Tour the Mechanical Room

Have you taken a virtual tour of our new energy-efficient Mechanical Room at the Taco Innovation & Development Center (IDC)?

We invite you to visit Center’s dedicated mechanical room, a showcase for the latest in energy savings and sustainable products and systems available in the HVAC industry today. The building includes advanced hydronics system applications such as radiant cooling, radiant heating, snowmelt, geothermal and solar thermal in a total of 25 “Living Laboratories” that provide for hands-on learning.

In this video, Rich Medairos, project mechanical engineer, walks you through the highlights of this sophisticated, integrated installation incorporating a variety of design strategies for an energy efficient building including:

• Active chilled beams.
• An energy recovery unit.
• Solar hot water generation.
• The iWorx system building management.
• High-efficiency pumps, chillers and boilers.
• Variable speed pumping applications.

Take a virtual tour now:

Building for the Future: Taco’s Expansion Project Update

Building for the Future: Taco’s Expansion Project 

We continue our blog series featuring construction and development of the Taco Innovation and Development Center and its sustainable design principles.

Work on the new Taco Innovation and Development Center is continuing at a fast pace, aided by a warmer than normal start to winter. The project, which involves renovations to interior office spaces within Taco’s existing building as well as construction of the new Center, is about 40-percent completed, according to Kyle Lloyd, Senior Project Manager for Shawmut Design and Construction, the design-build firm overseeing the project.

Architectural Renderings, Innovation & Development Center

Construction of the Innovation Center, Phase Two of the five-phase project, is about 65-percent completed, with installation of windows almost completed. From there we will continue with dry walling and painting within the two-story structure and begin installing acoustical ceiling panels and finishing the ceiling work, which will include piping and installation of chilled beams. Work has also started on the new Taco Café for employees.

Progress on the Center’s dedicated mechanical room is also under way, and equipment installation has commenced. Far from an ordinary mechanical room, the center’s physical plant design has been mapped out using MEP BIM Revit modeling to allow working products to also be viewed as displays for touring-teaching purposes.

Chris Integlia, Taco Executive Vice President and the project build team leader anticipates grand opening this June. Chris shares, “This is a very exciting project from our point of view, because it has allowed us to work jointly with many of our industry partners – fellow manufacturers, architects, engineers, contractors and tradesmen – to create a facility that will display the latest in advanced hydronic technology. We’re also proud of the positive impact this project is having on the local economy by employing over 200 contractors in our industry”.

In our next project updates, we will be discussing installation of Chilled Beam systems.

Water Vs. Air: Liability Concerns for the Engineer

Water Vs. Air: Liability Concerns for the Engineer

By Greg Cunniff, Applications Engineering Manager, Taco, Inc.

Water vs. Air: Liability Concerns for the EngineerRefrigerant is a toxic fluid and as such it poses a hazardous danger to building  occupants should it begin to leak out of a commercial air conditioning system, however rare such an occurrence may be. Should an accident happen an investigation will be undertaken, and if building occupants were affected by the leak, everyone from the building owner, property management company, service company, and the design engineer who recommended the system could find themselves facing legal action.  In other words, being sued.

So there is potential legal liability with a VRV-VRF type system. During my years as an engineer I had to buy liability insurance to protect myself from possible legal action arising from mishaps that could be traced back to decisions and recommendations I made in the course of my work.

The question that would be posed by the plaintiff’s lawyer to the engineer under the circumstances of a leak would be:

Was the system you specified the best standard that you should have used at that point in time, knowing that there was other technology available that did not use a toxic element?

So the engineer needs to ask himself when specifying such a system in the first place, is it worth it to take that risk to save a few dollars in first-cost?

What do you think?

Achieving High Efficiency Pumping with Variable Speed Technology

Achieving High Efficiency Pumping with Variable Speed Technology

By George Taber – Applications Engineer-Technical Services Supervisor, Taco, Inc.   

Most HVAC systems are designed to keep a building cool on the hottest days and warm on the coldest days. This being the case, an HVAC system needs to work at full capacity on only the ten or so hottest and coldest days of the year. For the rest of the year the HVAC system should operate at a reduced capacity to save energy.

This is where a system equipped with variable frequency drives (VFDs) can be used to match system flow to actual heating-cooling demands. Use of VFDs can reduce the motor speed when full flow is not required, thereby reducing the power required and the electrical energy used. For example, at 80 percent nominal flow, power consumption is reduced by some 50 percent when using a VFD.

Energy cost with variable-speed pumping.

Energy cost with variable-speed pumping.

An HVAC system controlled by VFDs will go a long way in helping a new or existing building achieve greater energy efficiency. Not only will HVAC systems supplied by VFDs save money – in many instances, the payback period for installing adjustable frequency drives in place of other flow control methods is less than 12 months – but they will also increase the indoor comfort of the building and reduce equipment maintenance costs and operational downtime. Plus, should the building be LEED certified and meet the requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, additional money saving opportunities are afforded through state and local government incentives.

Ultimately, more efficient HVAC systems create more energy efficient buildings, which in turn conserve energy resources.

As many factors affect the efficiency of a pumping system, the whole system needs to be analyzed, not just the pumps. We would like to hear your feedback about this series of articles about the efficiency of a pumping system, and what other factors do you think are important.  

Trainings: New Innovation & Learning Center

Earlier this month we held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Taco Innovation & Development Center. We received warm feedback and lots of questions from many of you. Thank You to everyone in the community for supporting this project. It means a lot to us.

How will new learning programs at the Center be different? What kind of educational trainings can you expect?  Watch the video interview with Greg Cunniff, Applications Engineering Manager at Taco, Inc., as he discusses the thinking behind the training programs in the new Center.

We look forward to continue conversations about the progress of the Taco Innovation & Development Center.  Check back often for updates from the “field” on our new exciting training facility!

Happy Earth Day 2011

Happy Earth Day from all of us at Taco!

Sustainability is a widely discussed topic during the April Earth Day celebrations. What does sustainability mean to Taco and our employees?

In this video segment, Taco’s Executive Vice President Chris Integlia discusses sustainability in everyday business practices within our manufacturing facility – use of geothermal wells, co-generation with reuse of waste energy, solar panels, snow melt and more.

What does sustainability mean to you and your business?

Taco Walks the Green Building Talk

Sustainability at Taco – Interview with Chris Integlia, Executive Vice President

Sustainability is an active practice at Taco, involving Taco employees at all levels. The company’s building in Cranston, RI, a former turn-of-the-century trolley barn, has been preserved and expanded in a sustainable manner with the addition of a LEED certified warehouse and distribution facility that employs co-generation, solar panels, day lighting and extensive recycling.

Taco embraced the Green Building Movement early on, and produces innovative, energy efficient products and systems, likeLoadMatch® and the new LOFlo® injection mixing system, which assist LEED certification scoring, as well as water conservation and solar-energy-based products.

Here’s Chris Integlia, an 18-year veteran of Taco, speaking about the special “Taco culture” and how the concept and practice of sustainability and environmental responsibility are alive and well at Taco.

This is part one in a series of interviews with Chris to be posted on this blog.

Tell us what you think about sustainability for today’s buildings and how HVAC systems can contribute to a better environment.

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