Currently, I am entering my fifth year at the Colorado School of Mines, pursuing a major in mechanical engineering with minors in energy and public affairs. Having been born in Edmonds, Wash., I was quite shaken by the move to Colorado. The air is so much thinner, the flora is so much drier, and the people are so much more…outdoorsy. Beer is a really big thing here. Oceans are not. Even the Coloradan flag is more cheerful than its Washingtonian peer. Regardless, I found my place in Colorado riding bikes, researching fuel cells, leading Mines Sustainability, and camping in the Rocky Mountains whenever possible.[Read more…]
At McKinstry, our mission is to make every building we touch more efficient. “Mission: Possible” is a monthly series featuring people and projects around the country that demonstrate our mission in action.
Working efficiently is nothing new at McKinstry. We have long believed that half the labor in a construction project is wasted and have been on a mission to drive efficiency into our work for years – everything from developing standard processes and adapting technology that streamlines our work to providing just-in-time delivery.[Read more…]
By Larry Mayotte, Operations Manager, Service
Building owners and facility managers are diligently preparing their plans to reoccupy buildings that have been under-utilized or sat empty for weeks or months. In their efforts to ensure occupants can safely return to the workplace, they are tuning up their heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and implementing physical distancing and other protocol to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
One area that is often overlooked but is just as critical to safely reopening a building, is a building’s water system (potable, non-potable, cooling towers, evaporative HVAC equipment). Most building owners and operators don’t typically have to deal with health risks from these systems. But, in buildings that have low or no use for extended periods of time, there is significant risk of bacteria such as legionella building up. This build-up puts occupants at risk of exposure to Pontiac Fever, an acute nonfatal respiratory disease, or Legionnaires Disease, a type of pneumonia caused by inhaling bacteria from water and the deadliest waterborne disease in the United States.[Read more…]
By Michael Frank, Vice President, Engineering and Design
Many people are wondering what it will look like when we all return to work in buildings that have been mostly vacant for weeks, and in some cases months. There are a lot of conversations happening and articles being written about occupant density, and I imagine seating layouts will never look quite the same.
How about the HVAC and plumbing systems that have been put into a holiday schedule or turned off for this same time period? How do we get them ready so our employees can return with confidence? Once they are ready, and employees start returning in a staged occupancy, how should we operate them and what should we be thinking about? There is a lot of research and reporting being done on the role of an HVAC system in keeping us safe, or potentially spreading the novel coronavirus.[Read more…]
By Geremy Wolff, Regional Director – Technical Services
At McKinstry, our mission is to make every building we touch more efficient. “Mission: Possible” is our series featuring people and projects around the country that demonstrate our mission in action.
Sometimes efficiency looks different from how we typically think of it. When McKinstry announced our mission to make every building we touch more efficient, we didn’t know we would be soon facing a pandemic. In one Seattle hospital, efficiency has come to mean re-configuring the HVAC equipment to minimize the spread of infection and keep the frontline healthcare workers and patients safe.[Read more…]
Ash Awad, P.E., is McKinstry’s Chief Market Officer.
Fifty years ago, on April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated at rallies across the United States. Led by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson and Pacific Northwest icon Denis Hayes, and inspired by the protests of the 1960s, Earth Day began as a national teach-in on the environment and was intended to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight. What followed was a decade of wins for the environment – including the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, and the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency to safeguard our air, water and land. Today, more than 1 billion people are involved in Earth Day activities, making it the largest secular civic event in the world.[Read more…]
Adam Gloss revisits his post from March 31 with current information on best practices for reducing the spread of coronavirus via HVAC systems.
With developments around the coronavirus moving quickly, there is a lot of conflicting information about whether the virus is being found in the air (becoming aerosolized). According to the latest information from the World Health Organization, while this is possible in some rare circumstances, the primary means of transmission remains through droplet and contact transmission, not airborne transmission.[Read more…]
There will always be people who will take advantage of a crisis to sell something. Of late, we’re seeing some contractors, distributors and manufacturers touting ionization products (ozone generators, cold plasma, etc), HEPA filters, coil cleaning and UV systems as ways to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Our customers are asking us about many of these products as a result. So, what really works and what can you do to leverage your HVAC systems to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19)?[Read more…]
At McKinstry, our mission is to make every building we touch more efficient. “Mission: Possible” is a new monthly series featuring people and projects around the country that demonstrate our mission in action.
From the moment you wake up to the moment your head hits the pillow, there’s a constant in almost everyone’s life—light. Whether it’s natural or artificial, in your home or your office, incandescent or LED, light is always in our lives.
In recent years, much of the conversation around energy efficiency and lighting had centered on switching from fluorescent or incandescent bulbs to LED lighting. Understandably so, considering that LED lighting is more efficient, versatile, and lasts longer.
Efficiency in lighting is about more than just changing bulbs, however. This is exactly where McKinstry’s Lighting Solutions team comes in.[Read more…]
At McKinstry, our mission is to make every building we touch more efficient. “Mission: Possible” is a new monthly series featuring projects around the country that demonstrate our mission in action.
Since 2013, our Seattle energy team has worked with MultiCare (an integrated healthcare network made up of eight hospitals and numerous clinics across Washington) to deliver more than 30 projects and make every MultiCare building we touch more efficient.
At Good Samaritan Hospital (located in Puyallup, Wash.), MultiCare and McKinstry recently implemented a combined heat and power (CHP) system. This innovative system allows the hospital to generate its own power on-site, which is drastically more reliable, cost efficient and energy efficient.
At Good Samaritan, the new two-megawatt CHP system came online in late 2019 and was fully implemented in early 2020. The system will cut combined energy and maintenance costs by 25 percent, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent, as compared to just connecting to the standard power grid.[Read more…]