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New Refrigerant Regulations Impact HVAC Systems

Rising energy costs and a movement toward sustainability are driving changes in the commercial HVAC market. As design engineers, building owners and mechanical contractors focus on increasing comfort and maintaining air quality while reducing overall energy consumption, the technology and components of HVAC systems are constantly being reevaluated.

Two heating and cooling methods often compared in terms of energy consumption and system performance are hydronic systems and variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems.

Hydronic systems provide water-based heating and cooling through pipes, ductwork and other components such as pumps, drives, controls, heat exchangers and valves. VRF systems use refrigerant as the primary heating/cooling medium, comprised of a main compressor unit connected through refrigerant lines to multiple indoor cassette units that can be individually controlled.

Updated refrigerant safety guidelines
As the industry continues its shift to sustainable building practices to maximize building performance while minimizing environmental impact, the type of HVAC system installed is an important factor in realizing energy-efficiency targets.  

[Read more]

AHR 2018

Save the Date! The RPA Membership Reception at AHR

During the 2018 AHR Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago, the Radiant Professionals Alliance Membership Reception will be held on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 from 6:00 PM until 8:00 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place adjacent to the exhibition halls at 2233 South Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.

FREE BEER! Join us for an evening of good old fashioned hydronic camaraderie, food and beverages. Come and talk with the Who's Who of the hydronics industry, and meet the folks behind the development of the Building Energy Efficiency Tool (BEST).

AwardDuring this year's event, the Carlson-Holohan Industry Award of Excellence will be transferred to its newest recipient, which since 2006 happens once every two years. Come join the fun! Please RSVP to les.nelson@radiantpros.org.


RPA Education Track

During next year's AHR EXPO in Chicago, the RPA will again be sponsoring an education track through the kind contributions of several members:

Radiant CoolingWilliam Werthman, Senior Technical Advisor, Legend Valve
Dry panel systems can be a good option for many installations, you just need to know when to use them. During this learning lab, Bill will discuss the differences between wet and dry panel systems, when dry panel systems should be installed, control strategies, and combination systems. If you are looking to add radiant cooling to your service offerings then you need to be at this session.

Design and Installation of Hydronic Snow and Ice Melting Systems to Optimize Performance and EfficiencyLance MacNevin P.E., Plastics Pipe Institute
From congested cities with limited outdoor public spaces to aging populations in private homes, the safety, convenience and savings provided by hydronic Snow and Ice Melting systems are more beneficial than ever, especially as changing weather patterns increase snowfall in many regions. This introduction to hydronic snow and ice melting systems (SIM) includes discussion of benefits, applications, installation techniques, design considerations, control options, and estimating operating costs.

The Effects of Radiant Heated Windows on the Overall Designs of a Supporting Physical PlantMark Eatherton, Chairman, Radiant Professionals Alliance Technical Committee
Radiant windows have been on the European market for 30 years. They are starting to make their way across the pond and will most probably be making an appearance on a job site near you. Find out what their applications are, how they work, and the net effect on sizing of the physical plant supporting these buildings.

The BEST Way to Compare HVAC Systems Greg Cunniff, P.E., Taco Inc.
The Building Efficiency System Tool (BEST) software was designed to help prospective buyers, consulting engineers, and design/build professionals analyze real-world HVAC options to pinpoint the best system that meets budgetary and performance requirements. BEST solves the challenge of accurately comparing different styles of HVAC systems early in the design process by bringing EER, IEER, SEER, and COP data together to compare the performance, life cycles, and costs for any type of HVAC system, apples to apples. It is a significant time-saver.

Circulation in Hydronic SystemsJohn Siegenthaler, P.E., Principal, Appropriate Designs, Caleffi North America
Test your understanding of how water circulates through hydronic heating and cooling systems. What are the differences between head and pressure? How is a system curve created? How should circulators be operated for highest efficiency. What is distribution efficiency. This session focussed on the technical fundamentals that anyone designing hydronic systems should understand and apply.

Radiant Cooling in the Windy CityMax Rohr, Academy Manager, REHAU
This seminar introduces radiant cooling as a technology for reducing operating costs and lowering carbon footprints while increasing occupant comfort in commercial applications. You will learn what radiant cooling is and what benefits it has to human comfort. Case studies will be presented that cover design considerations to effectively utilize radiant cooling technology, including an award winning project in Chicago.

High Mass or Low Mass - Which Radiant Solution is Best for Your Project?Devin Abellon, Business Development manager, Uponor Michael Matzura, National Business Manager - Radiant, Zehnder Rittling
Radiant heating and cooling solutions are being incorporated more and more on commercial applications as a means to provide optimum occupant comfort while reducing overall system energy usage. One solution is to embed tubing in the concrete slab to create a high-mass radiant surface. Another approach utilizes low-mass manufactured panels to manage heating and cooling loads. Which system approach is right for your project? This session will explore the benefits and challenges associated with each strategy. Attendees will gain a better understanding of how these systems work and how to design and specify the right system for the right application.

HIA-C Breakfast at AHR

You are invited to join the members of the Hydronics Industry Alliance Commercial at AHR for breakfast to hear about the plans for moving hydronics to the front of the HVAC discussion.

When: Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Time: 9:00 AM
Where: Room N135 at the AHR Expo (North Hall Level 1)
Who Should Attend: HVAC system design engineers, architects, mechanical contractors

Find out how the Building Efficiency System Tool (BEST) can help get hydronic-based HVAC systems on the table at the early design phase of new building construction. If you are interested in a convincing tool which quickly compares the relative costs of owning and operating various HVAC systems, you'll want to be at this event. Please RSVP to les.nelson@radiantpros.org.

IAPMO Holds Technical Committee Meetings for Development of the 2018 USPSHTC and USEHC

The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) this month concluded Technical Committee meetings toward the ANSI-accredited consensus development of the 2018 editions of the Uniform Solar Energy and Hydronics Code® (USEHC) and Uniform Swimming Pool, Spa and Hot Tub Code® (USPSHTC). The USPSHTC meeting was held via teleconference and the USEHC meeting was held at IAPMO's World Headquarters West building in Ontario, Calif.

The technical committees, consisting of a broad coalition of industry experts — installers, inspection officials, contractors, engineers, and manufacturers — considered public comments to amend the USEHC and USPSHTC in advance of the release of the 2018 editions. Their actions to accept, modify, or reject these comments will be electronically balloted to the technical committees for formal voting between Nov. 15 and Dec. 4. The results of these votes will be published in the Report on Comments to be published for review in March 2018.

[Read more]

IAPMO/ASSE/ANSI 19210 Hydronic Installer Training and Certification

Register for an upcoming ASSE Standard 19210 Training and Certification class. RPA training to this standard shows that your knowledge of industry best practices, state of the art installation techniques, and compliance with applicable codes and standards has been tested and certified – helping you stand out in a competitive market.

Upcoming classes:

CAL-STEAM Supply, Hayward, CA | February 1-15, 2018

Take your skills to the next level and demonstrate your knowledge to your customers!

At the Request of Industry, U.S. Senate Committee Supports WaterSense

The U.S. Senate, at the urging of the plumbing industry and its partners, via language in a Department of the Interior appropriations bill for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2018, expresses strong support for the continued operation and complete funding of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) WaterSense consumer product labeling program.

"The Committee rejects the proposed elimination of the WaterSense program, and provides not less than the fiscal year 2017 level," per the bill, introduced recently by the Appropriations Committee.

[Read more]

HeatSmart Mass Installers Request for Proposals

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) are seeking proposals from installers of clean heating and cooling technologies who are interested in participating in the HeatSmart Mass pilot with expertise in some or all of the following residential technologies: air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps, central biomass heating, and solar hot water.

HeatSmart Mass is a community-based outreach and education program that will encourage clean heating and cooling technologies. The pilot aims to help drive down the installation cost and increase deployment of residential and small-scale commercial clean heating and cooling installations through a group purchasing model.

[Read more]

GSA, DOE Issue RFI for Innovative Building Technologies to Improve Federal and Commercial Building Performance

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a joint Request for Information (RFI) for next-generation building technologies that have the potential to improve the operational efficiency of federal and commercial buildings, and provide a solid return on investment.

The RFI invites technology manufacturers and industry to submit information on technologies that are nearly ready for commercial use, or in the early stages of commercial application, for evaluation through GSA Proving Ground (GPG) program and DOE's High Impact Technology Innovation Catalyst (HIT Catalyst). Selected technologies will be matched with federally owned buildings and/or commercial buildings, for third-party measurement and verification. Project results are intended to help validate the technical and operational characteristics of the technology and its potential for future deployment.

[Read more]

Have You Watched the BEST Tutorial?

The Building Efficiency System Tool (BEST) was created to better inform prospective builders, consulting engineers, and design-build professionals about their selection options for HVAC systems during the early design process, and to make it free, fast, and easy to understand. To learn more, watch the overview.

The BEST uses the Building Energy Efficiency Ratio (BEER), which takes certified AHRI data, manufacturers' published performance data at multiple performance points, as-applied correction factors, performance curves for components, pipe and duct required in a typical system, and combines them to bridge the gap between certified equipment efficiencies and real-world building system efficiencies. To learn how to put this powerful tool to use for your business, start by watching the tutorial.

Download the BEST

NABCEP Adds Solar Heating System Inspector and PV System Inspector Certifications to its Industry-Leading Programs

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) announced the addition of Solar Heating System Inspector (SHSI) and Photovoltaic System Inspector (PVSI) Certifications to its industry-leading programs. Unlike many of NABCEP's other certifications, there are no specific pre-requisites for taking a NABCEP PV or Solar Heating System Inspector Exam, and the test can be taken online from anywhere that has a stable internet connection.

Inspectors play a critical role in ensuring quality renewable energy installations. These new credentials are meant to provide a mechanism for inspection professionals to demonstrate their knowledge of PV and Solar Heating systems.

NABCEP PV and Solar Heating System Inspector certifications are intended for individuals performing system inspections for Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ's), utilities, incentive programs, investors, and others involved in quality assurance and code compliance of PV and Solar Heating system installations.
To become a NABCEP System Inspector and maintain the credential, applicants must have knowledge of applicable codes and ordinances, be able to identify all system components and understand how to assess the safety and operation of a system. Interpretation of design plans and building documents, conducting on-site inspections, and reporting results will each be part of System Inspector examinations.

For more information click here: www.nabcep.org/pv-and-solar-heating-system-inspector-certification-programs.

Attention RPA Members: If You Have Not Yet Done So, Start Taking Advantage of Your Service Roundtable Benefits.

RPA members now receive a FREE Associate Membership with Service Roundtable. Your free Associate Membership with Service Roundtable includes:

Cash rebates from over 100 participating vendors Free Marketing and Business tool downloads Discounted registration to Service Roundtable conferences and seminars

For more information about your Service Roundtable membership, please e-mail Amanda McCarty or call (877) 262-3341.

Follow the RPA on Social Media

Be sure to follow the RPA on our social media channels:

FaceBook: www.facebook.com/radiantprofessionalsalliance/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4379924
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Radiant_Panel 

As always, we value your feedback. Please let us know what you would like to see in the monthly newsletters. Are they too long or too short for your liking? Any and all comments are welcome. Please send them to les.nelson@radiantpros.org.

HR Question of the Month: Employee Sharing Compensation Details, Can We Terminate?

Question: How do we handle firing an individual in the HR/Accounting Department who has shared information with more than one employee regarding payroll rates, bonuses, etc.? She has also had personal relationships with at least two male employees. We intend to fire this individual, but I need to know legal process. Should we request that she sign a document promising to not share any personal information that she was privy to while in her position?

Response: If the employment relationship is at will, and it is consistent with employer policy and practice to terminate employment based on the behavior you describe, we are not aware of any law prohibiting the employer from seeking to discharge an employee on these grounds.

[Read more]

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Winter
It shouldn't be surprising that weather-related auto accidents account for a lot of insurance claims every year. 
No matter where you do business, every state, including southern states, experience periods of severe winter weather. Commuters and employees who drive as part of their job face driving risks every day, but especially in harsh weather.

Keep an Eye on the Sky
Roads covered with ice, snow, sleet, heavy rain, or freezing rain can affect vehicle traction, handling, and even visibility. These best practices may help you and your employees prepare for winter road hazards.

  • Remain alert for scattered slippery spots, especially on bridge decks and overpasses. Frozen slush can produce ruts that can "grab" the vehicle's wheels and affect steering.

[Read more]

Planning for the Unexpected
As a business owner, you know there are things that can disrupt and possibly cripple the success of your business. You have to focus on, plan for, and address many diverse issues, such as what your competition is doing; federal, state, and local laws; employee issues; etc. All of these and more can threaten your financial well-being.
Have you also considered the impact on your business, on your family, and on your employees if you became disabled? A long-term disability can have far-reaching implications: Not only are you providing for your family, but you also are providing for the well-being of your employees and their families. If disability strikes, you need time to react and hold things together until plans can be worked out. The success of your business is dependent on your being an active owner. A disability can put this success in danger. What steps have you taken to protect yourself and the people who count on you from an unexpected loss of income?

[Read more]



Join the RPA

More to offer than ever! Joining the Radiant Professionals Alliance (RPA) is one of the best business moves you can make. If you're looking to grow, gain new customers, solve heating problems more quickly than ever before, tap into some of the brightest minds in the hydronic-heating business, and have a great time along the way, the RPA is for you.

Find out some of what we have waiting for you!

THANK YOU for supporting our industry initiatives with your ongoing support.

NEW MEMBERS (since last newsletter)
Fire & Ice Heating & Cooling Inc.
Lochinvar Corp.
Service Nation Inc.
Adams Engineering
Advanced Radiant Design, Inc.
Avenir Software, Inc.
CAL-Steam Inc.
CN Engineers
Heat-Timer Corp
James M. Majerowicz
John Kovalo
Johnstone Supply
Langan's Plumbing & Heating LLC
Nelson Mechanical
Simply Radiant Heating
Uponor Inc.



taco rahau      

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Radiant Professionals Alliance
18927 Hickory Creek Drive, Suite 220
Mokena, IL 60448