Congratulations Manuel – Homestar Assessor Accreditation

Waterford Apartment Block 2

Congratulations Manuel on achieving Homestar Assessor Accreditation. This allows Manuel to assess apartments, multi unit developments and houses against the New Zealand Green Building Council’s rating system and provide feedback on many aspects of the building including energy efficiency and sustainability of materials. Check out more information about Homestar here and drop us a line to see how your project stacks up!

MEPS in Otago

Queenstown

MEPS Building Engineers are establishing an office in Otago. Our new office will be in Queenstown and it will be managed by Pierre-Jacques Gandino who we also welcome to the MEPS family.

We are excited about the prospect of being able to assist with building projects in a very special part of New Zealand.

We will cover HVAC, hydraulic, electrical and aquatic services design and observation

Hawkes Bay Sports Park Hall Nears Completion

Sports Hall Lighting & Ventilation

MEPS Building Engineers designed the Electrical, HVAC and Hydraulic services for the new Sport Hall at Hawkes Bay Sports Park. This include a large variety of spaces including indoor netball and athletic facilities, gym, office spaces, conference spaces, and sports lab with the capability of heating the space up to 30°C for simulating overseas ambient temperatures during competitions. The building has also been designed with no services penetrations in the roofs (to minimise roof maintenance and maximise lifespan), hidden air conditioning condensers (to keep the clean building look) and communal water heating and HVAC services to maximise energy efficiency.

Hawkes Bay Sports Feature Light
Feature Light in Entrance
Hawkes Bay Sports Showers
Changing room showers with exposed services for an industrial look
Hawkes Bay Sports Exposed services
Sports Lab with exposed services and high temperature heating system
Hawkes Bay Sports Athletics
Sports Hall Athletics area
Hawkes Bay Sports Hidden condensers
Hidden Condensers
Hawkes Bay Sports Staff room
Staff area
Hawkes Bay Sports Feature light 2nd floor
Feature light framed to be seen from multiple locations and angles
Hawkes Bay Sports Gym
Gym with exposed systems and both air conditioning and ceiling fans for air movement so the air conditioning can be left off in mild weather
Hawkes Bay Sports Cafe
Cafe served by feature lighting and radiant electric heaters as the doors will be generally open during sport days
Hawkes Bay Sports Exterior
Building exterior

Copper or Plastic Piping: Which is best

Copper Piping

Water Piping – Copper or Plastic

When it comes to water pipes, copper has been the material of choice for a very very long time.

Plastic pipes of all sorts (PEX, uPVC, HDPE) have become increasingly popular in the past 20 to 30 years. One reason being the increasing cost of copper pipes over their equivalent in plastic.

So, what are the pros and cons?

Conclusion

There is no one 100% safe solution. Little is known at present about the plastic piping release of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and assimlable organic carbon (AOC’s). Copper is the system with the easiest of issues to control and mitigate and on balance appears to be the better option. 

Merry Christmas!

Xmas 2018

Well the second half of this year has been really busy and Christmas has now popped out of nowhere! Thank you to everyone for your support and business and we look forward to continuing to work with you in the new year! We all wish you and your friends and family a happy and safe Christmas!

Mitigating Potential Terrorist Attacks on Buildings

Murrah Federal Building, Oklahoma City, USA.

Terrorism is not an easy or pleasant topic of discussion, but in this day and age, it is a reality that we need to be prepared for, rather than experience the consequences.

As building professionals, it is incumbent upon all of us to at least address the issue when we are engaged in our normal daily design processes. As we hear on the news daily, the enemy is getting more sophisticated with brains running their ill quests for the destruction of humanity. We need to be aware of our own vulnerabilities and potential risk.

There are rules we follow in relation to minimum distance between building fresh air intakes from toilet exhausts, sanitary vent pipes and other sources of objectionable odours. Thanks to dilution, these are not typically life threatening.

But, what if a terrorist released poisonous or radioactive gas into the fresh air intake of a large iconic building with large occupant densities? How safe are these fresh air intakes? Are they secure? Can they be quickly evacuated if detected?

Whilst New Zealand may seem removed from this, we are not immune. As some say ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’

It is worthy to note that existing buildings with fresh air intakes that are impractical to secure can be protected. This includes the installation of sensor array, capable within milliseconds of detecting chemical, biological and radioactive acts of terrorism. The sensor array can immediately shut down the building ventilation system and sound the fire alarm to evacuate the building.

The above is only one scenario that we need to be considering.

The US Department of Homeland Security has a reference manual to Mitigate Potential Terrorist Attacks Against Buildings. We can assure you this manual is an eye opener and a must read.

Download it here: http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/st/st-bips-06.pdf.

Cooling and Heating by Chilled Beams are Here to Stay

Chilled Beams 20141126

Chilled beams is the world’s most recent technique for in-ceiling heating and cooling applications.

Simply based on a horizontal air coil with room air induced over it by a combination of buoyancy and induction air forces, the system’s benefits are;

  • A virtually silent system,
  • No moving parts, no fans,
  • No routine maintenance within the office space,
  • Low ceiling space requirement (about 220 mm),
  • Can be either exposed or ceiling concealed,
  • Most efficient system available,
  • No condensate drainage,
  • Very good zone control capability,
  • Can be installed in a raking ceiling.
  • Can easily substitute conventional 2 or 4 pipe chilled water systems in existing buildings and
  • Now chilled beams are fabricated in New Zealand.

Pacific Consultants (now known as MEPS Building Engineers) have to date completed two projects incorporating chilled beams;

  • Recently, the new Mainfreight Terminal building and offices in Christchurch and
  • The Willis Centre, Wellington. (Merit Award- ACENZ Innovate Awards of Excellence)

Natural Green Pools!

Green Pools

Natural Green Pools is a new trend in the domestic swimming pool industry. Hopefully not due to the dreaded common algae (Pediastrum boryanum).

Whilst a private pool is an asset and a pleasure for the family, many people suffer from allergic reactions to chlorine, normally added to swimming pools as a disinfecting agent.

If you are intending on designing a new pool for your family or for a client, why not consider a natural green pool.

Admittedly, this is not a new idea.

Based on a chemical free natural filtration system, it allows the perimeter water-loving plant beds to act as a water filter and do all the work a typical pool filter would do.

Pool water overflows onto the perimeter plant beds (water restoration area). Water is filtered by absorption through the carefully designed plant bed. Pumped underdrains (acting as subsoil drainage coils but in reverse) the clean and filtered water is then returned to the pool. Simple, no chemicals added!

So, your next natural green pool will require no harmful chemicals, will be fairly low-tech, and once established, it will require little of your time to maintain. Only top up now and then whilst you are drinking a cold minty mojito. Oh, these summer days are coming!