History of Innovation

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Archive for the ‘Heating, Ventillation and Cooling HVAC’ Category

2008: Masdar City – Masdar, United Arab Emirates

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Innovation:  Masdar City (first/only zero-carbon zero-waste city)
Location: Masdar, UAE
Year:  2008-2025
Architect: Foster and Partners

Masdar is a planned city located in Abu Dhabi, UAE, targeted to rely entirely on renewable energy sources with a sustainable zero carbon zero waste ecology [1]. The city consists of 2.3 square miles of homes and businesses for 50,000 residents with 60,000 daily commuters budgeted at US$19.8 billion. The intent for the city was to become a central location for cleantech companies and model of inspiration for a future energy conscience world. Masdar will accomplish its energy goals through the use of one of the first 40-60 megawatt solar power plant (Conergy), rooftop solar panels, wind farms, waste incineration, and hydrogen power plant [2]. A solar powered desalination plant supplies the water needs, recycling approximately 80% of water. Masdar City was designed and operated to provide the highest (healthiest) quality of life with the lowest environmental footprint. It is a global center of future energy. [3]  `

Web links: 123
Video: Masdar City


Written by Charys Clay

October 8, 2008 at 11:29 pm

2007: Global Warming Recognized

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Discovery:  Global Warming Recognized
Year:  2007
By:  United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Global warming is the increase of average temperature in Earth’s atmosphere occurring since the late 19th century.  In 2007 the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the Fourth Assessment Report acknowledging that global warming is occurring.  The report summarized a climate model consisting of a predicted increased global surface temperature of 1.1 to 6.4 degrees Celsius by the 21st century, depending on the release of greenhouse gas emissions. Consequences of global warming have included increase in sea level, broadening of subtropical deserts, and change in precipitation. UNFCCC was formed to propose policy changes to reduce the release of greenhouse gases.

Currently nonprofit organizations such as Architecture 2030 exist to establish a response to this phenomenon by setting goals to reduce climate changing release of greenhouse gases by the Building Sector through the development process of planning designing and construction [1]. In addition, market driven programs such as LEED provide owners with a framework for creating green building designs, construction, and operations. These organizations help lower operating costs and increase asset value, reduce landfill waste, conserve energy and water, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, etc [2]. Because The building sector accounts for almost half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S, it is now considered vital that buildings be made efficiently [3]. [4]. `

Web links to more info about global warming’s impact on the building sector: 123, 4
Video: President Obama on Climate Change
Introduction to LEED Certification
Energy Effiecient Building

Written by Charys Clay

October 8, 2007 at 10:06 pm

2007: Digital Project

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Innovation:  Digital Project (software)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Year:  2007
By: Gehry Technologies

The design of the Bilbao Guggenheim museum was a collaboration between Frank Ghery (architect) and SOM(engineering), utilizing a customized version of Catia (3D aerospace software) which has eventually been packaged as Digital Project.  After the successful development of a solution to describing and designing such complex geometries, architect Frank Ghery decided to create a branch of his office called Ghery Technologies, to offer design services and sales of a software product (Digital Project) specifically for projects with complex geometries.

Digital Project is a design platform with Computer Aided Three Dimensional Interactive Application V5 capability that was developed by Gehry Technologies in 2007. It is used to design and document architectural projects with complex geometries.  Various AutoCAD and Revit editions were the most common forms of 3d modeling software used before Digital Project, but once DP was released it posed as a direct 3dCAD competitor in the architecture market. New and different components to the software included the visual interface, cost estimation tool, advanced parametric control of curved 3D objects, and, in contrast to CAD, DP provided the option of information to be sent directly to the manufacturer [1]. By avoiding loss of time in unnecessary processing and improving collaboration, DP improved the design process. Today Gehry Technologies offers three forms of DP, Designer, Viewer, and an extensions package. The Designer and Extensions package together posses the tools to create architecture designs in addition to MEP systems/routing all with a single form of software [2]. [3]  `

Web links to more info about Digital Project: 12,
Video: Frank Gehry talks about Digital Project

Written by Charys Clay

October 7, 2007 at 9:09 pm

2006: Revit MEP

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Innovation:  Revit Mechanical
Location: Cambridge, MA
Year:  2006
By: Autodesk

In 1987 AutoCAD AEC mechanical was released and acquired by Autodesk in 1990 [2]. This was one of few products with the capability of designing plumbing and HVAC in buildings. Revit was acquired by Autodesk Mechanical Division in 2002 for $133 million, and Revit MEP was released in 2006.

Today, the software is mandated by GSA and is a distinct platform in Building Solutions Division. Data from building systems can be compiled into a central file within the LAN to detect possible space interferences of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, therefore deterring expensive consequences upon construction. Revit provides engineers with a central form of communication in design, ultimately implementing easier collaboration. Designers spend more time designing and less time drafting. In addition, Autodesk Revit MEP tools help produce energy efficient building systems designs [3].

Web links: 1, 2, 3
autocad mechanical vs revit mep
Video: Getting Started with Revit MEP

1928: Freon

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Innovation: Freon
Year: 1928
By: Charles Francis Jenkins

Freon is a compressible refrigerant which unlike all previous forms, is also non-toxic. Due to several deaths that were linked to refrigerant exposure in the 1920’s, there was a large push to search for an alternative compound. The result was freon. Invented in 1928 by Kettering and Midgley under the DuPont company. Freon, or CFC’s, are organic compounds containing carbon, fluorine, chlorine, and hydrogen. These compounds are inert, or non-toxic, non-flammable, non-corrosive, and non-reactive; and thus considered safe for human interaction. This new discovery meant that not only could refrigerants be used for refrigerators, but also allow for direct human contact, thus spurring the invention of the air conditioning unit.

Of the many forms, R-12 was the most widely used up until 1994, before being replaced with other forms such as R-134a. The reason for the recall was that there has been evidence linking ozone depletion in the atmosphere with the use of Freon. The reason that this occurs is once freon is released and has traveled into the upper atmosphere, ultraviolet radiation begins to break apart the bonds. Once this occurs the free radicals of chlorine ions act as a catalyst, each ion destroying the bonds between thousands of molecules of ozone. In response, the Montreal Protocol called for the ban of such detrimental gasses and thus more inert compounds (like R-134) have been created in response.

Web links to more into about Sample Entry:[1], [2], [3], [4], [5]

Written by Michael Cobb

October 5, 1928 at 5:05 pm

1902: First Modern Electrical Air-Conditioning Unit

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Innovation: First Modern Electrical Air-Conditioning Unit
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Year: 1902
By: Willis Carrier, built for the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Co.

Air-conditioning had been in existence before electricity. Dr. John Gorrie (1803-1855), an American physician in Florida, built a machine that used ice-cooled air to control the temperature of his patient’s rooms. Later, naval engineers constructed an ice-water contraption for President James Garfield, which was capable of significantly lowering the temperature of a room at the expense of half an million pounds of ice in two months [1]. Neither of these inventions was practical for extensive usage nor for wide-spread consumption.

In 1902, Willis Carrier invented the first modern air conditioner, which he called an “Apparatus for Treating Air”. Unlike its predecessors, this machine was capable of modifying both the temperature and humidity of its environment. After refinements, Carrier was able to patent and release his project on a large scale in the 1920s, allowing office buildings, movie theaters, and crowded skyscrapers to establish comfortable environments for workers and patrons. Following the end of World War II (1945), air-conditioning became universal in many building designs, and is used today for both industry processes and human comfort [2].  `

Web links to more information: 1
Video: A

Written by Xiuzhu Shao

October 5, 1902 at 6:32 pm

1840: Temporary House of Commons – London, England

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Innovation: First use of natural displacement ventilation system in England.
Location: Temporary House of Commons, London, England
Year: 1840
Ventilation System by:  David Boswell Reid

The House of Parliament and House of Commons, together known as the Palace of Westminster, were destroyed by a fire in 1834.  A Temporary House of Commons was built while the new Palace was in design and construction.

Reid was appointed to design the ventilation system of the Temporary House of Commons.  “In the system employed in the Temporary House, which was actually in use for some fifteen years, air was drawn in from New Palace Yard (although Reid’s original design involved the use of a high turret), whence it passed into a basement plenum chamber, where it was heated or cooled. The air then passed through numerous apertures in the floor, upwards through the Chamber and eventually into a false ceiling connected to a downcast shaft. The vitiated air then became the combustion air for a furnace at the base of a chimney 120 ft (36 m) high (fig.3). This was probably the first instance of what we would now call ‘displacement ventilation’.”[2]
Articles related to this topic describe this system without mentioning the use of forced air.  It is assumed that the system operated using natural breezes and displacement of air caused by changes in temperature along the path from air intake to exhaust [GB].

Reid was commissioned to design the ventilation system in the new, permanent Palace, but due to conflicts with the architect of the project, the ventilation system was not as successful as that of the Temporary House. `

Sources: [1] [2]
Edited by GB 9/2013

Written by Paul Acevedo

October 8, 1840 at 4:49 pm