Author Archives: Pat Lehane

Operating building services during Covid

The update came a few weeks after WHO acknowledged the possibility of airborne transmission, especially in crowded, poorly-ventilated spaces, thanks to the intense advocacy by scientists around the globe, including several REHVA experts. Without doubt, ventilation is the most important engineering control measure within infection control of indoor spaces.

The author of this report is Professor Jarek
Kurnitski, Chair of REHVA COVID-19 Task Force,
Tallinn University of Technology, Chair of REHVA Technology and Research Committee

New evidence and the general recognition of the aerosol-based transmission route have evolved recently. To date, there is evidence on SARS-CoV-2 aerosol-based transmission, and this route is now recognised worldwide. Transmission routes remain an important research subject, and it has already been reported that the short-range aerosol-based route dominates exposure to respiratory infection during close contact1.

Medical literature has started to talk about a new paradigm of infectious aerosols and there is no evidence to support the concept that most respiratory infections are primarily associated with large-droplet transmission. It seems that small particle aerosols are the rule, rather than the exception, contrary to current guidelines. In the context of buildings and indoor spaces there is no doubt that cross-infection risk may be controlled up to 1.5m from a person with physical distancing and beyond that distance distribution solutions. See Figure 1.

Key aspects to consider In such a pandemic situation at least three levels of guidance are required: (1) how to operate HVAC and other building services in existing buildings right now; (2) how to conduct a risk assessment and assess the safety of different buildings and rooms; and (3) what would be more far-reaching actions to further reduce the spread of viral diseases in future in buildings with improved ventilation systems.

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Lighting the way for ecodesign compliance

Tim Stokes,
Programme Manager, Market Surveillance, SEAI.

All lighting sold in Ireland must meet standards set out in EU regulations relating to ecodesign and energy labelling. These are in place to ensure that the products concerned meet minimum levels of energy efficiency and certain other parameters which impact the environment. They must also provide clear and accurate information in that regard.

The EU Ecodesign Directive and EU Energy Labelling Regulations are important policy tools contributing over 40% of the total energy savings required tomeet 2020 EU energy efficiency targets.

How are products monitored?

The success of these regulations is dependent in part on compliance. The EU standards system relies on a European network of market surveillance organisations to identify and address non-compliance through engaging with the companies concerned, and ensuring that products are removed from the market if no-compliance cannot be resolved.

Non-compliant products can be harmful to consumers and the environment, in particular by using more energy than is allowed under the regulations or claimed by manufacturers. They might also cause problems for specifiers and installers who have designed and installed a product appropriately, only to have the customer dissatisfied with the performance of the product. Dependent on the type of product, the regulations also cover a wide range of other performance characteristics, including NOx and particulate matter emissions.

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Reality not meeting design aspiration


James Duggan, Senior Sustainability Engineer, Lawler Sustainability.

Since its foundation in 2016, Noel Lawler Green Energy Solutions — now Lawler Sustainability, see page 2, Building Services Engineering (Sept/Oct 2020 — has been helping clients to improve the energy performance of their property portfolios. These efforts are being hampered by the following key issues.

• Design-for-compliance culture, i.e. energy performance is theoretical and not measured;

• An operational performance that is invisible to the market, most especially investors and occupiers;

• Actual energy performance is not easily acquired and can prove challenging to define;

• Oversimplified mandatory rating systems such as Display EnergyCertificates (DECs).

The 2019 Climate Action plan fails to commit to resolving these issues. However, there is a lost that policy makers could learn from international voluntary schemes such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and, more recently, Design for Performance in UK Offices. These schemes give us a pathway to transform buildings into high-performing assets.

Go Green … try ‘Decaf Gas’

Professor Paul de Leeuw, Energy Transition Institute, Robert Gordon University

With around half of the world’s population still in either full or partial lockdown, it is no surprise that the crisis continues to have a material impact on the global energy markets. Worldwide oil demand this year is expected to fall by up to 8% (or almost three billion barrels), equivalent to almost seven times the UK’s annual oil production. This is likely to be the largest global annual demand reduction on record.

There are clear parallels between the COVID-19 crisis and the climate change emergency. Both are global problems requiring global solutions. Both require a level of global cooperation that is often difficult to achieve, and both highlight the importance of scientific input into global decision-making.

As countries emerge from lockdown, there is now a real opportunity for governments around the world to put climate change and energy transition at the heart of their economic recovery plans. Doing so will be a powerful mechanism to demonstrate their commitment to the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.

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Lighting Key to Green Deal Success

Paul O’Connor, Chairman, Lighting Association Ireland

Many perceive lighting mainly as a driver for energy efficiency and this indeed remains one of the core values for the lighting industry. The now mostly-accomplished transition to LED technology has led to up to 90% savings for European a comprehensive light management year as of 2030 (Lot 37 Ecodesign Lighting Systems <http://ecodesignlightingsystems.

However, the benefits from lighting for the health, well-being, productivity and safety of people are rarely seen as added value. At best, they come for free as part of the energy savings. These benefits received more attention in 2017, when three biologists were awarded the Nobel Prize for helping to explain how the human circadian rhythm works, including how light affects our daily biological cycle.

With the EU Renovation Wave initiative, the discussion must move beyond energy savings to also address healthier buildings, peoples’ quality of life and a lower level of inconvenience. We spend 90% of our time indoors and the quality of our indoor environment has a direct and indirect impact on our health, well-being, and productivity.

See full article at link below.

Renovation Wave and Green Deal Objectives

According to one of the most recent releases from the EU, a refurbished and improved building stock will help pave the way for a decarbonised and clean energy system. Currently, roughly 75% of the building stock is energy inefficient, yet almost 80% of today’s buildings will still be in use in 2050. Hence the EU’s Renovation Wave initiative.

The construction, use and renovation of buildings require significant amounts of energy and mineral resources (e.g. sand, gravel, cement). Buildings also account for 40% of energy consumed yet, in parallel, 50 their homes adequately warm. of the building stock varies from 0.4 to 1.2% in the member states.

This rate will need to at least double to reach the EU’s energy efficiency and climate objectives. Renovation of both public and private buildings is an essential out in the European Green Deal as a key initiative to drive energy efficiency in the sector and deliver on objectives.

The so-called “Renovation Wave Initiative” will address current low decarbonisation and renovation rates across the EU, and tackle the underlying barriers for improving the energy efficiency of the EU building stock. See full article at

SEAI Online Training Academy

With the increasingly societal focus on climate change, and the launch of the Government’s 2019 Climate Action Plan, many businesses are seeking to play their part in reducing their climate impact. The SEAI Energy Academy is an ideal starting point and allows employees to up-skill on energy efficiency and avail of tailored online training that can lead to important business cost savings.

Commenting on the launch of the SEAI Energy Academy, William Walsh, CEO of SEAI said: “We realise that businesses are facing very significant challenges right now with many looking for opportunities to reduce their cost base. Reducing energy use can be a great place to start. SEAI is here to help businesses on their energy efficiency journey, helping them identify energy saving opportunities and to implement those changes.

“We planned the SEAI Energy Academy as an online resource so it is available to all businesses when be additionally beneficial for those working from home, or who are planning for the resumption of normal activities, hopefully in the not too distant future.”

See the full story at buildingservicesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/SEAI-Online-edit-3.pdf

Humidity & Respiratory Wellbeing in wake of Covid-19

Dr Stephanie Taylor, MD, Infection Control Consultant at Harvard Medical School, ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer and Member of the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Group.

As Covid-19 continues to put pressure on health systems and the economy globally, the group calls on WHO to review the extensive research that shows an indoor humidity level of between the 40% to 60% relative humidity (RH) is the optimum threshold for inhibiting the spread of respiratory viruses such as influenza. This is a threshold that many public buildings drop significantly below every winter. Health care workers have a biggest issue to have PPE, Mask, and Sanitizer, glasses, isolation kit and other PPE. The production is the biggest issue, each country needs them, the demand is very high against the productivity, most of the countries, flight operations are also halt to minimize the spread, this PPE issue also a fear for Doctors, Nurses, and other paramedics to work in the health system, as this deadly disease already affect healthcare workers and eaten many life’s of the healthcare heroes. We need to keep supply the PPE to our health care heroes so they can fight against this pandemic disease.

Professor Dr Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, The Waldemar Von Zedtwitz, professor of immunobiology and professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at Yale, and an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute said: “Ninety percent of our lives in the developed world are spent indoors in close proximity to each other. When cold outdoor air with little moisture is heated indoors, the air’s relative humidity drops to about 20%. This dry air provides a clear pathway for airborne viruses, such as Covid-19. It will be important for anyone who is dealing with any laboratory or industrial tasks to use proper face shields for a job. A good shield will help to keep a person’s face protected from many different things in a workplace. It is smart to see how this can work when getting a shield ready. Here are three important factors that should be reviewed when trying to get one of these face shields ready for different jobs. You can check here discount bulk face shields.

Any workplace that involves working with hazardous materials should involve its employees working with proper protective materials. Face shields are some of the most useful of these protective materials for people to use. Here is a look at how these can work. Minor setbacks, trials, and even major problems come into every life. Yet nothing of this magnitude could have been anticipated mere months ago. Who would have ever thought that the economy would be basically shut down except for some essential services. No one expected that people would be told to stay at home and shelter in place to avoid being exposed to the coronavirus or unknowingly spreading it to others. Millions of people have lost their means of income, and millions of others are working from home. These are unprecedented times, but this too shall pass. Covid19 will not take over our lives forever. Eventually, things will get back to some semblance of normalcy. It might be a “new normal” which occurs, but normal life will resume at some point. Many of the Hospitals and Health care system are not trained nor built to handle sick and coronoid patients, due to fear of spread into their system and affect others, those who can accommodate sick patients they have less resources because they need isolation area to separate one from another which require huge place, temporary hospitals built, town halls and other areas convert into hospital setup, which is not enough to cater the big numbers.

That’s why I recommend humidifiers during the winter, and why I feel the world would be a healthier place if all our public buildings kept their indoor air at 40% to 60% RH.” Covid-19 Pandemic is showing its aggression on daily basis, more victims more casualties more death and more fear globally. Spread rate is multiply every single day, even death tolls are increased but some of the nations have to hide the actual figures of deceased persons, the purpose of this writing is to identify why that tool as a major indicator is not very correctly mentioned around the globe.

See full article at Humidity & Respiratory Health in wake of Covid-19

Bob Gilbert — An Appreciation

Bob Gilbert

While there has always been a strong team at Manotherm, it is recognised across the entire industry that Bob was at its core. He was “Mr Instruments & Controls” in Ireland and his recent passing leaves a void that cannot be filled.

Apart from his in-depth knowledge and vast reservoir of experience, he was equally renowned as a very honourable man who, despite his strength as a tough negotiator, was also very fair. Indeed, there were many instances over the years where customers and individuals within the industry fell on hard times and he very quietly and discretely helped them out. You can visit this Business articles .

However, his somewhat serious and reserved business persona belied his sense of fun and adventure, his lust for life and new experiences, especially when it came to food. He had a unique personality and it was that, as much as his knowledge of the industry, that helped him accumulate an enviable portfolio of world-leading brands. If you are looking for the best business software , you can visit us. You can check this out blog for the best business strategies.

Bob was a devoted family man, he and his wife Amy being inseparable. Right from the outset they worked in the business together and today, 62 years later, Amy is still working in the business. That “family” ethos was extended to all employees with Bob spending a great deal of time mentoring individual staff members, no matter what their role.

He also encouraged them to go on training workshops and educationals with the various brands represented, so many got to enjoy travel to all corners of the globe, some at a very tender age. On such trips they were also encouraged to sample the culture, sights and culinary delights of whatever destination they found themselves in. He was a very generous host to them on such occasions, whether he was actually present or not.

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BIM – Automate the boring stuff with AutoM8

AutoM8 developer Paul Flanagan

In order to meet tight project deadlines, while also allowing adequate time for necessary document reviews and checks, it is paramount to leverage modern technology to work efficiently. Automation is key to meeting this challenge and Paul has been working to develop tools to leverage data which model. AutoCT, the first add-in available in the AutoM8 suite, is designed to route circuits along check electrical cable tray and ladder sizes to ensure there are no undersized, oversized or unused routes.

Traditionally, carrying out checks for containment size is a time-consuming, manual task. To do the calculation circuit routes need to be identified and assigned to each run of containment. Then the cable characteristics, including size, type, number of cores, supports and installation methods, all need to be accounted for. While a single calculation by itself is simple, large projects having thousands of cables easily become very complex.

As a project progresses through detailed design stage, multiple recalculations can be required if the cable configuration or routes change. Very often the minor circuit routes are never accounted for due to the quantity of calculations required.

See full story at AutoM8