ACHRNEWS

Changes In Climate And Construction

November 3, 2010

Whether or not you believe in global warming or any other such predictions, here’s the truth: More and more folks are accepting it. Well, technically, the term these days is “climate change” and the climate does seem to be changing - for whatever reasons. Here in the Midwest, we had near record high winds for several days and our barometric pressure was near record lows. I don’t claim to know what all that means, but it was different.

At the same time, I’ve been going to more and more green things. These include tours of green buildings with energy efficiency and environmental correctness throughout, a recent conference at a college with lots of new information about green projects, and a tour of a facility that is a major player in solar and wind generation.

I have written about some of these things and will be writing about others in the months ahead.

What does all that have to do with HVACR? When it comes to buildings, the answer is simple. HVACR is a big user of power and if we install more energy-efficient equipment, we are lowering those power costs. Since most power in this country comes from burning coal, we are reducing the infamous “carbon footprint.”

The solar and wind topic is a bit different, but also related. Solar and wind collection is supposed to reduce reliance on coal, especially when power for a structure comes from solar and wind, in effect, taking that building off the electric grid.

But can solar and wind generate enough power to run a, say, supermarket even with the most energy-efficient equipment installed? Some say yes; so say not yet … but just wait.

So I continue to key my eyes and ears opened for all these issues as related to HVACR. Come Nov. 19, I’ll be at the mother of all environmental conferences as related to buildings - GreenBuild in Chicago.

Should be interesting.