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.
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.
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.
Indoor Environmental Quality
BDL's approach to IEQ investigations recognizes the importance of understanding occupant concerns in the context of building operations and maintenance. BDL has established that underlying causes of occupant health complaints commonly include unrelated medical problems, discomfort and psycho-socio-political factors. 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 multi-disciplinary approach to IEQ assessment. In-house expertise includes building science, public health, mechanical engineering and risk communication. Other experts are added to the BDL team, where needed (i.e., occupational physician, chemist, microbiologist).
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 has an excellent track record in identifying odors of unknown origin. We are currently involved in research programs involving control of corrosive drywall emissions, smoke damage and residue from misapplication of spray foam insulation.
Advantages of Teaming with Building Dynamics
- HVAC renovations based on detailed understanding of the site
- Hands-on approach to construction management
- On-time completion within budget
- IAQ assessed by objective evaluation of conditions and health risks
- Concerns resolved by effective communication with all parties
- Access to state-of-the-art information