Water-loop heat pumps and net-zero

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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 role in efforts to reach the goal of net-zero energy. Water-source heat pumps (WSHPs) can be important in this respect.

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Controlling mechanical system noise

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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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Tuning into sound masking technology

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From their early uses in commercial offices to relatively newer applications such as patient rooms in hospitals, sound masking systems are becoming a more common component of interior design. This technology distributes an engineered background sound throughout a facility, raising its ambient level in a controlled fashion.

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Creating a collaborative workspace without breaking the peace

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The rise of the cubicle in the 1960s and ’70s began from a desire for private workspaces. They became so popular that offices used to look like cubicle farms, until these row-upon-row ‘bullpens’ began to draw criticism for their appearance and their limitations on peer interaction and collaboration. Over time, the walls came down and cubicles were abandoned to make workplaces more open and friendly.

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