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APPLICATION
Grocery store with an air door, store has 20,000 cfm of exhaust, nearly 30,000 cfm of makeup air, 20% positive air pressure to satisfy door air requirements. Makeup air is being introduced into the space through fixed outdoor-air dampers on rooftop HVAC units. When several culinary hood exhaust fans get turned off at night, the building is so over-pressurized that it is difficult to close some manually-operated doors. What is the best way to maintain the 20% positive pressure in the space? While it might or might not be the best method, one way to assure positive pressure is to coordinate the operation of the rooftop units (which provide intake air) with the operation of the exhaust fans. That is, turn off one or more rooftop units as one or more exhaust fans turn off. Another possible approach is to install a barometric gravity damper connected to the space to relief excess intake air when exhaust fans are off. Discuss barometric damper location on a leeward side of the building and the effect or eddy currents on barometric dampers with wind speeds in excess of 50 mph. Refer to ASHRAE 2001 Fundamentals, Chapter 16. The effective negative static pressure on the leeward side can vary widely, depending on wind speed and direction. Since wind speed and direction vary widely, too, no single location for the leeward side barometric damper is always best. Thats why we recommend using barometric dampers on more than one building faade. Using Equation 18, 2001 ASHRAE Fundamentals, Chapter 26, the effective leewardside static pressure due to a 50 mph wind may be negative 0.94 in. w.g. Assuming that proper relief airflow across the leeward-side relief damper requires only 0.20 in. w.g. differential, the building must be negative 0.74 in. w.g. positive to achieve the same relief airflow as would be achieved in still air with 0.20 in. w.g. positive pressure. Since building pressure is almost certain to be less negative than 0.74 in. w.g., differential pressure will be greater than 0.20 in. w.g. and relief airflow will exceed the required airflow. In general, the building will be more negative than it would have been in still air. How would you control a semi-high rise building (12 floors) with high door opening frequency, coupled with connecting corridors to two other buildings? A twelve-story building should be designed with entry vestibules and with corridor airlocks to separate the building from adjacent attached buildings. The designer should consider mounting indoor sensors on the entry-level floor in an area somewhat removed from the doors. Are there any guidelines for maximum building size to pressurize? What about a very large building that cannot be compartmentalized, such as a warehouse or factory with large overhead doors? Exfiltration airflow is determined by building construction and differential pressure across the envelope. Even a small differential pressure across a leaky envelope can Copy of Building Pressurization ENL Q A final.doc http://www.trane.com/commercial/library/BuildingPressurizationENLQandA.pdf

result in significant exfiltration regardless of building size. On the other hand, a very large differential pressure across a very tight envelope results in very little exfiltration, again regardless of building size. With these points in mind, any size building can be pressurized provided the envelope is tight enough and provided that the outdoor air intake and supply fan can deliver airflow in excess of local exhaust, exfiltration, and return airflow. In a single story building with a potentially toxic environment application, we must pressurize the main room to +0.1 w.g. and other support rooms to +0.05 w.g. We currently use a fan-powered filtration unit in series with the building units. Thoughts on control? Each subspace needs to be controlled relative to the main space. This requires the use of a separate pressure control system per sub-zone. Control the relief or incoming rate. (Generally the relief rate.) Because of the toxic issues, the subspace pressure control loop needs to be fairly quick to respond. But, be aware of stability. In a small space volume, the simple opening of a door can significantly change pressure. This change needs to be dampened out. The supply/exhaust systems must have sufficient pressure capacity (0.05 in. w.g. plus duct and diffuser losses) and sufficient airflow capacity to handle exfiltration through cracks and especially, access doors. In a large box retail application, with multiple rooftop units (RTUs) each containing barometric relief dampers, I find that the supply air (SA) fan must be run continuously instead of automatically to prevent heated air from escaping through the roof. This causes excessive negative pressure. To offset this, the SA fans are run continuously. This is perceived as wasting energy to keep the relief damper closed when we are not using the economizer. Your thoughts?! Apparently you have a stack and hot air effect in the building when the supply fans are off. You could increase the pressure required to open the barometric dampers. While reducing exfiltration, this could increase thermal stratification making the space hotter. Instead, you can leave the fans runningas you have been doing or for energy savings add supply fan inverters to let them act as space mixers when in the off mode. Please discuss compartmentalization as it relates to building pressure control. A compartment is an enclosed area separated by physical boundaries. Example: A floor with seals at elevators and separate outside air intake and relief dampers and indoor/outdoor pressure sensor. Refer to Building science for a cold climate by Neal Hutcheon and Gus Handegord, National Research Council, Canada, 1995. What issues must be considered for controlling a zone within a zone? (Example: biology lab) Measure space to space differential pressure, airlocks/door interaction with space pressure, use variable supply to match variable lab hood exhaust. Copy of Building Pressurization ENL Q A final.doc http://www.trane.com/commercial/library/BuildingPressurizationENLQandA.pdf

How effective are air curtain fans in controlling pressure in large buildings with many overhead doors? Air curtains have minimal effect on building pressure. Their primary benefit is the thermal barrier created. Pressure-wise, air curtain fans have no impact on building pressure if the airstream is directed straight across to the opposite side of the door. If the airstream is aimed inward or outward, they will help pressurize or depressurize the building. If you are using a variable speed drive for supply air and no central return fan with the constant flow of incoming outside air, how can you control building pressure setpoint? You are referring to a VAV system that has some means of ensuring that the entering outdoor (intake) airflow remains constant as the supply airflow varies. With the intake airflow quantity fixed, the only remaining way to control building pressure to a desired setpoint is to vary the relief (exhaust) airflow. One option is to use a central relief fan that is modulated based on the measured indoor-to-outdoor pressure difference. This is the system configuration outlined on page 7 of the Engineers Newsletter that accompanied this broadcast (www.trane.com/commercial/library/newsletters.asp). What changes in modulation of the central relief fan can be effected by ambient barometric pressure changes that occur rapidly? When directly controlling building pressure, the capacity of the central relief fan is modulated in response to the measured difference between indoor and outdoor static pressures. This control loop is typically setup to respond rather slowly in order to provide more stable system control. Generally, outdoor (ambient) pressure changes relatively slowly, even slower that the speed of the building pressure control loop. However, if for some reason the building is expected to experience rapid changes in outdoor pressure, the loop can be tuned to respond faster.

CONTROLS
Is it better to control building pressurization by OA or EA? It is better to control building pressure by modulating relief airflow. Exhaust airflow is normally determined by contaminant removal requirements. Outdoor intake airflow is normally determined by minimum ventilation requirements or mixed air temperature control requirements during economizer modes. How do you sequence control of multiple exhaust fans? Multiple exhaust fans, which may be used in laboratory setting, would normally be sequenced based on changing exhaust airflow needs, not building pressure. Multiple relief fans that serve a common building area, on the other hand, should be modulated together from the same building pressure signal. Separate control loops could easily result in fighting between relief fans; some fans at full capacity, others at zero capacity. Copy of Building Pressurization ENL Q A final.doc http://www.trane.com/commercial/library/BuildingPressurizationENLQandA.pdf

What issues must be considered for zone control for proper building pressurization? Zones can be set up if the spaces are compartmentalized. So, first the space must be compartmentalized. Then it needs to have some type of pressurization system applied to the zone. Please explain optimized damper control further. Optimized damper control assumes that three separate damper actuators independently control the intake, return and relief dampers. The intake damper modulates to maintain outdoor airflow and assure proper ventilation, regardless of mixing box pressure. The return damper modulates to maintain the intake damper nearly wide-open, reducing mixing box pressure to the minimum required for proper intake airflow. The relief damper modulates to maintain building pressure. Finally, the return fan modulates to maintain either the relief or return damper nearly wide-open, reducing return-air plenum pressure to the minimum required for proper relief or return airflow. I have on numerous occasions controlled building static simply by utilizing a building static pressure sensor and modulating (VFD) the return fan. This has always worked well in a VAV system with a central supply and return fan setup. You didnt address this in your broadcast. Do you see any problems with this type of control? I havent. The operation of your specific system configuration passes one very important test: it works satisfactorily for you. We didnt discuss it because it doesnt work equally well for all intake/supply fan combinations. If outdoor air intake flow is sensed and maintained (using TRAQ dampers for instance), the return fan can be modulated to successfully maintain building pressure because the intake damper compensates for changes in return-air and mixed-air plenum pressures. On the other hand, if the outdoor damper is set to a minimum position, modulating the return fan based on building pressure results in variations in both return-air and mixed-air plenum pressure: if return fan speed increases, relief airflow increases and intake airflow decreases, causing improper ventilation and unstable operation. The approach we discussed maintains building pressure by modulating the relief damper and maintains return-air plenum pressure by modulating the return fan, thereby minimizing the effect that return fan speed has on mixed-air plenum pressure and intake airflow. Have you ever tried to control building pressure by only using supply air, return air, exhaust air, and outside air volume measurements and a fixed calculated difference between exhaust and OA to provide building pressure? (i.e., no pressure readings, only air volumes CFM) This seems to describe an airflow tracking technique similar to the one discussed in the broadcast. This indirect building-pressure control technique requires very accurate airflow sensing to avoid wide pressure variations. Consider a building with 3000 cfm intake airflow and 1000 cfm relief airflow at design, assuming a constant local exhaust and exfiltration airflow of 2000 cfm. If sensor accuracy is 10% of full scale, actual intake Copy of Building Pressurization ENL Q A final.doc http://www.trane.com/commercial/library/BuildingPressurizationENLQandA.pdf

airflow ranges from 2700 cfm to 3300 cfm and actual relief airflow ranges from 900 cfm to 1100 cfm. Actual differential airflow is set to 2,000 cfm but is actually maintained in a range from 1600 cfm to 2400 cfm. Indirectly controlled building pressure may be more negative or more positive than expected, even when the control system is operating properly. Without differential reset control, airflow tracking assumes that local exhaust and exfiltration are relatively constant, even though exfiltration actually varies significantly in most climates due to changes in outdoor temperature and wind. Can you control building pressure using supply and return fan air flow measuring stations and maintaining a fixed differential between the two flows? This eliminates issues with locations of building pressure sensors. This is the airflow tracking technique that we discussed during the broadcast. Indirect building-pressure control using airflow tracking requires very accurate airflow sensing to avoid wide pressure variations. Consider a building with VAV system with design supply airflow fo 10,000 cfm and design return airflow of 8,000 cfm, a 2 ,000 cfm differential for pressurization. At 50% supply airflow, the supply sensor sees 5,000 cfm and the return sensor sees 3,000 cfm. However, if sensor accuracy is 10% of full scale, actual supply airflow ranges from 4,000 cfm to 6,000 cfm and actual return airflow ranges from 2,200 cfm to 3,800 cfm. Actual differential airflow is set to 2,000 cfm but is actually maintained in a range from 200 cfm to 3,800 cfm. Building pressure may be very negative or very positive even when the control system is operating properly. Without differential reset control, airflow tracking assumes that local exhaust and exfiltration are relatively constant, even though exfiltration actually varies significantly in most climates due to changes in outdoor temperature and wind. In the drawing above (see fax), is it necessary to control the relief damper or control the supply and return dampers? Without more detail, our recommendation would be as follows: control the OA damper to maintain ventilation or economizer airflow, link the recirculated return damper to the OA damper (if optimized damper control is not used), modulate the relief damper to maintain building pressure, and modulate the return fan to maintain return air plenum pressure.

DESIGN
How large an opening is required for the barometric dampers to properly work? Depends on the maximum allowed space positive pressure. The size of the damper sets the damper pressure drop. Typically this is .2. The other work proper factor is the damper location. It determines the barometric offset. Example: A damper in the occupied space has an offset of 0 so a .2 pressure drop damper would have a .2 maximum space overpressure. Does the moisture control problem go away with all glass or EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems) buildings? Copy of Building Pressurization ENL Q A final.doc http://www.trane.com/commercial/library/BuildingPressurizationENLQandA.pdf

No. Infiltration of humid outdoor air is only one component of the indoor moisture load. As long as the envelope has seams, holes, or cracks, air will be able to infiltrate if building pressure is allowed to become negative enough. Both glass and EIFS may be able to reduce infiltration, but they cannot totally eliminate it. How does the use of occupancy sensors or CO2 sensors (for reducing outdoor air levels) affect the selection of the building pressurization system? When occupancy or CO2 sensors are used to reduce to intake (outdoor) airflow during times of less occupancy, direct control of building pressure becomes even more critical because intake airflow is no longer constant. The concern is that as intake airflow is reduced, it drops below the local exhaust airflow and the building can become negative. Because the intake airflow is controlled to deliver a certain quantity of outdoor air, the only remaining means for controlling building pressure is to vary the relief airflow. Should outdoor enthalpy be used to control building pressurization? Directly controlling building pressure requires both an indoor and an outdoor static pressure sensor. An outdoor enthalpy sensor may be used for activating the airside economizer, particularly in VAV systems. What is a reasonable percentage of excess supply air to design for to assure proper building pressurization? Building pressure is primarily a function of intake airflow and relief (exhaust) airflow, not supply airflow. As we showed with the model during the broadcast, when the outdoor-air damper was closed (100% recirculated air) building pressure was neutral. To achieve positive building pressure, intake airflow must exceed relief (exhaust) airflow. The amount of excess intake airflow required primarily depends on 1) the desired indoor-to-outdoor pressure difference, 2) the surface area of the building envelope, and 3) how leaky the envelope is. These factors are difficult to relate to supply airflow, so there are no generally-used rules-of-thumb based on a percentage of supply airflow. The Managing Building Moisture applications engineering manual published by Trane (SYS-AM-15, page 14, Figure 8) includes a method for estimating the amount of excess intake airflow required to allow for leakage through the buildings exterior walls.

EQUIPMENT
Barometric dampers located in equipment doesnt seem to work very well (air handlers, rooftop units). What do you suggest? Locate the barometric dampers in the space or use powered central relief, either on/off or modulated based on building pressure.

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In actual application, couldnt wind directed at the relief damper affect its ability to relieve air, potentially causing the building to over-pressurize? For powered relief the effect of wind is minor because the fan velocity is an order of magnitude higher then the wind pressure. Therefore, no problems. Wind however can effect barometric damper performance. This limits the barometric damper system performance. What would be the thinking about selection of the supply fan and/or central relief fan HP for a rooftop unit when considering a 40 mph wind, or say a 20 mph wind blowing directly into relief fan outlet? Using Equation 18, 2001 ASHRAE Fundamentals, Chapter 26, the effective windwardside static pressure due to a 20 mph wind is about 0.39 in. w.g. Assuming that proper relief airflow across the windward-side relief damper requires about 0.20 in. w.g., the return air plenum must at least 0.59 in. w.g. positive to achieve the same relief airflow as would be achieved in still air with 0.12 in. w.g. positive pressure. Higher relief fan pressure at the same airflow requires more horsepower. The illustrations concerned central fan systems. What considerations for pressurization are there for modular units, such as fan-coils, water-source heat pumps? Does it require a separate building pressurization system? The importance of building pressure control is the same. However, many systems that use terminal units (fan-coils, water-source heat pumps, etc.) do not bring in outdoor air through the terminal units. Instead, ventilation and building pressure control is handled by a separate, dedicated ventilation system. In this configuration, a central relief fan could be used for direct control. On the other hand, when outdoor air is introduced locally, as it is in unit ventilators, a central relief fan is often required to assure proper intake airflow as well as proper building pressure. What is the best way to ensure proper balancing of a dorm or classroom using PTACs? Do you recommend barometric dampers in most cases? In a PTAC, intake (outdoor) airflow is usually constant (i.e. no economizer). If natural relief and local exhaust are not sufficient, then local barometric relief would be one option for relieving some of the excess air from within the space. In some cases, a relief fan must be used to assure proper intake airflow. With my Trane Voyager packaged units (constant volume) with Trane Tracker zoning controls, what would be the preferred relief? You are referring to a Trane VariTrac system, which consists of a constant-volume rooftop in a changeover-bypass VAV system. When a VariTrac system includes an airside economizer, the preferred method for providing relief is to configure the Voyager rooftop unit with a relief (powered exhaust) fan, and turn it on and off based on the position of the outdoor-air damper. (The Trane controls default to energizing the central relief fan whenever the outdoor-air damper is more than 25 percent open.) You must Copy of Building Pressurization ENL Q A final.doc http://www.trane.com/commercial/library/BuildingPressurizationENLQandA.pdf

provide some method of central relief in this system to avoid pressurizing the return plenum with bypassed supply air.

PRESSURE SETPOINTS
Any ideas to dampen out turbulence and pressure spikes? Check with the pressure sensor or controller manufacturer for dampening methods. Its not uncommon to use a long coil of tube to filter the sensed signal. Alternatively, some sensors include electronic signal filtering to minimize signal noise. Are there any negative effects of moderate positive pressure in cold, dry weather? If indoor dewpoint is above outdoor temperature, exfiltration of indoor air may cause condensation to form within the building envelope. Depending upon the envelope construction and materials, this condensation may or may not result in damage or mold growth. Most experts agree that buildings in cold climates should be neutral or slightly negative. This is especially important in buildings with masonry facades. How are occupied/unoccupied periods handled? Is the system on during unoccupied periods, or is it off to conserve energy? Does the building lose humidity control during unoccupied periods? In addition to ventilation, the HVAC system provides makeup air for local exhaust systems (such as in restrooms and kitchens). In some buildings, either through oversight or design, the ventilation system is turned off during unoccupied periods, while local exhaust systems continue to operate. This creates a negative pressure within the building, resulting in infiltration. If this creates a problem, either shut down all local exhaust systems (if possible) or continue to deliver a small amount of makeup air to maintain positive building pressure. Systems that control relative humidity during occupied hours lose humidity control if they are turned off during unoccupied hours. Of course, systems that control humidity indirectly many see a wider range of relative humidity during unoccupied hours, especially if the ventilation system continues to operate. Is it better to operate an extremely leaky brick building with no wall insulation slightly negative in the winter and offset the infiltrated air with heat (higher energy costs) and risk freezing the exfiltrated moisture in the wall? A concern with brick facades in cold climates is to prevent moisture from getting into the mortar and exposing it to recurring freeze and thaw cycles. In cold climates, many designers address this issue by controlling building pressure to be neutral or even slight negative during the winter. This avoids indoor moisture from being driven into the building envelope. In heating mode, if building pressure is negative, wont ambient dry bulb temperatures below interior dewpoint cause condensation where infiltration airstreams mix with interior air? Copy of Building Pressurization ENL Q A final.doc http://www.trane.com/commercial/library/BuildingPressurizationENLQandA.pdf

During the heating season, the outdoor dew point is typically very low, so there is little risk that infiltration will result in condensation within the building envelope. However, too much infiltration may result in cold surfaces within the occupied space (e.g. window and door frames) or the ceiling plenum. Combined with a high enough indoor dewpoint, moisture could condense on these cold surfaces. In most building types, however, the indoor dew point is fairly low during the heating season in cold climates. In warm or moderate climates, where it does not get very cold during the heating season, it may be better to maintain slightly positive building pressure year-round. Please discuss settings within the operating modes (cooling, heating, economizer). When directly controlling building pressure, most designers place the indoor pressure sensor on the ground floor and set it to maintain the pressure between 0.05 and 0.10 inches positive at all times. This may be enough pressure to prevent infiltration and provide adequate pressure control, especially for smaller buildings in warm climates. But, in multi-story buildings, the best setpoint range really depends on the impact of stack effect and wind on the pressure difference at the top floor. Additionally, controlling to the same pressure year-round may not be the best solution for all buildings in all climates. Sometimes it might be better to change the setpoint range as operating mode changes. For example, when its cold and dry outdoors, a neutral or slightly negative building pressure may be desirable to prevent exfiltration of moist indoor air, especially for tall buildings where winter-time stack effect can cause significant positive pressures at the upper floor. How does fixed outside air for ventilation requirement work with your strategies for building pressurization with a return fan? For all the control methods discussed for a return fan, we assumed a constant quantity of outdoor air for ventilation. This is fairly easy to achieve in a constant-volume system, but is more complicated in a VAV system. We recommend direct measurement and control of outdoor airflow in VAV systems. This could be accomplished with a flow station and modulating damper or a combination flow- measuring damper (which is what we showed on our schematics for VAV systems). Because we want to maintain constant outdoor airflow is the reason why we must control the static pressure in the return plenum. During the broadcast, we suggested controlling building pressure by modulating the relief damper and controlling the return fan to maintain a pressure setpoint in the return plenum of the air handler. As typical with most factories, more exhaust is added and added without adding makeup air. Is there anything measurable (safety, health, environmental) as far as justifying makeup air units? Its not very easy to quantify the problems with running a factory under a severe negative pressure. If the owner does not perceive any problems, it is a difficult sell. As we stated in the broadcast, the effects of overly negative building pressure are: Copy of Building Pressurization ENL Q A final.doc http://www.trane.com/commercial/library/BuildingPressurizationENLQandA.pdf

1) Infiltration of cold outdoor air during the winter, which leads to discomfort and higher heating energy consumption. 2) Infiltration of humid outdoor air during the summer, which can lead to condensation on cold indoor surfaces and potential microbial growth. In a factory, this could be a safety issue with slippery floors or with electrical equipment. This also increases cooling energy consumption. 3) As indoor pressure becomes more negative, you need more exhaust fan power to exhaust a given quantity of air, so fan energy consumption increases. With some work, you could estimate the amount of infiltration and perform an energy analysis to quantity its impact on cooling and heating energy use. The same could be done for exhaust fan energy use.

SENSORS/SENSOR LOCATION
Speak to location of static pressure sensor in return plenum, since it is critical. If possible, locate the return-air plenum static sensor in a relatively stagnant place, possibly near the inlet to the plenum. Alternatively, an outdoor pressure pickup, like the one we showed in the broadcast, could be mounted in the plenum or an averaging probe might used to minimize the effects of turbulence. When there are two units on a 1-2 story building, is it better to have one sensing point for both units? If both units serve both floors use one building pressure system with one indoor sensor to control the relief rate of both units together. If one unit per serves each floor use, two building pressure systems, one per unit. Wind can greatly affect the outside pressure reading often located on the roof. I have read suggestions to place this OA reference on a parking lot pole. Today, security equipment is often place on such poles and conduit is already there to use. What are your thoughts on this? Also, what are your thoughts on using 4 reference points in the 4 corners of a building roof? Wind changes the effective static pressure on the building envelope and wind velocitypressure can result in erratic static pressure readings. Assuming that the outdoor sensor blocks wind gusts (the Dwyer A-306 does a good job), location of the sensor is job-specific. If the roof static pressure is consistent regardless of wind velocity and direction, a single sensor is adequate. If the roof static pressure changes significantly with wind (due to obstructions on the roof, for instance), a parking-lot sensor or averaged four-corner sensing configuration may provide a better reading of local ambient (barometric) pressure. Is there any concerns of sunlight affecting the plastic construction of the outdoor sensor? [Dwyer A-306 shown in broadcast.] Does the material deteriorate due to UV rays? Copy of Building Pressurization ENL Q A final.doc http://www.trane.com/commercial/library/BuildingPressurizationENLQandA.pdf