Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011 Prediction Recap

It’s time for the 2011 recap. So how did I do with my January 2011 top 10 predictions?

1. LEED 2012 will be approved, pretty much as it is in its first public review.
Final public review will be out in a couple of months. I give this a 9 score.

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.
Still on track. AHRI 885 is designated as a primary method of estimating sound levels in schools and other places as well, in LEED 2012. I give this a 9 score.

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.)
The Standard is being revised (by addenda) to make calculations mandatory, with an informative appendix containing recommendations. I give this a 5 score.

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 posted and is hoped to be voted on in Chicago. I give this a score of 8.

5. Displacement Ventilation will see significant use in classrooms (it’s quiet, see item #2 above).
This trend continues. This is a 10.

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. This is a 10.

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.
BOMA confirms that 2010 was another year in which occupants are not happy with their environment. This gets a 10.

8. The market for HVAC components will continue to be relatively flat with local ups and downs.
Pricing was a challenge in 2011, and will continue in 2012. I give this a 10.

9. VAV overhead air distribution will continue to be (by far) the most used system in new buildings.
Most designs continue with the tried and true overhead VAV designs. This is a 10.

10. The Cowboys will continue to disappoint their fans.
Fortunately, we won’t have to watch them for another 6 months. I give this a BIG 10.

Total score: 91. (out of a possible 100).

Let’s see if I can do as well in my predictions for 2012. Top 10 for 2012 next week!

Authored by: Dan Int-Hout, Chief Engineer Krueger