I’m intrigued by (and enjoy) the New York Engineers blog, in part because it is has a style and content that you would not expect for a MEP (Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing) engineering practice in a large yet focused market.
Impressively, the blog includes access to a pricing calculator. You need to register to use this form, but there is a “do not contact” option so you won’t be bothered by unwelcome solicitations or follow-up calls if you complete the form.
New York Engineers says it is a national practice, with status as an INC 500 Fastest Growing Company, and with branches in New Jersey and Chicago.
You’ll find impressive and useful content in this blog:
Consider this topic: Improving Building Energy Efficiency Before Installing MEP Systems
Flori Muresan writes a comprehensive post outlining the advantages and ways to improve energy efficiency — important, because as noted in another post, it is possible to “over-engineer” MEP systems, putting in too much capacity and equipment. Accordingly, if you are able to increase energy efficiency in your design, you’ll save significantly on MEP engineering costs.
“The building envelope and its internal layout influence energy performance, and architectural decisions can impact both lighting requirements and HVAC loads,” she writes.
Together, HVAC and lighting can account for over 75% of energy expenses. For this reason, any design decision that reduces the need for these building systems is beneficial for energy performance. While it helps to use efficient solutions like LED lighting and variable refrigerant flow systems, even greater efficiency is possible by optimizing the building itself.
She outlines some options. I’m copying only a portion of the relevant text here; you’ll certainly want to read the entire post for all the insights:
Taking advantage of sunlight in building designs
Sunlight can be double-edged in architectural design: while it provides natural and free lighting, it can also cause glare and unwanted heating. Adequate use of windows and skylights is very important, since they should ideally allow sunlight in while preventing glare and heating.
Using natural ventilation
While natural ventilation is feasible in small buildings, meeting the requirements of a high-rise construction with natural ventilation by itself is very difficult. For this reason, natural ventilation in tall buildings is normally designed to complement mechanical ventilation, and not intended as a replacement.
The feasibility of natural ventilation is influenced by local wind conditions and microclimates. Wind speeds and the prevailing wind direction are considered when specifying building orientation and air intakes.
With respect to the building interior, a common design strategy is using an atrium to create a natural air current upward. However, this approach can create a significant pressure difference between indoor and outdoor air, making doors difficult to open.
Optimizing the building design to reduce HVAC loads
Complete independence from HVAC is rarely possible, but there are many ways to minimize heating and cooling loads. Ideally, a building should minimize summer heat gain and winter heat loss, with an envelope that can conserve indoor temperatures as long as possible. Windows should allow natural lighting while keeping solar heating at bay, and LED lamps can reduce the heat footprint of lighting installations.
Adequate insulation and airtightness are important for a high-performance building envelope, but there is a key design decision at play. Natural ventilation and airtightness are in opposition, and enhancing one aspect limits the other one. In great part, the local climate determines if it makes sense to increase natural ventilation at the expense of airtightness.
Energy efficiency measures are often associated with MEP upgrades, but efficiency can also be enhanced through the building’s architectural design. Ideally, the building should allow natural lighting while minimizing glare effects and unwanted heating. Depending on the local climate, architects can decide if it makes sense to enhance natural ventilation or if the building should be as airtight as possible. High-performance windows and adequate insulation are also vital elements of an efficient building envelope.
Overall, this is a great blog. You can vote for your favourite 2019 Best Construction Blog entries here (you can vote for one or more blogs, but send in one form for each email address):