Monday, May 23, 2011

Mid-Year Predictions Follow-up

In the interest of full accountability, I have provided an update to my January top 10 predictions, as we are half way through the year.

1. LEED 2012 will be approved, pretty much as it is in its first public review.
Update: Second public review due out in a couple of weeks. Nothing major proposed different - ventilation will likely be a restaurant menu – 1 from column A….

2. The ASA Classroom acoustics recommendation (essentially NC=26, ANSI 12.60 ) will become a requirement in many local codes and may be a part of the next IBC. It will also be a requirement of the ADA governing bodies, forcing a redesign of many school HVAC systems
On track. Good news is that AHRI 885 is designated as a primary method of estimating sound levels in schools and other places as well.

3. Over my objections, the ASHRAE Thermal Comfort Standard (55-2010) will be rewritten into code language. I predict this will result in gross misuse and misinterpretation of the requirements and will make lots of money for trial lawyers. (I hope I’m wrong on this one.)
A sub committee has been formed to implement this proposed change. I volunteered to be on it.

4. With any luck, we will get a rewritten ASHRAE UFAD Design Guide out of committee at the summer meeting. The current manual has been pulled from the ASHRAE bookstore following complaints, most noticeably from the GSA, over lack of discussion of the potential negative issues with this design concept.
Final first draft has been assembled and we will review it at the Montreal meeting. Really good news is that I will move to Vice Chair after the June meeting.

5. Displacement Ventilation will see significant use in classrooms (it’s quiet, see item #2 above).
This trend continues.

6. Chilled Beams will continue to be the “darling” of innovative engineers. We will not see validation of the calculated energy savings from this relatively new technology. That will not, however, prevent estimates of significant energy savings, resulting in LEED points.
Still no peer reviewed data on energy savings with this technology. Developing AHRI and ASHRAE test methods should put to rest some unfounded performance claims.

7. For the umpteenth year in a row, BOMA will state that the number 1 reason for not renewing the lease in high rise buildings is “occupant dissatisfaction with the building environment” (ie: comfort). See item #3 above.
Still waiting for the 2010 data from BOMA.

8. The market for HVAC components will continue to be relatively flat with local ups and downs.
It's looking better in some places, still flat in others. Fortunately, no major downturns seen, but pricing pressure is pretty grim everywhere.

9. VAV overhead air distribution will continue to be (by far) the most used system in new buildings.
Unchanged. While some other systems are seen in some specifications, most continue with the tried and true overhead VAV designs.

10. The Cowboys will continue to disappoint their fans.
I can’t even predict if there will be a season this year.

Authored by: Dan Int-Hout, Chief Engineer Krueger