With rising energy prices and the increasing drive to reduce our carbon footprint, many building owners and managers have turned to the retrocommissioning process to optimize their facility’s existing equipment and systems. more

Selecting and specifying the optimal HVAC system to meet the Owner’s Project Requirements is critical to the success of a high performance project.  more

In my earlier columns, I tried to explain the concept of uncertainty analysis and also draw the attention of the industry to the advantages of performing probabilistic energy modeling. One of the most valuable complementary tools to uncertainty analysis is sensitivity analysis. Terje Aven in his book, Foundation of Risk Analysis,1 gives the following definition for sensitivity analysis: “A sensitivity analysis is a study of how sensitive the risk is with respect to changes in input parameter of risk model.” more

Successful museum design encompasses a number of challenges requiring knowledge and expertise in acoustical soundscapes, audio-visual technology, lighting solutions, and security measures. Equally as important is commissioning systems to ensure mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems function as required the sensitive museum environment.  more

Health-care design evolves constantly, reflecting improvements and advancements in surgical techniques, equipment (such as MRIs and robotic surgical equipment), clinical practices, hospital design trends, energy efficiency, sustainable design, and other factors. Ventilation for health-care facilities must change to be aligned with the changing needs of health-care facilities design, patients, surgeons, clinical staff, and visitors. more

Building an energy-efficient building often begins with an energy (cost) comparison between a design building and an imaginary baseline building as defined in ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1, Appendix G. Even though this method has contributed to higher performance of buildings and systems, I believe we can do better than that. more

When one thinks of critical infrastructures, some come quickly to mind: the water system, the power grid, the Internet, dams, bridges, roads, air and rail transportation to name a few. Commercial buildings may not occur to the average individual as critical infrastructure, but they are considered as such by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ASIS International. If we think about the impact of the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers, we understand why. The attack on the Twin Towers cost nearly 2,600 people their lives, and launched the United States into a long term war on terror that has increased the national debt approximately 1.5 trillion dollars.1  more

Technology systems grow over time but, planned growth is critical to keep the systems cost effective and to ensure the systems’ performance continues to meet its objectives.

A truly effective audio-visual presentation system must be planned, designed, and implemented as a fully integrated set of subsystems. A well-designed system should make any presentation easier and more effective, accommodating a wide variety of presentation types and presenter styles. Proper planning of a presentation system requires consideration of acoustics, lighting, potential audiences, and potential media formats ranging from speech reinforcement to multimedia presentations. A well-designed system should be as transparent as possible allowing the focus to be on the message. more

In my November column, I discussed the necessity of performing a probabilistic energy modeling process instead of a deterministic one for an ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1, Appendix G, design building. To be able to run a probabilistic energy model, the first step is to develop a tolerance margin library for all the construction material that would be used in constructing a building and for its associated equipment. more