Basic Kitchen Layouts And Their Respective Uses

Kitchen layout is the foundation of a beautiful cooking area, which comes in various styles such as: single-wall, corridor, L-shaped, U-shaped, G-shaped, and Island style.

Kitchen area is one place in your house that requires a well-thought out design because a nice looking place can motivate the cook to prepare mouth-watering dishes. Before you can beautify the area, first you need to identify the layout of the room. From there, you can now decide on the add-ons and accessories to make it more conducive. As much as possible, maintain a spacious area, so that you can work on without obstructions and delay. Here are some of the common kitchen layouts for your kitchen:

Single-wall

Sometimes called straight kitchen, this is recommended for smaller house where the space is limited. It is attached to one side of the wall, so that the remaining space can be fully maximized. However, you can still enhance its storage capacity by adding pull-out drawers on the counter.

Corridor

Galley is the other name for corridor kitchen where the work stations are parallel with each other. This is another way to enhance space because it provides center aisle where you can move around; thus, commercial kitchen often utilize this type of layout. This is because chefs can have unobstructed footwork even during peak hours.

L-shaped

This type of kitchen is a popular choice for most homeowners who have long, open room because it is so versatile that the cook can work at the same time entertain guests with just one turn. This is the most ideal layout because maneuvering is not a problem at all.

U-shaped

If you want to have a multiple work area, U-shaped is best for you. This set-up also gives you sufficient storage space where you can place cooking essentials both on top and below the counters. This is perfect if you have lots of cooking appliances to display such as microwave, toaster, rice cooker, and the more.

G-shaped

Although, it provides moving space that is almost the same as the u-shaped, the only difference is the narrow passageway. This is perfect if want to create a more private cooking space away from onlookers since the limited point of entry prevents them from getting in and out easily.

Island style

With just one counter located at the center of the room, this requires less travelling around since everything you need are just within reach such as the sink, appliances, and storage. Household traffic is greatly minimized because there are two lanes for everybody to move around.

Whatever layout you choose, you need to consider comfort on top of everything. Do not just copy what you see on home magazines; instead build a place that facilitates ease.

Important Tips when Choosing Ogden Landscaping Professionals


It is a known fact that landscaping plays a big role in enhancing the
looks and appearances of your garden and hence identifying the right
ogden landscaping professionals is very important. However, before
getting ahead with the task of identifying the right landscaping
professionals, it is very important for us to keep a few important
points in mind. This is because many homeowners do not wish to place a
lot of importance to landscaping which they consider a wasteful
expenditure. However, this thought process is not right because
landscaping could go a long way in increasing the perceptional value of
your home. There are many reasons for this. First and foremost, when an
outsider has a look at your home, the first point of attention is
without doubt the garden and the back yard. If the same is well
maintained and in good condition it certainly creates a good impression
in the mind of the person who passes by your home.


Hence there is no doubt that landscaping is not a waste at all. In fact
just by spending a few thousand or even hundred dollars, you will be in
a position to enhance not only the value of your home but also the type
of lifestyle that you will provide to your family members. One of the
best ways to spend the weekend is by having a gala time in your garden
with family members, relatives and friends. For this to fructify it is
very important that the garden properly landscaped. This is possible
only by hiring the right ogden landscapingprofessionals. This is because
trying to plan some half thought out DIY landscaping plans may not
yield the right results. When you decide to hand over the same to a
professional, you can rest assured that they will give a totally new
dimension and look to your entire garden.


There are many such landscaping professionals in Ogden and choosing the
right service provider is easier said than done. You have to take into
account a lot of factors including their overall experience, reputation
and goodwill the kind of infrastructure that they have, and the quality
of persons who are at helm of the affairs. You should as a potential
customer do the necessary due diligence before actually choosing a good
landscaping professional.

Does The Bathroom Show You As A Person

Bathrooms are made for people that want to implement their own ideas and a put their name on their own bathroom suites. People would normally sit down with their partner and glance through a couple of glossy magazines before approaching any retail shops that sells bathroom suites. In a bathroom suite you have to consider the whole of the items that you get with a bathroom set.

So items such as a mirror, basin sink, the basin pedestal, the toilet cistern, the actual toilet and toilet seat, and then theres the bath and the shower cubicle and shower enclosure. These are just some of the individual things that you need to choose for the bathroom suites. You then have to put that into perspective where just with in the first category such as mirrors for example where you have so many varieties to choose from within the mirror section.

Within the mirror sections you need to concentrate on four to five categories, the first being that youve got your standard mirror but within this you have so many shapes to choose from. Shapes such as an standard square mirror, then you have an rectangle shape, as well as an oval shape. Although there are several mirror shapes each mirror would have different several different fashion designs on the actual face side of the product. Then you have mirrors that are illuminated from the back of the face where it transforms the bathroom complete when its dark in the room.

Most mirrors would tend to have a cabinet behind it, as this is very useful for putting any items in the bathroom away from small children so these mirror cabinets are extremely handy for putting it in the bathroom and as part of the bath suite. The same goes for bathroom taps where you have literally several hundreds to choose from. Small basin taps, to large freestanding bath taps, it does have to match the bath that you buying. Theres no point in installing big bathroom taps when the bath you have is a very small bath.

When people look at buying taps for the bathroom suite, then they have a first choice to make which is generally that the taps can be bought as individual taps or that can be bought as a set collection. Within the set collection there is everything single tap that is required in the bathroom suite from the basin, to the bath, to the bath shower, the bidet and the freestanding tap.

So all the designs of the items are the same, the colour is the same and the quality is also the same throughout the bathroom. Sometimes when you do buy an individual item it might not have the same quality and standard as the ones that you might all ready have in the bathroom suite. So its all always best practice and routine that when buying an individual items its always best to buy the full set so you know that the quality of the products are the same.

Fresh Up Your Pub Interior Design

Public houses a lot more known as Pubs are typically family created establishments that offer both beverages and food in a bar environment. If you have ever been to a tree pub, then you will understand how homey an environment they have. There is not much loud music playing, there is typically no dance floor, and there may or may not be a tv in the corner showing the current sports game on. To this effect, your pub interior design is going to want to state this easy going environment.
The pub interior design of a lot of these establishments is typically warm and heavy on the wood side. A lot of warm wood paneling is typically found as a component of pub interior design so this could make decorating the walls of the pub simpler if this is the look you are going for. While wooden paneling or tongue and grove slats can be quite expensive, it is possible to get a similar effect by using a top rate wall paper or timber look parquet tiles that could adhere to the walls just as easily. The same can go for the flooring making it simpler to structure your pub interior design as well as clean once the night is over.
The main attraction of most pubs is the lengthy bar which typically takes up the length of one wall. How you prepare the area behind the bar is completely up to you but one pub interior design concept you may want to consider that looks to be consistent with most establishments is the mirror. A mirror helps produce further lighting to your pub as well as gives it the impression of being larger than it really is. Your mirror doesnt have to be big or take up the entire wall. The way you place it on the wall is key to achieving the complete effect.
Finally, the last thing you have to consider in your pub interior design is seating. Small personal seating is the norm for pubs and whether or not you wish to include booths is completely up to you. A mixture of quadratic and round tables could provide you with a feeling of variety and will let you to set up a larger table if necessary for big groups. A lot pub interior design schemes are laid out in such a way that the establishment is warm, open, and inviting. And that is how a pub must be.

Choosing a Roofing Contractor in Mesa

Throughout this spring and early summer, there has been a huge rash of damaging storms and tornadoes throughout the country, and the need for a quality Mesa roofing contractor to do repairs is greater than ever. More people than ever have experienced damage to their homes that now needs to be repaired.

Choosing a contractor that will be honest and reliable is a daunting task. Here are some important points to consider when choosing a contractor to repair your roof.

Ask your family, friends and neighbors for a recommendation

If your area has been hit by a storm, there are probably many other people in your neighborhood who are having repairs done on their homes. Talk to your neighbors and find out who has had a good experience with the Mesa roofing contractor that they used and who may have had a not-so-good experience with their contractor. There are always unique cases, so talk to several people and get more than one opinion on the contractor you’re considering.

Always be sure that your roofing contractor is bonded and insured

According to the Better Business Bureau, if a contractor is bonded, your losses are covered. If the contractor were to leave your job unfinished, you can make a claim on the contractor’s bond and get your money back. The purpose of insurance is to cover liability that may arise on the job. If your Mesa roofing contractor is insured and falls off your roof during the job, his insurance will cover the liability. If the contractor is not insured, you would be liable for an accident that might occur while the work is being done on your home. This could result in you making a claim on your homeowners insurance or paying out of pocket to cover the accident and its repercussions.

You should also get several estimates for roofing

If you get three estimates and one is significantly higher or lower than the others, that should raise a red flag. Consider why one might be so much more or less than the othersare they planning to do the job thoroughly and appropriately? Are they able to give a very low bid because they are going to do a shoddy job?

Be sure to always ask your roofing contractor if they will remove the old shingles, or just lay new shingles on top of them.

You want a contractor to remove the old shingles so that you will know if there is a problem underneath that needs to be repaired.

Overson Roofing, Mesa roofing expert, is licensed, bonded and accredited by the Better Business Bureau.

Ideas For Landscaping Around Hot Tubs – Design And Planning

What exactly is it that makes landscaping around a hot tub so different from normal landscaping? The hot tub may be elevated. Of course you can just add a bed of mulch, but your hot tub area will look as cheap as the landscaping cost.
Landscaping designs around your hot tub area don’t have to be elaborate. They can be quite simple and still look very nice. Planters and pots filled with flowers and greenery create a nice look. Add a few shrubs and flowers that you like to add color to the surrounding. A large pot on each side of the hot tub steps with a small tree in each one will give your hot tub a welcoming and lovely look.
When it comes to the area around your hot tub, it’s important to have landscaping ideas for privacy. One way to landscape around your hot tub, with privacy in mind, is a screened in gazebo. A gazebo will help to make the hot tub the focal point of your backyard, while allowing you to comfortably use your hot tub in rainy weather. To make it look nice, you can add a couple of simple planter boxes around the outside of the gazebo. If you’re not a gardener, you could choose to plant some low maintenance silk flowers instead.
It would be virtually impossible to enumerate all the possible ideas for landscaping around hot tubs. Let us concentrate here on an Asian themed hot tub that would be a wonderful addition to a yard. A walkway with plants lightly draped over it offers a combination of shade and sunshine and provides an Asian atmosphere as well. You can also rim the tub with cedar planters filled with trees and other plantings appropriate for the weather in your area. That will give your hot tub the sense of permanence one gets with in-ground tubs.
The ultimate landscaped hot tub would be an in ground hot tub next to an in ground swimming pool. A nice compliment to the beauty of the hot tub and pool would be with a little tropical jungle. Again just take some attractive flowerpots and place them in two clusters of 3 because odd numbers always look better. If you use three different sizes for each cluster this will create a terraced look. Using hibiscus flowers, a small palm bush that won’t grow too large and some ivy that will naturally flow down the pots creating a tropical area.
With all of the ideas for landscaping around hot tubs that are out there, I can only touch upon some of the many possibilities. However, while you landscape, remember that you must allow the hot tub a path to drain when emptied. Otherwise all of your beautiful landscaping efforts could get flooded while the hot tub refills. Get creative and express yourself as you design your very own backyard oasis.

Commercial Calgary Landscaping Companies Winter Tree Care

The winter weather in Calgary is a challenge for any landscape. Trees and shrubs can sustain damage due to the variable weather. It is important to take care of trees throughout the winter to keep them healthy for next spring’s thaw.

Calgary Landscaping: The Challenges of Winter Weather

Calgary’s unique position in southern Alberta places it right in the path of the warm chinook winds coming off the eastern slopes of the Rockies. The winds pick up speed and strength going through the Bow Valley. This warm wind can cause extreme temperature fluctuations. Add dry air to the mix and you may see tree damage everywhere.

Tip Kill

As the air warms up, but remains dry, the tips of tree branches start to dry out. Since the roots are frozen, they are unable to bring water into the tips to replenish the supply. This leaves the tips starved of moisture, which causes them to die. This condition is known as “tip kill” or “die back”. Common signs are dry twigs and discolored evergreen needles. The damage done can be extensive enough to kill smaller plants. Creating wind breaks or covering plants with mulch are effective options for preventing this kind of damage.

False Spring

Calgary landscaping professionals dread false spring. When the warm Chinook winds stay around longer than normal, it begins to warm the ground. The warm ground can bring trees out of dormancy too early. The sap flows and the tree begins spring growth. When the winter winds return, the freezing temperatures can cause severe damage to the new growth that won’t go away with the approach of real spring.

Another cause of false spring is sun scald. Snow is on the ground and the sun is bright in the sky. As the sun’s rays reflect off the snow, it can cause tree tissues on the south side to start thawing. Then, when the sun goes down, the thawed tissues refreeze. This continual freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw cycle can cause the tree’s bark to split. This can damage inner tissues and even kill the tree. If you notice a split limb or trunk, wrap it to prevent further damage.

Animal Damage

Non-hibernating animals like deer and rabbits are another challenge for Calgary landscaping professionals. They will eat tree bark during winter, plus pillage your perennials and shrubs. This can cause exposure of the tender inner tissues of the tree. Placing wire fencing around the base of the tree is an effective option for preventing this kind of damage.

De-Icing Agents

Plants along sidewalks and near parking areas are vulnerable to any DE-icing agents you put down. Use those DE-icing materials sparingly and only where necessary. Excess use can cause damage and even kill smaller trees and plants.

If you need help with your winter tree care or want a four-season land maintenance company, call us here at Mirage Landscaping. We have been proudly serving the Calgary area for three generations with landscape services and snow removal.

Simple And Affordable Home Improvement Tips

When you hear the word “home improvement”, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Some people might say that home improvement is synonymous to expenses while some of them think that it is all about decorations. Basically, home improvement does not necessarily need to be expensive, and it is not only about the addition of decorations in your house. It is focused on the beautification of a certain part of the house and remodelling them to make it look good.

Everyone wants to renovate their houses, but most of them do not know where to start, and some are already thinking about the expenses. If you want affordable home improvement tips, here are some of the best methods that you can do.

Start Repainting your Walls

It is better if you will start repainting your walls if you want to start your home improvement scheme. You do not have to repaint the whole house. You can repaint your bedroom or living room to make it look good. You have to remember that putting a different colour or shade to a part of the house can help improve its beauty. Pick an appropriate colour for the house, but make sure that you only choose light colours. Using light colours bring a smooth feeling in a particular part of the house. You have to spend for the paint, but you do not have to waste thousands of dollars to do it.

Remove the Clutter in Your House

Sometimes, your house looks ugly from the inside because of the clutter that you can see everywhere. One of the most important home improvement tips is to keep your items organised. Keep all the items that are you are not using and remove all the unnecessary stuffs in the house. Keep them safely and properly in storages if you are not using them or keep them in the right places if you still need them.

You can also remove some of the excess decorations inside the house. These decorations often make your house look crowded. An overly decorated house doesn’t look good.

Curtain Replacement

If you do not have a budget for replacing your windows, you can simply replace the curtain. You can buy new styles and designs since they do not cost that much. They are not as expensive as window replacement, but this is one of the most affordable home improvement tips that you can do. Buy designer curtains and replace them. You can do it on a monthly to create a different aura in your house.

Bathroom Remodelling

Your bathroom can be a public and private space, but you need to make sure that your bathroom looks good. When it comes to home improvement, this is something that you should not forget. Though remodelling your bathroom looks a bit expensive compared to the other tips, it is still an affordable way to remodel your house.

Quality Control Check For Drywall Finishing

Do a walk through eyeballing the job carefully. You will find obvious mistakes this way and can either correct them immediately or mark them with a pencil to come back later and do a touch up application.

Change lighting and search again for flaws. After all, your room will be used with natural and artificial lighting. Some errors will not appear unless there is bright artificial lighting.

Use “touch” to find uneven drywall application. Run the palm of your hand
over areas to make sure the whole wall feels even.

Perform another inspection after applying the primer coat of paint. Do this again using both natural and artificial lighting.

There are several things to look for when inspecting your drywall finishing work.

Obvious scratches. These need to be coated with joint compound again and re-sanded.

If you find a swollen area in the finished mud, it can be one of two things. Hopefully, it’s only that the area needs to be sanded down.

Sometimes though, it will mean that the tape coat does not have enough mud (joint compound) under it and there is an air bubble. This requires carefully cutting a small slit into the dried tape using a utility knife. Lifting the tape slightly and pressing more mud under it. Finally apply another coat of mud after the area is dry and sand it again.

A swollen area in raw sheetrock (area of sheetrock that has not been coated with mud) will mean that there is an actual flaw in the wallboard. This can also be repaired by cutting the top paper of the sheetrock around the flaw, peeling it off and filling it with mud using a smooth even coat.

A small area will usually only need one coat of compound…larger areas two or more. Again sand until the wall feels and looks completely smooth.

Check around light boxes to ascertain that there will be no small gaps showing after installing the cover plates. If the gap is too large, a small length of tape should be applied and finished to cover the gap. Don’t forget to inspect ceiling fixtures, washer fixtures,etc.

Make sure all screw or nail heads are covered and smooth unless you’re sure they will be covered by trim.

If there is spray texture used, make sure it has been scraped and sanded smooth in areas where there may be over-spray such as the top area of the
walls when the ceiling has been sprayed.

After spray texture has been applied, look for spots where it may be too
lightly sprayed. NOTE: If you’re spraying yourself, be careful not to apply too heavy a coat. It’s much easier to lightly re-spray an area than to repair a coat that is too heavy.

Check around all beaded areas to make sure they are smooth and without
scratches, dents etc.

These are the most common problem areas when finishing drywall and you will be much more satisfied with your product if you perform your own quality control testing before the final painting or papering of your walls.

These tips are just among hundreds more featured on our website. If you
have a remodeling project involving drywall, check out Drywall Finishing Tips now! http://www.drywallfinishingtips.com

Lessons Learned From A Failed Energy Efficiency Project

INTRODUCTION
You would think that energy efficiency is relatively simple: perform an energy audit, install the retrofits and then reap the energy savings. Unfortunately, it doesn”t always work that way. We performed an energy assessment of several stores of a major retail chain in the San Francisco Bay Area and identified a handful of low-cost retro-commissioning measures that had very promising potential. We quantified the expected savings and costs and returned after the project was installed. We then measured the savings using various methods and found either minimal or negative savings. The problem we discovered was that on nearly every measure, the contractors had repaired the hardware, but through various means had ensured that energy savings would not occur. This paper provides an account of the failed project at one store and the steps we took to remedy it. Specifically, this paper stresses the importance of Measurement and Verification and Commissioning of the retrofits.

DESCRIPTION OF THE BUILDING
The store, located in San Francisco, belongs to a well-known national retailer, whose name we will not divulge. The store is an aggregate of 3 buildings which have been joined together to comprise almost 1,000,000 square feet, of which over half is selling floor. Stock rooms and offices comprise the remainder of the space. The different buildings range between 8 and 11 stories tall.

The three buildings comprising the store were built at different times from the 1920s to the 1980s. Originally the buildings had different air handling, chilled water and hot water systems. Over the years, through energy conservation and facility improvement measures, the chilled water systems have been merged into one system.

There were no operating boilers in the store. Steam is provided to the store by an external vendor. Hot water is supplied to multi-zone air handling units and perimeter reheats in some areas of the store via heat exchangers.
There is one common cooling plant which houses two 500 ton centrifugal chillers (2004) which run all year. Chilled water is supplied to the Air Handling Units (AHUs) via primary/secondary chilled water loops. During the hottest months, both chillers run at around 90% full load””this happens about 5 days/yr. During the cooler months, one chiller runs at about 40% full load. If you have been to San Francisco you probably know that even in summer a typical day only reaches about 60 degrees . A properly designed and operating building in San Francisco should not need mechanical cooling most of the year, instead relying upon outside air to meet its cooling needs. This was obviously not the case .

A utility bill analysis identified an out of control building. Figure 1 presents twelve months of average usage per day versus average outdoor temperature. Each point represents a billing period. The superimposed red line represents the statistically insignificant trend. The lack of clear trend indicates that the building is either haphazardly controlled or that energy use varies due to some other variable. We believe mostly the former. During warmer periods (which are not that warm) the store uses more energy, indicating a variable cooling load based upon weather conditions. (An ideal system that uses outside air whenever possible should show a horizontal trend in this 48 to 66 degree temperature range.)

There are over fifty AHUs: a mixture of single zone, multi-zone, and variable air volume units. Each of the three sections contains different types of AHUs.
Electricity Costs for the store were over $2.5M per year. With the economic collapse in the fall of 2008, smart retailers were looking to cut costs wherever possible. One line item that could be cut was utilities. Saving 10% or more could add at least $250,000 to the bottom line.

BACKGROUND OF THE UTILITY PROGRAM
There may be several reasons why California uses less than 50% per capita of the energy than the rest of the country, but one major reason is the aggressive effort of the California Public Utilities Commission to cut energy usage. Commercial ratepayers of the investor owned utilities pay a fee in their utility bills that funds energy efficiency programs. These funds are then channeled to the investor owned utilities to promote energy efficiency. These utilities have over one hundred targeted programs aimed at different vertical markets such as: wineries, retail, hospitals, supermarkets, etc. Often these programs will include free energy audits or retro-commissioning services in conjunction with generous incentives to implement energy efficiency measures. In some cases, the utilities will pay for up to 100% of the cost for implementing the measures. The utilities administer some programs directly and outsource others. The outsourced programs are designed and administered by third party energy consultants.

Quantum Energy Services & Technologies, Inc. (QuEST), an energy consulting firm headquartered in Berkeley, administers a retail program for PG&E which covers the San Francisco Bay Area. This program offers retailers free retro-commissioning studies along with incentives to implement energy conservation measures found. The utilities give incentives to the building owners based upon the amount of energy saved. But in order for energy savings to be recognized by PG&E, these savings need to be measured and verified and then the savings calculations must pass a review by third party reviewers. Nobody gets paid if the work does not pass the third party review. The third party review process is necessary to prevent false claims of savings, or gaming of the system. The reviewers can be tough and require all assumptions to be documented and based upon published standards or guidelines. The drawback of third party review is that some measures are dropped as the Measurement and Verification (M&V) costs would be prohibitively expensive.

QuEST retained our company as a subcontractor to help out with the retail program. Our company performed Retro-Commissioning (RCx) services on 8 stores belonging to this unnamed retailer, and this paper is about one of the stores. However, the same story occurred at most of the stores. It wasn”t one failure, but many.

A NOTE ON THE LEVEL OF RCx RIGOR
RCx is different from energy auditing in that RCx typically involves a more detailed study of the building”s control systems and HVAC systems than energy audits. In addition, RCx typically focuses on repairing, recalibrating and reprogramming, rather than procuring new equipment. Simple paybacks for RCx projects typically are under 2 years. Examples of RCx measures are: repairing inoperable equipment, programming controls, demand control ventilation, and calibrating temperature sensors. Examples of energy audit measures (which are not considered RCx measures) are: installing energy efficient chillers, boilers or package units, converting single zone HVAC systems to variable air volume systems, and installing EMS systems. Energy audit measures often are more expensive and may have longer paybacks. On the other hand, true RCx studies are much more detailed, and thus much more expensive to conduct than energy audits. RCx studies usually involve data logging, functional testing of controls, operator training and post implementation commissioning which repeats much of the data logging and functional testing that was previously done. RCx is criticized by some as too heavy on the analysis, as it can require hundreds of hours of work just to perform the study, whereas energy audits consume much less labor.

In order to make the most efficient use of ratepayer dollars, in QuEST”s RCx program the amount of engineering time was scaled down to minimize the time spent on work that does not directly lead to energy savings. Rather than write commissioning plans, and 100-page Master List of Findings reports, the interim deliverable is instead an Excel workbook that describes the measure, states all assumptions and measured values, and calculates the savings. Equipment is data-logged or trended before and after the implementation of the measures. Calculations are made in Excel so they can be verified by third party reviewers. Written reports come later, but are less extensive than typical RCx reports.

ONSITE INVESTIGATION
Two engineers spent 3 days onsite examining the store”s mechanical systems, uncovering problems, and identifying RCx Measures. Our work to this point was nearly identical to an energy audit.
Once the RCx Measures were identified, the list of RCx Measures was given to the customer who then decided which of them should be pursued. The list also was approved by the third party reviewer.

MEASURES FOUND
We found the store could save about $300,000 in both RCx and Retrofit Measures, which, with incentives offered a simple payback of less than six months. That is 12% of their energy spend. The following measure types were identified and approved by all parties:

Retrofit Measures
1.Install Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) on Multi-Zone Air Handling Units (AHUs).
2.Installation of VSDs on secondary chilled water loops.
RCx Measures
1.Repair economizer control on some air handlers. Many outside air dampers were rusted in place. A two by six was used to prop one open.
2.Repair a small number of faulty VSDs, some of which were in bypass running at 100% fan speed.
3.Reconnect static pressure lines. Some VSDs were running at full speed because the lines running to the static pressure sensors in the ducting had been previously destroyed by contractors.
4.Repair/Replace stuck chilled water valves. These valves were cooling whether the AHUs called for cooling or not. As a result, sales floor temperatures ranged from 62 degrees to 70 degrees.
5.Connect some AHUs to the Energy Management System. These AHUs were running wild and had no control at all.

DATA LOGGING
Once the measures were selected by the customer, QuEST engineers placed data loggers to measure pre-implementation temperatures and power. Temperatures measured included Outside Air Temperature (OAT), Return Air Temperature (RAT), Mixed Air Temperature (MAT) and Supply Air Temperature (SAT). Fan Motor kW were also logged for those units on VSDs. Spot measurements were taken of Fan Motor kW for AHUs that were not on VSDs.

SAVINGS CALCULATION
Energy savings were estimated using bin data simulations. Like-type AHUs were combined. Special care was taken in calculating energy savings to ensure that savings were not double-counted. Each energy conservation measure was modeled assuming the prior measures were already implemented. We integrated the interval data that we collected into the bin data simulations. To do this, we created regressions of our variables (RAT, MAT, SAT, kW) versus OAT. These regressions were used to project RATs, MATs, SATs and kW for other outdoor air temperatures that were not included in our sample.

INSTALLATION
Once we had estimated savings using our bin simulation models and provided measure costs, the customer decided which measures to implement. They then hired contractors to implement the measures. VSDs were installed and repaired, economizer dampers repaired, AHUs connected to the EMS system, etc.

M&V PROVES NO SAVINGS
Once the implementation was completed, QuEST engineers returned to the site and again data logged the same temperatures and power as before. The resulting data, RATs, MATs, SATs and kWs, was again regressed against OAT. Using the regression, RATs, MATs, SATs, and kW values were again extrapolated and placed into the bin simulations.

The resulting calculations demonstrated the unthinkable. Not only were the energy conservation measures we had recommended not saving energy, the affected systems at the store were using more energy than before! Actually, this could be seen from just looking at the interval data. It was obvious that the economizers and variable speed drives were not working as intended. The “repaired” economizers were letting in less outside air than before, and the variable speed drives were still commanding the fans to run at a constant load, but at a higher speed than before.

QuEST alerted the customer that their investments were not saving energy. Facility personnel then investigated the problems, found them, and corrected them.

Even though the contractors had made the economizers operational (as opposed to frozen), the damper actuators were not calibrated correctly. When dampers needed to be fully open, they were not. When dampers needed to be at minimum position, they were not. The variable speed drives were also installed incorrectly. Some wiring and controls issues were resolved and the units started operating as expected. Once these issues were resolved, M&V was performed again. We repeated the data-logging and placed this information into our bin simulations, and again projected the annual savings.
There are many ways energy efficiency projects can go wrong.

“Faulty recommendations
“Poor implementation
“Untrained staff who compromise all the energy conservation measures undertaken

Faulty recommendations may arise from a lack of understanding of how systems operate or should operate. Years of experience, and a good understanding of physics and control theory is necessary to make sound recommendations.

Poor implementation has many causes, but often can be traced to the mindset that having the right equipment will make the difference. But as the lessons learned here illustrate, installing the right hardware is only half the solution. It needs to be integrated into the system and operate according to a logical and beneficial sequence of operations.

The last item is especially troublesome because it is so common. Even if the right hardware is installed and controls optimized, small changes to the sequence of operations made to “fix” local problems may have large consequences on overall system performance over time. Changing supply air temperatures at the air handler to resolve hot or cold complaints may upset the balance of the system and cause problems elsewhere. Professors at Texas A&M University have pointed out that in the absence of continuous monitoring, a building”s performance will fall to the level of the least-trained operator within two years.

HOW TO AVOID FAILED ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECTS
There are a couple of ways to avoid projects that fail to produce savings. After equipment is installed, it needs to be commissioned by a third party, not the contractor who implemented the ECMs. Commissioning can be expensive, but it is worth it. However, just because the equipment has been deemed operational by the commissioning agent, that doesn”t mean it is saving what was expected. Commissioning will tell you if the equipment is working as it should. To determine if you are actually saving what was expected, M&V needs to be done on the building. Although M&V can appear as a waste of money to some, it caught this disaster before it was too late.

Unfortunately, building owners often value engineer commissioning and M&V out of their projects and leave themselves open to big disappointments in their energy efficiency projects. M&V is like insurance””sure, it costs money up front, but the reassurance of knowing the project is done correctly should be worth far more than the initial outlay. What other product would you purchase without verifying that you actually received what you paid for? Why should energy efficiency be any different?

CONCLUSION
Unfortunately, energy efficiency isn”t as simple as we would wish. Energy consultants may deliver quality energy audits and RCx studies, but merely implementing sound energy efficiency recommendations does not guarantee energy savings. The weak link is often in the commissioning of the measures to ensure they are doing what they are intended to do.
To avoid underperforming on your energy efficiency measures, we suggest the following three strategies:

1. Commission what you implement with third-party commissioning experts. Commissioning agents are not interested in selling hardware. They are interested in making systems operate at peak performance. They understand physics and control theory and can identify and repair problems quickly.

2. Track your energy savings using M&V. Even using something as simple as utility bill tracking software can provide some insight into building performance. An increase in monthly energy usage when a decrease was expected would have triggered an investigation into the cause. Verifying performance at the system level (as we did), while more difficult and expensive, would have isolated the problem much more quickly and accurately.

3. Provide proper training so that your facility staff doesn”t override or bypass your energy efficiency projects. Although we barely treated this topic in this paper, this is probably the single most effective step you can take. Your staff is the brains behind building operation, despite what EMS vendors may say. Having the smartest control system will do no good if it is operated by the dumbest operators.