This technical blog was written by Randy Niederer, Director of Marketing at Cambridge Air Solutions.
 

As a manufacturer of industrial HVAC equipment, we know quite a bit about the problems that poor indoor air quality within your facility can have on your employees during hot summer months. Trying to achieve temperature relief within your facility when it is 100° F outside, and even hotter inside, requires more than opening your dock doors and pulling hot air through your facility while running HVLS fans. For most facilities, including ours, the equipment that is running inside the facility provides additional heat gain that can drive indoor temperatures well above the 100° F outside air temperature. When this happens within the facility your productivity, quality and even safety may be affected. Your ability to retain quality employees can suffer as well as your ability to hire new talent can be difficult as well.

Our “Enriching Lives” brand promise is something that we take seriously and strive to provide to all those that we interact with on a daily basis. You know the old saying “Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk?” Well, it dawned on us that we were telling our customers that they should be providing healthy working environments for their hard working people when in reality we weren’t doing it ourselves. How could we expect our customers to take us seriously about IAQ if we didn’t? That’s when we decided to take our own advice and install our ESC two-stage evaporative cooling solution in our own facilities in an effort to provide temperature relief for our manufacturing employees during the hot St. Louis summer months.

What we hope to achieve with our new ESC Two-Stage Evaporative Unit investment
By installing our largest ESC 2-stage evaporative unit in our existing facility in Chesterfield, MO and our new facility in Wentzville, MO we can now provide temperature relief for the team members in our manufacturing facilities. The goal will be to decrease the temperature within our manufacturing environments on the hottest days of summer from what use to be an internal temperature of >100° F to a more reasonable working environment of < 85° F. Keep in mind that those 100° F days only happen about 14 days throughout the summer in St. Louis so we should have excellent IAQ throughout the hottest 90 days of summer.

The process to get the ESC-Series unit installed
The process that we went through to install the unit at our facility is no different than what any other facility would go through. We had to conduct a facility review and analysis and then a system design to provide us with the needed temperature relief required for our buildings. We then had to fabricate the custom HVAC solution needed to meet our requirements and specifications, and finally, we worked with a local HVAC contractor to successfully complete the installs. Due to the size of the unit on our Chesterfield facility it required a crane to lift the unit into place. 

Here is a quick time lapse video of the install.

See it for yourself.
If you want to see how well the technology works check out our website this coming spring. We will have a live webcam/page showing how the technology is working. We will have the actual outdoor temperatures, the discharge temperature of the unit and the indoor facility temperature real-time on our website. All in an effort to show that the technology works even in a hot - high humidity climate as St. Louis, MO. You know what they say, "The proof is in the pudding."

At the end of the day we focus on helping leaders in warehouse and manufacturing create healthy working environments for hard working people. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you achieve this goal join us for a virtual or in-person tour where we will talk about our evaporative platform that is creating a better working environment right here at our own facility.

Our Director of Engineering Dave Binz describes how the Cambridge team approaches an industrial retrofit process, and the best way to get started getting answers about your project.

Cambridge Air Solutions is offering the two-stage ESC-Series to meet current market demands for custom cooling units in the industrial and commercial sectors. With an airflow range from 2,500 to 56,000 CFM, our evaporative cooling technology delivers a more comfortable working environment at a significant reduction in operating costs when compared to mechanical cooling.

In new construction, the primary source of moisture entering the building is most likely from the newly poured concrete slab.

The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) describes the ‘What’ and ‘How’ of concrete slab moisture in their 2004 Concrete in Practice publication CIP 28-Concrete Slab Moisture. Potential sources of concrete slab moisture include:

  • The floor slab is in contact with saturated ground. Moisture moves to the slab surface via capillary action or wicking.
  • Water vapor from damp soil will diffuse and condense on a concrete slab surface that is cooler and at a lower relative humidity due to a vapor pressure gradient.
  • Residual moisture in the slab from the original concrete mixing water will move towards the surface.
  • It may take anywhere from six weeks to one year or longer for a concrete slab to dry out to an acceptable level under normal conditions. Reference: Bruce Suprenant,  Concrete Construction, November, 1997.

The topic is also dealt with in depth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in their publication EPA 402-F-13053. Moisture Control Guidance for Building Design, Construction and Maintenance. December, 2013. Topics include: moisture control in buildings, basics of water behavior, designing for moisture control, constructing to prevent moisture problems, and operating and maintaining moisture-controlled environments.

As manufacturers of HVAC equipment, Cambridge Air Solutions has no input regarding the numerous factors involved in concrete work that affect the moisture in the slab. However, when moisture problems arise, we are often involved in looking for remedies to deal with the moisture. Some of our contractors refer to the procedure “IAQA flush-out, REQEQ2,2r1”, required by LEED and published by the U.S. Green Building Council. https://www.usgbc.org/credits/reqeq22r1-0. This flush-out, as required by LEED, is intended to rid the building of moisture as well as “off gassing” of building materials.

Requirements

Select one of the following two options, to be implemented after construction ends and the building has been completely cleaned. All interior finishes, such as millwork, doors, paint, carpet, acoustic tiles, and movable furnishings (e.g., workstations, partitions), must be installed, and major volatile organic compound (VOC) punch list items must be finished. The options cannot be combined.

Option 1. Flush-out (1 point)

Path 1. Before occupancy

Install new filtration media and perform a building flush-out by supplying a total air volume of 14,000 cubic feet of outdoor air per square foot (4 267 140 liters of outdoor air per square meter) of gross floor area while maintaining an internal temperature of at least 60°F (15°C) and no higher than 80°F (27°C) and relative humidity no higher than 60%. OR

Path 2. During occupancy

If occupancy is desired before the flush-out is completed, the space may be occupied only after delivery of a minimum of 3,500 cubic feet of outdoor air per square foot (1 066 260 liters of outdoor air per square meter) of gross floor area while maintaining an internal temperature of at least 60°F (15°C) and no higher than 80°F (27°C) and relative humidity no higher than 60%. Once the space is occupied, it must be ventilated at a minimum rate of 0.30 cubic foot per minute (cfm) per square foot of outdoor air (1.5 liters per second per square meter of outdoor air) or the design minimum outdoor air rate determined in EQ Prerequisite Minimum Indoor Air Quality Performance, whichever is greater. During each day of the flush-out period, ventilation must begin at least three hours before occupancy and continue during occupancy. These conditions must be maintained until a total of 14,000 cubic feet per square foot of outdoor air (4 267 140 liters of outdoor air per square meter) has been delivered to the space.