Building Better Buildings

When representing manufacturers that constantly innovate their products, it is ACP’s responsibility to understand how and why their technology evolves. Sometimes change is required by code, but more frequently a product is developed or redesigned to make a process more efficient. While mechanical plans must comply with code, factors like efficiency, convenience, and compatibility are under the discretion of the architects and engineers designing a building. Just like doctors stay up to date with medical procedures, engineers should be in tune with industry advances and how they can positively influence a design. The following technologies are just a few examples of how manufacturers have advanced in this way:

Outdoor Duct – The traditional method of insulating and cladding sheet metal duct for outdoor use is antiquated. While code compliant after installation, weatherization to the system is inevitable after its typical 1-year warranty. Water penetration, air leakages, loss of thermal resistance, and microbial growth are all reasons why the industry needed a new solution for outdoor duct. These are the same issues that Thermaduct targets with its titanium-infused vinyl-cladded, close-cell phenolic duct that offers high R-Values and low (if any) air leakages without the use of fiberglass insulation or duct liner. Pre-fabricated and ready to install upon job site arrival, Thermaduct saves the contractor time and effort while providing the owner a sense of security with its 10-year warranty. Contact ACP today to learn more.

EC motors – Since the early 2000s, many manufacturers have realized the advantages of replacing their low-horsepower permanently-split capacitor (PSC) motors with electronically commutated (EC) motors. Not only do they operate at lower temperatures (providing a longer design life), they are inherently controllable, more efficient, and much quieter than other induction motors. Specifying EC motors should be a standard practice for low operating horsepower fans. This is why both Greenheck and Price integrate them into many of their products including fans, terminal units, and rooftop ventilators.

Air Curtains – Although air curtains are commonly associated with loading docks, engineers and architects should really start thinking about bringing them indoors. Why? They could save a lot of money and space by replacing vestibules with them. Since 2015, the IECC has recognized air curtains as a legitimate substitute to the C402.4.7. vestibule code. As long as there is a minimum velocity of 2 m/s (393.7 fpm) at the floor, building owners can gain back valuable square-footage. Concerned about the looks or noise of a bulky air curtain? Consider Powered Aire’s new model: the Chameleon. Contact ACP to learn more.

Low Static HEPA Filters – Required by code for a number of clean room applications, HEPA filtration is a necessity notorious for imposing high static pressure loads on mechanical equipment. Thankfully, AAF/Flanders has introduced the world’s first HEPA-rated filter that offers 50% of the static pressure load required by traditional ultrafine glass-fiber media. Using a durable, tear-free, fabric-like material called expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), AAF/Flanders HEPA filters represent another way building a better building is possible with Air Control Products.

Authored by Matthew Halley
Air Control Products, Inc.