By Matt Smith, Chapter Member & The Green Engineer
“Bring the Outside In”
Gunnar Hubbard (Thornton Thomasetti)
Dan Nall (Syska)
Congregating amidst a buffet of hot coffee, muffins, and bagels, local design and construction professionals met with Gunnar Hubbard of Thornton Thomasetti and Dan Nall of Syska as they presented “Bring the Outside In”: a presentation originally put together for Greenbuild 2013, graciously adapted and brought to 50 Milk St. for our Chapter’s morning meet-ups dubbed USGBC MA’s “Green Breakfast Club.”
The presentation provided a series of key figures outlining the economic impact as well as the indoor environmental benefits that can be achieved through the ventilation system designs within our buildings. The means by which teams are including the ever-important outside air within their ventilation system designs have become more common and with these full, or partial, natural ventilation strategies (such as air-side economizers or night-flushing/pre-cooling), different climate zones are able to investigate and implement systems that are effective for their specific climate parameters. Charts and graphs indicating these climates and their most effective methods showed impressive energy use savings, relative to the conventional or ‘baseline’ mechanical ventilation systems that would typically be designed within the buildings.
Mr. Nall continued with case studies that demonstrated key design problems and their subsequent solutions that allowed for these project teams to incorporate passive ventilation strategies and, in turn, demonstrate substantial energy use savings as well as improved indoor air quality. Without giving away too much detail, all of the projects demonstrated issues that could be commonly found on projects in different climates and had successfully incorporated these passive ventilation strategies: contrary to conventional thought that may suggest otherwise.
Many thanks to Mr. Hubbard and Mr. Nall for taking the time to share this wonderful presentation with us and helping our Chapter move even closer towards More Green Buildings!