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Projects Updates for Energy-Efficient HVAC Infection Control

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  1. Communication with Sterling

    Hi everyone,


    Getting these meetings scheduled for the next semester.


    Sterling, does this time at 1:30-2 work for you? I will alter the time slot if needed.




    Quinn M. Connolly


    Hi Quinn,


    Yes, 1:30-2:00pm works fine for me.


    Also, now that you're added our Google Drive please feel free to take a look at the content folders and comment. If you prefer to email me your questions privately, you can do that as well.


    Over the holiday I plan to set up a similar Google Drive for us as iCAP Energy-Efficient HVAC Infection Control as well.


    Hi Sarthak + Morgan,


    Leon Liebenberg is on the top of my list to answer his questions regarding engineering student participation and SSC.


    Thank you for being patient with us up until now and rest assured that it will all be worth the journey!


    Have a happy and safe holiday!


    Thanks, Sterling

  2. Potential student project for Energy Efficiency HVAC Infection Control

    Hi Leon,


    Hope you are doing well.


    I am Sarthak Prasad, and I work as the Sustainable Transportation Assistant at Facilities & Services. Morgan and I are working with Sterling Laylock, from Integrating Green Technologies, on Energy-Efficient HVAC Infection Control. Last year, two of the Masters in Energy Systems, Ali Khan and Dhruvraaj Gambhire, collaborated with us on this project. I wanted to reach out to you and ask if you would be available to meet with us in the next couple of weeks? We wanted to ask if one or two of the Energy Systems graduate students would be interested in helping us out this year as well. Please send me your availability for the next couple of weeks.


    Thank you,




    Good afternoon Sarthak


    Thank you for your note.
    It would be a privilege if our M.Eng. students could again work with you, thank you!

    Please can you send me a topic (or topics) and a brief description (or descriptions) of the work that you would like our students to do?

    1. Will you expect our students to perform measurements or will you provide them with acquired data? (Some of our students are online-only, i.e. not on campus …)
    2. Will the students be working with SafeTraces equipment / data? What other equipment might they be working with? Where will students be working?
    3. Will students analyze existing HVAC systems in our buildings or will they need to design systems for yet-to-be-integrated HVAC systems?
    4. Will the students be expected to write proposals for possible SSC funding? If so, please provide details about your financial needs, including the estimated required funds.
    5. Etc.


    Many thanks! I look forward to your further communication.

    Kind regards


  3. iCAP-IGT2030 Overview 2022-2023 DRAFT-FINAL

    Sarthak + Morgan,


    Please see the attached PDF. It includes all iCAP and related activities for 2022-2023.


    We have included direct and indirect impacts such as those originating from: active IAQ legislation, public awareness and concerns, capacity and capital building, workforce equity initiatives, violence prevention and cross-disciplinary collaboration between public health officials and building designers.


    See you shortly, Sterling

  4. Symposium Registration: Health & Environmental Strategies for Climate Adaptation

    Thank you for your responses so far to attend this very important event to confront Health and Environmental Strategies for Climate Adaptation.


    For those who have not yet responded, there is still time. 


    Please register using the link below today.


    Cart Tutt


    FYI, I'll be speaking at this event this week (online). It is a free event, and we will highlight the indoor air quality project with Safe Traces and Integrating Green Technologies.  Thanks, Morgan 




    Did we get a report on the Astronomy Building from the Safe Traces test they ran?



  5. SafeTraces follow up meeting

    Sarthak Prasad and Morgan White are meeting with Sterling Laylock from SafeTraces on January 9 from 11 to 12 pm to cover the following:

    • Astronomy Building report findings and potential corrective action
    • Indoor Air Quality Monitoring specific to IT Security
      • UL 2905/UL 2906: Indoor Air Quality Sensor Performance/Sensor Deployment
      • UL Verified IoT Security
      • There is a newer building on campus that has CO2 sensors
        so we can discover what they did and follow that pathway
    • Our ongoing collaborative discussion with the State of Illinois' new Building Infrastructure
      Fund (2nd qtr 2023) where our work with you under iCAP is considered one of the missing pieces 
      of the puzzle.

      Their primary goal is to improve re-occupancy levels within existing buildings and cause new buildings (public and private) to design more effectively for IAQ/IEQ, especially where private development is receiving state funding and concessions.

      Since it was UL Healthy Buildings (Primary Partner of SafeTraces) that introduced IGT to
      the UL/SafeTraces ecosystem, ULHB will be instrumental in providing the capacity needed
      for our efforts with the state led by Illinois Chief Investment Officer, Joe Aguilar.
    • As discussed with Morgan at the end of our Design Thinking Session, Ikenberry Food Hall
      is being considered as our next project and UL Healthy Buildings ULHB is partnering with us
      on it since natural gas and hydrogen sulfide gas may be impacting IAQ/IEQ.
  6. Design Thinking Session Outcomes from the November 10, 2022 meeting

    Here's a short list of outcomes from our Nov 10th Design Thinking Session.

    • There a 2 more Design Thinking Session scheduled for 1st qtr 2023
      • Chicago Archdiocese
      • Cook County Facilities & Asset Mgmt
    • UL Healthy Buildings will become a more hands-on active participant in our iCAP effort to help expand building science expertise specific to the UL Verified Marks to also include the impacts of indoor air particulate, hazardous gases, and building hygiene:
      • SafeTraces Verified Mark for Ventilation and Filtration
      • UL Verified Mark for Healthy Buildings
  7. Nov 10th Meeting Space + Logistics

    Below is an email between Sarthak Prasad, Sterling Laylock, Morgan White, and Carl Tutt:

    Hi Sterling,


    Do you know where (which hotel) your guests would be staying for the November 10 all-day workshop? Also, how many people would you expect to attend and how many would require/like the shuttle option? Please let me know as soon as you can. Thank you,


    Sarthak Prasad


    Hi Sarthak,


    We are confirming the list of attendees and expect to have a count for you by mid-week. During that process we will verify if any attendees plan on arriving/departing by Amtrak.


    I'll be sure to update you asap!


    Thanks, Sterling


    Hi Sarthak + Morgan


    As it turns out, there aren't any attendees opting in to arrive by Amtrak. So there does not appear to be a need for the shuttle. Unfortunate but true.


    So far, there is a very high-level of interest in this event among attendees. This recent segment that appeared earlier this week on NBC4 Los Angeles made a significant positive impact on everyone.


    How IGT2030 Creates Positive Impacts:

    Latest List of Attendees

    To date, we have 35+ confirmed attendees. There is a mix of subject matter experts and non-subject matter experts. They consist of HVAC professionals, engineers, architects, teachers, public officials (elected and non-elected), corporate energy-efficiency executives, industrial hygienists, state and county staff (IL EPA, Dept of Treasury, Cook County), climate investors, K-12 school officials, etc.


    Of course, Erik Malmstrom, CEO of SafeTraces will be attending and William P. Bahnfleth, Chair of ASHRAE Covid Epidemic Task Force will stream in via ZOOM to kickoff our Design-Thinking Session after lunch.


    On Campus Attendees

    Members for Paul Francisco's team at ICRT will be attending and sharing impactful human-centered health data. When you get an opportunity, please let me know who the potential on-campus attendees may be?


    It would be great if we could set up a call for this coming Monday as we continue to tie down any loose ends.


    I'd like to send the official invite on Tuesday, Nov 1st at the latest.


    Thanks, Sterling


    Hi Morgan,


    I chatted with Sarthak now that he's gotten back home to India.


    We're hoping to get the exact location and address of our meeting space for next Thursday November 10th so we can send out the formal invitation.


    We have 35 plus attendees confirmed and need to get them proper logistics instructions.


    Please let us know as soon as you can. We look forward to seeing you on Tues/Wed Nov 8th/9th to see the space.


    If there's an actual floor plan we can see beforehand it would be greatly appreciated.


    Thank you, Sterling 

  8. Update on the SafeTraces project: Astronomy Building

    Following email was sent by Sterling Laylock regarding the update:

    Hi Sarthak, Yes, we have completed the analysis and are prepared to present our findings for the Astronomy Building.

    We will also be sharing relevant data and insights from additional buildings across other regions of the state as well.

    Proposed Presentation Date

    Thursday, November 10th is our proposed date to present our findings as requested by Morgan White. 

    We also plan to conduct a Design Thinking Session that will include numerous stakeholders as requested by Senator Elgie Sims, Vice-Chair IL, Appropriations II. 

    He is seeking input regarding a strategic allocation of funding for clean indoor air assessments in K-12 and public buildings around the state in order to elevate public outreach and awareness regarding this critical issue.

    Design Thinking Stakeholder Attendees

    Primary stakeholders from outside UIUC-iCAP who have expressed a high level of interest in participating include but will not be limited to:

    • Cook County Facilities and Sustainability

    • Cook County Asset Management

    • Chicago Transit Authority

    • South Suburban Mayor and Managers

    • Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago Asset Management

    • The Obama Foundation Presidential Center

    • Sinai Chicago Health System

    • Indoor Climate Research and Training Center (ICRT)

    • Illinois Growth & Innovation Fund for Social Impact

    Why Are They Interested?

    As we all know, almost all buildings blindly struggle to have enough clean indoor air for us to breathe. 

    Stakeholders need help ending potentially harmful health and financial consequences, so people will feel safe using buildings again.

    In order to do this, we have proposed an Illinois version of the EPA Clean Air In Buildings Program using eligible American Rescue Plan (ARPA), Bipartisan Infrastructure and Inflation Reduction Act Funding. 

    Although ARPA dollars have already been allocated in IL, a significant level of funding is still scheduled to be allocated specifically for ventilation and filtration in the near term.


    We believe our Energy-Efficient HVAC Infection Control Project under iCAP can serve as an excellent hub for the many fragmented efforts being attempted across the state as we all seek to address this lingering pandemic and pre-pandemic issue. 

    Now that we're in the recovery period of our post-pandemic journey, it is imperative that we use this opportunity to address these issues. 

    Closing the gap between public health and building science is a key effort that will help us deliver on developing Applied Health Strategies for Climate Adaptation, which is why iCAP exists in the first place.

    Let's set a time this week to discuss our proposed date and time so we plan accordingly for a successful event.

    Thanks, Sterling

  9. HVAC and Air Quality Assessment Project Meeting (2-11-2022)

    Dhuvaraj Gambhire and Ali Khan met with Morgan White on 2-11-2022 to discuss how they can acquire a Notice to Proceed and access to the Atmospheric Science Building for testing.

    They will get a quote from Sterling, which will allow them to get a Purchase Order (PO). After they get the PO, they can get a Notice to Proceed and access to the building.

  10. Information about the occupancy schedule and Air properties of the ATMS Building

    According to F&S, Management Engineer, Mike Halm:

    1. Currently, this unit is in occupied mode on weekdays, 6AM to midnight.  Normally the occupancy schedule will more closely follow the hours the building is open, but runtimes were extended across campus as a precaution during the pandemic.

    2. When the building was originally designed, there likely wasn’t a set amount of air changes per hour applied to every classroom.  Typically for classrooms the heating and cooling airflows are determined based on the specific loads in each room, rather than applying a flat rate based on the volume of the room.  If it would help, we could share the original ventilation drawings from 1989.  Regarding the ASHRAE standards, any new construction or renovation work on campus should have mechanical ventilation provided in accordance with ASHRAE 62.1.  However, there were different codes and standards in place when this building was constructed 30 years ago.  The current version of ASHRAE 62.1 may have slightly different requirements than the codes in place when the building was built.

  11. Dhruv and Ali provided the following answers to Sterling with SafeTraces


    This is an example of what the format used below.

    Q#: What is the answer to this question?

    A#: This is the answer to that question.



    Dhruv and Ali provided the following answers to Sterling with SafeTraces:



    Q1: Please provide PDFs of the full floor plan layout drawings for the entire building. Be sure to include 
    square footage for each room and common areas. It is also very important to identify operable windows, if any? 

    A1: Floor plans with room areas attached. 
    Following files are attached for floor plans 
    B0300-01-11X17 Astronomy Building-(1st floor plan)-2021 
    B0300-02-11X17 Astronomy Building-(2nd Floor plan)-2021 
    (current/anticipated occupancy assumptions would be helpful) 


    Q2: What are the Astronomy Building's normal hours of operation?

    A2: Monday to Friday (0800 hrs-1700 hrs.). Saturday and Sunday the building is locked. 


    Q3: What is the air filtration rating for the spaces?

    A3: MERV :: HEPA Filters at AHU, currently MERV-13. 


    Q4: What is the Make/Model, age, specs and replacement/upgrade history of the existing HVAC system?

    A4: Original AHU from 1990, Trane Model 41A, Serial K89H24684. Original AHU equipment schedule attached. AHU controls originally pneumatic, upgraded to DDC (Siemens) in 2016 to allow occupancy schedules to be implemented. Zone level (VAVs) are still pneumatic.  I believe the fume hoods are only energized when in use.  Heating in the building is hot water radiators and hot water VAV reheat (no heating coil at AHU) fed from hot water boilers. 30% glycol cooling coil in AHU, fed from air cooled chiller on site. 


    Q5: What is the Make/Model and full specifications of the portable air purifiers expected to be used or are being used in the building? 

    A5: I don’t believe any portable air purifiers are currently in use. 


    Q6: Please identify all HVAC zones in the drawings. (Note: This is a command, not a question)

    A6: See zone map drawings Paul sent previously. Please review the attached file 
    CC-0300_09_V-700_RCX-Astronomy Building-Zones plan-AHU-EFU-2017 


    Q7: How many air-changes per hour is the HVAC system currently providing?

    A7: Will vary from room to room based on VAV damper position, ceiling height, etc. Based on a peak airflow of AHU (21,200 CFM), overall building area, and typical ceiling height (9’-0”), we’d have about 11.3 air changes per hour at peak load. 


    Q8: What are the basic assumptions for outside air intake to aid in dilution/ventilation for all interior spaces? 

    A8: AHU has a minimum OA position, and runs based on an occupancy schedule. We’ve temporarily changed our AHUs to run in occupied mode from 6AM to midnight for most of our units due to COVID-19 precautions. Unit is also sized for economizer when OA conditions allow. 


    Q9: What are the weather assumptions for heating and cooling the interior spaces along with outdoor temperature and humidity estimates?

    A9: I’m not positive what conditions the original designers used in 1990, but see page 2 of the “HVAC Systems” attachment from our facilities standards for our typical OA design conditions.