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Re: GSBN:Mechanical Systems in Commercial SB building

>I have a client who is trying to get his mechanical engineers to understand
>the level of energy efficiency of a bale building, while also attempting to
>help them see the world outside of their small boxes.  He wants to simplify
>his mechanical systems, and they have designed him a cadillac system.  The
>project is a natural food store in Montana and we are looking for examples
>of not-too-complicated systems placed in commercial bale structures.  Can
>anyone help with this one?  Any example projects come to  mind?
>Jeff Ruppert, P.E.


I think the key is to look for a mechanical engineer or consultant who 
knows his or her stuff well enough to be able to work with the engineers 
your client has already and make the case for the simpler path, not just 
to look for good examples of simpler systems (though there are probably 
some good ones). I say that because to do this properly you would want to 
design the system for the specific building, loads, uses, climate, etc.  

Of course they will likely to need to pay for some of such a person's 
time, but a few really savvy mechanical engineers come to mind. They 
don't need to be totally familiar with sb construction to be able to 
properly design a system for such a building. The ones that popped into 
mind are Marc Rosenbaum in New Hampshire (Marc.J.Rosenbaum@VALLEY.NET) - 
brilliant, amazing, small one-person operation and very busy; Eric 
Thompson in Virginia - lots of alternative building and alternative 
energy/energy efficiency experience, very clever, fun, and good to work 
with; Malcolm Lewis in California - has a somewhat larger firm that does 
a lot of commercial and institutional work - very good guy and very solid 
technically and otherwise (mlewis@ctg-net.com); and Al Nichols here in 
Tucson - a long-standing interest in sb and zero-energy buildings, solar 
and much more, lots of experience with a wide range of projects, small 
firm, very creative (ALNICHOLS@aol.com). 

I know that there are lots of other good people out there but these are 
folks I know understand integrated design and appreciate things like sb 
for its full range of thermal and other benefits. They also know how to 
design elegant systems that are optimized for the project. 

Hope that helps.


David Eisenberg, Director
Development Center for Appropriate Technology
P.O. Box 27513, Tucson, AZ  85713
(520) 624-6628 voice / (520) 798-3701 fax

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