Online educational resource on achieving indoor environmental quality with radiant based HVAC systems
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NEW: Important joint statement by Canada's HVAC Trade Associations on the quality of designs, installations and inspections of residential HVAC systems.


What others are saying...


Compliance with building regulations..."The design of a technically sound building depends upon many factors beyond simple compliance with building regulations"
2010 NBC of Canada


“The most commonly used indicator of thermal comfort is air temperature – it is easy to use and most people can relate to it. But although it is an important indicator to take into account, air temperature alone is neither a valid nor an accurate indicator of thermal comfort or thermal stress.” The Health & Safety Executive, UK.gov


Surgeon General’s Workshop on Healthy Indoor Environment

“…there is a, “need to educate the professions (such as architects and architectural engineers on one hand, and health professionals on the other)  to take indoor environment issues seriously …only 2% of engineering / architecture schools have any component of the curriculum dealing with health issues… on the other hand…how many health professionals study building materials and performance issues?”
James E. Woods, Ph.D., P.E., ASHRAE Fellow


Our advice to consumers who are building or renovating a home:

Hire independent design professionals who have experience in hybrid systems; and who understand architecture, building science, interior design and indoor climate engineering; and who through contract will represent your interest over and beyond the interests of others involved in the project (in Canada CIPH, COHA, HRAI and TECA offer design and installation certifications; in the US ACCA and IAPMO are working to develop certification programs). For design build contractors see below.

Define in the contract all expected energy and IEQ outcomes and results and manage them; avoid at all costs getting involved in the design aspects lest you want to be held responsible at a later date. For example, it's way easier to say, "I expect my high efficiency boiler to operate at 97%" or "I don’t want to hear toilet water running down a pipe" then it is for you to get involved in how to make that happen - combustion can be tested and sounds measured...not your issue if it doesn't meet your stated expectations in the contract.

Use equipment that has continually demonstrated long term market dominance (20 years or more) so when you go to sell your home it has recognized brands.

Stay simple, low tech and low maintenance – avoid at all cost - customized, high tech complex and complicated systems. For hydronic systems insist on standardized control appliances manufactured from well known brands.

Use only Provincial/State qualified/licensed trades people who also have certifications through industry associations. It’s easy to ask for and verify certified trades people.

Use only those trades who have been factory certified by for the equipment to be installed. You can verify the certifications with the manufacturers.

Do not accept substituted trades or equipment without approval of the independent design professional.

In the case of design build contractors insist on State/Provincial licenses, and industry association certifications and manufacturer certifications and be advised in these projects you become your own advocate in the event of conflict. Consider this in light of your own skills and talents. Read DIY HVAC for some considerations.

We understand that these statements are general and leave the reader without specifics but you can pursue greater details in several ways throughout our website.


image courtesy of Energy Vanguard
Insulated and sealed ductwork ensures air flow is delivered to the intended space at the intended temperature (photo courtesy of Allison Bailes, III, Ph.D., Energy Vanguard).


Why are we fans of interior design professionals?

First never confuse a interior designer with an interior decorator - I did that once in New Orleans at an ASID conference and was scolded severely!

Listen carefully, professional interior designers have an education and ethical obligation to protect your health and safety...and unlike other design professionals they get  "indoor climates".

Now not all interior design professionals have HVAC on their radar screens but they do get the importance of human factor design as it relates to indoor air quality, thermal comfort, lighting and sound.

In our experience, when you can find a designer that can collaborate on the interior environment it makes for an incredible team so look for help from these often under utilized professionals when it comes to the quality of your indoor environments.

See: Why HVAC designers cannot operate in isolation from interior designers: VOC emissions.


"Interior design is about more than just aesthetics. It is about finding creative design solutions for interior environments while supporting the health, safety and well-being of occupants and enhancing their quality of life."
IDCA


“The ability to enhance the human condition through the environments we inhabit is the special province of interior design.”
ASID


North American Professional Mechanical Trade Associations

ACCA
CIPH
COHA
HRAI
IAPMO (RPA)
MCAA
MCAC
TECA

North American Professional Engineering and Design Associations

AIA
ASHRAE
ASID
IDCA
RAIC

Note: Each State and Province will have it's own regional engineering, architectural, interior design and technology associations.


North American Consumer Advocacy in Home Building

CPBH
HADD
HOBB


Consumer resources for heating help

HeatingHelp


Resources

BC Building Info
Building Science Corp
CMHC
Energy Vanguard


A note on codes and inspectors.

I like inspectors - they take our courses and learn what others should be learning. I can tell you this…a significant chunk of HVAC system problems are mitigated when municipalities enforce the Codes and code referenced codes and standards.

You might be thinking, “wait a minute are not all codes and code referenced regulations enforced everywhere all the time?” In a perfect world yes but regrettably this is not the case.

I’ll give you an example of when the system protects you...

In 1991 the Safety Standards Branch of the Alberta Government issued a “STANDATA” requiring professional engineering for hydronic radiant floor heating systems. For over 15 years the regulation was enforced by some municipalities but not by others and to this day (as of this writing) the most current version (which now allows certified designers) is not enforced in its entirety throughout the Province. However Municipalities enforcing the complete STANDATA 06-BCI-012 have significantly reduced the design issues once present in an unregulated environment.

Now when the 2010 NBC of Canada was released it required in Part 9 that, “the installation of a hydronic heating system shall conform to applicable provincial or territorial regulations or municipal bylaws or, in the absence of such regulations, to CAN/CSA-B214, ‘Installation Code for Hydronic Heating Systems’.” Municipalities enforcing the Code have significantly reduced the installation issues once present in an unregulated environment.

So here it is…when the design requirements such as the STANDATA 06-BCI-012 and Can/CSA B214 Installation Code are simultaneously enforced in their entirety by Code officials - the consumer protection process works – go figure.

But it is still not perfect as a requirement of the STANDATA, "stipulates that adequate ventilation must be provided for all rooms and spaces in any building. Such provisions shall be properly identified, in detail, on the system design drawings submitted for review."...remains sporadically enforced. Perhaps someone could let me know why this is...

Your tax dollars pay for Codes so feel entitled to have whatever regulations exists in your municipality enforced on your project.


 

 

News: Read the joint statement by Canada's Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Trade Associations regarding consumer complaints with HVAC systems and call to improve the quality of designs, installations and inspections.


Built to code: What does it mean for consumer thermal comfort?
C
opyright 2012, Robert Bean, R.E.T., P.L.(Eng.). All rights reserved.

For additional support on this topic visit our visitor services page.

Ms. and Mr. consumer...if you are about to invest hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars on a home take the time to read the entire article - unlike the money you spent on your degrees, diplomas or school of hard knocks - reading this won't cost you a dime but it'll make you wiser.

Also we get that it is long...but given the size of your upcoming investment - the 15 minutes is well worth the time.


Two important lessons on building codes and thermal comfort for consumers
Note: all emphasis in underline, bold or italics are mine.

As a consumer, this might come as a shock to you but Building Codes in North America are based on limiting probabilities; and products and assemblies related to those probabilities are defined around the lowest allowable government regulated standard before a municipal building inspector is obligated to fail it. It is under these objectives that State and Provincial Codes including the National Building Code of Canada (NBC) address:

  • health and safety

  • accessibility for persons with disabilities

  • fire and structural protection of buildings

Even though there are health statements addressing inadequate thermal comfort, specifically air and surface temperatures in the NBC appendix (see below) - the Code does not specifically address ALL of the required elements necessary for human thermal comfort.

Because I'm an old guy with a long history in the industry I can say with 99% accuracy that in North America as in the UK, 72F (22C) air temperature is treated in isolation with thermal comfort as if two were synonymous terms -even though the knowledge bank of comfort includes numerous other elements studied formally with decades of on-going scientific research in human physiology and psychology.

The results of exhaustive studies are found published today in industry developed thermal comfort standards which state;

         "It is intended that all of the criteria in this standard be applied together   since comfort in the indoor environment is complex and responds to the interaction of all of the factors that are addressed."

Translation: air temperature alone does not define comfort conditions, nor does heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equal indoor environmental quality.

Before you obtain a building permit, be informed that the above quote is from the  globally recognized ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55 which at this time can only be voluntarily adopted as its scope and purpose exceeds the minimum objectives of most if not all Codes related to residential construction. Even the top brand names in housing programs such as Energy Star, LEED, R-2000 still do not reference the Standard even though it serves as a indoor environmental cornerstone in designing spaces occupied by humans.

Keep reading it gets better...

So yes - it's true about codes and the minimum benchmark...and as a member of the public you can test this yourself by asking your potential architect, builder and his/her HVAC sub trades for improvements to building and mechanical systems to meet the voluntary Standard and watch how they respond...the first thing they'll say is "what Standard?", in which case you the consumer will now have to explain it to them, to which they'll respond with, "ooh...that will be an upgrade".

Understand - if improvements "up" to industry developed thermal comfort standards are considered the "upgrade",  then everything below the industry standard should in our opinion be considered a "downgrade" - yes I said a downgrade; and once you learn this stuff you too should consider built to code systems as the downgrade. For those with chronic comfort problems, you have literally and likely paid and are continuing to pay too much for the downgrade.

If you don't want to do the "upgrade/downgrade" experiment with your soon to be construction partners, then here's some actual statements, for example, from the most current version of the National Building Code of Canada(NBC);

  • "The NBC establishes minimum measures..."

  • "...it's requirements can be considered as the minimum..."

  • "no more than the minimum"

and the following direct statement from the National Building Code (NBC) is very useful for consumers unaware that codes are not a guarantee of performance to your individual and subjective needs,

  • "The design of a technically sound building depends upon many factors beyond simple compliance with building regulations."

Please read the last bullet again...it is not a trivial statement and it's very important for your understanding of what it takes a professional, to actually provide thermal comfort in spaces for someone like you - especially when you as a consumer have likely been conditioned by industry to accept the minimum "built to code" HVAC system is the benchmark in acceptable performance.

Here's the thing...regardless of what you may have or will be told by others...past research shows approximately 40% to 50% of home owners are not happy with their indoor environments for a number of reasons - one of which is intimately tied to thermal comfort.(see note 1)

Here's more that you should know...

Is there a place for Thermal Comfort Standards in Residential Construction?

Many argue that there is no place for thermal comfort standards in residential construction which I and industry colleagues find rather short-sighted as do consumers who are presently dealing with thermal comfort issues. Regardless of our opinions, Codes referencing ASHRAE Standards including, "ANSI/ASHRAE 62.2-2004 Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings" will find guidance in Section 2.1 which states, “This standard considers chemical, physical, and biological contaminants that can affect air quality. Thermal comfort requirements are not included in this standard (see ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2004, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy).”

As far as the authoritative ANSI/ASHRAE 62.2 residential ventilation and air quality standard goes, the thermal comfort standard should be consulted in residential construction - full stop.

Built to Code HVAC Budgets

On a macro scale, subject to regional corrections, the "built to code" HVAC budget allowance will range between 3% and 5% of construction costs. You need to interpret this as, "my 'built to code' budget will get me the minimum grade HVAC system before an inspector is obligated to fail it". Even then, you can still have a "built to code" system but the installed quality of the "built to code" system can partially destroy the value of your home (see W5 Investigation "Cold Comfort for Consumers" or "Doc Zone: The Condo Games").

Now some contractors will recoil at this - I can guarantee it - just like I can guarantee the 'recoilers' can't list the ten elements of thermal comfort and just like I can guarantee they don't own the thermal comfort standards. But as we noted in Part I, all you have to do is visit the numerous online HVAC forums and talk to the consumer advocacy groups and better mechanical contractors fixing systems to see what consumers are presently dealing with when it comes to their thermal comfort (see list of professional trade associations).

Please also understand, there are also many very good reputable builders and HVAC contractors presently delivering environments which exceed the standards but realize they are likely not doing it for "built to code" prices.

If nothing else, recognize if building codes and builder budgets for HVAC were judged by educational standards - then your "built to code" HVAC system would earn a grade of D - the minimum. If you find the price of a Grade D product is too high...imagine what happens to the outcome of your Grade D HVAC system should you and everyone else try to negotiate for a lower price? That would be driving the system towards something less than D...you with the street smarts - you can figure out where that goes (see adjacent photo, courtesy of Allison Bailes, III, Ph.D., Energy Vanguard).

I really feel for the better contractors and Code inspectors who have to operate under this caustic system of driving indoor environmental health related system to the "D" grade or lower.

So Ms. and Mr. consumer, if you wanted to achieve a Grade A product (see adjacent photo left) what do you think it would take?

We can tell you...it'll take a different set of design skills, someone versed in indoor climate engineering and building and health sciences; and it will take more time, and will need better trades, equipment and systems.

Most importantly it will take the willingness of the builder and his service providers and suppliers to work with the specialist so that you get - not what is based on Codes -  but what is based on your personal subjective needs.

Finally, if someone on a fixed "built to code" budget believes they can get Grade A HVAC for Grade D prices all we can say is good luck. The past decade has driven every business related to construction to the lowest profit margins ever, and at a time when the fat in business processes have long ago evaporated. Simply put - if a construction related business today isn't running lean and mean it is not in business or its a start up...and if the start up or existing business is actually delivering Grade A systems at Grade D prices it won't be in business for long simply because there are insufficient profits to sustain the operation.

When it comes to "built to code HVAC" it's not what you paid for that'll get you...it will be what you didn't pay for that'll drive you crazy.

HVAC Realities

With the exception of high performance homes such as or comparable to EQuilibrium™ or PassivHaus, there is simply no way around it - all of the proceeding dialogue translates to a required larger share of the construction budget for Grade A indoor climate systems. If you want an efficient system that can establish a healthy environment you are simply going to have to make the building enclosure, natural low VOC materials and HVAC system a priority over size and bling.

In closing on lesson one...even though you can't see it, this part of invisible architecture trumps everything else because;

  • It affects the health of the indoor environment and by association your physical and mental health, the health of your family and health of the relationships you have with people in your home.

  • It affects the monthly utility operating cost of the home and by association your financial cash flow.

  • It affects the integrity of musical instruments, heirlooms, paintings, furniture and finishes and by association the value of these types of assets.

and if matters at all to you,

We don't know how we can be any clearer...if you are building, buying or renovating a home you as an educated person can not pretend to be ignorant of what " built to code" means when it comes to thermal comfort (and other elements of IEQ).
 

Lesson #1: Government developed building codes are not the same as industry developed standards. The only time an industry standard becomes enforceable by code is when it is required by code. As of this writing, when it comes to thermal comfort, residential building regulations in North America do not require conformance to thermal comfort standards. See note (2)


So can you change City Hall?

Keep reading...

Be aware that in the housing industry, builders and their trades are (generally speaking) judged by the code inspectors not on the why - but on the how they have assemble government approved parts.

For example, the framer doesn't need to explain scientifically why he has to use a certain dimension of lumber only that he has to use it as directed by codes; the electrical contractor doesn't need to explain scientifically why he has to use a 14-2 conductor only that he has to use it as directed by code.

As it relates to HVAC, the code provides installation guidance but be informed that being able to select and fit approved pipes and ducts together is not HVAC engineering. Yes, there are good mechanical and electrical contractors out there who also have the credentials and skills to carry out mechanical and electrical  fabrication and assembly work and design; but even mechanical and electrical design is not a proxy for indoor climate design. The former relates to the needs of the building, the latter relates to the needs of the occupants and the two most definitely are not the same thing. If you doubt me check out a representative list of competencies required for an HVAC technician and note the absence of training in physiological and psychological elements affected by the very indoor environment they are conditioning. If you've not already done so, be sure to read, "Thermal Comfort: Everyone Wants It but Few Know the ASHRAE Standard."

Now before you shrug this off as 'Bean needs some sleep' - remind yourself that your house can't call the doctor when you are sick nor can it call the contractor when you are feeling dry, cold, clammy, hot or just downright thermally miserable - it will be you...a real live person; and stuff about real live people (which would only take two hours) is not taught in trade schools.

So how do I know most don't know about the standards?

Because in my 30 plus years in the industry, I've spent the last decade travelling across North America asking mechanical contractors, engineers, architects and interior designers in our IEQ programs to define the ten elements of thermal comfort and consistently only 3% get it right. Yes...you read that right...3 out of 100 as in three out of a hundred, or for effect 30/1000 or 300/10,000.

Speaking up on behalf of contractors

In defence of the contractors and other mechanical designers, most guidance documents issued by the authorities having jurisdiction have statements focusing on the equipment, systems and installation; or heating of buildings and spaces instead of conditioning the occupants.

A representative example of this statement comes from the Alberta Government as it relates to hydronic heating, "The purpose of this STANDATA is to clarify the design requirements of hydronic heating systems, so that an acceptable level of performance may be maintained for all installations. This STANDATA applies to any hydronic heating system intended to provide heat to the interior of the building."

The operative intent is - 'system installation performance to heat the interior of the building' - which yes, - serves the mechanical designer for the purposes of conditioning the building according to codes, but not for the indoor climate design in providing thermal comfort conditions for the occupants.

Many would argue that this is semantics - but it is not...conditioning a building does not necessarily make home owners comfortable as evidenced by formal thermal comfort research and the thousands of complaints recorded in the HVAC chat forums and trouble shooting calls into the better mechanical contractors, HVAC manufacturers and their distributors.

If you still disagree with me on this consider that it only takes an inspector to pass an HVAC system - the occupant isn't even part of the process yet it will be most definitely the occupant who will complain.

If you still can't grasp the difference between conditioning buildings and conditioning bodies - call yourself an HVAC contractor but don't call yourself a comfort contractor.

Now before some of our readers become unglued - let it be known that I agree with Type 3 or 4 homes with well designed HVAC systems the resulting indoor climate creates the conditions for occupants to be satisfied; however understand without a doubt, clauses focusing exclusively on the needs of the house disconnect the industry from both the subjective and objective needs of the very people who are supposed to live and work in the home and that has never sat well with me.

Due to this disconnect, manufacturers, distributors and qualified mechanical contractors have by default become proficient at doing load calculations on buildings and selecting and assembling off-the-shelf and out of the catalogue equipment such as boilers, furnaces, tanks, condensers, pipes, valves and fittings to meet Codes. But unless they have taken our courses (or programs similar to ours), virtually all can not define what it is specifically the building and HVAC system is supposed to deliver as per thermal comfort standards and your personal needs for thermal comfort conditions.

Now please understand I'm not just simultaneously picking on and defending contractors; most public relations, market and sales staff as well as their technical representatives working at the manufacturing and distribution level fall into the same category as do many architects, interior designers, engineers and technicians.

Go ahead and ask "why don't they know"...

For the answer read Part I: Thermal Comfort: A 40 grit perspective for consumers
 

Lesson #2: Qualified contractors assembling government approved parts assembled to the satisfaction of the building codes is not and never will be a performance guarantee of acceptable indoor climates.


So lets' ask some important questions like, "how does the Code address thermal comfort?"

The NBC states for example, "An objective of this Code is to limit the probability that, as a result of the design and construction of the building, a person will be exposed to an unacceptable risk of illness due to indoor conditions. The risk of illness due to indoor conditions addressed in this Code are those caused by...inadequate indoor air quality and thermal comfort and contact with moisture." (ref.: NBC 2010, section 2.2.1.1)

Now before you start jumping to conclusions about the code serving your needs, let us draw your attention to the operative phrase..."risk of illness" - it does not say, "risk of discomfort" - as an educated person you do understand the difference.

It's surprising how many citizens have this sense that Codes deliver quality housing and should be an entitlement for living on the continent; but it is not to be taken for granted that you will find thermal conditions acceptable to you and your family in your Code built home. If you are one of the thousands of people searching online for help with your homes indoor climate you know of what I speak.

Now the Code does state in Section 9.33.3.1, "Indoor Design Temperatures", that, "At the outside winter design temperature, required heating facilities shall be capable of maintaining an indoor air temperature of not less than 22C (71.6F) in all living spaces." As anyone who has sat by a cold window knows, the air temperature can be 22C (71.6F) or hotter and you will still feel uncomfortable; likewise you'll feel unhappy if the floors are cold or if there is a draft - even though the thermostat is happy. 

Message (again): Air temperature and thermostats are inadequate exclusive proxies for human comfort but they do serve the minimum requirements of the building code.

Let's continue on; in Section 9.7.3.2 the Code states, "Windows, doors and skylights and their components...shall be designed, constructed and installed to...ensure comfortable conditions for occupants". Here we finally read a reference to the occupant and we can find this objective in other locations such as in Section 9.25.2.1, "Required insulation"; and Section 9.25.3.1., "Required Barrier to Air Leakage".

The Code also states in the appendix (not the body of the Code) Section A-5.3.1.2.(1), "Use of Thermal Insulation or Mechanical Systems for Environmental Control"; “In addition to controlling condensation, interior surface temperatures must be warm enough to avoid occupant discomfort due to excessive heat loss by radiation.”

Now before you start jumping to conclusions again let us point out that to, "ensure comfortable conditions" you have to know what comfortable conditions are and you should also know what constitutes discomfort; and knowing what defines comfort and discomfort (both subjective terms) is not a requirement of the Code and is not taught in construction and HVAC trade curriculums and rarely taught in HVAC engineering and architectural programs.

If you are wondering why industry doesn't put its foot down and fight for change...well here is how the NBC for example, addresses change:

"In dealing with proposed changes or additions to any of the National Model Codes, the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) considers...: Does the  proposed requirement provide the minimum level of performance - and no more than the minimum - needed to achieve the Code's objective?"

Read that again for effect..."no more than the minimum".

Our translation (like it or not): if the discomfort from inadequate thermal comfort does not send you to the doctor, then the indoor climate contributing to the discomfort meets the objective of the Code.

Last thoughts...

I'm ok with having minimum standards - it's the best way to establish a starting point and certainly none of the proceeding is intended to diminish the work or intentions of the Code community. Unfortunately the unintended consequences of promoting minimum codes in a competitive business is the marketplace turns them into maximum codes in practice.

So what I'm not ok with is consumers being led to believe that Code minimum objectives necessarily serve personal objective and subjective needs especially for health and safety concerns related to thermal comfort and indoor air quality.

The message to the buyers: the only way to date, for you as a consumer to obtain indoor climates conforming to industry developed thermal comfort standards is to make it part of your contract...you'll have to use statements like, "the thermal conditions of the indoor climate shall meet the most current scope and purpose and defined conditions as described in ASHRAE Standard 55 - Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy". For those who are buying existing housing inventory...all we can say is buyer beware and "May the force be with you"...well that's not all we can say but you understand now what it means to buy a "built to code" home.

Conditions for thermal comfort are specifiable, measurable and achievable and its time the industry started to use this as a competitive benchmark.

So that's your lesson for the day on thermal comfort and building codes...wasn't that fun!

..oh...one last thing - be sure to down load the Industry Joint Statement and take it with you to your builder meetings.

For additional support on this topic visit our visitor services page.


Instruments: For building and thermal comfort performance

The blower door (L) and thermographic camera (M) represent known instruments for measuring building performance but for thermal comfort performance you need to use a thermal comfort instrument (R) which measures all of the human elements of thermal comfort which can then be compared to the standards.


Notes/References:

1. Research has been carried out over the past 15 years by organizations such as Decision Analysts (see Statistical Table 24, American Comfort SurveyTM), Honeywell and the Center for the Built Environment. It's likely that since 2010, numbers are improving for those homes built to a voluntary higher Type 3 or Type 4 performance standard. Some quotes from previous studies;

  • "There are 66.1 million homeowners in the U.S. today, and more than half of them report at least some dissatisfaction with their home’s comfort level." Decision Analyst  

  • "In a recent Honeywell survey, consumers ranked their top-three homeowner pet peeves that impact home comfort and livability: particles in the air (especially dust, pet hair and allergens), uneven temperatures and high utility bills." ARA Content Management  

  • "Overall, more occupants are dissatisfied (42%) than satisfied (39%), with 19% of occupants neutral. Of note is the relatively high percentage of responses in the –2 and -3 categories (27%)." ASHRAE Research Report


National media coverage of HVAC and discomfort

2. CTV's W5 Investigative Report: Cold Comfort for Consumers, 2012 (note we would like to emphasize that this report would have been more useful had it been about symptomatic problems with the design, installation and inspection of HVAC system rather than an issue with a specific manufacturer. In our opinion none of the on-site participants (designer, installer and inspector) were appropriately challenged in the way that the manufacturer was presented in the investigation).


Related reading:

Do I need an engineer? A Guide to HVAC/Indoor Climate Design Service Providers
Where will your indoor climate system score?
How to "ball park" your budget for indoor climate control.
Indoor environments: Self assessment
Built to code: What does it mean for consumer thermal comfort?
The Total Comfort System - The "Un-minimum" System
Thermal Comfort: A 40 grit perspective for consumers
Thermal Comfort: A Condition of Mind

Do-It-Yourself HVAC - Should you do it?
The Cost of HVAC Systems - Are You Paying Too Much for Downgrades?
Radiant Installations - The Good, Bad and Ugly
Thermal Comfort Surveys - Post Occupancy, Part I
Thermal Comfort Surveys - Post Occupancy, Part II
HVAC does not equal IEQ


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