In many ways, SkillsUSA-VICA is a number-crunching experience. Consider: Some 12,500 students, teachers, and business partners descend on Kansas City, MO, each summer for five days. Most of the time is set aside for speeches and seminars. One day is set aside for the SkillsUSA Championship. More than 4,000 vocational and technical students compete hands-on in 73 different trade, technical, and leadership fields.
The American Center, an office tower in Southfield, MI, is now a better performing asset, and generally a lower risk for the owner, Redico Management, and the building operator, because of the successful use of the “Performance Agreement for Comfort from Trane” (PACT™) program, which simultaneously reduced operating costs and improved tenant comfort.
The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) recently graduated the first students to participate in its Advanced Leadership Institute (ALI) program. Twenty-seven CEOs and company owners took part in the organization’s two-week program, which focused on entrepreneurship, business management, and several other important aspects of running a successful company.
The official introduction of U.S. House of Representatives bill HR 5040, “The United States Toxic Mold Safety & Protection Act,” by Representative John Conyers (D-MI) has elicited solid support from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). But Paul T. Stalknecht, president and CEO of the national trade association, noted that this is the opening of the mold debate.
In this final installment of a three-part series on mold and its relationship to HVACR systems, The News explores the possibilities posed by increased consumer awareness about mold and ways that HVACR contractors can add indoor air quality testing and mold remediation to their existing services.
The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine inaugurated a study shortly after Sept. 11 to provide recommendations for combating terrorist threats. The report, Making the Nation Safer: The Role of Science and Technology in Countering Terrorism, is now available.
Advances in chiller design significantly improve efficiency. However, keeping chillers operating efficiently is still very much in the hands of contractors and service representatives. “High-tech” chillers are built with narrower tolerances; service and upkeep are more crucial than ever to keep efficient chillers operating at peak conditions.
The new Delta Pinnacle Hotel in Vancouver is a gem. But The News bypassed the lobby, spacious suites, and sweeping views. They’re nice, but we prefer to visit with director of engineering Victor Pankrantz, whose main interest is the care and operation of Trane chillers installed in the basement, Baltimore Aircoil cooling towers on a mezzanine-level rooftop, and Trane fancoils behind walls and ceilings.
Oil in refrigerant — many chillers have too much, and it’s lowering system efficiency in a big way, coating evaporator coils and affecting heat transfer surfaces. A new product is said to address the problem of too much oil in the refrigerant, while keeping the oil at a level that actually helps system efficiency, according to Mark Key, vice president of component manufacturer Redi Controls.
The Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association (SMWIA) has formally announced its support for the “United States Toxic Mold Safety & Protection Act,” a bill scheduled to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI).