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3 comments

When Housing Trends Collide…..

Posted February 06, 2013 7:54 AM by larhere

Residential and commercial buildings are going through an evolutionary period driven by megatrends moving buildings to higher efficiencies, lower emissions/losses, cleaner air and quieter sound levels. These have driven hvac equipment manufacturers and system designers to newer, quieter, more compact, more efficient and newer technologies to keep step with the changing requirements.

But change brings opportunity for those nimble and open minded to look for these opportunities and I've got to believe these opportunists are excited about the latest trends in housing (and to a lesser degree commercial buildings):

  1. The move to prefabricated buildings
  2. The use of less spacing, downsizing

This was evident in yesterday's announcement by New York's mayor Michael Bloomberg of the winning design for the 300-square-foot "micro apartments" that will make up 55 unit "micro buildings" to be built next year and occupied the year after.

My Micro NY will be the first multi-family building in Manhattan to use modular construction, with the modules said to be safer and more efficient since the plumbing, electrical, and building development is done in a controlled, indoor environment.
Micro apartments will make use of movable furniture as well as walls and partitions to repurpose the areas for different activities throughout the day and night.

The very small and varying magnitude of the heating and cooling loads combined with walls that aren't always in the same place will force system designers to rethink current heating and cooling systems. Locations such as diffusers and grills may not always be "available" for that function. Air flow patterns will change through the day if existing equipment and design practices are followed.

New HVAC equipment will need to be even smaller (in physical size but also in capacity), even quieter since proximity to occupants will be an issue, more flexible and precise in operation. Perhaps this is one of the reasons behind the trend toward pre-manufactured buildings where hvac equipment can be pre-installed in clean controlled environments.

To read more click New York City's First 'Micro Apartments

Editors Note: CR4 would like to thank Larry Butz of GEA Consulting, for contributing this blog entry.

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Guru

Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 985
Good Answers: 14
#1

Re: When Housing Trends Collide…..

02/17/2013 9:49 PM

I wonder where the kids sleep?

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Participant

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 1
#2

Re: When Housing Trends Collide…..

02/19/2013 3:55 PM

I like the idea of cooling/heating smaller spaces but the industry is going to need a redesign because our typical ducted systems that use a condenser and air handler can't really get much smaller. Goodman Manufacturing was able to reduce tubing size to a 5 mm instead of 3/8" and the 13 SEER footprint is now what they used for 10 SEER. It took them years to get there and the ability to retrofit on older buildings. These smaller spaces make it difficult on manufacturing, the trend may go towards more mini splits.

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Guru

Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 985
Good Answers: 14
#3

Re: When Housing Trends Collide…..

03/05/2013 8:04 AM

Why not go radiant with the cold water lines in the ceiling and the heating lines in the floor?

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