Water Cannon Testing at Missouri State University’s New Field Hockey Stadium

This post was originally published on August 6, 2014 and updated on Dec 14, 2021.

Our fire protection team provided Missouri State University with their first automatic, large-scale, synthetic turf irrigation system, designed for the field hockey turf at the new Betty & Bobby Allison North Stadium.

Betty and Bobby Allison North Stadium
Photography courtesy of Missouri State University

The Missouri State University water cannon system was designed to provide the new field hockey turf with adequate coverage for safer field conditions and quicker gameplay. The water cannon system is timed for a set duration that can be actuated with remote control activation. The six main sprinklers can launch water over half the distance of the field for complete field coverage. The field is equipped with six Underhill M-160 sprinklers in which two sprinklers are activated at a time on either side of the field.

There are several safety features included to prevent a bystander from being washed away in the several-hundred gallons-per-minute streams of water powered by the activated sprinklers.  An alarm triggers to clear the field prior to discharge of the M-160 sprinklers and smaller sprinklers as a warning to persuade anyone standing too close to the cannon to evacuate.

The design allows the Missouri State University field hockey team to treat their field before a game, during half-time, or prior to practice to ensure consistent playability.

At Ross & Baruzzini, we have all the right expertise for a successful installation. See how we can design the right solution for your Education, Healthcare, Commercial, and Government projects by contacting our team today.

2021 Funding for AES Indiana and Evergy Missouri Energy Improvement Projects

Click here to download your full 2021 Guide for AES Indiana and Evergy Missouri Energy Improvement Projects.

Ross & Baruzzini is an approved RCx study provider for AES Indiana and Evergy Missouri. This qualification allows us to perform a retro-commissioning study to help you achieve greater energy savings with associated utility incentives for your project.

Retro-commissioning (RCx), or existing building commissioning, is a systematic process developed to evaluate, record, and improve a building’s operations. Our team can assist with:

  • Creating prescriptive and custom measure applications
  • Providing required energy calculations
  • Compiling and submitting the required accompanying documentation on your organization’s behalf.

Our team has an extensive background with utility incentive programs. We will work with you and the utility reviewer to ensure that all possible incentive dollars are obtained.

After collecting introductory information regarding your building, such as mechanical and electrical systems information, utility costs, and future projects, we can help guide you towards a more energy-efficient facility:

AES Indiana

Customers who purchase electricity from AES Indiana – formerly Indianapolis Power and Light – may be eligible to receive financial incentives for investing in energy efficiency. Customers can fill out any of three different types of applications to receive the financial incentives from the utility – along with proof of purchase, installation, and in some cases energy calculations – to receive financial incentives for certain energy efficiency measures. Any customer can receive an incentive for up to $100,000 per project and up to $500,000 per customer per year.

Prescriptive Option

This application is the most simple and straightforward option when it comes to receiving incentive dollars from AES. There are three categories of prescriptive incentives – lightingHVAC, and kitchen. Lighting incentive may include any retrofits where older lighting technology (incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, etc.) may be replaced with high efficiency equivalents, such as LEDs. This category also includes exit sign replacements, lighting controls, and de-lamping of overlit areas.

Lighting measures are typically a one for one replacement of lamps and fixtures, except in the case of lighting controls. The HVAC category mostly includes items related to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning – electric and some gas equipment are eligible.

Additionally, this category includes motors (pumps and fans), variable frequency drives, demand-controlled ventilation, smart or programmable thermostats, and air compressors.

Finally, the kitchen category encompasses a wide variety of measures. Most kitchen equipment replacements are eligible for incentives, but also included in this category are clothes washers, dryers, water heaters, vending machines, kitchen ventilation, and electronically commutated motors (ECMs). 

While prescriptive incentives are the most straightforward, they generally do not pay as well as the custom or RCx incentive options can. To get the largest incentives, customers will have to “think outside the prescriptive box”, and implement measures not included in the prescriptive options.

Custom Option

This option includes all measures not listed in prescriptive or measures where the retrofit is not simply a one for one replacement. To receive incentives under this application category, the customer must also submit energy savings calculations along with the application, to prove that savings will be achieved.

If the implemented EEMs (Energy Efficiency Measures) span multiple different technology categories, one application per technology must be submitted. Custom incentives are paid out at a rate of $0.07 to $0.10 per kWh and will not be paid over 50% of the total material and labor cost for the project.

RCx Option

This final option incentivizes customers who hire an approved retro-commissioning provider (RCx) to find savings opportunities. Approved RCx providers perform an RCx study on a facility – this type of study is geared toward improving facility operations and saving energy. These comprehensive studies look at all building systems – from building envelopes to HVAC – to find the greatest energy saving opportunities.

In addition to the incentives received from any prescriptive or custom measure, an additional $0.04 per kWh of calculated savings will be awarded to the customer for any measures uncovered during the RCx study. This incentive maxes out at 75% of the total cost of the study.

To recap, AES customers have several opportunities to get paid for energy efficiency upgrades.

The simplest option is the prescriptive method, though simple, does not generally result in high incentive amounts. The custom incentives offer a better payout, but also require energy savings calculations to be submitted. RCx studies can be performed to uncover prescriptive and custom incentive opportunities, and these RCx studies are also incentivized by the program.

Additionally, for the remainder of the year, AES is offering bonus incentives for applications turned in before a specific deadline:

  • For an additional 30% incentive, customers can turn in their applications on or before September 30, 2021.
  • For an additional 25% incentive, customers can turn in their applications on or before December 31, 2021.

Evergy Missouri

Customers who purchase electricity from Evergy in Missouri may be eligible to receive financial incentives for investing in energy efficiency: 

Prescriptive Option

This application is the most simple and straightforward option to receive incentive dollars from Evergy. For prescriptive measures where the incentive amount is less than $10,000, customers only need to submit an application within 90 days after the equipment has been purchased and installed. For any measures reaching an incentive greater than $10,000, pre-approval is required. 

While prescriptive incentives are the most straightforward, they generally do not pay as well as the custom or RCx incentive options. To receive the largest incentives, customers will have to “think outside the prescriptive box” and implement measures not included in the prescriptive options.

Custom Option

This option includes all measures not listed in prescriptive, or those measures where the retrofit is not simply a one for one replacement. To receive incentives under this application category, the customer must also submit energy savings calculations along with the application, to prove that savings will be achieved.

Custom incentives are paid depending on which technology the savings are coming from.

On the high end, any cooling EEMs (Energy Efficiency Measures) implemented will achieve a rebate at a rate of $0.23/kWh saved. On the low end, HVAC without peak demand reduction, electric heating, and exterior lighting will be incentivized at a rate of $0.04/kWh saved. 

RCx Option

This option incentivizes customers who hire an approved retro-commissioning provider (RCx) to find opportunities for savings. Approved RCx providers perform an RCx study on a facility – this type of study is one that is geared toward improving facility operations and saving energy. These studies are comprehensive and look at all building systems – from building envelope to HVAC –  to find the greatest energy saving opportunities.

In addition to the incentives received from any prescriptive or custom measure, additional incentives will be awarded to the customer for any measures that were uncovered during the RCx study. This incentive maxes out at 100% of the total cost of the study.

To be eligible for the RCx incentive, facilities must be over 100,000 square feet (individual building or campus) and there must be an operational energy management system (EMS) installed. Additionally, any measures implemented that were discovered during the RCx study will be incentivized at rates similar to those custom incentives, albeit at a slightly lower rate. 

New Construction

The new construction incentive option is intended to promote efficiency and sustainability.

New construction includes the following:

  • There is not an existing building footprint in place,
  • gut rehab of an existing building where all mechanical and electrical systems will be replaced,  
  • a “warm shell” construction project where the core elements of the building are included in the project, while future tenants can furnish or expand on the existing building.

Prescriptive and custom incentive options are both available to new construction, but for custom options, the baseline will be decided upon by the building owner and Evergy.

Another option for new construction is whole building performance. Incentives will be awarded based on the savings shown from a whole building energy model. For buildings  showing between 10% and 25% savings, incentives will be calculated at $0.03 per kWh saved over baseline – and this amount increases to $0.04 per kWh if savings are over 25%. This incentive maxes out at $50,000 per site.

To recap, Evergy Missouri customers have several opportunities to get paid for energy efficiency upgrades.

The simplest option is the prescriptive method. While prescriptive incentives are the most straightforward, they generally do not pay as well as the custom or RCx incentive options can. To get the largest incentives, customers will have to “think outside the prescriptive box”, so to speak, and implement measures that are not included in the prescriptive options.

RCx studies can be performed to uncover prescriptive and custom incentive opportunities, and these RCx studies are also incentivized by the program. New construction incentives are available for brand new buildings or gut rehabs, and building owners have the option to submit an energy model to obtain an incentive for overall building energy savings over the baseline.

Get to Know Your Experts

Annie Smith, PE, CEM, LEED, BEMP 
Jonathon Bell CEM, CEA, LEED GA

Jonathon Bell is an experienced Energy Engineer at Ross & Baruzzini with a demonstrated history of working in the energy services industry. He is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM), Certified Energy Auditor (CEA), and a LEED Green Associate. He earned his Bachelor’s degree focused in Energy Engineering from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.

Annie Smith is a Director of Energy Services and Mechanical Engineer at Ross & Baruzzini with experience in energy audits and mechanical design. Her project experience includes commercial office buildings, research laboratories, residence halls, athletic and recreation facilities, and healthcare facilities. Annie has expertise in the ASHRAE Procedures for Commercial Energy Audits, lifecycle cost and payback analyses, and Revit and BIM technologies. She is involved in the local St. Louis chapters of ASHRAE, USGBC, and AEE.

Click here to download your full 2021 Guide for AES Indiana and Evergy Missouri Energy Improvement Projects or contact our energy efficiency team to help with your next project.

HoloRail: A Case Study of Augmented Reality in Train Dispatching

To read the full report on HoloRail, click here.

The United States is at a critical crossroads with its transportation infrastructure.

In late July, Senate Republicans and Democrats voted to push forward a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that would help rebuild antiquated transportation systems. Considering how critical transportation is in the U.S., this is good news.

Americans feel the effects of our outdated transportation infrastructure every day, so it makes sense that the infrastructure bill has been enormously popular with both parties. The 2021 American Society of Civil Engineers report on U.S. infrastructure emphasises the need for transportation network investment, citing:

“As this study shows, we risk significant economic losses, higher costs to consumers, businesses and manufacturers – and our quality of life – if we don’t act urgently. When we fail to invest in infrastructure, we pay the price.” – ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith 

To create a more resilient transportation system, we can’t simply patch up old infrastructure. Leaders in transportation need to start thinking in new ways to prepare for the future.

The Future of Train Dispatching

Ross & Baruzzini received a grant from the Transportation Research Board to develop HoloRailOur objectives were:

  • Test the usefulness of augmented reality (AR) technology as a train dispatcher’s user interface 
  • Recieve feedback from train dispatcher staff
  • Publish our results

Most train dispatchers use multimonitor 2D displays to keep trains and crews moving safely and efficiently across the railway network. However, the bulky equipment limits the layout of control theaters and ties dispatchers to one location.

HoloRail uses AR technology, which enhances the real world with computer-generated information, enables train dispatching in an interactive 3D environment. Virtual reality typically blocks users’ vision. But with AR, train dispatchers can still see and hear what’s going on around them. HoloRail lets dispatchers see informational panels above trains and get a more holistic view of track layouts thanks to the additional planes of movement the tech offers. HoloRail also enables dispatchers to use head and hand movements to manage track diagrams, alarms, train and station information, and so on.

Putting HoloRail to the Test

Staff from the Utah Transit Authority and Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority partnered with us on the project to determine its requirements, perform user testing, and provide feedback.

After 10 minutes of training, 90% of dispatchers learned to use the interface. About 80% said they would feel comfortable using HoloRail on the job. Given these positive results, we believe it is a viable future option after additional testing is completed.

The primary limitations we encountered involved the hardware. The headset battery, for instance, lasted two and a half hours during user testing. However, train dispatchers usually work eight-hour shifts.

Additionally, some dispatchers mentioned that the headset felt uncomfortable after an hour. The good news is the manufacturers are making significant improvements in wearability and battery life daily, improving the likelihood of AR technology adoption by train dispatchers in the future. 

The Vast Potential for AR in Transportation

AR’s use cases in transportation don’t begin and end with train dispatchers. For example, AR also offers an exciting breakthrough in remote maintenance. Field technicians can wear AR headsets to collaborate with remote technicians who will be able to see what the field technician sees and highlight items in their line of sight. And when the technicians need information or specifications, they can simply overlay it on the dynamic display.

Additionally, there’s an opportunity to modify the train dispatching platform to work for bus dispatching. Such a platform could display 3D map views of bus locations, seamlessly integrate camera feeds, and communicate important information.

To meet our current and future needs, we must focus on technology adoption. At Ross & Baruzzini, we’re committed to sensing and responding to disruption in the transportation industry in order to address emerging needs and usher in the future of intelligent transportation systems. 

To learn more about our mobility team, check out our intelligent transportation systems projects as well as our work in rail and transit.

To read the full report on HoloRail, click here.

Megan Huff, PfMP is the vice president and managing principal of the Mobility Systems division of Ross & Baruzzini, a premier international technology consulting and engineering firm. With more than 20 years of experience in the transportation industry, Megan has an extensive track record in end-to-end delivery of complex, high-priority projects on tight schedules within mission-critical service organizations.

Celebrating Black History Month: Honoring Security Pioneer Marie Van Brittan Brown

In today’s progressive world, I am proud to acknowledge our strong Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) committee. When I was asked to identify if any influential people in the Black community have affected the security industry over time, I was initially a bit stumped. However, after researching the subject I quickly discovered how uninformed I was.

This is my 42nd year providing leadership for our security consultants and engineers in the physical and electronic security industry. Over this time, I was always aware of industry threats, trends and products. I believed myself to have a comfortable understanding of what seemed to be some of the key historical time-line developments that shaped our services and offerings. As it turns out, this belief was false: I missed a valuable one.

When I started in 1979, there were no digital keypads, no LED displays, and card access was in its infancy. We relied on alarm panels, barrel type key switches, and tape dialers that called building operators with a pre-recorded message if the alarm was triggered.

I worked with several veteran security technicians and managers who tutored me in “alarm systems” history, which was limited and focused on a product or manufacturer. Ultimately, I was a novice being taught by those who had limited knowledge. I was schooled on the large system providers such as ADT, Brinks, and Chubb who seemed to be the fathers and founders of my newly adopted career.

Marie Van Brittan Brown

Presently, the possibility of discovering how Black History might have influenced our growth and evolution of technology was an exciting concept. Today, it is clear more than ever history can be lost to time or purposely hidden. Amazingly, in less than 15 minutes of searching, I discovered someone that completely rewrote my previous history lessons. On a topic such as this, it is easy to see why: she was a woman of color in a time where both aspects weren’t always well-respected.

Marie worked odd hours, leaving her home alone with her children. There were many days when she worked the night shift, requiring her to sleep during daytime hours. Marie was always concerned about who might be lurking in the neighborhood and whether they would be a threat to her or her family.

To create a safer environment, Marie decided something had to be done to provide more time for police response and increase safety precautions in her home. This is when the home alarm system was born. Marie devised a series of devices to monitor doors, windows with the ability to turn on or off specific areas of her home. This is known as “arming” or “disarming” in modern home alarm systems. Marie worked with her husband to wire their house, developing the first fully operational home alarm.

Marie did not stop there; her idea provided a clear vision for the future. This led her to develop the first closed-circuit TV (CCTV) system, creating the foundation of modern residential and commercial surveillance systems.

Marie continued to expand her quest for manageable safety measures. She added audio intercoms to augment the video from the CCTV system. Now, she could see and communicate with someone at her front door without leaving her bedroom. Today, we can relax in bed and use our smartphones to do the same.

Marie’s sketches and designs were submitted for a patent. In 1966, the patent was finalized for her home security system as U.S Patent # US3482037:

She became an inspiration to others, spawning a multitude of ideas and inventions, leading us to our contemporary world of security technology. I am proud to be part of an industry that stemmed from such a bright and inventive woman, who most likely faced with many challenges along the way due to her race and gender.

I now think of Marie every time I walk past the digital LED keypads in my home with a new appreciation for what she inspired. Marie died in Jamaica, Queens in 1999 leaving behind a legacy that is now an invaluable part of our daily lives.

You can also watch a short video produced by MSNBC here

Sources:

Wikipedia

America Comes Alive

Article by Phil Santore, Vice President and Managing Principal for Ross & Baruzzini Security

Quality Inn Hotel Becomes Non-Acute COVID-19 Patient Care Facility

At midnight on Saturday, April 11, a 4 story Quality Inn hotel in Florissant, Missouri was successfully converted into a non-acute COVID-19 Patient Care Facility. With the deadline being met this facility was ready to receive patients on the morning of Sunday, April 12. The facility will be used for patients on the backside of their COVID-19 treatment before discharge to provide off-loading space from the hospital. This was a joint effort with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State of Missouri, Missouri National Guard, State Highway Patrol, St. Louis County and a fantastic contracting team that included several equipment and material suppliers along with the following firms:

  • Ross & Baruzzini
  • Tarlton
  • Rock Hill Mechanical
  • Guarantee Electric
  • Waterhout
  • Woodard
  • Collins & Herman Fencing
  • Flooring Systems
  • Tech Electronics
  • Ward Painting
  • Kone Elevator

“We are proud to be part of the integrated design-build team on this facility that responds locally to the COVID-19 Pandemic.”  Mike Shea, Ross & Baruzzini Director of Government Market

The multi market Ross & Baruzzini team from Government, Higher Education and Healthcare made up of Mike Shea, Scott Ethridge, Mike Harris, Brooks Becker, Roger Czmowski, Brad Pierce and Mark Heise provided 24/7 in field site investigation, construction administration, and architectual and engineering technical support.

“This job was exciting and really proves what your experience is worth when it counts.” Scott Ethridge, Ross & Baruzzini Director of Operations Government Market

The Ross & Baruzzini team all wore their masks and gloves and practiced social distancing as they worked with 400 tradesmen to complete the task at hand. This combined team had 79 hours from contract signature to turn-over. In this time they prepared 120 single patient rooms, 4 nurse stations, a triage center, ambulatory drop off, 1200 lineal feet of fencing, as well as re-programmed the phone system for nurse call, relocated the roof top exhaust fans, replaced the 4th floor carpet, and replaced 20 HVAC units.

Ross & Baruzzini COVID-19 Rapid Response in action!

Mike Shea and Scott Ethridge COVID-19 Rapid Response
Scott Ethridge (far left), Mike Shea (second from left) and St. Louis Co. Executive Sam Page (third from left) at the Project Briefing 

Replaced rooftop exhaust equipment 

Relocated rooftop exhaust equipment for fresh air intake clearance requirements 

Relocated rooftop exhaust equipment for fresh air intake clearance requirements 

Replaced packed terminal air conditioning units at patient room locations 

Installed ionic antimicrobial air purifier units 

Converted guest rooms into patient rooms 

Increased exterior lighting at patient intake/ screening 

Installed fire department access lock boxes at front and rear building access points 

Installed perimeter fence for security and patient privacy 

More about Ross & Baruzzini

Ross & Baruzzini is a global technology consulting and engineering firm continually ranked among the top companies in the nation. It provides advanced solutions in the healthcare, government, higher education, transportation and mission-critical sectors. With more than 400 employees, Ross & Baruzzini executes projects in 30 countries.

Ross & Baruzzini offers a full range of risk-based professional emergency preparedness and security consulting services. As a complement to Ross & Baruzzini’s planning, design and engineering disciplines, the Group provides clients with solutions to meet day-to-day and long-term operational needs. Our team has direct professional experience in emergency preparedness and response, law enforcement, life/health/safety, physical and electronic security systems, risk assessment, and training and exercise services.

Detroit’s New Little Caesars Arena Officially Opens

On Sept. 5, 2017, Little Caesars Arena in Detroit was introduced to the world in a big way during a ribbon cutting ceremony, which was the kickoff event to a weeklong preview of the arena for media outlets and project contributors. Little Caesars Arena (LCA) is the new home of the Detroit Red Wings and Pistons. LCA is the anchor project for a new 50-block redevelopment in downtown Detroit simply known as, “The District Detroit.” The District Detroit is a world-class sports and entertainment development that spans 50 city blocks and five neighborhoods and includes six theaters/performing art centers and four professional sports teams. DVS, a division of Ross & Baruzzini is currently working with Olympia Development of Michigan on a number of projects related to The District Detroit development.

Little Caesars Arena Media Event
Little Caesars Arena Media Event
Inside Little Caesars Arena
Inside Little Caesars Arena
Inside Little Caesars Arena
Inside Little Caesars Arena

As the Security Consultant and Engineer of Record for the arena, DVS was tasked with designing electronic security and developing physical security protective measures that supported the programmatic and architectural elements of the arena’s overall design. DVS services for the project included recommendations for site physical security measures, a vehicle threat vector analysis (through sub-consultant) and the design of site-wide access control, intrusion detection, video surveillance, emergency intercom, integrated suite access control, and visitor management systems. DVS also provided Construction Administration services that included bid and award all the way through final system commissioning. Additionally, DVS provided consultation and supporting documentation to the Client, as part of the Department of Homeland Security Safety Act certification process.

Little Caesars Arena officially opened its doors to the public for a six-show concert event starring Detroit native Kid Rock that runs from Sept. 12-20, 2017. The Detroit Red Wings are scheduled to play their first regular season hockey game in the new arena on Oct. 5, 2017.

About the Contributor:

Jeremy Zweeres

Jeremy Zweeres is a Senior Associate with over 15 years of experience in the industry focusing on security system integration and design engineering for commercial, federal, cultural, and high risk facilities. Jeremy joined DVS, a division of Ross & Baruzzini in 2007 and was the Project Manager and Lead Engineer for the new 785,000sf, 21,000-person Little Caesars Arena project.

Ross & Baruzzini Offers Specialized Expertise in Fire Protection Engineering

Ross & Baruzzini announces the addition of certified fire protection engineering services through the recent promotion of engineer Ben Brooks, PE, to Director of Fire Protection Engineering Services. Ben is a licensed fire protection engineer with experience in fire protection, plumbing, and medical/laboratory gas systems for multiple industries. In his new role, Ben’s focus will be on the expansion of Ross & Baruzzini’s fire protection engineering services that can be offered to our clients across all markets. 

Fire protection involves the coordination, design, and integration of many disciplines and systems, with the intent being to provide solutions that protect human life, business continuity, and property. Our service offerings include:

Fire Protection Engineering Consulting

  • Design/Plan Creation and Review
  • Emergency Responders’ Radio Coverage Mapping
  • Hazardous Material Analysis
  • Fire Protection and Water Supply Analysis
  • Risk/Hazard Evaluation
  • Wet & Dry Sprinkler System Design
  • Clean Agent & Chemical Fire Protection Evaluation and Design
  • Smoke Control Analysis and Design
  • Fire Modeling & Smoke Modeling
  • Property, Process, and Risk Analysis
  • Peer/Third Party Plan and Specification Review
  • Code Interpretation
  • Egress Analysis, Review, and Modeling
  • Data Center and Warehouse Fire Hazard Assessment and Consulting

Fire Protection System Design Services

  • Fire Sprinkler System, Suppression, Extinguishment, and Special Hazard Protection Systems Design and Analysis
  • Fire Main, Water Service, Fire Pump and Water Storage Design
  • Fire Alarm System Design/Mass Notification Design
  • Project Construction Administration, Observation, and Inspection Service
  • Fire Protection Extinguishment, Suppression, and Alarm Commissioning

Inspection, Testing, and Commissioning of Fire Protection Systems

  • Study and Inspect Conditions of Existing Buildings
  • Code and Bid Document Compliance Inspections
  • Witness Operation Testing of Fire Protection Systems for Integration with Other Building/System Components
  • Maintenance Schedule Development and Review.

Ross & Baruzzini Opens Office in Overland Park, Kansas

Ross & Baruzzini has opened a Kansas City regional office in Overland Park, Kansas. The new location strengthens the firm’s network of services and affirms the company’s commitment to providing local delivery to an expanding client base. The addition of the Kansas City office brings the total number of office locations to 11.

This is the latest expansion for Ross & Baruzzini, a 250-person firm serving an impressive list of national and international clients. In 2016 the firm opened a new office in Chicago through the acquisition of Mitchell Planning and Associates.

“We are very motivated to continue on the growth trajectory that has more than doubled our firm size over the past five years,” remarked Bill Overturf, President of Ross & Baruzzini. This growth allows us to provide new leadership opportunities for individuals to continue to step up in our organization and to attract and retain truly great people.  Kansas City, where we already enjoy a number of close client relationships, is a natural next step.”

The office will be led by Dan Phelan, P.E., LEED AP BD+C, a Project Manager and Senior Mechanical Engineer who has been with Ross & Baruzzini for nearly 10 years. Dan has led projects for many of our clients in the Government, Higher Education, Healthcare and Research markets. In addition to the leadership he brings to the firm, he has deep technical skills focused on energy saving retrofit projects and sustainable design techniques. 

“It gives me great pleasure to lead the Ross & Baruzzini Kansas City office,” said Phelan. “I am both honored and excited to be part of this new growth opportunity for the firm. This expansion will help us not only enhance relationships with existing clients within the Kansas City region, but also engage new clients across multiple markets,” said Phelan.

The new office is located at 6811 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Suite 201, Overland Park, Kansas.

A Critical Look at Cold Supply Air Systems

Stephen W. Duda, PE, LEED AP BD+C, BEAP, HFDP, HBDP, ASHRAE Fellow
Project Manager/Senior Mechanical Engineer

In the course of a 30-year career, this consulting engineer has been asked to retrofit, remodel, modify, or study the HVAC systems of many existing buildings designed by other engineers. Occasionally, that existing HVAC system has been a colder-air variable air volume (VAV) system, sometimes using a supply air temperature (SAT) as cold as 44°F (6.7°C). While realizing almost any common HVAC choice has pros and cons, I have on those occasions pondered why the original engineer would have selected such a cold SAT. Additionally, from time to time, I see magazine articles or vendor presentations promoting colder SAT, which is usually contrasted with conventional air at or about 55°F (13°C). With recent advances in high-performance VAV systems and dual-maximum VAV damper controls, it is time to revisit that concept.

Click here to access the entire white paper:                                                                      http://www.rossbar.com/perch/resources/2016-12-01dudaa-critical-look-at-cold-supply-air-systems.pdf

This article was published in ASHRAE Journal, December 2016. Copyright 2016 ASHRAE. Posted at www.ashrae.org.

Explaining to a Layperson How Air Conditioners Work

Stephen W. Duda, PE, LEED AP BD+C, BEAP, HFDP, HBDP, ASHRAE Fellow
Project Manager/Senior Mechanical Engineer

One challenge I like to pose to younger consulting engineers is to explain to me how a simple air-conditioning unit works, at its most basic, fundamental level. Usually, the responses I get include a lot of college textbook jargon such as “well, there is an isentropic process in the compressor which . . .” or some version of the perfect gas law with regard to the refrigerant, or a discussion of the Reverse Carnot Cycle. I stop them. And, I ask them to tell me in simple layperson’s terms what is the process in an air conditioner that makes air cold. That skill is important because it confirms whether they truly understand how it works, and it enables them to explain the process to non-technical clients in the future.

Click here to access the entire white paper:  http://www.rossbar.com/perch/resources/2016-08-01-duda-explaining-to-a-layperson-how-air-conditioners-work.pdf

This article was published in ASHRAE Journal, August 2016. Copyright 2016 ASHRAE.