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Direct Drive

The Ultimate
Cooling Solution
Direct drive cooling tower systems from Baldor eliminate
the need for mechanical components such as gearboxes,
jack shafts and couplings greatly reducing cooling tower
maintenance and power consumption while increasing
system reliability. The field-proven, high torque Baldor AC
laminated motor is controlled by a purpose built ABB matched
performance adjustable speed drive to provide optimal speed,
quieter operation and lower energy use.
For new projects or retrofit applications, you can count on
Baldor for the ultimate cooling solution.


2015 Baldor Electric Company

Download a QR reader app

and scan this code for
more information.
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04/18/2016 12:36:27 PM

vari-smart. vari-efficient.
The latest Vari-Green air technology advantage:
Vari-Green Drive.

An industry first! With Greenhecks new Vari-Green Drive (VGD-100)

you can specify a pre-mounted, preprogrammed, pre-wired internal
drive to control fan speed and airflow automatically. The advantage:
optimized system efficiency, quiet operation, energy savings and
the elimination of costs for wiring and mounting an external VFD.
Harmonics-related problems often associated with external VFDs
are significantly reduced.
Ask your Greenheck rep about how Vari-Green technology is
advancing the ventilation industry or visit our website.

Model VGD-100 Drive

Learn more at

Fans | Energy Recovery | Packaged Ventilation | Make-up Air

2016 Greenheck

Kitchen Ventilation | Lab Exhaust | Dampers | Louvers | Coils


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MAY 2016

25 | 40 Under 40
The 2016 40 Under 40 winners have many attributes in
common, including their passion, enthusiasm, and exceptional drive.

42 | Protecting data from fire

ON THE COVER: The 2016 40 Under 40 winners come from an

array of backgrounds. Winners are described by their mentors with these powerful words. Read about them on page 25.


07 | Viewpoint

The current edition of NFPA 2001 outlines the

use of clean agent fire suppression systems,
which typically are used in buildings such as
data centers and mission critical facilities.
Many types of specialty suppression systems
include chemicals, gases, oxygen displacement,
and others.

Wait for it

69 | Digital Edition

09 | Research

 How UV-C energy works

in HVAC applications

HVAC, BAS in educational


 Sizing VFDs for optimal

operating efficiency

ASHRAE Standard 90.1 requires lighting designers and

engineers to include power allowances, daylighting
controls, functional testing, and submittals in their lighting

11 | Career Smart

71 | Advertiser Index


Three ways to ease

succession planning

12 | MEP Roundtable
Stand-alone health care

18 | Codes & Standards

Smoke control design

72 | Future of
Simplifying the building

47 | Applying 90.1 in lighting design

Use the icons to identify topics of interest.







CONSULTING-SPECIFYING ENGINEER (ISSN 0892-5046, Vol. 53, No. 4, GST #123397457) is published 11x per year, monthly except in February, by CFE Media, LLC, 1111 W. 22nd Street, Suite
#250, Oak Brook, IL 60523. Jim Langhenry, Group Publisher /Co-Founder; Steve Rourke CEO/COO/Co-Founder. CONSULTING-SPECIFYING ENGINEER copyright 2016 by CFE Media, LLC. All rights reserved. CONSULTINGSPECIFYING ENGINEER is a registered trademark of CFE Media, LLC used under license. Periodicals postage paid at Oak Brook, IL 60523 and additional mailing offices. Circulation records are maintained at CFE Media, LLC, 1111
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in the USA. CFE Media, LLC does not assume and hereby disclaims any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions in the material contained herein, regardless of whether such errors result from
negligence, accident or any other cause whatsoever.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

Top 5 most-viewed articles

online now


Editorial research
Engineer conducts
monthly research polls
and regular studies on various industry
topics. Let us know about your experience and read about what your peers
have to say at

Read this exclusive content online

 Safe installation of electrically
powered fire pumps
 Jensen Hughes acquires Aon
Fire Protection Engineering Corp.
 Important updates to water efficiency standards for plumbing fixtures.

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Product of the Year finalists

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Consulting-Specifying Engineers Product of the Year

(POY) contest is the premier award for new products
in the HVAC, fire/life safety, electrical, and plumbing
systems engineering markets. The annual reader-choice
program was created to provide Consulting-Specifying
Engineers readers with information about the top new products in their fields.
See the finalists and cast your vote here:
Voting is open through June 30.

Upcoming webcast
Register for upcoming and on-demand webcasts


 Critical Power: Backup power systems on Thursday, June 30

Design engineers have many factors to consider when designing a backup system
for a facility. Safety, maintainability, code compliance, and economics play crucial
roles in determining the topology of a backup system for a critical facility. Specific
requirements for backup power vary based on building occupancy type, facility use,
and critical function. When designing generator systems, for example, engineers
must ensure that the generators and the building electrical systems that they support are appropriate for the specific application. They must make decisions regarding generator sizing, load types, whether generators should be paralleled, fuel
storage, switching scenarios, and many other criteria.
Watch more archived webcasts on additional topics such as:
 How to size a pump driver
 HVAC: Cooling systems.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

Engineer tracks the mostviewed articles using
Web analytics for stories
viewed on www.csemag
.com for articles published
within the last two months. Learn more
every Monday at

The tablet and digital

editions of this publication are greatly
enhanced and have
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Benefits of the digital
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LEED AP,Chicago
CCJM Engineers,
PETER Mechanical
LEED Arup,
Principal, Mechanical
Arup, Seattle
Outcome Construction
LLC, Kansas City, Mo.
National Program
City, Mo.
Metro CD
BD+C, Ohio
Principal, Metro CD
LLC, Columbus, Ohio
Reid Engineer,
Inc., Houston
Smith Seckman
Vice President,
JR., Engineer,
Vice President, Electrical Engineer,
N.Y.C X A,
GERKE, PE, Grand
LEED Island,
C X A,
Vice President,
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Arup, PE,
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WSP Co.,
ccrd, a WSP
Co., Dallas
Koffel Associates
Columbia, Md.
Ill. BEMP,
Park, AP,
Principal, Jacobs,
Design PE,
Lane Coburn
& Associates,
LC, LEEDSeattle
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Lane Coburn
& Associates,
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President, Lovorn
PE, Pittsburgh
President, Lovorn DAVID
Associates, Pittsburgh
Chief Fire Marshal,
(Colo.) Fire Rescue
Chief Fire
AP, Rescue
Vice President,
AP, Inc., Chicago
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Design Inc., Chicago
Electrical Engineer,
CH2M, Portland,
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JBA Consulting
Las Vegas
Chief Executive
JBA Consulting
Las Vegas
Regional Engineering
PE, CEM,Leader,
Principal, Regional Engineering Leader,
Senior SYED
CDM Smith
Inc., Boston
PE, Ph.D.,
Senior Engineer,
Health Care
Market Leader,
Health Care
BRIAN A.SmithGroupJJR,
Group Manager
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Health Care
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for Architecture,
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Operations Manager,
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for Architecture,
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AP ID+C,Verona, Wis.
Lead Electrical
Inc., Chicago
Lead Electrical Engineer, McGuire Engineers Inc., Chicago

Wait for it

atience has never been one of my

strengths. I may have mellowed a
bit with age, but I still cannot
and will notwait for certain things.
Some may say that a lack of patience is
equivalent to a can-do attitude, while
others say that lacking this trait makes
a person too aggressive and pushy.
Either way, lacking patience has both
hurt and helped me in my daily life.
My inability to wait also sends me
zooming in different directions when
working on something. Countless
studies show that multitasking is ineffective and inefficient, and I agree, so
I try to focus as much as possible (I
just closed my email to write this). But
with so many things to consider from
minute to minute, I find myself bouncing around, trying to get everything
doneor at least moved on to the next
level or personas quickly as possible.
It seems as though the ConsultingSpecifying Engineer audience is a bit
impatient, too. While 70% of respondents to a recent reader study have
worked in the industry 20 years or
more, theyre still eagerly learning
about and specifying multiple products
and systems and working on myriad
building types. And 63% bill more
than 40 hours each week, meaning
theyre really working even more than
that. While this is a function of the
economy picking up and more work
available for engineers, it also signifies
some anxiety in the workforce

anxiety to get the job done, to please

the customer, to stay active while
aging, and to continue to earn and save
for retirement.
Two of the survey questions asked
about professional and personal challenges, and keeping up was one of
the biggest responses. This includes
keeping up with technology, deadlines,
regulations, the changing younger
workforce, and the fast-paced decisions that must be made. Theres little
time for patience in this case
consultants are being pulled in too
many directions to rest on their laurels.
Survey respondents also showed
their impatience when obtaining
information about technologies or
systems. They want information
instantly (who doesnt today?), and
they want detailed information in
ways that usually include some sort of
human interaction, such as seminars,
webcasts, or face-to-face meetings. An
online search will render basic information about a new product, but when
it comes to the minutiae, respondents
want a voice or a face with which to
interact. Unfortunately, most consultants cannot afford in-person training,
so webcasts or online education suffice
in these cases.
While Id like to encourage you to
slow down and be more serene in your
professional life, I dont have time to
help you gain this skill. Ive already
moved on to my next task.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

7th Edition of the AABC

National Standards Now Available!

Order your
copy of the
AABC National
Standards for
Total System
Balance today!


New, additional and revised content includes:


All-new sections on testing

energy recovery systems
and chilled beams

Revised and updated

content on constant
volume air systems

This comprehensive manual for the test and
balance industry details the minimum standards
for total system balance, assists design
professionals in achieving design intent, provides
a better understanding of the scope of work
required of the TAB agency, and ensures that
proper methods and procedures are followed in
the test and balance process.

Revised recommendations
for duct leakage testing

Recommendations for air

handling unit pressure
testing including deflection

For the first time, this newest edition is American

National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved.

Order the new edition of the

AABC National Standards online at

New chapter on Testing

and Balancing Health Care

Updated testing
tolerances for air,
hydronic, pressure and

Expanded chapters on
hydronic balancing and
new chapter on domestic
water balancing

Recommendations for
room, floor and building
pressure testing

Important updates to
laboratory and kitchen

Associated Air Balance Council

1518 K Street, N.W., Suite 503
input #6 at

Fire, life safety systems

Less than 10 years

30 yyears or



HVAC, BAS in educational facilities


20 to 29 years


10 to 19 years

Figure 1: The average fire protection

engineer has been involved with fire
and life safety systems for 23 years.
Courtesy: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2016 Fire and Life Safety Study


of electrical engineers are

responsible for researching and evaluating options for electrical and power
system designs. Source: ConsultingSpecifying Engineer 2015 Electrical
and Power Study


Average age of lighting

designers; 30% are older than 60.
Source: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Lighting and Lighting Controls Study

$7 million:

annual mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection design revenue
earned by firms designing HVAC systems and BAS. Source: ConsultingSpecifying Engineer 2015 HVAC and
Building Automation Systems Study

ore than half of respondents

to the Consulting-Specifying
Engineer 2015 HVAC and
Building Automation Systems (BAS)
Study specify, design, or make product selections for educational facilities. Five key findings are:
1. Annual products specified value:
The average engineering firm specifies
$2.85 million in HVAC and building
automation/control products for new
and existing educational facilities each
year, with one-third of these firms
specifying more than $5 million.
2. Future of HVAC, BAS: Inadequate budget for good design and
designing for energy efficiency are
the top issues affecting the future of
HVAC and BAS design in educational
facilities. In addition, HVAC system
design is challenged by frequent
changes to codes and standards;
designing BAS for interoperability and
complementing systems affects future
3. Products specified: More than
three-quarters of engineering firms

are specifying fans and air movement, BAS, and pumps and pumping
systems for educational facility projects. Over the next 12 to 24 months,
firms have plans to specify variable
refrigerant flow systems (32%),
chilled beams (27%), and chillers and
chilled water systems (24%).
4. Important product considerations: When selecting HVAC
products for educational facilities,
engineers compare product quality
(86%), energy efficiency of a product (60%), and manufacturers reputation (60%).
5. Technology demand: The top
technologies that engineers expect to
see an increase of within educational
facility projects are energy recovery
(77%), demand-controlled ventilation (71%), and dedicated outdoor
air systems (65%).
View more information at
Amanda Pelliccione is the research
director at CFE Media.

HVAC, controls specifications written

for educational facility projects
Open: alternate, substitute
Open: proprietary
Closed: single source, alternate


Closed: proprietary

More research
Consulting-Specifying Engineer covers several research topics each year.
All reports are available at






Figure 2: Engineering firms more often write performance (81%) or prescriptive (76%)
HVAC and controls specifications for educational facility projects. Courtesy:
Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 HVAC and Building Automation Systems Study FOR MORE RESEARCH INFORMATION

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016




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Career Smart
RMF Engineering, Baltimore

Three ways to ease succession planning

Address common challenges with ownership transition.

s the baby boomer generation continues to move toward

retirement age, ownership
transition has become an increasingly
important issue for which engineering
firms need to address and plan. According to the Pew Research Center, roughly
10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every
day during the next 14 years. Many
firms simply arent equipped to handle
the challenges that come with retirement and ownership transition, including having capable leaders to take over
the business.
According to a 2013 survey by FMI
Corp., only 44% of firms said they have
a formal plan in place to transition
themselves out of managing the business. When I started my employment
with RMF Engineering, our firm wasnt
one of them.
When I became president and CEO
of RMF 18 years ago, it became apparent to me rather quickly how critical
it is to plan for the next generation of
leadership. There was an overwhelming
need to set clear goals and expectations
for employees as they transitioned
into owners and partners and moved
toward retirement. The firm has developed a strategy that has since helped
successfully transition a number of
owners. Here are three important
things to address to ease the succession
planning process:

1. Defining a trigger event for

retirement. Reaching ownership or
principal status is a point of pride for
any engineer. As such, it can be hard

to embrace retirement when the time

comes. But retirement of owners is a
critical component to any ownershiptransition plan. If owners continue to
work past retirement, there isnt room
for new owners to come in and take
leadership roles, which is necessary to
sustain the growth of the firm.
Allowing owners to work through
retirement also gives a perception
to younger leaders that there isnt
an opportunity to become a partner,
which may encourage them to seek
employment elsewhere. Included in
any ownership-transition plan should
be a defined trigger event, such as the
formal retirement age as defined by
the Social Security Administration.
These provisions can be complex, with
a range of qualifiers; all of which must
be outlined in a formal shareholders

2. Cultivating leaders. Employees

are an engineering firms No. 1 asset.
Having the right leaders in place is
key to successful business developmentand cultivating those leaders
is the firms responsibility and should
be a component of the transition strategy. At RMF, we created a Leadership
Development Program, a 20-month
educational program designed to transfer lessons to our next generation of
leaders. The program gives mid- and
senior-level managers a chance to
strengthen professional bonds, helps
younger leaders hone the skills needed
to become partners, and circumvents
the problem many firms face when

senior leadership leaveswhich is

grooming younger leaders too late.
Clients also like to see younger generations being prepared for ownership; it
shows that the firm cares about longterm sustainability and has the team in
place to keep the firm running at the
same level of excellence.

3. Choosing the right successors

at the right time. The ultimate goal
of an ownership-transition plan is to
maintain a firms culture and values
for decades to come while growing
the business. Thats why choosing the
right owners is vital and should be
based on a clearly defined set of criteria. Nominees should actively embody
your firms principles, be committed
to a long-term position at your firm,
demonstrate strong leadership abilities,
and have proven that they can grow
the firm in their area of expertise.
Nominating new owners also must be
done at a strategic time when it fits, not
because of internal politics.
The plan we put in place 15 years
ago has successfully tackled these challenges and more, helping us transition
a number of owners without conflict.
Everyone knows, follows, and respects
the rulesmaking for a seamless transition and promising growth.
Duane Pinnix is the president and CEO
of RMF Engineering. He is responsible for
the general oversight of RMF and executive management of its branch offices.
Visit for four
questions to ask when selecting new owners.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016


MEP Roundtable

Stand-alone health care buildings

Stand-alone medical buildings and specialized treatment facilities are
engineering challenges, and more are being designed and built due to
changes in health care requirements.
CSE: Whats the No. 1 trend you
see today in the design of standalone medical buildings and specialized treatment facilities?
Neal Boothe: The biggest trend we
are seeing is simply the larger demand
for these facilities. As hospitals fight to
expand their customer bases, we are seeing more of these facilities. They have
become a way for hospitals to reach out
much further into their surrounding
communities to attract patients. Also,
the use of these stand-alone facilities can
help reduce crowding to hospital areas,
such as their emergency departments,
imaging departments, surgical departments, etc., by giving patients another
location to visit for medical care.
Douglas T. Calhoun: The use of prototypical designs to maximize speed to
market. Prototype designs can include
prefabricated headwalls, restroom wet
walls, or even entire rooms to save time
in construction. Prototype designs have
always been difficult to accomplish in
the health care industry due to changing
patient populations, specialty services,
etc., but the stand-alone medical buildings and specialized treatment facilities
are focused on a specific patient population and can be built in any region to


attract that population. Typically, the

only changes required are driven by
differences in state or local codes, and
those rarely affect the experience for the
Caleb Haynes: It shouldnt be a surprise to anyone working in health care
today to see the emphasis that is being
applied to minimizing first cost. With
escalating cost structures and severely
depressed margins, all health care organizations are looking for ways to minimize spending and get the most return
on their investment. Creative projectdelivery methods that minimize waste
and maximize capital have become an
increasing trend in the market. Integrated project delivery, design-build,
and lean process management have
forced engineers out of their designbid-build comfort zone and into a new
and efficient project-delivery process.
Brian Kolm: With regard to lighting design, energy codes are more
achievable using LED lighting technology, simply based on the lower energy
requirements of LED versus fluorescent fixtures. But with owners driving
lower energy costs and the expectation
that codes and standards will respond
to LEDs with lower lighting watts
per square foot, the lighting designer

becomes an essential team member. A

lighting designers resume requires the
aptitude to meet both the architectural
and energy needs of all spaces that serve
patients and the public alike. Using a
lighting designer with software experience and strong working relationships
with architects and owners is the key
to success.
Craig Kos: Most stand-alone medical facilities designed recently are affiliated with a health care system. They
are being used not only as a location to
provide distributed care on an outpatient basis, but also as a feeder system
for the parent hospital. To this end,
branding has become important. This
branding often dictates certain design
standards must be applied to the facility. These standards can cover a multitude of mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP), and technology systems and
often have not been refined to meet an
outpatient facility pro forma. Health
care is under tremendous pressure to
reduce costs while being more responsive to the needs of the patients. It is
contingent on the design professional
to work with all parties concerned to
develop an infrastructure that meets the
intent of the standards but still fits the
allocated resources.

Neal Boothe,

Douglas T.
Calhoun, PE

Caleb Haynes,

Maitland, Fla.

Senior Vice
WSP | Parsons
(formerly ccrd)

Birmingham, Ala.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

CSE: What other trends should

engineers be aware of for standalone medical buildings and specialized treatment facilities in the future
(2 to 5 years)?
Kolm: Technology integration is key
the design is associated with the patient
experience as it applies to technology as
well as architecture. There are several
 Providing a system that allows health
care providers to safely share patient digital information between doctors onsite
or to remote specialists is a minimum
 Digitally connecting patients to
room temperature, menus, movies, and
education will be a patient expectation.
 Digitally tracking patients, staff, and
equipment for the purpose of data analytics is being adopted; the granularity
of locating is currently being evaluated.
As engineers, we need to understand
the goals and confirm that the owner has
thought of all the possible scenarios, and
then provide infrastructure and equipment
with flexibility for the future in mind.
Haynes: The biggest trend is the
increased focus on patient comfort and
satisfaction. With the major shift to
a value-based reimbursement model
and up to 2% of Centers for Medicare
& Medicaid Services (CMS) reimbursement being at risk and tied to patient
satisfaction, the facility design is more
important than ever. Design trends
that support this include designing for
total patient comfort control, simulating spaces through virtual reality (VR),
smart hospitals, increased focus on hosBrian Kolm, PE
Team Leader,
HDR Inc.
Omaha, Neb.

Figure 1: Engineers like exps Neal Boothe have noticed increasing demand for standalone medical facilitiesthey enable hospitals to expand their reach to attract new patients
and reduce crowding in various departments. Courtesy: exp

pitality-based environments, etc. There

also has been a big increase in research
and patient surveys in evidence-based
design to guide us in design decisions.
Calhoun: It is also becoming more
common for hospitals to operate standalone facilities as a part of the hospital.
For example, an emergency clinic within
a business occupancy may be operated
by the hospital, therefore, its not licensed
as a freestanding emergency department (FSED) in some states. While this
approach can reduce costs due to reducing compliance requirements that would
apply to a licensed facility, the entire
team should evaluate the criteria that
will be followed considering standard
of care as well as any potential change
in ownership in the future. We are now
seeing a trend to expand services of
these stand-alone medical buildings into
microhospitals. The market share and
reimbursements are increased greatly by
constructing licensed facilities to include
a few 24-hour beds and two or three
operating rooms (ORs). In most states,

this is viewed as a full hospital under

the licensing regulations and requires
departments such as dietary, lab, and
pharmacy. This trend only increases the
challenges of building to a clinic budget
range with a very aggressive schedule.
Kos: How do we design spaces used
for telehealth, ambulatory care, preventive health, immediate care, dialysis centers, cancer centers, surgery centers, and
heart centers? How do we help our client
understand the appropriate language to
put in leases to ensure they are provided
with the proper infrastructure? As part
of the increasing cost pressures, health
care providers are needing to compete
not only for patients but for staff as well.
New regulations place a higher emphasis
on electronic medical records, accessibility, and physical and electronic security.
As more care modalities are transferred
from hospitals to outpatient facilities,
buildings must be more adaptable to
change. System-performance expectations/requirements vary greatly for different modalities.

Craig Kos,

Bryan Laginess,

Vice President
Systems Design Inc.

Vice President
Peter Basso
Troy, Mich.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016


MEP Roundtable
Boothe: Self-sufficiency is important; in the freestanding emergency
department we just completed, the
owner needs to maintain the building indefinitely throughout a disaster. This is especially relevant because
this building is located in South
Florida and susceptible to hurricanes.
The entire building was designed to
impact-resistance standards. Also, the
amount of emergency power needed
was significant for a small 20,000-sqft footprint. All air conditioning was
put on emergency power in addition
to all imaging equipment, along with a
significant amount of equipment, general power, and lighting.
CSE: What unusual requirements
do stand-alone emergency rooms
have from an engineering standpoint?

Boothe: One need of a freestanding

emergency department (ED) is to ensure
that the facility remains operational during power outages. For our recently completed freestanding ED in Naples, Fla., this
meant that a majority of all equipment
was powered from the emergency generator. This includes large loads such as
all air conditioning systems and imaging
loads such as the MRI and CT scanning
equipment. In this case, our freestanding
ED was approximately 20,000 sq ft in size
but included an emergency generator of
500 kW. This is a higher ratio of emergency power to building area as compared
with a full hospital, as there is more load
diversity in these larger buildings.
Calhoun: In most states, licensed
FSEDs have code requirements similar
to those of an emergency department in
a hospital. The operational and clinical
requirements are essentially the same as

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input #8 at

those in a hospital ED. Unique engineering challenges are presented, in part, by

the fact that the requirements must be
met by stand-alone systems as opposed
to large central-plant systems. The MEP
budget challenges associated with meeting stringent requirements with separate
systems are probably even greater in this
type of facilitywith a major focus being
on finishes and marketability, which
does not typically allow for a larger percentage of budget allocated to MEP.
Kos: First and foremost, we must consider the level of acuity of the patient to
ensure our commitment to patient wellbeing and safety. Is there a possibility of
patients with infectious diseases? Is the
potential for a patient to be in a state
that renders him or her incapable of selfpreservation? Second, we must review
the care to be provided. Will there be
MRIs, CTs, X-rays, invasive procedures,
blood labs, and/or pharmacies? Will any
general anesthesia be administered? Will
this be a Category 1, 2, 3, or 4 facility?
Finally, we must apply the appropriate codes and standards. The design of
health care facilities is governed by many
regulations and technical requirements.
The answers to the first two questions
will inform what codes to apply and what
level of infrastructure is required.
CSE: When a building is occupied
by several specialty medical services, describe the various methods
you use to ensure each suite/office
is designed successfully.
Bryan Laginess: Separating the systems
as much as possible is ideal, but not always
cost-effective, and can make flexibility of
the building difficult. The methods for
designing will vary greatly depending on
the buildingold versus new, the developer-independent versus health-systemowned, and the exact specialty occupying
the building. Submetering services, separating HVAC distribution, and separating
emergency power distribution has a greater need when the specialties in the building
are drastically different. Consider a dialysis


MAY 2016

or surgery suite in the same building as a

family practice office.
Calhoun: Some systems may be
required by some state codes to be independent, depending on the licensing of
each specialty suite. These systems may
include HVAC, essential electrical, nurse
call, fire alarm, and medical gas. Regardless
of any code requirements for separation,
independent HVAC systems for any suites
with special filtration or temperature/
humidity requirements will help ensure
proper conditions for critical spaces without incurring unnecessary first costs or
energy costs for the typical medical office
building (MOB) suites. For example, on a
recent project, zone-level temperature control was provided to give tightened control for different space use. A VRF fan coil
system was used for more critical spaces
due to the redundancy it provides, allowing for simultaneous heating and cooling
while limiting the number of condensing
units and allowing for longer refrigerant
line length to optimize the grouping of the
outdoor condensing units.
Kos: Many times the answer to this
question is dictated by the building. Is it
a new building? Is it developer-driven?
Is it owned by the tenant? It is important to align performance expectations
at the onset of the project. Will the
building have any specialty equipment
requiring special infrastructure? Are
there any procedures that will require
an onsite emergency generator? Medical
gases? Nurse call? Specialty ventilation?
Is there an opportunity for systems to
be shared between tenants? Each project has unique characteristics. We collaborate with the owner and architect
to maximize opportunities of shared
systems while providing the owner with
a solution that is fit-for-purpose and fitfor-future through redundant, flexible,
and adaptable design.
CSE: When working on monitoring
and control systems in stand-alone
medical buildings and specialized
treatment facilities, what factors do
you consider?

Haynes: If its an existing facility, is the

legacy system viable and able to meet the
needs of the owner? If the facility has
multiple manufacturers installed, can
the system be integrated at the system
level to streamline operator interfaces
and computer maintenance managements systems? The building automation system (BAS) is there to assist the
facility operators, but these systems
are constantly increasing in complexity without adequate training for the
operators. Unfortunately, this combination typically leads to systems that are in
disrepair and maintenance staff without
the tools to fix them.
Laginess: Consideration should be
given to who actually owns the buildingindependent developer versus
a health system. The independentdeveloper building would most likely
have local monitoring and control
whereas a health-system-owned building may want the controls tied into or at
least monitored by its main system.
Kolm: One of the main considerations
when selecting an effective monitoring
and control system for the client is the
level of sophistication. One can design
a mechanical or lighting control system
many different ways and complexities
to operate the systems to its full potential or to a level such that anyone can
run. The key is to have that discussion
early on with the owner to understand
who will be operating the building and
gauge the knowledge and understanding
of mechanical and lighting controls. By
having these discussions, the engineer
can customize the system effectively to
not only save energy from Day 1, but
for the entire life of the building. One
remaining factor to consider is whether
the system is to be a stand-alone system
that can be accessed only at the facility or
will be a Web-based system that can be
accessed from anywhere with an Internet
connection. Again, discussions with the
owner are paramount to delivering the
correct system for their needs.
Calhoun: Simple out-of-the-box solutions for lower first cost. Systems are



input #9 at

MEP Roundtable
typically Web-based to allow a parent
hospital or system to monitor remotely because these facilities do not have
24-hour, onsite facilities maintenance
staff. The systems dont necessarily need
to match existing systems at the parent
facility, because the specialized treatment
facilities are remote. This can open up
the bidding process and keep pricing
CSE: How has the Affordable Care
Act changed your approach to the
design/engineering of these buildings?
input #10 at

Kos: Who owns and operates outpatient facilities has changed along with
expectations on how they will perform.
The Affordable Care Act was a catalyst
for health care systems to move more
diagnostic and treatment procedures
to these buildings. Doctors are sharing spaces to a greater degree. We see
increased attention on limiting construction costs. There are expectations for
increasingly shorter construction phases.
All the while, the end user still wants the
highest quality and increased flexibility.
Kolm: Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores are focused on
patient satisfaction. Designing communication infrastructure and communication devices with integration in mind
is the basis of the necessary flexibility
for decisions made during the life of
the building. Minimizing the number
of cabling solutions can save construction cost, for example; connecting a
Category 6 (or 6A) to a television in
lieu of coaxial cable saves the owner
cable costs and enables one contractor to complete the work in lieu of two
contractors. Integrating the television
with meal ordering, room-temperature
control, movies, educational channels,
and review of physicians orders provides
patients with the flexibility they expect,
and potentially better HCAHPS scores
for the health care facility. These decisions on infrastructure and integration


need to be discussed early in the design

process in an attempt to future-proof
the facility.
Haynes: With Medicare reimbursements now tied to patient satisfaction
through HCAHPS scores, weve brought
an increased focus on the patient experience into our designs. Most engineers
think of their systems as out of sight,
out of mind; they are, as long as they are
working. But we have tracked studies
that link most patient transfers to failed
components of the engineering design,
and each transfers costs the hospital
around $400 to $500. We can have a significant impact on the facilitys bottom
line with respect to operability and the
durability of our systems.
CSE: Please explain some of the
codes, standards, and guidelines
you use as a guide. Which codes/
standards should engineers be most
aware of in their designs?
Calhoun: Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) guidelines, state healthdepartment guidelines, international
codes, and state boiler codes are key.
For medical facilities, engineers should
be particularly aware of the state health
requirements and those that apply or do
not apply to specific stand-alone facilities, depending on licensure.
Laginess: Aside from the International Code Council (ICC) codes, states
may have their own health care facilities
guides that they will enforce. We have
the Minimum Design Standards for
Healthcare Facilities in Michigan. It has
many similarities to the AIA Guidelines
for Design and Construction of Health
Care Facilities. ASHRAE also has several
health care facilities resources.
Haynes: There are multiple codes
and standards that must be taken
into consideration. Ultimately, the
codes that are used are dependent on
the ones that enforced by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). Some
of these codes include ICC, NFPA,
those issued by local and state health

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

departments, etc. Industry standards

and guidelines that need to be considered include FGI, ASHRAE, U.S. Green
Building Councils LEED, Veterans
Affairs design guides, etc. In addition
to codes, the engineer must consider
CMS requirements for Medicare and
Medicaid reimbursement and insurance requirements, such as FM Global,
to ensure that the building is insurable
at the most reasonable rate.
Boothe: Most codes that apply to
full hospitals also apply to these outpatient medical facilities, but often there
are some reduced requirements. For
example, the FGI guidelines have separate sections for outpatient facilities,
freestanding outpatient diagnostic and
treatment facilities, primary care outpatient centers, etc. In these sections, there
are still specific requirements similar
to hospitals, but they are often not as
severe. Other health care codes such as
NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code
and NFPA 70: National Electrical Code
(NEC) Article 517 still apply to these
facilities, too, as they are still serving
patient-care areas. You also have to be
aware that many states have their own
health codes in addition to the national
building codes.
Kos: We need to comply with all state
and local building codes while understanding the implications of the new
(not-yet-adopted) NFPA codes as they
relate to the Department of Health and
Human Services and to future CMS
requirements. Additionally, energy codes
continue to get more stringent, necessitating owner education and budgeting to
implement. HIPAA regulations address
security and privacy of protected health
information. This regulation also highlights acoustic and visual privacy. The
Americans with Disabilities Act applies
to all public facilities and greatly impacts
building design with its general and specific accessibility requirements. It is also
important to understand owner guidelines because they are becoming increasingly stringent as hospital owners push
into outpatient facilities.

CSE: Describe a recent electrical/power system challenge you

encountered when working on a
stand-alone medical building or specialized treatment facility.
Calhoun: Coordination of the electrical system is a constant challenge on
small facilities. With buildings typically
around 10,000 sq ft, the electrical service
can be relatively small, but the inclusion
of imaging equipment with large in-rush
demands may sometimes become an
issue. Finding a balance between sizing
the service appropriately for the equipment to be included, and not oversizing
it for the building, is key.
Kos: Oftentimes, medical office buildings are not designed to accommodate
imaging equipment. The services are
undersized, and no provisions have been
made to accommodate supplemental
services. In addition to the loads for the
imaging equipment, there are oftentimes
supplemental cooling and humidification requirements. Time, floor space,
and budget must be allocated for coordination with the utility company, space
for the new equipment, and cost for the
required upgrades.
Boothe: On a recent stand-alone
medical facility, the utility company
could only guarantee voltage to be within
+/-10% of the 480 V-use voltage (due to
the location of the site). However, the
CT scanning equipment planned for the
building required a voltage tolerance of
within +/-5% to ensure proper operation. As a result, we designed a power
conditioner to be installed between the
utility transformer and incoming service
to the building. This power conditioner
was able to regulate the incoming voltage
to the building to within +/-2%.

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Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016


input #11 at

Codes & Standards

Smoke control design considerations
Learn from this overview of NFPA 92: Standard for Smoke Control Systems,
and how fire protection engineers should apply it in design.
NICHOLAS SEALOVER, PE; Koffel Associates, Columbia, Md.

 Illustrate NFPA 92: Standard
for Smoke Control Systems
and its basic guidelines.
 Compare the various smoke
control terminology and
design parameters.
 Recall the various equations and calculations when
designing smoke control

f your fire protection engineering firm has

been tasked with performing a smoke control system design, there are several design
decisions and considerations that need to be
addressed along the way. The primary document that deals with smoke control systems is
NFPA 92: Standard for Smoke Control Systems.
The latest edition of this standard, 2015, was
issued by the NFPA Standards Council on Nov.
11, 2014. While some jurisdictions may directly
mandate compliance with NFPA 92 via local
codes or amendments, many jurisdictions reference NFPA 92 indirectly by mandating compliance with the International Building Code (IBC)
or NFPA 101: Life Safety Code.
Several jurisdictions, including the state of
Maryland, already have adopted the latest edi-





Smoke control

 Contain smoke to zone of fire origin

 Maintain tenability in stairs
 Maintain tenability in exit access
 Maintain smokle layer at predetermined height

Smoke containment

 Stairwell pressurization
 Zoned pressurization
 Elevator pressurization
 Vestibule pressurization
 Smoke refuge area

Smoke management

 Smoke filling
 Maintain smoke layer interface
at predetermined height
 Control smoke layer rate
of descent
 Opposed airflow

Figure 1: NFPA 92 Chapter 4 hierarchy of smoke control design terminology is

shown. All graphics courtesy: Koffel Associates


Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

tion of the IBC (2015 edition), which references

the 2015 edition of NFPA 92 for the design of
opposed airflow and smoke exhaust systems
(see Sections 909.7 and 909.8, respectively). The
2015 IBC also contains additional design criteria
for these system types. Note that the codes do
not always require compliance with NFPA 92
whenever a smoke control system is required.
For example, for smokeproof enclosures (e.g.,
pressurized stairs and elevator hoistways), the
IBC has self-contained criteria and does not reference NFPA 92. Please note that all references
within this article are based on the 2015 editions
of NFPA 92, NFPA 101, and the IBC.
Smoke control systems

The NFPA 92-2012 created a new hierarchy

of terminology, which has not been changed
for the 2015 edition. The term smoke control
system is now used as a broad classification to
include two subclassifications, or methods, of
smoke control: smoke management and smoke
containment (see Figure 1).
Smoke containment systems include stairwell, elevator, vestibule, and refuge-area pressurization systems, as well as zoned smoke
control systems. These system types are
referred to as design approaches within the
context of NFPA 92 (Chapter 4). Smoke containment systems generally involve using fans
to either inject air into protected areas of a
building or exhaust air from fire areas to create
pressure differences with respect to adjacent
areas, thus containing the smoke outside of
the protected area.
Building codes generally dictate when a smoke
containment system is required, or in many cases,
offer a smoke containment system as an alternative design feature. For example, the IBC requires

all interior exit stairways serving floors more

than 75 ft above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access to be designed as smokeproof
enclosures. The code also permits stairwell pressurization systems to be used as an alternative to
providing an open exterior balcony or ventilated
vestibule (see Sections 403.5.4 and 909.20).
Smoke-management systems involve those used
to manage smoke within large-volume spaces,
such as atriums or smoke-protected assembly
seating. Approaches for smoke management permitted by NFPA 92 include:
n Mechanical smoke exhaust
n Natural smoke filling (simply allowing smoke
to fill a large void space above)
n Opposed airflow
n Gravity smoke venting (providing pathways
for the smoke to naturally leave the space).

Choosing a smoke control system

Building owners and designers are often quick

to jump to a decision by providing a mechanical
smoke exhaust system without considering other
potential design alternatives that may be easier
and less expensive.
Once the type of system is selected, the designer must determine the applicable design criteria.
In many cases, the design criteria for smoke control systems are the same in both the IBC and
NFPA 92; however, this is not always the case,
particularly with stairway or elevator hoistway
pressurization systems. For example, Table
1 illustrates some of the differences between
the IBC and NFPA 92 that must be taken into
account when designing a stair pressurization
system where both documents are applicable.
When evaluating the maximum pressure difference between a stairway and the interior of a
building, the IBC specifically limits the design to
0.35 in. wc, whereas NFPA 92 relies more directly
on door-opening forces. It should be noted, however, that for a standard-sized door, the maximum
design pressure difference stated in the IBC can
be shown to cause door-opening forces roughly
equal to the maximums permitted by NFPA 92.

The equation for resolving door-opening force,

given the design pressure difference, is given in the
IBC equation 9-1:
F = Fdc + K(WADP)/2(W-d)

Figure 2: The interior of a 4-story

atrium has complex geometry and a mechanical smoke
exhaust system.

A = Door area, square feet
(square meters)
d = Distance from door handle to
latch edge of door, feet (meters)
F = Total door-opening force,
pounds (Newtons)
Fdc = Force required to overcome
closing device, pounds
K = Coefficient 5.2 (1.0)
W = Door width, feet (meters)
DP = Design pressure difference,
inches of water column (Pascals).
Assuming it is a 3x7-ft door, with a 10-lb selfcloser, a 0.35-in.-wc pressure difference causes
about a 30-lb opening force. It should be noted
that the force to overcome the door-closing
device varies and can affect the maximum pressure difference some. Therefore, the 0.35-in.-wc
maximum pressure difference should be considered a guide.
Calculating pressure and airflows

To calculate pressure differences and airflows,

the codes and standards allow the designer
Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016


Codes & Standards

flexibility in determining the most appropriate calculation methodology for a particular system. While algebraic calculations
and/or spreadsheets can be used to design
and analyze smoke containment systems,
the Multizone Airflow and Contaminant
Transport Analysis Software (CONTAM),
published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is a viable
solution. This software can be used to calculate the expected pressure difference across
an opening such as a stair or elevator door
based on leakage, mechanical injection,
and exhaust airflow rates into and out of
the stair and adjacent spaces.
In addition to open-airflow pathways
like open doors and windows, objects such
as walls, floors, closed doors, and other
elements may have varying leakage rates
depending on their age, construction type,
condition, undercut, side gap, etc. Airflow
rates and pressure differences across all of

Figure 3: An example of a firefighters

smoke control station.

these elements can be modeled and calculated in CONTAM.

The impacts of weather, stack effect,
HVAC systems, locations of injection
points, and other variables should also be
analyzed and documented as required by
the applicable code or standard as part of
the rational analysis for the smoke control
system. CONTAM can especially be useful for taller buildings, which are more
susceptible to stack effect, and/or buildings with multiple smoke control systems,
which may operate simultaneously and
create complex interrelationships.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

For example, if a stairwell and/or elevator hoistway protected by a pressurization system has a door that opens into
an atrium provided with a mechanical
smoke exhaust system, the atrium exhaust
rate can have a significant impact on
the pressure difference across the stair
door, hence, the door-opening force and
required fan size. Software programs such
as CONTAM also are useful for performing sensitivity analyses to determine
which variables have the greatest impact
on the design. For example, the designer
can do multiple trials to get a handle on
the stack effect on a stair or hoistway
pressurization system based on various
outside and inside temperatures.
Determining the design number
of doors open

One important consideration in any

stair pressurization system design is the
design number of doors open; that is,
how many doors are anticipated to be
open at any one point for a reasonable
amount of time. Generally, the determination of the design number of doors
open is the responsibility of the designer. He/she must consider the use of the
building, egress configuration, occupant
loads, and any other characteristics that
may impact occupant movement.
NFPA 92 states that the pressuredifference calculations must take the
design number of doors to be opened
simultaneously into account (see Section This means that the minimum
pressure-difference requirements listed
in NFPA 92 Table must be maintained with the design number of doors
open, which can include both interior
and exterior doors.
The design number of doors open for
NFPA 92 compliance is left to the discretion of the designer. In contrast, the 2015
IBC minimum and maximum pressure
differences0.1 in. wc and 0.35 in. wc,
respectivelyare required to occur with
all interior doors closed. This allows the
potential for leaving an exterior door
open. Previously, the 2012 edition of the
IBC required these pressure differences
to be maintained with all doors closed.


NFPA 92 contains additional criteria

in the testing chapter of the standard.
During testing, pressure-differential
measurements must be recorded with
all interior doors closed, and any exterior doors that would normally be
open during evacuation must be open
(see Section 8.4.6). The design number
of doors open and number of exterior
doors expected to be open during evacuation can be somewhat subjective, but
can have a huge impact on system design
and fan sizing. Adding an open door,
especially to the exterior, can potentially
double or triple the required fan size.
It is important to discuss these variables with the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) and reach a consensus early
in the design process. Also, summarizing the testing procedures in the design
documents for approval may avoid
issues during the acceptance testing.
As an added precaution, it is generally
recommended to provide relief dampers to ensure door-opening forces are not
exceeded during testing or during a realworld scenario. Relief dampers are used
to overcome the potential of excessive
pressure build-up when a door is opened
and then closed.
In addition to stair pressurization,
one of the most common design applications for NFPA 92 and the smoke control requirements in the IBC are largevolume spaces, i.e., atriums. When dealing with the objective of maintaining
tenable conditions for occupant egress
in an atrium, the most common design
solution is mechanical smoke exhaust.
Large exhaust fans are installed to extract
smoke from the upper part or ceiling of
the atrium. Either mechanical fans or
openings (i.e., automatic-opening doors/
louvers) to the exterior of the building,
located in the lower section of the atrium, provide clean make-up air and avoid
negatively pressurizing the space.
This approach to smoke control also
is frequently found in large assembly
spaces, such as arenas and theaters.
NFPA 101 and the IBC contain provisions for smoke-protected seating,

which take advantage of large-volume

smoke exhaust systems to maintain tenable conditions for extended periods
of time, allowing for more leniency in
the amount of egress provided for these
spaces. Although these spaces are not
atriums, the smoke-management systems protecting them are similar to those
found in atriums.
Computer simulations

There are three methods of analysis

permitted by NFPA 92 for the design of
smoke-management systems: algebraic
calculations, computer simulations, and
physical modeling.
The algebraic calculations provided
within NFPA 92 Chapter 5 are useful for
very basic atrium geometries and design
scenarios. When the atrium geometry is
complex or there are many variables at play
(i.e., opening/closing doors, large balconies,
multiple interconnected atriums), the capability of algebraic calculations becomes too
conservative and computer simulations
or physical modeling become more desirable. Physical modeling of atrium designs
(either scale or full-size) can be tedious and
expensive because changes to the design of
the atrium can necessitate rebuilding the
model and repetition of the analysis. For
this reason, many design professionals take
advantage of the convenience and relative
accuracy of computer simulations.
Most computer simulations used for
smoke or fire modeling fall into one of
two categorieszone fire models or computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models.
A zone fire model is an analysis of simple
geometries by dividing a space into an
upper (smoke-filled) and lower (cleanair) layer, and evaluating temperature,
smoke concentration, and other properties in each layer. A CFD model is a more
detailed analysis that divides the space into
small, 3-D computational grid cells and
tracks the movement of heat and smoke
through those cells. CFD models are more
complicated to program and run, and also
require more computational power than
zone fire models, but the ability to visualize
smoke and fire movement are very useful
for smoke control system designs.

Designing for large-volume spaces

When designing smoke-management

systems for large-volume spaces like
atriums, most of the NFPA 92 and IBC
requirements are very similar, with the
exception of the required duration of system operation. NFPA 92 simply requires
any system to operate for at least the
required safe egress time (RSET) based
on a timed-egress analysis. For instance, if
calculations estimate it will take 8.5 minutes to clear an atrium, the system must
be operational for at least 8.5 minutes.
The IBC, on the other hand, requires
the duration to be either 20 minutes or
1.5 times the calculated RSET, whichever
is greater (see IBC 909.4.6[F]).
Specifying temperature-rated

In addition to sizing fans and associated

ductwork properly for smoke-management
systems, the designer also must specify
appropriate temperature-rated equipment
(i.e., fans, dampers, ductwork) that will
be in contact with the smoke-plume/hot
upper layer. Both NFPA 92 and the IBC
contain the same equation for determining
the temperature rating of smoke exhaust
equipment. IBC equation 9-3 is:
Ts = (Q/mc) + Ta
Ts = Smoke temperature,
Fahrenheit (Kelvin)
Ta = Ambient temperature,
Fahrenheit (Kelvin)
c = Specific heat of smoke at smokelayer temperature, Btus per pound
Fahrenheit (kiloJoules per kilogram degree Kelvin)
m = Exhaust rate, pounds per second
(kilograms per second)
Qc = Convective heat output of fire,
Btus per second (kilowatt).
IBC equation 9-3 provides a conservative
temperature and does not take into account

Figure 4: An example of an axial-type

stair pressurization fan.

any reduced temperatures due to dilution

from cooler air. IBC section 909.10.1 allows
for a reduced smoke temperature when
adequate dilution air is provided.
Furthermore, the associated ductwork
for a smoke-management system must
be capable of withstanding the probable
pressures to which they will be exposed
when the system is operating. Ductwork
must be leak-tested to 1.5 times the maximum design pressure in accordance with
nationally accepted practices. The measured leakage cannot exceed 5% of the
design flow (see IBC 909.10.2[F])
Control systems

Many of the smoke control design considerations discussed up to this point are
performance-based in nature. The design
criteria are given in the codes, but the
designer has flexibility in how to meet
the criteria. There is less flexibility with
the system controls. NFPA 92 and the
IBC contain specific criteria for the subsystems that control the overall smoke
control system.
Control systems must be listed in
accordance with ANSI/UL 864, Standard
for Control Units and Accessories for Fire
Alarm Systems, category UUKL. UL 864
is the fire-alarm-system test standard,
but the UUKL category is specifically for
equipment used in smoke control systems. It may be tempting for a designer
to use the building automation system
(BAS) to control the smoke control system because the controls would already
be in place and a smoke control mode
can be programmed in. This can be done,

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016


Codes & Standards

however, not all vendors can provide a BAS that is UUKL-listed
for smoke control.
Simplicity should be the goal of a control system design. A
single system should be used to control the various smoke control functions. The more complex a system is, the less likely it is
to operate efficiently and to be properly tested and maintained.
Smoke control systems must be activated automatically.
Activation is generally initiated in response to a smoke detector or a water-flow-switch activation. Special design consideration is warranted where smoke stratification can occur, such
as within tall atrium spaces. Upward-facing beam-type smoke
detectors or detection at multiple elevations within the space
can be used.
A firefighters smoke control station (FSCS) is required for all
smoke control systems per NFPA 92 and the IBC. The FSCS provides manual control, status indicators, and fault conditions for
the system. Manual controls should be clearly marked and should
show the graphic location and function served via diagrams or
notations on the FSCS. Means of verifying correct operation of
components upon activation must be provided. This includes
positive confirmation for the operation of fans, any fault conditions, and manual overrides. Failure to receive or maintain
positive confirmation of operation must provide an off-normal
indication within 200 seconds.
NFPA 92 contains other time limitations on how quickly the
system must react. For example, smoke control mode must be initiated within 10 seconds after an activation command is received.
For smoke containment systems, the fans must operate within 60
seconds. Completion of damper travel must occur within 75 seconds. For smoke-management systems, full operational mode must
be achieved before conditions exceed design smoke conditions.
Smoke dampers used as part of the smoke control system must
be ANSI/UL 555S: Standard for Smoke Dampers-listed. This standard ensures that the dampers can withstand potentially elevated
temperatures and higher pressures, and will allow minimal leakage rates through the damper.
Once the smoke control system is designed and installed,
the system is tested against their design criteria. Therefore, the
designer needs to stay involved through this commissioning process. There are three types of smoke control testing:
n Component testing of each component or subsystem (e.g.,
fire alarm and detection systems, dampers, fans, controls,
standby power)
n Acceptance testing of the fully integrated system during
system commissioning
n Periodic testing performed over the life of the system.

input #12 at

Periodic testing should be performed at least twice a year for

a dedicated smoke control system and annually if the system is
integrated with the buildings HVAC system. Lack of maintenance
testing and/or poor recording practices can lead to deficiency
citations from the AHJ.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

Table 1: Stair pressurization requirements

NFPA 92 (2015 Edition)

IBC (2015 Edition)

Minimum required pressure

difference between stairs and
interior (in. wc)

0.05 for sprinklered buildings []

0.10 with all interior doors closed [909.20.5]

Maximum permitted pressure

difference (in. wc)

Not to exceed max door-opening force []

0.35 with all interior doors closed, or not to exceed

max door-opening force [909.20.5]

Maximum door-opening force

for egress door

30 pounds-force (from NFPA 101)

5 pounds-force for interior nonrated swinging egress

doors, 30 pounds-force otherwise [1010.1.3]

Duration of operation
of system

Required safe egress time (RSET) based on

Timed-Egress Analysis [4.5.4]

20 minutes or 1.5 times RSET,

whichever is greater [909.4.6]

1) All interior doors closed. Exterior doors closed,

unless normally open during egress. []

Special inspector required [1705.18]

Pressure-testing methods
and requirements

2) Design number of doors open. []

Table 1: This summary compares NFPA 92 and International Building Code (IBC) stair pressurization requirements.

When documenting the testing and

commissioning procedures, the designer should discourage the use of smoke
bombs or similar real smoke tests.
Visible smoke demonstrations are not
required by the codes and can provide
arbitrary results because they do not provide the heat, buoyancy, and air entrain-

ment that real fire can produce. However,

if the AHJ is adamant that some form of
visible smoke must be incorporated into
the acceptance testing, these means and
methods must be formally documented
prior to testing so that the preparations
can occur prior to the testing day. A
smoke control system designed in accor-

input #13 at

dance with NFPA 92 and/or the IBC criteria is expected to perform admirably
during an actual fire event.
Erik Anderson is a manager at Koffel
Associates. Shaun Wrightson and Nick
Sealover are registered fire protection engineers at Koffel Associates.

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UPS, and more

Sponsored by Viega, visit us at:

40 Under 40 Winners

s a proud sponsor of CSEs 40 Under

40 honorees, I am continually
impressed by the quality of
individuals that receive recognition each
year. Having been nominated and selected
by your peers, you exemplify the best in
your respective engineering fields and
should be very proud of this honor. You are,
clearly, a notable leader in life and in your
career and have worked hard to get where
you are today.
Our industry needs leaders, like you,
who are inspired to do work that shapes
the future, improves lives and protects our

environment. The work that you do is about

improving our quality of life in the present
and for future generations to come.
Thank you for your past achievements
and for all that you will, undoubtedly,
achieve in the future. Congratulations for
being a part of this elite group.
Keep at it,

Dave Garlow,
President and CEO, Viega LLC

Dave Garlow is president and CEO of Viega LLC in Wichita, Kansas. He started his
career with Viega in 1999 as regional sales manager, and then was promoted to the
positions of national sales manager and vice president of sales and marketing. Hes also
been a member of the Viega Executive Committee for the past ten years. He is an active
member of the Sons of the American Legion Post 4 in Wichita.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer 40 Under 40

2016 Winners
Sean Avery . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Nikki Bishop. . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Ian Bost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Nate Boyd . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Austin Bredow. . . . . . . . . . 29
Greg Brumagen . . . . . . . . . 29
Kevin Chow . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Sam Claxton. . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Louis DeAlba . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Becca Delaney . . . . . . . . . .30
Paul Erickson . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Will Fletcher. . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Scott Foster . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
George Fragulis . . . . . . . . . 32
Richard Gerbe . . . . . . . . . . 32
Michael Heinsdorf . . . . . . . 32
Tyler Jensen . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Sara Lappano. . . . . . . . . . . 34
Alex Lofting . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Trey Long . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
David Manley. . . . . . . . . . . 35
Alex Mathers . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Shane Myrbeck . . . . . . . . . 35
Vance Nall . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Michael Nelson . . . . . . . . . 36
Thomas Phuong. . . . . . . . . 36
Shamim Rashid-Sumar . . . 36
Colin Rees . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Dareen Salama . . . . . . . . . 37

The 2016 40 Under 40 winners

have many attributes in common, including their
passion, enthusiasm, and exceptional drive.
BY JACK SMITH, Content Manager, and
AMARA ROZGUS, Editor-in-Chief

xceptional. Dedicated. Driven. These are a few of the words used

to describe the 2016 Consulting-Specifying Engineer 40 Under 40
winners. Now in its ninth year, the program honors young building

and engineering professionals, each of whom was nominated by a men-

Kunal Shah. . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

tor. Though their backgrounds are as diverse as their jobs, these men and

Ruchi Singhal . . . . . . . . . . . 37

women have plenty in common. In addition to being winners, they are linked

Suraj Soudagar . . . . . . . . . 37

by their dedication to their profession, a penchant for leadership, the drive

Deborah Steimel-Clair. . . . 38
Elie Touma . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

to make a difference in their industries and communities, and determination

Saahil Tumber . . . . . . . . . . 38

to excel in everything they do. Many are involved in mentoring students and

Elizabeth Valmont. . . . . . . 38

professional colleagues, while also giving back to their community. When

Toby White . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

theyre not creating award-winning building designs or spending time with

Brad Wilson . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

family, this years winners enjoy cooking, making music, taking part in vari-

Jay Wratten . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Jeff Yirak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

ous athletic pursuits, traveling, and making the world a better place.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016


Consulting-Specifying Engineer 40 Under 40

Sean Avery,
Senior Associate, DLR Group, Seattle
BS and MS Electrical Engineering,
University of Washington

Seattle native, Avery grew up in a family of engineers, which influenced his

interest in sustainable electrical design.

Avery began his career at DLR Group
shortly after graduating from college. Within DLR Groups interdisciplinary
A/E structure, he leads the Seattle offices electrical group and mentors

Director, Global Turnaround Program,

Emerson Process Management, Austin,
BS Chemical Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology
Executive MBA, McCombs School of
Business at The University of Texas at

ishop started her career at Emerson in

2002 as a lead automation project engineer. She joined Siemens Energy

in 2009 and spent 2 years working in power generation, then returned to

fledgling associates and interns. Averys electrical engineering experience

Emerson in 2011. In her role as senior application consultant, she designed,

includes power, controls, and lighting. Currently, he focuses on lighting, high-

developed, and managed integrated application solutions focused on specific

performance building design, and onsite renewable power generation. His

unit operations and assets. With extensive experience in asset reliability and

expertise in early modeling and analysis enables the development of effec-

predictive-maintenance strategies, Bishop developed Emersons Essential

tive passive-design strategies and designing energy-efficient systems that

Asset Monitoring suite of solutions. In her next role as director for Emersons

ensure user comfort and well-being. Although his role on projects entails the

offshore oil and gas industry program, she was responsible for developing and

design of everything electrical, his passions are lighting design and renew-

executing offshore industry strategies in the oil and gas segment. In her current

able energy because thats where he feels he can make the biggest difference

role as director of Emersons Global Turnaround Program, she is responsible

in the energy footprint of the buildings his company designs. Avery is a mem-

for developing and leading a global program focused on shutdown, turnaround,

ber of Illuminating Engineering Society, where he serves as vice president

and outage events in the refining, chemicals, and commercial power industries.

of the Seattle/Puget Sound section; a member of the National BIM Standard

With more than 14 years of experience in the process control industry, Bishops

Project Committee; and a member of IEEE Industrial Applications Society.

experience includes automation projects in oil and gas, industrial energy, phar-

His career has sent him to many places along the West Coasteven to the

maceuticals, power generation, pulp and paper, and refining. She serves as a

exclusive telescope facility on the summit of Haleakala on Maui. When he

mentor within her office and as a manager for Emersons Engineers in Leader-

isnt designing lighting and energy-efficient electrical systems, Avery plays

ship Program. She leads the Emerson Women in STEM group with the mission

saxophone in a local jazz band: Jazz Underground.

of attracting, retaining, and developing more women leaders.

Ian Bost, PE, LEED AP, 38

Nate Boyd,

Principal, Mechanical Engineer, Baird,

Hampton & Brown Inc., Fort Worth, Texas
BS Mechanical Engineering,
Texas Tech University

ost started at Baird, Hampton & Brown

Inc. (BHB) in 2001 after graduating from

Texas Tech. After mastering design techniques and systems, he was introduced to
construction administration and then client contacts and supportand excelled


Nikki Bishop, PE, 37

Mechanical Engineer, Energy Specialist,

Hanson Professional Services Inc.,
Maitland, Fla.
BS Mechanical Engineering,
University of Central Florida

oyd started working for his familys

businessBoyd Brothers Service Inc.

in Punta Gorda, the controls contracting industry when he was young.

at these as well. He helped a local branch of a major defense contractor win

He managed multiple projects and performed installations while obtaining

an internal corporate project award. Bost was named an associate and then

his engineering degree at UCF. His responsibilities included project manage-

senior associate at BHB, and in 2014, he was invited to become a principal

ment, onsite construction oversight, and control system commissioning. After

of the firm. As a principal, he provides HVAC, plumbing, and specialty piping

graduating, he became the energy project manager for the city of Orlando,

system designs for new buildings or renovations to existing facilities. He leads

Fla., where he served as the key advisor on energy and sustainability mat-

the mechanical and plumbing design of educational facilities, medical facilities,

ters. He was responsible for the design, implementation, and oversight of

churches, courthouses, YMCAs, and industrial, commercial, and retail facilities.

projects that reduced the citys utility costs and increased renewable energy

Bost has been a leader in the Fort Worth Chapter of ASHRAE for many years,

generation. In addition, he designed and implemented Orlandos energy-

and has become a mentor for new chapter presidents and members. He also

management system. Boyd joined Hanson Professional Services in 2015 as

has advanced to regional leadership positions and was nominated for a position

a mechanical engineer and energy specialist. At Hanson, he performs ener-

on a national ASHRAE committee. He is involved with the American Institute

gy conservation and utility master planning for large-portfolio government

of Architects 2030 Challenge and works closely with BHB clients to provide

and commercial clients. He is responsible for development and evolution of

sustainable designs. Bost submitted the Texas Christian University (TCU)

Energy Roadmap services, outlining strategic planning for whole-campus

Admission Center mechanical design for an ASHRAE Technology award.

energy-conservation efforts and incorporating coordination of utility services,

This project was the first at TCU to use geothermal heat pumps. Outside the

legislative impacts, funding mechanisms, and renewable energy potential.

office, Bost and his wife, Carmen, stay busy raising their three daughters and

Boyd has been married to his wife, Angel, for 9 years. An outdoorsman and

son. Bost and Carmen are avid and frequent runners.

craftsman, he enjoys hiking, fishing, gardening, and stargazing.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

Austin Bredow, PE, LEED AP, 38

Vice President, Electrical Engineer,
Environmental Systems Design Inc. (ESD),
BS Electrical Engineering,
Washington University, St. Louis
M.Ed., DePaul University

redow leads the high-tech studio for

Environmental Systems Design Inc.s

Greg Brumagen,
PE, RCDD, CxA, 39
Electrical Engineer, CMTA Inc.,
Lexington, Ky.
BS Electrical Engineering,
University of Kentucky

ollowing in his fathers footsteps, Brumagen had an early understanding of the

importance of electrical delivery systems,

Workplace Solutions Practice, which specializes in technically complex proj-

which was the primary reason he became an electrical engineer. Born and

ects requiring resilient, flexible infrastructure for clients located throughout

raised in Lexington, he is a Kentucky native and has remained in the area. He

the country. He began his career with ESD in 2001 as an electrical engineer in

joined CMTA in 2014. He has a broad knowledge of building-system power

the firms mission critical group. He was soon put in charge of managing one

distribution, lighting design and control, fire alarms, voice and data, emer-

of the firms most prominent clients: The Chicago Board of Trade. He quickly

gency/backup power generation, uninterruptible power supply, grounding,

became a trusted advisor to the building-management team and numerous

security, intrusion detection, sensitive compartmented information facilities,

financial tenants that later contracted separately with ESD to develop high-

closed-circuit TV, and elevator control interfaces. One of CMTAs key elec-

tech office spaces as they grew and relocated to other locations throughout

trical engineers, Brumagens leadership abilities enable him to effectively

Chicago and elsewhere. Through this experience, he became a leader in the

manage projects from start to finish. He is passionate about environmentally

design of MEP systems for the rapidly evolving electronic trading industry,

friendly design. Brumagen is leading the Lexington-Fayette Urban County

which has redefined the financial landscape. Bredow was promoted to vice

Governments senior center project, where he considers the special needs of

president in 2013, and in 2014, he played an integral part in restructuring

older adults, especially in the areas of lighting and visual comfort. Brumagen

sections of the firm to better align ESDs services with the fast-changing

initiated and led a companywide wellness initiative that measures, motivates,

landscape of the professional workplace. Bredow has been, and continues

and incentivizes healthy practices and behavior inside the CMTA office. He

to be, actively involved with numerous outreach programs and volunteering

and his wife, Robin, are distance runners, and Brumagen has run several

opportunities. In addition to traveling many parts of the globe, Bredow and

marathons and half-marathons. He loves to exercise and spend time with his

his wife, Sarah, now embrace navigating the challengesand rewardsof

two daughters, keeping them active by jumping on the trampoline, running,

parenting. They recently welcomed their daughter to the family.

or just playing in the backyard.

Kevin Chow,

Sam Claxton, PE, FPE, 37

Associate, Mechanical Engineer,

WSP l Parsons Brinckerhoff, Dallas
BS Architectural Engineering,
Kansas State University

Principal, Mechanical Engineer, Partner,

CMTA Inc., Lexington, Ky.
BS Mechanical Engineering,
University of Tennessee

fter earning his degree, Claxton joined

how began his career at ccrd, now

Smith Seckman Reid (SSR) as a

WSP l Parsons Brinckerhoff, after

mechanical engineer in his hometown of

earning his engineering degree in 2008. In

Nashville, Tenn. While at SSR, he designed

2009, he received LEED AP BD+C certification, followed by becoming a

major sporting arenas, convention centers, laboratories, hospitals, and edu-

licensed professional mechanical engineer in 2012 and being promoted to

cational and institutional facilities. After nearly a decade in Nashville, Claxton

associate in 2014. His responsibilities at WSP l Parsons Brinckerhoff include

accepted an offer from CMTA and moved to Lexington, Ky., in 2010 to create

mechanical engineering design, project management, construction adminis-

designs that offer sustainability and high performance. One of these projects is

tration, and quality control. Chow has been involved in the design of a variety

a $200 million renovation for Baptist Hospital in Lexington, where he designed

of projects including greenfield health care facilities, department renovations

the largest heat-recovery central plant in the commonwealth of Kentucky. Clax-

and expansions, central plant upgrades, medical office buildings, and parking

ton became a partner at CMTA in 2015. He continues to provide excellent

garages. His professional portfolio includes several extremely high-profile

designs while maintaining a strong rapport with clients. He also takes mentoring

jobs, such as the first stand-alone childrens hospital in Louisiana, which is

seriously; he truly enjoys watching the successes of younger engineers. Clax-

nearing the end of design. As lead mechanical engineer on the project, he

ton and his wife, Beth, are very active in their church. The Claxton family has

has been trusted with providing a central plant design that meets the owners

partnered with a church in the Avondale neighborhood of Chicago to minister

requirements for redundancy and ease of operation while maintaining bud-

to the needs of inner-city families. They have collected and distributed food,

get constraints. In addition, he is guiding a team of mechanical designers

gifts, and other essential items to that community. Outside of work, Claxton

to produce the remaining portions of the overall project. For several years,

focuses on his family, faith, traveling, and sports. He has been a member of

Chow has been the team leader for Canstruction, which has brought in a

intramural basketball teams after playing basketball for many years through

significant amount of canned food for the North Texas Food Bank. Chow and

school. He also enjoys watching, playing, and coaching many different sports.

his wife, Emily, enjoy traveling and have been to Australia, England, Ireland,

He and Beth seek opportunities to take their three children on bike rides and

and Hawaii. He also has a passion for cooking and enjoys skiing.

hikes through the woods, as well as to merely play ball in the backyard.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016


Consulting-Specifying Engineer 40 Under 40

Louis DeAlba, 31
Electrical Designer and Revit Administrator, Primera Engineers, Chicago
BS Interior Design, Westwood College

efore he finished his undergraduate

program, DeAlba started working in the

electrical group at KJWW in Chicago as an

AutoCAD technician. After 2 years, he was
promoted to electrical technician. He enthu-

MEP Team Leader, Associate, Skidmore,

Owings & Merrill LLP, Chicago
Integrated BAE/MAE
Architectural Engineering,
Pennsylvania State University

fter graduation, Delaney spent 4 years

working for Buro Happold Consulting

siastically completed all of the firms internal training courses for entry-level

Engineers as a mechanical engineer in New York, London, and Leeds, U.K.,

electrical engineers. Only 2 years after this promotion, he accepted a position

collaborating on building designs throughout the U.K., Middle East, and U.S.

at Primera Engineers as an electrical designer and Revit administrator. Cur-

She moved to Chicago in 2010 to accept a position as senior mechanical engi-

rently, DeAlba is the lead electrical designer for a number of projects spanning

neer at Primera Engineers. Delaney joined Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

from schools and parks to theaters and dorms. He worked extensively on the

as mechanical team leader in 2014. She was selected as the ASHRAE New

companys Chicago Vocational Career Academy project as lead electrical

Face in Engineering in 2014 and received the Penn State Alumni Achievement

designer and BIM/Revit administrator. Among DeAlbas top accomplishments

Award in 2015. In addition to being a project manager for multidisciplinary

is the creation of the Primera Revit User Guide. DeAlba leads Primeras vol-

sustainable-engineering project teams responsible for project delivery, coor-

unteer partnership efforts with the Francisco Madero Middle School Mentor

dination, resourcing, and budget, she is the youngest engineering team leader

Program, Rebuilding Together, and Canstruction. In addition, he volunteers

with SOMa distinction she also earned at Primera. Projects included the

each week at the ACE Mentor Program of America and serves on Primeras

design competition for the worlds tallest office tower, a LEED Gold high school

Wellness and Consultant of Choice committees. DeAlba loves basketball

for Chicago Public Schools, and a boutique high-rise art museum in New York.

and regularly plays pickup games when at the gym. He enjoys the game so

She has authored several articles for Consulting-Specifying Engineer related

much that he started a Primera intramural league. He also is enrolled in acting

to her life as a young female engineer. Delaney also has developed a passion

classes at Second City, a comedy club, and is preparing to start auditioning

for the people and culture of Eastern Africa. Her work has led her to partner

for small roles or commercials. When DeAlba is not on the court or on the

with organizations such as Engineers Without Borders, Umama, and Bright

stage, hes in the kitchen. He loves to cook and is always trying out new

Hope. She and her husband, Tom, do not have children of their own, but they

recipes, especially for his favorite meal of the day: breakfast.

have numerous nieces and nephews with whom they video chat frequently.

Paul Erickson,

Will Fletcher PE, FPE, 27

Principal, Sustainable Practice Leader,

Mechanical Engineer, Affiliated Engineers
Inc., Madison, Wis.
BS Environmental Geosciences,
Michigan State University
MS Civil Engineering and Building
Sciences, University of Colorado


Becca Delaney,

Associate Consultant, Jensen Hughes,

San Diego
BS Civil Engineering,
MS Fire Protection Engineering,
California Polytechnic State University

letcher joined Aon Fire Protection Engineering, recently acquired by Jensen

Hughes, in 2010 as a summer intern and

rickson joined Affiliated Engineers Inc. (AEI) in the fall of 2005. As

became a full-time employee in 2012. He has worked on several high-level

a designer in the mechanical department, he started at a high level,

fire-research projects that brought international acclaim to the firm. He col-

working on a federal biosafety level 3/4 lab project. While working on a

laborates closely with Jensen Hughes West Region code-consulting group to

LEED Gold food-production plant, he was leading AEIs energy-modeling

provide innovative design solutions and computer fire and egress modeling for

and project-sustainability efforts by spring 2006. In 2012, he became AEIs

all types of occupancies. His experience includes code analysis, automatic fire-

national sustainable-practice leader, serving as a project consultant and the

sprinkler system design and testing, high-piled storage evaluation, hazardous-

firms internal coordinator of sustainable technology and strategy training.

material consulting, retail-development consulting, and smoke-control system

He became a principal of the firm in 2014. Erickson draws on experience

design and testing. Education is important to Fletcher, and he believes that his

in the science and technology, health care, and higher education sectors to

education at Cal Poly laid the perfect foundation for a career in fire protection

develop advanced system concepts and performance modeling tools through

engineering. Fletcher enjoys giving back to his alma mater by staying closely

his firm. Erickson combines knowledge of geology, chemical engineering, and

connected with the fire protection engineering graduate program and assisting

building systems engineering in the ideation, evaluation, and implementation

the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) Student Chapter, of which he

of high-performance design concepts. Erickson pulls on waders to work for

is the founding president. His easy-going nature allows people to effortlessly

the Dane County Office of Lakes & Watersheds annual Take a Stake in

connect with him and concentrate on the task at hand. He works closely with

the Lakes lakefront cleanup. A longtime food-pantry volunteer, he recently

peers in expanding the involvement of the local San Diego Chapter of the

branched out as a participant in a Madison-area community garden that sup-

SFPE, of which he is currently president. Fletcher is a leader and a role model

ports the local food bank. In his spare time, Erickson enjoys cycling, skating,

for not only the engineering profession, but also his community. He and his wife,

skiing, fishing, and being part of Madisons cultural, arts, and music scenes.

Lisa, volunteer for many special-needs events and participate in fundraisers.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

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Consulting-Specifying Engineer 40 Under 40

Scott Foster, PE, LEED AP, 39
Principal, Mechanical Engineer,
Affiliated Engineers Inc., Chicago

George Fragulis,

BS Architectural Engineering,
Kansas State University

Principal, Program Manager, Mechanical

Engineer, Pond & Co., Norcross, Ga.

fter earning his engineering degree,

Foster began his career at Primera

Engineers in Chicago in 2001. He then joined

Affiliated Engineers Inc. (AEI) as a mechani-

fter earning a mechanical engineering

degree, Fragulis worked as a project

cal engineer in 2007 at the inception of the Chicago office and has provided

engineer with Clough, Harbour & Associates LLP in Atlanta until joining Pond

leadership in helping shape its direction and success. He took an active role in

& Co. as a mechanical engineer in 2008. However, he soon found his niche

recruiting and training new staff. A measure of his effectiveness is the growth

as an accomplished project manager. Specializing in facility assessment,

of the Chicago office in 6 years from five staff members to more than 30,

energy audits, renovation, mechanical system replacement, and preventive

while nearly tripling annual revenues. With expertise in data center design and

maintenance projects, he focuses on improving building occupant comfort

from the perspective of the firms national sustainable leadership team, Foster

and maintainability of building systems. His firm named him Employee of the

identified a need to better evaluate airflow, specifically within data centers. He

Year in 2013 and nominated him as its Top Young Engineer for the Atlanta

established the criteria required from computational fluid dynamics (CFD) soft-

chapter of American Society of Civil Engineering Companies in 2012. Fragulis

ware and led a firmwide team through rigorous software evaluations, resulting

has also earned Ponds Project Manager of the Year award in 2013. Since

in a comprehensive CFD analysis tool that increases productivity and design

2011, he has actively worked with the Atlanta chapter of Engineers Without

quality for AEIs national mission critical market sector. One of Fosters passions

Borders. From 2013 to 2015, he served as the groups vice president. He is

outside of work is cycling. He found a way to use this passion to help others

most proud of his work as project manager designing a solar energy project

through the World Bicycle Relief, the mission of which is to transform individuals

for an orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. As parents of three girls, Fra-

and their communities through the power of bicycles. The organization provides

gulis and his wife, Elizabeth, recognize the importance of getting children

bikes to men, women, and children in Africa who otherwise wouldnt be able

excited about engineering at an early age. To this end, he attends career

to get to school or work. What Foster most enjoys outside of work is spending

fairs at local elementary schools to promote STEM education. While his three

time with his family. He and his wife like to travel, and they bring their two young

daughters keep him busy, he enjoys finding time to run and play soccer. He

children along to experience the diversity of people and places.

is a triathlete and is training to run the Atlanta half-marathon.

Richard Gerbe, EIT, 38

Michael Heinsdorf,

Co-founder, Highmark, New York City

BS Mechanical Engineering,
New York Institute of Technology

Assistant Director of MasterSpec,

Architectural Computer Services Inc.,
Alexandria, Va.

BS Electrical Engineering,
Drexel University

erbe co-founded Highmark with Anthony Sannazzaro in 2013 to challenge the

HVAC status quo and to bring efficiency to

the built environment. He and his partner
agreed that it was time to usher in a new era

focused on making commercial buildings more efficient. Since its founding,


BS Mechanical Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology

riginally hired in 2013 as an engineering specification writer for Architectur-

al Computer Services Inc. (ARCOM), Heinsdorf is now the assistant director

the company has experienced double-digit annual growth and continues to

of MasterSpec, a master specification provider in the U.S. Before coming to

expand its extensive client base. Prior to co-founding Highmark, Gerbe was a

ARCOM, he worked at The Burns Group in Philadelphiatwice. Between

consulting and sales engineer at Trane for almost a decade and held several

his two stints at Burns, he worked briefly for Hyperion Inc. in McLean, Va. In

other top-level positions at leading engineering and consulting companies in the

his current position, Heinsdorf is responsible for managing and updating the

HVAC industry. He searches for technologies that will enable buildings in New

MasterSpec engineering libraries and organizing and leading the MasterSpec

York and the Northeast to operate more efficiently, use less energy and water,

Engineering Review Committee. In addition to his electrical engineering train-

and reduce emissions while generating significant cost savings. He believes

ing, he has acquired broad knowledge of engineering disciplines related to

that realizing a more sustainable future and mitigating climate change is pos-

building construction, developing expertise in fire suppression, plumbing,

sible by increasing building efficiency. He also believes very strongly in helping

HVAC, utilities, and many other areas of construction. Heinsdorf also has

engineering students succeed, and he serves as a regular mentor at Hofstra

become ARCOMs in-house expert on federal legislation by keeping up with

University. He sat on the ASHRAE building-efficiency board, he was president

and commenting on rulings by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers New York chapter, and he

and the U.S. Department of Energy that affect the engineering industry. He

provides educational sessions to fellow engineers as part of the Practicing

is a prolific contributor to ARCOMs blog and has written several articles for

Institute of Engineering. When he has a few free moments, he uses gardening

Consulting-Specifying Engineer and other publications. Sailboat racing is

as a way to recharge and disconnect. Many of his thoughts on how to improve

Heinsdorfs favorite pastime. He has been sailing since he was 11 and started

the business and further building efficiency have occurred while gardening.

racing when he was a freshman at Drexel. He paid his way through college

Gerbe is still able to find time to spend with his wife and three children.

by cooking and bartending, and he still enjoys cooking.

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Consulting-Specifying Engineer 40 Under 40

Tyler Jensen, PE, LEED AP, 30
Senior Associate, Environmental Systems
Design Inc. (ESD), Chicago
BS and MS Mechanical Engineering,
Washington University, St. Louis

ensen began his career at Environmental Systems Design Inc. (ESD) after

graduating magna cum laude from Wash-

ington University in St. Louis in 2008. As a

Principal, Electrical Engineer,

SmithGroupJJR, Washington, D.C.
BS and MS Architectural Engineering,
Penn State University

appano joined SmithGroupJJR in 2004

after earning her degrees in architec-

tural engineering, with an emphasis on

project manager and senior mechanical engineer in the High Performance

lighting and electrical design. Since then, she has risen to lead the electri-

Buildings Group, he oversees the MEP/FP/T design process and coordinates

cal design on some of the firms largest and most challenging projects. In

with architects, other consultants, and end users as ESDs main point of con-

her role of lead electrical engineer, she recently completed the design of the

tact. As the lead senior mechanical designer on projects, Jensen provides

Museum of the Bible, a $400 million, 430,000-sq-ft building renovation. For

mechanical system design for a variety of projects across multiple market

the museum, she designed an innovative backup power system composed

sectors. His chief duties include mechanical systems design, energy model-

of eight paralleled natural gas generators. Lappano is a strong advocate

ing, mechanical calculations and simulations, assessing shop drawings, sur-

of sustainable design and has designed electrical and renewable energy

veying and field work, and preparation of electronic drawings/files. Although

systems for several net zero energy buildings. She played an integral role

he is strong in technical knowledge, project management, team leadership,

in SmithGroupJJRs design of the renewable energy systems for the Brock

and client advocacy, he has become a subject matter expert on stack effect in

Environmental Center, which recently reached the 1-year milestone for net

tall and supertall buildings and has co-authored and presented on this topic.

zero energy performance. The photovoltaic and wind turbine systems she

Jensen is a member of the Illinois chapter of ASHRAE and mentors college

designed have generated 86% more energy to date than the building has

students through the ASHRAE Student Design Competition. He works closely

consumed. For the past 2 years, she has served as the engineering discipline

with a student team from the University of Illinois at Chicago, providing guid-

leader for the firms 120 engineers. Lappano volunteers at a large urban com-

ance as they develop their competition submissions. Jensen recently became

munity garden and has served on its management committee. She is also

engaged to someone who actually works in the same industry, an interior

an avid cyclist and endurance race specialist. In 2015, she competed in five

designer at a small architecture and design firm. He is an avid homebrewer.

triathlons, including a 70.3-mile half-distance Ironman race. She currently

He loves to bike through Chicago and bikes to work when possible.

is training for her first 140.6-mile Ironman race.

Alex Lofting, CEng, 38

Associate Principal, Arup, San Francisco

Trey Long,

BEng, Mechanical Engineering,

University of Birmingham, U.K.

Associate, Jordan & Skala Engineers,

Norcross, Ga.

fter earning his degree, Loftings professional career started with Arup in

the firms London office in 2001. His design

portfolio quickly sparked with landmark projects including the Chelsea College of Art,


Sara Lappano,

BS Biological Engineering,
University of Georgia

ong spent the first 6 years of his career as

a mechanical engineer at Plus Group CE

in New York City and then as an associate

BBC Scotland Headquarters, and the California Academy of Sciences in San

at Newcomb & Boyd in Atlanta. He has been an integral member of Jordan &

Francisco. In 2004, he moved with Arup to Bristol, U.K., for 8 years. He is known

Skalas engineering design team since joining in 2012. In his current role, he is

for fostering client relationships, his technical acumen, and his leadership skills.

responsible for the design of mechanical systems for complex developments,

In 2012, Lofting transferred to San Francisco with Arup, taking a lead role on

including high-rise residential, health care facilities, laboratories, senior living,

several major projects including a confidential campus for a Bay Area technology

and universities. His portfolio also includes correctional facilities, cold-storage

firm, new headquarter offices for technology firms Dropbox and Splunk, and

facilities, Atlantas first urban marketplace at the Krog Street Market, museums,

existing building conversions with UC Davis and BART. Currently, he is working

church modifications, and even Amazon sorting facilities across the U.S. As a

on multiple facilities for Splunk, a downtown high-rise hotel and residential tower,

Fox Theatre Preservation Committee member, Long collaborates with other

as well as multiple global projects with GE. He was asked to lead the existing

professionals industries to review the historic theaters renovation and expansion

buildings and integrated interiors business for Arups San Francisco office, and

plans and ensure the continued architectural significance of its nearly 90-year

following the success of his endeavors, he was promoted to associate princi-

legacy. Long was involved on the Candler Park Neighborhood Organizations

pal in 2015. Lofting actively helps junior engineers grow in their professional

executive board. As a member of a small but growing community of University of

environments. He organizes events for the local real estate community to foster

Georgia engineering graduates, he regularly returns to his alma mater to speak

peer-to-peer communication and to address topics currently influencing the field.

to engineering classes. Long has renovated the last three homes he has lived in

But his time is not entirely his own: many weekends youll find him fully immersed

and has so many ideas on any given day that his wife gifted him with a notebook

in his kids efforts on the Lamorinda swim team and baseball field. Hes known

to capture them all. He is a fan of all things art including architecture, live theater,

to cook for his architect wife and children, and in true West Coast fashion, he

and music. He loves to hike and camp. However, with three young children, he

aspires to swim in the ocean and ski in the mountains in the same day.

does not get to spend as much time out under the stars as he used to.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

David Manley,
Senior Consultant,
D.L. Adams Associates Inc., Denver
BS and MAE Architectural Engineering,
University of Nebraska

anley joined D.L. Adams Associates

(DLA A) in 2008 after earning his

degrees. Starting as a staff consultant, he

Alex Mathers, PE, LEED GA, 35

Senior Mechanical Engineer,
Project Manager, exp, San Diego
BS Engineering, Environmental Science,
James Madison University,
MS Mechanical Engineering,
San Diego State University

fter earning his BS in engineering in

2003, Mathers worked as a consulting

quickly earned the respect of his fellow staff and his clients. He has since

environmental engineer assisting large municipal and private landfills with envi-

become an expert acoustician and has advanced to senior consultant due to his

ronmental regulatory compliance. He left his native Richmond, Va., in 2005 to

strong work ethic, leadership skills, and excellent client service. He focuses in

advance his academic and engineering training at San Diego State University

all areas of acoustics including architectural acoustics, sound isolation, HVAC-

while working part time as a facilities engineer. Mathers joined San Diego-

noise and -vibration control, environmental-noise control, field measurements,

based Qualcomm Inc. in 2008 and soon became manager of the mechanical

and testing of architectural acoustics. He also consults on theatrical, audio/

engineering team at the companys Real Estate and Facilities Division. He and

video, and information technology system designs. In the 8 years Manley has

his team were responsible for planning, design, construction, performance, and

been with DLAA, he has managed more than 100 projects and has served

optimization of mechanical, plumbing, and control systems for 11 million sq ft

as project manager for performing arts, education, multifamily, health care,

of Qualcomm facilities. These spaces included research labs, data centers,

fitness, and hospitality facilities, as well as commercial buildings, HUD and

manufacturing, health care, office, auditorium, and assembly areas. Mathers

environmental-noise studies, and government and military projects. Manley

recently joined exp as a senior mechanical engineer and project manager. As

is an active member of the Acoustical Society of America and the Institute of

a member of ASHRAE, he assists with the youth mentoring by teaching and

Noise Control Engineering. He is also a member of ASHRAE, the U.S. Green

reaching out to potential professional engineers. Mathers has a long track

Building Council Colorado Chapter, and the National Council of Acoustical Con-

record of community service, such as managing blood drives and environmen-

sultants. Manley has participated in Make-a-Wish Colorados annual kickball

tal cleanups as well as assisting with Native American reservation rebuilding

tournament and fundraising drive as part of DLAA. As a motorcycle enthusiast,

projects, food drives through Feeding America, camp counseling, and Adopt-

Manley enjoys riding his Ducati Monster whenever possible. He enjoys spend-

a-Highway cleanups. Mathers puts his engineering training to use at home

ing time with his wife, Mary, three children, and two dogs.

through woodworking. He has built many spouse-approved furniture pieces.

Shane Myrbeck, 34

Vance Nall, PE, 39

Senior Acoustic and Audiovisual

Consultant, Arup, San Francisco

Division Manager,
RMF Engineering Inc., Atlanta

BS Audio and Media Technology,

New England Institute of Art

BS Mechanical Engineering,
North Carolina State University

MS Architectural Acoustics,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

yrbeck began his career in 2009 when

he joined Arups San Francisco office.

all began his career at RMF while

pursuing his engineering degree. In

the summer of 1998, he began as a co-op

student employed in the companys Dur-

As an acoustic consultant, he recognizes that the success of acoustic design is

ham, N.C., branch office. After he graduatedand having completed four

a uniquely subjective experience for each client. Sometimes, the best value on

co-op rotations with RMFhe was employed full time at RMF beginning

a project is to provide a quick study to answer one vexing problem; other times,

in January 2001. Nall initially worked with the HVAC group, but it wasnt

it involves a years-long journey into what the acoustic experience of a building

long before he transitioned to steam system piping design with a focus on

will be. Myrbeck is a technical lead for Arup-wide practices in acoustic modeling,

underground steam distribution. In 2011, he was presented with an oppor-

multichannel audio production, the design of workspaces, and multimedia exhibit

tunity to start a branch office for RMF. The firms success at the University

design. In addition, he is the project manager for the majority of the firms San

of Georgia made it possible to secure more work in the state by having a

Francisco Acoustics Groups work, where he manages a variety of project types.

local presence. In May of that year, Nall relocated his family to Atlanta to

Myrbeck explores the boundaries of our sonic experience through exhibits, such

lead the new office and take on the development of an engineering team

as the NASA Orbit Pavilion and Fathom for San Franciscos Exploratorium. He is

and direct business-development efforts within the state. In the 5 years

also one of the global technical leads for the Arup SoundLab. In this role, Myrbeck

that RMF has operated the Atlanta office, revenues have grown to more

has been heavily involved in developing efficiencies in making the experience

than $1.2 million and the client base has expanded from two to almost two

portable, as well as adding virtual reality and physical computing elements. Many

dozen. In addition, he is a leader in the organizations efforts to incorporate

of Myrbecks most transformative personal experiences have involved sound.

BIM and project-management software throughout the company. He is a

He plays guitar, creates new interfaces and immersive-sound experiences, and

strong believer in standardizing processes for the betterment of the firm and

walks around with a microphone listening to the whispers of the world. He rides

the consistency of the product. Nall and his wife are raising two children in

his bike to the ferry instead of taking the subway or bus to get across San Fran-

Canton, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta. He enjoys woodworking, mountain biking,

cisco Bay. He loves watching his five-month-old son grow and learn.

and playing sports with his kids.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016


Consulting-Specifying Engineer 40 Under 40

Michael Nelson,

Thomas Phuong,

Associate, Senior Electrical Designer,

Interface Engineering, Portland, Ore.

Associate Principal, Senior Electrical

Engineer, Interface Engineering,
Portland, Ore.

BS Engineering, Oregon State University

MBA, Marylhurst University

elson began his electrical engineering

career at a large MEP firm designing

semiconductor-fabrication plants, microprocessor-design facilities, and other designs in high-tech industries. He quickly

huong joined Interface Engineering

after graduating in 1999. Among other

successes at the firm, he has created several engineering design templates

specialized in electrical system modeling and breaker coordination. However,

that the company uses to increase work efficiency. As a senior electrical

he wanted an opportunity to apply his growing interest in sustainable design

engineer and associate principal at the company, he is a well-established

to a broader spectrum of projects. He got his wish while working for a smaller

and respected team leader and co-leads a team of 17 engineers, designers,

consulting firm that specializes in the unique Hawaii market. He designed his

modelers/drafters, and administrative personnel in a wide array of challenging

first photovoltaic (PV) system in 2006 on Kauai. Nelson later joined Interface

MEP projects. He is deeply involved in mentoring junior staff and is a member

Engineering in 2008 to continue pursuing this passion for renewable energy

of Interface Engineerings Standards Committee. He also is on the board of

designs. He is firmly committed to energy efficiency, environmentally respon-

the Chinese American Citizens Alliance Portland Lodge. In the past, Phuong

sible design, and LEED certified projects. He has also become a leader in

has volunteered in the Canstruction event to donate food for the Oregon Food

PV system design and commissioning. He has supported Doctors Without

Bank. Outside of work, Phuong is very passionate about basketball; he helps

Borders through the design of a mobile PV system to power a remote health

youth become better basketball players and to use basketball as a way to

clinic in the Republic of Congo. Nelson has also volunteered with the STEM

understand what it takes to succeed in life. He has coached basketball at

Student Mentorship Program to promote STEM in public schools. Having

the recreational and competitive level, helping boys and girls ranging in ages

recently returned from Australia, he spent a week on a remote eco-island as

from 7 to 17. When not coaching basketball, Phuong is an avid poker player,

part of an adventure on the Great Barrier Reef, where he took part in turtle-

mainly Texas Holdem. He is a student of the game and has read a plethora

egg hatching and worked with local biologists to give the hatchlings a viable

of books about poker game theory. He is married to an electrical engineer

first chance at life. Nelson and his wife love to spend weekends on the nearby

who he met at the end of high school; they have two sons. The family enjoys

Oregon coast with their two Corgis tagging along.

camping and going to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland.

Shamim Rashid-Sumar,

Colin Rees,

Director of Business Development

Middle East, Jensen Hughes, Dubai,
United Arab Emirates

Consultancy Manager, IES Ltd.,

Glasgow, U.K.

BS Fire Protection Engineering,

University of Maryland

ashid-Sumar joined Jensen Hughes

(formerly Aon Fire Protection Engineer-


BS Electrical Engineering,
University of Portland

BEng Environmental Engineering,

University of Strathclyde

mmediately after finishing his degree, Rees

started his career at IES as a summer place-

ment in 2002 and stayed with the company

ing) in 2014, bringing with her more than 16 years of experience in building

as a project consultant. He worked across a wide variety of projects and soon

and fire code consulting, fire dynamics, timed-egress modeling, and perfor-

became highly experienced and specialized in dynamic simulation modeling,

mance-based design. She is the firms director of business development for the

particularly for U.K. building regulations. He became a project manager in 2007

Middle East. After earning her degree, she worked for 6 years in the Baltimore-

and achieved his current role of consultancy manager in 2011. In 2007, he served

Washington, D.C., area for Rolf Jensen & Associates Inc., which merged with

a 6-month assignment in San Francisco helping establish IESs West Coast

Jensen Hughes in 2014. In 2007, she took on another challenging assignment

U.S. presence through consultancy, training, and technical support. In 2010, he

in the Middle East to grow the firms Dubai operations. Her project experience

served an assignment in Pune, India, where he worked for 2 months in the newly

includes hospitals, airports, U.S. federal government facilities, laboratories,

launched IES office, training staff on software and working to integrate them into

hotels, residential apartments, high-rise buildings, and mixed-use facilities.

the consulting team. With 14 years at the firm, Rees is now the longest-serving

She is a member of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Fire Code Committee and

consultant at IES. His wealth of knowledge makes him an ideal person to train

recently worked with peers on revising the 2016 edition of the UAE Fire and Life

and mentor new staff members. Rees was the lead consultant involved with

Safety Code of Practice. She is also an NFPA 101 international instructor, a

Glasgow City Councils Primary School Tender Evaluation, where he helped

member of the UAE Code Committee, and a member of the SFPE International

assess the designs and specifications of primary schools, leading to recommen-

Committee on Membership and Chapters Relations. Rashid-Sumar volunteers

dations on improved energy efficiency and occupant comfort. Rees loves to play

at her local mosque every weekend in the neighborhood of Satwa in Dubai.

sports including golfing and cycling for fitness and fun. He took up hill walking

She also enjoys spending time swimming at her community pool and cooking

around 6 years ago and has since climbed more than 30 Munros in the Scottish

kid-friendly recipes with her two daughters. She recently joined karate classes

Highlands. He also took part in a local pool league in Glasgow for several years

with her husband and earned her yellow belt in December 2015.

and was even ranked as one of the top 100 pool players in Scotland.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

Dareen Salama, 28
Assistant Project Controls Manager/
BIM Manager, STV, New York City
BS Construction Engineering,
American University, Cairo, Egypt
MS Civil Engineering/Construction
Management, University of Illinois at

alama joined STV in 2012. She is a proj-

Kunal Shah,
President/CEO, PBS Engineers Inc.,
Glendora, Calif.
BS Electrical Engineering,
University of California, Irvine

n 2003, Shah helped start PBS Engineers

Inc. in Glendora, Calif. With three partners

and a shared vision of engineering excel-

ect controls specialist with expertise in developing BIM applications and is

lence, he helped the firm grow from a group of five to the team of 58 highly

responsible for the implementation of the firms BIM 456 initiative, which increas-

regarded professionals and support staff it is today. Appointed president of the

es the efficiency and productivity of project control activities. As the BIM and

company in 2014, he has been principal-in-charge of many key projects for

assistant project controls manager, she has contributed to the success of several

more than 15 years, with experience in electrical engineering design and project

large-scale projects. She is currently collaborating on one of the most ambitious

management for aviation, education, health care, government, and commercial

projects in the New York area with the $4 billion redevelopment of LaGuardia

facilities. Shah has designed power, lighting, and signal systems for numerous

Airport. The project calls for overseeing multiple design-build contractors in

Los Angeles World Airport projects, including airport master planning, major

increasing capacity and improving the aesthetics, amenities, and efficiency of

terminal power upgrades, security upgrades of all kinds, hangar design, and

the terminal, airside, and landside components of the facility. Salama also has

terminal renovations. He has also designed power, lighting, and signal systems

helped bring clean drinking water to a village in Kenya through Engineers Without

for educational facilities. Having ascended the ranks from intern, to drafter, to

Borders. Through the Explorer Scouts Program, she serves as a role model for

design engineer, to senior engineer, to project manager, to principal, and now

young middle school students, particularly girls, interested in pursuing a career

president, Shah brings the benefit of his first-hand experience from the past 17

in engineering. She has been involved with STVs team working with New York

years to every project and situation. Outside of the professional setting, Shah

middle and high school students as part of the ACE Mentoring Program. Salama

gives back to his community by mentoring and speaking to talented high school

generally likes to explore new things, which frequently requires travel. In 2015,

students at the prestigious Webb Schools of California. He frequently speaks

she traveled to Puerto Rico, South Africa, and her annual trip to visit her family

there about career progression and developing a career in engineering. Family

home in Egypt. To learn new things, she participates in a book club, takes French

time is an important ingredient in Shahs recipe for success. He and his wife

classes, and learns new skills in online technology-related courses.

also an industry professionalenjoy spending time with their two young children.

Ruchi Singhal, CEM, 37

Suraj Soudagar, LEED AP, 36

Executive Director, Chemical Engineer,

Nexus Energy Center, Huntsville, Ala.

Project Executive, KJWW Engineering

Consultants, Naperville, Ill.

BS Chemical Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology

BE Instrumentation Engineering,
University of Mumbai

MS Chemical Engineering,
North Carolina State University

MS Bioengineering,
University of Illinois at Chicago

inghal is the executive director and founder of Nexus Energy Center, a 501(c)(3)

nonprofit. The organizations background traces back to 2008 when she was
hired with grant funding by BizTech, a local business incubator, to promote renew-

MBA, St. Ambrose University

oudagar joined KJWW Engineering

Consultants in 2007, coming from New York Presbyterian Hospital where

he was an in-house clinical engineer charged with additional duties of being

able energy. At BizTech, she was named the programs renewable energy out-

a medical equipment planner in a facility with an annual medical-equipment-

reach manager. In this role, she helped businesses and citizens understand the

replacement budget of $35 million. Within 3 years of joining KJWW, he became

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), including putting together

a senior medical equipment planner; he is now a project executive. In addition

many proposals for local businesses and universities to pursue funding. She and

to holding the largest project portfolio among the firms medical equipment

other like-minded leaders created Nexus Energy Center in 2010 and immediately

team, he assists with business development and plays a major role in develop-

applied for 501(c)(3) status to pursue many grant opportunities. Six months later,

ing and presenting for client interviews. Soudagar has demonstrated his ability

the first grant was won for the organization to administer what is now the Alabama-

to lead large and small medical equipment planning projects. He establishes

WISE program. Since founding Nexus Energy Center, Singhal has been suc-

his credibility early and works collaboratively with owners, architects, project

cessful in securing more than $2.5 million to support Nexus projects. Singhal is

managers, and health care clinicians to guide projects from design to a suc-

a member of the local Womens Economic Development Council chapter, which

cessful conclusion post-construction. Within the firm, Soudagars unbending

empowers women in the community to achieve self-sufficiency and economic

commitment to high quality has driven much of the KJWW medical equipment

independence. She also volunteers with AshaKiran, an outreach committed

teams marketing success and its growing national reputation. He assists in the

to educating, empathizing with, and empowering people of South Asian and

training of new hires and is the leader of the teams support staff in KJWWs

other foreign-born origins. Additionally, she volunteers with the TEMP$ program

India office. He has been a proponent of the companys venture into BIM.

through CASA of Madison County. She loves sewing, reading, and hiking, and

Soudagar and his wife enjoy traveling with their two young sons, experiencing

often picnics around the neighborhood with her husband and two children.

the world as a family and making adventurous memories.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016


Consulting-Specifying Engineer 40 Under 40

Deborah Steimel-Clair,
PE, LC, 35

Elie Touma,

Lighting Studio Manager,

Primera Engineers, Chicago

Senior Project Development Engineer,

Pepco Energy Services, Arlington, Va.

BS and MS Architectural Engineering,

Kansas State University

BE and ME Mechanical Engineering,

Lebanese University/Faculty of
Engineering, Roumieh, Lebanon

MS Mechanical Engineering,
Polytechnic Institute of NYU

fter earning her degrees, Steimel-Clair

began her career at Primera Engineers.

In the past 12 years, she has grown within

the firm, moving from an entry-level electrical engineer to heading up the companys Lighting Studio. She has led large-scale projects for electrical design

fter earning his degrees, Touma joined a midsize MEP design consulting company in New York City, where he designed HVAC systems for

while providing lighting design, daylight studies, and project management.

buildings and facilities for 5 years. Then, he started working for Pepco Energy

Recently, Steimel-Clair was presented with an Award of Merit from the Illuminat-

Services (PES) as a project development engineer. After 2 years at PES, he

ing Engineering Society and a Gold Medal Design Award from the Association

was promoted to senior project development engineer. He leads, manages,

of Licensed Architects for her lighting design and electrical work on the Gale-

and develops various projects and specializes in improving the efficiency

wood Elementary School project. Steimel-Clair has provided pro bono theatrical

of buildings. His projects involve demand-control ventilation, chiller/boiler-

lighting design services to Alan B. Shepard High School and the Beverly Hills

plant optimization, variable frequency drives, control optimization, building-

University Club. She serves on the buildings resource committees at All Day

envelope improvement, high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, lighting systems

Montessori and St. Barnabas schools and has helped these locations make

retrofits, variable air volume systems, heat pumps, geothermal systems, solar/

educated, informed decisions about their lighting upgrade projects. She mentors

photovoltaic systems, cogeneration, building energy modeling, and wind

technically focused students and says she has a special place in her heart for

power. Touma is involved in professional and community outreach to young

women looking to get into a STEM career. Steimel-Clair is a seasoned crocheter

engineers to share and discuss lessons learned and innovative energy-saving

and baker and is frequently trying new patterns or recipes. Her husband and

technologies. He had set up a training program for a full year at PES, where

children have no shortage of scarves or hats for the winter, and they are eager

he spent time training and mentoring junior engineers on HVAC-related top-

taste-testers for her desserts. She loves to bike and is an avid skier. However,

ics. He is the vice president of membership of the Toastmasters Club at the

her favorite pastime is traveling. She has been to 39 states, nine countries, and

World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He also participates in walks

three continents during her lifetime and is always looking for her next adventure.

for AIDS and epilepsy, for fundraising and to spread awareness.

Saahil Tumber,

Elizabeth Valmont,
PhD, LEED AP, 35

Senior Associate, Environmental Systems

Design Inc. (ESD), Chicago

Senior Acoustic Consultant, Arup,

Los Angeles

BS Mechanical Engineering,
Maharashtra Institute of Technology,
Pune, India

BA Architecture, MBS, and PhD

Architecture, University of Southern

MS Mechanical Engineering,
University of Michigan


s a senior consultant with Arups Los

Angeles office, Valmont offers a ver-

umber joined Environmental Systems Design Inc. (ESD) in 2008 as a

satile skill set with experience in architecture and acoustics. She is deeply

mechanical engineer in the Mission Critical Facilities (MCF) group and

involved with business development and community outreach for engineering

made an immediate impact with his technical prowess and knowledge. Within

students. She also teaches architectural acoustics at the University of South-

a few months, he was entrusted with leading the mechanical design for projects

ern Californias (USC) School of Architecture, and recently earned her PhD

involving data centers, trading areas, and other critical facilities requiring high

while working full time. She has 10 years of experience in the acoustic design

resiliency and availability. As a senior associate in the firms MCF practice, he

and engineering field, where she has developed an expertise in architectural

is working as lead mechanical engineer and is responsible for overall design of

acoustics, exterior and interior sound containment, and building systems noise

HVAC systems. His data center experience includes enterprise and co-location

and vibration control. At Arup, Valmont has led the design and construction of

projects. While a student, Tumber was involved with the literacy campaign in

various projects in the performing arts, education, corporate, and civic sec-

India, during which he taught basic literacy skills to underprivileged children,

tors. Prior to Arup, she worked at the acoustic firm Veneklasen Associates.

many of them living below the poverty level. He is an avid reader and prefers to

She dedicates much of her time to students in the USC School of Architecture

catch up when commuting to and from work. Although he prefers science fic-

and has volunteered on USC masters thesis committees. She contributes to

tion, he also likes to read engineering journals and magazines to keep abreast

organizations such as Good Shepherd Womens Shelter, Operation Smile, and

with the latest trends and developments in the industry. Tumber loves to travel

Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles. As a classically trained pianist and vocal-

in his free timeand hopes to visit the remote corners of the world. He and his

ist, Valmont is passionate about the performing arts. She is a deeply spiritual

friends recently completed a 36-hour, no-sleep adventure that began in Las

person who has always had a fascination with world religions and spiritual

Vegas and ended with a trek at the Grand Canyon. He likes to unwind after work

practices. In her free time, she often reads about Eastern philosophies and

by exercising, mixing weight training and running to keep things interesting.

Western religions and enjoys finding the parallel truths among them.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

Toby White, PE, LEED AP, 36

Brad Wilson, PE, LEED AP, 39

Associate, Fire Protection Engineer,

Arup, Cambridge, Mass.

Principal, PAE Engineers, Portland, Ore.

BS Mechanical Engineering,
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
MS Fire Protection Engineering,
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

BAE, Penn State University

ilson joined PAE Engineers in 2002

as an entry-level mechanical engi-

neer. During his 14 years at the firm, he has

contributed to the significant growth of the

hite is an associate and fire protection engineer in Arups Boston

companyfrom a small, single-office firm to

a 200-person organization with four offices

office, engaged in code consulting, development of comprehensive fire

across the West. In 2014, he was promoted to principal. He now leads the firms

and life safety strategies, computational fire and egress modeling, perfor-

project management group and project coordinator department. In addition, he

mance-based design, and multidisciplinary project management. He has

leads PAEs design teams on large, high-profile, and complex projects. Wilsons

worked in Arups San Francisco, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Boston offices

expertise in engineering creative, elegant, and simple solutions has resonated

for the past 13 years. While at Arup, he has worked with computational fluid

with public and private organizations including Oregon State University, the Port

dynamics and zone models to design complex smoke control systems and

of Portland, and various confidential corporate clients. Passionate about sustain-

people-movement strategies. Having begun his career on the West Coast

able design and reducing energy and water use in the built environment, Wilson

close to Las Vegas, a large portion of his work has been related to large,

has provided engineering solutions that, to date, have reduced carbon emissions

mixed-use fully integrated casino resorts. Whites vast experience on more

equivalent to planting approximately 2 million trees. He currently serves as a

than 40 projects in the gaming industry has allowed him to develop unique

mentor to several project managers at PAE, and also provides mentorship to

approaches to attain the level of fire and life safety intended by the code. At

high school students via internships and by discussing career opportunities dur-

Arup, he organizes fundraising events for Habitat for Humanity and RedR

ing Engineers Week. Wilson is a contributor to Randall Childrens Hospital and

(an engineering-based disaster response and recovery program) and is an

the Oregon Humane Society, and has volunteered his time packing food at the

active mentor with the ACE Mentoring program. White is an avid drummer

Oregon Food Bank and serving meals to the homeless at the Blanchet House of

and percussionist. From 2008 to 2014, he was the drummer for Fennario, a

Hospitality. Wilson enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and twin boys.

Grateful Dead tribute band. Since recently becoming a dad, he has taken a

He is currently learning to play the violin with his daughter, and participates in

hiatus from frequent performances, but occasionally fills in for other bands

father-daughter lessons and recital performances. He also enjoys family camping

when the opportunities arise.

trips and backpacking excursions into the great Pacific Northwest wilderness.

Jay Wratten, IALD, LC, MIES, 36

Jeff Yirak, PE, CPMP,


Senior Associate, WSP l Parsons

Brinckerhoff, Boulder, Colo.
BS Architectural Engineering,
University of Kansas

ratten plays an integral role in WSP

| Parsons Brinckerhoffs lighting

design studio as part of the companys

national leadership and as a lead designer

Associate Principal, Commissioning;

Wood Harbinger, Bellevue, Wash.
BS Mechanical Engineering,
University of Washington

irak has 14 years of experience in

design, consulting, and management,

marked by progressive promotions. Prior to

and project manager. Drawing on professional experience at the company

his current career path in commissioning consulting at Wood Harbinger, he

and at a previous design firm, he brings a wide array of skills that go far

grew from a pharmaceutical design engineer and validation specialist to a

beyond his talent in aesthetic and technical design. Wratten moved to Boul-

pharmaceutical manufacturing facilitys engineering manager. In his 8 years

der, Colo., to start offering lighting-design services from a newly opened

at Wood Harbinger, he has worked his way up from commissioning engineer

location for the firm after spending several years as a senior member of

to commissioning team leader and now is an associate principal of the firm.

the team in San Francisco. After 4 years in Boulder, he has succeeded in

Yirak loves the high-wire act of diagnosing and solving complex, unique

quickly winning new work and growing the fledgling local group. When the

problems. His expertise includes investigation, assessment, design, review,

long-time manager of the group in San Francisco left the firm, he imme-

and construction administration for a wide range of facility types including

diately stepped in to lead the six-person group until a replacement was

aviation manufacturing facilities, central energy/utility plants, K-12 and uni-

found, which took several months. He also devotes time and effort to sev-

versity campuses, and health care facilities. Yirak has volunteered with the

eral industry organizations including the Illuminating Engineering Society

ACE Mentor Program since 2010, working with high school students in the

and the Next Generation Luminaire Competition. When the University of

King County Eastside area of Washington State. He participates in the Seattle

Colorado, Boulder needed funding for a new lighting lab, he helped lead

Eastside group and mentors more than a dozen high school students each

the grant writing process; ultimately, the grant was approved. Wratten has

year. He loves hitting the blacktop with his wife and kids with only a vague

played guitar for 20 years and has been a member of a number of bands.

idea of a destination, enjoying the journey along the way. He likes to camp

An avid cyclist, he has been involved with the San Francisco Bicycle Coali-

during the Washington winters on the west (wet) side of the mountains. In

tion and Boulder Mountainbike Alliance. He enjoys spending time with his

the spring and summer, he takes the camp to the east side of the Cascades.

wife and 2-year-old son.

Yirak combines cooking with chemistry when he brews beer.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016


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input #16 at




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data from


The current edition of NFPA 2001 outlines the use

of clean agent fire suppression systems, which typically are used in buildings such as data centers and
mission critical facilities. Many types of specialty
suppression systems include chemicals, gases,
oxygen displacement, and others.
BY NICHOLAS A. MORIARTY, PE, JBA Consulting Engineers, Las Vegas

 Review codes that drive the
design of special suppression
systems in various building
 Assess the correct suppression system for the

Figure 1: A server room

(above) is the type of occupancy where discharge of
water would not be desirable. All graphics courtesy:
JBA Consulting Engineers


Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

echnology and innovation

have shifted the way the world
does business. The digital age
that we live in dictates that we
strive to improve efficiency
and provide immediate access to information. The advent of the cloud means
that information is stored remotely and
the livelihood of businesses depend on it.
How is all of that information protected?
The answer may sound familiar to fire
protection engineers (FPEs): it depends.
One common method of protection is the
use of clean agent fire protection systems.
The most recognized commercial building code in the world is the International
Building Code (IBC), which requires
buildings over a certain square footage to
be provided with an automatic sprinkler
system. These systems are designed in
accordance with NFPA standards, including NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation

of Sprinkler Systems. For unique hazard

areas, such as data centers and areas where
the application of water is not desirable,
IBC provides guidance on the use of alternative suppression systems, with reference
to NFPA 2001: Standard on Clean Agent
Fire Extinguishing Systems, as well as other
NFPA standards. As technology advances,
so does the code and relevant design standards, which is why the International Code
Council (ICC) and NFPA typically update
documents on a regular cycle.
When the building code requires
complete protection throughout, some
authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs)
will require data centers and areas that
are storing data to be provided with a
sprinkler system regardless of whether
an alternative suppression system is proposed, though an alternative system may
be more desirable. The reasoning behind
that is that once the code requires a

Figure 2:
Protection of information
is critical in the age of high-performance
computing in which we live.

ing to include sprinkler protection, the

entire building must be designed with
sprinklers or else it cannot be considered
a fully sprinklered building.
In addition, gaseous systems typically
are designed to discharge the entire quantity of agent upon activation. If the fire is
not extinguished, the provision of the wetpipe sprinkler system provides the AHJ
with some level of assurance that the fire
will not spread to other areas of the building. This may result in certain allowances
in code provisions to be impacted if complete protection is not provided.
A pre-action dry-pipe sprinkler system may be installed in these areas, as the
design requirements covered in NFPA 13
consider it an automatic sprinkler system.
This system uses a multistep process for
fire suppression. First, smoke or heat is
identified by the detection system within
the room. This action activates a preaction valve that allows water to flow into
the piping, which was previously empty,
essentially turning the dry system into a
wet system. Second, the heat from a fire
causes a sprinkler to actuate, allowing
water to suppress the fire. This type of
system will not allow water to enter the
room unless both steps are completed,
preventing unwanted discharge. There
are different types of pre-action systems
that the FPE can consider, as there is no
one-size-fits-all option.
When the AHJ requires some type of
sprinkler system, a common approach to
protecting these types of areas is to use

clean agents in conjunction with a preaction system. In that instance, it may

be prudent to have the smoke-detection
system activate the clean agent while also
acting as the first action of the pre-action
system. That way, the clean agent will
discharge and potentially extinguish the
fire prior to the fire reaching a point that
would activate the heat element on the
sprinkler and discharge water onto the
expensive computer equipment.

The truth is, there is no best agent,

although some manufacturers and distributors may lead you to believe otherwise. The best agent will often depend
on a number of factors including the
desired outcome of the system in place,
environmental impact and concerns,
quantity of space available for agent
storage, and availability of the agent
in the region. Coming to an agreement
with the relevant stakeholders includ-

When the AHJ requires some type of sprinkler system,

a common approach to protecting these types of areas is to use
clean agents in conjunction with a pre-action system.
NFPA 2001-2015 outlines the use of
clean agent fire suppression systems.
The standard contains the requirements
for total-flooding and local-application
clean agent fire-extinguishing systems.
Clean agent is defined in NFPA 2001 as
an electrically nonconducting, volatile,
or gaseous fire extinguishant that does not
leave a residue upon evaporation. Many
different agents are covered in NFPA
200113 to be exactand each agent
has its own unique characteristics and
pros and cons of installation. The primary
benefit of using a clean agent system is
that it does not damage sensitive equipment, as would water.
The design brief

The challenge for the designer or

FPE is to try to determine what the best
solution is for each unique application.

ing the owner, architect, and operations

team at the onset of a project will help
guide the engineer in the selection of
the best clean agent system.
At the onset, its critical to understand what the goals are. This is true
for any project, so that through implementation there are no surprises and
upon conclusion everyone is satisfied
with the outcome. By asking the questions upfront, establishing what the
expectations are, and determining what
the budget is, everyone can walk away
knowing the general direction of the
project. This is where a client design
brief will come in handy, especially
when determining protection schemes
for sensitive areas.
Set a meeting with the relevant stakeholders so everyone is in the room
together. Questions to ask include:
Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016


Protecting data from fire

 What are we protecting?
 What is the square footage of
the space, and what is the ceiling
 What amount of downtime is
 Is there space nearby for agent
 As a corporation, is environmental
impact important to you?
 Is water an option?
 How important is budget?
 What experience have you had
with clean agents in the past?
What did you like or dislike?
 If its an existing operation expanding, do you have a current service
contractor for your systems? If so,
are you happy with their service?

Going through this exercise will help

establish a baseline of information from
which you can then develop a design
brief. This essentially is a document that
outlines the answers to the above questions and provides the client with the
available options for the property. This
allows them to make an informed decision rather than having the decision made
for them by someone else and then living
with the outcomes.
There are differences to each agent, as
each has its own benefits and drawbacks.
Table 1 outlines some basic characteristics
and information for several clean agents
covered in NFPA 2001. From the information in Table 1, the engineer can liaise
with the client to determine which clean
agent is best for the application.
Agents are stored in pressurized cylinders that are kept in a room close to the
hazard. Each agent has its own unique
characteristics, and the sizes of the cylinders will vary depending on the agent.
If, for instance, the client does not want
any synthetic chemicals or hazardous
agents and would prefer to use an agent

intended to reduce the oxygen within the

enclosure, then an inert gas agent could
be a viable solution. Some of the challenges associated with inert gases include
a larger footprint required for cylinders
and venting of the enclosure because it
takes more gas to control a fire.
Pre-engineered systems

Its not always practical to have an

engineered clean agent system installed
for small data rooms, such as an intermediate distribution frame or main distribution frame that may only include
one or two server racks. The infrastructure associated with a clean agent system, including smoke detection, cylinder storage, etc., could leave the owner
seeking alternative solutions. What if
there was a pre-engineered system that
could protect a server rack with something that could be installed in the rack
itself, instead of an overhead system
designed to protect the entire volume
of the room?
There are a couple of different products available on the market that would

CASE STUDY: Fire protection for IDF, MDF rooms

BA Consulting Engineers was recently retained to help develop a fire

suppression and detection system for a companys upcoming move
to a new building. The company provides payment gateway services
and processes financial transactions, so protection of that information
is critical. The existing operation includes protection of the intermediate
distribution frame (IDF) or main distribution frame (MDF) rooms with an
engineered synthetic agent system. The engineering firm was retained
to help guide them through the process, make sure they were making
the best decision for their operation, and to make sure that they were
getting an apples-to-apples comparison once it came to soliciting bids
from the design-build contractors.
The first thing the team did was set up a meeting with the stakeholders,
including the owners representative (the money guy and overall project
manager), operations and facilities team (the person who deals with
the system on a regular basis), and the architect (the one who defines
the amount of space). By going through some of the basic questions
that should be posed with all stakeholders, the team was able to better
understand what the client was looking for and how JBA Consulting
Engineers could help the client achieve the desired outcomes.
The building owner was familiar with the existing system and also
wanted to know what the options were. The company was interested in
the newest technologies and innovations of the industry and wanted to
have a green solution, and also was cognizant of the associated costs.


Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

The fire protection engineering team put together a design brief providing
the available options and allowed the client to determine what option
worked best for the company.
So which system did the owner choose? With a limited amount of
racks in small IDF and MDF rooms, a pre-engineered solution was
desired. With the desire to use a clean agent system versus any type of
water suppression, the question became whether being environmentally
friendly was a concern. Finally, the solution came into focus when the
entire team discussed the in-rack solution using a clean agent system
as the extinguishing agent. With a means for early detection, the agent
(which is stored as a liquid and discharges as a gas) will discharge
within the rack, putting out a fire in a timeframe acceptable to the client,
minimizing any downtime and allowing operations to continue running
as if nothing happened.
The local authority having jurisdiction does require a suppression system,
so a pre-action system was specified for the protection of the space itself.
With the installation of the special suppression system, there is peace of
mind that the pre-action system would likely not discharge water into the
space because the clean agent system provides a first line of defense.
No clean agent or alternative system is practical for all applications.
That is why a stakeholder meeting is important to determine desires and
protection schemes. While some agents are cleaner than others, no
single agent today is the bestnor should it be avoided.

Table 1: Clean agent system options

Type of suppression
Ozone depletion
Global warming
potential (based on
a 100-year horizon
relative to CO2)
Atmospheric lifetime
Method of suppression


Novec 1230

FM 200



Synthetic agent

Synthetic agent

Synthetic agent

Inert gas

Inert gas








0.014 (5 days)




Heat removal

Heat removal

Heat removal

Oxygen reduction

Oxygen reduction

Cylinder footprint






Installation time and







Table 1: A variety of systems are on the market; the building owner and fire protection engineer will determine which one is best
for the application.

allow the protection of the server rack by

simply installing the system within the
rack itself. These systems typically will
integrate both a smoke-detection system
and clean agent suppression system in a
simple modular design that fits within
a slot in the server rack. These types of

systems may be more suited to smaller

applications than the larger engineeredtype systems.
There are other applications for preengineered systems, including the protection of mechanical equipment and
vehicle suppression. If a fire were to

occur in a $1 million piece of equipment,

wouldnt it be prudent to extinguish it as
quickly as possible? The code would not
require a special suppression system for
such an application, as this is more of a
design option above and beyond what
the code would require. Several compa-

input #17 at


automatic operation with minimal maintenance. The point-of-suction backwash


Protecting data from fire

Figure 3: Operating facilities are looking to fire protection

engineers for solutions on how to protect their existing infrastructure.

input #18 at

EIG-Consulting Industrial 2/11/16 10:59 AM Page 1

nies specialize in pre-engineered systems for such applications.

Pressurized tubing acts as the means of heat detection within
the enclosure. Once the heat is detected, the tubing ruptures
to allow the agent to be discharged immediately, extinguishing
the fire before an overhead system would have detected it. This
type of system also can be used in data center applications,
including within the server, below the floor protection, or as
a total flooding system for the entire enclosure. Once again,
we can see that multiple solutions can be used.
Other options: water, hybrid systems

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input #19 at

Specialty fire suppression systems are not limited to gaseous

and chemical suppression systems. Water can be used to suppress fires in data centers. But you may be thinking, Isnt the
point to eliminate water from these areas so as not to damage
the equipment? Yes, that is the point. However, there are systems that use water that do not damage the equipment. Water
mist is an option for consideration, under the provisions of
NFPA 750: Standard on Water Mist Fire Protection Systems.
These systems discharge considerably less water than a traditional wet-pipe sprinkler system. Further, it is a green option
because there are no synthetic chemicals associated with it, so
a client wishing to go fully green can do so without some of
the logistical issues that may arise with other systems.
Another technology that can be used is a hybrid technology that discharges particles comprised of nitrogen and water
molecules together. There is minimal residue left after discharge, which extinguishes the fire via heat absorption and
oxygen depletion within the enclosure. Droplet size is less than
10 microns and system discharge is typically on the order of
about 0.26 gpm (1 l/minute). The system has been proven to be
a viable solution for data centers based on these factors and is
installed in various locations throughout the world as a result.
The use of water on sensitive equipment can be accomplished
when using specialty-type systems such as this.
Nicholas A. Moriarty is executive director of fire protection at
JBA Consulting Engineers.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

Applying 90.1
in lighting design
ASHRAE Standard 90.1 requires lighting designers and engineers
to include power allowances, daylighting controls, functional testing,
and submittals in their lighting designs.
BY MATTHEW FETTERS, CLEP, Metro CD Engineering, Columbus, Ohio

n Oct. 18, 2013, all states

were required by the U.S.
Department of Energy
(DOE) to put in place
a commercial-building
energy code at least as stringent as the
2010 version of ASHRAE Standard 90.1.
Eight states are in compliance as of October 2013. Most states are expected to adopt
ASHRAE 90.1-2010 in whole or in part,
adopt the 2012 version of the International
Energy Conservation Code (IECC) that
references Standard 90.1 as an alternate
compliance standard, or develop their own
unique code, such as California Title 24.
Thirty-seven states are expected to comply
based on similar past rulings. The exception is Colorado, which follows home rule.
ASHRAE Standard 90.1 requires lighting designers to include power allowances,
daylighting controls, functional testing, and
submittals in their lighting designs. Both
the 2010 and 2013 versions of ASHRAE
90.1 have changes, including tables, definitions, and sections, with the 2013 version
being the most stringent. Energy-savings
calculations compared to ASHRAE 90.12004 were improved by approximately 25%,
including plug loads, and approximately
31% for lighting alone. The DOE liked
these improvements, endorsed them, and
notified the states that they should adopt
Standard 90.1-2010 (or a code that DOE
sees as equivalent) by October 2013.

The 2010 standard is much more

detailed and stringent than previous versions, with much stronger mandatory lighting control requirements. Commissioning
elements including design documentation,
and commissioning are now requirements.
Projects that are retrofitting light fixtures
for which 10% or more of connected lighting load is replaced must satisfy the lighting-power density (LPD) requirements and
automatic-shutoff provisions.
LPD values dropped slightly on average
from the previous version. Requirements for
daylighting and associated lighting controls

 Explain the lighting designers compliance-path options
for ASHRAE Standard 90.1.
 Analyze the differences
between ASHRAE Standard
90.1-2010 and 90.1-2013.
 Recall how controls play a
role in lighting design.

Figure 1: The lighting design for this DSW retail store met ASHRAE Standard 90.1
requirements. All graphics courtesy: Metro CD Engineering

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016


ASHRAE 90.1 for lighting design

were added. Many other lighting control
requirements were added including independent functional testing of lighting controls,
occupancy, vacancy controls, exterior lighting, and whole-building shutoff controls.
The most important of the 30 total
addenda to the 2010 version are:
n Exterior LPD requirements
expansion (exterior zones)
n Detailed daylighting control
and skylight requirements
n Occupancy-sensor control
(more spaces; vacancy)
n Exterior-lighting control
(after-hours requirements)
n Parking-garage lighting control
(daylighting/after hours)
n Emergency (night light) shutoff
and stairwell control
n Control incentives for advanced
n Guest room bathroom lighting
n Receptacle shutoff control
(50% auto-off)
n Testing (commissioning).
Compliance options

There are two routes for a designers

compliance with ASHRAE 90.1:
n Prescriptive path: All components
of the building meet the minimum standards specified by ASHRAE 90.1.

n Performance path: A proposed

building design is demonstrated (by
doing a building energy simulation) to
use less energy than a baseline building
built to ASHRAE 90.1 specifications.
Within the sections of the standard, there
are some variations to this. Some sections have mandatory provisions, simplified approaches, and trade-offs.
When using the prescriptive path,
ASHRAE 90.1 includes prescriptive
requirements for:
n Section 5, building envelope: minimum wall insulation, minimum roof
insulation, roof reflectance, minimum
glazing performance
n Section 6, HVAC: minimum equipment efficiency, minimum system features, limitation on reheat, limitation on
fan power
n Section 7, domestic hot water: minimum equipment efficiency, minimum
system features
n Section 8, power: transformer efficiency, automatic receptacle controls,
energy monitoring
n Section 9, lighting: maximum
indoor LPD (expressed in watts per
square foot), minimum lighting controls, exterior lighting, parking garage
n Section 10, other equipment:
electric motors, potable-water-booster
pumps, elevators and escalators.

In the performance approach, a baseline

energy-cost budget (ECB) is established,
based on the building size and program.
This baseline ECB is established using
building energy simulation to model a
building with the same size and program
as the project building, built according to
the prescriptive requirements of ASHRAE
90.1 (Sections 5-10). The ECB is expressed
in dollars to calculate savings.
A building energy simulation is then
performed on the proposed building
design. The ECB proposed must be less
than or equal to the baseline energy-cost
budget to achieve compliance. The performance approach also is used to demonstrate design energy efficiency, often
expressed as a percentage better than a
specific version of ASHRAE Standard
90.1. (i.e., 40% better than ASHRAE
For ASHRAE 90.1-2010 and 2013, there
are two methods to achieve the compliance-path/calculation methods.
n The space-by-space method is about
flexibility. Each space must be enclosed,
and can be broken into smaller pieces.
Areas are calculated to the centerline of the
wall (interior) or outside surface (exterior).
This allows for additional interior-lighting
power and room-cavity ratio (RCR) correction.
n The building-area method is much
simpler. To determine the gross lightedfloor area for each area type, multiply by
appropriate LPD. Interior LPD = sum of
LPDs for various areas of a building and
trade-offs among areas are permitted.
Lighting controls

Figure 2: The lighting design at the Larimer Athletic Center at Ohio State University
included a variety of lighting options including LEDs and side-lighting.


Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

There are significant changes to both the

2010 and the 2013 lighting control requirements. These are separated to help clarify
the requirements for each version.
2010: Daylighting control additions
Several changes require control of electric lighting when top- or side-daylight is
available as well as installation of skylights
where applicable.
2010: Occupancy-based control additions
Occupancy sensors control lighting generally required in more spaces. These include

but are not limited to conference/meeting

rooms and training rooms; classrooms and
lecture halls; employee lunch and break
rooms; storage/supply rooms of 50 to 1,000
sq ft; rooms used for document copying and
printing; dressing, locker, and fitting rooms;
office spaces up to 250 sq ft; and restrooms.
2010: Occupancy manual-on control
Automatic control devices shall not be
set to automatically turn on lights. This
mode of operation requires manual-on
or 50% auto-on function for automatic
controls. This is commonly known as
vacancy sensor type of controls. Exceptions (i.e., where automatic-on is allowed)
include public corridors and stairways,
restrooms, primary building entrances and
lobbies, and areas where manual-on operation would endanger safety or security of
the space or building occupants.
2010: Bi-level space lighting control
This requires that manually controlled
lighting has at least one control step between
30% and 70% (inclusive) of full lighting
power in addition to all off. Exceptions:
lights in corridors, electrical/mechanical
rooms, public lobbies, restrooms, stairways,
storage rooms, spaces with only one fixture
with rated input power less than 100 W (like
a common janitor closet), and space types
with a lighting-power allowance of less than
0.6 W/sq ft.
2010: Stairwell 50% reduction control
Stairwell lighting must have automatic
control. This applies to lighting in enclosed
stairwells, which must have control to
automatically reduce lighting power in
any control zone by at least 50% within 30
minutes of all occupants leaving the zone.
2010: Receptacle control (2013: now
in Section 8, Power)
Requires that 50% of receptacles in a
space have auto-shutoff control and at
least 25% of branch-circuit feeders installed
for modular furniture were not shown on
construction documents (2013 addition).
Applies to 125 V, 15- and 20-amp receptacles, private offices, open offices, and
computer classrooms. It requires automatic
control using time-of-day (TOD) schedule.
Also required: occupancy sensors or other
automatic control based on occupancy.
MAY 2016

Exceptions: spaces where automatic shutoff would be a safety/security issue and/or

where all loads require 24/7 operation.
2010: Expansion of alterations
Both interior and exterior alterations
must comply with both space or area LPD

limits and automatic-shutoff requirements. This includes retrofits where fixtures are added, replaced, or removed
and also includes lamp and ballast retrofits. Other alterations of less than 10%
of a spaces connected lighting load are

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ASHRAE 90.1 for lighting design

2010: Parking-garage control
Parking-garage lighting must be automatically controlled, including daylighting.
Reduce lighting power by 30% or more when
there is no occupancy detected in a lighting
zone (<3,600 sq ft). Daylight-transition zone
lighting (66x50 ft) must be separately controlled for eye adaptation. Daylight control is
required for lighting within 20 ft of a perimeter wall with a net opening-to-wall ratio of
40%. Additional exceptions also may apply.
2010: Advanced-control incentives
When all mandatory control requirements are met and advanced controls are
installed, then additional limited lighting
power is allowed. Additional power can be
used anywhere in the building. Additional
interior lighting power is calculated as:
Lighting power under control
x Control factor
2010: Advanced exterior-lighting
Requires specific daylight and buildingoperation lighting controls for the exteri-

or. Lighting must be off during daylight

hours. Building-faade/landscape lighting must be off from either midnight or
building closing to, at the earliest, 6 a.m. or
building opening. Other lighting including
advertising signage shall be automatically
reduced by at least 30% either after hours
or when the area is unoccupied.
2010: Hotel-room bathroom-lighting
exception/control revision
Guest rooms in hotels, motels, boarding
houses, or similar buildings shall have one
or more control devices at the entry door
that collectively controls all permanently
installed fixtures and switched receptacles,
except those in bathrooms. Bathrooms
shall have a control device installed to
automatically turn off the bathroom lighting, except for night lighting not exceeding
5 W, within 60 minutes of the occupant
leaving the space.
2010: Functional testing of controls
Requires functional testing (calibration,
adjusting, programming) for lighting con-

trols within 90 days of occupancy. It must

be performed by individuals not involved
in design, manufacture, or installation. Primarily for occupant sensors, time switches,
programmable controls, or photosensors.
Steps include: verify all performance criteria is met; confirm occupant-sensor timeout and sensitivity settings; confirm timers
and programs are set to turn lights off; and
confirm photosensor controls effectively
control electric lighting in response to
2013: Alterations to exterior lighting
Unlike the 2010 version, alterations to
exterior-building lighting systems are now
included. Exterior lighting must comply
with LPD requirements applicable to area
and must comply with controls requirements in the exterior-lighting controls section. In the 2013 version, documentation is
now required for luminaires within daylit
areas. Design documents shall identify all
luminaires for general lighting that are
located within daylit areas under skylights,

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daylit areas under roof monitors, and both

primary and secondary side-lighted areas.
2013: Alternations to stairwell controls
This encompasses local control, bilevel lighting control, automatic daylighting control (side-lighting and toplighting), and automatic partial-off after
20 minutes. Top-lighting applications
require control of electric lighting where
top-lighting daylight is available. This is
applied based on daylight area under
skylights plus daylight area under rooftop monitors that exceed 900 sq ft. Control is required for general lighting over
these areas. Controls must be multilevel
photo controls with at least two output
levels at 0% to 35% and 50% to 70%, or
continuous dimming.
Side-lighting applications require control of electric lighting where side-lighting
daylight is available in appropriate areas.
Applied based on primary side-lighted
area and exceeding 250 sq ft. Control is

required for the general lighting over these

areas and control must be multilevel photo
controls. They must have at least two output levels at 0% to 35% and 50% to 70%,
or continuous dimming.
2013: Parking-garage control
These require a reduction from 30 to 20
minutes for occupancy detection. Additional lighting for covered vehicle entrances and exits are separately controlled to
automatically reduce lighting by at least
50% from sunset to sunrise.
2013: Functional testing of controls
More detailed requirements for functional testing of various controls equipment are required, and broken down by
type. For occupancy sensors, certifying the
location and aiming as well as testing for
each unique combination of sensor type
and space. For automatic time switches,
confirm and document programming and
verify time/date/battery backup. Simulate
occupied and unoccupied conditions.
For daylight controls, confirm location,

calibration, setpoints, and threshold light

levels. Confirm that the lighting system
adjusts appropriately in response to available daylight.
The functional testing of controls will
best be done by companies providing commissioning services who can provide an
independent view of the project because
they have not been associated with it. For
more details, see the Illuminating Engineering Societys design guide DG-29-11:
The Commissioning Process Applied to
Lighting & Control Systems.
2013: Additional power allowances
Additional lighting-power allowances
for space types with non-mandatory controls installed are identified in Table 9.6.3.
Provided all mandatory controls are used,
additional power can be used anywhere in
a building. The additional interior power
calculation is:
Total lighting power under control
x Control factor
Bi-level control is no longer acceptable.



Douglas Lighting Controls

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ASHRAE 90.1 for lighting design

2013: Hotel-room bathroom-lighting
exception/control (revision of 2010
All lighting and controlled receptacles
must automatically turn off within 20 minutes of occupants leaving. Bathrooms shall
have a control device to automatically turn
off bathroom lights within 30 minutes after
occupants leave space.
2013: Interior-lighting controls
Controls requirements were added to
9.6.1 LPD Table 9, control types. This
includes local control, restricted to manual-on, restricted partial auto-on, bi-level
lighting control, automatic daylighting
controls for sidelighting and toplighting,
automatic partial-off, automatic full-off,
and scheduled shutoff. For each space
type, all lighting control functions indicated shall be REQ within control-type
column, which means it is a mandatory
requirement. ADD1 within a column
means at least one of these functions shall
be implemented; ADD2 within a column

means at least one more of these functions

also shall be implemented. For space types
not listed, lighting designers should select
a reasonable equivalent type.
When using the space-by-space method,
the same space type must be used to determine both control requirements and LPD.
2013: Mandatory provisions
Standard 90.1 Section 9.4 (controls) was
completely rewritten and renumbered, and
the controls section was broken into interior and exterior provisions. Table 9.6.1
(LPD table) shows minimum control
requirements by room type and size.
2013: Summary of changes
The most recent edition includes the
addition of exterior lighting to Section 9.1.2,
lighting alterations; a complete rewrite and
renumbering of Section 9.4, mandatory
provisions controls; revised LPD values; a
rewrite of Section 9.4.3, functional testing;
revised additional lighting-power allowances; and the addition of controls requirements into table 9.6.1 (LPD table).

Best practices

Engineers and lighting designers working on projects that require compliance

with ASHRAE 90.1 should plan to spend
some time getting acquainted with the
details of the requirements for the version
with which they must comply. There can
be confusion between the 2010 and the
2013 requirements, and it is important
to be able to sort out the differences to
achieve successful designs.
ASHRAE Standard 90.1 has been a
benchmark for commercial-building
energy codes in the United States and a
key basis for codes and standards internationally for more than 35 years.
The DOE requires adoption of these codes,
and the local authority having jurisdiction
defines and monitors compliance.
Matthew Fetters is a lighting and electrical designer at Metro CD Engineering. His
expertise is in energy-efficient lighting and

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Cooling with Natural Gas Plastics Industry Booming & More Inside!


on the cover
HTHV systems for warehouses
and distribution centers assure
good building ventilation and
improved winter comfort while
reducing the cost of heating.

Gas Technology is a trademark of Energy

Solutions Center Inc. and is published in
cooperation with CFE Media, LLC.
Gas Technology is an educational
supplement from:
Energy Solutions Center Inc.
400 N. Capitol St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 824-7150
David Weiss, Executive Director
Jake Delwiche
Contributing Editor
Comments may be directed to:
Gas Technology Editor
Plant Engineering Magazine
1111 W. 22nd Street, Ste. 250
Oak Brook, IL 60523
(630) 571-4070
Printed in the USA


High-efficiency Heating for

Warehouses and Distribution Centers
A system developed specifically for improving
warehouse heating comfort and efficiency also
improves ventilation and reduces heat stratification.

A6 Improving Water Heating for the

Food Industry
Gas-fired direct-contact water heating provides
the large volumes of hot water needed in the food
industry, and does it with nearly 100% efficiency.

A10 Natural Gas Supports Plastics Industries

In case you havent noticed, were seeing
explosive growth in new plastics plants in
North America. The reason? Abundant and
economical natural gas resources.

energy solutions center websites

A8 Gas Cooling Makes More Sense than Ever

Its time to take a second look at the range of
natural gas cooling options. Eliminate summer
electric demand charges, and make full use of
your fuel resources.

A14 District Energy Brings Opportunities

District energy systems are attracting interest in
areas of health care, education, manufacturing
and community development. Find out the


HTHV Systems Can
Dramatically Lower Costs
reduce the cost of heating facilities such as warehouses, shipping
docks, and distribution centers, while providing greater comfort
and less temperature stratification. These high temperature heat
and ventilation (HTHV) systems offer savings of 20% and more
over the traditional use of unit heaters, plus they allow facilities
to meet current standards for ventilation. HTHV systems are increasingly being deployed in a range of building types.

Heating a Challenge for High Spaces

Certain building types like warehouses, distribution centers and
even some manufacturing spaces have high ceilings often 24
feet or more. This is to accommodate efficient storage and the
use of lift trucks and manufacturing equipment. Often these
buildings also have overhead doors that are regularly opened for
vehicle loading and unloading. As a result, these spaces can be
difficult to heat.
Such areas are usually not air-conditioned, and the heating
system frequently used is gas-fired unit heaters, normally located near the ceiling. Often these unit heaters are externally
vented, with combustion air being taken from the heated space.
As a result, the building is at a slight negative pressure and outside air seeps into the building from seams and open doors. With
the high ceilings, temperature stratification can be considerable.
Its not unusual to have ceiling-level temperatures in the 80s or
higher while it is chilly at floor level.

Stratification Issues
Air stratification is a problem because it means floor level
where people are usually working is uncomfortable. It also
means that significantly excessive energy is being used in the
attempt to achieve comfort. A possible third concern is that the
upper storage spaces in the warehouse are warmer than might
be desired for storage of certain materials. Reducing stratification has multiple benefits.
A solution sometimes taken is to install so-called air turnover
units or air rotation units. These floor-mounted units move
warm overhead air back down to floor level, and sometimes are

The high ceilings of many warehouses and distribution centers make them
a challenge for efficient heating. The HTHV unit brings the heat down to
floor-level. Photo courtesy Cambridge Engineering.
also equipped with auxiliary heating or cooling modules. Their
shortcomings are that they use additional energy, they take up
valuable floor space, and they do nothing to meet building ventilation requirements.
According to the DOE, unit heaters account for almost 18%
of heating energy use in commercial buildings, especially in areas like warehouses, loading docks and production areas. Howgastechnology / SPRING 16


ever, the long term expense of heating

with unit heaters is usually higher than
with other natural gas-fired alternatives.
An attractive alternative is the high-temperature heating and ventilation system
HTHV offered by Cambridge Engineering. These meet the air stratification

DOE Study Confirms Efficacy

The U.S. DOEs Better Buildings Alliance
recently funded a study to compare Cambridge Engineerings HTHV system with
standard unit heaters. The study, Field
Demonstration of High-Efficiency Gas
Heaters, analyzed HTHV heaters under
normal use conditions at a 41,000 sq. ft.
warehouse outside of St. Louis. The study
compared the performance of four new
Cambridge HTHV direct gas-fired heaters
with six existing unit heaters.

The report indicates that the HTHV units

operated at a seasonal efficiency of 90%
compared to 78%-82% with unit heaters,
and significantly reduced the temperature
stratification between the floor and ceiling, thus improving comfort. The report
documented that the HTHV units provided
a 20% reduction in the amount of natural
gas used compared with the unit heaters. In
addition, by bringing in 100% outside air,
this technology can also satisfy minimum
ventilation standards for most buildings.

the ceiling, or is placed along an outside wall. Sidewall units are available
for installation either inside or outside
the wall. The unit uses an outside air
intake which supplies building ventilation air plus combustion air for directfiring in the unit. The heated ventilation air output is directed downward
at approximately 45 degrees by a highvelocity blower. The heated air output is
discharged at 150 F or higher, and the
high-velocity air stream punches down
through the upper air layer and pushes
warm air down to floor level.
As this heated air spreads out at floor
level and mixes with room air, it reduces
the amount of stratification. This also
acts to slightly pressurize the space, reducing cold air leaking in from building
seams and shipping doors. The volume
of air provided by the HTHV units nor-

mally eliminates the need for additional

building ventilation. It also eliminates
the need for air-turnover equipment
throughout the building, thus saving expense, energy and floor space.

Continuous Ventilation
The unit is equipped with a fully modulating gas burner, and can be set to oper-

ate on heating demand only, or to operate continuously, with heat being added
to the airflow as needed. The continuous-operation mode does the most to
de-stratify air in the space and provide
abundant ventilation. During times of
the year when heating is not required,
it can be operated in a ventilation-only
According to Dave Binz from Cambridge Engineering, this unit simplifies
building comfort systems. It actually replaces three classes of equipment: other
heating devices, building ventilation
equipment, and air turnover equipment.
It is a logical solution. Binz points out
that the units are customizable for most
applications, depending on air volume
needed, heating requirements, supply
gas pressures and physical installation
The units are offered in sizes from inputs of 250 MBtuh to 3200 MBtuh. He
indicates, Our normal manufacturing
lead time is three to four weeks, and typically installation can be accomplished
in a few days, with minimum structural
modification needed. He points out that
for situations such as older buildings
where the load-carrying potential of the
roof or ceiling is limited, the company
can provide stands to support the equipment in the upper spaces of the building.
Binz indicates that the very large volume of air dilutes any combustion byproducts, which normally are water vapor and CO2. The blow-thru unit design
allows a small fraction of the incoming
air to be directed to the combustion area,
then remixed with the ventilation air.

Unit Uses Outside Air

The HTHV unit is located externally on
the building rooftop, is suspended from
HTHV units use a powerful blower to break through
stratified temperature layers and achieve floor-level
comfort. Illustration courtesy Cambridge Engineering.


gastechnology / SPRING 16


Rooftop HTHV units save floor space and efficiently bring heated outside air
into the working space. Photo courtesy Cambridge Engineering.
He indicates the two keys to this application are the high temperature air and the
high velocity fan, which accomplishes
the breakup of stratified layers.

Improving Comfort and

Saving Dollars
An example of the benefits of the system
can be found in a building operated by CJ
Automotive in Butler, Indiana. According to Ron Lanning, Plant Manager at this
manufacturing facility, the 154,000 sq. ft.
building was built in 1954. He explains,
Our heating plant was two old boilers,
quite outdated, which served radiators
around the building. The system was inefficient, and there was great variation in
comfort levels through the building. Another problem was that the boilers were
used for heating only so we would shut
them down in the summer.
He tells, Because of our state boiler
codes, we would need to do a boiler

overhaul each time

we started them
up in the fall at a
cost of $4,000 to
$6,000. We had to
find a better system. They learned
about the HTHV
system and their
engineer designed
an installation with
one large HTHV
unit and two smaller ones, located
outside the building along the exterior walls. The airflow was directed
downward to the
floor level.

Improvement in
Temperature Uniformity

tended. Lanning also points out that

the company received an Indiana Green
Award for taking this energy-saving
HTHV units have been installed
in hundreds of installations in coldweather regions of North America, and
the technology is proven to reduce energy use and increase comfort. If your
high-bay buildings have some of the
problems indicated here high energy
bills and complaints about uneven or
poor comfort levels the solution may
now be available in the form of HTHV
units. GT

The installation took place in November, 2015. Lanning says, It

only took a few days, and the
units were operating just when
the weather got cold. Lanning
is pleased with the results. We
think were getting about a 20%
reduction in energy costs, and
just as importantly, the building
is a lot more uniform in temperature and comfort levels now. He
also is pleased that it is no longer
necessary to have an employee
come in to
boiler before
work starts,
and to be in
attendance as
required by
new system
operates completely unat-



gastechnology / SPRING 16


Improving Water Heating

for the Food Industry
Direct-Contact Systems Offer Major Savings
CANNERIES, from snack food manufacturers to frozen fruit and vegetable packagers. What these diverse industries have in
common is the need for hot water in large
volumes, at high quality levels and at dependable temperatures. Thus, when an opportunity comes to improve delivery and
reduce the cost of hot water, the food industry is interested. Todays direct-contact
water heating systems are such a solution.

Need Lots of Hot Water

Food processing plants are found throughout North America, from fish processers in
the Northwest to citrus juice plants near
the Gulf. These facilities need hot water
for many process purposes, and for plant

sanitation and equipment washdown. Traditionally the hot water requirement has
been met by either storage water heating
systems, or even more commonly, by steam
water heating units. Because of the volume
of hot water used, it is worthwhile to look
for alternative methods that are more efficient and can produce larger volumes of hot
water in a shorter timeframe.

Limitations of Storage Systems

Storage water heating systems need to hold
a large supply of water for periodic use, leading to storage energy losses and burner cycling while the water is being held. Further,
there are energy losses at the burner, meaning that a part of the energy goes out the flue
or into the surrounding spaces. Storage systems can also occupy a significant amount
of floor space. Some processes may require
thousands of gallons of hot water.
This means a lot of storage.

Inefficiencies of Steam
Water Heating
Steam water heating systems can be
no more efficient than the boilers
that supply the steam. They may
require a large boiler to be available
at times when it is otherwise unneeded. If the boiler load is low, the
unit may be operating in the least
efficient part of its range. Add to this
the expense of boiler maintenance,
and inconvenience from periodic
boiler maintenance shutdowns.
A promising opportunity for
greater efficiency and a greater
volume of hot water is the directcontact water heater. Much of the
technology involved in direct-contact water heaters was developed
in the 1970s and 1980s. These sysThis direct-contact water heating unit is installed on the floor of a bottling plant, the type of industry
that needs plenty of hot water for washdown and sanitation. Photo courtesy Armstrong International.


gastechnology / SPRING 16

tems are especially attractive for industrial users because they reliably generate large volumes of hot water at nearly 100% efficiency.

Flue Gas Heats Water Directly

Direct-contact systems are usually natural
gas-fired and typically drive the hot flue
gases from the burner up through a vessel
filled with heat exchange elements metal
rings, balls, or other elements with high
surface content. The water to be heated is
sprayed downward through this vessel and
the heated water accumulates in a collection
area in the bottom, from which it is pumped
to the point of use.
Usually there is no direct contact between
the combustion flame and the water. Individual units can range in size from 50 gallons
of hot water per minute to several thousand.
Of course, multiple units can be installed for
operations needing more hot water.

Owners Often Surprised

Armstrong International is one of the major manufacturers of direct-contact water
heaters. Cam Spence, from Armstrong,
points out that the food industry is a major potential beneficiary of these systems.
Spence notes, The majority of food industry customers requiring large volumes of
hot water will use steam to meet that requirement. Depending on the type of food
they process, and the hot water volume required for process and sanitation loads, the
customer is often shocked to find out that
35% or more of the steam they produce
goes to generate hot water. In some food
industry segments, up to 80% of steam usage is dedicated to this.
Spence explains that depending on the
age of the boiler and the condition and type
of heat transfer equipment, the fuel to hot
water efficiency can be low. Efficiency
of 50-60% is common with even the best
maintained steam boiler systems. The reason is the inherent energy losses in these



systems. He contrasts this with direct contact systems with 99.7% efficiency, because
these units have no stack heat losses, no lost
condensate, no idle run time and no radiant
loss while delivering hot water on demand.

Fuel Energy Savings of

20% and More
Spence indicates that by changing to a direct-contact system, a customer can achieve
20-30% fuel energy savings. The customer also sees reduced emissions due to the
combustion efficiency of a direct-contact
system. Spence adds that by eliminating
boiler use for water heating, the customer
can reduce boiler load swings during plant
cleanup and sanitation cycles. This also
means improved boiler efficiency.
Another prominent manufacturer of
direct-contact systems is Kemco Systems,
which offers direct-contact units ranging in

output from 65 gpm to 850 gpm. According to Kemco Systems Vice President and
spokesperson John Pabalan, direct-contact
systems are not only far more efficient, but
they also are not as complex as traditional
boiler water heating systems. He adds that
because the units operate at atmospheric
pressure, the requirements of boiler codes
for inspection, overhauls, and attended operation usually do not apply.

Can Supply Large Volumes

Pabalan points out that in a typical food
plant where USDA sanitation requirements
must be met, sanitation is commonly completed in an off-shift from production, usually third shift. He notes, When facilities are

For installations requiring very large volumes of hot water, multiple units can be installed. Photo
courtesy Kemco Systems.


set up to operate like this, the direct-contact

water heater can be sized to provide the
high volumes of water needed for this single
shift. This allows for potentially downsizing the steam boiler to a size that will not
short-cycle when steam demands are low.
He adds, It will also allow for down time for
the boiler for potential maintenance.
In some food processing plants, partially
preheated water may be available from boiler
and thermal oil heating system flues or other
sources. This water can also be used in the
direct-contact system to be heated to the necessary final temperature. Commonly, directcontact water heaters are sized for either a
100 degree or 130 degree temperature rise.

Help for Selecting Systems

An owner interested in evaluating directcontact systems should seek guidance from
an engineer or consultant familiar with these
system. Pabalan from Kemco and representatives of other companies state that their firms
can also provide guidance on sizing, system
configurations, and can help calculate potential savings from converting to this technology.
Food processors in the U.S. and Canada
must adhere to USDA, CFIA or NSF International (formerly National Sanitation
Foundation) codes and practices for assuring quality of water used in both plant
sanitation and in food processes. Most manufacturers can provide information and verification of suitability for all of their directcontact water heaters under the applicable
codes. Owners should verify this information before installing a system. GT
gastechnology / SPRING 16


Gas Cooling Makes More

Sense than Ever
Time to Take Another Look
IS MAKING A NAME FOR ITSELF. Advantages include high reliability, elimination of costly electric demand and energy
charges, and an opportunity to use the byproduct heat for a variety of applications.
Owners who considered the natural gas option ten or fifteen years ago are advised to
take another look. Todays low and stable
natural gas prices make it an attractive option in many ways.

Shortcomings of Electric Systems

The traditional technology for cooling large
industrial and institutional spaces has long
been electric compression technology, often using chillers or rooftop air conditioning units. Such systems use large, usually
three-phase motors to power refrigerant
compressors centrifugal, screw, scroll
or reciprocating types. Of concern is the
steadily increasing expense of electric utility
energy and demand charges. Many utilities
have higher demand charges during peak
air conditioning seasons.

On the other hand, new technologies

for natural gas production and extended
pipeline capabilities have led to comparatively low and stable prices for natural gas
for more customers than ever before. As
a result, building owners should be asking
about the natural gas cooling option, particularly for large facilities.

even replace electric chillers at significantly

lower operating costs. Costs for boiler capacity and annual boiler maintenance may
be the same or lower than before because
the boilers are running at steadier and more
economical load levels. Industrial plants
may also be able to capture otherwise-unused byproduct heat from industrial processes. This also can be directed to singleeffect absorption chillers to supply some or
all of the cooling for the site.

The Absorption Solution

Engine-Driven Chillers

One approach is absorption chillers supplied with hot water or steam produced
by natural gas. Many institutional and industrial sites have extensive boiler capacity.
Often there is considerable excess capacity
during months when cooling is needed. An
example might be a healthcare facility or
university that has a boiler plant primarily
for space heat during the winter months,
but boilers are running at low and often
uneconomical rates during the cooling season. It makes good sense to direct this steam
or hot water capacity to appropriately sized
absorption chillers.
Absorption chillers can supplement or

Another approach is to use a natural gasfired engine-driven chiller to produce chilled

water for building or campus cooling. These
usually take the form of a packaged unit
with a rugged reciprocating engine driving
a reciprocating or screw-type refrigeration
compressor that feeds refrigerant-to-water
heat exchangers for chilled water supply.
One of the leaders in this market is Tecogen,
a U.S. company that serves a global market
for packaged engine-driven chillers. Tecogen offers water-cooled TECOCHILL engine-driven chillers in sizes from 150 to 400
tons, and air-cooled TECOCHILL chillers in
sizes of 25 and 50 tons.
Jeffrey Glick is the Vice President of Sales
for Tecogen, and he points out some of the
desirable features of these products. Many
owners are concerned about the high and
rising levels of electric energy and demand
charges. A good part of the site electric
use is for cooling. By going to an enginedriven chiller, that expense is dramatically
reduced. He points out that many areas in
the Northeast and on the West Coast face
very high rates, and these are ideal regions
for water-cooled engine-driven chillers.

Byproduct Heat a Bonus

Hospitals benefit from reliable energy from an engine-driven chiller, and can often profitably use byproduct
heat from the engine for a variety of purposes. Photo courtesy: Tecogen.


gastechnology / SPRING 16

Glick adds, Ours is the only packaged engine-driven chiller with full maintenance
support around the world. He notes that
the water-cooled units have great potential
for recovery of engine heat for other uses


Direct-fired absorption chillers are an ideal solution for many industrial and institutional
applications. This series of direct-fired chillers from Broad U.S.A. is available in sizes from 40 to
3,300 tons and also provides heating and hot water. Photo courtesy: Broad U.S.A.

high summer demand charges will be vastly reduced or


The Hybrid Solution

in the manufacturing plant or institutional
facility, making energy efficiency even more
dramatic. These units can produce hot water at temperatures as high as 230 F, making them ideal sources of hot water for laundry systems, food processing and cleanup,
dormitories and hotels, and other institutional uses. That hot water can also be used
in many industrial applications. Glick notes
that industries such as plastics, pharmaceuticals, dairy processors, and many others are
successfully using hot water provided by
their engine-driven chiller plant.
The smaller air-cooled chillers meet several special needs. Glick explains, I call
them problem solvers. He points out that
many sites do not have access to threephase electric power in the levels needed to
drive electric chillers, and the cost to develop this service is very high. The solution in
many cases is to install one of the air-cooled
engine chillers. You can add major chiller
capacity to a site without the need to install
or upgrade a costly three-phase service, or
pay increased electric energy and demand

A recent presenter at a Technology & Market Assessment Forum

(TMAF) sponsored by the Energy Solutions
Center was Doug Davis, Marketing Director
for Broad U.S.A.,
Inc., a major
for absorption
chillers. Broad
offers single-effect, double-effect and directfired absorption
chillers in the
North American
market. Davis
emphasized the
interest in what
(combined cooling heating and power), or
tri-generation. In these applications, an engine or turbine drives a generator and the
byproduct engine or turbine exhaust heat is
used for building heat, domestic hot water,
and is also directed to an absorption chiller
for chilled water cooling.
Davis noted the resurgence of interest in
CCHP applications beginning in about 2010

because of the attractive price of natural gas,

along with the development of advanced
absorption chiller designs with higher efficiencies and sophisticated digital controls.
He gave numerous examples of universities,
data centers, retail centers, hotels and industrial campuses. He noted that single-effect
absorbers are usually chosen for low-grade
heat sources such as engine generators,
In areas where
central station
power is
unreliable or
very expensive,
facilities such as
this manufacturing
plant benefit from
cooling from
multiple enginedriven chillers
on site. Photo
courtesy: Tecogen.

while double-effect machines are commonly used with gas turbine exhausts.

Selection Based on Heat Grade

He also noted that a lower-grade heat source

can also pre-heat incoming flows for a direct-fired chiller, thus reducing chiller fuel
On-site Generation
costs. Another attractive feature is that the
A third potential solution is to power exlow electric energy requirement for an abisting electric cooling equipment
sorption chiller is ideal for applicawith your own on-site generations that might need a black-start
tion. A growing number of induscapability.
trial and large commercial cusOwners with major cooling loads,
tomers are taking this route, often
with natural gas-fired engines or
plications, today have a range of
microturbines. An additional benchoices for natural gas-fired sourcefit is again the ability to use the
es. Engine-driven chillers, steam
byproduct heat from generation
or hot water absorption, tri-generto supply other essential site opation, or other sophisticated hybrid
erations including process hot wasystems offer a range of alternatives
ter or steam, domestic hot water,
to electric cooling. Ask your conTECOGEN
or even an absorption chiller. Besulting engineer for an up-to-date
cause you own the system, those
review of the possibilities. GT



gastechnology / SPRING 16




Growth for Next


feedstock, and as an energy source to
operate plastics plants. As a result of the
growing domestic production of natural
gas from shale-gas areas and other sources, this economical feedstock is assured
well into the future. That expansion
means jobs and export markets for U.S.
and Canadian plastics industries.

Demand Continues to Expand

Though plastics have been manufactured
for more than 100 years, the truly significant expansion of the industry took
place after World War II. Today plastics are
widely used for packaging, housewares,
home construction, plumbing, toys, and
in a growing number of applications, in
automobiles. They touch everything we


gastechnology / SPRING 16

do, and have often replaced many other

materials. This widespread usage is possible because of the vast range of properties
that can be developed in plastics, including
heat resistance, thermal insulation, rigidity, flexibility, and the ability to be formed
into a wide variety of shapes and textures.
In North America, the primary feedstocks for most plastics are petrochemicals
made from natural gas liquids. Natural
gas liquids are refined from raw natural
gas. Some of the most important ones are
propane and ethane. In other parts of the
world, petroleum is the major feedstock.
Increasing production of natural gas with
newer technologies including directional
drilling and fracking means supplies of
natural gas liquids are increasingly available and affordable. The beneficiaries include our plastics industries.

A Two-Stage Industry
The American Chemistry Council recently published a
report titled The
Rising Competitive
Advantage of U.S.
Plastics. The report points out that
generally there are
two phases to plastic
manufacturing, plastic resin
fabrication. In the
first stage, building block chemicals
like propane and
ethane are used to
propylene- and ethylenebased plastic resins.
These are used to
form long chemical chains called

polymer has unique performance characteristics strength, permeability, thermal

resistance, etc.
One of the most widely used intermediate chemicals in resin production is
ethylene, which is used to create polymer
resins such as polyethylene and polyvinyl
chloride (PVC). In 2014 the U.S. produced
nearly 25 million metric tons of ethylene
and the number is expected to grow in
coming years. The report states, The reason is simple: because of shale gas, it is
more cost effective to produce ethylene in
the U.S. than just about anywhere else in
the world.

Lower Resin Costs Favor

Domestic Production
Typically, the polymer resins are shipped to
domestic plastic fabrication companies that
further manipulate the resins to form specific plastics and plastic products. Because
the feedstocks are widely available and favorably priced, these companies often have
a competitive advantage over offshore competitors. In addition to these domestic plastic product producers, the resins are also
shipped to plastics manufacturers around
the world.
In a recent presentation at a Technology & Market Assessment Forum (TMAF)
sponsored by the Energy Solutions Center,
Harry Moser, from ReShoring Initiative,
gave a presentation on companies choosing to bring offshore manufacturing back to
North America. One of the examples he cited was the decision by The Dow Chemical
Company to restart a plant in St. Charles,
Louisiana, and to build a new facility in
Freeport, Texas.

Plants Return to North America

The plants will be used to manufacture
ethylene and propylene for plastics feedstocks and other uses. These production
facilities had previously been in Saudi
Arabia, and the return to North America

could result in as many as 35,000 new

jobs. He indicated that a primary reason
for the move is the availability of low cost
and abundant natural gas. Moser indicated that chemical and plastics industries
are today among the primary targets for
reshoring initiatives. According to Moser,
the peak years for chemical industry domestic capital investment will be 2017
and 2018, with continued major new investment for the decade beyond.
The American Chemistry Council report notes that the plastics industry has
announced or anticipates nearly $47 billion in total U.S. investments to come online by 2020. This includes an estimated
$25 billion in new capacity to produce
plastics resins, and $19 billion in increased capacity to process plastics materials. More than 460 plastics processing
projects have been announced so far in
40 states, with numerous projects in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Texas
and Illinois.

Related Industries Thrive, Too

The ACC report points out that since this
growing stream of resins must be processed, they also expect growth in industries that produce plastics additives, colorants as well as plastics-making machinery,
injection molds and related products. The

report summarizes, All told, the effects of

the manufacturing renaissance on the U.S.
plastics industry will be substantial and farreaching.
Plastics processors place very high priority on a totally reliable supply of electric
power for machinery for rolling, forming,
extruding, and expanding plastic materials. Even a short power interruption will
cause waste of production material and
problems with materials already in process. For this reason, most facilities have
standby generation, usually natural gasfired engines or microturbines.

Opportunity for CHP

In addition to standby generation, there
is growing interest in the concept of
combined heat and power (CHP). Here
the onsite generation is the primary electric source, and the system captures the
byproduct heat from natural gas engines
or turbines for use in the manufacturing stage, or to supply absorption cooling
for the plant. In this way the overall
efficiency of the fuel use is dramatically
increased. Today the primary fuel for CHP
is natural gas.

Huge Export Potential Cited

The plastics industry is an underappreciated success story in the United States. The
American Chemistry Council report indicates that plastics are expected to become a
major U.S. export driver in the coming decades, with net exports expected to triple
by 2030, growing from $6.5 billion in 2014
to $21.5 billion by 2030. Plastics: Theyre
part of our future, and natural gas is making it possible. GT





gastechnology / SPRING 16



Rokeby Generating Station Saves 50% in

Capital Expense by Using Liqui-Cel 14x28
Membrane Contactors to Remove CO2 to
Extend Mixed Bed Resin Life
The Rokeby GeneRaTinG STaTion iS LeS pRimaRy peakinG
poweR STaTion, totaling 255 MW
and consisting of 3 duel fuel combustion
turbines. The existing DI water system
consisted of two single-pass, two-stage RO
skids followed by a 31 ft3 (0.87 m3) mixed
bed deionizer and two 250,000-gallon
(943 m3) storage tanks.
LES determined that the mixed bed
unit was producing only 30% of its expected capacity (90,000 gallons actual
vs. 300,000 gallons expected or 341 m3
actual vs. 1136 m3 expected). It was determined that the cause of the decreased
capacity was due to dissolved CO2 in the
water, which was overloading the anion
resin. As the power capacity demand increased, LES had to act quickly to update
their winter contingency plans.

System Design
In 2005, LES began engineering a membrane decarbonation system using LiquiCel 14x28 Membrane Degasifiers. The
system was designed to treat the combined water flow from both RO skids,
approximately 150 GPM (0.6 m3). The

goal was to achieve approximately 90%

reduction of dissolved CO2. Additionally,
the system was designed to operate with
vacuum assisted air sweep, using a liquid
ring vacuum pump to draw atmospheric
air through the Liqui-Cel Membrane
Since the LES
staff was able to
design, fabricate,
and install the
Liqui-Cel degassing
system, the total
capital cost was approximately 50%
less than the cost
of a forced draft
also allowed LES
to build the system
inside of an existing building with
minimal modification. The low system
pressure drop through a Liqui-Cel Membrane Contactor system also eliminated
the need for a re-pressurization pump
further lowering operating costs for LES.

Test Set Up
LES expected to achieve 138,000 to
168,000 gallons (522 m3 636 m3)
throughput with this design. They actually achieved 191,000 gallons (725 m3).
Specific conductivity was 0.5 S/cm and

silica was 7.5 ppb. LES estimates the

full-scale capacity will be approximately
617,000 gallons [(32 ft3 / 9.9 ft3)*191,000
= 617,374 gallons (2337 m3)]. This represents an increase in the total capacity of
the system by a factor of 5.9.

Liqui-Cel Membrane Contactors offer a
cost-effective, efficient option for removal of carbon dioxide from process water.
Removal of carbon dioxide prior to the
mixed bed resins significantly improves
regeneration times, thereby reducing operating costs and improving overall efficiency by minimizing downtime.


Shared Savings for Building Owners
PLANT, owners can take advantage of
larger and more efficient generation equipment, and can eliminate the need for heating and cooling plants in each building. According to the International District Energy
Association, one of the first district heating
systems in North America was a multibuilding steam system installed at the U.S.
Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1853. The
concept of district heating, and eventually
district cooling, spread around the world in
the 20th century.

Central Plant Efficiencies

District systems are widely used in many
countries for colleges and universities, for
medical and industrial campuses, and for
multi-unit residential or commercial developments. This approach is taken to benefit
from larger, more efficient boilers and chillers, and for increased reliability by virtue of
having multiple heating and cooling units
available. Owners like not having to commit building space to boiler rooms and chill-

er plants. In earlier years, there were occasional problems with steam pipe leaks from
concrete and rusting iron pipes. Todays insulated plastic and high strength steel pipes
virtually eliminate that problem and are
resistant to problems from aging, frost and
even earthquakes.
An example of a successful mid-sized
district energy system is at Utah State University, installed in 2004. Here a single Solar gas turbine rated at 4.5 MWe supplies
half of the energy for the entire campus,
and reduces the campus energy demand
by one-third. The system was described by
Charles Darnell of the University at a recent
Technology & Market Assessment (TMAF)
sponsored by the Energy Solutions Center.
Darnell explained that the turbine exhaust goes to a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) and provides steam heat
for most of the schools main campus, and
overall meets 40% of the total thermal requirements. Darnell indicates that the University continues to look at possible campus
cooling applications using byproduct heat
as well. Another
article in this issue
discusses gas cooling

options and many of these fit well with a

district energy system.

Making CHP Practical

Combined heat and power (CHP), the
useful application of byproduct heat from
on-site electric generation, is an important
national energy goal and is seen as an important strategy for reducing greenhouse
gas emissions. The more efficient the energy use, the fewer emissions are created.
Hundreds of new CHP projects are commissioned every year.
Yet in many cases, a roadblock to a successful CHP project is that individual sites
may not have a simultaneous need for electric power and the heated water it can create. A valuable solution is to broaden the
number of facilities served, so opportunities
for using the heat and power simultaneously are expanded.
An example might be a college dormitory that needs both electric power and space
heating. But during summer months, there
is no need for much of the heat produced.

Steel casing was hammered through the ground to create a tunnel for running
the district heating pipeline under the Canadian National Railway yard.
Courtesy: FVB Energy Inc. Photo: Sean Casey,

District energy piping was installed under the Canadian National rail yard in
a 36-inch steel casing pipe. Specially designed casing spacers were used to
carry and guide the two supply and return pipes, allowing each to thermally
expand. Communication conduit was also run through the casing.
Courtesy: FVB Energy Inc. Photo: Sean Casey,


gastechnology / SPRING 16


Installed with the CHP upgrade, Texas A&Ms steam turbine generator 2 (STG2) is an 11
MW unit with 600 psi inlet and 20 psi exhaust.
Courtesy: JacobsThomas McConnell.
Permission contact: Kevin Fox, Jacobs,
However, if the system is expanded to the
entire campus, the byproduct heat might
also be used for laundries, laboratories, absorption chillers for cooling, food preparation, gymnasium showers, swimming pool
heat and janitorial needs. The heat usage
curve is smoothed and CHP becomes more

Multi-Owner Markets
An area of increasing interest for district
energy is urban and suburban multiowner markets. This is not a new idea.
For example, the City of New York steam
network serves hundreds of owners. Although there are many examples of successful urban district energy systems, this
has been a challenging market for developing new district systems. Multiple owners have differing project payback requirements, and there are situations where the
party that owns the building doesnt pay
the utility bills, so there is less incentive to
A backup low-pressure boiler was installed to
provide 60 psi steam for campus distribution
and 20 psi steam for campus heating as backup
for high-pressure (600 psi) boilers.
Courtesy: JacobsThomas McConnell.
Permission contact: Kevin Fox, Jacobs,

join a new district system.

Yet the advantages become
clearer each year.
In addition to the dollar
savings from larger, more
efficient units and more
complete utilization of the
energy used, the district
approach can also mean
significantly lower carbon
emissions and other atmospheric emissions. Many of
the successful new district
energy systems are in urban redevelopment projects, where all the owners are occupying new or
remodeled facilities, and
as a group are committed
to energy efficiency. Building certification programs
such as the LEED program
from the U.S. Green Building Council give
special credits to owners for participating
in district energy projects.

Getting Started with

District Energy
Whether you are a single entity that operates a multi-building campus or a single building owner looking for ways to

increase your building energy efficiency,

a district energy approach may be attractive. The International District Energy
Association recently merged with the
Canadian District Energy Association,
and is a tireless advocate for these technologies. The association offers training
programs, public speakers, and a wealth
of knowledge and experience with district energy programs around the world.
Its a good source for help in getting
started. GT





gastechnology / SPRING 16


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S-Series HTHV Heaters SA-Series HTHV Heaters

Reduce Gas Consumption By At Least 20%

Improve IAQ With 100% Outside Air

With HTHV heating technology, one piece of equipment can

dramatically reduce energy costs and improve Indoor Air
Quality on commercial and industrial retrot projects.

Minimize Temperature Stratification

Other Industrial
Heating Systems

Energy Savings with

Cambridge* Space Heaters*

Exceed ASHRAE 62.1 Fresh Air Requirements


40% to 70%

Unit Heaters

30% to 50%

Air Turnover Systems

25% to 70%

Infrared (Radiant)

15% to 40%

Make-Up Air (MUA)

20% to 50%

Recirculation (80/20 pressurization)

20% to 50%

Comply With ANSI Z83.4 Safety Standards

Deliver 250,000 to 3.2 Million BTUs

*Some building studies show more energy savings than listed above

To learn more about HTHV technology,


Digital Edition
Exclusive Content
Visit for exclusive content and for
more technical feature articles. The digital edition includes tabletfriendly viewing (HTML5), headlines linking to longer versions, and
an emailed link as soon as its ready.


How UV-C energy

works in HVAC
This first of this three-part series
describes UV-C light and how it
is applied as a clean-up tool in all
types of air conditioning systems.
Read parts 2 and 3 online.

A new control strategy

and implementation system optimize variable frequency drive (VFD) efficiency to meet cooling-air




















Allowable maximum cooling-air temperature

exiting VFD enclosure

Sizing VFDs for optimal cooling efficiency

Relative design VFD enclosure cooling-airflow rate, %


Relative design VFD

enclosure coolingairflow rate
Cooling-air temperature
exiting VFD enclosure
to maintain enclosure
allowable operating

Cooling-air temperature entering VFD enclosure, oF

*Maximum allowable enclosure operating air temperature is 104 oF

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016


How UV-C energy works

in HVAC applications
This first of this three-part series describes UV-C light and how it is
applied as a clean-up tool in all types of air conditioning systems.
Read parts 2 and 3 online.
By Forrest Fencl, UV Resources, Santa Clarita, Calif.

ight energy in the ultraviolet-C

(UV-C) wavelength has been
used extensively in HVAC
equipment since the mid-1990s
to improve indoor air quality
(IAQ) by eliminating the buildup of biofilms and other organic contaminants
on the surfaces of system components,
including cooling coils, plenum interiors,
drain pans, and air filters. UV-C works by
disassociating elemental bonds, which in
turn disinfects and disintegrates organic
In new systems, such buildups are
avoided by the continuous cleaning of
equipment with UV-C. In retrofit applications, UV-C eradicates organic matter
that has accumulated and grown over
time, and then prevents it from returning.
Although UV-C is a relatively simple
technology, many engineers, building
owners, and other facility professionals
are mystified about how UV-C works and
how to apply it cost effectively. Mystification leads to mistrust.
This three-part feature addresses the
aspects of UV-C technology and the
applications that seem the most awkward
using ASHRAE guidelines found in Chapter 60: Ultraviolet Air and Surface Treatment in the 2011 ASHRAE Handbook


Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

Applications. This first installment

describes the nature of UV light, that is,
electromagnetic radiation at a wavelength
of 253.7 nanometers (nm) labeled UVC, and how properties of UV-C light have
been applied as a clean-up tool within all
types of air conditioning systems.
The second part will explore how
UV-C light is generated by lamps that are
very similar to fluorescent lamps found
in commercial ceiling light fixtures.
The topics of lamp life and replacement
schedules also are covered to set the stage
for using UV-C lamps in HVAC systems.
The final installment in the series will
discuss how UV-C lamps are applied
within HVAC systems to clean cooling
coil surfaces, drain pans, air filters, and
ducts for the purposes of attaining and
maintaining as-built cooling capacity,
airflow conditions, and IAQ.
UV light comprises a segment of the
electromagnetic spectrum between 400
and 100 nm, corresponding to photon
energies from 3 to 124 eV. The UV segment has four sections, labeled UV-A
(400 to 315 nm), UV-B (315 to 280 nm),
very high energy and destructive UV-C
(280 to 200 nm), and vacuum UV.
We all are familiar with the deleterious
effects of UV transmitted by sunlight in

Figure 1: This diagram shows the electromagnetic spectrum, with a breakout of visible light segmentscolors. The UV spectrum
ranges from 100 to 400 nm and is invisible. Courtesy: UV Resources

the UV-A and UV-B wavelengths, giving rise to UV inhibitors, or blocking

agents, which are found in glasses and
lotions. We are also familiar with products engineered to withstand the effects
of UV radiation, such as plastics, paints,
and rubbers. However, unlike UV-A
and B, the UV-C wavelength has more
than twice the electron volt energy (eV)
as UV-A, and it is well absorbed (not
reflected) by organic substances, adding
to its destructiveness. Learn more about
the electromagnetic spectrum in a video
from NASA.
UV-Cs germicidal effects are well
proven. It owes these effects to the biocidal features of ionizing radiation, that
is, UV-C does far more damage to molecules in biological systems than can temperature alone. Sunburn, compared to the
sensation of warmth, is one example of
that damage. Sunburn is caused by sun
striking living cells in the epidermis and
killing them; the redness is the increased
capillary action and blood flow enabling
white blood cells to remove the dead cells.
Ionization drives UV-Cs power to alter
chemical bonds. It carries enough energy
to excite doubly bonded molecules into a
permanent chemical rearrangement, causing lasting damage to DNA, ultimately

ing the cell. Even a very brief exposure can

render microbial replication impossible.
After being killed, organic remnants are
subject to photo-degradation (disintegration), a key feature of UV-C energy.

UV-Cs germicidal effects

are well proven. It owes
these effects to the biocidal
features of ionizing radiation,
that is, UV-C does far more
damage to molecules in
biological systems than can
temperature alone.
UV-C is absorbed by the ozone layer
and much of the atmosphere, and does
not make it to Earths surface; vacuum
UV resides principally outside of the
Exposure and consequent dosage is the
quantity of UV-C light absorbed over a
specific period of time. A 2010 study
commissioned by ASHRAE and the Air
Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) found that even the

most sophisticated organic compounds

suffer from exposure to small dosages of
UV-C energy. Because UV-C lamp installations in HVAC applications operate
24/7, time is infinite, so surface materials are both disinfected and disintegrated.
Once gone, they wont re-form as long as
the lamps are maintained.
Unlike manufactured compounds,
the mostly simple organic debris as
found on coil surfaces are fairly easy
to degrade. And because aluminum is
among the best inorganic reflectors of
the UV-C wavelength, UV-C energy is
easily directed deep into and throughout
a cooling coil.
Forrest B. Fencl, CEO and co-founder of
UV Resources, passed away on Aug. 1, 2015.
A lifelong inventor and respected industry
leader, Fencl pioneered the modern application of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation in
HVAC/R equipment, writing or co-writing
17 patents and several ASHRAE Handbook
chapters related to ultraviolet air and surface treatment.
Read more at about:
 Read the second part, How UV-C energy works
in HVAC applications: Part 2.
 Read the final installment, How UV-C energy
works in HVAC applications: Part 3.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016


Sizing VFDs for optimal

operating efficiency
A new control strategy and implementation system optimize variable
frequency drive (VFD) efficiency to meet cooling-air requirements.
BY ALEXANDER L. BURD, PHD, PE, and GALINA S. BURD, MS, Advanced Research Technology, Suffield, Conn.

 Explain the impact of variable frequency drive (VFD)
enclosure parameters on VFD
performance and operational
 Analyze the VFDs efficiency
and its ability to meet enclosure cooling-air requirements
with the new control strategy.
 Outline the new control
strategy and implementation
system developed to optimize
VFD efficiency.


Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

he VFD enclosure coolingair fan should be sized by

the mechanical engineer
by considering cooling-air
load, temperature entering
the enclosure, and the allowable operating temperature. The enclosure cooling
load is caused by the drive inefficiency,
resulting in increased air dry-bulb temperature. Required cooling-air volume
should be calculated assuming that the
VFD enclosure load will be carried out
as the sensible load only.
The actual VFD enclosure cooling load
during design and off-design conditions
must be verified from monitoring data;
otherwise, the enclosure cooling load
could be substantially higher when compared with data from a VFD manufacturer. The actual enclosure-load deviation
is due to the different patterns of the static
and dynamic hydraulic-pressure losses in
various systems. The design cooling-airflow rate (CAFRDES) will be determined
based on the maximum anticipated ambient temperature (TAMB MAX) surrounding
the VFD enclosure and by a manufacturers allowable VFD enclosure maximum
operating temperature (TOPR MAX).
The following four equations determine major enclosure operational
parameters in British system thermal
1. QDES/OFF-DES = QTOT = QSEN = 1.085 x
4.5 x E x CAFRDES

[1.085 x (TEXT MAX - TENT MAX)]
QDES/OFF-DES, QSEN, QTOT = VFD enclosure design/off-design, sensible, and total
cooling load
TENT MAX = Maximum anticipated drybulb cooling-air temperature entering the
VFD enclosure; depends on the location
of the enclosure (i.e., in the air conditioned area, in the area with mechanicalfree cooling, etc.)
TAMB MAX = Manufacturers allowable
dry-bulb ambient air temperature surrounding the VFD enclosure, which represents the enclosures maximum allowable operating temperature TOPR MAX
TEXT MAX - TENT MAX = Temperature differential between maximum cooling-air
dry-bulb temperatures exiting and entering the VFD enclosure
E = Enthalpy differential for coolingair exiting and entering the VFD enclosure.
Design cooling-air conditions entering the VFD enclosure are related to the
















Allowable maximum cooling-air temperature

exiting VFD enclosure



Relative design VFD

enclosure coolingairflow rate
Cooling-air temperature
exiting VFD enclosure
to maintain enclosure
allowable operating

Cooling-air temperature entering VFD enclosure, oF

*Maximum allowable enclosure operating air temperature is 104 oF












Allowable maximum cooling-air temperature

exiting VFD enclosure

Relative design VFD enclosure cooling-airflow rate, %

Relative design VFD enclosure cooling-airflow rate, %



Relative design VFD

enclosure coolingairflow rate

Cooling-air temperature
exiting VFD enclosure
to maintain enclosure
allowable operating










Cooling-air temperature entering VFD enclosure, oF

*Maximum allowable enclosure operating air temperature is 113oF








Allowable maximum cooling-air temperature

exiting VFD enclosure

Relative design VFD enclosure cooling-airflow rate, %

design cooling-air dry-bulb temperature,

relative humidity, air density, and humidity ratio.
Because VFD manufacturers allow
high dry-bulb temperature and relative
humidity of cooling-air entering the
enclosure, the moist loaded air is always
present in the enclosure. As indicated by
the first equation, the enclosures total
cooling load should be equal to its sensible load.
However, if the VFD enclosure designs
cooling-airflow rate is specified in the
equations, the enclosures optimal operating conditions can be satisfied without
a moisture exchange. If these specifications arent met, it might result in moisture deposition in the enclosure.
Figure 1 demonstrates the impact of
TOPR MAX on the design relative coolingair (RCAFRDES). The TOPR MAX varied from
104 to 122F. This is the conservative
approach, because the actual TOPR MAX
might be higher due to the TEXT increase
associated with heat removal caused by
a greater VFD power-loss factor. Compensating for the increase in TOPR MAX
will require employing an oversized VFD.
The higher operating temperature of the
VFD enclosure will lead to increased TEXT
, which can be calculated in the last
T ENT MAX depends on the location of
the enclosure and varies from 50F for
an air conditioned area to 100F for
mechanical-free cooling with a oncethrough ventilation system. The top
graph in Figure 1 indicates that RCAFRDES is drastically reduced when T ENT
drops from 100 to 90F, which
coincides with VFD enclosure coolingair temperature differentials increasing
from 8 to 28F. A further reduction of
TENT MAX and the correlated increase in
the enclosures temperature differential
leads to a lower reduction of the designs
relative cooling-airflow rate.
Figure 1 also indicates that, for the
considered conditions, the maximum
design cooling-airflow rate of 100%
occurs at T ENT MAX = 100F and T EXT
= 108F (i.e., at TOPR MAX = 104F).
The increase in allowable VFD enclo-

Relative design VFD

enclosure coolingairflow rate

Cooling-air temperature
exiting VFD enclosure
to maintain enclosure
allowable operating










Cooling-air temperature entering VFD enclosure, oF

*Maximum allowable enclosure operating air temperature is 122 oF

Figure 1: Relative design variable frequency drive enclosures cooling-airflow rates

depending on maximum allowable enclosure operating temperature. All graphics
courtesy: Advanced Research Technology

sure operating temperature from 104F

(shown in the top graph of Figure 1) to
113F (shown in the middle graph of Figure 1) leads to the reduction in RCAFRDES from 100% to 30.8%. It also causes
the VFD enclosures temperature differential to increase from 8F (at TENT MAX
=100F and TEXT MAX = 108F; see Figure

1, top graph) to 26F (at TENT MAX =100F

and TEXT MAX = 126F).
The further increase in allowable operating temperature from 104 to 122F
(shown in the bottom graph of Figure
1) leads to the additional reduction in
RCAFRDES from 100% (see Figure 1, top
graph) to 18.2%. It also causes the VFD
Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016


Sizing VFDs for optimal operating efficiency

enclosures temperature differential to
further increase from 8F (at T ENT MAX
=100F and TEXT MAX = 108F; see Figure
1, top graph) to 44F (at TENT MAX =100F
and TEXT MAX = 144F).
Therefore, RCAFRDES could be noticeably reduced by lowering the cooling-air
temperature entering the enclosure. The
reduction of T ENT from 100 to 50F
could lead to the RCAFRDES decreasing
from 100% to 7.4% (shown in the top
graph of Figure 1).
Given equal load conditions, the
reduction in cooling-air temperature
entering the VFD enclosure leads to an
increased exiting cooling-air temperature, causing an increase of the temperature differential and correlated reduction
in cooling-airflow rate. Maintaining a
lower operating temperature at the same
load and cooling-air temperature entering the enclosure will require a lower
cooling-air temperature exiting the VFD
enclosure and a higher relative airflow
rate compared to the design magnitude
(shown in the first graph of Figure 1).
Further analysis demonstrates how the
cooling-air temperature exiting the VFD

enclosure impacts the enclosures operating temperature of 70F and flow rate
at constant entering-air temperature. A
wide variety of operating temperatures,
from 75 to 100F, might apply by adjusting the VFD enclosures cooling-airflow
rate. For instance, the increase in the
enclosure operating temperature from
75F to 85F will allow the reduction in
cooling-airflow from 100% to 33.3%. The
increase in operating temperature from
75 to 100F will reduce required cooling-airflow from 100% to 16.7%.
VFD enclosure moisture deposits,
moisture-exchange control

While VFD manufacturers statistical

data show how the enclosures elevated
dry-bulb operating temperature impacts
VFD service life and reliability, frequency-controller electronic equipment make
apparent the negative impact of moisture
residing in the VFD enclosure. The conditions with no moisture exchange in the
enclosure could be found from the following equations:

Exiting enclosure cooling-air conditions:

Temperature, TEXT
Relative humidity, RHEXT
Humidity ratio, HREXT

Equation 5 could be modified as:

Thus, equation 5 is equivalent to:
M ENT = cumulative amount of air
moisture entering the enclosure, pounds
of water per minute
M EXT = cumulative amount of air
moisture exiting the enclosure, pounds
of water per minute
DENT and DEXT = density of the cooling-air entering and exiting the enclosure, cubic feet per pound of dry air
HRENT and HREXT = humidity ratio of
the cooling-air entering and exiting the
VFD enclosure, pounds of water/pounds
of dry air.
The conditions of equalized entering
and exiting moisture amounts in the
enclosure can be achieved by varying
the cooling-airflow rate. The required
airflow rates to satisfy these conditions
are governed by the following equations:




VFD enclosure
Cooling-airflow rate


VFD enclosure
cooling-air fan


VFD or multi-speed
motor control of
via enclosures

Entering enclosure cooling-air conditions:

Temperature, TENT
Relative humidity, RHENT

FMSCA: Fan motor speed control arrangement

Figure 2: Variable frequency drive enclosures variable operating temperature and

cooling-airflow rate control system schematics.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016


1.085 x (TEXT MAX - TENT MAX) x
[1.085 x (TEXT MAX - TENT MAX)]
Given the fixed cross-section area for
the particular VFD enclosure, the variation in the amount of cooling-air through
the enclosure will result in respective
change in the enclosure cooling-air
velocity. There are three operational
scenarios that have to be considered to
determine the required cooling-airflow
rate via the enclosure:

VFD enclosure average

operating temperature at
suggested increased
design cooling-airflow


VFD enclosure average

operating temperature at
suggested variable coolingairflow


VFD enclosure relative total daily cooling load, %

Entering VFD enclosure
air humidity ratio


Current exiting VFD enclosure

air humidity ratio at manufacturer
specified cooling-airflow rate


Exiting VFD enclosure air

humidity ratio at recommended
variable and increased
design cooling-airflow rate




VFD enclosure relative total daily cooling load, %












Variable cooling-air control

power demand, kW




Manufacturer specified design

VFD enclosure cooling-airflow rate
Required variable cooling-airflow
to maintain VFD enclosure at equal
operating temperatures with
constant flow rate specified by
manufacturer and without
moisture exchange
Suggested increased VFD enclosure
design cooling-airflow rate
Power demand required for VFD
enclosure with variable coolingair control

VFD enclosure relative total daily cooling load, %










VFD enclosure cooling air relative

sensible and total loads, %




The systems schematics shown in

Figure 2 outline the specifics of the VFD
enclosures developed variable operating
temperature and cooling-airflow control.
This control system achieves the optimal operating temperature by resetting
the exiting airs temperature set point
at a given VFD enclosures entering-air
temperature and cooling load. If the
enclosures operating air temperature is
maintained above its optimal value of
75F, then the service life of the VFD is
On the other hand, when the operating air temperature gets below 75F,
the overall VFD efficiency is lower due
to the additional energy expenditure
to maintain cooling-air below optimal
conditions. The selection of the optimal

VFD enclosure average

operating temperature
at current mode


VFD enclosure cooling-air humidity ratio,

lb of water/lb of dry air

 HR EXT > HR ENT: The air velocity

exceeds its critical magnitude at a given
load. Under these conditions, the coolingairflow could be reduced. However, the
rate of reduction is limited by the maximum allowable cooling-air temperature
exiting the enclosure (see Figure 1) to
prevent the cooling-air operating temperature from exceeding the allowed
magnitude. The alternative control
strategy would be to maintain constant
cooling-airflow at its design magnitude.
This approach, however, isnt the best for
energy conservation due to the increased
energy usage by the enclosures cooling
fans and associated cooling equipment
during design and off-design conditions,
which results in lowering the VFDs operational efficiency.



VFD enclosure cooling-airflow rate, cfm

 HR EXT < HR ENT: The cooling-airs

moisture is separating from the air and
dropping off into the enclosure because
the cooling-air velocity is lower than the
critical air velocity, which is necessary
to carry the moisture suspended in the
air at a given load. Under these conditions, the cooling-airflow rate through
the enclosure must be increased until

VFD enclosure cooling-air relative latent load, %

 HREXT = HRENT: No control actions

are required.

VFD enclosure operating cooling-air

temperature, oF


VFD enclosure relative latent load

at manufacturer specified constant
VFD enclosure relative sensible load
at manufacturer specified constant
VFD enclosure relative sensible load
representing total load at variable or
increased design VFD enclosure

VFD enclosure relative total daily cooling load, %

Figure 3: This depicts the three-way variable frequency drive enclosures comparative control parameters with constant and variable cooling-airflow rate.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016


Sizing VFDs for optimal operating efficiency

cooling-air operating temperature and
exiting-air humidity ratio will increase
the VFDs service life and reduce its energy consumption, thus, increasing overall operational efficiency. A multispeed,
cooling-air fan-motor control could also
be employed to realize the system control
strategy as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 3 depicts the three-way VFD
enclosures comparative control parameters with constant and variable cooling-

graph from the top of Figure 3 shows

the humidity ratio of the cooling-air
entering the VFD enclosure. The second graph from the top of Figure 3 also
gives the humidity ratio of the air exiting
the enclosure at the current control strategy with constant airflow specified by
the VFD manufacturer. This control, as
other articles show, leads to the moisture
exchange in the enclosure when HR EXT
> or < HRENT. Finally, the second graph

The application of developed variable coolingairflow control is advantageous from an energyconservation point of view when compared with current
control strategies.
airflow rate. In comparison, the coolingair operating temperature, humidity
ratio, and cooling load with moisture
exchange are all assumed to be related
to the same conditions adopted for the
data gathered earlier from the monitored
parameters for a 125-hp VFD servicing
a secondary loop chilled-water pump.
The top graph in Figure 3 shows
cooling-air operating temperatures
of the VFD enclosure for the current
mode when the enclosure cooling fans
are not controlled and cooling-airflow
remains relatively constant and close to
its design magnitude per the manufacturers specification (i.e., about 604 cfm).
The current control strategy uses on/off
cooling fans control for two cooling fans,
depending on the VFD operational status. When the VFD is on, the cooling
fans are running. When the VFD is off
or switched to the VFD bypass mode, the
cooling fans are turned off.
The second set of operating temperatures in the top graph of Figure 3
represents the increased design coolingairflow calculated using Equation 2.
The third set of operating temperatures in the top graph of Figure 3 is
related to the variable cooling-airflow
rate, which is applied to match the VFD
enclosures operating temperatures to
the current control strategy. The second

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

from the top of Figure 3 also shows the

exiting-air humidity ratio with suggested
variable or increased design flow rate.
In both cases, HR EXT = HR ENT and no
moisture exchange takes place in the
The third graph from the top in Figure
3 shows comparative magnitudes of the
cooling-airflow rates for the considered
options. The calculated design coolingairflow, based on the developed methodology, is by the factor of 1.6 higher
as compared with the cooling-airflow
magnitude suggested by the VFD manufacturer. This increase of cooling-airflow
via VFD enclosure is necessary to eliminate the moisture exchange.
The application of developed variable
cooling-airflow control is advantageous
from an energy-conservation point
of view when compared with current
control strategies It also might further
benefit switchover from traditional VFD
control to VFD
VFD bypass control
to reduce a systems electrical motors
overall design power demand, according to a study.
During investigations, the system was
operating with constant and inadequate
cooling-airflow rate, which caused protracted periods during which the magnitudes of HR EXT and HR ENT were not
equalized, resulting in residual moisture

being present in the enclosure. When

the suggested control strategy -either a
variable or permanently oversized cooling-airflow rate- was implemented to
maintain HREXT = HRENT, there was no
moisture exchange in the enclosure during design and off-design VFD operations.
The third graph in Figure 3 also
depicts power demand for the enclosure cooling fans. The power demand
fluctuates between its maximum and
minimum values of 0.175-kW and
0.0466-kW loads, respectively, in correlation with the enclosures daily cooling-airflow. The enclosure cooling-air
fans cumulative daily power demand
for variable air control (0.073 kW) is
lower as compared with permanently
increased cooling-airflow (0.175 kW),
allowing 900 kWh/year in energy savings. The last graph in Figure 3 depicts
relative values of the VFD enclosures
sensible, latent, and total load.
Figure 3 also indicates that if the
existing control strategy is applied for
enclosure cooling then both sensible and
latent cooling loads will be present, causing moisture exchange in the VFD enclosure. When the control strategy with
variable cooling-airflow or increased
design cooling-airflow is realized, the
total load always will be equal to the
VFD enclosures sensible load only. This
will preclude moisture exchange from
occurring in the VFD enclosure. A similar control strategy also could be used for
VFDs with no enclosures.
Alexander L. Burd is president and
Galina S. Burd is a project manager and
vice president at Advanced Research Technology. Alexander Burd has 35 years of
experience in the design, research, and
optimization of HVAC and district energy
systems with verified monitored electrical
and thermal energy savings for large facilities and energy utilities. Galina Burd has
more than 25 years of design and research
experience in the HVAC and architectural engineering field and has co-authored
many technical and research papers both
in the U.S. and Europe.


Stay current
with technology and trends
in electrical, mechanical,
lighting, and fire/life safety.

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Future of Engineering
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc., Northbrook, Ill.

Simplifying the building code

Fire protection engineering codes are betteror are they?

ooking back at the early 1970s,

building codes fire safety requirements were minimal. Fire protection features in many new buildings
consisted mostly of passive protection
features. Sprinklers, detection, and
smoke control were largely used at the
discretion of the design team, often to
achieve a specific goal. Alternate methods were accepted on a case-by-case
basis. Fire modeling did not exist.
Protection features were largely
driven by the major insurance carriers
at the time. Office buildings, hospitals,
schools, and apartment buildings were
classified as light hazard, so there was
no reason to install sprinklers in them.
Following a few high-rise fires in the
1971 timeframe, the landmark Airlie
House Conference in 1971 led to the
U.S. General Services Administrations
systems concept of fire-risk analysis.
Also about that time (1973), the report
America Burning was published and
shed light on the nations fire problem.
Following the report, Congress passed
the legislation leading to the formation of
the U.S. Fire Administration, the National
Fire Academy, the National Fire Incident
Reporting System, and the Fire Research
Division at National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST).

Forward progress

According to the loss statistics available from the NFPA, the number of
structure fires in the U.S. fell from about
1.1 million/year in 1977 to about 494,000
in 2014, a 55% reduction. In the same
period, the number of civilian fire fatalities fell from 6,505 to 2,860, a reduction

Consulting-Specifying Engineer MAY 2016

of 56%. Moreover, the trend in deaths

per million persons fell from about 34 in
1977 to about 9 or 10 today, a reduction
of 71%. Also, direct property damage fell
from about $16 billion to $9.8 billion (in
2014 dollars). Clearly, this is great progress, and the result of improved products,
design and construction practices, and
code enforcement. However, we cannot
rest on this success.
But, how effective are some of the
more recent code changes at moving
the needle? Unfortunately, not much.
The stated purpose of building codes
is to establish the minimum requirements to provide for the safety, health,
and welfare of the public. Today, the
International Building Code (IBC) is
the dominant model building code used
for construction in the U.S. Like other
codes, it represents a consensus of opinions of those who participate in writing
the code, not necessarily scientific or
technical, based largely upon experience
with what works and what doesnt. So
its important that the provisions in the
code live up to that stated purpose.
In comparing the 1970 edition of the
Building Officials and Code Administrators International (BOCA) Basic
Building Code (BBC) and the 2015
IBC, the code has grown from 20 chapters to 33 chapters. Whats more, the
chapter on fire protection and smoke
featuresfirewalls, smoke barriers,
etc.went from 36 pages in the 1970
BBC to 86 pages in the IBC. The content of the IBC, measured in area, has
increased by 149%from about 155 sq
ft of text in the 1970 BBC to 386 sq ft in
the 2015 IBC.

How effective is new information?

But, the issue is more than the number of chapters and square feet of words
in the book. There is no doubt that
some of the provisions added to the
codes over that 45-year periodfor
example, sprinkler protection and
smoke detection in sleeping occupancieshave helped reduce the losses.
But some recent provisions in the codes
have simply added to cost without materially affecting the level of fire safety.
Our technology has become more
sophisticated over the past 45 years. We
have modeling tools for fire growth and
egress. Our body of knowledge about fire
growth and human behavior in fire has
increased. But, it is ironic that as our tools
have improved tremendously, we are being
governed by an increasing number of prescriptive requirements about what to do,
when to do them, and how to do them.
It is important that the code-development process includes a rigorous
analysis of major new provisions to
assure they are cost-effective. The
code-development process should also
include a better balance of interests
to reduce the influence of those who
market their products through the
code. Piecemeal approaches to solving problems without considering the
holistic effects of all code provisions,
e.g., not using the systems concept of
risk analysis, only leads to a reduction
in design freedom and additional costs
for the public.
Carl Baldassarra is a principal and
leads the fire protection practice at
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates.



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