SEATTLE, WA — The Seattle chapter of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) recently sponsored a seminar that focused on educating local HVAC contractors about the latest tools and trends to assist them in dealing with indoor air quality (IAQ) threats and safeguards.

The seminar featured a presentation from Dr. James Woods, founding director of the HP-Woods Research Institute, and John Hamilton, assistant director of certification for the Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing Bureau (TABB).

Woods covered a range of topics, including health issues, the degradation of our nation’s buildings, the principles of controlling IAQ, and what he described as the “multiplying factor of five.”

“A well-trained technician can solve IAQ problems 70% of the time with a walk-through at a base cost,” he said. “If a system analysis is necessary, a technician at the level of the TABB certification can solve IAQ problems 90% of the time at the base cost of a walk-through times five.

“If an exposure analysis is necessary, trained technicians can solve IAQ problems 95% of the time at a cost five times the cost of a system analysis. The most important thing is to have credibility in the data we collect on the performance of buildings.”

TABB’s certification programs will add significantly to that credibility, Woods noted.

“A way to ensure this is for engineers to specify TABB on their building specifications,” he concluded.

Turning to certification issues, Hamilton’s presentation focused upon the importance of using trained, certified technicians when performing complex testing, adjusting, and balancing procedures critical to the effectiveness and efficiency of an HVAC system. In fact, the TABB certification is the only certification whereby technicians sign an integrity agreement to ensure the calculations are accurate, he said.

“We want to ensure that the output data and testing, adjusting, and balancing (TAB) calculations that a technician performs is an accurate reflection of the system,” Hamilton said. “TABB-certified sheet metal workers have the training, experience, and know-how to properly balance an HVAC system. Inaccurate TAB work puts a building’s occupants in IAQ danger and can contribute to higher energy costs.”

TABB said it plans to have more such seminars during the course of 2002. Additionally, the first TABB Conference will be held Oct. 18-19 at Caesar’s Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV, immediately preceding the SMACNA Conference.

Publication date: 06/24/2002