Monday, January 9, 2012

Top 10 Predictions for 2012

1. LEED 2012 will be released in the fall, and it will result in a number of changes in the way building HVAC systems are designed, both for energy savings and acoustics.

2. The ASA Classroom acoustics recommendation (essentially NC=26, ANSI 12.60) will become a default requirement for new classroom design. The LEED prerequisite will require that either the ASHRAE handbook, or AHRI 885 will be designated as a primary method of estimating sound levels in schools and other places as well; engineers will discover that the 885 spreadsheet is a much easier approach.

3. ASHRAE Thermal Comfort Standard (55-2010) will include mandatory language only for the calculations employed. A set of default compliance paths will be developed and put out for public review.

4. The updated ASHRAE UFAD Design Guide will come out of committee at the summer meeting.

5. Displacement Ventilation will continue to see significant use in classrooms, due to its low sound generation.

6. Chilled Beams will continue to be used by innovative engineers. While I hope to see some validation of the energy consumption savings, I predict we won’t.

7. BOMA will continue to state that the number 1 reason for not renewing the lease in high rise buildings is “occupant dissatisfaction with the building environment” (ie: comfort). I still see new designs with designed discharge temperatures for overhead systems in excess of 100°F, which leads to significant stratification.

8. The market for HVAC components will again be relatively flat with local ups and downs.

9. VAV overhead air distribution will continue to be (by far) the most used system in new buildings. ADPI will be endorsed by the ASHRAE Fundamentals as a method of predicting both thermal uniformity (complying with the vertical stratification requirement of standard 55), and that the average room air speed is less than 40fpm, allowing the graphical and PMV calculations of Standard 55.

10. Sadly, the Cowboys will continue to disappoint their fans.

Authored by: Dan Int-Hout, Chief Engineer Krueger