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Panduit's Exciting New Space
From loading dock to modern gathering space, Panduit's new renovation gives its employees a beautiful and functional
place to congregate.
Panduit Corporation in Tinley Park, Illinois added a new employee cafeteria and break room at their existing CRD
facilities. The project entailed using existing abandoned loading dock areas and converting them into a comfortable,
inviting and open space where employees want to meet during their breaks.
The Owner wanted a modern energy efficient heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting system that worked with the architectural design of the space.
MEG implemented the following design concepts to enhance the look of the space while maintaining space comfort and lighting levels:
- • A gas heating/DX cooling rooftop unit with energy recovery wheel, demand control ventilation, digital scroll compressors and variable frequency drives was installed to maintain space comfort levels. Variable Air Volume (VAV) boxes with re-heat coils were provided for interior and exterior temperature control zones. Also, radiant heat panels were installed at exterior storefront window systems to mitigate cold drafts from entering the cafeteria.
- • Direct/indirect lighting with accent down light and decorative fixtures were used throughout the cafeteria
and break room. Motion detectors were installed for energy conservation and to turn off lights when the cafeteria
is not in use.
Communication with the Architect and Owner was crucial to successfully transforming an unused space into an inviting area where employees will congregate.
Learn More About Retro–Commissioning
If you want to seek to improve how building equipment and systems can best function together, this webinar is for you!
Find out about Retro–Commissioning in this 90 minute web class.
Introduction to Retro-Commissioning:
Webinar is offered by The Energy Center University and can be viewed for free or at a fee of $89.00 for AFE, AIA, BOMI, IACET and WI PE credit. The seminar can be viewed at anytime and is approximately 90 minutes long.
The seminar will cover ways of increasing occupant comfort, indoor work environment and energy savings in existing buildings through Retro Commissioning.
Not all buildings are “good” candidates for Retro Commissioning and characteristics that determine “good or bad” candidates for retro commissioning will be discussed.
Ideally Suited For:
Architects, Engineers, building Owner, developers and anyone interested in maintaining high performance building.
Click here to register
Unmaintained HVAC Equipment Damages Priceless Art
Controlling environmental conditions is vitally important to careful preservation of historical and cultural treasures.
Properly designed and maintained HVAC equipment is critical for preserving valuable pieces of art. In Italy, the
breakdown of a museum's cooling and dehumidification equipment led to the warping of a painting by Raphael. Click
the link to find out more:
Priceless Art Damaged
A Green Partnership
America's top “Green” agencies have formed a collaborative union to create the first comprehensive green construction code.
ASHRAE, the International Code Council, USGBC, IES and AIA will be joining forces to produce a comprehensive green building code that builds upon ASHRAE's standard 189.1, ICC's Green Construction Code, and USGBC's LEED program. For more information on this exciting project, click this link: Green Construction Code
National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Convention Comes to Chicago
Now is the time to register for NECA 2014 Chicago, held at McCormick Place West on September 27–30. Don't miss
this great opportunity for education and networking for those in the electrical construction industries.
Here are some highlights as listed on the event's webpage www.necaconvention.org:
“NECA 2014 Chicago is the ideal environment to learn about new technologies and best practices that will streamline the job and create more profit. Unparalleled education, business development sessions, face–to–face networking opportunities with industry colleagues, and the industry’s largest trade show all in one location creates a priceless opportunity for everyone in your company…”
- • WIN Roundtable: Connect with women working in the industry from across the country
- • Safety Roundtable: Two–way discussion on NECA’s safety–related activities and electrical industry needs
- • Business Development: Learn about where the industry is headed and how to best capture work opportunities
- • Job Fair: For students from NECA’s 30 student chapters
- • Trade Show: Over 300 manufacturers and distributors participate to showcase thousands of products and solutions providing the latest technological advances in such areas as power supply, security tools, integrated building systems, lighting and controls, solar/PV, other energy markets and more
- • 19 FREE technical workshops
- • Showstopper Showcase awards program sponsored by NECA and Electrical Contractor Magazine
Lee Millies Recognized at ASHRAE Annual Conference
MEG President, Lee Millies, receives ASHRAE Distinguished Service Award
MEG President, Lee Millies, was recognized for his distinguished service to ASHRAE (American Society of Heating,
Refrigeration, and Air–Conditioning Engineers). The Society has over 50,000 members worldwide who focus on
Over the years, Lee has served ASHRAE in many different roles within the local chapter and the national society. In the past, he has been Chapter Treasurer and President of the Northern Indiana chapter. More recently, he has chaired the local region covering Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. He also has been involved in technical committees and participates in helping write some of ASHRAE's many standards and guidelines. Congratulations to Lee on this great accomplishment!
Learn more here
Gary’s Marquette Park Restoration Project Receives Award
Indiana Landmarks’ 2014 Cook Cup for Outstanding Restoration was awarded to the City of Gary’s Marquette Park.
Watch the video detailing this exciting restoration project and to see the beautiful transformation
of this historic building and natural areas.
Hospital HVAC Design Contributes to MERS Containment
Community Hospital successfully contains nation's first MERS case.
With the spread of new viruses and bacteria and potential for epidemics, proper HVAC design is very
important for hospitals. Isolation rooms have specific airflow design and monitoring requirements.
Properly designing these rooms is vital to preventing the spread of viruses and bacteria. Community
Hospital in Munster, IN recently put one of their isolation rooms to the test with the first known
case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the United States. There was no further outbreak
and the infection was limited to the initial patient.
For more information, click this link: read article
St. Catherine's Cooling Tower Replacement
Properly sized equipment can make all the difference in a building's efficiency.
The professional office building of St. Catherine's Hospital in East Chicago, Indiana is equipped
with boilers and chillers to provide heating and cooling. In addition, ceiling mounted heat pumps
are provided throughout the facility. Chiller and heat pumps reject their heat into the cooling
tower system. However, the hospital has upgraded their cooling system and, as a result, a central
cooling plant was supplying chilled water to the entire complex. Because of this upgrade, the
building's cooling tower is currently oversized and therefore not operating efficiently.
The scope of this project was to replace their outdated and oversized cooling tower with a new tower to match the building’s heat pump loads. Calculations were performed that showed only 75 Tons of tower capacity required vs the original 300 Tons. A closed system cooling tower was selected to provide cooling year round (if needed). The new tower was located on the existing structure. Existing pumps and piping distribution systems were replaced with new systems. As a result, the new tower is much more efficient as it was selected to match the load.
Key components of the replacement project included:
- • New closed loop cooling tower
- • Tower was selected to match the building’s load
- • New tower fans were provided with variable frequency drives (VFD) for energy savings
- • New condenser water pump
- • Existing structural steel was utilized for new tower due to its smaller footprint
- • New facility management system with energy saving control strategies
CaptiveAire System’s 2014 webinar series begins tomorrow!
Don’t miss this webinar series offered by CaptiveAire that will cover new and innovative methods
of controlling kitchen exhaust systems while increasing energy efficiency.
2014 Webinar dates and topics are below (as listed on www.captiveaire.com):
May 8th – Kitchen Emissions and Pollution Control: Fats and oils are part of our diets and important cooking aids. Unfortunately, they also create greasy residues that are fire hazards and require expensive maintenance. Commercial kitchen hoods and associated technologies must deal with the grease, smoke, and odor produced during commercial cooking operations. As we look to be more ’environmentally-friendly’, several state and/or local jurisdictions have targeted restaurant emissions in an effort to reduce pollution. The webinar will look at not only the hood but other supplemental pollution control technologies to reduce grease, smoke, and odor to acceptable levels.
June 12th – Code Requirements, Installation & Inspection of CKV Systems: The design and installation of commercial kitchen ventilation systems is complex. The system design and integration into the overall building involves operation, performance, kitchen comfort, energy considerations, as well as initial and operating costs. Proper installation, maintenance, and inspection of these systems are critical to ensure compliance with the current codes, standards and a safe operation. The presentation will focus on National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Bulletin 96, International Mechanical Code (IMC), use of Listed hoods and exhaust system components, Fire Suppression, and system inspections and maintenance.
June 26th – CORE Protection Fire System: Fire safety and prevention is an important consideration in commercial kitchens today. This webinar will discuss CaptiveAire's New CORE Fire Protection System with Total Flood Appliance Protection. Hear how this system has been improved upon through dedicated research and development to provide the most advanced technology in preventing and defending against fires in commercial kitchens.
July 17th – Kitchen Ventilation Systems: The design, installation, performance, safety, and maintenance of commercial kitchen ventilation systems is complex, as engineers and designers look for sustainable designs to deliver robust system performance, energy efficiency, and integration with overall building HVAC systems. The presentation will include discussion of the impact and practical application of recent industry laboratory research, testing and standards development for CKV system design.
August 14th – Kitchen Hoods 101: The focal point of the Kitchen Ventilation System – the exhaust hood – is used to remove heat, smoke, grease, steam and combustion products from the kitchen. This Webinar will go over exhaust hood basics such as hood types, sizing, listed hoods, installation, reduced clearance and fire protection.
Link to Register:
Ideally Suited For:
• Architects and Owners who want to have a better understanding of kitchen exhaust systems, components and how to provide a “sustainable” design for a system that historically has high energy consumption.
• Consultants who want to learn about latest kitchen exhaust system controls and technologies.
LIGHTFAIR International (LFI) is holding their 2014 conference June 1–5 in Las Vegas,
LIGHTFAIR is celebrating 25 years of innovation with the “world's largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference” featuring amazing exhibits, classes, speakers and an opportunity to discover the newest trends in lighting and controls.
For more information please visit www.lightfair.com
Oil Boom and Growth Creates Challenges
The “oil boom” in North Dakota has been great for the local economy, but it has put
a strain on the existing telecommunication company servicing the area.
The new 16,000 SF facility is designed to meet the current telecommunication
requirements and future expansions as needed by providing a customer service office area,
garage facility for maintenance vehicles and servers for the increased communication demands.
The Owner desired a modern, energy efficient facility that will meet the communication requirements and maintain year round cooling for the server room while providing a comfortable working environment during the North Dakota winters.
To meet the Owner’s requirements, MEG implemented the following design concepts:
- • Hot water heating distribution system consisting of high efficiency condensing boilers, primary/secondary pump system with Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) for the office area and garage. Hot water is distributed to an in–floor radiant heating system that provides zoned temperature control. The radiant floor system is an energy efficient and comfortable means of maintaining space temperature. The radiant floor heating system is also extended into the garage area.
- • Cooling for the server room is provided by a 7.5 ton remote computer room cooling unit with ducted supply and return systems. A 100% redundant cooling room unit was provided for back–up and space for a future 7.5 ton unit has been allocated for expansion.
- • Cooling for the office areas is provided by an interior air handling unit with Variable Air Volume (VAV) boxes for energy efficiency and zone temperature control.
- • A carbon monoxide (CO) monitoring system was provided for the garage area to exhaust only the amount of air required to comply with local codes and for “purge” exhaust when CO levels increase.
- • An interior emergency generator was provided to maintain electrical service to the facility during power outages. The fuel system has the capacity to maintain power to the facility for 48 hours.
Communication with the Hoch Associates architects, facility Owner and on–site contractors was crucial to the success of the project. Weekly construction phone conference meetings and timely site visits allowed for the project to be delivered on schedule.
IBEW local 697 awarded LEED Gold
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 697 is recognized for its “green”
sustainable building design.
LEED Commissioning services for the new 40,000 SF International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) local 697 and Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) facility was completed by Millies Engineering Group and submitted as part of LEED Gold Application.
Key Components of Commissioning Services include:
- • Commissioning of mechanical heating and ventilation systems
- • Plumbing domestic hot water systems
- • Lighting system controls and daylight harvesting
- • On-site energy generation systems
- • Integration of building systems to the Facility Management System (FMS) and proper operation of these systems
The Commissioning Process was a key component of the LEED submittal, which helped to earn LEED Gold certification in September 2012. MEG was pleased to partner with Design Organization on this exciting project.
Boiler Plant Renovation
When aged equipment fails, MEG can create system solutions that improve efficiency and comfort.
Mechanical HVAC renovation for the existing five story Hammond Franciscan Clinic in Munster,
Indiana consisted of replacing aging equipment and consolidating the mechanical systems to
create a central heating plant. The existing boiler and air handling units had exceeded their
useful life expectancies and parts were not available resulting in higher maintenance costs.
New high efficiency, gas fired condensing boilers were specified and were located in the penthouse. Two air handling units were combined and replaced with a single air handling unit consisting of variable air volume controls utilizing multiple direct—drive fans operating in parallel (fan array technology) to improve reliability by providing redundancy.
Key components of the replacement project included:
- • New high efficiency condensing Boilers
- • Combining two boiler systems into one central heating plant
- • New hot water pumping system with variable frequency drives (VFD) for energy savings
- • New low noise level, energy efficient air-handling unit
- • New unit has smaller foot print and provides operating cost savings
- • New facility management system with energy saving control strategies
The construction of the project was completed in March 2013. As a result of these improvements, the Clinic now has an energy efficient central heating plant and air handling unit consolidated to one room. This provides the Clinic plenty of storage space and ease of equipment maintenance.
School Fire Alarm Systems
Student safety is at the forefront of a fire alarm system replacement. However, special
challenges can require careful design and planning.
Millies Engineering Group was consulted to design new fire alarm systems for Jefferson and
Grant Elementary Schools located in Chicago Heights, Illinois. The schools had existing
zoned fire alarm systems that had reached the end of their life cycle and were outdated. In
addition, the fire alarm panel components and devices began to experience failures and
replacement parts were difficult to find due to the age of the equipment. New fire alarm
devices were needed to comply with the most current building and fire alarm codes.
A new addressable fire alarm system was specified at each school. The addressable system offers device origination information for the location of all alarms. As such, this system will indicate specific pin—point alarm notification throughout the entire facility and to first responders. New devices were specified throughout the schools to provide fire detection coverage to the entire school. In addition, fire alarm visual devices were specified to offer visual notification to all occupied spaces and audio/visual devices were specified in assembly and corridor spaces. The locations of the audio/visual devices were coordinated with the building layout to ensure all occupied spaces have adequate decibel coverage for alarm conditions.
The existing building and construction posed a difficult challenge in routing new fire alarm wiring throughout the school. Many of the corridors and occupied spaces have exposed ceilings and the building utilizes deep wood beams for the structure. The Owner did not want conduits to be routed in exposed ceiling spaces or on finished walls. As such, our office extensively surveyed the facility and worked with the Owner to provide paintable surface mounted raceway, in exposed locations, to offer the least obtrusive solution to route new fire alarm cabling.
This project provided the schools new, state—of—the—art, and reliable fire alarm systems. Also, due to MEG’s diligent field survey and coordination with the Owner, the existing aesthetics of the buildings were not affected.
Boiler General Maintenance
Simple boiler maintenance will protect the equipment from premature and costly repairs
all year long.
Following a maintenance schedule for your boiler adds to its life expectancy and helps to avoid the leaks seen in the accompanying photo.
Important considerations for the boiler maintenance schedule:
- A water treatment must include a corrosion inhibitor to avoid internal corrosion of the boiler and piping system. It is recommended that the closed loop boiler water system be tested every 30 days minimum to maintain the proper chemical levels in the system.
- Test of the make up water to determine water quality. Water make up containing dissolved solids and minerals should be analyzed and a treatment program put into place to avoid mineral deposit buildup in the boilers.
- The air separator should be inspected for proper operation. When water is heated, oxygen is precipitated into the warm water which will cause rusting and corrosion of the boiler and piping from the inside if not removed from the system. An air separator will release the suspended oxygen to the atmosphere. If there is no air separator in the piping system, one should be installed.
- The boiler controls and water temperature set points should be checked to maintain proper operation within the boiler manufacturer's recommended operating conditions to avoid thermal shock of the boilers.
- Please consult with your boiler manufacturer for additional requirements.
General maintenance for the boiler plant will add to the life span of the boiler system and avoid premature and costly boiler replacement. Should you be experiencing boiler issues, please contact Millies Engineering Group for assistance.
Save On Heating Costs Even In These Harsh Winter Temperatures
Addressing a building's heating plant concerns can save money with results that pay back
all year long.
Community Hospital's heating plant consists of two steam and two high temperature hot water
(HTHW) boilers. The steam boilers are utilized in winter to supply steam for humidification,
sterilization, surgery and other miscellaneous systems requiring steam. The HTHW boilers,
on the other hand, are used year round to supply high temperature hot water. In winter, they
are used to heat the building and, in summer, HTHW boilers are used to meet the summer
reheat loads and to generate steam through the steam generators.
MEG was called upon to evaluate the existing HTHW system and provide feasibility of adding either a pony boiler system or a heat exchanger system to the existing heating plant (to improve system efficiency and operating costs). The existing HTHW boilers, originally used to serve the absorption chillers (replaced with electric), are currently oversized and thus not operating efficiently in summer. This change not only resulted in extra HTHW boiler capacity but also caused additional losses (such as short cycling, pre and post purge, radiation and stack losses) during start-ups and shut downs in summer. According to the boiler manufacturer, these losses may be as high as 18%. Hence, the boilers may be rated at 78% efficient; an oversized boiler may be operating at efficiencies as low as 60% due to these losses.
Based on system evaluation and calculations, Millies Engineering Group recommended adding a steam to hot water heat exchanger utilizing existing steam boilers to meet the summer loads. In this option, the existing HTHW boilers would be off and the existing steam boilers operated to meet not only the humidification load but also to satisfy the reheat load via the new heat exchangers. In winter, however, the steam and HTHW boilers would continue being used as they are currently. Calculations indicated that there will be approximately $26,500 saved every year by not operating oversized HTHW boilers. Based on the above cost, the simple payback for this option would be under 7 years.
The hospital is very pleased with our findings and recommendation and is planning on implementing this option before the next heating season.
A Breath of Fresh Air for Students
A recent study has proven that a school’s indoor air quality can affect student absenteeism and health in significant ways.
Providing the correct amount of ventilation to a space is very important. In fact, a study
by the Berkeley Lab has found a clear correlation between the amount of ventilation provided
to a classroom and the number of student absences, based on data collected from schools across
California. For two years, attendance records were reviewed and carbon dioxide levels in
classrooms were measured. In classrooms with higher levels of carbon dioxide, absentee rates
increased. The overall finding from the study noted that increasing the ventilation rate by
2 cubic feet per minute (cfm) per person decreased illness absenses by 1.6 percent.
Reducing absenteeism helps a student scholastically and additionally helps the school financially when it is funded on an attendance-linked basis. Properly ventilating a building is a minor increased energy cost, however it is vastly overshadowed by the health and wellness benefits, as well as the reduction of costs associated with sick students and staff.
Properly ventilating a building is imperative. At Millies Engineering, we thoroughly engineer facility airflows and amounts of outside air to provide comfortable, healthy and well ventilated spaces.
To learn more about the Berkeley Lab study visit http://tinyurl.com/ku2uvy2
MEEA 2014 Conference Comes to Chicago
Don’t miss Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s
2014 conference on January
Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) is holding their 2014 Midwest Energy
Solutions Conference on January 14-16 at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago, IL.
The conference is an annual event that is intended to reinforce the importance of energy efficiency in the Midwest, as well as celebrate the year’s achievements and plans for the future.
Please visit this link for additional information: www.mwalliance.org/conference