Millies Engineering Group

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News Articles-2015

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Dec 2015

Mon

14

Extra Storage Space
When the Extra Storage Space company in Tinley Park, Illinois needed facility solutions, Millies Engineering Group was able to help them grow their business to meet their customer’s needs...READ MORE

Millies Engineering Group

The scope of this previous project was to add a new building next to the existing storage building to meet the high demand for additional storage facilities. Extra Storage Space has been a leader in the storage industry for over 25 years. They are committed to being the most convenient, secure and professional storage solutions. We worked with the Architect, Sullivan Goulette Wilson, to provide mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering services for a 13,500 SF building addition.

Our design was based on providing a state-of-the-art climate controlled storage building that consisted of multiple split type air conditioning systems, toilet facilities, lighting control system (controlled by the motion sensors) and fire protection system.

Key components of the project included:

  • • New high efficiency furnace and condensing unit systems
  • • Light fixtures with motion sensor controls
  • • Fire alarm and security systems

The construction of the project was completed in late 2013 and the owner is very pleased with the building. Due to its climate controlled feature, this facility has become a popular choice for customers and continues to be a successful Illinois business.

For more information, click on this link: Extra Storage Space. Millies Engineering Group


Nov 2015

Mon

23

Controls Improve Energy Performance
Improving a building’s controls can be an important first step in an energy improvement project...READ MORE

Millies Engineering Group


Why do buildings designed for high performance sometimes consume more energy than one would expect? Even with the most efficient HVAC equipment, the vulnerability of high performance buildings is in its controls. For existing buildings, improving controls can be the low–hanging fruit for an energy improvement project. Per the New Buildings Institute resource on controls, “inadequate controls can lead to 50% higher energy costs and 25% more to the operations and maintenance budget”.


Improperly set up or malfunctioning controls can lead to:

  • • Reduced comfort levels
  • • Increased equipment wear and tear
  • • Increased energy consumption

With poor controls, HVAC equipment may overshoot cooling and heating requirements causing wide hot to cold and cold to hot temperature fluctuations. Also, the equipment may cycle excessively, turning on and off repeatedly. In cooling situations, this can lead to high humidity levels. Equipment cycling can also cause it to break down more quickly.

Additionally, improperly set up controls may cause your equipment to run heating and cooling modes at the same time and waste energy. Or, faulty controls can run equipment to unnecessarily maintain temperatures at times when the space or building is not occupied.

At Millies Engineering Group, we pay close attention to HVAC control details. We thoroughly review and sometimes tweak or improve the factory default settings to make sure our clients get the best comfort at the lowest energy consumption.

New Buildings Institute resources on HVAC, lighting, and plug load controls can be found at: www.newbuildings.org/controls.


Nov 2015

Fri

13

Down on the Farm
One of Indiana’s gems, Fair Oaks Farms, has recently expanded and added even more farm adventures that are both interesting and fun for the entire family
...READ MORE

Millies Engineering Group



Millies Engineering Group was proud to be part of the Fair Oaks Farms expansion with the opening of the new Pig Adventure building to the public. The dairy farm now boasts a fantastic pig adventure building with tantalizing features for the young and the young at heart with:

  • • A full two story ropes course for the adventurer
  • • A tree house that is built inside and outside the building
  • • A country kitchen displaying pork recipes on kiosks
  • • The great pig collage wall with pictures of famous and not-so-famous pigs
  • • A vintage Ford pickup truck outside for that photo op
  • • Numerous educational billboards with facts about pigs
  • • An indoor “Pork Education Center” with animal viewing areas

The HVAC systems, lighting and fire protection systems are integrated into the various exhibits for a seamless blend. The desired atmosphere was an indoor barn space.

  • • The galvanized ductwork is routed exposed in the exhibits giving and open barn feel to the space
  • • Sprinkler piping is routed concealed where possible
  • • Lighting creates a barn warehouse effect in the space

Overall, the building presents well and visitors can enjoy a fun and educational experience in a country barn space when they walk into the door.
For more information about Fair Oaks Farms, visit: www.fofarms.com/things-to-explore/pec

Millies Engineering Group Millies Engineering Group

Nov 2015

Tue

10

Early Design Phase Energy Simulations
Long before a project begins, MEG is able to evaluate many important factors to allow Owners to make informed budget and construction decisions
...READ MORE

Millies Engineering Group

Recently, Millies Engineering Group has been working on mechanical and electrical system designs for several schools to achieve various levels of LEED certification. Some early design questions for building systems may include issues such as which mechanical system is better, which mechanical system consumes less energy, etc.

For these recent school examples, because it was early in the process and there were too many unknown factors to make a precise simulation of the exact building, we drew upon our past experiences and reasonable determinations of the shape and size of the building to develop quick simulations utilizing Carrier’s Hourly Analysis Program (HAP). Using basic assumptions about the building shape, occupancy, envelope constructions, and equipment use in the building, a simple model of the building and its systems can be produced. Alternate systems such as high performance VAV, variable refrigerant systems, ground source heat pumps, etc. are compared and an energy consumption report for each system is generated. The energy reports contain the following data:

  • • Energy costs for:
         - Heating & Cooling
         - Fans & Pumps
         - Lights & Equipment
  • • Monthly energy use profiles
  • • Carbon emissions
These HAP reports also include information on energy consumption per square foot, which compares directly back to the building energy use databases such as those in the Energy Star Target Finder. This provides a confirmation as to whether the simulation numbers relate to real world values. Based on these simulations, confident decisions were made about which mechanical system to use.


Oct 2015

Thu

22

MEG Engineers Receive Award
Millies Engineering Group is proud to have two engineers recognized at the 2015 IES Illumination Awards
...READ MORE

Millies Engineering Group

Illuminating Engineering Society recently held their 2015 Illumination Award Ceremony in Chicago, an exciting opportunity for IES to celebrate and recognize “professionalism, ingenuity and originality in lighting design”.

This year, MEG engineers, David Janney and Pete Frick, in partnership with JMA Architects received an Award of Merit for School Interior Design.

Congratulations to David, Pete and JMA Architects on this impressive achievement!

For additional information:
www.ieschicago.org
www.jmaarchitects.com


Oct 2015

Tue

20

Affordable Solar Power
Improved pricing for solar electricity is now making it an affordable and viable option to fossil fuel electricity
...READ MORE

Millies Engineering Group

Mr. Elon Musk has disrupted the automobile market. Through Telsa Motors, he has completely revamped our idea of an electric vehicle from a lackluster, low–powered option to a mainstream luxury car.

Now his company, SolarCity, is moving in on solar power. SolarCity has announced they will be producing panels of the highest efficiency in its Buffalo, New York plant (note: not made offshore).

These panels exceed the expected fall of price per watt capacity. It was anticipated that prices would fall to around 64 cents per watt this year. Instead, SolarCity's new panels cost only 55 cents per watt.

With these lower prices, production of solar electricity is coming even closer to the cost of producing electricity with fossil fuels.

SolarCity is a turnkey solar system installer. They produce, as well as install solar panels. For more information, click here: www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2015/1004/Are-solar-panels-now-as-cheap-as-fossil-fuels


Oct 2015

Tue

13

Pumped Refrigerant Economizers
Pumped Refrigerant Economizers are a smart and economical choice for data room cooling systems
...READ MORE

Pumped refrigerant economizers eliminate the use of water (and the costs of water treatment), protect against outside air contamination, and reduce services by eliminating air dampers and louvers.

Thermal system controls optimize the operation of each component to maximize free cooling hours, minimize energy consumption, provide diagnostics and integrate to data center management systems.

Thermal management systems are scalable, helping to ensuring that a data center receives the right amount of cooling year–round, while also accommodating future growth and ever–changing data center loads.


Lowest Total Cost of Ownership
  • • Achieves industry’s highest efficiencies, exceeding ASHRAE standards by up to 53% while in compressor mode
  • • Operates with mechanical PUE as low as 1.05 in EconoPhase economizer mode
  • • Innovative design is more efficient than chilled water systems with economizer operation
  • • Matches IT load and optimizes energy consumption at partial loads
  • • Pumped refrigerant economizer provides optimized free cooling operation, without water consumption costs or outdoor air contamination concerns
Additional Features
  • • Redundant design of critical internal components improves reliability
  • • Instant changeover to economizer mode, even for short time periods
  • • Seamless, automatic changeover between DX mode and economizer mode
Ideally Suited For
  • • Data centers suffering from increased heat density and high cooling power consumption
  • • IT Managers who want to reduce cooling costs and power usage
  • • Organizations interested in installing fewer high capacity cooling systems vs. more lower capacity systems
  • • IT infrastructures with room for improvement in under floor air distribution

Oct 2015

Mon

5

Learn More About Retro–Commissioning
If you 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. Click for more information...READ MORE

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.

Overview:
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 owners, developers and anyone interested in maintaining a high performance building.

Link To Register:
www.ecw.org/education/webinars/introduction-retro-commissioning


Oct 2015

Thu

1

Electrochromic Windows
Amazing advancements in window technology are coming our way

...READ MORE

An exciting advancement in energy savings for buildings of the future will be electrochromic windows. These windows can automatically dim to block sunlight during the hot periods of the day. In addition to reducing cooling requirements, electrochromic windows can work with daylighting systems to better tune the light in the space. Find out more about this new technology by clicking here: www.greenbiz.com/blog/2010/11/12/sage-ramps-up-auto-dimming-windows-future


Sep 2015

Mon

21

Rockbridge Data Center
Millies Engineering Group provided mechanical and clean agent fire protection system design for the Rockbridge County Data Center in Lexington, Virginia
...READ MORE

Millies Engineering Group

Millies Engineering Group provided mechanical and clean agent fire protection system design for the Rockbridge County Data Center in Lexington, Virginia. Three 15 ton Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) units were provided to meet space cooling and redundancy requirements. Cooling for the CRAC units are provided by grade mounted dry coolers with integral pump packages to conserve space within the facility. The mechanical system design complies with Uptime Institute Tier II requirements.

Key Components of MEP design:

  • • Dry cooler with integral pump package and economizer controls
  • • Three (3) nominal 15 ton Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) units
  • • CRAC unit control system will modulate and stage the CRAC units based upon actual demand
  • • Under floor supply air distribution system

Millies Engineering Group

Sep 2015

Thu

3

Cost–Effective LED Breakthrough
Low cost energy efficiency may be on the horizon

...READ MORE

A breakthrough development out of Florida State University may change LED technology of the future. Improving cost–effectiveness of LED lighting will allow greater use to maximize the energy saving benefits LED offers.

To find out more about this exciting advancement, click here: LED Lighting Breakthrough


Aug 2015

Tues

25

Apps for Engineers
Hey engineers, want to improve job efficiency and make your professional life easier? Yes, now there’s an app for that too!
...READ MORE

There are over 240 engineering related apps for both iOS and Android operating systems available on the market. Several of these apps are quite handy to save time and improve efficiency in our jobs.

Find out more about many of these helpful engineering apps by clicking this link:
Apps For Engineers


Aug 2015

Tues

18

Valparaiso Unveils Central Park Plaza Extension
The city of Valparaiso Indiana celebrates a beautiful new addition to its downtown with a ribbon cutting ceremony
...READ MORE

Millies Engineering Group

The community gathered for the grand opening of The William E. Urschel Pavilion, Valparaiso's newest centerpiece. The pavilion will house the town's popular Farmer's Market and serve as a gathering place for residents. Each winter, it will also transform into an exciting ice skating rink, complete with LED color changing lighting features. Millies Engineering Group is thrilled to have been a part of this wonderful community improvement project!

Click this link to learn more and view pictures: Valparaiso Ribbon Cutting


July 2015

Tues

28

“Right Sizing” Cooling Systems
It can be easy to find HVAC energy savings in existing buildings if you know where to look

...READ MORE

The AP50 building is one of the many buildings located in the Abbvie-Abbott complex in Libertyville, IL. This building (AP50) was converted from a lab to an office building a few years ago consisting of open offices, conference rooms, lunch rooms and miscellaneous individual offices. Due to this conversion, the cooling load has reduced but the building’s cooling plant was never replaced. It consists of 2 indoor screw chillers, 4 air-cooled condensers (2 for each chiller), multiple chilled water pumps, piping distribution systems and controls.

The scope of MEG's services was to evaluate the existing chillers, condensers and related chilled water system serving the existing facility and develop cooling load calculations and propose a solution to replace the existing cooling system with a new energy efficient chiller system (as the existing chilled water plant is oversized for current office usage).

Based on system evaluation and building load calculations, it was recommended to replace the existing chilled system with a new state of the art fluid chiller system to meet the building’s reduced cooling needs. Although, the fluid chiller has a higher initial cost, we recommended this system to the client due to its high efficiency. Payback calculations indicate that there will be approximately $8,000.00 operating cost savings annually versus the existing cooling system.

Abbvie-Abbott is pleased with our findings and recommendation and will benefit from our work throughout future cooling seasons.


July 2015

Thur

9

The Rise of Automobile A/C
View an interesting article about how some pioneers from Dallas helped push automobile air conditioning into prominence in the 1950s
...READ MORE

In the heat of the 1950s when growing complaints about hot vehicles went unheard in Detroit, Dallas area car dealers and  manufacturing companies took matters into their own hands. Read the article here:

Dallas pioneers pushed auto A/C into prominence


June 2015

Weds

3

Taltree Arboretum’s Unique Visitors Center
Taltree Arboretum and Garden’s beautiful visitors center welcomes hikers, nature lovers and train enthusiasts to enjoy their 360–acre preserve
...READ MORE

Millies Engineering Group

This project consisted of a 5,000 square foot visitor’s center at the Taltree Arboretum Gardens in Valparaiso, Indiana. Given the limited budget and non-profit nature of the client, the goal of this project was to design mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems cost effectively.

There were a couple of significant challenges on this project. First was to provide adequate heating, cooling, and ventilation for this building that can be highly occupied on occasion. The second challenge was overcoming the low water quality due to the high hardness and sulfur content of the on–site well water.

The following systems were specified for this building:

  • • High efficiency condensing furnaces with standard efficiency condensing units
  • • Duplex water softener system
  • • Duplex sulfur filtration system


Design Organization (www.designorg.com) created a beautifully designed building in the style of an old–time railway depot. Through the implementation of our mechanical and plumbing features, the building functions as well as it looks. Stop by for a visit or find out more online at www.taltree.org.

Millies Engineering Group

Apr 2015

Tues

7

Protect Your Piping
Why should the HVAC and domestic piping insulation be inspected annually?
...READ MORE

Millies Engineering Group

Pipe insulation is installed on various piping systems to help maintain an energy efficient piping distribution systems whether it be domestic hot or cold water systems, hot water heating, chilled water cooling, and/or a combination of hot and chilled water piping system.

The piping distribution system is the life blood within the building. When installing piping insulation a mastic sealer is brushed on at each joint and fitting taken off to provide an air tight vapor seal.

When the vapor seal is no longer being maintained, the mastic sealer starts to crack at insulation joints, and several things begin to happen. The piping systems distributing cold water systems will start to have condensation build up between the piping and the pipe insulation. This will lead to many issues.

  1. The condensation in the insulation starts to deteriorate the pipe insulation from within
  2. The condensation will travel down the piping system and continue spreading
  3. The piping insulation vapor jacket will start to deteriorate
  4. Mold growth will begin and spread in the pipe insulation
  5. The piping itself will start to deteriorate
  6. The mechanical and domestic systems operate less efficiently

Mar 2015

Wed

4

Joe Cash Earns CPMP Credentials
MEG recognizes Joe Cash for earning ASHRAE's Commissioning Process Management Professional certification
...READ MORE

Millies Engineering Group

As part of our commitment to professional development, MEG is pleased to announce that Joe Cash has earned ASHRAE's Commissioning Process Management Professional (CPMP) credential. This certification from ASHRAE acknowledges that Joe has the comprehension, skills and abilities to properly commission building systems, including LEED, compliance with 2012 Energy Code (IECC) requirements, etc. Congratulations Joe!

Please see this document for additional information:
Click here


Feb 2015

Mon

16

Can You Help Preserve Engineering History?
Click to view the article and learn more!
...READ MORE

The engineering collection at the National Museum of American History is “in stasis”, lacking collections of modern developments. Without attention, important engineering history may be lost forever. Read the article here:
View Article


Feb 2015

Tues

3

MEG Attends 2015 AHR Expo
AHR's record setting 2015 Expo showcases exciting new products and innovations
...READ MORE

Millies Engineering Group

Louis van Belle of Millies Engineering Group recently attended this year's Air–Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition. The show was the largest ever with over 2,100 exhibitors filling the north and south exhibition halls of Chicago's McCormick Place. Many manufacturers demonstrated their existing products and introduced some new ones. For Louis, this was an opportunity to learn about new HVAC technologies, speak directly with manufacturers, and interact with local vendors and equipment representatives. For more information on 2015's expo, click the link: Click here


Jan 2015

Tues

13

AIA Awards Top Green Designs
As the demand for sustainable architecture continues to grow, the American Institute of Architects has recognized their “Top 10 Most Innovative Sustainable Buildings of 2015”
...READ MORE

As the demand for sustainable architecture continues to grow, the American Institute of Architects has recognized their “Top 10 Most Innovative Sustainable Buildings of 2015”. These winning buildings feature a  “thoroughly integrated” design approach that was often able to incorporate today's green efficiencies while preserving historical features of the space and ranged from complicated large scale projects to transformation of existing structures. Browse these amazing buildings for a glimpse at what the future holds for sustainable architecture and engineering:

View Here