Smoke control getting it right

Most fire deaths are not caused by burns, but by smoke inhalation. Often, smoke incapacitates so quickly people are overcome and cannot make it to an otherwise accessible exit. (See National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA’s), “A Reporter’s Guide to Fire and the NFPA” by visiting www.nfpa.org.) Given the nature...
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Advanced heating technologies for VRF

Cold temperatures and disruptive precipitation create problems every year. When it comes to heating spaces, the challenge tends to be how to do 
it effectively and efficiently. Historically, maintaining a desirable indoor environment in cold climates has put industry professionals to the test.
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Ensuring effective custom HVAC assemblies

As many designers can attest, selecting the most appropriate HVAC system involves more than an off-the-shelf purchase. Designing a mechanical system for maximum energy efficiency, reliability, serviceability, and sustainability—while meeting the varying usage needs of the customer—requires broad expertise and a thorough understanding of key considerations in system design.
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Pairing passive elements for a high-performance pavilion

Located in Fort Collins, Colorado State University’s (CSU’s) Pavilion transcends physical bounds to teach students sustainability through materials, advanced systems, and programmatic features. Showcasing unique passive technologies, its katabatic cooling tower and its Trombe parapet wall are a dynamic duo making this green structure truly innovative.
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Water-loop heat pumps and net-zero

Designing net-zero-energy buildings for new construction or renovation presents many challenges. It requires analyzing the unique energy use of the entire facility and then designing a system that can reduce the net-energy footprint without sacrificing functionality or comfort. As energy consumption is reduced, onsite renewable energy plays a larger...
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Controlling mechanical system noise

A typical urban and suburban environment has numerous sources contributing to the exterior ambient noise. Among these are the environmental sounds from a building’s heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning equipment. How can design professionals help mitigate the distraction caused by HVAC?
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Texas State Banks on HVAC retrofit

When Texas State Bank (TSB) opened its headquarters in San Angelo, in 1977, the HVAC on its rooftop was a state-of-the-art chilled water loop system. Three decades later, and annual cooling tower costs were spiraling. Outfitting the four-story building with an energy-efficient variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system provided a...
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