Sunday, October 28, 2007

Puget Sound Chapter’s Focus on Energy Efficiency & Sustainability – 30 Years Ago

Puget Sound Chapter’s November 2007 meeting will feature ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer Ron Jarnagin speaking on net zero energy buildings. ASHRAE’s leadership and Puget Sound Chapter's participation in promoting energy efficient and sustainable design is not new.

Members of Puget Sound Chapter have shown leadership in energy efficiency at the local and national level for more than 30 years. The following is a brief glance at chapter activities regarding energy efficiency and alternative energy, as told by Punch List newsletters of the 1970s.

Going into the Energy Crisis

Sept 12, 1973 - “Energy conversation (and that word is not misspelled) is all there is today” said Erlinger Hallanger of Honeywell’s Building Automation Division. As speaker at the September meeting, Hallanger said “we need to get building energy use out of the talk stage and into some definite action”. He commented that “the control industry is primarily a bunch of hardware peddlers bidding on specs which result in only minimum performance”. While our past solution has been to find more energy, Hallanger claimed that it is now time to get better energy use by improving the design of HVAC and lighting systems and integrating their control. Hallanger pointed out that future sources of energy, except the breeder reactor, are very vague. Geothermal energy is available only in some very small areas, and solar energy has the very real problem of storage.

Addressing Impending Legislation

May 15, 1974 - At the May chapter meeting a panel representing members from both ASHRAE and IEEE discussed impending energy legislation. The forum was titled “Design and Evaluation Criteria for Energy Conservation in New Buildings, or The Octopus and You”. Panelists agreed that legislation was imminent at all levels, from local building codes to national policy, and the regulatory octopus could entangle us all. The panel concluded by calling for support to the technical committees providing guidance for legislation.

Panelists representing ASHRAE and IEEE admit "the regulatory octopus could entangle us all" in their discussion of impending energy conservation legislation at the May 1974 Puget Sound Chapter meeting.

Nov 15, 1978 - Bob Johnson, Chairman of Puget Sound Chapter’s Energy Committee, and other members of the committee presented a review of the City of Seattle’s proposed energy code at the monthly workshop to a standing room crowd.

Bob Johnson, Chairman of Puget Sound Chapter Energy Committee, addresses a standing room only crowd at the November 1978 workshop regarding the City of Seattle's proposed energy code.

Puget Sound Chapter members receive news about the proposed City of Seattle energy code at the November 1978 workshop.

Evaluating Alternative Resources

Sept 10, 1975 - “Wind Energy Machines and Application” was the meeting topic presented by Robert Wilson, professor of mechanical engineering at Oregon State University. Professor Wilson spoke of the $12 million in federal funding allocated to wind power research in 1975. He indicated expensive gearing units and short rotor life were major drawbacks to wind energy being an attractive form of alternative energy. According to Dr. Wilson, the maximum useful life of a rotor set was 1,500 to 5,000 hours. At the end of his presentation, price lists for several wind turbine units were distributed, along with calculated cost per installed kilowatt and according to the October 1975 Punch List, “bargains were missing”.

100 kW Experimental Wind Turbine Generator Display
Board from 1975.

Source: NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Nov 12, 1975 - The monthly chapter meeting topic was “Design Criteria for a Residential Solar Heating System” presented by Harry Kier of Solarthermics Corporation. Kier indicated “the solar heating industry is in a similar condition today as that of the auto industry prior to the arrival of Henry Ford”. His presentation focused on a “solar furnace” that would store collected energy in a compartment containing 25,000 pounds of washed rocks. In Seattle, the solar furnace would provide an average daily output of 135,000 Btu.

Harry Kier, of Solarthermics Corporation, discusses the advantages of using a “solar furnace” for supplemental heating of Seattle residences.

The SUNPOWER solar heating unit presented by Harry Kier, could provide heating for 3-5 days, even when the sun wasn’t shining, by storing energy in 25,000 pounds of rock.

Source: Puget Sound Chapter ASHRAE Punch List, Dec 1975.

Conservation Becomes a Resource

Sept 15, 1976 - Gordon Vickery, Superintendent of Seattle City Light discussed Energy 1990, a study conducted at the direction of Seattle City Council to identify Seattle’s energy needs through the year 1990. Consisting of eleven volumes and weighing 27 pounds, Vickery said “it created more controversy, I guess, than questions it was supposed to answer”. Vickery discussed Seattle City Light’s involvement with three nuclear plants and two alternative hydro projects, High Ross and Copper Creek. Regardless of the new sources of energy, Vickery said “the big thing that we are going to bank on and it’s gotta be one of the great gambles of all time, ah, as I said somewhere once, the City Council with the audacity of a river boat gambler has decided we are going to take a different course, and I hope it works because I think it’s right, and I’m talking about conservation”.

Monday, October 22, 2007

ASHRAE '08: Lessons Learned in Sustainable Design Highlighted in ASHRAE Roundtable

ATLANTA - New York City is home to some of the world’s best known green buildings and leading design firms that test new boundaries in high-performance, sustainable design.
In a special roundtable session at ASHRAE’s 2008 Winter Meeting, two of New York’s best-known owner/developer firms, along with the engineering designers who bring their projects to reality, discuss the challenges, opportunities and successes in delivering new green high-rise towers that add to New York City’s skyline and grace the covers of engineering trade magazines.
High-Performance Buildings: Lessons from the Leaders takes place 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, at ASHRAE’s meeting, Jan. 19-23, New York City. Registration is required to attend.
Learn about owner motivations, technical challenges, design choices and trade-offs, costs for these projects, and perspectives about whether the expectations set early in the design process have been met once the buildings are occupied.
“The building market is transitioning to high-performance green buildings,” Kent Peterson, ASHRAE president, said. “It is essential that ASHRAE continue to educate owners, contractors and designers on both the challenges and successes in delivering such buildings. This roundtable offers participants the chance to hear what it takes to provide buildings that perform and are environmentally responsible.”

Participants in the session are:

Donald J. Winston, P.E.,
director of technical services, The Durst Organization, Inc., whose buildings include Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, 4 Times Square and the Helena, all of which are featured on technical tours at the ASHRAE meeting.
Tom Scarola, director of engineering, Tishman Speyer, whose buildings include the Chrysler Center.

Scott Frank, P.E., partner, Jaros Baum & Bolles, whose buildings include One Bryant Park, World Trade Center Site (Towers 1 through 4) and World Trade Center 7.

Daniel H. Nall, P.E., senior vice president/director-advanced technologies, Flack + Kurtz, whose projects include The New York Times Headquarters, The Hearst Headquarters and the Verdesian.

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is an international organization of some 50,000 persons. ASHRAE fulfills its mission of advancing heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Local ASHRAE Membership

Local ASHRAE Membership

Local membership is $35 and can be paid with annual dues or sent to the Puget Sound Treasurer at:

Puget Sound ASHRAE
PO Box 6446
Bellevue, WA 98008-0446

HOW TO KEEP YOUR MEMBER INFORMATION CURRENT: Get your membership and pin number from your membership card. It is best to go on line to . Log-in and go to Membership Resources, Manage your Membership, and then Address Change. Enter your new information. If you do not want to update your info on-line you can call ASHRAE at 1-800-ASHRAE.

KEEP DUES CURRENT TO MAINTAIN ASHRAE BENEFITS & REDUCE REMINDER E-MAILS & PHONE CALLS: Every year we launch a Retention Campaign to remind members about being behind on dues so they can retain their membership and benefits. If you are 3 months or more past your payment date (based on the date you joined) you start losing benefits:
3 months behind: Journal stopped for student members
6 months behind: Journal stopped for all members, Membership is dropped

Services with no grace period – you have to be paid up:
· To receive the ASHRAE handbooks Society
· To receive the PS ASHRAE roster
· To get reduced fees for local meetings and workshops.

Local dues must be paid to receive the roster and reduced meeting and workshop fees. To check your status or pay on-line go to . Log-in with your membership number and pin and go to Pay Dues on Line. If you need a bill and have lost your invoice you can call ASHRAE at 1-800-5ASHRAE to receive a new invoice. If you are only paying local dues send these to: PO Box 6446, Bellevue, WA 98008-0446 or pay at a local meeting.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Northwest Energy Expo

The Electric League of the Pacific Northwest is bringing The Northwest Energy Expo to Seattle on October 17 & 18, 2007, at the Washington State Convention Center.

This regional event is your opportunity to find solutions for your pressing electrical issues. Choose from 30 FREE industry-related seminars on a variety of informative and relevant topics. Attend State-Approved Electrical License CEU classes (sit in FREE if you do not need the CEU recorded with the State). Tour 150 exhibits representing the newest and best product and service innovations in the electrical industry. All who are affected by the cost, usage, and application of electrical power are encouraged to attend, including architects, general and electrical contractors, consulting and energy engineers, lighting experts, property management, facilities maintenance and manufacturers, energy retailers and utilities, and all associated with the electrical industry.

For FREE registration, and to view the seminar and CEU schedules, please visit: or phone 425-646-4727.

Monday, October 1, 2007


Welcome to a new service of Puget Sound ASHRAE: The Puget Sound ASHRAE blog.

This blog in intended to give our members a new avenue to interact with the chapter and with other members. It is intended to be a more flexible and responsive addition to our current webpage--but what it will become is very much up to the input and response of the membership and the chapter officers.

Take a look around--if you are visiting sometime around 8/17/07, what you will see is very much a work in progress. There are a few industry news items, a (mostly empty) chapter calendar, and a few posts dealing with the potential use of this blog and other technology tools to improve our chapter's services to our membership and to further our efforts to support the ASHRAE mission.

If you are new to blogs and want a little guidance in working with this site, please visit our on-line instruction manual. It should give you a better idea of how this website works and how you can work with it.

You will notice that after every post, there is a 'comment' link. This is to allow members or other interested parties to give us feedback or to contribute to the discussion for the benefit of other users of this blog. You are encouraged to comment--We want your insight and involvement!

Before commenting, however, be sure to familiarize yourself with our posting guidelines. Anyone can comment, but to post original contributions you'll need to first sign up for a free gmail account. Then e-mail the Chapter President for authorization; be sure to include your gmail account name.

And don't get too attached to the format--we expect to add more and more features and to integrate this site more seamlessly with our current web presence.

Please explore, and tell us what you think! We are hoping to build this site with your recommendations and suggestions.