Manufacturers Go Green at Greenbuild
Wayne Gretzky once said, “You don’t skate to where the puck is; you skate to where the puck is going to be.” The team at Arzel Zoning hinted that this philosophy is exactly what is leading them to this year’s Greenbuild conference.
“Today’s market demands that energy planning includes products from many different disciplines. The Greenbuild show allows us to put our ideas and solutions into the minds and plans of designers, developers, and governmental attendees right alongside other green manufacturers,” said Dennis Laughlin, president. “It is the HVAC business equivalent of going to where the industry is headed, and we look at it as being true to our cutting-edge commitment.”
Arzel Zoning will showcase its CoolMizer economizer/fresh-air intake system. The control is designed for residential and light commercial use to provide free conditioning when conditions are optimal, along with ventilation benefits. “The combination of scalability and service demands deliver great efficiencies and controllable airflow without requiring a full change-out of equipment,” said Laughlin. “This brings mechanical system upgrades within the economic reach of many more homeowners.”
Arzel Zoning believes the future of the industry lies in its controls. “I believe we know how to efficiently condition air. The delivery of that conditioned air continues to be a challenge in many cases. Both energy stewardship and consumer comfort demands point toward consumers wanting to target comfort. Not unlike dual air conditioning controls in your car, most homeowners expect the same ability of control in their home,” said Laughlin. “Individual controls and mobile connectivity are gaining a lot of momentum in today’s market.”
The successful transition for the HVAC industry will require a much more holistic approach, rather than a prescriptive response, said Laughlin.
“This means the responsibility for performance is shared with installers and service techs. A stand-alone product will face some real obstacles when compared with integrated solutions,” he said. “Down the road, HVAC equipment will need to be able to communicate to the outside world. Utility companies have real mandates and a real need to pursue load management programs.”
Big Ass Fans
“Recognizing the importance of both design professionals’ influence and brand visibility, Big Ass Fans® feels that Greenbuild offers a strong venue for connecting with architects, interior designers, engineers, and others allied to the building and design industry, particularly in the areas of sustainability and energy efficiency,” said Alex Reed, brand manager.
The company will introduce its 60-inch residential/commercial Haiku® ceiling fan at the expo. The Haiku is one of Energy Star’s highest rated ceiling fans for efficiency, exceeding testing requirements by 450 to 750 percent.
“Haiku uses only 2-30W, depending on its speed setting,” said Reed. “Its award-winning design and elegant bamboo airfoils exemplify the use of renewable materials. Haiku embodies all the qualities and characteristics that design professionals expect from Big Ass fans, only in a smaller package designed specifically for residences, classrooms, restaurants, and other commercial spaces.”
Ceiling fans are becoming a more attractive option as an economically and environmentally feasible approach to comfort.
“More than ever, fans are being specified as a part of mechanical systems to reduce air conditioning tonnage or ductwork requirements,” said Reed. “Fans can also increase ventilation effectiveness by ensuring adequate air turnover in a space and preventing warmed air from immediately re-entering the heating system.”
The image of green has shifted from a bonus to an expectation, and Big Ass Fans representatives anticipate that trend continuing.
“As energy costs increase and social and environmental pressures continue to shift the focus to sustainability, an increasing number of manufacturers will implement processes and practices to reduce the carbon footprint of their products and operations,” Reed said. “Those who are taking measures to do so already will simply have a leg up.”
ClimaCool Corp. and its representative sales network believe that green development is the fastest growing sector of the commercial HVAC industry and trust that, within the next decade, all new construction will include green or sustainable designs utilizing geothermal, heat recovery, and other high-efficiency systems. They are hopeful a visit to Greenbuild will allow them to share their array of products with green/sustainable commercial building owners, engineers, architects, and contractors.
The corporation will promote its SHC onDemand® geothermal central plant simultaneous heating and cooling systems and other sustainable solutions at the conference.
“The SHC onDemand is designed with a focus on reducing energy consumption and environmental impact by harnessing energy that is already being produced, but not typically utilized,” said Toni Griswold, marketing coordinator. “The system offers ultimate flexibility for hot, cold, and source loop piping, configurable for same or opposite sides.”
ClimateMaster acknowledges Greenbuild as the largest expo in the world dedicated to green products and green building design and is proud to be a part of the movement.
“We feel our products fit in the green and sustainability market,” said John Bailey Jr., senior vice president of sales and marketing. “This show has been well attended in the past, and most of the participants are very passionate about learning new technologies within the green market.”
Tony Landers, director of marketing, commercial products, believes efficiency and connectivity will drive the industry’s future.
“Mobile communications are beginning to work their way into heating and cooling products to allow users to monitor and adjust systems anywhere in the world,” he said. “As technology advances in this area, I envision proximity-based systems to provide heating and cooling on demand, based on what zones are being utilized.”
ClimateMaster will highlight its Tranquility 30 Digital geothermal heat pump product line. The pump includes digital communicating controls, two-stage capacity, a variable-speed fan, and variable-flow geothermal functions within a single package.
“We are showcasing this product at Greenbuild because of its efficiency, comfort, reliability, and serviceability,” said Bailey Jr. “The Tranquility 30 Digital contains iGate™ technology, which is among the industry’s first with two-way communicating control. It also has vFlow™ internal variable water flow components, which lower operating costs as well as installation costs.”
Representatives from Johnson Controls said Greenbuild is a “must attend” for those involved in everything green. “Greenbuild brings together thought leaders from every aspect of the industry and allows them to share their knowledge, vision, and tools to develop, manage, and achieve a sustainable future,” said Clay Nesler, vice president of global energy and sustainability for Johnson Controls’ Building Efficiency business unit. “The conference and expo allows Johnson Controls to share our success in improving building efficiency and helping organizations achieve their sustainability goals, while also showcasing our newest technologies.”
Last year, Johnson Controls launched its Panoptix building efficiency platform. This year, the company is introducing a new feature for the Panoptix solution that offers the ability to do even more. The Panoptix Developer Program (PDP) opens Johnson Controls’ building intelligence to software developers to identify the next best building applications that answer the needs of building owners and operators. The PDP also includes new third-party applications from leading software developers that will be sold on the new Panoptix marketplace.
In addition to “greening-up” new construction, Nesler said the company is noticing a shift toward existing building improvements.
“Our annual Energy Efficiency Indicator survey continues to show increasing interest by facility management and operations teams in greening existing buildings,” said Nesler. “We are helping these organizations achieve their energy and sustainability goals by offering a comprehensive set of product, technology, and service offerings. These capabilities range from our cloud-based Panoptix applications that track sustainability performance and identify opportunities for improvement to our 1,000-plus LEED credentialed professionals who can help guide our customers in greening their buildings, campuses, and enterprises.”
In 10 years, the focus will be on existing buildings, tenants, and actual performance. “In 10 years, the focus will shift from new construction to existing buildings, and from building owners to building tenants,” said Nesler. “Over half the energy used in commercial buildings is in tenant spaces and yet this area of energy efficiency is often overlooked. Technology, in the form of advanced data management and analytics, will provide greater transparency and accountability for building designers, builders, and operators.”
MacroAir Fans is excited to build new relationships; educate contractors, engineers, and architects; and demonstrate how their product line offers savings through a substantial reduction in energy consumption at Greenbuild.
“The HVAC industry is continuously trying to reduce energy consumption by making its products more energy efficient and longer lasting,” said Eddie Boyd, president. “Our company is trying to assist with this initiative by providing an extremely low-cost, quality, large ceiling fan that supplements existing HVAC systems, thereby cooling or heating large spaces without consuming large amounts of energy.”
MacroAir will display its AirVolution HVLS fan at this year’s expo. The AirVolution utilizes MacroAir’s 6ixBlade™ technology, which generates a large column of air that gently flows down to the ground and outward 360 degrees. Available in 8- to 24-foot diameters, the fan moves and circulates large, slow air mass efficiently throughout a space.
“AirVolution is perfect for Greenbuild’s audience because of its energy efficiency,” said Boyd. “It only costs pennies per day to run, while circulating large amounts of air and effectively cooling or heating large spaces.”
MacroAir believes the industry’s future will depend on enhanced cooperation across all trades.
“We believe that energy efficiency and material conservancy will be mainstream, meaning that contractors, architects, engineers, and building owners will be unified in constructing green buildings, from the smallest component to the largest,” Boyd said.
Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating
Mitsubishi Electric has been a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) since 2007 and attends to help explain how its innovative technology can save energy in schools, hospitals, hotels, office buildings, and more.
“We’re committed to manufacturing environmentally friendly products and helping professionals earn critical LEED points, so Greenbuild is a natural fit for us,” said Marc Zipfel, director of product marketing. “At Greenbuild, we hope to gain insight on new trends in green technology and learn more about our customers’ needs when it comes to energy-efficient HVAC systems.”
Mitsubishi Electric will be showcasing its updated R2-Series cooling and heating systems. The manufacturer recently enhanced its variable refrigerant flow zoning system to offer greater efficiency, a smaller footprint, and improved heating start-up, which makes the outdoor units ideal for a variety of commercial applications. The enhanced unit features simultaneous cooling and heating to 14˚F ambient conditions. The system is an ideal solution for hospitals, hotels, offices, and other facilities.
“The enhanced Mitsubishi Electric R2-Series VRF zoning system is a great fit for Greenbuild,” said Zipfel. “It’s an energy-efficient cooling and heating option for hospitals, hotels, offices, and other facilities. The system has helped numerous facilities gain LEED certification — Silver, Gold, and Platinum — over the years. This newly enhanced line of the R2-Series, with its improved efficiencies, will continue to do so.”
Zipfel said LEED certification was once a trend, but is now much like a standard.
“According to the EPA, at least 45 percent of energy costs in commercial buildings are due to cooling and heating expenses. Using an energy-efficient solution, like Mitsubishi Electric’s VRF zoning system, helps buildings earn valuable LEED points.”
He said all industry sectors should anticipate increased government regulations regarding efficiency and sustainability.
“To get a sense of where the future of green-building regulation is headed, just look to California. It’s fitting that Greenbuild is being held in the state that tends to be at the forefront of green building codes and regulations. California was the first state to pass a statewide green building code, when CALGreen went into effect in 2011. This code requires all new building construction to reduce energy by 15 percent. We foresee other states will eventually adopt similar codes.”
SEMCO representatives said Greenbuild serves as a great networking source.
“Because Semco is a leader in ventilation energy recovery wheels, and fast becoming a leading supplier of chilled beams, it was concluded early on that Greenbuild is the right venue to share our energy savings technology with the world,” said Tom Rice, team leader, applied products. SEMCO leaders believe green development will continue to grow as a best-practices method from the owner to the contractor as the industry trends toward net-zero buildings and further embraces reductions of CO2, energy, and water consumption.
“We believe that one of the directions that things will be different will be further investigation on more energy-efficient fans and water management,” said Rice. “In 10 years, SEMCO feels that its position will be a bottom-up provider of complete building systems that maximize energy savings on all applied levels, hydronics, air, electrical, and methodology.”
Company representatives will exhibit their new high-capacity chilled beam model IQHC during the conference.
“The beam combines decades of design influence with modernization that improves not only the energy efficiency, but the specification, installation, and maintenance of the device to make it one of the most sustainable energy-savings devices industry-wide,” said Rice. “Chilled beams are specifically implemented to reduce overall HVAC horsepower required.
“Combined with SEMCO low dew point, decoupled, dedicated outside air strategy, the IQHC beam provides 80 to 85 percent of the total sensible cooling of the space, allowing for a greater turndown in power consumption by controlling the cooling at the most local of levels.”
Titus HVAC representatives haven’t missed a Greenbuild conference since its inception and will be in attendance once again this year to share their innovative, energy-saving, air-distribution products.
“HVAC is a big part of the energy usage in a building, and thermal comfort is one of the biggest complaints that employees have,” said Jenny Abney Sivie, director of advanced business development. “We are in the unique position to help address these concerns because the air distribution, specifically grilles and diffusers, are the only HVAC component in the space with the employees so it has a huge effect on their comfort.”
Titus HVAC’s Solar Plexicon will be highlighted at the event. The unit heats, cools, and may utilize solar energy as a power source. The device uses a wireless, energy-harvesting platform to power the auto-changeover action when changing to the cooling or heating mode.
“The Solar Plexicon addresses the challenge of heating in displacement ventilation systems,” said Abney Sivie. “Many green buildings use displacement ventilation because it can address comfort and fresh air LEED credits, is low pressure, and uses warmer supply air so it reduces energy usage.”
Titus HVAC has noticed that more and more people are showing interest in solar applications. “We’ve been able to use solar power to power actuators that control the airflow pattern between heating and cooling,” said Abney Sivie. “Everyone has known that the airflow pattern is different between heating and cooling, and no one really manually adjusts their diffusers. We saw solar as a perfect way to automate the changeover. It provides comfort and is cost effective to install because you do not have to bring power to the unit.”
In the next decade, Abney Sivie said green technology will become the norm.
“In 10 years, green building will just be building the future. We’ve seen green products move from easier product decisions like using compact fluorescent light bulbs and low VOC materials, to bigger equipment like ECM motors in fan boxes, then to new systems like UFAD [underfloor air distribution] and DV [displacement ventilations]. To continue to move forward, we will have to tackle the even bigger parts of the building like the whole HVAC system from the fans in the air handlers to the pressure drop of the diffusers.”
A Greenbuild veteran, Uponor attends Greenbuild to remind people that Uponor is very much in the commercial business and has a wide array of solutions for commercial PEX plumbing, radiant floor heating and cooling, as well as distribution piping.
“We want to share how plastic-based building products can offer environmental and sustainability benefits, compared with traditional materials and construction techniques,” said Ingrid Mattsson, director, brand management. “As a society, we are far better off using fossil-based fuels to make long-lasting, durable, plastic building products rather than consuming those fuels in one-time uses, such as gasoline for internal combustion engines.”
Uponor will exhibit its Engineered Polymer (EP) Multi-port Tees, which provide a parallel-piping solution for multifamily and hospitality applications, allowing header termination and water distribution to lavatories with one fitting.
“We are continuing to see growth in the commercial plumbing marketplace and are answering the need for products that make it faster, easier, and more efficient
to install PEX-a piping systems,” said Mattsson.
Uponor has noticed forward momentum behind geothermal technologies as well as the exploration of alternative energy sources for heating and cooling measures.
“We are seeing a great deal of interest in radiant cooling because of the energy efficiencies and architectural freedom it allows,” said Mattsson. “Uponor is committed to a holistic approach to sustainability that balances environmental, economic, and social aspects. We continue to make improvements in the right direction every day.”
Uponor believes a green future is the only viable option.
“We are living on a planet with limited resources, and we just have to get smarter about it all. We may not be at the tipping point yet, but every year the conversation around air quality, energy efficiency, waste reduction, and life cycle analysis grows,” she said.
“In 10 years, we hope we won’t be talking so much about green development because it will be the standard as far as building practices are concerned.”
Watts Water Technologies
Watts Water Technologies will be attending Greenbuild to showcase a wide range of green technologies and products.
Among its radiant heating systems and components, rainwater harvesting systems, thermostatically controlled valves, and more, the company is excited to share the Watt’s Radiant’s FlexPlate with conference attendees. The under-floor heating plate is primarily made of natural graphite, giving it superb heat-conduction properties. In some cases, FlexPlate will permit the use of lower temperature sources such as modulating-condensing boilers, ground-source heat pumps, and solar thermal.
“We see many intersecting trends, most of which are moving toward the green industry because of the need to be more energy-efficient and sustainable; after all, the Earth’s resources are finite,” said Judi D’Amico, direct marketing manager. “State-of-the-art chilled beam systems, which are just emerging now, will provide incredibly efficient cooling of commercial facilities.”
D’Amico said Americans should take a glimpse at what Europe has done, if they are interested in forecasting the future.
“Europe gave us new radiant heat technology that led to the resurrection of the heat radiant here, long after we attempted to use copper and black pipe to carry water for heat distribution, decades earlier,” she said. “We see far greater use of rainwater harvesting to help in many commercial and residential applications, and lead-free plumbing components will be the standard.”
Zehnder America Inc.
Zehnder America Inc. believes attendance at Greenbuild provides a great opportunity to connect with other dedicated green-building professionals.
The company will display its ComfoAir350 HRV. The counter flow heat-exchanger recovers 90 percent of the room temperature, resulting in fresh incoming air typically within 2-3 degrees of the inside temperature while improving indoor comfort.
“Today’s buildings are becoming increasingly tighter and more insulated due to building codes and energy-efficiency awareness, and this has led to the need for proper ventilation for healthy indoor air quality,” said Joshua Kantor, director of marketing.
“Airtight homes not properly ventilated are susceptible to poor indoor air quality as well as mildew and moisture damage. Whether a passive house construction, high-performance home, or a new home subject to new stricter building regulation codes, Zehnder America’s Comfosystems promote both a high standard for energy efficiency and indoor air quality.”
Yet-to-be-developed regulations requiring mechanical ventilation will mold the industry’s future, said Kantor.
“We’re witnessing considerable green development in new construction,” he said. “We are expecting an increase in passive houses and other super-energy efficient homes and communities continuing to develop and become more of the norm across the U.S.”
Publication date: 11/12/2012