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Building Healthy is a monthly podcast centered around building healthy spaces, environments and lives through indoor air quality and sustainable building.

Building Healthy is hosted by Tim Wearing and powered by Oxygen8.

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Tim: Hi there and welcome to the very first episode of the Building Healthy Podcast, where we’ll be talking about building healthy spaces, environments and lives through indoor air quality and sustainable building. I’m your host, Tim Wearing, and I want to thank you for joining us as we figure out exactly what we’re doing here and what we and you want out of the podcast.

We’re going to have new episodes every single month. So please subscribe to wherever you listen to your podcasts as well as to YouTube, where you can watch highlights, notes, extras, and behind-the-scenes videos. You can also follow us on LinkedIn. And if you have any comments or suggestions, you can email us at Building, Okay, that’s oxygen and the number eight. Okay. So please enjoy our first episode, where I’ll be speaking to an old friend of mine about energy recovery, and ventilation.

Will: Hi, my name is Will Dean.
Thanks for having me, Tim. I’m really excited to be on the podcast. Yeah,

Tim: You’re welcome. You’re welcome. So, you and I worked at Core for a couple of years and then I left. And then you left. And you’re now with…

Will: I’m with Airia brands specifically working with a product called LifeBreath.

Tim: Okay. And you have a bit of an interesting background.

Will: Yeah.

Tim: Tell us a little bit about that.

Will: There’s a lot of unconventional backgrounds. In fact, industry. I got my start in the industry just after completing business school. Before that, I did two Olympics for Canada.

I had an English degree from university, so was thought I wasn’t necessarily going to do something in a mechanical space but have been in this industry now for seven years and really thoroughly, thoroughly enjoy it.

Tim: Excellent. Excellent. Okay, So, let’s talk about energy recovery, which is what we’re here for. Yeah. Yeah. So, when you started this, you didn’t know that much about energy recovery. But in the last seven years, I assume you’ve learned quite a bit.

Will: Yeah. Yeah, it’s been, it’s been a learning process. I spent a lot of time on YouTube in the early days, just trying to educate myself as much as possible.

And the more I’ve learned, the more I like about energy recovery. It’s the concept is really simple. You got to build tight and then ventilate right and it’s a spectacular way to save energy and provide indoor, healthy, fresh air.

Tim: Could you just give a just a brief description of what exactly it is and how it’s done for us?

Will: So, in the summertime, you’re using alternating channels and layers. This is the primary way that I’ve done this in my career is using cross-flow enthalpy plates. We also do some work with counterflow enthalpy plates.
You can use sensible plates as well. I should say enthalpy is when you recover both the heat and the moisture from the air and then the sensible is just recovering the heat from the air.

But what you’re doing is you’re using the outgoing air from building to pre-condition, the air coming into the building you’re saving, energy that you’re exhausting from the building and using that energy to warm up or cool down the air that’s coming into the building. So, the result is you get healthier indoor, fresh air in a way that’s really energy efficient.

Tim: This type of technology is fairly new. I mean, in the grand scheme of things. Yeah. What drove this initially, energy recovery in buildings.

Will: Yeah, it’s technology has been around for a while now, but it’s really becoming a lot more prevalent. But, you know, people, they started really increasing the insulation of buildings to increase the energy, energy efficiency of buildings and people started getting kind of sick and they weren’t all that healthy inside the air quality.

It wasn’t that good. So, they wanted a way to make the air quality a bit better, had the occupants feel a little bit healthier. But if you just exhaust that air and bring in fresh air without having any kind of exchange of energy, it’s really an inefficient process and kind of obviates all the benefits that you’re getting from increasing that insulation.

Tim: So, using an energy recovery device allows you to save a lot of energy while providing that indoor fresh air. So, you mentioned a couple of the technologies. Maybe you could give us a brief description of how it’s done.

Will: Yeah, there are a couple of different ways of doing energy recovery. One of the ways that we work with, and we see the most, especially in the residential space, is using cross-flow fixed plate exchangers.

You can also do counterflow, which is cross-flow as a square shape. Counterflow is a hexagon, and that’s just using alternating channels and layers with the outgoing air crossing through one layer and the supply air crossing over another air and through the alternating channels, there’s an exchange of energy. Another way you can do this is with a wheel.

That’s a technology that I’ve never sold, but that’s with a wheel that spins from the outside air through the supplier. There’s also, you can use a glycol loop and all these technologies have their place in different applications. Of course, I sell fixed plate exchangers, so my bias is towards that particular approach. But yeah, there are a few different ways you can do it.

So again, the most common ways we see are probably fixed plate wheels that are huge, particularly for larger CFM applications. And then you would want to use a glycol loop which uses, you know, a refrigerant cycle for thing applications where you can’t have any kind of crossover of air. So, you think of hospitals or potentially places where you have contaminants in the outdoor or indoor air, sorry.

Tim: Yeah. Okay. One of the things that’s driving this is the codes and things.

Will: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. That’s a really important key driver in the market. I would say the residential market in particular in Canada they’re using an approach for high-rise buildings, which has been a big driver for the market where every single suite has its own piece of ventilation equipment.

Instead of having one large ventilation equipment on the roof or doing it through a hallway and pressurizing the corridors. So, with this approach, each suite in a condo building gets its own dedicated supply of fresh air.

Yeah, this is a lot healthier for the occupants of the building. It’s a lot more energy efficient and it’s really a better building design. But we really see the market being code-driven with different jurisdictions around North America requiring different levels of energy recovery. And a few examples of this would be the step code in B.C. And what the step code does is set out a target for 2030 where it’s going to be net zero and you must meet different efficiency targets along that way.

So there’s step one, step two, step three, and step four. In Toronto, you have that Toronto Green building standard with I think it’s four different tiers. So, you see different kind of permutations of this around North America. But the trend overall is towards higher buildings, more energy efficiency. And we’re increasingly seeing this codified, you know, has driven the uptake for a lot of the market.

I think Canada has sort of led this approach and we’re increasingly seeing it more in the United States as well.

Tim: Yeah, because I guess Washington state has very stringent codes as well. Yeah. And then you’ve got places like Boston and a few other places.

Will: Yeah, that’s exactly right. Yeah. California is starting to acquire a bit more in Minnesota of a requirement for balanced ventilation. And yeah, overall, the trend is towards requiring more energy recovery.

In the US you have a really key piece of code as ASHRAE 90.1, which a lot of states have basically adopted that into their building code and that requires at least 50% energy recovery in some states for different versions of ASHRAE 90.1. The more the newer iterations of it, they’re actually requiring 60%. And then the scope of air flows that are covered under 90.1 has been steadily kind of increasing for some time now.

Tim: So, it makes sense not just for the energy recovery, but also the improved air quality. Obviously, with energy recovery, the first thing that people think of is the savings in energy, the reduction in energy costs, but also the healthy aspects of bringing in fresh air.

Will: Yeah, yeah, it’s huge. I mean, the benefit of having indoor fresh air is one of the best parts of coming in. This industry is gaining a bit more awareness around the benefits of having healthier indoor fresh air.

I definitely do a few things differently than I would have done before this, like my own personal home now. But you get definitely better indoor fresh air and you’re saving a lot of energy in that process. So it’s a win-win long-term for the occupants of the building. They’re more productive, they’re healthier, they’re happier, a lot of science is coming out around that as well and has been for some time. And then the energy savings are huge as well. So, the owner of the building is saving money as well.

Tim: So, I believe I read that something like 40% of energy used in North America is used for heating and cooling of buildings.

Will: Yeah, I don’t know if I’ve read that exact statistic. That sounds very right. Yeah.

Tim: So, it makes you think if we just reduce those costs by ten 20%, the savings would be huge.

Will: Huge. I think so. And I like the approach of the step code and the Toronto Green Building standard where you can kind of see where things are going so the building community can develop the appropriate technologies and solutions which you’re seeing every, you know, every year you see new manufacturers enter the space and get a lot of traction. I think that’s really great. And it speaks to the success of this approach, both as a way of saving energy, which is really saving money and again, providing a healthier indoor living space for people.

Tim: So lastly, we will be doing an episode about Passive Houses and Passive House standards.
Have you done any work with passive houses and how much do you know about that?

Will: Really the step code in Vancouver is really modeled after the Passive House approach and really Passive House is all about, again, adding more insulation and using energy recovery to ventilate your space.

Tim: Yeah, and it’s not, it’s not just passive house, because Passive House is obviously a particular standard like in Vancouver and elsewhere. It’s about getting down to net zero, about bringing those heating and cooling costs right down and bringing up the ventilation.

Will: And I think the important thing is whether we call it a passive house or not, using that approach that I think we can say the past fellows maybe pioneered is the is really the important thing is getting a greater level of efficiency.

The more you can kind of remove that need for heating and cooling by having more inflation I think the better and then getting more and more efficient ERVs and HRVs. I think it’s definitely the path forward for increasing again building into our argument comfort and increasing the energy efficiency in the building.

Tim: Okay so, that’s it for the podcast. Thanks again, and we’re going to have to play basketball again sometime soon…

Will: Let’s go, man! Lets go!

Tim: When we’re both healthy, which doesn’t seem to be very often.

Will: Yeah. When the stars align, we’ll get on the court!

Tim: Thank you for tuning in. Thank you for joining us, tune in for the next podcast, and we’ll see you next time. Thanks.

Will: Thank you. All right. Thank you.

Tim: Hi, and welcome to the second episode of the Building Healthy Podcast, powered by Oxygen8. I’m your host Tim Wearing, and we’ll be talking to Christian Weeks from enVerid Systems, and we’ll be discussing sorbent filtration indoor air quality procedure and some important updates to the ASHRAE standards. So, Christian thank you for coming. If you just want to introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and what you do.

Christian: Sure. Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here. Nice to see your new facility.

Tim: Thank you.

Christian: So I’m the CEO of enVerid Systems. We’re a Boston based company that is also innovating in the HVAC space. And we are the developers of what we call sorbent ventilation technology, as you said, which is designed to help make heating and cooling and ventilating buildings much more energy efficient and cost effective.

Tim: Can you tell us a little bit about why you do that and history behind that?

Christian: Yeah, sure. Yeah. So we’ve been around for some time now, about 14 years. And we were founded by two individuals Udi Meirav and Israel Biran both PhDs in different fields, physics, and biotechnology. But they were interested in what was going on in buildings and they were looking at concepts around healthy buildings and building efficiency.

And what they learned being outsiders is that buildings spent a lot of energy conditioning outside air, which is brought into buildings to maintain indoor air quality. And they thought, well, that’s an interesting way to maintain indoor air quality. Why can’t we just clean the air that’s already in the buildings so we could use it again and again? And this is interesting because buildings, if we think about the climate change buildings, are significant contributors to global carbon emissions about 40%. And a big chunk of that is in the operational side of buildings, not just the construction of buildings, but the operation of buildings and within the operation of buildings, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, which we see as one of the biggest energy users, particularly in climates. We have hot summers and cold winters, a lot of humidity. But across the board, it’s major, in most cases, the largest energy user in buildings is the HVAC system.

And so, Udi was looking at this, you know, what was going on in buildings, How do we make buildings healthy? How do we maintain indoor air quality and realizing that the way we’re doing that is by essentially flushing the building multiple times a day? The building standards, if you follow the ASHRAE standard, it essentially requires you to replace the full volume of the air in a commercial office building about 20 times a day with outside air to maintain indoor air quality.

So, his whole question was, why can’t we accomplish that by cleaning the air already in the building? So, in the cold wintertime, we don’t have to heat up all this outdoor air in the hot summer. We must cool down all this outside air and dehumidify it. So that was the challenge that he set out to solve.

Why can’t we clean the air in the buildings already for inspiration he said, well, how do we do this in submarines? How do we do this in spaceships? You can’t bring in outside air in space. You can’t bring an outsider when you’re underwater. And what he learned is that they use a sorbent media-based technology, a sorbent media technology to clean the air that’s already in the building, and reuse it.

So we said, well, let’s figure out how to do that in commercial buildings. And that was really the, if you will, the eureka moment for enVerid, or sort of why enVerid came about. It was trying to solve this problem. How can we design ventilation systems with air cleaning that allows us to clean and reuse the air already in the building, so we don’t have to spend all this energy conditioning and moving outside air to maintain indoor air quality?

Tim: Well, that’s very cool. Actually. Now, obviously enVerid filters use this technology. Can you tell us a little bit about how that works?

Christian: Yeah. So, what’s actually interesting is that the concept of using sorbent media to capture gaseous contaminants, we’re talking about the VOCs that come from paints, from glues, from furniture, from cleaning supplies, these volatile organic compounds or VOCs exist in all our buildings.

I mean, they come from the things that make up our buildings. And sorbents have been used for a long time, and other media have been used for a long time to scrub the air, to remove these contaminants. But often it’s been industrial applications, or it’s been in spaceships and submarines. And so, building on these technologies, what work Udi and the team early on tried to solve for was how can we take a technology that has been around for a while to clean these gases from the air stream, but how do we make it cost effective for a commercial building application, so it doesn’t require a NASA or Navy budget?

How can we make it mechanically integrate in a simple way with the rest of the HVAC system? And so, there were some key technical challenges. Ultimately, we developed our own media that was specifically designed to address the wide range of different VOCs that are found in buildings and to do it in a very efficient manner with a long lifetime.

Because another challenge in building is not just how do we integrate it mechanically, how do we make it cost effective, but also maintenance. In many places, especially, we look at public schools and other sectors of the vertical markets. Maintenance can be a challenge, so we can have a filter need to be replaced every few months. And there are other ways to remove these gases from indoor air using carbon filter activated carbon, these sort of things.

But typically, they require replacement very regularly, monthly, of most of the gases because we need to be able control all the gases in the building and the ability to do it cost effectively for a long time before needing to replace the filters.

Tim: Now changing tack a little bit, there apparently is a bit of an issue. Basically, the difference between ventilation rate procedure and indoor air quality procedure. If you want to get into that and maybe explain what those are and why one should be used over the other.

Christian: Yeah, well, Buildings is, as many of your listeners probably know, are a very it’s a very co driven industry. So, understanding the code how it dictates the way we think about ventilating buildings is important.

And you’ve touched on the two key procedures in the ASHRAE ventilation and indoor air quality standard. This is ASHRAE standard 62.1. It applies to commercial buildings. There’s another standard called 60.2 for residential. There’s another one for medical facilities for hospitals. But most commercial buildings fall under ASHRAE standard 62.1 and in ASHRAE standard 62.1. There are two different ways design engineers can determine how much outside air they will need to maintain indoor air quality.

And that’s really the purpose of that whole standard, is to ensure we have enough ventilation air clean to assure healthy indoor environments. So, you’ve got the ventilation rate procedure, the VRP and the IAQ procedure, the IQAP, both have been the standard since the eighties. So, they’re not new. However, most buildings, most designers use the ventilation rate procedure because it’s a very simple, prescriptive approach.

Essentially, you determine how much outside air you need to maintain air quality as a function of the type of building we’re designing, the size of the building, the area we’re designing, and the occupancy, the number of people we’re designing, the building to accommodate. And there’s some simple math you can do accounting for those three different variables. And you get I mean, so much outside air to maintain indoor air quality per the ASHRAE standard.

And that’s fine. That works well. That’s what people have been doing for a long time.

But as I said before, the challenge is that just relying on outside air ventilation to maintain indoor air quality, especially in extreme climates with rising energy costs, with more focus on climate change, is a challenge and it’s actually made even more challenging when you are in situations where you’re dealing with wildfires or you’re have a school maybe, or a a building constructed near an industrial center or an inner city where you’ve got polluted outdoor air.

In those cases, relying on outside to deliver clean indoor air when the outside was not fresh, as we often refer to it, that can also create complications. So the other approach that ASHRAE has had in the standard since the eighties is called the Indoor Air Quality Procedure, and it’s a performance based approach. It basically says we don’t care how you achieve good indoor air quality, but if you can demonstrate you’re delivering good indoor air quality, you’re good.

As long as far as the code is concerned, the standards concern. And so, what the IAQ procedure allows you to do that’s different from the ventilation rate procedure is utilize air cleaning technologies like ours to directly control the contaminants that are generated by our buildings through this filtration technology we’ve developed. And if we can demonstrate that we’re achieving the same air quality as if we were just relying on outside air, but do it more energy efficiently, do it more cost effective, that becomes very attractive.

So, the benefit of the IAQ procedure is it’s a performance-based approach. It’s all about can we show we’re delivering the same air quality, and it doesn’t matter how we get there. The challenge has been it asked a lot of engineers to make decisions about which contaminants for the school I’m working on, should I be worried about and what are the appropriate levels and how do I know if the systems really working, and these are things that require expertise that many engineers probably don’t have around indoor air quality.

These are things that industrial hygienist might know about, but most engineers probably don’t, don’t study or know well, and they don’t want to take the risk to say, well, it’s these three contaminants and these limits. And so, for these reasons, the IAQP has not been widely adopted. But in the last 24 months, ASHRAE has recognized that these deficiencies in the IAQ procedure and has introduced three key addendums or updates to the IAQ procedure that have made it much more prescriptive, like the ventilation rate procedure, much simpler for engineers to apply.

So, we’re now seeing much more adoption being driven by a much more straightforward approach that allows you to take the credit or the benefits of applying air cleaning. And it’s particularly relevant now because there’s a big focus on how we make our buildings more efficient, how do we take that 40% global emissions from buildings and reduce it by installing more efficient systems, by reducing the load on these systems, making it easier to electrify these buildings.

So, there’s a good market push. And ASHRAE has responded by really helping with the IAQ procedure, which is a more efficient way to design most ventilation systems, easier to apply for the designer.

Tim: That makes a lot of sense. Are there still requirements for the ventilation rate procedure?

Christian: So, they’ve made some updates to the ventilation rate procedures, Well, I would say more incremental just to sort of make sure it’s keeping up with the times. But really where the heavy lifting on his part has been around this IAQ procedure.

But both are still there. Frankly, today, most people are still using the ventilation rate procedure because not everybody has heard yet about these recent updates. And so a big part of what we’re doing, it is at enVerid in order to help get our technology adopted by the market is educating the sales engineers.

We work with IT rep firms as well as the designers, the mechanical engineers about the updates that ASHRAE has made and then, you know, the ease with which now the IAQP can be applied and the benefits to deliver in a more efficient and optimized design and better results, better outcomes for owners of buildings. So that’s a big part of what we’re doing and we appreciate the work ASHRAE has done in it just now needs to be communicated to the marketplace.

So, we’re spending a lot of time on that.

Tim: Well, hopefully this will help.

Christian: Yeah, we appreciate you giving us a chance to talk about it.

Tim: So, you mentioned decarbonization. What are the benefits of now getting on a more broad scale, the benefits of decarbonization and building, utilizing the indoor air quality procedure related to that.

Christian: Well, it’s interesting because we’ve you know, we’ve been these last few years through a pandemic and then we’ve had the wildfires. I’m based in the East Coast, and I had never had my life to record impacted by the wildfires. When I come out here occasionally, I’ve experienced that. But for the first-time last summer, maybe somebody before it really started impacting us in a way that made it much more real, you know, the impact of these wildfires.

Christian: And –

Tim: We apologize for that.

Christian: Well, yeah, it was Canadian wildfires, but the other side of Canada, I guess. So all these sort of the environment around our buildings is changing. And how we use buildings is changing as well. But I think everybody is recognizing that if we’re going to slow climate change, we need to think differently about how we’re doing many things in our lives, how we get places, but also, you know, how we design and operate these buildings.

And so, there’s a big benefit, I mean, a big motivator for us being a somewhat of a mission driven company is to sort of do well and do good at the same time. And so, we see this adoption of our technology with the IAQ procedure to further this mission of addressing the climate impact that buildings have and making them more efficient. But there are also many more, I guess, immediate benefits that, many people care a lot about as well, which is we’re saving money. You know, the nice thing about our solution is that not only are we making buildings more energy efficient, which helps with the climate mission, we’re also making the more resilient because if we’re less reliant on outside air when it is polluted outdoors, the buildings are more resilient to that. But what we talk to the most about is we’re just saving money because we’re optimizing systems. If you can reduce the outside air requirement by more efficiently cleaning the indoor air, a benefit of reducing outside errors, you can then take a big HVAC system and make a little bit smaller. Smaller systems are usually not only more efficient than bigger systems, but also, they cost less.

And so, in many cases, really what we lead with is we’re just going to save you money on the first cost of your new equipment. We’re going to help reduce your operating costs, cause you’re going to use less energy conditioning, less outside air. And so that’s the beauty of it, is that sits there isn’t a green premium here, right?

We want to help make buildings more efficient. We want to do our part to support the climate change mission. But at the same time, we can do it by saving people money and reducing their operating expenses.

Tim: I find that a lot of the pushback from the, you know, these green technologies is they’re more expensive. Take a passive house they say, I think it’s 15% of the original cost of the house. If you can show them, not only is the initial cost not going to be much more or the same, but you’re going to end up saving money. I mean, that will end up going in huge, huge way.

So where do you see not just the technology, but industry in general, say 10 to 15 years from now?

Christian: I think what’s happening now is, and it’s happening more maybe on the coasts that are a little more tuned or more progressive, perhaps in some respects with the building codes or, you know, Massachusetts, has the stretch code. And I was learning earlier today about the the equivalent of that you have here.

There are some very progressive building codes in Vancouver, in British Columbia. So maybe that’s where it starts. But ultimately what’s happening is.

You know, we’re talking to engineers who are trying to figure out how to integrate geothermal or heat pumps or more solar on the roof. And it’s requiring them to, you know, maybe get out of that rinse, and repeat playbook they’ve been running for some time, which is just kind of cut and paste the last job.

Here’s how we’re doing the school. And so, I think we’re going to see over the next decade or so is new approaches, sort of new basis of design being developed around these, you know, to comply with these more stringent codes that the states and the local municipalities are adopting. They’re ever increasing the targets on energy use intensity around energy efficiency, around the carbon emissions from buildings.

So, I think there’s a it’s a great time to be in this industry because engineers and those working in buildings are trying to figure out how can we do this, you know, to comply with these more stringent codes, but do it in a way that’s cost effective, it’s energy efficient. And as we think about to, you know, introducing new technologies like heat pumps and other technologies, it creates an opening to have a conversation about, well, here’s how we can help you make that electrification project more cost effective if you’re doing geothermal.

Well, if we can reduce the load by cleaning and recycling from an indoor air, maybe we don’t need 60 well holes. Maybe we can do it with 40. And what’s that going to save you? And has it help the economics of this energy transition we’re trying to get through. So I think there’s going to be more than I think we’ve seen maybe the last ten years.

A lot more people saying, okay, we need to try some things a little bit differently. Maybe we should look at this indoor air-cooled procedure. Maybe we should look at the updates ASHRAE’s made and maybe will help us with some the other objectives. We must introduce other technologies where there’s some synergies or some complementary benefits to integrating them together in a package.

And that’s we’re doing a lot with Oxygen8 which is really exciting. I know. If you might take another minute on that. Yeah, no, that’s the end of that a little bit. But I mean what is we’re excited about with Oxygen8 is you all developed these super efficient energy recovery systems, these dedicated outside air systems and it’s a great example where you could first look at it and say, well, isn’t that a little bit competitive?

Right? We’re trying to reduce the outset air. You guys are making the use of outside today more efficient but it’s not working. I mean, in some cases maybe it’s somewhat competitive. But what we’ve realized is if we put the two together, it’s a one plus one equals three scenario, and that’s what we need to be thinking more and more of these next ten years is how can we take things that maybe at first blush look like they’re overlapping or they’re competitive?

How can we see if we can create win-win scenarios and integrate them? So, we really are excited about the opportunity to work with Oxygen8 to show the market how your super efficient systems with our efficient systems and design approaches together can unlock even more not only savings but energy benefits as well.

Tim: Well, I think unless you have anything else to add…

Christian: Well, if I might, if we’re going have engineers watching this, I’d love to talk quickly about what the updates to the standard were.

Tim: That would be great.

Christian: I mentioned before that ASHRAE made three big updates to the IAQ procedural the last three of last two years, last 24 months, ASHRAE has made three key updates that have really simplified for engineers how they can apply the IAQ procedure.

And so maybe I’ll just briefly mention what they are and then if any of your listeners are curious about and want to learn more, they’re certainly welcome to come to our website or be chat with Oxygen8 or enVerid and we’d be happy to provide more information. But as I said before, one of the big challenges with the IQ procedure for engineers was that they had to come up with the list of contaminants and the limits.

One of the first updates ASHRAE made in February of 2022 was an addendum AA It was called to the 2019 version of Standard 62.1 That essentially gave us the list. It said, okay, engineer it, don’t worry about it anymore. Here’s the list. And here the design limits. That’s a huge help to the industry, to engineers who are worried about picking the right contaminant in right limits.

So that’s a big deal later in 2022, ASHRAE published addendum N to the 2022 version of 62.1, and then addendum N did something also very helpful. It essentially said for all these cool air, clean technologies that are out in the marketplace, how do we know how efficient they really are? So, we know how effective they are mitigating those contaminants that we’re not worried about on that list.

So, then addendum N give us standard test procedures that all the air cleaning companies need to follow to basically demonstrate how efficient they are against that list of contaminants. So it adds rigor. It adds legitimacy, if you will, to this approach, because it basically says we have to have standard ways to understand, like for like how effective these different technologies are.

And we appreciate that it creates more transparency, it creates more legitimacy for this approach.

And then the final and perhaps most significant update was just published in October of 2023. And with this update addendum C that the 2022 version again of 62.1 ASHRAE has published a calculator, an Excel based calculator to basically do all the math for the designer in a very simple way.

So, you can take the same inputs you might have used for the ventilation re procedure, plug them into the calculator that actually is now providing, and it will do the calculations according to the IAQ procedure. Once you add in the efficiencies that you’ve used the standard test to determine into the sheet. So, we have a list of contaminants we have design limits, we have how do we know how good the air cleaning solutions are?

And we’ve got the calculator that makes applying it super simple. So, we think these updates are going to make a huge difference in terms of getting engineers excited about applying the IAQ procedure to all these benefits we talked about for owners and just optimizing HVAC system design as a whole.

Tim: That sounds fantastic. Making it easier is always best. If anybody has any questions you contact enVerid or us at Oxygen8 and we’ll be happy to explain it more. Thank you again, we appreciate you telling us all about this!

Thanks for tuning in and don’t forget to subscribe and follow Oxygen8 on LinkedIn to learn more about this topic and others. You can also follow us on YouTube to watch clips and extras.

Tim: Next month, we’ll be talking to Heather Burpee from Integrated Design Labs and the University of Washington and will be discussing designing decoupled systems.

Tim: Hi and welcome to the Building Healthy Podcast powered by Oxygen8, my name is Tim Wearing. And today we’re talking to Heather Burpee from the University of Washington’s Integrated Design Lab. We’ll be discussing the topic of designing decoupled systems, living buildings and what Integrated Design Lab does. Thanks for joining us, Heather.

Heather: Hi. Thank you for having me. My name is Heather Burpee, and I’m with the University of Washington Integrated Design Lab. In that role, I’m faculty in the Department of Architecture. And I also co-direct this lab, the Integrated Design Lab, where we focus on high-performance buildings. We call them high-performance buildings, not necessarily just sustainable buildings because we want to look at their performance and how they’re actually operating and performing for the people that inhabit them. I think about high performance in terms of energy-efficient buildings, decarbonized buildings, but also buildings that support healthy and productive environments for the people that inhabit them.

So it’s not just one part of sustainability. It encompasses a larger umbrella.

Tim: Well, that sounds great. The main topic we’re going to be discussing here is decoupled systems. If you could give us a little bit of a background of what that is, why it’s better, and some of the advantages and disadvantages of it.

Heather: Yeah, great. So decoupled systems at a high level are systems that decouple or separate heating and cooling from ventilation. So in a traditional system, those things are all mixed together. So you’re getting your comfort system. So the temperature of the air so either heated or cooled from the same mechanism that you’re getting fresh air to breathe. And in a decoupled system, we take those two things apart and they’re separate functions. And there are several advantages to that from an energy perspective and from the quality of the air that you’re getting and the way that the systems get integrated into the building as a whole.

Tim: So you mentioned let’s just touch on the air quality because that’s one of the things we talk about here. How does it help the air quality?

Heather: Yeah. So in a decoupled system, typically they’re called DOAS systems, which are dedicated outdoor air systems. And in those systems, you’re bringing in 100% fresh air into the spaces. And that means that all of the air that’s coming in that you’re breathing is fresh. It’s the first time it’s been taken from the outside to the inside of the building. We know that indoor air quality is really important for one physical health, and two, our cognition and decision making and how we perform in the building.

So generally, our comfort and our well-being and health is impacted by indoor air quality. And so the higher quality air we have inside, the better it is for people.

Tim: So could you tell us a little bit more about how indoor air quality affects people’s health?

Heather: Yeah, absolutely. So we think about, you know, indoor contaminants or things that are in the air that might impact people. And so one of those is just our breathing air. So when we breathe, we use oxygen and we expel carbon dioxide. So if we have lots of people in a room, the carbon dioxide levels go up in a room. If we don’t ventilate, that gets overwhelming and it gets to levels that are too high. There are also things like in our building materials that off-gas different chemicals that can contaminate the air that need to be expelled because they can have negative effects on health. We also can experience things like particulates in the air. So that happens with cooking or wildfire smoke when we’re in a smoky season.

So these are all indoor air contaminants. I should also add, of course, we also have things like viruses. So we’ve been starting to really focus more on indoor air quality after COVID because we started thinking about how can we make environments healthier for people in relationship to COVID. And so we look at all those factors. One of the factors, especially CO2, is an indication of indoor air quality.

So the higher the CO2 level generally, the lower the air quality in the space. And there are codes and standards that regulate the indoor air quality of spaces. The regulations are somewhat different depending on building typology, but generally, a general rule of thumb is an ASHRAE standard where it dictates a level of CO2 at 1000 parts per million or less in spaces, and something we know is that buildings are generally under-ventilated even compared to that standard.

So we find that many buildings, if we go out into the field and measure them, have CO2 levels above that 1000 parts per million threshold. One of the things that are really important to think about with that is that threshold above that, there are serious negative health consequences of too high of CO2 above 1000. So we have this threshold of 1000 parts per million that above that threshold you can have really negative physical health consequences. And that’s why there’s a code and a standard around it.

There are also more subtle consequences below 1000 parts per million. They are fairly recent studies by the Harvard School of Public Health that look at cognitive function as it relates to indoor CO2 levels. And what they see is even as low as 600 parts per million cognitive function and decision-making has deteriorated. And so when we’re thinking about designing buildings for people and some of these buildings, people are making really important decisions in and our CO2 level is high is at this threshold where we’re not making good decisions.

We just are thinking about how do we provide better, fresher air to those rooms and the solution isn’t always just put as much air in as possible because, that would create a solution space. However, that is a very energy intensive proposition in many cases, because the air that’s used for ventilation needs to be heated and cooled and moved around by fans. And that takes a lot of energy. So when we’re introducing 100% outside air in a more efficient system, we’re not just improving indoor air quality for the people, but we’re using less energy as well to get to that end.

Tim: Well, you did cover quite a bit there. Well, no, that’s great. Let’s get more into your background and the Integrated Design Lab and also how it’s funded. If you could just guide us a little bit into that.

Heather” Yeah, So my background is I was trained as an architect and now I am research faculty at the university. And so my primary function is to do research on buildings. So the Integrated Design Lab as a lab is a self-funded research group where we work on projects that help the profession move forward to build, better buildings. We do that in a three-part approach where we develop research, and most of it is applied research where we’re developing roadmaps and knowledge for practitioners

The second prong is we serve on design teams and provide technical assistance and project-based education through being a consultant on projects. So we’re brought in as experts in the field to help move those projects forward. And there’s a really nice synergy between those two ends where we’re what I like to think of is we have the luxury of time to think about how to solve these really difficult problems to solve in the built environment, and then we can take those into practice and see them through in real building projects, and in real building projects, there really isn’t that luxury of time.

They move so quickly. And so we need to be able to just apply that knowledge right away. But there are always more questions I’m sure that can’t be answered within the scope of a single project. And so we take those ideas back into the research realm, do research, and then we can come back on future projects and apply those new ideas. So there’s really a synergy that over time we’re elevating the architecture and the built environment and then bridging that those two aims is our education and outreach team. And so we take that knowledge and bring it out into the world to stakeholders, mostly in the design and construction industry, to help them improve their practices and make the built environment a better place for both the environment and for people.

And all of that is funded by external funders. And so we work for lots of different funders, including NEEA, and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and through their Better Bricks program, they bring technologies and ideas to the profession to help elevate energy efficiency, and their goal is to try to get energy efficiency into every project and reduce the amount of energy that’s used overall. They are funded by regional utilities who are looking to implement energy-efficient technology and practices throughout the Northwest. And so we’re one of the mechanisms in which NEEA and Better Bricks get those ideas out to the market and bring ideas back to NEEA and Better Bricks to try to understand what the market needs.

Tim: Now, one thing, this is a very famous building, I gather, and an interesting building, and we are going to do a little tour, so please check out our YouTube channel to see what that’s going to be like. But if you could tell us a little bit about this building.

Heather: Yeah, so my office is in the Bullitt Center, which is a living building. Living building is a designation that is a performance-based standard for sustainability, where it is net zero energy. Net zero water utilizes materials very wisely and from local sustainable sources and implements health equity beauty and uses the site well. There are seven imperatives is a living building challenge. And so this building has been called the greenest office building in the world.

It was opened in 2013. And so we’ve had our ten-year anniversary here at this building, and it was built as a proof of principle that it’s possible to build a building that gives back as much to the environment as it takes. So the Living Building is structured around the metaphor of a flower and it has seven petals and so they’re energy, water and materials, health, beauty, equity and site.

And so this building thinks about all of those things and has implemented them in practice. And one of the things that really differentiates the living building challenge is you don’t just say you do those things, you must meet them in performance. And so there’s a performance period after the building is occupied that then you prove that the building is operating, for example, on an annual basis using less energy than it’s producing over the course of the year.

Tim: So what other kind of measurements do they do to make sure that you’re up to the different standards?

Heather: Yeah. So the the architect and the design team have to submit documentation to the International Living Futures Institute to quantify their performance on these different petals and the metrics. So for each of those metrics, they vary what you have to submit, but each one has to be shown in a performance period that is met. So the net zero energy goal, how is that achieved here

Yeah, so great question. So it is measured by the performance of energy over the course of the year. And so you must generate as much energy as you use over the course of that year. And at the time of the Living Building Challenge when the Bullitt Center was built, you had to generate all that electricity on the site itself.

And so the first measure to do that isn’t to generate the electricity. The first measure is energy efficiency. And to do that, this building first, the envelope is very, very high performance.

I talk to architects about the first piece of energy efficiency in your core to create and design a really good envelope. And then the mechanical systems can support the needs of the heating, cooling and ventilation in a much more energy-efficient way. So here the way that is employed is there is a radiant system that provides heating and cooling, and it’s either in heating mode or cooling mode.

So the thing, the thing that’s interesting about the living building challenge is that they don’t dictate how you get to the end goal. They just say what the end goal needs to be. And so it’s actually pretty general as a standard, so you could get there in all kinds of different ways.

You could design a passive house that met the net zero energy goal by being very energy efficient and then needing a smaller generation system. In this case, it’s not a passive house standard envelope, but it’s a very high-performance envelope.

So the heating, cooling and ventilation systems here are decoupled. So the heating and cooling are from a radiant source that radiant tubes that are in the floor slabs and they provide either heating or cooling to one or the other. And that heating and cooling is created by a ground-coupled heat pump plant. And so there are 26 400-foot wells that were dug under the building before the building was constructed. And those go to four heat pumps that generate heat that makes the water hotter or that make the water cooler. And uses the delta T or the temperature differential that’s in the ground to help boost that heat or cool or reduce it.

The ventilation system is separate. So the ventilation system is kind of a two-part system when the weather is right and as determined by a building management system, the windows open and the spaces are naturally ventilated. So it’s using the climate as a resource to provide free ventilation to the spaces. In months where the outside temperature is not preferable for that. So, you know, mostly in the winter or really in the summer when it’s quite hot, there is a 100% outside air ventilation system that provides fresh air.

That system is also tied to a demand control system. So, for example, in our conference rooms and things like that, it has a CO2 sensor that if the CO2 gets above a certain amount, the ventilation system kicks up on or up.

Tim: So in particular rooms it does that.

Heather: Yes, in rooms that might be throughout the building, but in rooms that are more highly occupied, it’s more likely for it to come on where, you know, if you have ten people in a conference room and you’re breathing for quite a long time, the CO2 will raise. And so the ventilation system kicks up. If it doesn’t, if people aren’t in there, it kicks down. And so you get 100% fresh air where and when you need it. And so the Bullitt Center is, employing that decoupled systems concept where the heating and cooling is from one place, the ventilation is from another. And then the third component to that is an energy recovery system.

And so when the fresh air is being exhausted, it’s not just being thrown out like garbage. Right. We’re recovering that heat from the air that is being exhausted so we can reuse it. So that’s brought back to the heat pumps and used in the heating and cooling system to boost the lift on those heat pumps. One of the advantages of decoupling heating and cooling ventilation systems that we see here at the Bullitt Center in practice is that the ventilation system and the ducts are smaller, the duct sizes are smaller. When you move heat and cool through water-based sources, it’s much more efficient at holding the heat. When you move all that around with air, you have to move a lot of air around and so the ducts get very, very big. So what we see here is actually really small ventilation ducts compared to what you might imagine for the relationship to the size of the spaces that they’re serving.

And that’s a benefit on a couple of different scales. One you’re buying less sheet metal, but two, the space that they take is a space that needs to be created. So for architects, you can have lower floor-to-floor height, for example, or you can get ducts in in places that normally might not be able to and it might be more difficult. So that’s an advantage from a space planning and building cost perspective.

Tim: So were there any ideas that came into the Integrated Design Lab that you implemented and have become standard out in the industry?

Heather: Yeah, I think that’s a really interesting question where, maybe more broadly and generally, we’ve been thinking about how to crack the code or the net of how to make buildings really energy efficient. And we’ve been doing that for a long time and now, you know, we know there are methods and technologies where we can make buildings very, very energy efficient.

Heather: And so our work in energy efficiency and the trajectory of how, for example, the Bullitt Center was put together with the parts and pieces for efficiency.

So I walked through as a high-performance envelope. It has decoupled heating and cooling and ventilation the heating and cooling are served by heat pumps with really good energy recovery. And then we produce electricity to serve the needs of that much, much lower energy-efficient building. That’s the kind of formula that we’ve been talking about for a long time and working on developing in partnership with our research, developing roadmaps around that.

For example, I’ve developed a roadmap for hospitals that follow that kind of path and logic that’s called targeting 100. We’ve brought that into different design teams, and design teams are thinking about this too. So I can’t say that it’s just my idea that’s going into these designs. It’s it’s the state of practice and where we’re where we’re working toward in trying to make higher-performance buildings that are better for people on the planet.

But now we’re in the space in Washington State and then the city of Seattle, where codes and standards have started to dictate that formula. So in the city of Seattle, we really can’t connect systems that use a lot of natural gas. And so we have to put in heat pump technology. And so that starts changing the formula about how buildings and systems are put together. When we introduce heat pumps, radiant heating and cooling decoupled systems and the kinds of envelopes and buildings that can support those kinds of systems. And so we’ve seen our work come full circle where we’re developing roadmaps for how we could get to this really energy-efficient decarbonized building. And now we have to do it because our code says we do, and every building needs to follow that standard. And so, you know, that’s an example of how our work over the long run can influence the market and working with professionals in that space proves that it can be done in practice before it has to be done in practice.

Tim: Thank you very much. I do appreciate all the information that you’ve given. And if anybody wants to learn more, you can go to the Integrated Design Lab website or the NEEA website. You can also follow them on LinkedIn, follow us on LinkedIn and check out our YouTube channel. So thank you very much. Don’t forget to subscribe and join us for next month’s podcast. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Heather: Thanks for having me.


Tim: Hi and welcome to the Building Healthy podcast Powered by Oxygen8. My name is Tim Wearing, and on this episode, we’re going to talk to Ham Daneshmand from Distech Controls, where we’ll talk about building automation. This is actually the very first episode to be recorded and is on location at the Howl at the Moon Bar during AHR 2024.

So welcome, would you just like to introduce yourself and just tell us a little bit about yourself?

Ham: My name is Ham Daneshmand, I am the director of OEM Sales for Distech Controls. I’ve been in this industry now since 1989, straight out of college, graduated from the University of Louisville with an electrical engineering degree and been in this building automation building management system now for several years. I may not look that old but I’m getting there, but yeah, the industry has been very good to me.

And, obviously, I have a lot of experience, in the HVAC controls space.

Tim: And so what drew you to engineering in the first place?

Ham: It’s really just been from a really young age. I’m actually from a different country. I was not born here, but, used to just mess around with electronics all the time, and it just kind of drew me to be in the electrical side of the business. And also the computer engineering side of it. So I guess I’m a nerd, by heart. And, that’s what I do.

Tim: Can you give us an overview of the company work for Distech?

Ham: Yeah, absolutely. Distech Controls started a little over 25 years ago. It was basically at first, more of a system integrator. They’re actually out of Montreal, Canada. We also have another headquarter in Leon, France, and basically what Distech Controls does is we’re a manufacturer of controls. And we design or own controller platform called the eclipse. And the eclipse is one of the first product lines that was introduced in the HVAC market about 7 or 8 years ago that was based on IP base. So we were very forefront thinking our controllers are based on cutting edge technology. When it comes to IoT, you obviously be able to control any kind of heating and cooling systems.

But we really drive open platform and having an open technology, and look at our tools to be open as well. So we have this really a mentality out there that we’re not a proprietary system, that we’re really out there working with other partners to grow the business and obviously provide the best controls solutions in the field.

Tim: One of the things that Distech Controls does is intelligent control solutions. Could you give us, just an understanding a little bit of what that is and what that does in the field today?

Ham: Yeah. Of course. So our controller platform, are basically free programable controllers. A company, like, Oxygen8 themselves, has taken on and adopted our controllers, and have developed your own specific application that runs your units. And so that intelligence or that openness gives you that capability to do that. We also are expanding our technology into more of the inside of the BMS side, building control side, integration side.

And, there’s the area of what we call building intelligent so our framework is really based on building intelligence within the building, which means we can integrate all different types of technology within our product line and take that next step to be part of that IT side of the business and then do integration on the IT side of the platform.

So we really bring the OT and IT side into one platform and having that data that needs to be analyzed at a higher level. And I know everyone talks talks about AI analytics right now. So our controller platform is really built to take it to that next level and do the AI that’s necessary in the cloud.

Tim: Okay. Well talking about what’s now, what changes have you seen over the last 20 years in your field.

Ham: Yeah. So again looking back again at how old I am how, we really started around what’s called pneumatics into what’s called DDC. DDC is really taking that leap, from a pneumatic being basically an air of distribution types of controls into a direct digital controls. So that was a big shift that happened in the 80s. What we’re seeing now is now things are becoming from analog more into to digital. And then obviously having this IT side of the business. Which is really has been a big challenge for a lot of the building owners and also any kind of control companies really adopting the IT technologies withinin their platform. So this the big change or the big shift that’s happening right now with a lot of manufacturers and is to really adopt of this IT technology inside their controller platform.

And now the big thing is all about analytics. What do you do? Do you do that at the edge. What do you do at the cloud? We at Distech, we kinda of took the both approach. We do analytics not only in the cloud side of it, but we’re also pushing analytics to be on the edge side of it. That’s really the major shift that we’re seeing in the industry.

Tim: Now does all that relate to better indoor air quality and sustainabile building solutions.

Ham: Yeah. So, you know, every application is different, so depending on the equipment that you’re working with and the technology that’s in the equipment. It’s how do you drive that application to really get to that end air quality that you’re needing. Okay. So there’s all kinds of inputs that you could feed into a controller to have the right application design. To really provide that right amount of air within the building or the fresh air that needs to come from the outside, and then obviously be able to monitor the CO2 level, or any kind of VOC level, then really be able to change the control algorithm as your applicationis being developed throughout the lifecycle of the building.

So it’s very key important thing to think about here is when you’re delivering that product to a building for an indoor air quality, is the application that is running inside that product is fully sound and is doing the right thing for that particular site. And I believe Oxygen8 has that delivery today.

Tim: Turning more to HVAC ? How do you implement, your solutions to HVAC, specifically?

Ham: Distech Controls, we have multiple ways that we go to the market. So my side of the business is on the OEM side, so I work with companies like Oxygen8. To collaborate and come up with the right control platform that’s needed for that particular application.

So the way that really works is collaboration between both sides we contact through some sort of a technology partnership. We provide solutions, we come up with new ideas. And then, for example, in Oxygen8 we selected the right controller that fits your application. And actually be very honest with you, I’m very proud of you and your team is taking on our product and then to be able to really customize the solution around what they need to do for your product.

So that’s really how we go forward. I’m on the OEM side of the business which we provide products to the manufacturers like yourselves.

Tim: So what type of sensors and actuators do you use for this?

Ham: We don’t have any type of a sensor or actuators or any kind of input that we take and so forth. It’s all universal. A choice of the manufacturer decides what they want to use and then the controller just adapts to it. So it could be a 0:10 type of input, 0:10 output, or 0:20. Our controllers are basically set up as universal inputs, or universal outputs so it doesn’t matter which sensors or outputs or actuators are being used.

Tim: Could you discuss the different experiences with the different communication protocols that you have?

Ham: Yeah. So again, Distech Controls is very open, open protocol, open platform perspective so the industry started let’s say back in the 80s or so. It was all proprietary communication. So what Distech did at the time, we adopted a new protocol that came out, which was a LON protocol, and it was an open protocol. A LON protocol depended on a chip that was called neuron chip by a company called Echelon. And since then, that particular company or that technology has really has lost a lot of momentum. Now more and more people starting late 90s have gone to a new protocol called backNet, which is really, a worldwide known now as a building automation open protocol that everybody uses.

So there could be a bacNet MSTP, which is over a three wire for 485 bus, or it could be a bacNet IP. And then our controllers that you use today, which is the Eclipse product line, supports all of the above. So we again were open in the sense of be able to support any protocol that’s out there. But at the same time we’re also bringing a lot of IT type of protocols into the platform. So we’re kind of open in either way.

Tim: Now you mentioned building automation. How have you been integrating the HVAC controls into the building automation in general?

Ham: Yeah. So again, our controller platforms are open in the sense that, let’s say if you have our controller in your Oxygen8 piece of equipment, a DOAS unit. The controller itself is ready to go from a bacNet IP or bacNet MSTP or Modbus. So if you go in and if you have a building automation system, then it’s already a bacNet system. Then it’s a very fairly easy integration into that system, which means you could bring an IP type of connection into your equipment and the BMS side, whoever that is. It could be Honeywell, could be Johnson Controls, Schneider, whoever that is. They could do an easy auto discovery of the equipment and then be able to discover all the objects that’s necessary that goes into their system. And then at that time, they have to do their own set of work in a sense of how do I map this point to a graphic? How do I set up some sort of a trend now it’s possible to pull all the trends out of the controller as well.

But every system is a little bit different. The key thing here to understand is the discovery of your piece of equipment. Because your bacNet compatible, it’s easy. It’s a matter of just auto discovery that’s happened based on bacNet protocol and then goes into a BMS system.

Tim: Well, that’s all the time we have. We really appreciate you joining us for the podcast. And, have a good time at AHR!

Thank you Ham and thanks for listening.

And don’t forget to subscribe and give us a positive rating. You can also check out Oxygen8 and Distech on LinkedIn To learn more about this topic and follow us on YouTube to watch clips and extras.

Join us next month when we talk to Stuart Hood from Introba and our multi-part series on Passive House.


Tim: Hello and welcome to the Building Healthy podcast Powered by Oxygen8. I’m Tim Wearing, the host of the podcast, and today’s episode is about Passive House. And it’s being recorded inside the West Bay Passive House in West Vancouver.

We’ll also be posting a video tour of the house with the architect and today’s guest, Stuart Hood, on YouTube and LinkedIn, so please be sure to check out that video. We’re just five episodes into this experiment, so if you’ve enjoyed our podcast, please subscribe, and leave us a rating. And if you haven’t enjoyed our podcast, still subscribe, and leave us an even better rating so we’ll have something to aspire to.

Before we get into the interview, I just want to quickly mention the Passive House Canada Conference that is happening in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada from June 17th to the 19th. But there are Passive House events happening frequently throughout North America and Europe. So please check out the Passive House Institute near you to find out more.

I know there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about Passive House, which we’ll discuss in the interview. And while Passive House is one standard, we’ll not only be talking more about Passive House in future episodes, we’ll also be talking about net zero buildings in general. So, if you haven’t subscribed yet, please do so. And don’t forget to leave us a review because that really helps us.

So, without further ado, here’s our interview with Stuart Hood.

Tim: Hi, there. Welcome to another episode of Building Healthy Podcast. We’re here with Stuart Hood, who is going to talk to us about, Passive House. He is the vice president of Introba and we are actually filming and recording in the first Passive House certified building that he designed. So, Stuart, if you just want to introduce yourself and say a little bit about yourself.

Stuart: I am Stuart Hood and I’ve been working in Canada for the last 22 years. And, I would say probably for the last ten years, I’ve been engaged heavily in the Passive House sector. Right. Lots of buildings from single family homes like this, to multifamily homes to many community projects. So, community centres, fire halls, childcare and we’ve got schools on the go now. So yeah, lots and lots of different types of Passive House work. And it’s really been a been a blast along the way.

Tim: So, what drew you to designing Passive House?

Stuart: You know, I would say that from the university days, you know, 30 years ago we were interested in super-insulated, high-performance buildings, but as a mechanical engineer, we always have to find the building envelope was never quite there, right?

You know, it was always a bit of guesswork, actually, in terms of figuring out just how much energy and how much, you know, heating demand a house would need, a home would need and, what I loved about the Passive House was that it was quality assurance, like quality assurance for the building envelope, and it made it such that we could find tune the mechanical system design. Right. And we knew that we could depend on it. We knew that if it was built to the Passive House standard, we could really downsize our mechanical systems and that the standard would deliver on its promise. For many years that’s been what’s known as the performance gap and building design that, the energy model would say something, but in real life it wouldn’t ever deliver.

Right. And this, these were because of the things that were hidden. Right. The thermal bridges are a great example of that. Right? Thermal bridges in buildings drastically reduced the energy performance of the building. But people just weren’t aware of that kind of thing. And so, they got ignored. Right? The calculation methodology was, was too simplistic.

And so now what we find is that when we take all these things into consideration, every element that, has energy flow in and out of the building envelope that we really get, to see the delivery, you know, the actual as built, buildings really perform.

Tim: Okay, well, let’s back up a little bit so we can just go over what exactly Passive House is and what the standards are.

Stuart: Okay. There are five key principles in Passive House, you know, and that the first is, as it says, passive is that the building should be passively heated by the sun. Right. And we focus on the heating, because heating is traditionally the thing that uses fossil fuel to provide that, that heat energy to the building.

So, if we get the passive heating right, then we can drastically reduce the amount of fossil fuel we need. So orientating the buildings so that it’s got south exposure and we’ve got, the sun coming through the windows in the wintertime, and then we shaded in the summertime is the first key principle.

After that it’s super insulation. So, we let that heat in. But the super insulation makes sure that it stays in there.

The next one is thermal bridge freeze. So, these are the things like, you know you often see in high rise buildings – concrete balconies cantilevered out that like radiator fins on an air-cooled engine. Right. They’re always either losing heat or bringing heat in in the summer that we don’t want. And so, it’s eliminating those thermal bridges, which is part of the super insulation package.

The next thing is air tightness, you know, the cold air leaking into a building in a winter can easily be attributed to 50% of the heating energy that you need for keeping a traditional building warm. most buildings leak like a safe. And so, in Passive House, we make sure that all of the seals on the windows and doors, properly built and addressed. And we test that, you know, in installation we test it twice, once during construction at mid construction before we close all the walls up so we can see where the leakage actually is, when we run the blower door test. And then at the end, when it’s all finished, we do that final lower door test and the amount of leakage that you’re allowed to do it’s probably six times better than a code-built building. And it’s probably like, you know, I would say 20 or 30 times better than some of the traditional buildings in terms of the air tightness.

And that was one of the great unknowns. You know, people never used to test buildings to see if they were if they were airtight, in my career, you know, we’ve always had a rule of thumb of heating a building. It takes 100W a meter square to heat a building.

So, if you’ve got a 300-meter squared house, you know, like a 3,000 square foot house, like this one that would need 30kW in the old speak. But today that’s three kilowatts to heat it. Right? It’s just an order of magnitude difference. And so that’s why it’s so important.

Then the fifth sort of trait of a Passive House is it needs to be properly ventilated, because we’ve sealed it up. We now need to make sure that we can introduce, the right amount of air and that we do energy recovery or heat recovery on the air that’s coming in and out. So, we know we get the right air quality in the building. And so typically, you know, we’ve got an air change rate of between half an hour change or a third of an air change every hour.

So that means the whole air volume of the house is removed and then replaced with fresh air, but that goes through a heat recovery device that’s usually in the 80 to 90%, efficiency range. So, we extract all the heat out of it and put it into the incoming air. So, there’s very little heat we need to supply to like that and vice versa in the summer.

It extracts the cool out of the, the air that we’re exhausting out of the bathrooms and kitchens. then doing that, then you get supreme air quality.

And so, one of the things I just want to sort of make sure that I make the point on is because this is often a, you know, misconception of Passive Houses, is it because you’re making them airtight people are like, I don’t want to live in a sealed box.

And of course, that’s not the truth. as we tour around a little bit, you will see that this building has giant opening windows, and that’s the idea is the summer or the shoulder season, when the temperatures permit, we swing the windows wide open and we cool it just using, natural ventilation techniques.

And that’s one of the joys of Passive House, is because you can actually open the windows for longer during the year because you’re essentially, you’ve got excess heat and you’re just letting that out. So, they actually become even fresher than regular homes that, you’re often instead of keeping the windows closed because you need to try and keep the heat in then building doesn’t do a great job of that.

So, there’s the five factors, right? Reverse order. Right. You know, heat recovery ventilation, the airtight when they need to be, in the middle of summer and in the middle of winter. It’s got super insulation. It’s thermal free and it’s orientated for passive solar heating.

Tim: I know there’s a lot of apprehension about Passive House, because there’s a lot of misconceptions about cost involved. What can you tell us about that?

Stuart: Well, it’s hard to say in terms of cost, right? You know, there’s lots of things that that drive cost over conventional buildings. Right. And so, some people will tell you that they can build Passive House, at or below the cost of building a code level building right through smart design.

And I think this is the sort of the next phase of Passive House is the sort of optimization of cost, you know, sometimes in the early days of the design, people don’t always optimize because maybe they don’t trust it because it’s the first time they’ve done it. So, you know, I was explaining earlier about the difference and heat energy required for a conventional building over a Passive House building.

Now, it’s almost a tenfold difference between the two, but some people go “oh I’m not going to trust that”. So, they’ll still put the same mechanical system in that they used to do because they’re not sure. Right. You know, so you then you have, an expensive envelope and you have the same mechanical system. And so, at that point you’re seeing premiums of 10 or 15%.

Right. And so, the key premise of Passive House and the reason that they set the target, energy goals and the heating demand goals that they do set is based around this idea that there’s this crossover. There’s a point where the mechanical system drastic reduces in size relative to a conventional building.

And so they call, you know, the crossover. And when you get to that sweet spot, then you’ve got one less system. You don’t have to run a heating system around the house. And this house, this is a perfect example, right. Normally if you were building this house, in a nice neighborhood, you know, everybody would be putting a radiant floor in this house, right. People would think that’s the only way to make it comfortable. Well, a radiant floor system can cost, 20 bucks a square foot easily. and there is none of that in this house, but it’s perfectly comfortable. All we do is, you know, we’re already running ventilation air around the house to keep it fresh. Like we talked about. And all we do is trickle in a little bit of heating or a little bit of cooling from a small heat pump into that system. So, we have no pipe distribution running around the house. And so, we’ve saved a whole the cost of a whole system. and that money then gets applied to the envelope and the better windows and you look at a perfectly comfortable house, right?

You know, in fact, it’s more comfortable than any other house. You’ll probably go in. And I think many people will say that the best thing to do, you know, to convince people about Passive House is to allow them to go and experience and feel how comfortable, how quiet it is relative to, you know, other houses. Because we block that, air out by making it an airtight design but also blocks out the noise. And in this house, there’s train tracks running right behind the house. And I always remember James the story, you know, it’s because he lived the original house on the same site that was taken down and this Passive House replaced it. It was the trains used to wake him up every night because the b heavy goods trains running by the back of the house, and it would just rumble and it would wake him up and said, now he just doesn’t hear them at all. Right? You know, and that’s just, how great that performance is.

And we see it in the other projects that we’ve done in the City of Vancouver, we, you know, completed a few years ago, and the Fire Hall for the City of Vancouver, Fire Hall 17 and it’s on one of the busiest streets in Vancouver. It’s on Knight Street. And people that know Vancouver Knight St. turns into Clark St.

And that’s where all of the trucks come in and out of the city on the way to the port. You know, the Vancouver is one of the busiest ports in North America. And so, you can imagine how many trucks are moving up and down, moving those containers. Where do you go inside that fire hall the difference between the noise inside and outside, the firefighters that come back from a call and they’re amped up and they need to kind of decompress, this fire hall just it’s incredible, they just how they appreciate that, you know, and they can sleep at night when they need to sort of, recover after these, kind of stressful, calls that they, that they end up on. And so, same I see in big cities anywhere you in a big city, right. The Passive House standard can really sort of, help people, and have a really, like, great quality of life.

Tim: Another misconception is that you can only build Passive Houses in more moderate climates. I know people in colder climates and even hotter climates say, well, you need either the air conditioning or the heating, in order for it to be livable.

Stuart: Yeah, I would say again, it’s a myth. It’s a misconception. And, you know, we have Passive Houses that we’ve delivered in northern Alberta and in northern British Columbia here, another in climate zone 6 and climate zone 7. And we know that they’re performing, right? It might need a little bit more insulation for sure. And you still need heating and cooling the same way that you need heating and cooling in other places. But I would say that the benefits are even greater than they are in, in the mild climates. Right? You know, because it’s this resilience, what happens in traditional buildings in northern climates, if you lose power, in a traditional building it very quickly, you’re going to feel the, the impact of that.

I was in a Passive House, you know, that it’s actually going to stay warm for days, right. You know. Yeah. It’s going to be livable. You’re not going to have pipes freezing, you don’t necessarily have to back it up with generators and the size of the system is so much smaller. Right. If you’ve got a heating system in a traditional building that was using 30kW of energy, you’ve got to put a generator in, of that sort of size to make it work, whereas, in a Passive House, you only need 3kW. Right. You can usually do that with a solar panel on a battery. Right. Or a very small generator if indeed you are that worried about it. But, for the most part, the numbers are so small that a small plug in an electric heater, can be the thing that keeps the place warm or, a log burning fireplace like we have in this home here.

There’re many ways to sort of, keep it warm be much more climate resilient. And the other thing about climate resilience we’re seeing across Canada, we’re seeing wildfires, increasing wildfires and increasing wildfire smoke. And one of the things that Passive House does, that air tightness again? Right. It helps with heat. It helps the noise. But it also stops all of the smoke coming in. Right. So, people that, you can say, well, I could put better filters in my system, you can put all the filters in you like, but if the smoke coming through the cracks in the windows, in the doors, then you’re breathing it, you’re smelling it. And for people with, breathing difficulties, like asthma, becomes a life safety issue. Right? And so, I think that, there’s again, there’s that extra piece of resilience. And so, when people say, hey, it costs more, it doesn’t make sense to me. It’s like, yeah, maybe it can cost a little bit more for that extra insulation.

But most of the stuff is really just bit more attention to the details of workmanship and understanding, you know, the methods and so yeah, the windows will be more expensive for sure. But if your mechanical system is a 10th of the size, then you know, you don’t have to put pipes and then it’s about reallocating that budget. And you get so many, other cool benefits that a lot of people don’t get. They don’t understand that. And I think these are the, the misconceptions because people think it’s an energy standard. You know, I think of it as a thermal comfort stand that that’s really what it is. It’s a thermal comfort standard, but also a health standard.

Right. You know because it keeps you healthy and comfortable inside the building. That’s the setting out. But the low energy, numbers are really a cool benefit, right? That comes from designing for comfort and health.

Tim: So this was obviously, as I said, the first, Passive House certified building you’ve done, but you’ve done quite a few since then. Are there any that stick out ones that are coming up now that are interesting?

Stuart: Yeah, there’s a few coming out. There’s Vienna House, a multifamily residential building being built in Vancouver. So, it’s just coming out of the ground now we’re just at ground level and it’s, it’s going to move pretty quickly that one. And it’s called Vienna House because it’s a project that’s got a sister, building going up in Vienna, Austria, called Vancouver House. So, these two cities not only is it a, social housing project, it’s also, you know, we’re using it as a tool, as a research to compare, building technologies in Vancouver and Vienna.

Right. And just see what the parallels are, what are the things, that were doing. And so that building’s got a ton of, research work. It has its own website, you can go to and there’s a ton of research, and, many things like, natural ventilation and, CO2, domestic hot water heat pumps. But there’s also, it’s a building that instead of the double loaded corridor that we typically see in Vancouver for, for social housing, for multifamily six story projects. This one’s a courtyard scheme. And so, it, know, also leans into the benefit of the social interconnectedness of people that are living in there, like they’re avoiding people being isolated because they’ll enter through the courtyard but the courtyard has the benefit of being a quiet space that’s shielded from the street. And so, people can open their windows into the courtyard to provide that natural ventilation, which often becomes problematic in cities and some of these buildings, often on busy arterial streets, this one happens to be back in on right on to the Skytrain lines. And so, by creating this courtyard scheme making, you know, that these spaces livable and windows that are operable into a social, communal space at the heart of the building itself. There’s many, many things that are worth looking at in that project. We’re going to be presenting that at the Passive House Canada Conference, which is upcoming in the middle of June. So, watch out for that one. I’m going to be presenting with Jamie Hart from, Public Architecture, and with Chris Higgins from the city of Vancouver. So, there’s a lot to tell about that project.

Tim: And for those interested, we will be talking about Vienna House in a future episode. Now, lastly, what would you say to designers and engineers might be a little hesitant about getting into Passive House?

Stuart: Yeah, I would just encourage them to embrace it, do the training you know, whether you got any Passive House buildings, in the books in your firm currently, or not, you know, if you do it, there are principles that, you can roll through any project, even if you’re not certifying a project, there are many, many things you can do. And for the mechanical engineers, it teaches you about building science, the building envelope, for the architects, it teaches you more about the mechanical systems. You know, it’s this idea of holistic design. And I think, I’ve had a ton of fun with it. Everybody that sort of touches one of these projects, whether it’s through design or construction. They really embrace it. One step that, you know, I think for the trades on site that are building these things, they suddenly see a difference in the windows that they’re installing or the mechanical systems that they’re putting in they’re, like, “ooh, that’s quality. It’s real.” You know, it’s not a paper exercise. It’s real like high-performance, high-quality product, you know, recognizes that the minute they see it. And then when you come into the space that you finally built, it’s something that you can be super proud of, that you know, it’s going to last for generations.

Tim: Excellent. Well, for those who are just tuning in on the podcast, please check out our video on LinkedIn or on YouTube. And we’re going to do tour of this Passive House that we’re, talking in now. Otherwise, thank you very much for joining us and talking to us, Stuart. And we look forward to the tour as well.

Stuart: Pleasure Tim. Thanks very much for having me.

Tim: Thank you, Stuart and thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe and give us a positive rating. You can also check out Oxygen8 and Introba on LinkedIn to learn more about this topic and follow us on YouTube to watch clips and extras. Next month we talk about achieving net zero. So please stay tuned for another great episode.

Tim: Hi, and welcome to the Building Healthy podcast powered by Oxygen8. I’m Tim Wearing, the host of the podcast, and today we have a special episode where we’re doing a remote interview with our friends from Salda, we’re going to be talking about ventilation in the European market.

If you’ve enjoyed the podcast, please subscribe and leave a rating because that really helps us.

Welcome! If you just want to introduce yourself.

Ovidijus : Yeah. Hi, Tim. I’m Ovidijus Petrauskas. I’m a Product Manager here at Salda, and I’m very happy to be here with you today.

Tim: And, just so our listeners know, where are you calling in from today?

Ovidijus: We are based in Europe, in the town of Siauliai. It’s not really a very big town, but we have a very beautiful factory here of ventilation units. First and foremost, we are a ventilation equipment manufacturer. Yeah, that about it!

Tim: And, could you tell us just a little bit about your background, your personal background?

Ovidijus: Yeah. So, I will tell you, first about the background, let’s say of Salda. It’s a company, established in 1990 and the first ventilation unit that we made, it was in 1997, I think. So for almost, 30 years. We are making ventilation equipment. So we are making, ERV units, HRV and small residential units, as well as compact units, and then we go all the way up to modular units.

If we are talking about me personally, I started my career at Salda almost six years ago. I started as a service guy, I changed a couple of different positions and now, I’m working as a product manager here at Salda.

Tim: So Europe is known for having stricter standards and codes, than North America. So what could you tell us about how it’s driven the ventilation market in Europe and what you do? It sold to?

Ovidijus: Yeah, we have a few different, ones but let’s say the most we are concerned with is that ERP, which stands for, and energy related product directive, basically it sets the minimum parameters for the ventilation unit that you must, comply with. Otherwise you cannot, put the unit to the market.

You cannot sell it and you cannot, let’s say, use it within the European Union. For example, the minimum requirement for the heat recovery for the unit to be installed and sold in Europe is 73% of heat recovery, anything less, cannot be marked with CE marking and basically it cannot be installed anywhere. As well there is different requirements for the SFP parameters, that you must comply with again.If you don’t comply, basically you cannot produce such units and you cannot sell them within the EU. So the ERP is the most important one.

Another one is we are certified by Eurovent, this is a third party certification program and then they have their own requirements. They test your selection tools, they test your real units in the factory, and the power energy classes that you want, say to, to achieve the target for A+ energy class of your unit. And then to achieve that, you have to offer very good, specific fan power, very low specific power. You have to have high heat recovery and when the ventilation units are compared by the market, by the building owner, and by the installer, you can always check up on what energy class this unit has and what energy cost this unit.

So, to summarize it, the ERP is the most important one, but we have, couple different ones.

Tim: We obviously have third party certifications here, like ASHRAE and even LEED. Could you tell us a little bit more about what you have there and, how strict they are?

Ovidijus: Two different – two main ones, for different product groups. For residential HRV and small ERV units. We certify our products under Passive House. So the difference between, the Passive House and the Eurovent, which we certify our bigger units more than 1000m³ per hour, is that under the Passive House, we do certify all product models, and we test the model that we sell, the exact model that we sell, we test for efficiency for the SPI, specific power input, we test the sound, we test the leakage of the unit in a lab. Not internally, but in an external lab. We provide the testing reports to Passive House and then they issue the Passive House certification, the units data is getting uploaded into the Passive House database, and then the industry can check up on that, and then, can use the data and have the real data, and then for the bigger units we have Eurovent they do things slightly differently from the Passive House, simply because of the reason that with compact units, you cannot test every unit. We have the selection tool that can give you 100,000 different variants of the unit that we produce. So it’s not possible to certify everything.

How they do it is that they test, the selection tool itself. So when you select the unit, you provide the data, you provide the data sheet of the said unit and then they come in, they select a unit, they take it to an external lab, they test it, and the data must comply with what you showed on the printout. So in essence, they test also the unit, but also the test, the selection tool itself, if it calculates correctly. And then, in real life, you get what you just selected. So it’s, it’s slightly different. Also, they do test, the so-called, model box of the unit, which is sort of a model of the units casing.

They take it, reproduce it, they take it to the external lab, the test for mechanical electricity, for leakage, for thermal transmittance class for thermal bridging class, and then for mechanical strength of the casing. Then when they come in, they check if you produce, according, to that model, if you change something in your production and you do not produce along what you declared before then you must, let’s say recertify, your whole unit, your whole selection tool, and the model box itself.

So there’s two different ones that we are involved with. One for residential. We certify Smarty units under Positive House. And then the big commercial units are modular units under the Eurovent.

Tim: So, you we’re talking about Passive House. That’s something that’s really barely even touched the market here. We’ve done an episode talking about it, but it’s much more popular in Europe.

Could you tell us a little bit about the background of Passive House in Europe and how you’re connected to that?

Ovidijus: So the Passive House in Europe, is different in each country. So in some countries it’s not relevant at all. And then in some countries like UK and
Scotland for example, it’s really big and you cannot enter, let’s say tenders and you cannot tell the other units if you don’t have Passive House because they tend to build alongside the Passive House rules.

So we at Salda, we do not have our own sales offices. We work through distributor channels, for example, in Canada, and then we have this feedback from the market that it’s needed.

Tim: You obviously, manufacture ERVs. Are there any products that complement ERVs that are being used in Europe?

Ovidijus: Actually, yes. In Europe the ERVs are not really popular. I will tell you that the Lithuania is the only market where the ERV market share is bigger than the HRV market share. So it’s not really popular, but what one thing we use in our whole market in Lithuania is, alongside the ERV unit, is the duct dehumidifier. Simply because the ERV is used here to recover, moisture in winter conditions, mostly. That’s the main reason, and then you want to still increase the humidity inside the building in very dry winters that we have here. So that duct humidifier, goes hand in hand with the ERV unit in our home market in Lithuania.

Tim: Okay. What role does policy have in the ventilation space in Europe?

Ovidijus: I think there’s definitely a space for policy. Here in Europe, we have the so-called the energy of buildings directive, in short it’s EPPBD.
This means that all new builds must be net zero before 2030. So all the energy related products must also, adhere to that. And we must think about it when we design the product, when we put the product inside the building that it must comply with the policies and help achieve this net zero target that that we have over here in Europe. And I think that our products help with that. And then in certain markets, there’s different policies. For example, we know from one of our clients in Belgium that they must measure the CO2 level inside the building. So it’s not enough to install a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery. You must also supply enough amount of air into the premises and you must think also about the indoor air quality when you ventilate. It’s not enough to have the ventilation machine. You also have to let’s say, do the right thing with it.

Tim: You mentioned, the different levels. So you’ve got obviously European standards and then you’ve got standards for the various countries.
How difficult is it to manufacture to all the different standards?

Ovidijus: It’s different. It’s difficult, simply because there’s different types of heat recovery, even in different, countries, in different markets. So,
in Nordics, for example, the main heat recovery type is rotary heat exchanger, which is when you have a wheel that is rotating and then you have the extractor there going through the wheel, and then the wheel goes into the supply air chamber and then that’s how you recover the heat. Even for residential, this is very popular. So if you want to enter those markets, Sweden, Norway, you must have the product, which is very different, obviously, from the fixed plate heat exchangers. So not only the regulations is different between each country, but also the product that you must offer is different because the standards are different in each country. Again, the requirements that the ventilation system must possess is also different. I mentioned before the ERP requirement of 73% of heat recovery in our whole market, Lithuania, we have the requirement set at 80%. So even 73, it’s a European Union standard. But in our whole market, we have a higher standard that we must comply with.

So the product portfolio that you must have to operate, in Europe must be really wide, and there is no pan-European product that you can do, and then you can cover, the whole region, let’s say.

Tim: So you mentioned the 2030 net zero directive. What products are driving the change towards this.

Ovidijus: To be able to achieve, let’s say, the target of of net zero, you must offer, the more and more, efficient products, in terms of both the heat recovery and power consumption of the product. So we always think about that when we design, here in Salda, when we design new products, we select the most efficient components on the market, that we have available for us. What else is important, to not forget that Europe is an old continent. And we have a lot of historic buildings. And it’s important to think about how you will bring this unit inside the building. What happens is that you have these strict regulations that you cannot in some old town part, you cannot, place a unit on top of the roof somewhere. You must place it inside. So you must think about how you will bring the unit in. So when choosing the right equipment, the most efficient one, you also must think about how it will fit within the whole look of the building and how it will fit exactly inside the building. Because one important thing is that also, the flat packing of the units is not allowed.

Basically, you cannot supply the unit not fully assembled. So, what we think about, when we design our product is that, how it will fit within the whole structure of the building and how it will fit exactly in the building and how we will enter the building with this and this product.

Tim” obviously, one of the big differences here in North America, we don’t have nearly as many older buildings. I mean, there is a there is a big retrofit market. But what are the big differences between Europe and North America in the ventilation market?

Ovidijus: When I visited the AHR expo, I couldn’t help but notice, that the counterflow technology is still almost non-existent. You use the crossflow, for your ERV/HRV units and bigger commercial units. By using the best technology possible, then the most efficient technology is the first step, let’s say to reach the European level, because, with the latest ERP that we have, the crossflow market in Europe is almost non-existent. It is gone.

The same with fans. So with commercial units that we fit inside residential buildings, commercial buildings, all new shops, restaurants that we build. The AC technology is also gone. It’s non-existent. So you see, EC technology took over. It’s not possible to find the an AC fan inside the unit of a European manufacturer that has a lot of market share in the European Union.

So I think firstly, the first step is to use the best technology available.

Tim: So, all the differences really that you’re seeing are efficiency, like crossflow compared to counterflow and the, the fans, that all comes down to efficiency and getting to a higher efficiency level. Is that correct?

Ovidijus: From my limited experience, yes. The main difference is the efficiency.

Tim: So focusing more on Salda, what differentiates the Salda Smarty units from other units.

Ovidijus: Well, as I mentioned before, especially in comparison to the other units on the North American market, that we see is the counter flow technology, which is obviously more efficient for both, HRV and ERV units. We have counter flow heat exchanger, of more than 85 heat recovery.

In addition to that, what we always think of when we design the unit is the easy maintenance for the end user. So easy maintenance is really important for us. So that’s why, it’s really easy to work with a Salda unit. For example, a filter change does not require any tools. You can quickly replace the filter and the value we provide to the customer with efficiency and the easy maintenance is, really great. I think.

Tim: And, one last question. What do you see as the future of ventilation in the EU? Not just short term, but long term.

Ovidijus: Well, the buildings, are being more energy efficient. They are getting more air tight, and, that the growth of the ventilation markets in both Europe and, North America, I think is inevitable. And the more efficient systems, we will bring, I think, to the markets, the more let’s say market we can access. That’s my point of view. So it’s not possible to stay behind and think about the old the ways we must think into the future and what will be, available for us, in the, I think, very near future.

Tim: All right. Well, that’s, a wrap for our podcast. I really do appreciate you joining us and telling us all about the European market.

Ovidijus: Thank you. Tim, it was a pleasure. And I hope to see the final product.

Tim: Okay. That’s it, thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe and give us a positive rating and review. You can also check out Oxygen8 and Salda on LinkedIn and watch our clips on YouTube.

We’ll also be posting a video tour of their factory, so be sure to check that out on YouTube and LinkedIn.

And, that’s all we have. So thank you for joining us.

Meet The Host

Tim Wearing

Tim is the Creative Producer at Oxygen8, responsible for all media creation. While Tim has been in the HVAC industry for over 7 years, he brings experience from numerous fields and different positions. In previous roles, Tim has worked in marketing, video production, photography, web and graphic design, film distribution marketing, video game development and even banking.

Tim is an avid hiker, taking full advantage of the mountains around British Columbia, Canada, where he lives, and passes on his love and knowledge of the game of basketball by coaching a local high school team. He’s passionate about health and sustainable building, bringing those passions together in our monthly podcast, Building Healthy.


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