Online educational resource on achieving indoor environmental quality with radiant based HVAC systems
Not for profit educational resource on indoor environmental quality.
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Fundamentals of indoor environmental quality / thermal comfort and air quality solutions using radiant based HVAC



Not mine but worth sharing...

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched."
Helen Keller

On heating lines, "It's about going from A to B without losing C" unknown

“I don’t care if you work for me, I don’t care if you work for so-and-so, I just want you to design like you give a damn.”
C. Sinclair, Architecture for Humanity

"Manufacturers need to use less so-called jargon monoxide and communicate more about the human experience, not just about the object."
Esty Pujadas

"A moron switch: a switch which enable something to operate more on than necessary."
Paul Raymer

A throw away air filter is worth throwing away.

The answer to almost everything related to indoor air quality is, IT DEPENDS. Hal Levin

We are running out of atmosphere to put our pollution in.

There is a backlash against complexity. The coming together of the architects and engineers is what will take us to the next level. The training of architects and engineers is leading to simplicity and elegance. Joseph Lstiburek, Ph.D., P.Eng.

I don’t like mini splits. They’re ugly and ineffective. They’re a passing fad. Joseph Lstiburek, Ph.D., P.Eng.

We’re celebrating February with 28 bits of wit, wisdom and witticisms – one for each day of the month. Most are original, some are borrowed, a few are derivatives from other fields - all should be considered seriously. Share with those that care...

1) If some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically - it’s best to take precautionary measures.

2) If building to ASHRAE Standards is considered an upgrade, then building anything below an ASHRAE Standard must be considered a are you paying too much for downgrades? Think about it.

3) Creating 3400F flame temperatures in a 98% efficient furnace or boiler to maintain 72F is not sustainable no matter how you look at it.

4) Proponents of naturally ventilated spaces might want to consider the stack effect and powerful draft it pulls when the outside air is hot, humid and polluted. At over 10 air changes per hour it only takes minutes for the quality of the indoor air to become the quality of the outdoor air.

5) We don’t inhale thermal comfort - it's sensed predominately through our skin with radiation being one of the defining factors - so remind me why we try to use air exclusively to condition people?

6) 100% of all condensation problems in buildings conditioned exclusively with air did not have radiant cooling panels to blame. Go figure.

7) Once again for the gazillionth time…indoor air quality is not a proxy for thermal comfort quality.

8) We're repositioning HVAC under the healthcare, cash flow management & asset protection industry instead of construction, are you ok with that?

9) Don’t ya just wish the makers of Clearasil would come up with paint to vanish away all the control acne adoring the walls of American homes?

10) Are we done polishing the cannon balls in architecture, building construction and engineering? I mean, if you can’t measure beyond two decimal places with standard instrumentation - it hardly makes sense to calculate to four!

11) If architects and their clients really cared about energy and IEQ they’d stop commissioning origami buildings.

12) Developers of CADD programs have figured out how to make everything plumb, level and square so that contractors have something to laugh at over safety meetings and coffee breaks.

13) How do you figure that an electric based HVAC system is 100% efficient when it’s connected to a coal fired power plant where the cooling tower spews copious amounts of unused energy into the environment? A cooling tower at a power plant is by far the biggest oxymoron known to mankind.

14) Building scientists, interior designers, HVAC and lighting engineers are to the building as DNA is to the body. This is why architects should only be commissioned after the DNA has been defined.

15) Architecture constructs a judgment conflict between what you spend on stimulating your vision versus what you spend stimulating what you smell, feel and hear.

16) A very famous architect recently stated something that could be interpreted as,  “sustainability is thoughtless and a mantra for less talented people to get their way.” You’ll have to guess who it is but his first name was Frank and his last name rhymes with scary.

17) 125 million visual receptors per eye vs. appx 166,000 thermal sensors in the skin - is why, “In a Town Called Comfort, Only the Blind Can See”.

18) If construction were a ProAm boxing match, where would the minimum requirements of the building codes be positioned?

19) If ASHRAE's High Performance Buildings is not the cook book for your new building you may want to look for another chef.

20) Let’s make complicated programmable thermostats’ with small little buttons and a 20 page manual printed in #6 font and then sell them to older people who have or are losing their visual acuity, manual dexterity and cognitive ability. Duh?

21) Is it true - if all one knows about is air filtration, everything looks like particulate?

22) 100% of all hardwood flooring problems in buildings conditioned exclusively with air did not have radiant floor heating to blame.

23) EcoBling for houses, a sure cure for EcoGuilt - the gift that keeps on giving! Available now without prescription at your local RES outlet.

24) Sales before science is just wrong! A message to those selling high efficiency appliances for systems needing to operate above the combustion gas dew point.

25) The hereditary conflict between consumer and contractor is borne unto every construction project from the process of building for bullion versus building for the body.

26) We can move forward once the construction industry grasps the H in HVAC is not exclusively heating comfort, the V is not exclusively air quality and the AC is not exclusively cooling comfort.

27) They are part of the autonomic functions of the body, the ASHRAE Standards attempt to reflect them and the commerce of contracting gets to ignore them. Guess what “they” are?

28) Help me understand why most HVAC technicians say separate ventilation systems are more effective but the problem with hydronics is you need one? Duh?

There you have it...our ode to each day in February, 2014 - have a great year.

If February had more than 28 days...

If the thermostat is supposed to be our thermal ambassador to the HVAC system, why doesn’t it sense what we sense? Does this make sense?

Rule #1 with HVAC – its not what you get for 3% to’s what you didn’t pay for that will add discomfort and stress to your life.

At the end of the day, building enclosures must change to enable maximum performance from indoor environmental systems – full stop.

Character traits of people I like working for: plumb, level and square with a bit of a chip off the block.

Architects see engineers as solution providers; engineers see architecture as something that fouls or facilitates maximum performance from indoor environmental systems.

Start with mandatory 97% boiler eff. or HP COPs > 4 and work backwards; ask what would the building and HVAC systems have to look like?

The retention or release of ones body heat is an intimate function of the mean radiant temperature ...this must become the focus of comfort control.

It's time for "Hydronics Haiku" need I say more?

The difference between control automation and control intimidation is highly dependant on the skills of user.

Am I the only one who finds it odd that most HVAC designers never get to talk to the HVAC client?

The temperature of stratified air in a space conditioned with radiant floors will never exceed that of the radiant floor panel temperature (sans discussion on solar gains).

Prescribing before diagnosing leads to unintended consequences.

If satisfying a thermostat setting destroys the process of decontamination, deodorization and dehumidification of ventilation air the HVAC system is dysfunctional.

My ethos towards humanity and skills as an indoor climate designer doesn't allow me to accept the rise and fall of outdoor temperatures as a means of population control.

A few by others...

The indoor environment doesn’t come with nutritional labels – it’s up to you to write your own.

We can not forget - energy efficiency in buildings is for the benefit of conditioning the occupants. Dr. B.W. Olesen

An energy declaration without a declaration related to the indoor environment makes no sense. Dr. F. Nicol

Owning a recirculating range hoods would be like owning a recirculating toilet. Dr. J. Straube

It's taken America 10 years to realize that tankless water heaters work better with tanks. Dr. J. Straube

If you want to something to be dirt-cheap, make it out of dirt. Unknown

Comfort should always trump energy use. In truth, we are, first of all, in the business of applied biophysics. Doing so using the least amount of energy is not the goal, but part of the process. Dan In-Hout

To reduce energy consumption by decreasing the quality of the indoor environment is a bad investment. Dr. B.W. Olesen

"...efficiently wasted energy is not sustainability." Dr. W. Bahnfleth, P.E., 2013/14 ASHRAE President

"...air pollution is not a lifestyle choice but a ubiquitous involuntary environmental can affect everyone"  J.Bonnici, M.D

"It’s as if we’re a screwdriver in a world where people don’t quite understand screws." R. Hoffman, Linked-In co-founder

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