United States

Interior Design Is More Than A Career, It’s An Art Form

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Interior design is much more than just a career; it is almost an art form. Interior designers are amongst the most creative, imaginative and artistic people in any industry. However, a good interior designer must be extremely disciplined, organized and skilled in business. Interior designers professionally combine their knowledge with aesthetically pleasing visions to design solutions that are safe, functional, and attractive.

As with any professional career, the practice of interior design can be a very rewarding and fulfilling job as long as hard work and self discipline prevails. Mastering interior design as a career requires time, energy, technical proficiency, vision, and dedication. Like the members of any professional service, an interior designer’s success depends entirely on her ability to satisfy her clients’ needs. Therefore, she must understand both the artistic and technical requirements of a project.

Communication is a must-have skill for professional interior designers, as they will be meeting and dealing with many different kinds of people throughout their careers. They must be able to communicate clearly and effectively, as well as be attentive listeners. Because interior designers often work side by side with other professionals such as architects, contractors, and other service providers, interior designers need to be both good team leaders and good team players. Negotiation and mediation skills are also very important attributes for an interior designer to possess.

Education is the single most important start in becoming an interior designer and involves enrollment in a college or university program followed by several years of professional experience, typically under the direct supervision of a senior interior designer in the industry. It generally takes around six or seven years to become a fully qualified interior designer. Courses of study may include but are not limited to:

-Business management
-Debate and problem resolution
-Art Appreciation
-Frequent lectures and field trips
-Computer Graphic design

Just like many other professional careers, such as lawyers, accountants, and many healthcare professionals, there is an entrance examination that all interior designers must pass. This interior design examination provides a method for identifying interior designers who have met the minimum standards, and it is a more formal way of making certain an individual is qualified in particular knowledge and skills. This examination also protects potential clients by assuring competent professionals. The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) is the organization that is responsible for administering the examination twice annually throughout the United States and Canada.

The NCIDQ also conducts regularly scheduled research and uses the information gathered to update the examination. Twenty five states require interior designers to obtain licenses and certifications upon successful completion of the NCIDQ examination to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of the public. In order to be eligible to take the NCIDQ examination, interior designers must have taken interior design education and have actual full-time interior design experience totaling to at least six years, with at least two of those years being postsecondary education.

Energy Efficiency And The Us Heavy Industry

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Heavy Industry’ is a rather amorphous term. According to Wikipedia, Heavy Industry signifies the production of goods that are either heavy in weight or in the processes leading to their production.Examples of such industries include steel, chemical, mining, and construction equipment, machinery.

The United States is the largest consumer of energy in the world, using 94.9 quadrillion BTUs in 2009 and heavy industry in the United States accounts for about 31% of all energy consumption, significantly more than any other sector of the economy. Seven energy-intensive industries use three-fourths of this power; these are aluminum, chemicals, forest products, glass, metal casting, mining, and steel. All these heavy industries are also under tremendous pressure to reduce their huge dependence on expensive non
renewable energy.

A recent study by the European Commission thinks not. The study estimates that the United States has the potential to save about 45 TWh energy per year, through use of energy efficient transformers. Even a 0.01 percent gain in the average efficiency of utility transformers installed in the U.S. in a single year, can save as much as 2.9 Twh energy.

The environmental benefits of energy-efficient transformers are also significant and the study by the European Commission believes transformers could well emerge as a major focus for energy efficient
initiatives in the industry.

Energy Guzzling Industries
Chemical Industry,
Paper and Pulp Industry
Iron and Steel Industry
Mining Industry

Is the Answer Energy-Efficiency

Energy efficiency is already playing a significant role in the Heavy Industry, but with growing concerns of greenhouse gas emissions and skyrocketing cost of energy, it obviously needs to do more.Before the 1970s, the U.S. energy consumption grew in parallel to gross domestic product (GDP). Had that trend continued, current U.S. energy demand would have more than doubled, currently, the energy consumption is 1.5 times that of 1970. Reduction in energy consumption has resulted from a combination of energy efficient methods and a shift from energy-intensive manufacturing toward a service and information-based economy.

Do Energy Efficient Transformers Hold the Key?

As energy costs rise and availability becomes uncertain, the necessity of utilizing energy-efficient products becomes imperative. Additionally, a globally competitive business environment is causing businesses to cut costs in order to remain competitive. Of particular interest are distribution transformers
that are the largest loss-making components in electrical networks.

In a typical grid, electric transformer loss contributes to about 40-50% of the total transmission and distribution loss. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that on a conservative estimate 61 billion kWh annually can be attributed to transformer losses. These losses cost end-users $3 to $4 billion annually. An energy-efficient transformer is therefore an important means to reduce transmission and distribution loss. Energy saving transformers can additionally save the equivalent of more than 70 million tons of CO2 emissions.

The answer to energy efficiency is in making distribution transformers efficient; and thankfully, manufacturers have the technical know-how to offer better, cost effective, low loss, energy efficient transformers.

Energy Efficient Distribution Transformers

Distribution transformers distribute power from power generating facilities to end-users and while energy loss during transmission is inevitable, measures are taken to reduce it considerably.However, for energy to be consumed voltage needs to be reduced and it is at this point of stepping down electricity that distribution transformers lose energy. Even though only a small portion of energy is lost it is in a permanent manner and standby power losses account for 2% of total electricity production.

Despite high average efficiencies of 95 to 99.75%, transformers have a significant environmental impact because they continuously consume power.

The energy losses in electricity transformers fall into two components, namely, no-load losses resulting from the energized iron core, which is a permanent phenomenon, and load losses, arising when providing power to users. Load losses also result from the resistance of the coil when the transformer is in use, and from eddy currents due to stray flux.

Technical solutions exist to reduce transformer losses by 75% at minimum when replaced by modern transformers or even by 90% when replacing transformers over 30 years old. Energy-efficiency can be improved with better transformer design, like selecting better, lower-core-loss steels; reducing flux density in a specific core by increasing the core size; increasing conductor cross-section to reduce current density; good balancing between the relative quantities of iron and copper in the core and coils.

An energy efficient transformer is an important means to reduce Transmission & Distribution loss and can save up to 120 TWh / year. Energy efficient transformers can provide considerable environmental benefits too. For example, a typical urban distribution transformer rated at 400 kW has lifetime losses equivalent to 125 “”184 tons of CO2 emissions; a more energy-efficient design can reduce these emissions to 56 tons.

Luxaire Air Conditioners

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Luxaire is a division of the Unitary Products Groups – A Johnson Controls Company. The company is a major supplier of heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration units in the United States and a leading supplier on the international market. The quest of the company to find the top technology is evident in their line of energy efficient residential and light commercial heating and cooling systems. In addition, Luxaire offers you superior service and support. Efficient and reliable heating and cooling systems that are backed by award winning service is why many homeowners, dealers and distributors choose Luxaire systems.

A vital piece of the Luxaire cooling system is the air conditioning coil. The Luxaire system comes with two parts – an indoor and an outdoor unit. The indoor unit is the air handler or furnace, which is responsible for circulating air throughout the building. Inside the air handler or furnace there is a fan and an evaporator coil. Because of these two components being properly matched, you get a money saving efficient machine that gives you improved comfort and years of maintenance free service.

The air condition coil in Luxaire products are specifically engineered for outstanding durability and exceptional heat transfer. With Luxaire high quality coils you will get the comfort you need in either your home or business atmosphere. You get an indoor and outdoor unit that is perfectly matched for high efficiency. A positive-sloped drain pan reduces the issue of standing water that can lead to germs. A special patented MicroBlue coating on the air conditioning coil keeps germs and moisture from collecting on the coil and being released into the air. In a few air conditioning coils, you can get environmentally friendly and proven refrigerants. For optimum performance, there is an optional thermostatic expansion valve.

The 13 SEER: Climasure MicroChannel air conditioner will make a big difference in your energy bill. Sometimes it can reduce your energy bill by up to 50% compared to other central air conditioning units that are over 10 years old. When combined with a variable speed air handler or gas furnace, you will get efficiencies over 14 SEER, which can further reduce the operating cost of your air conditioning unit.

Lastly, Luxaire air conditioners are specifically engineered for reliability and outstanding performance. Luxaire air conditioners provide a high efficiency condensing units, which provides you with the comfort you need. For the highest efficiency, your furnace and coil are perfectly matched. You get an assured longer life with an advanced MicroChannel all aluminum construction. Luxaire air conditioning units are specifically designed to reach maximum performance in the minimum amount of space. All of the moving parts in a Luxaire air conditioning unit are specially selected and mounted in order to meet the lowest sound ratings. The fan motor on a Luxaire air conditioning unit is permanently lubricated so no maintenance is required.

With all these benefits, it is easy to see why many people are making Luxaire air conditioners the choice for all air conditioning needs. It is also clear why Luxaire has become an industry leader in the air conditioning industry.

Bipartisan Energy Efficiency Bill On Verge Of Senate Breakthrough

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While many in Washington still warn about the dangers of carbon emissions and climate change, the reality and perhaps the one thing that experts on both sides agree on, is that Americans are paying less attention to global warming than they have in the past. To end this uncertainty, the Senate after months of behind the scenes maneuvering will begin the debate on the critically important legislation which could help American consumers, businesses and the federal government to save millions of dollars each year by using less energy, and using less energy will be a step forward in the fight against climate change in the U.S.
The new energy efficiency legislation introduced by Senators Shaheen and Portman could come up before the U.S. Senate for approval. The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, also known as Shaheen-Portman Bill will help to reduce the energy bill of U.S., improve its economic competitiveness, create new American jobs and enhance U.S. energy security. The bill has been endorsed by more than 200 businesses, trade associations and advocacy groups.
What is the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act?
The Shaheen-Portman Energy Efficiency Bill passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee by a 19-3 vote, it includes provisions that will directly improve energy efficiency in buildings, industrial processes and federal agencies, the provisions in the bill include strengthening energy efficiency requirements in building energy codes, incentivizing energy efficiency using rebates and for certain equipment, encouraging energy efficiency supply chains through a new supply star program.
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) found implementation of the bill would save about 9.5 quadrillion btus (british thermal units) between 2014 and 2030, or nearly one tenth of the annual energy use in the U.S. As the second largest consumer of energy in the world and the worlds biggest economy it is critically important for the United States to improve energy efficiency, the bill has received bipartisan support with seven Republicans and twelve Democrats in favor of the bill. It contains a variety of policies and programs to reduce residential, commercial and industrial energy use and focusing on sectors and areas with energy savings potential such as the residential, commercial and industrial sectors, the bill also restricts inefficient energy practices that will cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars and millions of jobs every year. One of the components of the bill also requires the Federal Government- which is the largest user of energy adopt energy saving techniques and best practices to operate efficiently.
Commenting on the bill Senator Portman said Washington can seem pretty divided these days, but there are some things on which we all can agree. This bill is one of them it is good for the economy and good for the environment. By making it easier for employers to use energy efficient tools, we are helping them to reduce their costs, enabling them to put those savings towards expanding their companies and hiring new workers.
The bill has received positive feedback and widespread support, the only constraint halting the success of the bill are the amendments lawmakers are trying to attach to it. The successful passing of this bill will not only help in mitigating climate change in the U.S. and reduce carbon emissions but also be a trendsetter for other countries to follow suit.

http://www.internationalfinancemagazine.com/article/Bipartisan-Energy-Efficiency-Bill-Verge-Senate-Breakthrough.html

Selecting The Right Windows For Energy Efficiency

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Selecting The Right Windows for Energy Efficiency

New window technologies have increased energy benefits and comfort, and have provided more practical options for consumers. This selection guide will help homeowners, architects, and builders take advantage of the expanding window market. The guide contains three
sections: an explanation of energy-related window characteristics, a discussion of window energy performance ratings, and a convenient checklist for window selection.

Selecting the right window for a specific home invariably requires tradeoffs between different
energy performance features, and with other non-energy issues. An understanding of some basic energy concepts is therefore essential to choosing appropriate windows and skylights. As illustrated on the following page, three major types of energy flow occur through windows:

(1) non-solar heat losses and gains in the form of conduction, convection, and radiation;
(2) solar heat gains in the form of radiation; and
(3) airflow, both intentional (ventilation) and unintentional (infiltration).

Insulating Value

The non-solar heat flow through a window is a result of the temperature difference between the indoors and outdoors. Windows lose heat to the outside during the heating season and
gain heat from the outside during the cooling season, adding to the energy needs in a home. The effects of nonsolar heat flow are generally greater on heating needs than on cooling
needs because indoor-outdoor temperature differences are greater during the heating season than during the cooling season in most regions of the United States. For any window
product, the greater the temperature difference from inside to out, the greater the rate of heat flow.

A U-factor is a measure of the rate of non-solar heat flow through a window or skylight. (An R-value is a measure of the resistance of a window or skylight to heat flow and is the reciprocal of a U-factor.) Lower U-factors (or higher R values), thus indicate reduced heat flow. U-factors
allow consumers to compare the insulating properties of different windows
and skylights.

The insulating value of a singlepane window is due mainly to the thin films of still air on the interior and moving air on the exterior glazing surfaces. The glazing itself doesnt offer
much resistance to heat flow. Additional panes markedly reduce the U-factor by creating still air spaces, which increase insulating value.

In addition to conventional double-pane windows, many manufacturers offer windows
that incorporate relatively new tech- nologies aimed at decreasing U-factors.
These technologies include low-emittance (low-E) coatings and gas fills. A low-E coating is a microscopically thin, virtually invisible, metal or metallic oxide coating deposited on a glazing surface.

The coating may be applied to one or more of the glazing surfaces facing an
air space in a multiple-pane window, or to a thin plastic film inserted between panes. The coating limits radiative heat flow between panes by reflecting heat back into the home during cold weather and back to the outdoors during warm weather. This effect increases the insulating value of the window. Most window manufacturers now offer windows and skylights
with low-E coatings.

The spaces between windowpanes can be filled with gases that insulate better
than air. Argon, krypton, sulfur hexafluoride, and carbon dioxide are among the gases used for this purpose. Gas fills add only a few dollars to the prices of most windows and skylights. They are most effective when used in conjunction with low-E coatings. For these reasons, some manufacturers have made gas fills standard in their low-E windows and skylights.
The insulating value of an entire window can be very different from that of the glazing alone. The whole-window U-factor includes the effects of the glazing, the frame, and, if present, the insulating glass spacer. (The spacer is the component in a window that separates glazing panes. It often reduces the insulating value at the glazing edges.)
Since a single-pane window with a metal frame has about the same overall Ufactor as a single glass pane alone, frame and glazing edge effects were not of great concern before multiple-pane, low-E, and gas-filled windows and skylights were widely used. With the recent expansion of thermally improved glazing options offered by manufacturers, frame and spacer properties now can have a more pronounced influence on the U-factors of windows and skylights.

As a result, frame and spacer options have also multiplied as manufacturers offer improved designs. Window frames can be made of aluminum, steel, wood, vinyl, fiberglass, or
composites of these materials. Wood, fiberglass, and vinyl frames are better insulators than metal. Some aluminum frames are designed with internal thermal breaks, non-metal components that reduce heat flow through the frame.

These thermally broken aluminum frames can resist heat flow considerably better than aluminum frames without thermal breaks. Composite frames may use two or more materials (e.g. aluminum-clad wood, vinyl-clad wood) to optimize their design and performance, and typically have insulating values intermediate between those of the materials comprising them. Frame geometry, as well as material type, also strongly influences thermal performance properties.

Spacers can be made of aluminum, steel, fiberglass, foam, or combinations of
these materials. Spacer thermal perfor- mance is as much a function of geometry as of composition. For example, some well-designed metal spacers insulate almost as well as foam.

The table on page 3 shows representative U-factors for window glazing, frame, and spacer combinations under winter design conditions. Due to their orientation and their greater projected surface areas, domed and other shaped tilted and horizontal skylights have significantly higher U-factors than do vertical windows of similar materials and opening sizes.

Air Conditioning Systems

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Air conditioning refers to a system for controlling and regulating the humidity, ventilation and the temperature of a building or room for making it comfortable for the occupants. Air conditioning finds application in domestic, commercial and industrial fields.

Air conditioning also form an integral part of the medical and transportation sectors also, in both hospitals and transporting temperature fragile goods.

Conventional methods of air conditioning require a large energy source for maintaining the temperature. This translates into a high-energy requirement, high cost and high carbon dioxides emissions which has negative impacts both economically and with regard to the environment A break through in the air conditioning field came with the use of a new technology which makes use of the latent heat from the outside environment for controlling and regulating the indoor temperature. Using this technology Daikin has startled the Air conditioning industry with the production of its all-new Altherma! Daikins Altherma has high-energy use optimization.

This has been made possible with the advent of the new technology which absorbs the latent heat from the environment for its process. Altherma from Daikin has literally revolutionized the air conditioning industry.

Conventional air-conditioning systems depend upon water at heightened temperature during winter seasons to regulate the temperature. Modern day buildings are well-insulated structures built specifically with the comfort and well being of the occupants in mind. These well insulated buildings have made it easier for the working of the air conditioning systems making a reduction in the temperature of the water circulated thus saving a lot of energy. Altherma comes with a hydro-box that is compact and can be installed in limited spaces out side the building.

Air conditioning refers to the cooling and de-humidification of indoor air for thermal comfort. In a wider sense, the term can be referred to as any form of cooling, heating, ventilation or disinfection that modifies the condition of air.

An air conditioner or an air-con is an appliance, system, or mechanism designed to stabilize the air temperature and humidity within an area, typically using a refrigeration cycle but sometimes using evaporation. Most commonly for comfort cooling in buildings and transportation vehicles. Refrigeration air conditioning equipment usually reduces the humidity of the air processed by the system. The relatively cold evaporator coil condenses water vapor from the processed air, sending the water to a drain and removing water vapor from the cooled space and lowering the relative humidity.

For air conditioning in residential homes, some countries set minimum requirements for energy efficiency. In the United States, the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) often rates the efficiency of air conditioners. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient is the air conditioner. The SEER rating is the BTU of cooling output during its normal annual usage divided by the total electric energy input in watt-hours during the same period.