News & Insights

Water- and Energy-Saving Plumbing Fixtures

The rising costs of water and energy have forced many businesses to examine ways to make their buildings more ef­ficient. One option many building owners are implementing is installing water-and energy-efficient plumbing fixtures. The recent push to go green has caused most of the major plumbing manufacturers to begin designing new fixtures that use significantly … Read more

Project Closeout Starts at the Pre-Construction Meeting

Project closeout should be one of the most celebrated phases of any construction project. The design team can see their knowledge and planning put to actual use; the construction team can pack up their equipment and “turn over the keys” and the owner can finally achieve functional use of the building or area that they … Read more

Geothermal Heat Pump Systems Part Four – Recommendations for Operation and Maintenance

In the first three parts in our series on geothermal heat pump systems, we discussed ways to determine if this type of system is right your facility; how to get started with design by conducting a formation thermal conduc­tivity test and how to distinguish between the types of heat pumps available. Once you have decided … Read more

Contracting for Maintenance Mechanical and Electrical Services

Service contractors can be a vital resource to anyone charged with building management. They can provide flexible labor to supplement in-house staff during peak work periods and often offer a higher level of expertise in areas where in-house staff may have limited knowledge. Once you have identified the annual maintenance tasks required for your facility and … Read more

Call 811…So You Don’t Have to Call 911!

Before doing any excavation work on your site, you should remember three important numbers…811.   Calling 811, anywhere in the nation, will connect you to Call Before You Dig, where you can begin the process of having all of your underground public utilities marked, free of charge. Before calling 811, be prepared to give the operator … Read more

Geothermal Heat Pump Systems Part Three – System Options

Last month, in part two of our series, we shared some tips about getting started with design and construction of a geothermal heat pump system by conducting a formation thermal conductivity test. The next step is to understand the different design options available for the system. There are two distinct types of heat pumps that … Read more

Balancing Redundancy, Reliability and Budget for Campus Primary Electrical Distribution Systems

A power outage can have significant impacts on your healthcare facility including jeopardizing patient safety as well as facing a potential loss of revenue and limiting patient services. But, taking the necessary steps to reduce these risks can be perceived as costly. How do you balance reliability, redundancy and budget to reduce your risk of … Read more

Geothermal Heat Pump Systems Part Two – Getting Started With a Formation Thermal Conductivity Test

After reading part one in our series on geothermal heat pump systems, you should be better prepared to decide if this type of system is right for your facility. The next step is to understand how to get started with designing the system. If you determined that a geothermal heat pump system is right for … Read more

Do You Know Your Controls Service Provider? (Part Two)

As summarized in last month’s article, it is important to understand your technician’s level of expertise (and possible limitations) as well as to make sure a few key items are included in your service contract. In addition, your control service provider should offer certain value-added services to make sure you are receiving the best possible … Read more

HVAC Planning for MRI Systems

When planning for an MRI suite, it is important to understand the substantial coordination requirements and other challenges associated with designing a HVAC system to support MRI equipment. Due to the unique and complex nature of these systems, and the critical space requirements associated with them, it is important to involve a HVAC engineer versed … Read more

Geothermal Heat Pump Systems Part One – Are They Right for Your Project?

You may have heard about geothermal, or ground-coupled, water source heat pump systems as an alternative to oil and electric heat, but you may be wondering if it is the right type of HVAC system for your project. We have created a four part series dedicated to helping you identify ways to determine if a … Read more

Do You Know Your Controls Service Provider? (Part One)

Your controls service provider functions as a partner with your in-house staff and mechanical contractor to meet your goals for safe, effective, reliable and cost-effective building operation. To make sure you are getting the best possible service for your investment, it is important to know your technician’s level of expertise (and possible limitations). In addition, … Read more

How Does Your Chiller Plant Measure Up?

Now that temperatures are falling and central chilled water plants are going offline, it may be time to measure how your plant performed this past summer. Were you able to distribute chilled water at design temperatures throughout your building or campus? Were you able to maintain designed temperature splits? Were the spaces served by your central plant … Read more

Incandescent, Compact Fluorescent or LED’s – Which Lighting Method is Best?

All lighting sources are not created equal, and simply providing the proper lighting level in a space is not always enough. Quality of light, efficacy, lamp cost (initial, replacement and life cycle) and environmental impacts are all key factors to consider when choosing the appropriate lighting source for a specific application. A proper lighting source … Read more

The Hazards of Arc-Flash

An electrical arc-flash is a hazardous electrical explosion caused by faulty conditions or a short circuit that can reportedly generate temperatures of up to 35,000ºF — nearly four times the temperature of the surface of the sun. The dangers associated with arc-flash include severe burns and even death. In addition, a facility can also face … Read more

Is Your HVAC System Prepared for Winter?

The sun is setting earlier, football season is underway and cooler temperatures are here. It’s time to think about preparing your HVAC system for the heating season. Including the following steps in your fall maintenance plan can help you save money and prevent common problems throughout the winter season. Replace air filters on heating systems. Clogged … Read more

How a Minor Manufacturing Defect Could Cause Major Problems for Your System’s Cooling Tower

During a recent commissioning study conducted on a cooling tower, Barton Associates found a manufacturing defect in the system’s factory panel wiring that could have caused the owner significant problems. The PLC output wiring for the high speed and low speed fan drives had been inadvertently switched by the manufacturer. This mistake would have caused … Read more

Balancing Energy Conservation, Comfort and Productivity

Energy Conservation is a topic that is on everyone’s mind as energy prices continue to rise and climate changes ensue. As many of you know, adjusting the temperature in your building to a slightly higher setting in the cooling season and a little lower in the heating season is one easy way to consume less … Read more

Sustainable Facility Design and Operation

Climate change, environmental impacts and high energy costs have become significant concerns for individuals and businesses nationwide. Sustainable design can reduce these negative impacts and offer benefits such as: Improved working environment for building occupants Increased occupancy rates Decreased operating costs The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has developed a system called Leadership in … Read more