectangular ductwork in many high performance facilities for which designers are considering VAV designs, which offer both significant first cost and life cycle savings. This approach can be combined with state-of-the-art controls and intelligent service options to optimize performance throughout a facility’s lifetime.

Smithart is director of systems and solutions for Trane, a global provider of indoor comfort solutions and services and a brand of Ingersoll Rand. He has more than four decades of HVAC industry experience, is a former Marine, and is recipient of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Climate Protection Award, among other honors. 

Hotel Modern Receives Safety Award from Trane

Check out Page 12 of September’s HVAC Insider to see how Trane honored the Hotel Modern with a Safety Partnership Award!

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Trane Launches EarthWiseTM Intelligent Variable Air Systems

Trane® EarthWise™ Intelligent Variable Air Systems offer efficiency, indoor air quality and comfort control, with lower installation costs — making them perfect for both new installations and retrofits.

Why Trane EarthWise Intelligent Variable Air Systems?

  •  More efficiency — Compared to traditional VAV systems, new variable air technology offers efficiency improvements of 20 to 30 percent.
  •  Easier, more-flexible installations — Controls are pre-packaged at the factory for smoother installation and commissioning, but also allow the flexibility of on-site programming.
  •  Optimized ventilation and free cooling — Dynamic ventilation control, economizer free cooling, zone dampers and optimized ventilation sequences minimize energy use while complying with mechanical codes.
  •  Performance you can see; operation you can control — Standard dashboards let you easily see and evaluate system performance; local or remote adjustments are easy.
  •  Fast, simple upgrades — Adding a Trane EarthWise Intelligent Variable Air System can be fast and affordable, thanks to retrofit dampers and Trane Wireless Comm technology.

More efficiency, with fast and simple installations and lower installation costs. All with the performance and reliability you expect from Trane. For these reasons and more, Trane EarthWise Intelligent Variable Air Systems can be the best HVAC solution for your building.

To learn more about the features and performance of Trane EarthWise Intelligent Variable Air Systems, contact your local Trane account manager.

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Ingersoll Rand Named to 2013 Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indices

SWORDS, Ireland — Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR), a world leader in creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments, was selected for the 2013 Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indices in recognition of the company’s economic, environmental and social performance. This is the third consecutive year that Ingersoll Rand has been listed on both indices.

“Our placement on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indices is a testament to our efforts to embed sustainability into the fabric of our company, reduce our operational footprint, and deliver on our mission to help customers achieve greater energy efficiency through innovative solutions,” said Michael W. Lamach, chairman and chief executive officer of Ingersoll Rand. “Our communities and customers are facing significant challenges brought about by increased urbanization, resource scarcity and desire to be more competitive. Ingersoll Rand is well positioned to help meet these global challenges with creative solutions and services.”

Ingersoll Rand has set and publicly announced aggressive sustainability goals and is making significant progress against these goals. Details on this progress can be found in the company’s 2012 Sustainability Report. Further, the company continues to embed sustainability into the product development process, while engaging thousands of our employee volunteers who participate in global Green Team activities.

“Because the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices reflect the ongoing and increased efforts of our peer companies to achieve best in class performance, it challenges us to stay focused and ahead of the curve in order to continue to improve,” said W. Scott Tew, executive director, Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (CEES) at Ingersoll Rand. “For us, it means we must engage all of our employees in our efforts from more than 130 volunteer global Green Teams actively working to optimize our facilities to thousands of engineers who are incorporating sustainable design principles across the life cycle of our products.”

To help showcase our thought leadership and provide greater transparency, Ingersoll Rand produces a combined Annual and Sustainability Report on economic, social and environmental performance, including how the company is addressing urgent global social and environmental challenges in a way that is valuable to customers. To view the company’s most recent Annual and Sustainability Report, visit www.ingersollrand.com/sustainability.

About S&P Dow Jones Indices

S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, a part of McGraw Hill Financial, is the world’s largest, global resource for index-based concepts, data and research. Home to iconic financial market indicators, such as the S&P 500® and the Dow Jones Industrial Average™, S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC has over 115 years of experience constructing innovative and transparent solutions that fulfill the needs of investors. More assets are invested in products based upon our indices than any other provider in the world. With over 830,000 indices covering a wide range of asset classes across the globe, S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC defines the way investors measure and trade the markets. To learn more about the company, please visit www.spdji.com.

About Ingersoll Rand

Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR) advances the quality of life by creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments. Our people and our family of brands — including Club Car®, Ingersoll Rand®, Schlage®, Thermo King® and Trane® — work together to enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings; transport and protect food and perishables; secure homes and commercial properties; and increase industrial productivity and efficiency. We are a $14 billion global business committed to a world of sustainable progress and enduring results. For more information, visit ingersollrand.com.

Read more here: https://www.heraldonline.com/2013/09/12/5203214/ingersoll-rand-named-to-2013-dow.html#storylink=cpy