Engineering on an international scale: Sustainability

Working on projects clear across the globe may introduce more obstacles to overcome than mere distance and language barriers—each locale comes with its own codes, climate conditions, and unique characteristics. Sustainability, high-performance buildings, and energy efficiency are always considered.

07/30/2015


Respondents

Mark Haboian, Senior Program Manager and Chemical Process Engineer, Optimation Technology Inc., Rochester, N.Y.

Brian E. Hagglund, PE, Assistant Manager—Middle East, Aon Fire Protection Engineering Corp., Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Bill Kosik, PE, CEM, LEED AP, BEMP, Distinguished Technologist, Data Center Facilities Consulting, Hewlett-Packard Co., Chicago

Erin McConahey, PE, LEED AP, FASHRAE, Principal, Arup, Los Angeles

 


CSE: Many aspects of structure sustainability (power, HVAC, maintenance, etc.) require building personnel to follow certain practices to be effective. What, if anything, can you as an engineer do to help increase chances of success in this area?

McConahey: Simplicity in the controls sequences is essential when working overseas and when trying to ensure an energy-efficient outcome. Things that are too complicated will not be cared for in their intended state—they will be overridden by any person believing that they are more trustworthy than a BAS they don’t understand, and efficiencies may be lost.

CSE: Please share a success story in which you were able to deliver a highly sustainable project to an international client. Annual statistics on energy savings and other supporting evidence would be helpful.

McConahey: We have a project about to start construction that is pursuing U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification. We had explored a number of pathways to Gold or Platinum, but in the end a number of the material transparency credits and the U.S.-based codes on test procedures for equipment meant that some points in the system could not be achieved—despite physically meeting the good intent with locally made devices.

CSE: Describe any experience you have using sustainable heating/cooling tech, such as ground-source heat pumps.

McConahey: On international projects led out of the Los Angeles office, we have reviewed ground-source heat pumps and thermal labyrinths in certain locations, however there was insufficient land available to provide a significant amount of cooling/heat rejection to match to the demands of the building.

CSE: Please describe your experience with high-performance building projects abroad.

McConahey: Our firm has a number of high-performance building projects abroad, typically done from a local office with trusted partners. It is more difficult to do these projects if you are not grounded in the local community.



Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
2017 MEP Giants; Mergers and acquisitions report; ASHRAE 62.1; LEED v4 updates and tips; Understanding overcurrent protection
Integrating electrical and HVAC for energy efficiency; Mixed-use buildings; ASHRAE 90.4; Wireless fire alarms assessment and challenges
Integrated building networks, NFPA 99, recover waste heat, chilled water systems, Internet of Things, BAS controls
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me