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What is the Difference Between VRF and VRV Air Conditioning?

Finding the right air conditioning system for your new building can be challenging. There are several available systems, and all the systems have their own benefits. A VRV (variable refrigerant volume) and VRF (variable refrigerant flow) air conditioning system is hyper-efficient and can effectively cool an entire building fast. But what is the difference between VRV and VRF? Let's dive in a little deeper to understand how a VRV and VRF system differ, and learn the many benefits to this technology.

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Principles of Sustainable Design: What are Solar Panels Made of?

Solar energy is a great way to make an eco-friendly choice, while reducing energy bills. Solar panels are popping up everywhere in both commercial and residential capacities. While solar panels are now becoming a standard in modern life, the science and technology behind solar power is still a mysterious black box to most people. Let's take a look at how solar panels work and what exactly solar panels are made of.

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How Do Fire Sprinklers Work in Commercial Buildings?

Fire sprinklers are a necessity in any commercial building to help protect the inhabitants and the property. These simple devices are inexpensive to install, yet they provide a blanket of security around the building. Fire sprinklers are fast acting and often extinguish the fire with minimal smoke, fire, and water damage to the property. Let's examine in more depth how fire sprinklers work to help protect your investment.

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Do Solar Water Heaters Work At Night?

While people regularly rely on solar energy to help provide electricity to buildings, many people forego using a solar hot water heater to provide hot water to their business. These very simple units are cost effective to install and are a great way to help reduce energy costs. The availability of hot water can become a concern, particularly on cloudy days or at night. Below, let's examine how solar hot water heaters work, and how they function in periods of minimal or no sunlight.

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Sustainable Stormwater Management in Urban Settings

Excess stormwater is a longstanding problem many urban settings encounter. Typical drainage systems can become overrun in times of heavy rain, and existing infrastructure systems are starting to reach the end of their lifespan. New, sustainable designs and implementation can not only help alleviate current stormwater management problems, but can help create a better and often cheaper solution for cities.

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Principles of Sustainable Design: Understanding Transparent Solar Cells

Exciting new research has opened the world to the possibility of a transparent solar cell. Being able to generate renewable solar energy from a transparent, or partially transparent glass-like substance, is quickly changing the way the world thinks about renewable energy. Let's take a look at just some new technologies that are creating a buzz in the renewable energy industries.

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Commercial Building Energy Audit

An energy audit is performed on an existing building to help identify energy saving measures throughout the structure. During an audit, every aspect of energy consumption is examined, ranging from the lighting used, to heat generation, to possible leaks in the duct work. The goal of an energy-efficient building is to reduce operating costs while encouraging environmentally friendly actions from the building’s inhabitants and owners. Let's take a closer look at an energy audit for a typical commercial building.

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Building Sustainable Data Centers

As technology needs continue to grow, bigger and more powerful data centers are needed to keep up with the growing demand. Data centers were once a black hole of energy inefficiency, but new approaches to data center design are quickly making these buildings sustainable. Below, let's examine just a few ways improved design can help create sustainable data centers.

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Principles of Sustainable Design: Renewable Energy Sources in Urban Settings

Often, urban settings do not lend themselves to renewable energy sources. Cities typically do not have sprawling land to build a solar panel array, or space to construct a 300-foot-tall wind turbine to generate alternative energy. But this is about to change. Today, with new designs and technology emerging, there are more options than once existed to include renewable energy sources in urban design. Below, let’s examine some new technologies that can bring renewable energy to the urban landscape.

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Understanding Passive Building Design

Engineers and designers focused on sustainable design are constantly looking for ways to reduce energy usage and ultimately the carbon footprint of a building. Passive building design utilizes the building's natural environment to heat and cool the building, which provides an optimum living temperature. Let's explore some components of passive building design below.

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The importance of Forensic Studies

Accidents happen no matter how carefully a building is planned. Designs in practice don't work, mechanical systems fail, or materials do not hold up as predicted. When this happens, unfortunately, there can be heavy financial implications to sort out responsibility for repairs. Performing a forensic study by senior engineers can help determine the cause of the failure. Further, understanding why a material or system did not work can help create an improved design in the future.

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G&M Project Used for University of Minnesota Capstone

Throughout the Fergus Falls Library remodeling project Gausman & Moore worked frequently with The Weidt Group. The result was a more comfortable and energy efficient space for library patrons and staff. For the past few months this project has also helped educate young engineers.

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The Best LEED Designs for Public Buildings

LEED Certification has become the gold standard in public buildings, and many states are implementing tax incentives to help promote sustainable designs. LEED certification can be applied to both new and renovated buildings. Below, we have put together a list of some of the best LEED-certified public buildings.

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Bryan Haider – Employee of the Month for April 2019

Bryan Haider (Mechanical Engineering, Roseville Office) was recognized as Gausman & Moore’s April 2019 Employee of the Month. Possessing engineering wisdom “beyond his years,” Bryan regularly provides engineering excellence on projects throughout the country.

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Principles of Sustainable Design: Advances in Large Battery Storage

Renewable energy is quickly sweeping the globe with its overall efficiency, relatively low cost, and low impact on the environment. Renewable energy, though, has had a long-standing issue with the amount of energy provided. Typical applications do not allow excess energy to be stored and reused during high demand times, still forcing people to rely on inefficient systems or fossil fuels. However, recent battery developments have changed the way we think about renewable energy.

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