The Blog

Reducing Utility Costs of Ventilation Air

Ventilation load can be a significant portion of a building’s heating and cooling load and subsequently a building’s utility costs. Finding ways to reduce the energy use associated with ventilation load can greatly reduce these costs. Two methods of reducing these energy costs are to utilize energy recovery ventilation equipment or demand control ventilation. Energy

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Low-Flow Fixtures Can Be A Hot Topic

Energy/utility savings are becoming more prevalent in building managers’ roles in reducing their facility’s operational costs. Water consumption savings are attractive with the latest in low-flow plumbing fixtures, and the consumption savings trickle into reduced water heating capacity too. Although it may seem like a simple task in specifying low-flow fixtures or even replacing plumbing

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Arc Flash Hazard Analysis

Why Do I Need To Be Concerned With Arc Flash Hazards? An arc flash is a sudden, massive release of energy from a piece of electrical equipment caused by a fault in the system. The fault can be caused by anything from failing insulation to moisture in equipment to a worker accidentally dropping a screwdriver

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Defining NFPA 37

Wesley Stiles, PE, Director of Electrical Engineering for the York office, is featured in the December issue of Consulting-Specifying Magazine for the article below. NFPA 37: Standard for the Installation and Use of Stationary Combustion Engines and Gas Turbines, 2015 edition, is an important yet often overlooked player in NFPA’s extensive lineup of codes and

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Understanding Laboratory Plumbing Systems

When designing plumbing systems for science laboratories certain requirements such as space planning, code compliance and user’s needs must be considered. Acid waste, natural gas, reverse osmosis/deionized water, compressed air and vacuum are the most common plumbing systems utilized in science laboratories. The most important part of science laboratory system design is coordination between the

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Fire Protection Antifreeze Systems

The coming of winter requires the Building Owners and Managers to review their buildings and systems for protection against freezing. However, there is one building system that may already be freeze protected and should be reviewed due to recent developments – sprinkler antifreeze systems. Based upon reports of a fire incident involving a sprinkler system

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Optimizing Your Chiller Water Plant

Many existing chilled water plants are designed using primary-secondary pumping where one set of pumps circulates water at the chilled water plant and then another set of pumps circulates water to the building or buildings.  This is common in larger buildings or campuses where the many spaces or buildings are served by one system, and

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Retro-Commissioning – A Brief Case Study

Barton Associates recently retro-commissioned an air handler for a hospital client. The retro-commissioning process typically starts with a review of the Building Automation System (BAS). A graphic screen shot from the subject air handler is shown above. There is a lot of information on this screen, but focus on the basic information circled in red

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Increase HVAC Efficiency by Directing Air to the Source of Heat Generation

Traditional air conditioning typically conditions an entire room or space, such as in an office space or classroom. Air is supplied from the ceiling and distributed throughout the space. This is a cost effective method but is not well suited for some applications due to the limitations in efficiency in cooling the entire space including

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Our Ever-Changing Energy Landscape

Across the country, people are starting to recognize the vulnerability of our electrical infrastructure – whether it be from capacity issues, natural disasters, or other events. Because of this, government regulations are increasingly pressuring utility companies to decrease demand on their systems. By pushing individual consumers to curtail demand and increase efficiency, utility companies are

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