Get the Most Bang for Your Buck From Your HVAC System

It’s easy to take heat and air conditioning for granted. You set the temperature that’s appropriate for your business and then go about the rest of your day.

But there’s one number that might make you stop and reconsider your HVAC system, 40%. That’s the percentage of electricity your HVAC system uses. By implementing energy-efficiency measures you can improve your heating and cooling performance while enjoying substantial cost savings.

How to Make Your Building More Energy Efficient

There are a few first steps you can take to reduce your heating and cooling load such as:

  1. Add more insulation to reduce leaks.
  2. Inspect your windows: If they’re not energy efficient like ENERGY STAR-qualified windows, consider replacing them.
  3. Upgrade to energy-efficient lighting systems that emit less heat into air-conditioned spaces.

After reducing your building’s heating and cooling load, you then can make the most from your HVAC equipment investment. With today’s advanced technology, air conditioners use 30-50% less energy while producing the same degree of cooling compared to air conditioners made in the 1970s. Even if your cooling unit is 10 years old, you may still save 20% on cooling costs.

What TP Mechanical Can Do for You

TP Mechanical has the solution for your HVAC needs, using our experienced team of engineers and designers who use the latest BIM and CAD technologies. Our heating capabilities include water and steam boilers, industrial burners, air rotation heating systems, exhaust/makeup air systems, radiant and unit heaters, and rooftop package units. We also design, produce and install air conditioning systems with all types of chillers, cooling towers, commissioning and VAV/VVT/VRV.

See how the TP Mechanical team installed a new HVAC system in a Cincinnati-area private school with an extremely tight timetable. Then contact us for more information on how we can help you get the most efficient use from your HVAC system.

How TP Mechanical Can Put Value Engineering to Work for You

Value engineering, value analysis, value methodology. There are a number of names for the same concept, but one thing is certain. Utilizing knowledge and experience to add value to a project or process can deliver a better end result.

The value engineering concept developed during World War II as General Electric purchasing engineers looked for material and component substitutes due to time shortages. Value engineering is now a systematic and organized approach to improve projects, products and processes. It aims to achieve essential functions at the lowest life cycle cost while still maintaining performance, quality, reliability and safety.

Because of the resulting reduced time and lower costs while still assuring quality, many industries embrace value engineering including:

  • Building designers and contractors
  • Auto manufacturers
  • Chemical companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Federal and local governments

Enhancing Value Every Step of the Way

TP Mechanical’s Vice President for Cincinnati and Dayton Operations Mayur Kadakia sees first-hand how the company collaborates with clients to provide value engineering on a project-by-project basis. “Our team seeks and achieves the optimum balance between function, cost, performance and safety.”

Engineering BlogOur emphasis on value engineering starts at the very beginning. TP Mechanical’s team of estimators recommend a variety of options to save our clients money while still ensuring end-goal quality. Once a plan is approved, our team of skilled CAD designers then leverage their training in the latest technology, equipment and design techniques to create an efficient, effective design. We employ licensed professional engineers as well as work with outside engineering firms to review designs.

Value engineering can come in a variety of forms – from a decision to use a water-saving shower valve in a college residence hall to recommending a point-of-use water heater instead of traditional tank heaters in a hotel. For each project, a cost-benefit analysis can provide construction managers and owners with the details they need to determine the value of each choice.

TP Mechanical’s designers also stay on top of regulatory rules and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines in order for clients to stay in compliance and achieve green status. Check out our portfolio of projects to see the results for yourself and then contact us for more information on how we can make value engineering work for your next project.

IT’S NOT JUST LINES AND CIRCLES… ANYMORE

Presented by TP Mechanical | Provided by: Matt Houston

CAD drafting and preconstruction coordination has come a long way in the past five years. Typically, this was completed on-site, in the General Contractor’s trailer, overlaying plans on a light table to determine collisions and conflicts between trades. This was a very involved and timely process, with many hands drawing their own plans in two dimensions.

The evolution of the CAD department has moved into drawing all of its plans in three dimensions, allowing for true-to-form coordination and more timely and accurate prefabrication.

New tools we use during the typical coordination process:

1. Autodesk Fabrication – Formerly CAD-MEP+ from TSI Software, Autodesk Fabrication is the foundation of all of our drafting today. With the use of Design Line elements and the Attacher tool, it is possible to create real-life installation drawings, using actual fitting sizes and piping materials with each system.
2. Autodesk Navisworks – Purchased by Autodesk in 2007, Navisworks provides software for 3D coordination, collaboration and sequencing in design and construction. Interference management tools help design and construction professionals anticipate and avoid potential problems before construction begins, minimizing expensive delays and rework.
3. Autodesk Revit – Architects and Engineers are moving (or have moved to) Revit for their construction drafting. Revit provides a much simpler interface to create a complex construction model and the pertaining documentation. CAD technicians can use Revit to extract 3D models of the building and structure to allow for even more detailed coordination. It is also possible to receive correctly sized equipment for use in coordination and prefabrication.
CAD4. Citrix Goto Meeting – Travelling to job sites is becoming a thing of the past. Using the software tools, we can have our meetings online, often making changes to our drawings on-the-fly, making the coordination process even more streamlined. Also, less driving saves costs to the project, trimming bids to increase work backlog and also trimming our carbon footprint.
5. Citrix Sharefile – File transmission can be unwieldy, especially if you must use an antiquated FTP system that is unreliable and unsecure. Enter Sharefile, which allows us to share specific files with specific individuals. It also allows customers to upload their files to us securely. It is now possible to make project files available to field personnel as well as other trades working on the project, while keeping the files secure.

Speaking From Experience…

By: Jef Schachleiter – Internal Operation Manager

 

With 38 years in business and 55 years of life experience, sometimes there are opportunities to stop and reflect. This is one of those times, and one in which I have the opportunity to share some of the lessons I have learned about leadership and team work.

My position with TP Mechanical enables me to utilize my strengths in people management to foster better relationships with our internal customers, specifically the operations team that performs work on our job sites.  I coordinate the CAD, FAB and PURCHASING departments to work together in completing the back-of-the-house tasks, which accommodates our workflow into the field.

My intention with each group is for it to be an independent business unit that moves work freely between the three groups.  Each facet supports the other. They have to complete their specific job for the work to shift and move through our organization. Should we suffer a setback in one area it could conceivably create issues with all departments. When this occurs, I enter the picture and help the team get back on track.

My position requires multi-tasking to keep all departments running smoothly. Some days my position requires me to be a cheerleader or a coach. Other days, I have to become a sounding board to let people vent their frustrations. Hopefully, I’m able to share some wisdom and experience to empower my direct reports to make good, sound decisions when necessary.

I am fortunate that the three heads of my departments are hardworking, smart, company-first members of the team that need little supervision. They are open to suggestions, and they foster good relationships with their own direct reports, as well are our internal customer group.

I treat all that I meet by the “golden rule.” I do not hesitate to address issues that are sensitive and use each corrective counseling session as a chance to learn and teach. I never harbor ill feelings toward my group members. Once a situation is discussed, it is over in my mind.

Work is separate from personal and I never mix the two. It is good business practice to ensure that you keep the dividing line between business and personal very wide and well defined.

I operate my part of the company always keeping the good of the whole ahead of my direct responsibility. What I mean by that is, I never make a decision without thinking about what I am doing and how it will affect TP Mechanical.  NOT CAD/FAB/PURCHASING, but how the decision will affect the entire company.  I believe this determined focus will allow for the best possible results for the company, which affects all of us working here.

Tight timeline? Bring it on.

We like challenging projects, and aggressive timelines, unusual circumstances and intricate details are our specialty.

That’s why we were psyched to tackle the ARM/Berry Plastics project. TP Mechanical welcomed the opportunity to fabricate and install a new primary/secondary chilled water piping system – while the old system continued to run and the facility remained occupied. We had four months from the time the contract was awarded until the project milestone to have the chillers up and running, and there were no blueprints to work from.

For us, that’s just another day on the job. Our first step was to use the building’s original 2D blueprints to create an AutoCAD layout.  Meanwhile, we started our guys on the exterior piping of the building that didn’t require any modeling in order to maximize time. Working concurrently alongside our crews, we used the AutoCAD layout to create a 3D model of the new system so that our client would have a crystal clear view of what the system was going to look like in place.

The new system was going into an area that had, up until that point, been used for storage and the client wanted to ensure that enough space would remain for safety guardrails and fork truck traffic. In addition to the 3D modeling, we laid out chalk drawings of the footprints of the chillers and pump pads to help them envision the space and get an accurate idea of the end product.

As another time-saving strategy, we prefabricated the pipe assemblies so that when the piping arrived on site, no field welding was required; all they had to do to install was rig it up, set it in place and bolt it together. We completed the tie-in in two days and once the new system was in place, we dismantled and eliminated the old equipment. We completed an entire new chilled water piping system with no disruption in the facility’s production or putting the occupants in harm’s way.

Throughout this process, we met with the client at least once weekly to keep the lines of communication flowing and discuss updated safety precautions, preplanning strategies for every step of the process and feedback on design as the project evolved.

Communication, teamwork, and creative problem solving. That’s how we roll – with the punches, that is.