Impressive Milestone Shows that Safety is Gulf South District’s Middle Name

Safety is engrained into every organization at Trane. But, the Gulf South District achieved an impressive safety milestone recently that proves just how dedicated this organization is to the tenet.

 

As of June 6, Gulf South has achieved 3 consecutive years without an OSHA recordable incident. For perspective, District Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Leader Gordy Wright did a quick check and found that this is the only company sales office (CSO) to accomplish this milestone in at least 10 years!

 

With five offices and 147 employees, the district is comprised of equipment sales, energy services/contracting and service. Gulf South’s safety focus changes with the seasons, and right now the main concern is heat stress and other heat-related injuries; sprains and strains; lacerations; and slips, trips and falls.  These are concerns that especially apply to the district’s field techs.

 

Said Gulf South District General Manager Ed French, “I want to thank all Gulf South employees for this achievement, but give special thanks to all of our field technicians who are managing the majority of the risk with regard to safety in our district. Each and every day you guys make the right decisions to wear your protective equipment, to assess your job sites thoroughly and to make safety a priority. We made the decision to empower our field associates to take ownership of safety, and you guys have truly redefined what ownership means.”

 

French also was quick to cite the dedication of Wright in the district’s attainment of the milestone. “We appreciate Gordy’s efforts in leading our safety culture in Gulf South,” said French.

 

As for the district’s future safety plans, French says Gulf South is committed to making sure every associate is well trained in avoiding safety hazards, well equipped with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and well versed in how to take accountability for safety at a personal level.  Gulf South sees safety as a commitment to its associates and its community.

 
“Accidents happen, and the next accident may be right around the corner, but we will always stay committed to prevention,” said French.

 

Trane Advantage VRF™ Chosen as Money-Saving Product by BUILDINGS Magazine

BUILDINGS magazine, a monthly publication with a distribution of more than 74,000 building owners and facilities management professionals in North America, has selected Trane’s Advantage Variable Refrigerant Systems (VRF) as a 2014 Money-Saving Product winner. The magazine strives to help readers make smarter decisions relevant to the management, modernization, and operation of their facilities.

The Advantage VRF™ is part of an elite group of 97 products showcased in the magazine’s June 2014 issue. Finalists were evaluated by the BUILDINGS editorial staff for the money-saving qualities they offer to building owners and facility managers in areas such as energy consumption, water savings, lighting, envelope improvement, and maintenance.

Go to the BUILDINGS product page to see what the publication says about the Advantage VRF.  You can also view the full list of winners 

About BUILDINGS

The BUILDINGS brand has been serving building owners and facility professionals since 1906. It offers an audited audience of 102,339 decision-makers who come to BUILDINGS for new products and technology because it helps them make smarter building decisions. No other brand offers the platforms that BUILDINGS does. Each platform is audited by BPA – a unique offering in this marketplace.

BUILDINGS magazine serves more than 74,000 commercial building owners and facilities management professionals in North America. The monthly publication helps readers make smarter decisions relevant to the management, modernization, and operation of their facilities.

 

World HVAC Equipment Market Worth $113 Billion by 2018

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) May 12, 2014

Global HVAC equipment market demand is expected to rise roughly 6% per year to $113 billion in 2018. Gains will be aided by continued expansion in building construction activity worldwide and improved spending in developed areas as the global recession of 2009, and subsequent slow recovery limited the market during the 2008-2013 period. Growth will also be driven by increased market penetration, stimulated by rising personal incomes that enable a wider array of individuals to purchase comfort equipment. Additionally, expanded infrastructure, leading to improved access to reliable electricity in developing countries, will provide the energy sources required to power HVAC equipment. Product development is extremely important and will continue to grow at a rapid pace in light of rising interest in more efficient systems and regulations requiring both greater efficiency and, in the case of cooling equipment, the use of more environmentally friendly refrigerants. To this end, HCFCs (e.g., R-22) are increasingly phased out in favor of HFCs (e.g,. HFC-410a), hydrocarbons (e.g., propane), and “natural” refrigerants (e.g., ammonia). Complete report on World HVAC Equipment market is available at https://www.rnrmarketresearch.com/world-hvac-equipment-to-2018-market-report.html.

Dominant Asia/Pacific region to gain market share

The largest regional market for HVAC equipment in 2013 was the Asia/Pacific region, with half of the global total. Advances will be propelled by the continuing development of the Chinese market, which will account for 59 percent of regional sales in 2018 and nearly one-third of additional global demand through 2018. India is expected to post the most rapid gains worldwide with double-digit growth of HVAC equipment sales through 2018 aided by expanding electric power infrastructure and HVAC distribution networks, rising incomes, and greater construction spending. However, in many of the least developed countries in the region, growth for HVAC equipment will be restrained by inadequate personal incomes, unreliable power supplies, and limited product availability. In 2013, North America was the second largest regional market, accounting for one-fifth of global sales. The US is the world’s second largest national HVAC equipment market, accounting for 16 percent of global demand in 2013. The enormity of the US market reflects the immense size and advanced nature of the country’s economy. The US market, along with Western Europe and Japan, will see improved sales rates through 2018 as these areas continue to recover from subdued construction activity, nonresidential investment, and consumer spending associated with the 2009 global recession.

Companies profiled in World HVAC Equipment market research report include Advanced Distributor Products, AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG, Airwell France, Alliance Compressors, Ingersoll-Rand, and Lennox International American Standard Heating and Air Conditioning, Blue Star Limited, Bosch (Robert) GmbH, Broan-NuTone, Carrier Midea India Private, CES Group, Chaffoteaux, Chongqing Midea General Refrigeration Equipment, Climaveneta, Daikin Industries Limited, Danfoss A/S, Dectron Internationale Incorporated, De’Longhi SpA, DeLclima SpA, Dunham-Bush Holding Bhd, Elco Holdings Limited, Elco Shared Services, Electra Consumer Products 1970, Electrolux AB, Emerson Electric Company, GD Midea Holding Company Limited, Goodman Global Group, Gree Electric Appliances Incorporated, Haier Group Company, Hitachi Limited, Ingersoll-Rand plc, International Comfort Products, J&E Hall International, Jiangsu Chunlan Refrigerating Equipment Stock Company Limited, Johnson Controls Incorporated, Kermi, Lennox International Incorporated, LG Electronics Incorporated, McQuay International, Misr Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Manufacturing, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Nordyne, Nortek Incorporated, OYL Group, OYL-Condair Industries, Paloma Company Limited, Panasonic Corporation, PZP HEATING as, Raypak, RC Group, Rheem Manufacturing, Ruud Manufacturing, Samsung Electronics Company Limited, Sharp Corporation, Thermoplus Air, Trane, United Technologies Corporation, Voltas Limited, Whirlpool Corporation, Zhuhai Gree Daikin Device and Gree Electric Appliances. Order a copy of this report at https://www.rnrmarketresearch.com/contacts/purchase?rname=175213.

Heat pumps to be the fastest-growing type worldwide

Room air conditioners accounted for approximately one-quarter of global HVAC equipment sales in 2013. Minisplits will achieve the more rapid gains, as these units are generally more energy efficient than window units due to the common inclusion of inverter technology. Heat pumps are projected to register the fastest gains through 2018, arising from a low base. Heat pumps are valued for their energy efficiency and ability to provide both heating and cooling capabilities. Market penetration of these products is relatively low throughout the world, and demand often is dependent on government incentives (e.g., low interest loans, rebates, tax breaks) and low electricity rates (where electricity is the primary energy source).

Explore more reports on the HVAC market at https://www.rnrmarketresearch.com/reports/manufacturing-construction/construction/hvac.

About Us:
RnRMarketResearch.com (https://www.rnrmarketresearch.com/) is an online database of market research reports offer in-depth analysis of over 5000 market segments. The library has syndicated reports by leading market research publishers across the globe and also offer customized market research reports for multiple industries.

Read the full story at https://www.prweb.com/releases/HVAC-equipment-industry/2018-2023-forecast-report/prweb11843640.htm

How Modeling Can Help You Increase Your Facility’s Energy Efficiency

By Neil Maldeis

Healthcare facility managers are constantly looking for ways to reduce energy consumption, manage operating costs and improve the physical environment of care so their hospitals can deliver better patient outcomes and provide a better, more comfortable and productive workplace for caregivers and staff.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says that hospitals typically use more than twice the energy per square foot as the average commercial building, making healthcare a target-rich environment for facility teams looking to improve energy efficiency. As a result, energy efficiency has been elevated on most healthcare organizations’ to-do lists as organizations strive to do more with less.

Many hospitals are embracing high-performance building technologies and operating practices to make energy efficiency a priority when they begin new building projects or renovate existing facilities.

The incremental expense of choosing more energy-efficient design, construction and operating practices has gone down. In fact, the U.S. Green Building Council says the “green premium” for making energy-efficient choices has all but disappeared, ranging from nothing at all to around 6 percent. Meanwhile, the council says that high-performance buildings use 20- to 30-percent less energy and cost as much as 50-percent less to operate over their occupied life than standard buildings, yielding an attractive return on investment for building owners and operators.

Advancements in building modeling and analysis software have made it easier than ever for facility teams and their energy industry partners to compare the long-term impact of various choices, conduct “what if” analyses, choose operating parameters and make decisions about the energy efficiency measures they choose to implement.

Improved Building Modeling Capabilities Drive Decision-making

Building modeling and analysis software has come a long way since its introduction during the energy crisis of the early 1970s, and the science of modeling continues to advance. Today’s most advanced software applies techniques recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and meets the requirements of the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building rating system.

Building designers are able to make better choices when it comes to aligning building system capacity with the hospital’s anticipated load requirements. For example, the software can consider a wide range of design, climate, building envelope, utilization schedules, site orientation and other variables to establish peak heating and cooling loads. This enables the designer to better specify the required capacity for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and other mechanical systems to ensure that the facility is able to create and maintain a safe and comfortable environment for building occupants.

Modern design and analysis tools enable users to simulate the design features of the actual hospital building early in the decision-making process. Particularly valuable in the healthcare environment is the ability to recognize and accommodate the need to maintain specific environmental conditions in different units of the hospital. For example, the software can evaluate the unique temperature, ventilation and air pressure requirements of a surgical suite compared with those of an isolation ward, patient room, lobby or cafeteria.

Software Aids Evaluation of Energy Efficiency Measures

Modeling software also enables users to evaluate various energy efficiency measures and determine which make the most sense and which provide the most attractive return on investment over time.

Today’s advanced tools enable facilities teams and their energy-industry partners to use net present value (NPV)-based cost analysis. Compared with the simple payback view of return on investment, NPV provides a more realistic picture of the total savings that energy conservation measures will generate over a hospital building’s decades-long occupied life. The total lifecycle approach is a critical element of the high-performance hospital concept.

Sophisticated algorithms can model the impact of a wide range of mechanical equipment options, ranging from chilled water systems and boilers to advanced technologies such as thermal storage, heat recovery, geothermal and cogeneration. In addition, the software can determine the projected impact on energy costs by choosing different energy types, utility providers and rate options.

Particularly valuable to facility management teams is the software’s ability to simulate control strategies, such as optimum start/stop, temperature or static pressure setpoint reset, humidification, night purge, fan cycling, demand limiting and equipment sequencing. These simulations can identify no-cost or low-cost energy conservation measures that can be implemented quickly by reprogramming the hospital’s building automation system.

Modeling software also can generate reports that make it easy for users to compare multiple alternatives. The reports also can be used to demonstrate compliance with ASHRAE and other standards and LEED guidelines.

Modeling and analytics capabilities also are critical tools used in energy audits in existing buildings. ASHRAE says that a well-conducted Level II or Level III energy audit can identify measures to reduce energy consumption by as much as 40 percent, paying for itself many times during a hospital’s long service life. Hospitals often work with a certified energy engineer or energy services company to conduct an effective energy audit with the goal of determining where, when, why and how energy is being used and identify, prioritize and implement energy efficiency measures.

Emerging analytical software tools that use historical and real-time interval utility data are available that can accelerate the audit process by providing a snapshot that gives energy engineers the data they need to visualize where energy is being wasted. This data is used to inform a targeted physical inspection of the facility to identify improvement opportunities.

Regardless of the approach taken, it is clear that healthcare facility managers will continue to be challenged by their organizations to do more with less, including less energy. Advanced modeling and analytical software is a powerful tool for identifying energy efficiency measures and for making informed decisions where energy is concerned.

About the Author

Neil Maldeis, professional engineer and Association of Energy Engineers certified energy manager, is energy solutions engineering leader for Trane, a global provider of indoor comfort solutions and services and a brand of Ingersoll Rand. Maldeis is responsible for the technical development, support and review of performance-based contracting solutions and activities on a national basis. He has more than 30 years of experience as a mechanical/project engineer in the building construction and energy conservation fields.

2014 Could Be Even Better than 2013 for Energy Efficiency

Despite a recovering economy — or perhaps because of it — 2013 was a strong year for energy efficiency efforts in the U.S. An article by the American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy (ACEEE) recaps 2013 highlights, including:

  • 7 states adopted some of the newest model building energy codes.
  • 8 states signed a memorandum of understanding on plans to put 3.3 million plug-in electric and fuel cell vehicles on the road by 2025. 
  • The federal government finalized new efficiency standards for distribution transformers and microwaves.
  • President Obama announced a climate change plan that includes several energy efficiency measures.

By many accounts, actions like these are working. The Energy Information Administration shows that through September 2013 electricity consumption and the transportation sector’s oil use are down compared to the same period in 2011 and 2012.

This year promises to be another strong one for energy efficiency. For example, several actions included in Climate Action Plan will take place in 2014, such as the release of draft carbon dioxide emissions standards for existing power plants.Looking forward

At Trane, we think these measures are taking us in the right direction.

As energy conservation remains part of the conversation and the economy recovers, it makes both environmental and economic sense to implement standards and policies that encourage energy efficiency. And as more companies adopt these policies, the interest and demand for high performance buildings will continue to grow.

But because the decisions around a high performance building are as much about economics as pure sustainability, there will be a stronger emphasis on metrics and reporting. Both of which ensure that the work and promises that go into a high performance building are realized and are living up to expectations.

Whether because of regulatory pressures, environmental concerns or simply using good business sense, building and facility managers who have not yet examined the benefits of an energy-efficient building should take a serious look at how it could help their company in 2014.

Contact Trane to learn how your company can optimize energy efficiency efforts this year.

What’s Next for High Performance Buildings?

Green builder Hammer & Hand recently released its ten predictions for the US high performance building industry in 2014. To no surprise, the predictions cover a wide-range of variables, including the impact of new products entering the market, procedural and policy shifts that focus on performance-based measures, and the international energy efficiency movement’s effect on the US market. The most newsworthy predictions include market tools that incentivize energy conservation, outcomes-based policies, China’s rising interest in high performance building and the rise of Net Positive Energy buildings.

Predictions shed light on market-based tools that reward energy conservation and renewable energy production thriving throughout 2014. These tools create incentives to sell back energy to the grid.

More high performance windows also will enter the market. With increasing numbers of US window manufacturers beginning to produce quality high performance products, super-efficient windows will be affordable, making high performance building easier in the US.

The Future of High Performance Buildings

Policy changes regarding energy codes shifting to performance-based codes are also expected across the United States in 2014. This trend is being led by states such as California and Washington, who are implementing their own certifications that focus on outcomes rather than prescriptive checklists. To promote environmentally advanced construction practices, California’s CALGREEN Code sets mandatory requirements for new buildings including enacting ordinances around the use of low-pollutant emitting materials.

China, the world’s second largest economy, is moving towards high performance building. This initiative is expected to benefit the US market through an increased demand for American made building components.

Another noteworthy prediction is the shift from Net Zero Energy to Net Positive Energy buildings, where buildings will in fact create more energy than they use. This shift will be partly due to market incentives that reward on-site energy conservation, making on-site production more feasible and financially sustainable.

Yet another predicted change will be the shift from only HVAC-focused building systems to the integration of even more building controls, including lighting control systems. This move, which lowers cost during the operational phase, is possible because of improved technology around communication protocols.

At Trane, we believe high performance buildings are the way of the future, adding value to already existing infrastructure and creating a more sustainable world. Stay tuned for a future blog post that outline Trane’s predictions for high performance buildings in 2014 and beyond.

– See more at: https://blog.trane.com/blog/highperformancebuildings/whats-next-for-high-performance-buildings#sthash.vnVPUKiM.dpuf

Is Lean Still Good Enough?

Lean manufacturing is a widely admired and attempted best practice process. But the fact is, only a small percentage of companies have successfully applied and maintained it. With all the technological, educational and societal changes impacting the global economy and manufacturing over the past two decades, some have started to question if the concept of lean manufacturing remains an effective tool.

When Todd Wyman joined Ingersoll Rand (www.ingersollrand.com) in 2010, he had one marching order: Turn the diversified industrial manufacturer into a growth-oriented operating company.

Up until that point, the organization, with North American headquarters in Davidson, N.C., had been run as a holding company for a family of recognizable brands, including Club Car, Thermo King and Trane. But, though the product portfolio was impressive, the company’s overall performance was not. In fact, when the Ingersoll Rand leadership team benchmarked its operations against more than a dozen of its competitors on such metrics as revenue growth, operating margins and return on invested capital, it often fell short.

For the past four years, Wyman, the company’s senior vice president of global operations and integrated supply chain, has focused his attention on three strategies: Growth excellence, operational excellence, and creating a winning culture. And, Wyman says, the principles and practices of lean manufacturing are critical to the company’s successful transformation in these areas.

Lean—a concept conceived and developed by Toyota over 50 years ago—is underpinned by a five-step thought process, the core strategy being to create customer value by eliminating waste without gaining overhead. The term itself certainly has staying power, but many companies (some pundits say as much as 98 percent) have attempted to replicate the Toyota Way over the past few decades, and have failed.

Yet Wyman is betting on this venerable value system to turn Ingersoll Rand into a competitive threat. “I do believe lean is absolutely good enough,” he said. “In fact, it is a differentiator in the marketplace.”

The Status of Lean at Ingersoll Rand: Click to read how the transformation underway there will touch every division around the world

Wyman is not alone. According to a 2013 survey conducted by LNS Research, 73 percent of the 270 manufacturing management professionals who responded to the poll indicated they have formal programs planned for next year that are focused on operational excellence. Most of the companies are combining a few techniques, such as good manufacturing practices (11 percent) and Six Sigma (22 percent). But 29 percent cited lean manufacturing as the most important program to be implemented.

The key is to do it right. And that, say industry experts, is a difficult endeavor because it requires much more than a lean philosophy to pull off a successful transformation. More importantly, it takes leadership, culture and technology adaptation.Principles vs. practices
The traditional lean principles, centered on optimizing the flow of a process, are definitely still relevant. But the implementation of lean practices as it pertains to value creation, the removal of wasted steps, and identifying customer pull must evolve to keep up with the demands of modern-day manufacturing that includes global competition, pricing pressure, new regulations, and higher customer expectations around quality and product delivery.

“Sometimes the practices should not only change to keep up with the times, but they should be utilized differently,” says John Shook, chairman and CEO of the Lean Enterprise Institute (www.lean.org). Communication, for example, a core lean “tool” used to understand customer needs, must adapt to the way consumers interact with manufacturers.

“Twenty-five years ago, a marketing department would do surveys and focus groups and then turn that information into a set of specs from which products would be engineered and designed,” Shook says. “Now, with social media, customers do so much research on their own before they buy a product,” which means companies must be engaged with them on a variety of social media channels.

According to Don Busiek, general manager for manufacturing software at GE Intelligent Platforms (www.ge-ip.com), the ability to capture comments from Facebook and Twitter and tie it back to manufacturing has helped one of GE’s customers in the consumer packaged goods industry. The diaper manufacturer couples big data analytics (which is aggregating chatter from the social media channels) with the vendor’s data historian software deployed across about 80 plants. “In real time, they are pulling data from a variety of sources and tailoring plant floor manufacturing processes based on what the consumer is asking for,” Busiek says. “If people are on Facebook saying they like Elmo diapers, they can change the [production] runs to create more Elmo pattern diapers.”

Social media on the customer service side and the ability to collect data down to the sensor level of an asset in manufacturing is causing an explosion of data that makes deploying technology an important part of any lean strategy today. The type of technology to deploy, however, depends on what the organization is trying to do.

At Ingersoll Rand, technology plays into the operational excellence strategy. Automation is applied in places where quality, capability and tolerance exceed human capabilities, Wyman says. “We also have networks of excellence in technology to look at synergies across the company. Whether we are compressing air or refrigerants, we create a synergy through technology from an engineering, design and manufacturing standpoint.”

These types of synergies have helped the company consolidate operations. In just four years, since the lean journey began, Ingersoll Rand has gone from 97 worldwide plants to 50 plants, and has spun off a few divisions. Today, only 40 percent of the company is in the middle of the lean transformation, but that is deliberate. “We have been very programmatic,” Wyman says, noting that when analyzing each value stream the company goes a mile deep and an inch wide.  “Lean needs to be methodical to get traction so that we can be part of the 2 percent of companies that are successful [with lean].”

Not your father’s lean
Despite its proven, though small-scale success over the past several decades, the definition of lean in 2014 has a very different meaning than it did just 15 years ago. While the core principles have held up, the look and feel is different. “It now takes on an enterprise-wide holistic approach,” says Dale Gehring, director of lean enterprise development at ESCO Corp. (www.escocorp.com), a manufacturer of steel wear parts used in mining, oil and gas, and infrastructure development.

Over the years, organizations have moved lean from the shop floor to accounting to finance and the supply chain. “It’s no longer about putting a cell in on the shop floor and calling it lean,” Gehring says. “The dynamic nature of the business we are in relies on our adaptability and understanding of how to solve problems as an organization—full value, end-to-end.”

The problem is that many organizations are set up by department and, though they might be successful automating a process or “leaning out” an area, it might not translate well for end-to-end value.

For example, several months ago, when Jerry Wright was put in charge of lean engineering at Power Partners (www.ppiway.com), a maker of industrial transformer equipment in Athens, Ga., he began by reviewing all of the daily reports produced. There were roughly 47 reports generated each day, but only 18 were looked at by team members. By removing the excessive reporting procedures, Wright also freed up individuals who were in charge of those reports to spend time in areas that needed more help, like procurement.

Many companies have invested money in technology tools that may automate a process or appear to add value—like a report—but it actually adds an unnecessary layer. “Let’s not automate things for the sake of automation,” Wright says. “Automating a report may not take waste out.” And, holistically, if a company wants to deliver the best value from materials to shipping to the customer, sub-optimizing for a department could create bigger challenges, he says. “Maybe a department becomes more efficient in its own area, but the rest of the value stream may suffer.”

The Lean Enterprise Institute’s Shook agrees. “Tools need to be used situationally and develop in an ever-evolving way.” While the harmony between humans and technology is often emphasized as an integral part of lean thinking, if the technology is not bridging a gap, it could become a stumbling block.

To that end, sometimes it’s the good old-fashioned human-friendly practices that translate into the best lean tools. Things like the huddle—when people get together throughout the day and look each other in the eye to share what happened on the previous shift. The checklist—a simplified form of standardized rules that are identified before going to work. And, the non-technical whiteboard to communicate at-a-glance who is doing what on the plant floor.

In a world where smartphones and social media rule the way we communicate, sometimes going lean means going back to the basics. A whiteboard, for example, is a streamlined approach that everyone understands, regardless if they’ve been working on the shop floor for 40 years or for four days.

Bottom line: Employees are important in a lean culture. Understanding that can make or break a lean rollout, because a true lean culture puts value not only on the customer, but also on the people in the process.

“In Toyota’s mind, people were in the equation,” ESCO’s Gehring says. “It was part of their culture, but they couldn’t explain how they did it.” Respect for people and customer value were written into the Toyota house. It was foundational, Gehring says, but many North American manufacturers don’t understand it. “The hardest part of a lean rollout isn’t teaching the tools, it’s changing the culture.”

Commenting on Ingersoll Rand’s continuing journey with lean (see sidebar for details on the company’s current status with the practice), Wyman says, “We are really early in this journey, but we are excited about the results and we think we are onto something.” Failure won’t be an option, but he understands why some companies can’t deliver on the lean dream. “It’s a grind. It takes a lot of discipline to put the standards to work on a daily basis in order to see continuous, sustainable results.”

But is lean good enough? The consensus: Yes, it is.

For Peace of Mind: Include Temporary HVAC Equipment in Contingency Planning

BY DANE TAIVAL, TRANE

Whether facilities professionals are recovering from a natural disaster, undertaking a major renovation or putting together a contingency plan, they are increasingly using rental equipment to meet their temporary heating, ventilation, air conditioning and power needs.

HVAC rental companies can offer a wide range of new, state-of-the-art HVAC and power equipment that can be modified with special framing, piping and electrical features that make delivery, installation and startup fast and efficient.  Larger rental companies have equipment staged at various locations nationwide to respond quickly to their customers’ needs, whether during an emergency or when equipment may be down for maintenance.

An HVAC rental services company can help facility managers develop and implement plans to effectively meet heating and cooling needs when permanent systems are not available or cannot handle the job, for whatever reason.

For example, last hurricane season administrators at a regional hospital in Louisiana didn’t have to worry about whether Hurricane Isaac would knock their facility off the power grid because they planned ahead.  As the storm approached, a rental generator was already on site to keep the lights burning, the HVAC running and lifesaving medical equipment working in the event of a power loss.

Because the hospital had a proactive contingency plan in place, the facility management team was able to contact its temporary power and HVAC equipment partner and have the generator installed and ready to power the facility in about 24 hours.

Rental equipment also can help an organization deal with more routine sets of circumstances. For example, when a Florida school district needed to increase their cooling capacity temporarily they were able to quickly acquire four 400-ton air-cooled water chillers from an HVAC rental services company so that students could start school on time.

Temporary HVAC equipment can handle heating and cooling needs while scheduled maintenance is performed on a building’s permanent system. With advance planning and preparation, rented solutions can be installed quickly and efficiently, giving technicians the time they need to service permanent systems without disrupting normal operations. Rental solutions can also be useful for short-term dehumidification needs, such as controlling humidity in a specific area after painting, dry-walling or hardwood floor refinishing.

Facility managers often use rental solutions to meet seasonal cooling needs. For example, a grade school in Kankakee, Ill., rented two 35-ton rooftop air conditioning units to supplement the existing system and enhance the comfort of teachers and students during summer school sessions. And a Tuba City, Ariz. High school has rented a 400-ton air-cooled water chiller and a generator for several years in a row to reduce strain on the school’s chilled water system during two of the hottest months of the year.

Finally, rental HVAC systems and electric generators can be counted on for special events, such as graduations, receptions, social gatherings or sporting events. For example, rented systems can provide temporary heating or cooling to a field house not served by the school’s main HVAC system or to a tent in which a fundraising event is being held.

Effective Power and HVAC Contingency Planning is Essential

Every company needs to include a power and HVAC contingency plan as part of its comprehensive crisis-response plan. After all, it does not take a natural disaster to cause millions of dollars in damage, disrupt operations and erode stakeholder confidence. An effective power and HVAC contingency plan minimizes financial risk, protects the health and safety of building occupants, and provides peace of mind for the company and its stakeholders.

In fact, contingency planning is considered so important that some insurance carriers require companies to have a formal plan as a condition for providing business continuity coverage.

 Here are some steps companies can use to evaluate, analyze, create and implement a contingency plan that meets their specific needs:

Analyze the financial impact of a disruption in power or HVAC service. Experienced contingency service providers can help companies estimate the true costs of unplanned downtime, which go far beyond the cost of repairing equipment in a crisis mode. They may also include lost finished goods or inventory, reduced worker productivity, diminished levels of service, lost customers, and missed revenue or other business opportunities.

Assess the level of risk by identifying potential causes of system failure – including natural disasters,  ower outages, equipment failures or sabotage – and rank them based on their probability, potential to disrupt normal operations and financial cost.

Perform a critical equipment audit to identify mission-essential power and HVAC systems and assess their current operating condition. Address performance problems and document potential failure points. Many companies will engage a third-party expert to help with their audit.

Identify priorities and critical processes:

By taking business priorities into account, the contingency plan can focus on areas within the facility that would have the greatest impact on mission-essential operations and the bottom line were an unplanned service interruption to occur.

Find the best place to position temporary equipment on the site and know in advance how the systems will be connected to the building. Identify potential challenges, prepare connection points in advance and arrange for any required permits. This includes determining whether current electrical service is sufficient to operate temporary equipment, such as a chilled water system or supplementary HVAC unit. There is no substitute for having the right connections for electrical, water and air ducts when it comes to speeding response time during a crisis situation.

Using all this data, develop a summary report. The report should outline requirements, actions that need to be taken and all associated costs and how they will be allocated.

Develop and implement the contingency plan. Assign roles and responsibilities and provide training. Conduct drills to verify the contingency process and identify areas for improvement. Make required building modifications in advance. Update the plan annually or whenever there is a significant change in the facility, such as a building modification or expansion.

Identifying reliable, experienced partners – including third-party contingency planning consultants and temporary equipment providers – is essential to developing and implementing an effective power and HVAC contingency plan. Leading HVAC industry contingency planning consultants have proven tools to ensure that the company develops a complete, effective and useful contingency plan; one that does not just sit on the shelf.

The best power and HVAC temporary equipment partners have large inventories of the equipment the company needs, well-positioned geographically, along with a proven track record, world-class response time and a reputation for high levels of customer service.

Time and money spent on contingency planning is an investment that often pays for itself several times the first time it is used. An effective, well-understood and broadly shared contingency plan enables a company to minimize service interruptions, reduce capital loss, maintain or restore normal operations sooner, and create peace of mind for the company, its customers, employees and other stakeholders.

Dane Taival is vice president of building services for Trane North America, a provider of indoor comfort solutions and services and a brand of Ingersoll Rand. Taival has been with Trane for 19 years and handles asset management and high performance building services, controls contracting and  omprehensive solutions.

Modeling Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems in Trace 700

Check out this informative You Tube Video from Trane Commercial on Modeling Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems in Trace 700.

Dedicated OA