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Posts tagged ‘GreenChill’

LEED v4

Not all building owners decide to pursue LEED certification.  But the LEED rating system virtually guarantees that the very best environmental practices are being followed.  In 2013, a new version of the rating system called LEED v4 will be approved. USGBC will keep LEED 2009 available for three more years, but project teams can move to the new version of LEED during that period. LEED v4 focuses on increasing technical stringency from past versions and developing new requirements for project types such as data centers, warehouses & distribution centers, hotels/motels, existing schools, existing retail, and mid-rise residential. The credit requirement changes in the proposed LEED v4 rating system are the most extensive in LEED’s twelve-year history. Retail-specific requirements will be added, including the energy and refrigerant credits.

The Minimum Energy Performance prerequisite will be updated to reference to ASHRAE 90.1-2010. Retail-specific process load requirements will be added including refrigeration equipment, cooking and food preparation, clothes washing, and other major support appliances. Many industry standard baseline conditions for commercial kitchen equipment and refrigeration will be defined, meaning that no additional documentation is necessary to substantiate these predefined baseline systems as industry standard. For appliances and equipment not covered in the baseline measures, LEED project teams must indicate hourly energy use for proposed and budget equipment, along with estimated daily use hours. ENERGY STAR ratings and evaluations are a valid basis for performing this calculation. For hard-wired refrigeration loads, team must model the effect of energy performance improvements with a simulation program designed to account for refrigeration equipment.

LEED v4 will also make changes to the Enhanced Refrigerant Management credit. Stores with commercial refrigeration systems must select equipment with an average HFC refrigerant charge of no more than 1.75 pounds of refrigerant per 1,000 Btu/h total evaporator cooling load. Store must also demonstrate a predicted store-wide annual refrigerant emissions rate of no more than 15% and conduct leak testing using the procedures in GreenChill’s best practices guideline for leak tightness at installation.

Green BuildingThe LEED® Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based, market-driven building rating system based on existing proven technology. It defines and promotes green designs, and rewards organizations that adopt some or all of its principles towards green or integrated building design. LEED credits are awarded based on criteria in six categories of performance. A building project must meet a set of prerequisites to be registered, and it must achieve the minimum number of points to earn a basic ‘Certified’ level determines the level of LEED certification (from a Certified level through Silver and Gold to the Platinum level).

The retail and foodservice industries are investing in environmentally-friendly construction, in accordance with LEED guidelines, to enhance occupant comfort and reduce environmental impact. LEED building design requires some added initial cost; however, research shows the investment becomes offset over time by a reduction in energy usage and other related expenses.

Why the interest in LEED? Concern for the environment and sustainable development is growing, and LEED is a way that businesses can prove they are good corporate citizens. LEED promotes a whole building approach to sustainability through the principles of green building and integrated building design. There is a conscious effort to systematically integrate the design of building systems, such as HVAC, refrigeration, lighting, water management, and other mechanical systems with the building design itself, so as to achieve higher levels of performance.

Rajan Rajendran, Ph.D
Vice President, Engineering Services and Sustainability
Emerson Climate Technologies

Supermarket Refrigeration –System Changes, Present and Future

From an outsider’s perspective, the commercial refrigeration industry will not seem fast-paced compared to what is being read and heard about in other industries, like at Silicon Valley for example. However, the landscape is changing and will continue to change based on many key factors.

Knowing what the potential changes are and understanding why they are taking place will help HVACR professionals embrace the developments and be better equipped to handle them in the field.

Forces driving changes include …

…Cost

Many factors are at play as to why commercial refrigeration systems and refrigerants are changing. Foremost on retailers’ minds is always cost. Cost can come in many forms: first cost, energy cost and maintenance cost. Retailers must take a balanced approach to these cost drivers to get the overall best value, and the answers can be very different depending on facility location.

…Regulations

Regulations are also driving the market. Refrigerants that deplete the upper atmosphere ozone (such as R-22) and refrigerants that have relatively high GWP values (such as R-404A with a GWP of 3,922) have and will be looked at by agencies like the EPA. In order to curtail usage, other regions in the world have already implemented tighter leak requirements and taxes on the use of certain classes of refrigerant gases that are detrimental to the environment. Regulations will also impact system efficiency levels. A/C systems have been regulated for years with little energy requirements given for commercial refrigeration. Smaller systems (such as ice machines) have ENERGY STAR ratings, but bigger rack systems found in grocery stores have not been subject to energy standards. Regulations such as California’s Title 24 will change that over time.

…Sustainability

Also, there is a significant movement for retailers to become green and develop sustainability measures. The role of refrigeration is very prominent in terms of energy consumption and emissions that could potentially escape to the atmosphere, two very important sustainability measures. Today, retailing organizations may have a vice president of sustainability, a role that would not have existed 10–15 years ago. Companies release sustainability reports and join voluntary groups, such as the EPA’s GreenChill Partnership. This type of visibility leads to an increased interest in measuring results. The measuring of results leads to new programs to achieve desired outcomes.

To view a more in-depth discussion of the changes occurring in commercial refrigeration, including the introduction of electronics and the migration toward natural refrigerants, click on the following link:  http://www.rses.org/assets/rses_journal/0812_Supermarket.pdf.

After reading the article, I’d enjoy hearing from you. Has your company taken the plunge into natural refrigerants? Are you following the recent trend toward distributed and secondary loop systems? If you’re a contractor, have you experienced the benefits of the advanced electronics in troubleshooting problems?

Rajan Rajendran, Ph.D
Vice President, Engineering Services and Sustainability
Emerson Climate Technologies

Based upon article in RSES Journal

GreenChill for Food Retailers

For those of you who are unaware, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a voluntary partnership with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change called GreenChill. I encourage you to visit their website (http://www.epa.gov/greenchill/). It is a wonderful resource for more than just supermarket retailers, packed with considerable information, including: how to become a GreenChill partner; a complete library of webinars and events; and a variety of reports, guidelines and tools that will assist your company with its stewardship efforts.

 Are you a member of GreenChill? I’d be interested in learning your opinions of this group.

 Are there other similar groups or organizations you find helpful and informative that you’d like to share with us? We look forward to hearing from you.

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