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HIGH-PERFORMANCE
BUILDINGS

THE HVACR CONTRACTORS WEEKLY NEWSMAGAZINE SINCE 1926


JULY 25, 2016 | $5.00 | ONLINE AT WWW.ACHRNEWS.COM |

New A/C Reporting Rules Coming


BY JEN ANESI
THE NEWS STAFF

n July 14, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued


a final rule that officially puts
new recordkeeping requirements in place as of Aug. 15 for the sale
and installation of split-system and single
package central air conditioners (see Page
24 for details). These new requirements

will directly impact all distributors in the


U.S. and all installers in the Southeast and
Southwest regions of the country.

NO SURPRISES
From when the DOEs latest regional
energy conservation standards for splitsystem and single package central air conditioners went into effect at the beginning
of 2015 up until last month, the industry

operated with no formal enforcement


guidance in place from the department.
Many in the industry have been frustrated
by this delay in the rulemaking process,
especially since the department had been
sitting on a negotiated rulemaking since
October 2014. The DOE finally published a notice of proposed rulemaking
(NOPR) last November that was largely
unchanged from what industry stakehold-

Building Revenue, Relationships


via Service Agreements

Q See SERVICE | Page 21

SERVICE WITH A SMILE: Whether theyre called maintenance agreements, membership clubs,
service plans, or something else, contracted HVAC maintenance often proves beneficial to the
contractors who provide the work and the customers who receive it.

Attend this FREE Webinar!


Follow The NEWS on Twier
> www.twitter.com/ACHRNews

FOLLOWTHE

LEADER
INHVACRNEWS!

Q See STANDARDS | Page 24

FYI
HVAC BRIEFS
COMMERCIAL
CONTRACTORS
CONTRACTORS
Sealed Unit Parts Co. Inc. Charge Pro

BY NICOLE KRAWCKE
THE NEWS STAFF

ost automobile owners recognize the importance of maintaining their vehicles through
regular oil changes, tire rotations, etc. Unfortunately, the same doesnt
hold true for homeowners when it comes
to their mechanical comfort systems.
We in the HVAC industry have not
done a great job of informing customers of
the importance of regular maintenance,
said Rob Basnett, president and owner of
Basnett Plumbing, Heating, & Air Conditioning in Littleton, Massachusetts. A lot
of manufacturers will not warranty the
equipment if it is not maintained on a regular basis, and many people are unaware
of that, so its our job as contractors to
ensure customers are educated so they can
make the best possible decisions.
Basnett said contractors who fail to
offer service agreements are not only
damaging their bottom lines, but theyre
doing a disservice to customers. You
want to treat customers well and build
relationships, which is an advantage to
both parties. Service agreements eliminate the need for customers to go out and
get three quotes because they have a rela-

ers negotiated, yet it still took until July of


this year to finalize that rule and publish
it in the Federal Register.
The final rule, according to Chuck
White, vice president, technical and code
services, Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC),
is more or less what the working group
negotiated at the end of 2014. White was

Follow The NEWS on Facebook


> www.facebook.com/ACHRNews

is an integrated
device
with base
Integrated
Facility
Services
(St.and
handheld
connected
Louis)
named
Kurt
units. Once
its con- of
Voss
vice president
nected to a refrigeration
engineering.
He most
or
air conditioing
system,
recently
served as
the
it allows thedirector
user to
companys
VOSS
measure
vacuum, check
of
engineering.
for possible
leaks, charget
the system
Interstate
Mechanical
Contractors
accurately.
Inc. (Knoxville, Tennessee) launched
Sealed
Unit Mechanical
Parts Co. Inc.
Charge(IMS),
Interstate
Service
Pro
is an
integrated
withsolely
base
a new
company
that device
will focus
andcommercial
handheld connected
units.
Once
on
and industrial
HVAC,
its
connected
a refrigeration
plumbing,
and to
controls
services.or air
conditioing system, it allows the user
to measure vacuum, check for possible
MANUFACTURERS
leaks, America
charget the
system
accurately,
Rinnai
Corp.
(Peachtree
and verify.
City,
Georgia) named
Mark Buss vice president of marketing. He
boasts more than 30
years of marketing leadBUSS
ership experience.
NexRev LLC (Plano, Texas) opened a
MANUFACTURERS
regional
office
in Toronto.
Sealed
Unit
Parts
Co. Inc. Charge Pro
RGF
Environmental
Group
(Riviera
is an
integrated device
withInc.
base
and
Beach,
Florida)
received
a U.S.
patent
handheld
connected
units.
Once
its for

the design of
REME-HALOor
connected
toits
a refrigeration
air condi
IAQ
unit.
continued on Page 6

# achrnewswebinars

Selling the Connected Home:


How to Grow Your Business

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> http://linkd.in/oGYNol

JULY 26 2 PM EDT

Register for FREE at webinars.achrnews.com

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THIS WEEK
FOCUS

12
16
18

July 25, 2016

Inside

High-performance
Buildings

HVACS ROLE IN
NET-ZERO BUILDINGS

HVAC REGULATIONS

HVAC technologies, such as ground-source


heat pumps and inverters, are helping facilities
balance energy creation and usage.

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

CERTIFICATIONS INCREASINGLY
IMPORTANT FOR COMMERCIAL
CONTRACTORS

New A/C Reporting Rules Coming .......... 1

Building Revenue, Relationships


via Service Agreements ............................... 1

12

01
DISTRIBUTION CENTER
IN THE NEWS

Industry credentials showcase a contractors


knowledge and skills.

Koch Air Partners with ReviewBuzz ...DC1

PROJECTS HIGHLIGHT WAYS


TO OPTIMIZE BUILDING
ENERGY EFFICIENCY
A handful of projects demonstrate that efficiency
goals may be met in a number of ways.

16

DC1
DEPARTMENTS
Achrnews.com ................................................5
Advertisers .................................................... 25
Classifieds .................................................... 25
Guest Column.............................................. 26
Newsline ..........................................................6
Opinion .............................................................5
Whats New ...................................................10

10
ADVISORY BOARD

18

www.achrnews.com

The Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration NEWS Vol. 258, No. 13, Serial No. 4551 (ISSN: Print 0002-2276 and Digital 2328-1111) is
published weekly, 52 times a year, by BNP Media, Inc., 2401 W. Big Beaver Rd., Suite 700, Troy, MI 48084-3333. Telephone: (248) 362-3700,
Fax: (248) 362-0317. Annual rate for subscriptions in the U.S.A.: $87.00 USD. Annual rate for subscriptions in Canada: $117.00 USD (includes
GST & postage); all other countries: $169.00 (intl mail) payable in U.S. funds. Printed in the U.S.A. Copyright 2016, by BNP Media. All rights
reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the consent of the publisher. The publisher is not
responsible for product claims and representations. Periodicals Postage Paid at Troy, MI and at additional mailing offices. For SINGLE COPY
SALES OR BACK ISSUES ONLY: contact Ann Kalb at (248) 244-6499 or KalbR@bnpmedia.com. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:
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Mail Agreement #40612608. GST account: 131263923. Send returns Canada) to IMEX Global Solutions, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON, N6C
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Box 15668, North Hollywood, CA 91615-9230. For subscription information or service, please contact Customer Service at: (800)837-8337.

Paul Ainsworth M.L. Building Technologies


Brian Baker Custom Vac Limited
Matt Bergstrom Thornton & Grooms
Hank Bloom Env. Conditioning Systems
Greg Crumpton AirTight
Dave Dombrowski ARS/Rescue Rooter
Russ Donnici Mechanical Air Services
Roger Grochmal AtlasCare
Ann Kahn Kahn Mechanical
Bob Keingstein Boss Facility Service
Dave Kyle Trademasters Service Corp.
Brian Leech Service Legends
Phil London Thermal Concepts Inc.
Scott Merritt Fire & Ice
Rob Minnick Minnicks Inc.
Ken Misiewicz Pleune Service
Steve Moon Moon Air Inc.
Rich Morgan MagicTouch Mechanical
Tim Paetz Bud Anderson Heating and Cooling
Bobby Ring Meyer & Depew Co.
Steve Schmidt Frederick Air Inc.
Travis Smith Sky Heating & AC
Rick Tullis Capstone Mechanical
Butch Welsch Welsch Heating and Cooling

AIR CONDITIONING, HEATING & REFRIGERATION NEWS | JULY 25, 2016

OPINION

Mike Murphy Publisher


440-552-2607 | mikemurphy@achrnews.com
For NEWS subscription information or service, please
contact customer service at 800-837-8337; 818-4874550 (fax); or email thenews@espcomp.com.
Subscribers: If the Post Office alerts us that your print
magazine is undeliverable or if your digital edition is
undeliverable, we have no further obligation unless we
receive a corrected address within one year.

EDITORIAL STAFF
Kyle Gargaro Editor-in-Chief
248-244-1720 | kylegargaro@achrnews.com
Herb Woerpel Managing Editor
248-786-1583 | herbwoerpel@achrnews.com
Greg Mazurkiewicz Web Editor
248-244-6459 | gregmazurkiewicz@achrnews.com

NICK KOSTORA
Products and Education Editor
for The NEWS
Contact him at 248-244-6496 or
nickkostora@achrnews.com.

Get with the Program,


a Scholarship Program
Reach out to manufacturers, organizations, or local schools and get involved

Joanna R. Turpin Contributing Editor


480-726-7121 | joannaturpin@achrnews.com
Kimberly Schwartz | Contributing Editor
248-703-3278 | kimberlyschwartz@achrnews.com
Jen Anesi Legislation Editor
248-244-6495 | jenanesi@achrnews.com
Nick Kostora Products and Education Editor
248-244-6496 | nickkostora@achrnews.com
Nicole Krawcke Business Management Editor
248-244-6475 | nicolekrawcke@achrnews.com
Ron Rajecki Refrigeration Editor
248-786-1707 | ronrajecki@achrnews.com
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lawsonl@bnpmedia.com
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traverm@bnpmedia.com

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MARKETING STAFF

didnt earn any scholarships


coming out of high school. I
could have, perhaps, if I had
applied for more of them and
spent the hours necessary writing essays and explaining why I
deserved them. However, I now
wish I had, and I will do my best
to encourage those around me to
apply for every scholarship under
the sun when the time comes.
As anyone who is currently
paying off student loan debt can
attest, there is an inherit value
and importance in scholarships.
They are often a tremendous help
to a student financially, but they
are also an incredible boost to
someones psyche and personal
value. Just imagine the feeling of
pride a kid feels when learning he
or she has been awarded a scholarship of some kind and that an
organization or company deemed
them worthy of the honor.

BE CREATIVE

Petra S. Cady
Marketing Communications Manager
248-244-6449 | cadyp@bnpmedia.com
Steve Wassel Trade Show Coordinator
248-786-1210 | wassels@bnpmedia.com
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kevin.collopy@infogroup.com
Michael Costantino Senior Account Manager
402-836-6266 | michael.costantino@infogroup.com

Its certainly no small feat, and


the bevy of scholarship opportunities throughout the HVAC industry are a testament to how critical
these programs are for the next
generation of HVAC technicians.
We often discuss the shortage
of students entering the skilled

trades at large, and especially the


realm of HVAC. The numbers are
known, and they cant be overlooked, but those within the industry must take steps, however
small, to reverse the tide and generate interest in the trades.
Have you considered getting
involved in some type of scholarship program? Perhaps that
means creating a scholarship opportunity yourself via a partnership with a local trade school or
community college. Th is was the
route taken by Goettl Air Conditioning in Tempe, Arizona. The
J. Duncan Goodrich Air Conditioning Technology Endowment
is a $100,000 scholarship fund
established by Goettl Air Conditionings managing partner Ken
Goodrich in honor of his father
at the College of Southern Nevada (CSN).
However, even if something of
that scale isnt financially feasible,
maybe you can help spread the
word about scholarships already
available in the industry. And it
can only be beneficial to encourage your own apprentices to apply
for scholarship programs.
The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC) offers the Edu-

cational Foundation Scholarship


Program. In 2016, up to 39 scholarships totaling $85,000 became
available for apprentices or college students pursuing a course
of study directly related to the
plumbing, heating, or cooling
industries. Contractors who pay
their employees costs to attend
an apprenticeship program are
even encouraged to have their
top apprentices apply for these
scholarships, and the PHCC
notes that every win boosts the
confidence of the apprentice and
helps to free up additional funds
for company apprentice training.

BE VISIBLE
Perhaps its more practical for
you to visit local high schools and
bolster the argument for a career
in HVAC by touting the availability and significance of scholarships.
Shurtape Technology LLCs
Mission: HVAC program is
ready-made for eager learners.
The program provides three students with HVAC-themed missions that allow them to apply
classroom learning in real situations and meetings with industry
experts. Participants are awarded $5,000 to help pay for educational expenses and blog about

their experiences.
One of the 2015 participants,
Daniel Buth, said that being in
the program helped him become
more confident about the skilled
trades he was performing and his
chosen career path.
In June, the Clifford H. Ted
Rees Jr. Scholarship Foundation
announced scholarships for 56
students who competed at the
SkillsUSA National Leadership
and Skills Conference in the
HVACR category. The gold, silver, and bronze winners in the
secondary and post-secondary
categories qualified for $2,000,
$1,000, and $750 scholarships, respectively. All other competitors
received $500 scholarships.
These are just a sample of the
scholarships available across the
country, but it shows that contractors, manufacturers, and organizations can all get involved
and do something to attract this
nations youth to HVAC.
Whether its creating a scholarship, partnering with a local
organization, or encouraging
students to pursue mechanical
trades opportunities; there are no
excuses to be made. Its time to
get with the program a scholarship program.

Andrea Littles Market Research


248-786-1670 | littlesa@bnpmedia.com

Achrnews.com

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In May, President Barack Obama and U.S.


Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Thomas
E. Perez announced
the publication
of a final rule that
updated overtime
regulations. That
new rule, which takes effect on Dec. 1, will
automatically extend overtime pay protections
to more than four million workers within the
first year of implementation alone. Under the
previous regulations, certain salaried workers
who made $23,660 per year were entitled
to overtime. The new rule nearly doubles that
amount. Starting Dec. 1, most salaried workers
who earn less than $47,476 annually must be
paid time and a half when they work more than
40 hours in a work week. Every three years, the
pay levels will automatically update, beginning

| JULY 25, 2016

Jan. 1, 2020. Interested in reading more?


Visit http://bit.ly/ExtraEdition.

BREAKING NEWS
The global HVAC systems market is expected
to reach $173.16 billion by 2022, increasing
at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of
5.9 percent between
2016 and 2022,
according to a new
report published by
MarketsandMarkets.
The factors driving the growth of the market
include government incentives through tax
credit programs, increasing construction
activities, government regulations and
policies regarding energy efficiency, and the
growing smart homes trend. To read more
about the growing HVAC systems market,
visit http://bit.ly/HVACBreakingNews.

NEWSLINE
OSHA Raises
Civil Penalties
for Violations
ASHINGTON The
Occupational Safety
& Health Administration (OSHA) has raised civil pen-

alties for violations of its rules to


account for the rate of inflation,
which has increased since penalties were last raised in 1990.
The new Interim Final Rule,
which was published in the Federal Register on July 1, will take
effect on Aug. 1 for violations



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that occurred after Nov. 2, 2015.


Under the new rule, fines for
willful or repeat violators, which
previously were levied at $5,000
to $70,000, will increase to
$8,908 to $124,709; serious violations, previously $7,000, will
now be $12,471; and other-thanserious, failure to correct, and
posting violations, which previously carried fines up to $7,000,
will now cost up to $12,471.

ASHRAE
Installs New
Officers,
Directors
T. LOUIS ASHRAE
announced it installed
new officers and directors for 2016-17 during its
annual meeting held June 25-29
in St. Louis.
The new president is Timothy Wentz, Fellow ASHRAE
and associate professor, University of Nebraska Lincoln. As
ASHRAEs president, Wentz
chairs ASHRAEs Board of
Directors and Executive Committee.
His theme, Adapt
Today to Shape Tomorrow, is
based on the goal in ASHRAEs
strategic plan to adapt. Wentz
relates this goal to his personal
history of moving from a slide
rule in his early college days to
a hand calculator and now a
computer or smartphone as an

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example of the challenges and


opportunities inherent in adapting to new technology.
All of us have had to come
face-to-face with the challenges
of adaptation, he said. Its in
the power of adapting that lives,
organizations, and communities
are transformed. Our ability to
shape tomorrow is born out of
our willingness to adapt today.
Together, we can create our
future by adapting our resources,
investments, and technology to
shape a more sustainable world.
Other officers installed for
a one-year term are: Presidentelect Bjarne Olesen, professor,
Technical University of Denmark,
Kongens Lyngby, Denmark; treasurer Sheila Hayter, group manager, National Renewable Energy
Laboratory, Golden, Colorado;
vice president Walid Chakroun,
professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, College of Engineering and Petroleum, Kuwait
University; vice president Patricia
Graef, senior engineer, evaporative media core technology,
research and development, Munters Corp., Fort Myers, Florida;
vice president Ginger Scoggins,
president, Engineered Designs,
Raleigh, North Carolina; and
vice president Edward Tsui, managing director, Intelligent Technologies Ltd., Hong Kong.
ASHRAE also installed the
following directors to serve
three-year terms from 2016-19.
Region IV director and
regional chair George Billy
Austin Jr., principal, Shultz Engineering Group, Charlotte, North
Carolina; region V director and
regional chair Douglas David
Fick, vice president, TRC Worldwide MEP, Indianapolis; region
VI director and regional chair
Benjamin Skelton, president,
Cyclone Energy Group, Chicago;
region XII director and regional
chair Daniel R. Rogers, president, Flow Control Technology
Co., Tampa, Florida; region XIII
director and regional chair Ir. Ng
Yong Kong, NYK Engineering
and Trading, and executive director, Bezaire Sdn. Bhd., Subang
Jaya,
Malaysia;
director-atlarge Essam Eldin Khalil, Ph.D.,
professor of mechanical engineering, Cairo University; director-at-large Thomas Lawrence,
mechanical engineering program
coordinator and professor, college of engineering, University
of Georgia, Athens, Georgia;
and director-at-large Lawrence
Markel, senior program director,
CSRA Inc., Knoxville, Tennessee.
More information can be found
at www.ashrae.org/news.

FYI
HVAC BRIEFS
MANUFACTURERS
Mitsubishi Electric US Inc.
Cooling &
Heating Division (Suwanee,
Georgia)
named Gary
NETTINGER
Nettinger vice
president of quality assurance.
Afpro Filters (Alkmaar, Netherlands) opened an office in
Lahti, Finland.
Venstar Inc. (Chatsworth,
California) announced its
ColorTouch programmable,
touchscreen Wi-Fi thermostats are now compatible with
the Amazon Echo.
DeWalts (New Britain, Connecticut) Metal Folding
Sawhorse received a Product
Design Award from Red Dot
(Essen, Germany).
Panasonic Appliances AirConditioning North America
(Newark, New Jersey) named
Allan Dziwoki division vice
president and general manager.

ORGANIZATIONS
The ESCO Institute (Mt.
Prospect, Illinois) joined the
HVACR Education Resource
Network.
The Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA)
Intl. Inc.
appointed C.K.
So, head of
SO
department,
GTG Industries Sdn. Bhd.
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), to
its board of directors.
The U.S. Department of
Energys (DOE) Building
Technologies Office selected
The Institute for Market
Transformation (Washington,
District of Columbia), Ecotope
Inc. (Seattle), and The New
Buildings Institute (Portland,
Oregon) to receive a total of
$3.7 million to study the effects
of improving the implementation of commercial building
energy codes.

SCHOOL
The Tennessee College
of Applied Technology
(McKenzie, Tennessee) was
granted accreditation of its
HVACR program by HVAC
Excellence (Washington).
compiled by Nicole Krawcke

AIR CONDITIONING, HEATING & REFRIGERATION NEWS | JULY 25, 2016

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NEWSLINE
PHCC Debuts
Pre-apprentice
Course
ALLS CHURCH, Va.
Adding to its toolbox
of targeted solutions
to address the critical worker
shortage facing the HVAC and
plumbing industries, the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association
(PHCC) Educational Foundation recently debuted an HVAC
& plumbing pre-apprenticeship
course, giving potential workers an opportunity to learn
about the day-to-day aspects of
the trades before beginning a
longer-term apprentice program
and career.
Available online, prospective apprentices can take the

course at their convenience,


using six thematically focused
modules that offer an introduction to the trades plus other
important aspects of working
in the industry, such as basic
math skills, tools, safety, and
construction drawings.
This broad introductory
program is the perfect way for
potential employees to get a
glimpse of how they can succeed
in our industry, says Merry
Beth Hall, director of apprentice
and journeyman training, PHCC
Educational Foundation.
Offering this new course
gives the foundation a chance
to work with employment centers, schools, and contractors
to provide potential industry
workers with a realistic view of
the opportunities in the indus-

SEND NEWS RELEASES TO NICOLEKRAWCKE@ACHRNEWS.COM.

try and the skills those workers need, Hall added. For an
employer, taking on an apprentice is a big investment in that
individuals future. That financial commitment, the foundation believes, is best made
when the prospective apprentice
understands the expectations
and has the fundamental knowledge and skills for the trade.
The
foundation
worked
closely with many volunteers
and organizations dedicated
to apprentice and journeyman training to develop the
course, including Dr. Adam
Manley from Western Michigan University, an instructional
leader in career and technical
education, as well as Modern
Plumbing Industries in Winter
Springs, Florida, and Thornton

The Whalen Co. Partners


with Habitat for Humanity

Pictured in the front row, from left to right: Craig Wanner, COO, The
Whalen Co.; Emily Lynn, development officer, Habitat Choptank; Chuck
Mangold, Habitat volunteer and corporate sponsor; and J.C. Correa, vice
president of manufacturing, The Whalen Co. Back row, from left to right:
Tony Landers, vice president of sales and marketing, The Whalen Co.;
Chris Murphy, CFO, The Whalen Co.; and Katie Levitan, human resources
administrator, The Whalen Co.

N E WE!
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RAPPE, Md. The Whalen Co., a manufacturer of HVAC vertical


stack riser heat-exchanger fan coil units and water-source heat
pumps, is investing in affordable home ownership in Talbot County,
Maryland, through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity Choptank.
Partnering with Habitat Choptank gives us an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to our employees and the community we
call home, said Craig Wanner, COO. Through employee build days,
home buyer recruitment workshops, and other Habitat events, we are
encouraging our team members to seek life-changing opportunities
while connecting with their colleagues. Company build days on the
construction sites will enable employees to use their talents and time
outside of the workplace to help build sustainable homes and more
stable neighborhoods.
Recognizing the importance of affordable home ownership for both
its employees and the community as a whole, The Whalen Co. has
generously stepped forward with a lead contribution for Habitats new
corporate giving program.
The heart of every organization is its people, said Wanner. With
this being our home, we wanted to give back where we live and work.
Habitat Choptank began its new strategic plan to expand its mission
July 1, 2015. The plan will run through 2019 and is aimed at expanding
the organizations impact through increased home production. The goal
is to grow from four homes built or rehabbed a year to eight.

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Hills, Michigan.
I cannot imagine a better tool
to be available for our members,
said PHCC member Laurie
Crigler of L&D Associates in
Aroda, Virginia, after previewing the course. This is a great
tool not only for those applying for jobs who say they have
a certain level of expertise, but
for anyone actually considering

entering the apprenticeship program. It gives a great overview of


what they should expect to learn
in apprenticeship.
To register for the online
course, visit the HVAC &
plumbing
pre-apprenticeship
course web page at http://bit.ly/
PHCC-Pre-Appreprentice
for
an enrollment form. Once registered, enrollees may take the
course at their convenience.

AIR CONDITIONING, HEATING & REFRIGERATION NEWS | JULY 25, 2016

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AIR CONDITIONING, HEATING & REFRIGERATION NEWS | JULY 25, 2016

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FOCUS

High-performance Buildings
16 CERTIFICATIONS INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT FOR CONTRACTORS
18 PROJECTS HIGHLIGHT WAYS TO OPTIMIZE BUILDING ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Mechanical contractors working in high-performance buildings need appropriate credentials

Five case studies outline how different solutions help building owners reach their efficiency goals

HVACs Role in Net-zero Buildings


Heating and cooling systems are key players in net-zero-energy building projects
BY JEN ANESI
THE NEWS STAFF

et-zero-energy buildings (NZEBs) employ


the latest materials,
technologies, practices,
and controls in order to not only
minimize energy usage, but also
produce as much or more energy
than the building consumes. As
these buildings become more
popular, HVACR manufacturers are working to create highly
efficient products and systems to
help meet these ambitious performance goals.

ing and sustainability movement.


The size of the green building
market is increasing, and the
rising popularity of NZEBs is an
outgrowth of this trend, he said.
In addition, policies, codes,
regulations, and incentives are
even greater drivers of this evergrowing trend. All levels of government, ranging from federal
and state agencies to city government and institutional users, are
beginning to impose net-zeroenergy policies. Also, the cost
of photovoltaic panel equipment
is decreasing while efficiency is

systems engineering, Danfoss,


pointed out in a white paper that
building codes, including Californias 2013 Title 24 Energy
Efficiency Standard, which mandates all new residential construction attain net-zero-energy
status by 2020 and return commercial construction by 2030,

facility management executives,


Johnson Controls Inc. discovered 74 percent of commercial,
institutional, and industrial
organizations plan to achieve
near-zero, net-zero, or positiveenergy status for at least one
of their buildings in the next
10 years, said Clay Nesler, vice

niche market to a major business


opportunity for contractors.
Nesler also pointed to the
affordability of PV panels as
a factor and asserted that the
availability of power purchase
agreements and other financing
options that reduce the price of
acquisition are playing a part
in the growing trend of NZEBs,
too. There is also a degree of
simplicity in evaluating the performance of net-zero buildings,
he added. Measure the energy
produced for a year, measure the
energy consumed for a year, and
then subtract to see if the difference is greater than zero. No
higher math is required.

THE ROLE OF HVAC


IN ZERO-ENERGY
BUILDINGS

ICE, ICE BABY: Calmac manufactures thermal energy storage tanks that make
ice at night to cool buildings during the day, drastically reducing the cooling
systems energy use during daytime peak hours. PHOTO COURTESY OF CALMAC

BIG FAN OF EFFICIENCY: High-volume, low-speed (HVLS) fans create a


light 2-3 mph breeze that produces an evaporative cooling effect and reduces
the effective temperature by 7-11F, leading to significant energy savings in
high-performance buildings. PHOTO COURTESY OF RITE-HITE FANS

THE RISE OF
NET-ZERO-ENERGY
BUILDINGS
Mark
Stimson,
business
development manager, Bosch
Thermotechnology Corp., said
there are several trends driving
the growth of NZEBs. The
resurgence of the building industry, builders interest to sell a
differentiated product in a more
competitive market, and new
building codes encouraging less
energy use and more on-site
renewable energy generation are
all factors, he said.
Richard Holzer, managing
principal engineer, Southland
Industries, said the impacts of
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on climate change coupled
with rising energy costs are primary drivers for the green build12

increasing, making NZEBs economically viable.


Additionally, a renewed focus
on building performance as a
whole as well as quality installations have supported the NZEB
movement, said David Calabrese,
vice
president,
government
affairs, Daikin U.S. Corp. We
are reaching the technological
limits to increasing the energy
efficiency of some HVAC products; therefore, the focus has
shifted to system efficiency or
whole-[building] efficiency, he
said. NZEBs reflect that trend.
A high-efficiency HVAC system
cannot be effective if it is coupled
with poorly installed or designed
insulation, ductwork, or other
building components therefore, a holistic view is needed.
Ben Majerus, manager, field

DYNAMIC DRIVES: Delta Products Corp.s new net-zero-energy headquarters


feature Deltas own variable frequency drives (VFDs) throughout the building,
including in the buildings elevator and geothermal systems. PHOTO COURTESY
OF DELTA PRODUCTS CORP.

as well as a renewed focus on


building performance as a whole
as the driving forces behind the
growing popularity of NZEBs.
When a more holistic calculation of a buildings operational
and energy life cycle costs are
employed, it changes views
about value, he said. Instead
of looking mainly at the first cost
of HVAC equipment, the focus
shifts to the operational energy
savings that the equipment delivers in an actual application.
In its 2016 Energy Efficiency
Indicator survey of energy and

president, global energy and sustainability, Johnson Controls


Building Efficiency.
This is up significantly from
49 percent in 2013, he said. It
took certified green buildings
about twice as long to achieve the
same level of commitment. Similar to what we found with green
buildings, there is stronger interest in renovating existing buildings to achieve net-zero energy
rather than just focusing on new
construction. This trend toward
existing buildings could move
NZEBs from being an interesting

As one of the largest if not


the largest energy consumers
in a commercial building, the
HVAC system plays a significant
role in helping designers meet
their net-zero-energy goals.
The largest energy consumer in a building is the
heating, air conditioning, and
lighting; therefore, the technological improvements in these
categories have contributed
toward the net-zero-energy
building, said Malcolm Persaud, senior manager, product and market development,
Panasonic Air Conditioning
Group. Like so many other
green initiatives, the concept
of a NZEB has greatly benefitted from improved technologies that make HVAC, lighting,
and other energy-consuming
appliances much more energy
efficient. We are still learning
about the broader implications
of energy reduction, but the
growing sentiment is that environmental responsibility isnt
just a moral obligation, its also
good business.
Considering that approximately 40 percent of the energy
in commercial buildings is consumed by HVAC equipment,
its reasonable to conclude that
mechanical system efficiency
will have to improve substantially to achieve those results,
Majerus said. Consequently,
HVAC equipment designers
must look for new solutions to
old challenges.
A high-efficiency HVAC
system is a critical part of an
NZEB, Calabrese agreed. With-

AIR CONDITIONING, HEATING & REFRIGERATION NEWS | JULY 25, 2016

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SAMSUNG HVACS PRODUCT LINE UP IS EXPANDING!


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FOCUS
out this technology, it would be
very difficult to reach this goal.
Highly efficient HVAC systems,
like those sold by Daikin, use
innovative technologies, such
as inverters that drive the compressor and smart controls to
manage the time and usage.
Nesler agreed that a buildings HVACR systems are critical elements in NZEB design.
Every watt that gets saved in
lighting, HVAC, and plug loads
is a watt that doesnt need to be
generated by renewable energy

High-performance Buildings

or sourced from the grid, he


said. Additionally, many netzero-energy buildings choose
to be net-zero-carbon buildings
by avoiding the direct use of
fossil fuels. The electrification of
heating through the use of heat
pumps and the electrification of
transportation through the use
of electric vehicles are common
components of modern net-zeroenergy buildings.
Holzer also stressed the
important role the HVACR
system plays in balancing the

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energy equation and achieving


In addition to renewable
net-zero energy.
energy, industry leaders point
The HVACR system size and
to energy storage as an imporenergy consumption directly
tant piece of the NZEB puzzle.
relates to key components of the A modest amount of energy
building design, such as orienta- storage can provide energy to a
tion, building envelope, light- building when the sun isnt shining system, and appliances, ing and at night when a typical
he said. Mechanical system
building would be pulling energy
designers strive to reduce the
from the grid, Nesler said.
cooling and heating loads these Energy storage also allows the
elements impose in order to
building owner to provide valuminimize the energy consump- able services back to the grid,
tion of the HVACR systems and
such as load shifting, demand
then overlay renewable energy
response, spinning reserves, and
sources to achieve a net-zero- frequency regulation. Depending
energy balance.
on utility/system operator incen-

ing or cooling that is needed is


being delivered.
Danfoss recently introduced
its VLT DriveMotor FCM106/
FCP106, which combines a highefficiency motor with a Danfoss
drive, providing a lower-cost,
high-efficiency drive-motor solution for air handlers, rooftop
units, and pumps.
For
variable-speed compressors, an inverter or VFD
[variable frequency drive] runs
the motor at different speeds,
thereby modulating refrigerant flow and cooling output,
Majerus said. Speed reductions

RENEWABLE
ENERGY OPTIONS
One extremely popular choice
for HVAC systems in NZEBs is
geothermal, a renewable energy
resource that helps significantly
lower heating and cooling costs.
Ground-source heat pumps
are among the most efficient
technologies available and a cornerstone to achieving NZEB,
Stimson said. Using the ground
as the thermal heat exchanger is
the most effective way to heat
and cool a building.
Stimson added that solar,
another renewable source of
energy, is integral in helping
buildings reach net-zero-energy
status. Integrating a wholebuilding approach to building
technology helps improve the
chances of meeting the technical design threshold of NZEBs,
he added.
Richard Hermans, director of training and advanced
applications, Daikin Applied,
also pointed to geothermal as a
key component in many NZEB
projects. Daikin offers many
residential
and
commercial
products that contribute to helping a facility realize net-zeroenergy status, including air- and
water-source heat pumps, he
said. The ground-source heat
pump terminal units are a popular choice for net-zero designs
because they provide three or
more units of energy for thermal
comfort and high IAQ for every
one unit of energy input. Daikins SmartSource geothermal
water-source heat pumps feature
part-load EERs up to 29.8.
The use of highly efficient
heat pumps, particularly geothermal heat pumps, is popular in net-zero-energy designs,
Nesler said. Our corporate
campus in Glendale, Wisconsin,
uses York heat pumps connected to a geothermal field with
272 individual 250-foot-deep
wells to eliminate almost all natural gas use for water heating.

SUPER SENSORS: Panasonics Exterios XE Low Ambient series all-in-one


ductless heat pump and air conditioner includes built-in ECONAVI sensors,
which identify the occupancy and activity of any given room and adjust to
ensure optimal occupant comfort without sacrificing energy efficiency. PHOTO
COURTESTY OF PANASONIC

tives, these grid services can significantly improve paybacks for


energy storage investments.
Additionally, thermal energy
storage can help cut overall
building energy costs, said Mark
MacCracken, CEO of Calmac,
which manufactures thermal
energy storage tanks that make
ice at night to cool buildings
during the day.
Our storage product decouples when you make cooling
and when you need cooling, he
said. We take the same chiller,
and instead of running water
through it, we run antifreeze.
The water that surrounds the
tubing in the storage tanks starts
freezing to ice. During the next
day, you can turn the chiller off
and just pump the antifreeze
through the tubing. We get the
same temperature liquid, but
we created the cooling the night
before. It helps a 500-ton chiller
meet the 1,000-ton load by
doing part of the cooling load of
the daytime peak cooling with
storage and the rest with the
same chiller used to make ice the
night before.

PART-LOAD
OPERATION
Whereas many older systems
featured single-speed motors on
equipment, including compressors and fans, NZEBs rely on
variable-speed technologies to
ensure only the amount of heat-

that precisely match the load


help reduce energy consumption as much as 50 percent or
more, depending on the application. Less energy is wasted, since
the variable-speed compressor
delivers precisely the capacity
required by speeding the motor
up and down.
There are operational benefits, as well, he continued. A
VFD uses an inverter switching circuit to change incoming
alternating current [ac] power
to direct current [dc], which
is then output as an ac-like
sine wave that can modulate
in a controlled fashion. Consequently, a VFD eliminates the
big inrush of line voltage ac at
startup. The resulting soft start
reduces amperage draw, which
extends motor life and reduces
costly peak electric usage.
Mike Gazzano, marketing
manager, Delta Products Corp.,
said the companys new net-zeroenergy headquarters features
Deltas own VFDs throughout
the building. These drives help
drive the two elevator systems
as well as the extensive large
geothermal system, he said.
Additionally, Deltas drives are
used in high-volume, low-speed
(HVLS) fans from manufacturer
Big Ass Solutions. The fans help
with destratification, increasing
comfort and reducing the need
for heating and cooling. Were
a major supplier and help pro-

AIR CONDITIONING, HEATING & REFRIGERATION NEWS | JULY 25, 2016

eProduct #104 at achrnews.com

vide products for their end solutions, Gazzano said. Weve


been working with Big Ass Fans
for a while.
HVLS fans create a light
2-3 mph breeze that produces
an evaporative cooling effect
and reduces the effective temperature by 7-11F, said Andy
Olson, product manager, RiteHite Fans. By moving large
volumes of air in an area up
to 22,000 square feet, a single
HVLS fan can replace as many
as 10-20 traditional high-speed
floor fans. In air-conditioned
facilities, the breeze from an
HVLS fan typically allows up to
a 5 increase in thermostat setting with no change in comfort.
With an electric bill savings of
4 percent for each degree, an
annual savings of 20 percent can
be achieved in warm-weather
climates. Because HVLS fans
are efficient, their return on
initial investment often ranges
from six months to two years,
depending on a number of application variables. Winter energy
savings are substantial, as users
can reduce their heating bills by
20-30 percent.

SMART CONTROLS
AND THE IOT
Smarter controls and the
Internet of Things (IoT) are
playing a large part in ensuring
a building is operating as efficiently as possible.
Daikin is continuing to
develop a robust IoT-enabled
equipment
control
solution
called Intelligent Equipment,
which provides visibility into
our packaged rooftop solutions
and air-cooled chillers, Hermans said. With Intelligent
Equipment, building owners
and managers get direct access
to 150 data points, helping them
achieve more accurate power
measurement at the equipment
level. Ultimately, Intelligent
Equipment will offer automated
demand response, which can
give customers even greater
control to shift and shed load
to lower-priced time periods or
avoid energy use during peak
demand periods. It benefits not
just their bottom lines but the
greater community, as well.
Outside of IoT, Daikin
products are compatible with
BACnet , an ASHRAE industry standard in building management systems [BMS], said
Dennis Thoren, vice president, VRV [variable refrigerant
volume] and light commercial
strategy, Daikin North America
LLC. For VRV systems, the
Intelligent Touch Manager [iTM]
ACHRNEWS.COM |

controller is essentially a miniBMS when the BACnet client


option is added. The iTM controller is an advanced, cost-effective solution for smaller BMS
applications. The iTM BACnet
client option provides the added
flexibility to enhance the iTMs
standard functions to become a
mini-BMS. With this option, the
iTM is able to manage DOAS
[dedicated outdoor air systems],
Daikin DZK with BACnet IP
option, and other third-party
equipment through the BACnet/
IP protocol.
Occupancy sensors are also
becoming more prevalent in
NZEBs. For example, Panasonics Exterios XE Low Ambient Series all-in-one ductless
heat pump and air conditioner
includes built-in ECONAVI
sensors, which identify the
occupancy and activity of any
given room.
The ECONAVI sensors then
automatically adjust the thermostats and direct the airflow louvers
depending on that rooms needs,
Persaud said. This guarantees
optimal comfort without sacrificing energy efficiency, a hallmark
of Panasonic technology.

ters. Renewable energy sources


and net-zero-energy buildings
provide a level of security for the
national energy supply, as well as
for businesses and individuals.
As for the future of NZEBs,
Calabrese said NZEB technology will likely move into areas
that further control and manage
the use of the HVAC product,
depending on climate conditions, energy availability, energy
costs, and types of energy supplied. In addition, the industry is increasingly looking at
personal, or portable, HVAC
technologies that are closely
connected to individuals in a
commercial building or home.
With this type of technology, the
cooling and heating is focused
on an individual or groups of
individuals instead of the room
itself. These emerging control

technologies will be capable of


optimizing energy performance
on their own.
Holzer anticipates that building control and management
systems will play an increasingly
important role as net-zero-energy
buildings become more prevalent. The control systems will
increase in capability providing
building operators and managers the ability to integrate many
disparate building systems into
a functional high-performance
building. Big data and building
analytics will help owners report
energy performance and operate
HVACR and lighting systems
at optimum levels and discover
potential system maladies.
Ryohei Hinokuma, manager, strategic alliances, Daikin
U.S. Corp., also commented
on the growing role of controls

in NZEB projects. As in other


industries, connectivity and big
data will play more important
roles in the future. For example, it is possible to achieve significant grid burden reduction
through the integration and optimization of hardware combined
as a system through the use of
software-based intelligence. The
vast majority of the current software only offers the ability to
monitor equipment performance,
adjust settings, and diagnose
some mechanical issues.
The increased focus on
energy efficiency and the growing demand from customers for
products that can help them
save on utilities is a trend that
is certainly growing. And with
NZEBs being mandated in some
building codes already, it is a
trend that is here to stay.

BUILDINGS OF
THE FUTURE
While NZEBs are still relatively novel, the idea of a building
being self-sufficient in regards
to its energy use is becoming
increasingly appealing for building owners.
There is increasing interest
in resilience, which is the ability for facilities to withstand
extended power outages due to
extreme weather or other grid
events, Nesler said. A NZEB
designed with reliable distributed generation, sufficient
amounts of energy storage, dedicated circuits for critical loads,
and a transfer switch with
islanding capabilities can provide critical services to families
and communities over extended
periods of time. The incremental cost of providing high
levels of resilience is relatively
minor compared to the costs of
making the building net-zero
energy, and the energy savings
can help pay for the resiliency
improvements over time.
Holzer also commented on
the growing desire for resiliency.
NZEBs are consistent with the
growing trend of resiliency in
the building design and construction industry, he said. Renewable energy systems coupled with
storage will allow buildings to
remain functional after adverse
situations such as natural disas-

| JULY 25, 2016

eProduct #15 at achrnews.com


15

FOCUS

High-performance Buildings

Certifications Increasingly Important


for Commercial Contractors
Mechanical contractors working in high-performance buildings need appropriate credentials
BY JEN ANESI
THE NEWS STAFF

s commercial building codes are mandating higher and higher


building performance,
and as forward-thinking customers are continually looking
for ways to make their buildings as green as possible, many
mechanical contractors are
learning that possessing the
right credentials, both as an
individual and as a firm, can
ensure the job is done right and

the International Code Council (ICC), and many others


can help mechanical contractors show they have expertise and experience in certain
areas. This, said Billy Austin,
principal at Shultz Engineering Group in Charlotte, North
Carolina, immediately helps
build trust between clients and
the contractors.
Throughout my career both
as a contractor and as an engineer, the challenge Ive had,
and I think everyone has had, is

our firm, he said. For example,


one of our fire sprinkler designers is NICET [National Institute
for Certification in Engineering Technologies]-certified in
several areas of fire protection
design, and the most common
certification for an individual
is LEED [Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design] AP,
which allows one to manage the
LEED process for the USGBCs
building certification program.
A number of us are certified to
do that.
Being properly credentialed
to work on high-performance
buildings can also build contractors and technicians confidence, Austin added.
Personally, of course, theres
the confidence that comes from
not only thinking but knowing
individuals have demonstrated
to the technical organizations
that they hold the expertise in
that area to their expected satisfaction level, he said. Theres
some confidence that comes
from that.

BECOMING A
REQUIREMENT

ADVANTAGEOUS ACCREDITATION: Determining which certifications are


required by local and state ordinances and building codes and encouraging
employees to earn those credentials is a path to success for mechanical
contractors. PHOTO COURTESY OF ALBERTO G/HTTP://BIT.LY/ALBERTOG

the customer is satisfied.


Its identifying folks who
basically may be a little bit
better at what they do than the
next guy, said Tom Phoenix,
ASHRAE past president and
principal and vice president at
Moser Mayer Phoenix Associates in Greensboro, North Carolina. Thats almost stating
the obvious, but having served
on the certification committee
at ASHRAE, it really isnt that
obvious for some.

CERTIFICATIONS
ELICIT TRUST
High-performance-building-related credentials from
certifying bodies like ASHRAE,
the Building Performance Institute Inc. (BPI), the U.S. Green
Building Council (USGBC),
16

how can clients trust you as the


expert how can you display
that you have the experience
and background to do the job?
Austin asked. One good way
to demonstrate that is by holding a certification that demonstrates you have expertise and
experience in that area. With
the certifications I hold, I feel
like I can refer to my credentials
when a client might ask those
types of questions.
For Phoenix, who holds
numerous merits, including
ASHRAEs Building Energy
Modeling Professional (BEMP)
and Building Energy Assessment
Professional (BEAP) honors,
certifications are an important
part of his companys culture.
We have a number of certifications that individuals have in

While professional licensure


has long been a requirement
in the industry, certifications
have only recently become more
popular, said Benjamin Skelton,
president of Cyclone Energy
Group in Chicago.
I think theyve really come
to be more popular over the last
few years as more stringent ordinances and building codes come
up, he said. A licensed architect and engineer have always
been necessary for the design
of buildings, but now that more
performance-based standards
are in codes and cities are putting in benchmarking ordinances, weve seen a trend from
cities and governments to really
make sure the right people are
working on these types of projects. They dont want to have
people at the city reviewing
things for technical competency
they want to make sure they
have people who are already
technically competent.
Skelton,
who
holds
ASHRAEs BEMP and Commissioning Process Management
Professional [CPMP] certifi-

cations, among others, said


earning many of these industry credentials is not an easy
process, which is part of why
theyre so valuable.
Its a very comprehensive process, he explained. ASHRAE
certifications are very unique in
that theyre a body-of-work type
of certification theyre not
just exams where you just fill
in the blanks. If you dont have
the experience, youre going to
have a very difficult time passing these exams.

ing to be performed on buildings, Skelton said. The City


of New York has a program
called Local Law 87, or LL87,
and the CPMP is one of the
approved certifications that
one can possess to perform that
service. We also have an ordinance here in Chicago where
they have to report their energy
use, and the BEAP [Building
Energy
Assessment
Professional] is one of the required
credentials for the building
benchmarking ordinance.

Certifications are a way to


learn skills and then show the
outside world that, yes, I have
learned enough, am skillful
enough, and have enough
experience that I can be
certified in this particular area.
Its a personal achievement
as well as a competitive
edge. That, to me, is what
certification is all about.
Tom Phoenix,
ASHRAE past president
and vice president,
Moser Mayer Phoenix Associates,
Greensboro, North Carolina

In fact, Skelton didnt pass


the BEMP exam the first time
he took it. There was a whole
part on modeling that I hadnt
looked at before, he said. Im
not afraid to share that I failed
the first exam, because it shows
how meaningful it is that its
hard to pass.
As these credentials continue
to grow in popularity, some
have become a requirement in
certain states or municipalities, especially when it comes to
commissioning.
Some cities have ordinances
that require some commission-

Phoenix also used building


commissioning as an example
of where certifications have not
only become commonplace but
required in some areas.
Over the last 10-12 years,
building commissioning has
become very popular, and its
done to make sure, for new
construction, that its built the
way it was designed to be, and
they even do existing buildings
to make sure theyre tuned back
up to operate the way they were
designed, Phoenix said. Every
state and, in some cases,
municipalities have different

AIR CONDITIONING, HEATING & REFRIGERATION NEWS | JULY 25, 2016

requirements. In North Carolina, for example, the state has


ruled that to do commissioning,
one must be a licensed professional, and he or she has to be
certified as a commissioning
agent, which means the individual has had to have gone
through the training and testing
for one of the three recognized
agencies. So, in addition to your
professional license, you have
to have a commissioning certification. Thats what we do in
North Carolina.
While some states and cities
may require certain credentials, other areas may have no
requirements at all aside from
experience, which is just another
reason to earn applicable certifications, Phoenix said. The
credential requirements really
do vary from place to place,
and that in and of itself is justification for certification and
a reason to have certification.
That way, youve got it, and
youre recognized as having that
knowledge and expertise, and
you wont have to go through
the hassle of having to prove
that wherever you go.

ual is a step ahead of everybody


else. If several people are chasing the same job, it never hurts
to be a little bit more credentialed than others vying for the
same position. It also provides
an acknowledgement of an individuals skills and his or her
expertise in a particular subject.
Certification is a form of selfimprovement, if you will.

For mechanical contractors


looking to do more work with
high-performance
buildings,
discerning which credentials
are accepted or required by
local and state ordinances and
building codes and encouraging
employees to earn those credentials is a path to success.
If an employee is just starting to get into it, there are orga-

nizations that offer training,


Skelton said. ASHRAE has
training. AEE [Association of
Energy Engineers] has training
classes on modeling, commissioning,
retrocommissioning,
and things of that nature. Those
are good places to start. If a
person is interested in becoming
certified, he or she has to take
the exams.

Certifications are a way to


learn skills and then show the
outside world that, yes, I have
learned enough, am skillful
enough, and have enough experience that I can be certified in
this particular area, Phoenix
added. Its a personal achievement as well as a competitive
edge. That, to me, is what certification is all about.

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By showing that a mechanical contractor has the experience and knowledge to do the
job, certifications can help firms
win bids.
In marketing our company to
clients, were looking to demonstrate to them that we have the
capabilities and expertise theyre
looking for, and this is a natural
way to do that, Austin said. It
makes marketing a lot easier if
you have something concrete to
demonstrate immediately.
In addition to helping businesses, credentials also help individuals advance their careers for
more than one reason.
As we well know, an interview
of a prospective employee can
be dicey, Austin said. Youre
just basically going on your gut
instinct whether you have a connection or not, but you dont
really find out what type of
employee youve hired until after
he or shes been hired, so it would
be great if there were credentials
that could also demonstrate to
me, as the employer, that not
only does this individual have
expertise, but he or she cared
enough to go out and pursue and
maintain these certifications. Its
not just the technical knowledge,
but that the person cares enough
about his or her career to pursue
these credentials.
It gives you a leg up, Phoenix said. A credentialed individ-

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JULY 25, 2016

Building Automation
and Control

FOCUS

High-performance Buildings

Projects Highlight Ways to


Optimize Building Energy Efficiency
Five case studies outline how different solutions help building owners reach their efciency goals
BY JEN ANESI
THE NEWS STAFF

ith
commercial
building
codes
mandating increasing levels of efficiency and energy prices only
continuing to rise, many building owners are looking for ways
to boost building performance
in both new and existing buildings. The following case studies
highlight several ways in which
HVACR solutions have been
implemented to help building
owners meet their energy-efficiency and comfort goals.

BRICKELL
CITY CENTRE
Brickell City Centre is a new
mixed-use complex in Miami
that is built locally but designed
with a long-term global outlook. When the development of
the Brickell City Centre began,
Bosch Thermotechnology Corp.s
FHP water-source heat pumps
(WSHP) were an obvious choice
for the projects HVAC needs.

The Brickell City Centre features three residential towers


with 820 condos and two hotels.
Bosch worked with Jascko
Corp.s Alex Valdes and Thermal Concepts Inc., a Davie,
Florida-based mechanical contractor, to get the right combination of price, efficiency, and
footprint for the project. Managers at Thermal Concepts knew
they needed a high-efficiency
solution that was compatible
with the unique design objectives and high-end aesthetics
of the overall development and
worked with Valdes and Bosch
Thermotechnology to develop
a specialized unit that fit in the
limited footprint of the condos
within the Centre.
The developer of the Brickell City Centre project focused
heavily on the projects long-term
global outlook. A custom variation of the Bosch FHP LV Model
WSHP was used in the residential
condo units of the Brickell City
Centre towers; the units are compact yet extremely energy-effi-

cient, making them an excellent


choice for new construction or
for energy-saving replacements.
The LV is an option-rich single-stage product that is available
in - to 6-ton sizes and meets
or exceeds ASHRAE 90.1 efficiency ratings. The unit comes
with a unique sound package
designed to keep sound levels
to a minimum while providing
maximum comfort. Because
they are WSHP, they do not
require outside condensing air,
which allows for easier placement in enclosed spaces while
still allowing for separate metering of utility costs. The units in
this project were equipped with
single-point electric heat and
were seamlessly integrated into
the structures building management system (BMS), thereby providing operating feedback and
easier serviceability.
With Bosch FHP WSHP units
providing smart comfort, efficient performance, and quiet
operation, the future Brickell
City Centre residents can indeed
be home in the heart of it all.

KENTUCKY HEALTH
CARE CENTER

ANOTHER BRICKELL IN THE WALL: The Brickell City Centre in Miami


features three residential towers with 820 condos and two hotels. Bosch FHP
water-source heat pumps were chosen for this project because they provide
compact, quiet comfort in an efficient package. PHOTO COURTESY OF BOSCH
THERMOTECHNOLOGY CORP.

18

Engineers at a 359-bed
health care facility in Kentucky
struggled to keep the hospitals
cafeteria cool amid the Bluegrass States humid climate.
Condensate in the air-handling
unit (AHU) serving the food
service area was leaving a residue in the coil a buildup
that reduced airflow through
the unit from the 14,000-cfm
design parameter to around
10,000 cfm nearly 30 percent less than what was originally specified. That, of course,
meant the unit couldnt provide
enough cooling volume.
In an attempt to boost cooling capacity, the hospitals maintenance staff tried to increase
the volume of airflow over the
coil by performing up to three
mechanical coil cleanings per
year at roughly $300 per treatment. The cafeteria AHU was
the worst performer among the
medical centers roughly 30 air
handlers, and staff was considering replacing it a task that
would cost more than $20,000
and require the unit to be shut

down for two to three days.


Charles Haskins, a sales engineer with Thermal Equipment
Sales in Louisville, Kentucky,
arranged for a UV-C technology primer from UV Resources
(UVR). Ultraviolet germicidal
irradiation uses short-wavelength
UV-C light to kill microorgan-

offers the flexibility to be easily


configured into most HVAC
plenums. The configuration
installed in the hospital cafeterias AHU consisted of four T5
(5/ 8 -inch diameter), 61-inch-long
UV-C lamps; a unique LampHolder that allows the lamp to
be affixed in any position inside

XTREME AIRFLOW: In an effort to increase cooling efficiency, a Kentucky


medical center installed an RLM Xtreme UV light system from UV Resources
downstream of its HVAC cooling coil. The installation eliminated microbial
buildup and boosted airflow by 35 percent. PHOTO COURTESY OF UV RESOURCES

isms and degrade organic matter


in HVACR equipment. The technology has been used since the
1990s to eliminate microbial
and organic material buildup on
cooling coils, air filters, duct surfaces, and drain pans. A UV-Cequipped system yields clean air,
uses minimal energy, and needs
very little maintenance. UV-C
can also slash 10-25 percent of
HVAC system energy use, and
the cost is often less than a fraction of a coil replacement.
UV-C
systems
remove
organic growth on the outer and
inner surfaces of the coil, thereby
restoring the coils heat transfer
efficiency to as-built specifications, said Dean Saputa, vice
president, UV Resources.
Saputa and Haskins were certain they could restore the cafeterias airflow levels and meet
the desired temperature set point
by installing the UV Resources
RLM Xtreme system.
The RLM Xtreme is a highoutput, fixtureless system that

the air handler; and a power


supply with a powder-coated,
heavy-gauge galvanized steel
and NEMA-2-rated housing.
Its EncapsuLamp (FEP lamp
coating) technology protects the
system and airstream from glass
and mercury residues, should an
accidental lamp break occur.
The UV lamps were installed
on the downstream, air-exiting
side of the coil, where they are
most productive killing mold and
bacteria and degrading all other
organic materials. For the Kentucky medical center, the UV-C
installation represented about
10 percent of the cost of a new
replacement coil.
Once the UV-C fixtures were
installed, the team planned to
evaluate progress following a
three-month trial. To document
progress, the cafeteria AHU
was connected to a Super Scientifics manometer to measure
pressure drop across the coil
and an Ebtron air-monitoring
station to record airflow levels.

AIR CONDITIONING, HEATING & REFRIGERATION NEWS | JULY 25, 2016

Both devices were equipped


with data loggers.
After 90 days, airflow was
back to design specs, and staff
was able to maintain the desired
temperature set points in the
kitchen and cafeteria. The AHU
motor was drawing fewer amps
and saving the hospital energy. In
the end, an independent project
audit documented a 35 percent
increase in airflow, or an additional 3,700 cfm, as well as the
ability to achieve the hospitals
cooling set points in the cafeteria.
Facility staff at the health
care center already has plans
to retrofit the air handlers serving the operating rooms, patient
rooms, and radiology department a total of four additional
units with UV-C lamps, and
other area hospitals began showing interest in the technology.
Officials at other medical
centers in the area learned about
the turnaround performance
and are now exploring similar
upgrades, Saputa said. Good
news travels fast.

ON TOP OF THE WORLD: At 1,776 feet tall, One World Trade Center in New
York City is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Daikin provided 166
packaged self-contained cooling systems to accommodate more than 50 floors
of the 104-story building. PHOTO COURTESY OF DAIKIN APPLIED

Consulting Engineers, Daikin


was selected as the manufacturer that could meet the specification requirements.
Daikin provided 166 packaged, self-contained cooling
systems to accommodate more
than 50 floors of the 104-story
building. Design of the HVAC
system was highly collaborative
among many construction and

mechanical firms involved on


the project with Daikin providing project management.
This is a project of a lifetime
and was a first for Daikin in that
we had never made equipment
to match the customers unique
needs with this level of customization before, said Robert
Lisse, Northeast regional project
manager, Daikin.

need to be perfect.

Why not the air?

ONE WORLD
TRADE CENTER
At 1,776 feet tall, One World
Trade Center the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere
rises above the Manhattan
skyline. Opened in November
2014 and owned/developed by
WTC Tower 1 LLC, the skyscraper has raised new standards
of design, construction, and
prestige and is among the most
recognized and desirable office
buildings in the world.
The design of all mechanical
and life-safety systems at One
World Trade Center had to meet
the Port Authority of New York
and New Jerseys (PANYNJs)
strict building-code requirements. As a result, HVAC equipment was highly customized
to meet efficiency, IAQ, and
sound-performance
requirements, among other factors, as
systems are located on occupied
office floors. Self-contained
units were specified to feature
high-water-pressure
shell-andtube condensers, a variable frequency drive (VFD), a building
automation system (BAS) control system, customized energyefficient scroll compressors, and
waterside economizers.
PANYNJ became familiar
with Daikins equipment and
project work through Prem Air
New York, a Daikin representative. Based on the ability to
meet IAQ, low-noise, and other
technical and operational specifications established by design
engineer Jaros, Baum & Bolles
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19

FOCUS
The prototype self-contained
system was subject to strict sound
requirements. After the prototype was granted initial approval
by the developers, a mock-up of
an office floor was created.
We invited piping and ductwork mechanical firms into the
mock-up, and as a result of the
collaboration, several changes
were made to the HVAC equipment design, Lisse said.
The effort included 3-D
design to simulate maintenance
access. The result was the
moving of plumbing and firerated walls to allow for optimal
maintenance and service of the
HVAC self-contained system.
Visitors and office workers
are enjoying the comfort, reliability, and quiet operation of
the Daikin systems that serve
more than one half of the floors
at One World Trade Center, and
the operational costs of the selfcontained units greatly exceed
ASHRAE Standard 90.1 guidelines. Additionally, the equipment does not require specialized
staff to maintain.
This is a historic project, and
we are very proud to have contributed, Lisse said.

OTTER VALLEY
UNION HIGH SCHOOL
Otter Valley Union High
School in Brandon, Vermont,
is receiving major building
improvements paid for with
energy cost savings through a
partnership with Johnson Controls Inc. The two are implementing a $3.6 million energy

High-performance Buildings

next 18 years through substantial energy cost savings.


Over the past few years, the
school budgeted nearly $300,000
a year to meet its energy needs.
With the fully implemented
energy performance contract, the
school expects to spend closer to
$100,000 a year in heating fuels
and electricity while making
an annual payment of about
$160,000 to pay for the project,
which also includes the installation of a wood pellet boiler
to supply most of the schools
heating needs as well as the
replacement of 42 classroom unit
ventilators and all the windows
that are original to the 1961 portion of the building.
Were excited to be working with Johnson Controls to
make these improvements to our
educational environment while
becoming much less dependent
on fossil fuels and electricity
from the grid, said Jim Avery,
principal of Otter Valley Union
High School. These improvements will benefit more than 550
students in grades 7-12 as well as
faculty, staff, parents, and visitors for many years to come.
Prior to working with Otter
Valley, Johnson Controls partnered with Rutland City Schools
in 2014 to make $5.2 million in
improvements to its six schools,
and Proctor School District
implemented $1.6 million worth
of upgrades during the summer
of 2015.
Energy performance contracting is both a financing and
project-delivery mechanism that

oversees energy performance


contracts with local governments
and K-12 schools in northern
New England. Its a tremendous
way for schools to improve their
teaching and learning environments through better use of their
energy budgets.
According to Raynolds, the
Otter Valley upgrades are well
under way and will be completed
by the end of summer or early fall
2016. In addition to the window
and unit ventilator replacements
and addition of the wood-pellet
boiler, other major improvements at the 101,000-square-foot
high school include: unifying the
buildings three separate heat circulation loops, a legacy of the
schools 1983 and 1991 additions, and upgrading its heating
and ventilation controls system to
provide better comfort and efficiency; installing energy recovery
ventilation (ERV) systems in the
gymnasium and auditorium and
demand-controlled
ventilation
(DCV) in the cafeteria; improving
the interior lighting system, including installing efficient and dimmable LED lamps and controls; and
upgrading parking lot lighting to
LED lighting technology.
Folks in this region are very
environmentally conscious, and
all of the improvements in the
project will make their high
school more energy efficient and
sustainable, Raynolds said. By
using wood pellets, Otter Valley
will also help support the forest
products industry, an important
part of the local and regional
economy. Because wood pellets
are considered carbon neutral,
they, along with a solar array, will
reduce the schools carbon footprint by more than 75 percent.

US STEEL TOWER

HEAD OF THE CLASS: Otter Valley Union High School in Brandon, Vermont,
is undertaking major building improvement projects paid for with energy
cost savings through a partnership with Johnson Controls Inc. The two are
implementing a $3.6 million energy performance contract that will help the
school make much-needed upgrades to the building and dramatically reduce its
carbon emissions. PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHNSON CONTROLS INC.

performance contract that will


help the school make muchneeded upgrades to the building and dramatically reduce its
carbon emissions while paying
for the improvements over the
20

school districts can use to make


needed improvements to their
facilities that are paid for through
annual energy and operational
cost savings, said Johnson
Controls Ned Raynolds, who

In 1970, the U.S. Steel Corp.


built a unique headquarters that
still stands 64 stories above the
Pittsburgh skyline. Built to last
100 years, the skyscraper, now
known as the U.S. Steel Tower,
fell behind with mechanical
equipment that was installed
when kilowatts cost pennies and
oil was $3 per barrel. Thats
why Winthrop Management,
the buildings property manager,
began a series of retrofits using
Danfoss VLT variable-frequency
drives to cut energy costs, resulting in more than $1 million in
energy savings and a greener reputation thats attracting tenants.
Weve been applying Danfoss VLT drives in various retrofit projects for nearly 15 years,
said Gary Sechler, engineering
manager for Winthrop Management. After every retrofit

project phase, weve found the


energy savings on pump motors
and fans have been outstanding.
So, we would embark on another
phase. As it stands now, weve
installed more than 150 VLT
drives with more to come.

were absolutely delighted with


the energy savings because the
drives cut electricity costs by
$535,000 annually, Sechler
said. And, along with those
savings, we got rebates that produced a one-year payback. So,

PUMPING IRON: Built in 1970, the U.S. Steel Tower in Pittsburgh recently
upgraded to Danfoss VLT variable frequency drives, saving more than $1
million in energy costs. The first drive retrofit project applied VLT drives to
four 100-hp pump motors responsible for the buildings domestic water supply.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DANFOSS

The first drive retrofit project


was completed in the year 2000
when VLT drives were applied
to the four 100-hp pump motors
responsible for the buildings
domestic water supply.
Each one can serve the entire
building, if needed, Sechler
said. There are also two boilers
on the 64th floor and two centrifugal chillers on the 63rd floor to
provide redundant heating and
cooling. So, a lot of pumping is
needed for domestic water circulation and for the chilled water
loops, all of which consume a lot
of energy.
The old drives were two-step
drives like they used in steel mills
back in the day. They werent true
variable frequency drives, said
Jim Rice, owner of Pittsburghbased Danfoss sales representative M&R Affiliates, which
has been working with Sechler
since he has been in charge. We
replaced them with four Danfoss
VLT model FC102 drives that
delivered 100 hp at 460 V and
provided a true soft start.
According to Sechler, the soft
start eliminated a lot of wear
and tear on the motors and
saved energy. Were talking
big motors to pump water to a
300-gallon cushioning tank on
the 64th floor. I dont have a
record of energy savings from
that time, but I do know with the
soft start on VLT drives, pump
motor rebuilds have been zero.
In 2010, Winthrop Management applied Danfoss drives to
40 of the buildings large 200to 250-hp fan motors. We

naturally, we kept looking for


more places to apply drives.
In 2011, Sechler embarked on
phase two of the retrofit project.
Once again, the VLT drives were
applied to pump motors, this
time for the chilled-water and
pre-heat water loops.
These pump motors are considerably smaller than those used
for the domestic water pumps,
Sechler said. But there are more
of them. For this project, VLT
drives were applied to 40 pump
motors ranging 50-200 hp. And,
once again, the savings were
astounding: Annual electric costs
were reduced another $138,000.
In 2012, a phase three project added 16 drives for 250-hp
motors. Phase four of the project
in 2013 applied about 40 VLT
drives to smaller 7.5- to 60-hp
pump and fan motors. After
each phase, the electric savings amounted to $317,000 and
$152,000 a year, respectively.
In 2009, our electric consumption averaged 65 million
kilowatts hours, Sechler said.
Now, its down to 53 million
kilowatts. Our peak demand
was 16-17 megawatts and now
its 12 megawatts. This is a huge
savings that goes right to the
bottom line. Altogether, nearly
150 Danfoss VLT drives are producing $1.14 million in documented annual energy savings.
Plus, improved energy efficiency
makes the property more attractive to tenants. Weve been up to
98 percent occupancy, which is
really great in todays commercial real estate market.

AIR CONDITIONING, HEATING & REFRIGERATION NEWS | JULY 25, 2016

BUSINESS
MANAGEMENT
SERVICE
Continued from Page 1

tionship with you. And, if you


do your job properly, youll have
a customer for life.
Basnett recently spent about
80 hours redeveloping his service agreement program after
realizing his current offering no
longer worked with the companys newly implemented flat rate
pricing program.
Once he launched the program, his technicians grew vocal
about their discontent with the
new system. Eager to avoid the
programs nuances, employees simply stopped offering the
plans to customers.
Seeking a solution, Basnett
went back to the drawing board
and sought out a Performance
Action Team (PAT) a concept
he learned through the National
Comfort Institute (NCI). The PAT,
which is essentially an employee
taskforce, came up with an
acceptable alternative agreement
plan that included the option to
pay for the agreement monthly or
in one lump sum. Other changes
clearly stated the type of maintenance that was included in each of
the plans four tiers.
Without the support of his
team, Basnett Plumbing, Heating & Air sold a total of three
maintenance agreements during
the first quarter of 2015. After
delegating and engaging his
employees to come up with a
better PAT solution, the company sold 97 agreements during
the first quarter of 2016. Since
July 15, 2015, his team has sold a
total of 472 maintenance agreements, adding an additional
$186,666 in sales revenue.
The [employees] embraced
the newest program because,
essentially, they came up with
the idea themselves, Basnett
said. Even with the success
weve had, we still have a lot of
room for improvement.

OFFERING OPTIONS
Farmington Hills, Michiganbased Thornton and Grooms
offers its customers the choice
between nine separate service
agreement plans: three levels
Gold, Silver, and Platinum
of plumbing only, three levels
of HVAC only, and three levels
of Plus plans, which include
the plumbing and heating and
cooling plans from each respective level combined. Each of the
plans can be paid in one lump
sum or may be broken down into
monthly payments.
Customers want different
things new homes may not
ACHRNEWS.COM |

require as much maintenance,


or if you plan on moving, you
may not want to invest as much
as other folks who look to the
higher cost plan for value,
said Matt Bergstrom, president,
Thornton and Grooms. Service agreements are important
for the same reason a car needs
an oil change and maintenance.
Without maintenance, typically
the equipments life span will
be shorter, energy costs will be
higher, and a customers home
comfort will be lower.
Thornton and Grooms has
more than 4,200 service agreement customers.

Sara Tominac, comfort protection plan manager for Thornton and Grooms, said service
agreement plans help customers
when it comes to priority scheduling, options, and reminders
when certain visits are due.
They help the company by
growing our customer base
were able to have repeat customers that love us and know
we will be there for them when
they need us, she said. It also
allows us to market to those customers based on their individual
plans. We will often offer them
exclusive member deals that benefit the other side of the business.

Service agreements eliminate


the need for customers
to go out and get three
quotes because they have
a relationship with you. And,
if you do your job properly,
youll have a customer for life.
Rob Basnett, president and owner,
Basnett Plumbing, Heating,
& Air Conditioning,
Littleton, Massachusetts

Having a maintenance customer means you have a customer who likes you enough to
buy something from you and will
likely call you first when they are
in need of service, maintenance,
or a replacement because theyve
already signed an agreement with
you for other heating, cooling,
and/or plumbing services, said
Ammi White, branding coordinator for Thornton and Grooms.
Additionally, when business is
seasonally or un-seasonally slow,
you have someone to call to schedule appointments theyve already
paid for, which allows you to keep
your guys working. Lastly, theres
also the opportunity for continued and repeat business as well
as referrals. The most important
part of having a customer as a
member is that you have another
almost promised opportunity to
give them your best, so you can
have another opportunity. You
have an opportunity to build a
lifelong relationship and create a
fan of your business. Weve been
in business almost 80 years, and
lifelong is not just a far-off-dream.
We have customers who have used
us all of their adult lives and now
their children use us.

| JULY 25, 2016

Maintenance customers will


also refer family members and
friends when they are in need of
a company. They also, on average, spend more with a company
they have a maintenance agreement with than not. Its a trust
and relationship builder.

A CLUB MEMBERSHIP
MENTALITY
Steve Saunders, CEO of
Tempo Mechanical in Irving,
Texas, said his company recently
changed the name and basic
terms of its service agreement
program and spent time addressing the mental, marketing, and
technical changes from a service
agreement mindset to a Club
Membership mindset.
Our Tempo service agreement is now a part of a larger
marketing services effort we call
the Tempo Club, Saunders
explained. The HVAC maintenance-specific version is the Cooling and Heating Club. It includes
biannual maintenance, cleaning,
and safety inspections. Members
get discounts on repairs and priority scheduling, including the
ability to schedule service calls
on Saturday and Sunday. There

are no overtime or after-hours


charges, nor extra charges for
service during holidays. The clients cost of the cooling and heating membership accumulates on
continuously active memberships
toward the purchase of a new
system. Ultimately, for long-term
clients who purchase replacement equipment from Tempo, the
maintenance service is free.
In addition to the Cooling &
Heating Club, Tempo offers a
Plumbing Club and Connected
Home Club service plans.
Club Memberships are primarily sold by service technicians and
customer service reps, Saunders
noted. Club Memberships are
sold on value and relationship.
The CSR and the techs are the
key client relationship leaders for
the company. On projects where
we deliver a retrofit, they also get
a one-year complimentary membership on fully replaced systems.
Another initiative is a collective
push to create a more successful
system for converting our residential new construction clients
to club members as they exit their
new home warranty period.
Saunders called service agreements the foundation of a longterm, successful service business.
In addition, HVAC manufacturers are taking a stronger stance
on maintenance as a condition
of a warranty. The agreement is
a great way to assure our clients
will receive their warranties and
also to provide opportunities for
system improvements, accessories, zoning, ductwork improvements, etc. In an increasingly
connected world, memberships/
agreements are a crucial link to
the long-term relationship and
integral for Tempo remaining
the clients partner when their
system needs replacing.

TAKING AN
ALTERNATIVE
APPROACH
Not everyone believes the
service agreement concept is
the best approach. Rob Minnick, CEO and president of Minnicks Inc. in Laurel, Maryland,
created a VIP Club to replace
his service agreement program
about three years ago.
We dealt with a lot of frustration with service agreements,
Minnick said. The problem is
people pay for a service they may
never need to use. The first question I ask people is, Do you have
service agreements with anybody
besides heating and cooling companies, like Best Buy, car manufacturers, and things like that? And
everybody says yes, but whenever
they take their car in, the issue is

never covered, of course. They


think, why do I even have this
agreement, and they get frustrated.
Another reason we eliminated
service agreements is I feel like we
set our technicians up to fail, he
continued. When theyre going
to do a service agreement, its
prepaid, so when they go there
and find an issue, the customer
feels the issue should be covered
because theyre already paying
for a service agreement. They
question why we are trying to sell
them something else. It just takes
the service tech and a customer
down a road thats usually not a
good place to go. Then, they want
to talk to a service manager, and
someone else has to get involved.
It was just a never-ending battle
internally within our company.
Now, Minnicks offers its
customers a pay-as-you-go VIP
Club program. They still get all
the benefits, they just dont have
to fork out the lump sum today,
Minnick noted. They just have
to pay for maintenance done
that day, plus any other items
being done. And, since they are
already discussing money, were
in a better place to discuss all the
things we find.
Every time VIP Club members
use Minnicks, they earn discounts and rewards points, which
can be used for future services
and discounts. Just signing up for
the program earns a customer 25
points, with each point worth $1.
Its just like the rewards
points for airlines, hotels, and
many other businesses, which
now all have rewards programs,
Minnick said. There are points
for signing up, points for liking
us on Facebook and Twitter,
points for referrals, and points
for having maintenance work
done. Its never ending, and
thats the beauty of it we can
create points for anything we
want and offer it immediately.
Making the switch was a process, Minnick said. Customers
who had service agreements kept
the terms of their agreements until
they expired. Then they were
automatically signed up for the
VIP program, so they didnt have
to do any additional legwork.
The VIP Club has eliminated
the frustration with our techs and
with our customers, Minnick
noted. It also eliminated a lot of
angry phone calls from customers
wanting to speak to supervisors
because they were upset. Its a great
plan and most people agree. I just
need to get the message out there.
We just need to make sure people
understand how it works because it
can be a challenge at first. Just like
anything, change takes time.
21

July 25, 2016

Koch Air Partners with ReviewBuzz


Distributor puts new spin on old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing
By Mike Murphy
The NEWS Staff

och Air LLC has partnered


with ReviewBuzz to help
its dealers solicit more
online reviews and sell
more equipment. As a Carrier Corp.
distributor, Koch Air successfully
promotes several Carrier marketing programs, though this one has
caught fire with at least one Koch Air
customer.
Gary Kerns, president of Superior
Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. in
Richmond, Kentucky, has 30 years
of experience in HVAC and 24 years
as owner of Superior. As of April 16,
Kerns had been using ReviewBuzz
for two weeks.
Im sold on the idea, he said.
Weve gotten results quicker than I
expected. A customer called me a few
days ago as a result of using ReviewBuzz and said, The reason I called is
because of your reviews. I dont trust
just anyone. I want somebody like
your company in my house.
Kerns said he was initially skeptical about internet marketing. Were
not internet-savvy. My partner
looked at ReviewBuzz while at a
meeting with Koch Air in Louisville
and thought we should try it out. The
thing we did know is that our internet presence is more important than
ever because young people use their
phones for everything, and they are
our customers of tomorrow. We had
to do something to increase our presence or we would be missing out.
Kerns said his technicians have
embraced the technology. The technician hands out a BuzzCard to get
the review process going. Techs years
ago were just judged as mechanics,
but my guys want to be recognized
as more than that they like the
satisfaction that comes with the recognition of their business and customer-service skills.
The ReviewBuzz process allows a
customer to rate the level of service
and then write a review to any social
media site they wish. The review

DC1

becomes public, and other potential


customers can then see the actual
reviews. There is a trust factor
already established before a technician ever walks in the customers
door, Kerns said.
The customer drives the location
of the review by picking from social
media options, such as Google, Yelp,
Facebook, Yahoo, Bing, or Better
Business Bureau, whatever they are
most familiar with is where they
will write the review. ReviewBuzz
allows for a large number of social
media options for the customer and
works with the contractor to help
determine which social media connections are used most often in their
market.

CONTRACTOR
INVENTION
When Mike Montano was 23
years old, he was divorced with an
8-year-old daughter who became his
motivation in life and business. He
discovered the plumbing and HVAC
trades could be a path to success and
found creative ways to ensure that
success.
He started his contracting business in 1998 and went on to become
a successful plumbing/HVAC contractor in the San Diego area before
selling his business in January to
spend more time on ReviewBuzz.
After about four years in the contracting business, Montano found he
had a talent for building website traf-

fic but quickly realized being found


meant nothing unless it converted
into a phone call. Out of the need to
get more calls, he quickly realized
it no longer was just about visibility it was now about credibility.
After testing many of his websites,
he found he got more calls when he
displayed his positive online reviews.
Not just any reviews, but reviews on
sites that matter and that his potential customers would trust, such as
Google, Facebook, and Yelp.
His experiences taught him that
no one could sell or market a business better than its customers. Customer advocacy became a passion,
and thats why he created ReviewBuzz and decided to share this breakthrough by writing his book, Stop

Marketing. Be Remarkable!
I thought about how I did my
own online search, Montano said. I
was using reviews and ratings from
Amazon, and I wouldnt do business with a company that didnt have
good reviews or had a low number
of reviews. It made sense to me that
it was only a matter of time before
that was going to be important in our
business, too. I did a lot of research
on landing-page conversions, and
found that reviews, in terms of credibility, had a significant impact on
conversions. When somebody lands
on your site, its not what you say that
matters most; its what your customers say that really matters to consumers. They want validation that youre
a real business, and any smart con-

CALL ME SOMETIME
The average technician age at
Superior Heating & Air Conditioning is 32 in a state where the average technician age is 51. Kerns is 57,
but he thinks young, and he likes
the way the youth in his company
thinks.
The population of the Richmond
area that Kerns company serves is
about 60,000.
This kind of stuff is crucial in a
small market as it helps us pull in
more customers, Kerns said. My
own techs tell me they search for
services the same way. What other
customers say about a home services
company is driving todays lead generation.
Its not so much about features
and benefits in our business as it is
about being involved with our customers and employees, he continued. I trust my technicians. They
cant work with their hands tied
today they want to have the flexibility to make decisions with customers, so I give them more room
to treat customers fairly, and it has
paid off for us. The employees act
more like business owners. In fact, I
tell them I want them to treat every
customer interaction as if this were
their business.

Leadership
Process

AIR CONDITIONING, HEATING & REFRIGERATION NEWS | JULY 25, 2016

hangs on the bulletin board at work.


This is public, and everybody
knows what a good job youre doing.
Techs like the feedback, the accountability, and the opportunity to prove
their worth in the customer-service
interaction, Montano said.
In addition, for many, it provides
a vehicle through which to grow
their own business within a business.
The process leverages five-star personalized reviews and allows companies to turn these reviews into strong
brand equity, and the technicians are
the catalyst.

LEADERSHIP
Building a strong word-ofmouth brand starts with worldclass service, and that starts at the
top with the leaders. The companies that are most successful with
ReviewBuzz have leaders that are

hyper-focused on customer service, said Montano.


To that end, Montano believes
that leadership in the business begins
the process of building a better brand
to reach customers.
Most contractors dont like to
hear this because they believe its too
touchy/feely, but heres the cold, hard
truth: If you want to build a strong
word-of-mouth business where
youre spending less on marketing
and bringing in more customers,
then you have to create a remarkable
experience for your customers, he
said. And the secret to creating a
remarkable experience for your customer is to create a remarkable experience for your employees, because
they are your first true brand advocates.
But heres where it gets a little
uncomfortable for some contrac-

tors: This all begins with you, as a


leader, stepping up and building a
strong company culture a culture focused on caring for people,
empowering employees, and implementing a willingness to accept the
truth even when it hurts.
I once read a quote from the
great Richard Branson, and it has
stuck with me ever since. He said:
If you look after your staff, theyll
look after your customers. Its
that simple. I believe that to my
core. If you create a remarkable
experience for your employees,
theyll create remarkable experiences for your customers. And
everyone wins when this happens
you, your employees, and your
customers.
For more information and a
free copy of Montanos book, visit
reviewbuzz.com/book

Mike Montano (left), founder of ReviewBuzz, talks with Brian Redman, Koch Air.

sumer knows you can say whatever


you want on your own website about
how good your company is.
Montano couldnt just attempt to
create a system that simply scammed
the Google algorithms, though
many have tried (and some still do).
Google was delisting companies if
they tried to run a review scam, he
said. I knew I couldnt incentivize
people to write good reviews, so I
came up with an incentive program
for my employees to motivate them
to earn good feedback in the form
of five-star reviews and referrals.
There was a considerable amount of
skepticism among my older technicians, but the younger techs were all
over it. It went on that way until the
more experienced techs saw during
our weekly sales meetings that the
younger techs were earning more
money, and they were using their
customers five-star reviews to close
more deals. Thats how ReviewBuzz
was born.
Montano had created a prototype of the future ReviewBuzz to
use in his own business and, at one
point, put together a demo for some
fellow Nexstar members at one of the
best-practices group dealer meetings.
They were so excited that about 50 of
Montanos peers came to his office
to learn more. By 2012, ReviewBuzz
had become official.

TROY STORY
According to Montano, a service
technician named Troy shared his
take on the process, which helped
to solidify for Montano the real purpose of ReviewBuzz. Troy enjoyed

being able to come home from work


and share with his two young boys
what his customers said about him. It
was more important to Troy to demonstrate the level of care he delivered
every day.
We all take pride in our work,
Montano said. Whatever you do,
its like your signature. ReviewBuzz
is not really about the technology
its simply about good old-fashioned
word of mouth. I created ReviewBuzz
for marketing reasons, but it actually
helped me build a better business
based on customers feedback.
As a contractor, I know that the
hardest part of the business is the
people part, he continued. Managing your people and customers
can be very stressful. There is a lot
of negativity in customer service,
because people often only call you
when they have complaints. Many
customers will quickly find that your
happy customers are looking to brag
about their great experiences with
the people who helped them. Businesses need to understand that its
about turning your employees into
advocates. They will then turn your
customers service experiences into
five-star reviews.
We have tens of thousands of
techs in our system today. We want
to help good people get recognition from happy customers and
their employers, create a permanent
record a sort of Carfax for
people, and then turn that into new
opportunities for customers, Montano said.
ReviewBuzz is very different
from a private review that usually

eProduct #21 at achrnews.com


ACHRNEWS.COM |

| JULY 25, 2016

DC2

HVAC
REGULATIONS
STANDARDS
Continued from Page 1

part of the Regional Standards


Enforcement Working Group
and represented contractors in
the plumbing, heating, and cooling trades during negotiations.
There are really no surprises in there, he said, adding
that many contractors have
been recording the necessary
information all along as part
of their normal recordkeeping.
But, for those who havent been
as diligent in their recordkeeping, the rule will have an immediate impact.
For some contractors, this is
going to add an extra year of file
retention for those products, and,
most likely, theyre not going to
sort out air conditioners from
everything else, White said.
There are also some contractors
who, once the job is done, dont
keep anything. Thats rather rare,
but there are some out there.
Jon Melchi, vice president of
government affairs and business development for Heating,
Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International
(HARDI), also said the leaders
at HARDI didnt see anything
that wasnt expected in the
final rule, which is not to say its
members wholeheartedly supported it. Like White, Melchi
also participated in the working
group to represent the interests
of HVACR distributors across
the country.
Weve communicated about
this thing since the working
group finalized its proposal in
October of 2014, Melchi said,
adding that the DOEs delay
in the rulemaking has caused
a great deal of confusion for
HARDIs members. Weve
communicated it to folks since
then, but there are still questions
coming in from some of the best
in the business.

STILL A BURDEN
In addition to the confusion
caused by an 18-month delay
in the enforcement rulemaking,
the new requirements themselves will likely cost contractors and distributors both time
and money.
White said that while many
contractors already keep records
of all of the required information, they may have to tweak
how that information is recorded
and retained.
In a typical residential service call or installation, theyre
dealing with jobs one by one per
technician, he said. So, theyre
tracking all that information
24

and maybe tracking it electronically, but theyre not segregating


air conditioners from furnaces or
motors or other components.
The
new
recordkeeping
requirements may also place
a burden on contractors who
do not typically store customer
information for four years and/or
who do not store their customers
information electronically.
If you want to segregate
air conditioning from all your
other business, thats going to
incur some cost because people
are going to have to start tracking that differently, White said.
If youre not retaining records
for four years, youre going to
incur some cost. Youre going
to have to hang onto records
longer, which may mean you
need more storage, more time
to scan things in electronically,
or whatever that might entail.
Theres also maybe more detail.
The list of things they want,
you may not have that in your
current format. You may have
recorded that you sold Mrs.
Jones this unit with the serial
number on this date, but you
may not have the distributor
information. You may have to
add more data for each job.
Barton James, senior vice
president of government relations
for ACCA, which also served as
a member of the working group,
agreed there will be a cost to
comply for some contractors.
It all depends on their business
models, he said. Some only do
installations and arent interested
in service, and it will impact them.
Any time youre required to do
something, its a burden.
White added that, for those
who perform installations in
multifamily residential buildings, they will be forced to pay
much closer attention to which
units are installed where and
ensure that they properly document that information, which
may require additional manhours to accomplish.
For larger projects, where
people might be doing a 200- or
300-unit apartment complex,
lots of equipment is shipped to
a single job site. If you have a
couple hundred serial numbers,
contractors and distributors are
going to have to be more careful about knowing where things
went. Its a lot of work to double
check all the serial numbers. On
the bigger projects, people are
going to be looking at needing
more verification than perhaps
they did before.
To compound matters, the
DOE finalized its rule during the
busiest time of the year, which

may make it harder for some


contractors to comply with the
new recordkeeping requirements.
Its the end of summer this
is the busiest time of the season
for our members, James said.
To add something to contractors plates that theyre supposed
to now pay attention to, its not
good timing, especially since
enforcement is focused on the
South, where it doesnt get any
busier than this time of year.
People are busy running
their businesses, Melchi agreed.
This is going to be a challenge
for a lot of folks, and I fear that
because of the vast delay the
DOE has had in pushing out
these regulations, its only going
to make it harder to communicate these things throughout the
channel. Its an enormous task to
make sure people are doing the
right things. People who are busy
running their businesses and
taking care of their employees
in the industry doing their jobs
dont have time to monitor all the
rules and regulations that come
from the federal government.
In addition to the regulatory
burden placed on contractors
and distributors, James stressed
that the individuals most
affected by these regulations are
the end users.
These standards are forcing a tax on the consumer, he
said. With any new regulation,
the cost gets passed onto the
consumers. So, when the contractor, distributor, or manufacturer has to comply [with a
new regulation], that cost ends
up being passed onto consumers, and its tougher on contractors to absorb those costs. It
makes quality installations and
the things that are important to
consumers even more difficult.

SPREADING
THE WORD
It is a top priority for industry organizations to make sure
distributors nationwide and
contractors in the Southeast
and Southwest are aware of
and complying with the new
recordkeeping requirements.
I believe that, by and large,
HARDI members have been
good about communicating,
Melchi said. But, we also have
to recognize that there are a lot
of folks distributing equipment
that are not HARDI members
or maybe not primarily HVAC
distributors who are servicing
customers. At that point, its up
to manufacturers to communicate that. And its a challenge to
make sure everyone has their Is
dotted and their Ts crossed.

RECORDKEEPING
REQUIREMENTS

ll distributors must now maintain the following records for four and
a half years after the date of sale.

Split-System Central Air Conditioner Condensing Unit


Manufacturer;
Model Number;
Serial Number;
Date unit was purchased;
Contact information from whom the unit was purchased;
Date the unit was sold;
Contact information of the purchaser (name/address/phone number);
and
Delivery address (if applicable).
Single-package Central Air Conditioners
Manufacturer;
Model Number;
Serial Number;
Date unit was purchased;
Contact information from whom the unit was purchased;
Date the unit was sold;
Contact information of the purchaser (name/ address/ phone number); and
Delivery address (if applicable).
Installing contractors in the Southeast and Southwest must maintain
all of the information above and the address of the installation location and name of the purchaser for split-system central air conditioner
condensing units, split-system central air conditioner indoor units
(not including uncased coils sold as replacement parts), and singlepackage central air conditioners. These records must be maintained
for four years.
Source: DOE/HARDI

find, which is a huge problem,


White said PHCC has also
Melchi said.
been working to inform its
The DOE committed to a
members of the new requirepublic affairs campaign, but
ments. The messaging has gone
out through a lot of channels, aside from a website where you
but its hard to hit everybody, have to know how to find it, I
he said. Contractor organi- havent seen anything from the
DOE thats targeted at contraczations like PHCC and ACCA
tors or homeowners, he said.
have been putting the word
out, as have distributor and I understand there are scarce
resources for efforts like this,
manufacturer chains. HARDI
but thats maybe something that
has been very proactive about
trying to make people aware. shouldve been considered before
we went down this path.
Everybody who is installing air
The reality, he added, is that
conditioners has to buy them
somewhere, and the overall net- the industry signed off on this
in a negotiated rulemaking, and
work has been trying to get the
now it has to comply.
message out.
From HARDIs perspective,
Its going to be a process,
it was trying to make the best
James said. Were doing the
best we can with the marketing. of a bad situation. We didnt
think, having heard some of the
For some of our contractors, this
proposals, that this was the least
will catch them off guard, and it
invasive enforcement plan we
may take them a while to get up
could get consensus on, but it is
to speed keeping records in the
still more aggressive than what
way thats now required.
we think is necessary. We believe
Meanwhile, the DOE has
it disproportionately impacts the
created a website (http://bit.ly/
RSenforcement) as well as a bro- small businesses that make up
the contractor and distributor
chure (http://bit.ly/RSbrochure)
community. So, we think were
containing information about
regional standards enforcement, ready, but this is something
though the website is not cur- thats never been tried in this or
rent, nor is it easy for the aver- any other industry. Well all be
watching to see how it goes.
age contractor or distributor to
AIR CONDITIONING, HEATING & REFRIGERATION NEWS | JULY 25, 2016

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GUEST COLUMN

KEVIN KENNEDY

MY TWO CENTS

Kennedy is founder and CEO of Beacon Exit Planning LLC


Beacon Exit Planning is a process consulting company that provides
written succession plans. Contact him at 607-731-0679
or kjkennedy26@gmail.com.

Understanding Exit Planning


and Succession, Part 2
Editors Note: This is the second
article in a two-part series examining the differences between exit

and succession plans. Part one


was published on Page 22 of the
July 4 issue of The NEWS.

Chill energy bills and


reduce defrost cycles
by 40% or more per day
with the new ICUBE Adaptive Defrost Module.

hen it comes to
transferring a business, five options
are available (sale,
recapitalization, employee stock
ownership plan, management
buyout, and gifting) and each
has different motives, ranges of
value, tax implications, structures, and fees.
A written exit plan defines the
owners goals, the salient parts
of his or her wealth (liquid and
illiquid), the value of the available options, the net amount
after taxes and fees, tax implications, titling of all assets to
assess estate tax exposure, legal
agreement review, insurances,
and investment considerations.
An exit planners role is to design
and to quarterback this process
during the execution with the
accountants, lawyers, tax professionals, insurance advisors,
and wealth consultants.
An exit plan also puts the
owner in control with a clear
path to make an informed decision, control the process, leave
the business on his or her terms,
select to whom he or she wishes
to transfer, and decide when he or
she wants to exit. The exit process liberates the owner by allowing him or her to move trapped
money out of his or her business,
protect his or her wealth, and
move into the next stage of life.

Selecting the new stockholders (owners);


Moving them into ownership
(focus on the company); and
Selecting the new CEO.
The owners mindset for succession must:
Clearly envision his or her
financial future before moving
forward (exit plan);
Envision being outside of the
business before initiating the succession process;
Control the timing of when
and with whom in concert with
their goals; and
Lead the process but allow
the team to grow, stretch, and
make mistakes.

that allows him or her to let go in


order to stretch and coach them
into leadership and ownership.
The exit plan leads the owner
through a proprietary process
that will meet his or her business, personal, and financial
goals while objectively examining options for monetizing and
protecting the individuals hardearned wealth. Once the owner is
comfortable with meeting these
exiting goals, he or she can move
into the succession goals of identifying who will be the next leaders
and the CEO of the organization.
Succession is a continuous
process in a best-of-class company. Annual programs should

A succession plan may take


several months to write and
several years to execute. The
goal is to have the company
run without the owner/CEO.
Depending on the readiness
of the management and the
type of exit and current payout,
a succession plan may take
three to 10 years to occur.

SUCCESSION PLAN
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26

The succession plan is about


preparing the company to succeed
in the absence of the owner/CEO.
In a simple approach, it is about
grooming management to move
into leadership, then into ownership, and ultimately establishing
the new CEO. In a broader sense,
it is about building value, creating
a culture of continuous succession
that focuses on the human capital,
delivering a top-quality product
to customers, recurring cash flow,
and protecting the future of the
company by:
Establishing a clear direction
and focus;
Professionalizing the company;
Developing and improving
management systems;
Developing and training the
human capital;
Training for teamwork (their
blind spots) and leadership (focus
on others);
Locking in key players;

A succession plan may take


several months to write and several years to execute. The goal is
to have the company run without
the owner/CEO. Depending on
the readiness of the management
and the type of exit and current
payout, a succession plan may
take three to 10 years to occur.
On the other hand, if the business
is systematized, has clean financials, and mature management is
in place, the company could be
sale-ready in less than a year.

CONCLUSION
Which plan comes first? Steven
Covey suggests, We begin with
the end in mind.
My professional view is the
owner must first deal with the
exit plan so he or she can ensure
and envision his or her financial
future. This then allows the owner
to focus on succession so he or she
can build the championship team

focus on developing and stretching associates, not just the


replacement of key positions. In
this scenario, the company would
always be near a sale-ready condition. This plan can be in motion
before a formal exit plan or can
be formally executed afterward.
The great news about succession is that it adds bottom financial value no matter which exit
path an owner takes.
Remember, the key is to start
early. Exiting and succession are
not events but complex processes
that take time. The exit plan will
get the process started, while the
succession plan will bring everything together to allow an owner
to gracefully exit the business
and protect his or her wealth.
For additional free educational information on these two
disciplines and my succession
white paper, visit my website at
www.beaconexitplanning.com.

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