The new superintendent at Ohio’s Licking Heights school district thought the cost for heating and cooling all 5 of its school buildings was high, but one 7-year-old elementary school in particular stood out. Its energy bills were double that of a similar school just down the road. It was also plagued by uneven heating. To keep warm, students and teachers in the far wing of the building often wore hats and coats during class.
For the general contractors that built the new $ 20 million Avalon elementary school it was all about the numbers. For students, teachers and the school’s administrative staff it was more about comfort. Either way, leaks in the building’s ductwork were keeping the school’s state-of -the-art geo-thermal heating system from running efficiently. Until those leaks were sealed and the contractors were able to meet system specifications, their job was not complete...office and classrooms would remain unacceptably cold through the upcoming winter months.
With days to go before the new tenants were scheduled to move in to their freshly renovated office building in downtown Berkeley, California, engineers learned that none of the newly installed ductwork came even close to passing the state’s tighter requirements for duct leakage. All of the ducts in the first of the two - phase project had been manually sealed with mastic before being mounted into place.
Nearing completion of a new 6 - story dormitory complex, the building contractors at Ohio State University were dismayed to find that all 19 ventilation shafts failed pressure tests needed to pass fire code and receive LEED Silver certification. The only solution was to tear down the paint - ready walls, access the shafts and try to seal all the leaks by hand. The project delay was estimated at 6 months. The addition costs were estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Then, an engineer remembered hearing about a new duct and ventilation shaft sealing technology called Aeroseal.
In the coastal town of Pensacola, Florida, the key to fighting humidity and excessive moisture is ensuring proper building ventilation. So when administrators at Pensacola Christian College decided to renovate Campus House, the college’s 3 - story dormitory, they knew they needed to get proper exhaust levels from the 30 risers leading from the buildings’ various bathrooms up to the attic. As it turned out, leaks in the ductwork were making it impossible for the large attic fans to draw sufficient air up through the system.
During the floor-to-ceiling renovation of the Gallego Intermediate School, contractors removed the existing ceiling tiles to find ductwork that was in such bad shape, replacing the entire duct system seemed to be the only option. The building’s HVAC included 34 individual units, each with its own supply and return ducts, all made of duct board that was literally falling apart at the seams. Some of the ducts were in such disrepair that they made leakage testing impossible.
The HVAC system at Glenwood Junior High School in Princeton, West Virginia is more than 30 years old and was in need of an upgrade. Teachers complained about inadequate heating and cooling in some of the classrooms, and the school board was looking to reduce overall energy use. So the engineer on the project decided to replace the current constant air volume with a variable air volume (VAV) system reusing the existing ductwork. He called in the duct specialists at Air Duct Solutions for their expert advice.
With 14,000 building structures under their domain, the LA Unified School District is always on the lookout for new energy - saving strategies. The district’s sustainability specialist had heard about aeroseal duct sealing earlier, but it took time to evaluate the technology and to ensure it was safe and effective enough for its proposed use. It also required the right pilot project for initial evaluation.
10 CFM of air duct leakage or less – that was the goal. When designing and building the new dormitory building for Syracuse University graduate law students, general contractor Hayner - Hoyt Corporation was looking to meet high standards for energy efficiency. To qualify for a rebate under New York State’s NYSERDA program for new construction, they would have to exceed SMACNA standards, surpass LEED for Homes certification criteria and meet that 10 CFM per floor requirement. There was only one possible way they could do it – Aeroseal
Haddon Hall was one of the first apartment buildings ever to be constructed in the Cincinnati metropolitan area. Built in the 1890s, the structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and represents a significant part of the city’s architectural history. But for its new owners of what now serves as section 8 housing, Haddon Hall was a woefully inefficient building with costly energy bills. For its 200+ residents, the building, while charming, was inadequately heated in the winter and way too hot in the summer.
A five year, $70 million dollar renovation of the University’s Department of Physics building focused primarily on upgrading the 6 - story structure’s 50 - year - old HVAC system. While most of the ductwork was replaced, this was not an option for two of the main exhaust shafts, which were part of the building’s structure itself. Significant leaks in these shafts were making proper air system balancing impossible. That, in turn, caused exhaust issues and added substantially to the building’s energy consumption.
Hopeful high school graduates aren’t the only ones trying to get into Harvard. Getting on the university’s list of approved vendors can be a boon to any commercial contractor, but few make the cut. For Aspen Air Duct Cleaning, it started with a call from a mechanical contractor working on the university’s renovation of its Girguis Lab. Engineers had just installed a new 8,500 CFM air handling unit that was meant to supply heat to the lab and an adjacent facility. When the unit was brought online, however, its fan was operating at around 97% of capacity with little effect.