Building Dynamics, LLC (BDL) is an independent engineering and industrial hygiene consulting firm specializing in HVAC systems, Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and energy analysis, with expertise in mechanical engineering/energy management, industrial hygiene/public health and building science. BDL was founded in 1996 by Ed Light, Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), and James Bailey, Professional Engineer (PE), to provide a multi-disciplinary perspective working with clients to construct and operate their facilities in a cost-effective manner while resolving IEQ concerns.
Our technical expertise is rooted in extensive, hands-on experience with building operations, and is coupled with attention to effective communicate with all parties under difficult circumstances. We enjoy the challenges of problem-solving and welcome involvement in cutting-edge issues.
BDL consistently adds value to client projects by:
American Society for Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers
National Society of Professional Engineers
American Industrial Hygiene Association
American Society of Testing and Materials
Maryland Homebuilders Association
International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate
American Society of Plumbing Engineers
International Code Commission: Green Building Standard Committee on IEQ
Washington Conservation Guild
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (2014)
Building Dynamic’s engineering staff provides a full range of mechanical design services for new construction, renovations and special operations. BDL develops construction drawings, specifications and assists with the bidding process, submittal review, construction administration and project commissioning. BDL’s design team has a thorough understanding of construction techniques, project phasing, standards and building codes, coupled with expertise in IEQ and energy conservation. Coordination with other members of the design team and building operating personnel is emphasized. We find that each building is unique and attention to design details is critical to providing an efficient and comfortable indoor environment and we strive for on-time completion within budget.
With a long history of involvement in building O&M, BDL offers practical solutions to questions involving controls, comfort, ventilation and mechanical hygiene. BDL works closely with O&M personnel to identify root causes of HVAC problems and recommends cost-effective improvements, utilizing existing equipment wherever possible. BDL also provides comprehensive, system-wide assessments, including cost estimates for a range of alternative solutions.
BDL recognizes the importance of providing accurate information concerning a building’s energy consumption and energy saving opportunities. BDL’s goal in evaluating energy conservation measures (ECMs) is to use economically viable technology without sacrificing IEQ and occupant comfort. To accomplish this, it is important to collect detailed information concerning building operations and maintenance, utility rates, the building envelope, lighting systems, and mechanical systems. Building operations and systems are simulated using computer programs to provide an accurate model of current energy consumption and energy savings potential. Economic performance of ECMs is analyzed using simple payback, return on investment, or life cycle cost methods.
Indoor Environmental Quality
BDL's approach to IEQ investigations recognizes the importance of understanding occupant concerns in the context of building operations and maintenance and emphasizes objective evaluation of environmental factors and health risks. Many IEQ issues can be resolved by facility management following the procedures outlined in Building Air Quality (co-authored by BDL’s Ed Light). Consulting services are most needed where complex engineering or medical issues are involved or a third party opinion is needed. Investigations based primarily based on air testing do not resolve these situations. BDL provides a more effective, multi-disciplinary approach to IEQ assessment, adding occupational physicians and other experts to their team, where needed.
Water infiltration and moisture condensation can become major issues on construction sites. Similarly, dust and odor migration in occupied buildings under construction may result in health concerns and disrupt the construction process. BDL has pioneered in the development of construction management programs for minimizing mold growth and protecting occupants during both renovation and phased completion of new buildings. As a consultant to general contractors and building owners, BDL has facilitated the timely completion of numerous projects by addressing these issues on a pro-active basis. When needed, BDL provides rapid intervention to resolve unanticipated mold and air quality issues.. BDL’s work has demonstrated that most IAQ and moisture-related problems can be prevented by attention during design and construction. Acceptable conditions at completion are established by BDL based on detailed inspection, not arbitrary air tests.
BDL’s provides practical, cost-effective solutions for addressing sites impacted by biological growth and chemical agents. Mold assessment and clearance follows an engineering approach and does not rely on microbiological testing. Because BDL does not consider mold a hazardous material, flexible mitigation strategies are offered which ensure resolution of water damage while fully protecting occupants. BDL personnel have hands-on experience managing contractors on restoration site. BDL research has developed new protocols for the assessment of corrosive drywall emissions, smoke damage and residue from misapplication of spray foam.
BDL has facilitated the completion of sports arenas, hotels and office buildings by managing moisture to prevent mold growth. BDL also provides Design/Build HVAC engineering services to General Contractors.
IAQ issues and problematic HVAC operations disrupt the learning environment. BDL helps school administrators avoid these conditions by facilitating the resolution of IAQ complaints and designing reliable HVAC systems. BDL specializes in HVAC system replacement in older schools and provides unique services for the management of air quality in occupied schools under renovation.
BDL works with builders of both single- and multi-family housing to resolve moisture and mold concerns.
BDL provides IAQ, HVAC and Energy Management support to ensure safe and efficient operation of public buildings.
Hospital operation necessitates the most demanding control of the indoor environment and HVAC systems. With expertise in both public health and engineering, BDL is uniquely positioned to facilitate building-related aspects of infection control with services including construction management, IAQ investigation, water damage restoration and Legionella control.
Air quality and HVAC issues are critical are to the preservation of collections. BDL projects have included exhibit protection at the Holocaust Museum, humidity control at the Blair House mold remediation at the Department of Agriculture Library and risk assessment of the 9/11 exhibit at the Bush Museum. BDL can also assist museums with energy management, corrosion control and artifact decontamination.
BDL provides expert witness services to both defense and plaintiffs, emphasizing a science-based, site-specific approach.
BDL Modernizes School HVAC
Modernized middle school, replacing the boiler plant with high efficiency gas-fired pulse combustion condensing boilers, converting hot water and chilled water pumping systems to primary-secondary systems controlled with variable frequency drives and replacing local HVAC equipment. BDL also monitored IAQ in occupied areas during construction.
BDL Investigates IAQ at the South Pole
Provided comprehensive assessment of HVAC systems and IAQ in South Pole Station research buildings. Work included determining air change rates in buildings using Tracer Gas Decay methods and detailed testing for volatile organics. BDL’s analysis was used by the National Science Foundation to support design of the new South Pole Station.
BDL Modifies HVAC system to Control Mold
Performed moisture evaluation of high school with re-occurring mold growth. BDL identified excessive infiltration, poorly insulated pipes and VAV deficiencies and was retained to design replacement systems. As Project Engineer, BDL verified the installation of new central plant and distribution equipment and controls. The school now provides a healthy and comfortable learning environment.
BDL Facilitates Construction of Sports Arena
Monitored moisture conditions throughout construction of sports arena for the General Contractor. Evaluated and supervised the mitigation of water infiltration and condensation issues, preventing the formation of mold growth. At completion, BDL verified the arena was free of mold growth and ongoing moisture sources.