Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Importance of V

This was the view from my temporary office this morning, across eastern Redmond to Education Hill, when today's BACnet Testing Lab working group teleconference began, first in the day's lineup. (I am in the imaginatively-named "Small Conference Room," so as to distinguish it from the "Medium" and "Large" conference rooms.) A beautiful sunny autumn day out there.

At lunchtime I stepped out to the library to finish next week's powerpoint because I needed more room to spread papers than the little table here provided -- and was quite sorry I'd worn a jacket, much less long sleeves. The fall colors said it had gotten rather cold while I was away, but today it was a beautiful sunny and warm autumn day out there.

So why a temporary office, with blinds that need to be readjusted as the lighting outside changes (unless I just close them)?

It's all due to the 'V' in HVAC: Ventilation. As in, we haven't had any since the little background hiss in the BAC Cave quit yesterday morning and didn't come back on. The air-handler bearings had failed. And there began a lesson about buildings for many of us here at Alerton and Trend.

This building is like many built in the early 90s: no operable windows, no natural ventilation, and few doors. Without Ventilation we have neither Air-Conditioning or Heating. (Except in one area.)

Despite that, the heat buildup yesterday wasn't too bad (other than for me in the BAC Cave). But it was warming noticeably on the second floor, which has no outside openings.

Today was worse, thanks in part to the stronger sun. Perhaps the CO2 levels are up too, because some folks are complaining of headaches. (I've often wished I had a CO2 meter, especially for when the airline turns off the cabin air when we reach the gate -- and leaves it off! I also wish I knew what ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 161-2007, "Air Quality within Commercial Aircraft," says about that odious practice.)

Hopefully the air-handler will be fixed by morning, providing us with blessed Ventilation (and Heating or Air-Conditioning, if either is needed).


  1. Hey, stop grumbling! :) I also work from a temporary office; out of my window I can see a scrap metal recycling plant and an electricity pylon! The joys of industrial Sheffield.

  2. LOL, my first job as an engineer was no better. In a small old bungalow with no heat or a/c, looking into an old boatyard with half-dismantled boats. Pity because without that I would have had a great view of the Pacific