Thursday, January 2, 2014

Scoring on My Top Ten HVAC Predictions for 2013

1. LEED 2013 will be released in the fall, and it will include a reference to AHRI 885 to prove compliance to acoustical requirements. Done - 10 points

2. Balancers will continue to ignore the need to adjust linear diffusers before balancing. If adjusted after balancing, rebalancing is required. This is the design engineer’s responsibility, of course, so they need to require adjustment is they specify adjustable slots. I predict this will be ignored. (It’ll be an easy 10 points). Yup - 10 points

3. ASHRAE Thermal Comfort Standard (55-2010) will be modified to include Normative (mandatory) and Informative sections so that it can be referenced directly in codes. This is already partly accomplished. ADPI will be included in ASHRAE standard 55 as a means of predicting compliance. In progress - 7 points

4. The updated ASHRAE UFAD Design Guide will be published in 2013. Done - 10 points

5. We will see no published, peer reviewed, energy savings data for any of the “new” systems (displacement, underfloor, or chilled beams), but engineers will continue to claim energy savings compared to overhead systems, to get LEED or Energy Star ratings. Sadly, still no published validation - 10 points

6. BOMA will continue to state that the #1 reason for not renewing the lease in high rise buildings is “occupant dissatisfaction with the building environment” (ie: comfort). (It has been for the past 20 years, this is likely a ‘gimmee’.) Still the top reason - 10 points

7. The market for HVAC components will again be relatively flat with local ups and downs. Still flat - 10 points

8. VAV overhead air distribution will continue to be (by far) the most used system in new buildings. As loads decrease, it will become more apparent that the ventilation load in the interior is the predominant building load. ASHRAE RP 1515 will open a lot of eyes. Yup - 10 points.

9. The majority of VAV box schedules will continue to show design discharge temperatures in excess of 90F, in spite of the ASHRAE handbook stating this will guarantee non-compliance to Standard 55’s vertical temperature stratification limitation, and without compensating increases in ventilation, as required by Standard 62.1 (and code in most states). Again, this is sadly true - 10 points

10. Sadly, the Cowboys will continue to disappoint their fans. (Again) I’m tempted to give this bonus points, but I’m in a giving mood – 10 points.

97 Points total. Nostradamus has nothing!

(It’s easy to score high if you grade your own predictions….)

Authored by: Dan Int-Hout, Chief Engineer Krueger