How Construction Engineers Prevent Over-Engineering in Building Components

Over-Engineered mechanical or electrical systems is a problem that frequently occurs in the design process. While it’s easy to assume extra capacity is a good thing, the reality is that oversized systems are just as problematic as undersized systems. Construction engineers must know how much is “too much” for each individual project they work on. This common error results in higher upfront costs for the building owner and can lead to performance issues down the [...]

HVAC Engineering: Understanding Air Balancing in Ventilation Systems

Air balancing is a fundamental design skill in HVAC engineering. Depending on the intended purpose of each building area, it may require negative, positive or neutral pressurization. This is accomplished by adjusting supply and exhaust airflows: a higher air supply causes positive pressure, while a higher air exhaust causes negative pressure. Although the ideal scenario would be to ventilate all building areas naturally, this is not possible in practice. For example, there is [...]

2018-09-18T15:23:56+00:00 HVAC Engineering|

Indoor Air Quality: 7 Pollutants Architectural Engineers Want you to Watch Out For

When property owners are considering upgrades for their HVAC systems, plenty of attention is given to energy savings. However, providing healthy conditions for occupants is also very important to architectural engineers and other engineering professionals. There is a common misconception that indoor air quality costs extra energy, but you can achieve both efficiency and air quality with the right design choices. Although there are many types of air pollutants, the US Environmental Protection Agency [...]

What Should Electrical Engineers Connect to an Emergency Generator in a Commercial Building?

Commercial buildings are characterized by the continuous presence of a large number of occupants, which means safety should be among the top priorities for the companies that own them and the electrical engineers involved in their maintenance. When addressing the topic of backup generators, there are two main categories: emergency loads and standby loads. Emergency loads include the equipment and building systems that would create life-threatening conditions if they stop operating. For example, [...]

2018-09-18T15:11:07+00:00 Electrical Engineering|

Using Proper MEP Engineering to Protect Water Booster Pumps from Cavitation

Booster pumps play a very important role in ensuring a continuous water supply. In the absence of a booster system, most buildings only get a reliable water supply for the first five floors. For this same reason, keeping booster pumps under optimal operating conditions is a very important part of MEP engineering, and one of the main causes of impeller failure is an hydraulic phenomenon called cavitation. This article will provide an overview [...]

2018-09-18T15:05:38+00:00 MEP Engineering|

Heat Source Comparison: Heating Oil and Natural Gas According to MEP Engineers

Heating oil and natural gas are both fossil fuels, but they have very different properties. At room temperature, one is a viscous liquid while the other is a gas. For a given heating output, there is also a difference in the amount of natural gas or heating oil that must be burned, as well as the greenhouse gas emissions produced. Heating oil is normally measured in gallons, while natural gas is measured in [...]

2018-09-18T14:58:46+00:00 MEP Engineering|

What MEP Engineers Want you to Know About Types of Electric Heat Pumps and Their Advantages

Before designing the space heating and domestic hot water systems of a building, a key step for MEP engineers is to determine the energy source to run these appliances. Natural gas or fuel oil combustion comes with a lower operating cost than electric resistance heating, but these fuels produce emissions and require an exhaust system. On the other hand, electric heaters have the potential to be emissions-free if they run with solar or wind power. Resistance heaters [...]

2018-11-15T18:20:53+00:00 MEP Engineering|

Heating and Cooling Upgrades: Where to Start? Architectural Engineers Have This Advice

Space heating represents the highest energy use in many buildings. In addition, domestic hot water and space cooling systems use less energy than space heating, but they are also among the top five building systems that use the most energy. According to architectural engineers, a building can reduce its energy consumption dramatically by replacing its existing heating and cooling systems with modern and high-efficiency equipment. However, before proceeding with a large-scale building upgrade [...]

Radiant Heating Systems: Types and Applications for HVAC Engineering

Radiant heating systems deliver heat through the floor, walls or ceiling of a building. As implied by their name, these HVAC engineering systems rely mostly on radiant heat transfer - direct delivery of heat from a warm surface to occupants and objects via radiation. Radiant floor heating systems are characterized by their silent operation and energy efficiency. Since the heat source is located below, temperature rise is uniform as warm air rises and [...]

2018-09-18T14:44:13+00:00 HVAC Engineering|

How to Finance Value Engineering for Building Energy Performance Upgrades

The business case for energy efficiency measures and renewable generation is often favorable. This is especially true in major cities, once you factor in the high cost of electricity and gas. Value engineering certainly has its place in these performance standards. However, the main barrier for many of these projects is the upfront cost; although the long-term benefit is greater, the short-term impact on cash flow can be significant. Even if a company [...]

2018-09-17T22:00:56+00:00 Value Engineering|