Save Energy, Save Money


New York, April 25th As tax season rolls around, many dread the complex paperwork and looming deadlines. However, there’s a silver lining for property owners and designers making energy efficiency upgrades. The federal government offers several tax incentives aimed at supporting decarbonization and combating climate change within the built environment.


The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022

Dubbed the most significant climate action ever taken by Congress, the IRA allocates over $300 million towards clean energy and climate mitigation initiatives. This funding has introduced numerous tax credits accessible to both commercial and residential property owners nationwide.


Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for Energy Property

Available until the end of 2024, this tax credit benefits owners who implement energy property, like geothermal heat pumps. Geothermal projects exceeding 1 megawatt (MW) can secure a 6% tax credit, potentially increasing to 30% if they meet certain wage and apprenticeship criteria. Smaller projects under 1 MW automatically qualify for the 30% tax credit, with the possibility of reaching a 70% credit when all additional requirements are satisfied. From 2025, the ITC will transition to the Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit.


Bonus Credits for Sustainable Practices


  1. Domestic Content: This bonus rewards projects incorporating over 40% domestically manufactured materials. Larger projects can earn a 2-10% credit, while smaller ones could receive up to 10%.
  2. Energy Communities: Projects developed in brownfield sites or areas impacted by high fossil fuel employment/unemployment can obtain up to a 10% additional credit.
  3. Low-Income Communities: Small-scale solar and wind initiatives in low-income areas are eligible for up to a 20% bonus credit.


Additional Incentives


  • Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit (2025-2032): This replaces the previous ITC for properties investing in zero-emission energy production, with similar benefits and bonus opportunities.
  • Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit (2023-2032): Applies to new installations of EV charging stations and other alternative fuel refueling equipment, with credits up to $100,000 per item.
  • Energy Efficient Homes Tax Credit (2023-2032): Contractors building new, qualified energy-efficient residences can receive up to $5,000 per property, depending on the certification standards met.
  • Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction: A permanent deduction that significantly benefits commercial property owners investing in energy-efficient installations, with enhanced benefits for projects from 2023 onward.

These incentives not only promote sustainable development but also provide financial relief for those investing in green technology. As we progress, additional federal tax incentives and state or utility rebates are expected to surface, further supporting energy-efficient upgrades.

Refrigerant Transition

New York, March 22nd As the construction industry moves towards sustainability, one of the significant changes underway is the transition to low Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. This shift is driven by environmental concerns and regulatory mandates aiming to phase out high-GWP refrigerants like R-410A and R-134A. The spotlight is now on low-GWP alternatives such as R-454B, which promise a greener future for HVAC systems.

Legislative Background: A Global and National Response


The push towards low-GWP refrigerants is rooted in global and national legislative efforts:

  1. 2016 Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol: This global agreement focuses on the phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), potent greenhouse gases often used as refrigerants. HFCs have been linked to significant contributions to global warming, measured by their Global Warming Potential (GWP).
  2. 2020 American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act: In the United States, this act mandates a phasedown of HFCs by 85% by 2036, aligning with the global initiative to reduce the environmental impact of refrigerants.
  3. 2023 EPA Technology Transitions Program Final Rule: This rule specifically targets the HVAC industry, restricting the use of high-GWP HFCs in air conditioning and heat pump products and equipment. Starting in 2025, the use of refrigerants with a GWP higher than 700 will be banned for certain HVAC systems.

Compliance Timeline for HVAC Systems


The transition to low-GWP refrigerants follows a structured timeline, focusing on different types of HVAC systems:

  • Jan 1, 2025: Residential and light commercial air conditioning and heat pump systems, as well as chillers, are affected. New systems using refrigerants with a GWP above 700 can be installed until Jan 1, 2026, as long as all components are manufactured before Jan 1, 2025.
  • Jan 1, 2026: Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems will need to comply with the new regulations.
  • Jan 1, 2027: Data centers are expected to transition to low-GWP refrigerants.

New vs. Existing HVAC Systems


It’s important to note that the Technology Transitions Program applies only to new HVAC systems. Existing systems can continue to use high-GWP refrigerants, although the supply of these refrigerants is rapidly decreasing, and costs are expected to rise due to restricted manufacturing capabilities. However, new high-GWP components needed for repairing existing systems can still be manufactured, sold, and distributed.

Implications for Clients and the Industry


As we navigate this transition, it’s crucial for clients and industry professionals to stay informed and proactive:

  • Equipment Purchases: If you’re purchasing equipment for a new system, ensure that you’re aware of the refrigerant being used. Transitioning to low-GWP products will help ensure compliance with new regulations.
  • Timely Orders: For manufacturers still offering R-410A equipment, orders should be placed promptly. Equipment containing R-410A must be manufactured before the end of 2024.

The shift to low-GWP refrigerants represents a significant step towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly HVAC industry. By staying informed and making strategic decisions, we can collectively contribute to a greener future.

Revolutionizing Real Estate: The Compelling Case for Investing in EV Charging Infrastructure

By: Jenna Prasad, Sustainability Engineer, Ambient


The shift towards electric vehicles (EVs) is rapidly transforming the transportation landscape, and as a key stakeholder in the build environment, it’s crucial for property owners, consulting engineers, and contractors to recognize and capitalize on the benefits of investing in EV charging infrastructure. Here, we’ll delve into the urgency behind this transition and outline some reasons for property owners and developers to embrace the EV revolution.


Transportation Emissions and the Need for Change


Transportation, notably cars and trucks, has long been a major contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. According to the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions, transportation accounted for 29% of total GHG emissions in the U.S. in 2021. Notably, light-duty vehicles were responsible for 58% of this, with medium- and heavy-duty trucks contributing 23% to total transportation emissions. To combat climate change effectively, there’s a critical need for widespread vehicle electrification.



Why Invest in EV Charging For Your Building?



Environmental and Health Benefits

  • Contributing to community CO2 reduction efforts.
  • EVs decrease air pollution, fostering cleaner air quality
  • Enhancing overall energy efficiency.


Public Commitment to Sustainability

  • Attracting environmentally conscious employees, clients, and tenants.


Property Value Enhancement

  • The addition of EV chargers can increase property value.


Potential Additional Revenue Stream

  • Charging fees can offset the initial investment in charger technology.


Encouraging EV Adoption

  • Employees/tenants are more likely to switch to electric vehicles.
  • Reducing Scope 3 CO2 emissions related to employee commuting.


Investment in Sustainable Development

  • Seizing opportunities in the exponentially growing EV market.


Leveraging Incentives

  • Utilizing utility rebates, tax credits, and additional funding programs.


How Companies are Supporting the Transition


Ambient, a national HVAC solutions provider with companies such as Gil-Bar and Mechanical Technologies, recognizes the pivotal role that EV charging plays in nationwide efforts to embrace sustainability. In partnership with ABB E-mobility, Ambient and its companies offer comprehensive EV charging solutions for multifamily residential and commercial projects.


So Where Does This Leave Us?


Investing in EV charging infrastructure is not just a responsible environmental choice but a strategic business decision for building owners, consulting engineers, and contractors. Beyond aligning with sustainability goals, it enhances property values, attracts eco-conscious stakeholders, and positions businesses at the forefront of a growing market. With the support of companies like Ambient and ABB, supporting EV charging for tenants, employees, and guests becomes a tangible reality for the build environment in New York and beyond.


Learn More About…
Ambient Enterprises

Construction and Climate Policy, Local to National

By: Jenna Prasad, Sustainability Engineer, Ambient Enterprises


As we enter 2024, all eyes turn to policymakers as they intensify commitments to climate action. Municipal, state, and national governments across the U.S. continue to push for decarbonization and energy efficiency in the built industry through increasingly strict regulations. Building owners, contractors, and engineers face a profoundly shifting landscape dictated by the implementation and enforcement of these rulings and therefore must remain proactive as compliance deadlines approach. As businesses prepare to meet these policies head-on, an understanding of current and upcoming climate regulations is crucial to navigating this new era.

In New York City, Local Law 97 stands out as one of the most prominent—and stringent—emissions reduction laws in the country. A subset of the 2019 Climate Mobilization Act, Local Law 97 requires buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to meet new greenhouse gas emissions, aiming to reduce NYC building emissions 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. These emissions limits and energy efficiency standards begin in 2024, with even stricter carbon caps slated for implementation starting in 2030. Building owners are responding by implementing energy conservation measures, transitioning to lower-carbon fuels, and undergoing HVAC systems electrification and retrofits.

Alongside NYC’s efforts to reduce building emissions is a push to phase out fossil fuels. Local Law 154, passed in late 2021, sets carbon limits for new constructions and gut renovations, essentially prohibiting the use of fossil fuels. These requirements are enforced starting in 2024 with low-rise buildings and in 2027 for buildings with seven stories or more.

NYC is not the only city making significant strides toward greener buildings. Boston’s Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) 2.0, adopted in 2021, established comparable emissions limits, which are enforced beginning in 2025 for buildings larger than 35,000 square feet and in 2030 for buildings exceeding 20,000 square feet. Similarly, Washington D.C. also established a climate goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in 2032, which is upheld by the Building Energy Performance Standard (BEPS) Program introduced in the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act.

In addition to state laws, environmental efforts are underway on a national scale. One target of national policy is refrigerant, which can contribute heavily to a building’s greenhouse gas emissions through leakages. Introduced in 2020, the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act intends to address the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are greenhouse gases with high global warming potentials (GWPs; used to measure the environmental impact of a greenhouse gas in comparison to carbon dioxide) that are commonly used as refrigerants. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), authorized by the AIM Act, issued a final rule on the phasedown of these gases, restricting the sale, distribution, import, and export of high-GWP HFCs, including R-410A, one of the most popular refrigerants internationally. Starting in 2025, refrigerant GWP for residential and commercial air conditioners, heat pumps, and chillers must be less than 700. Similar restrictions are in place for variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems and data centers, with enforcement beginning in 2026 and 2027 respectively. Many manufacturers are already transitioning to more eco-friendly refrigerants, such as R-744 and R-454B, for use in their products.

The most anticipated upcoming regulation facing corporate America is from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Initially proposed in March 2022, the SEC is in the process of developing a national climate disclosure rule, which will require publicly traded companies to report on annual greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related financial risks. Such a rule is intended both to encourage companies to take emissions-reduction action and to prevent “greenwashing,” or making false claims about sustainability and positive environmental impact. Although it was initially anticipated for October 2023, the final ruling has been delayed; a release in early 2024 is now projected, in which case the requirements will likely go into effect in 2026.

One state, however, is not waiting around for an impending SEC ruling; in September 2023, California legislation passed two climate disclosure bills enforcing emissions and risk reporting for both public and private companies. The first is the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act, which requires companies doing business in California with revenues of one billion dollars or more to disclose their annual greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2026. The second law is the Climate-Related Risk Disclosure Act, which requires companies doing business in California with revenues exceeding $500 million dollars to report biennially on climate-related financial risks starting in 2026. Both bills were signed into law in October 2023 by California Governor Gavin Newsom, and although they are still subject to legal challenges, these disclosure regulations indicate a nationwide shift toward actionable climate change mitigation.

Innovation and modernization in the built environment are actively being propelled by legislative developments at all levels of government. These regulations, both current and future, emphasize a shared responsibility to integrate environmental stewardship into the engineering and construction landscapes. If climate action is taken through solutions like electrification, refrigerant management, and carbon footprint reduction, the industry will align itself with a path of resiliency and sustainability in pursuit of a greener future.



Learn More About…

Ambient Enterprises

Harnessing Earth’s Power: The Rise of Geothermal in Commerical Buildings

By Joe Kalina, Sales Engineer, Gil-Bar Industries

As the world grapples with the consequences of climate change, innovative solutions are emerging to mitigate the environmental impact of traditional HVAC systems. One solution gaining momentum is geothermal heating and cooling. This revolutionary approach taps into the Earth’s natural heat reservoirs, offering a sustainable and efficient alternative to conventional HVAC.

A recent CNN article highlights the increasing adoption of geothermal systems in the heart of New York City, where extreme heat events are becoming more frequent. The city, known for its towering skyscrapers and bustling commercial spaces, is turning to geothermal technology to tackle rising temperatures, reduce its carbon footprint, ease strain on the electrical grid, and meet carbon reduction goals set forth by the Climate Act.

Geothermal systems operate by harnessing the Earth’s internal temperature. Unlike traditional HVAC systems that mainly rely on fossil fuels for heating, geothermal designs have a greener, lower-carbon-emitting approach. Geothermal systems operate by utilizing the Earth’s consistent internal temperature to transfer or extract heat from the ground. This translates to a substantial reduction in energy needed to move heat from one source to another, ultimately leading to more a sustainable infrastructure. By stabilizing the source where the heat is pulled from, we can optimize the mechanical systems doing the work. Although the initial installation may seem like a more involved process compared to traditional HVAC, the long-term savings are substantial. These systems also boast lower operational and maintenance costs, making them a wise investment for organizations looking to cut utility expenses over the life span of the building. With geothermal systems providing lower environmental strain and lower costs for building owners, it’s really no surprise that we’ve seen the increase in adoption that we have over recent years.

The cost savings and sustainability aspects of geothermal have also led to advancements in the technology itself and are contributing to its widespread adoption. Enhanced drilling techniques, improved heat exchangers, and smarter control systems are making these systems more accessible and efficient. In turn, commercial buildings are increasingly turning to this solution to meet their needs.

While geothermal may present a promising future, there are challenges that still exist. The availability of suitable underground conditions and upfront installation costs can be barriers for some businesses. That won’t be for long though. Government incentives and a growing awareness of the long-term benefits are creating opportunities for expansion of these types of systems in the commercial setting.

Geothermal represents a beacon of hope in the quest for sustainable, environmentally friendly, and profitable solutions in a world of growing regulation. New York City’s adoption of geothermal technology at 1 Java Street only underscores its potential to address the dual challenges of extreme weather and carbon emissions. As technology continues to advance and awareness grows, we’re likely to see it become a cornerstone of the green building revolution, ushering in a new era of energy-efficient and eco-friendly commercial spaces.

From Basement to HVAC Powerhouse: Interview with Joe Sbarra

By: Edwin Warfield, Publisher, CityBiz

After beginning his career as a degreed sales engineer for the Trane Company, Joe Sbarra founded Gil-Bar Industries with his partner John Gill in July of 1986. The company had a family feel from the start: working out of the basement of a residential home in Brooklyn, the city where Joe was born and raised. In fact, the company’s first employee was Joe’s mom, who did everything from answering the phone to cooking meals for clients and factory visitors.

As Gil-Bar grew, Joe built and preserved a company culture that extends the values of family to every individual within the firm, and to every client the firm serves. These values are reflected in the way Gil-Bar cares deeply about every single project and all of the people who come together to make it work. They’re reflected in the way Gil-Bar protects everyone associated with the firm by insisting on excellence and taking responsibility for finding solutions where everyone wins.

As Joe says: “In order to maintain a great working relationship with our clients, we have to be friends with them. We have to have their backs.”

This philosophy has allowed Joe and John to attract and retain the “cream of the crop” in the HVAC industry, now including 24 degreed sales engineers and 22 inside engineering support staff. Today, Gil-Bar offers the strongest solution-based HVAC engineering team in the tri state area and is widely regarded as the nation’s premier engineering rep force.

“We’re entering our 35th year of providing expert guidance to our clients and we’re proud of the projects we’ve built together. We’ve become the largest solution-based HVAC company in the industry, proving ourselves with over 2000 clients daily across multiple market segments. But as we’ve grown, our philosophy and focus have never changed: we build working relationships as a family. We work together to find the best solutions, always. There is no project or problem too big or too small for Gil-Bar. We will figure it out.”

Connect with Joseph on LinkedIn

Interview questions:

Founding | You founded Gil-Bar in a basement in Brooklyn in 1986. Please tell us about the launch of Gil-Bar.

Introduction | Can you provide a snapshot of Gil-Bar today? How many locations, employees…?

Timeline | What are some of the key milestones since 1986?

Partner | Tell me about the role of your other partners and their part in Gil-Bar’s growth”

Private Equity|When did you decide to pursue private equity? Tell us about the Intermediate Capital Group.

Merger | Last November, Gil-Bar Solutions merged with HC Nye. Tell us about the merger and the results to date.

Growth | What are the growth plans for Gil-Bar?

Global Warming Potential: Is It Time for a Change?

What to expect with refrigerant phase-outs in HVAC


Chris Plummer, Product Manager, Gil-Bar Industries


If you’re a professional within the HVAC industry, you know that the EPA is constantly changing codes and regulations to be better to our planet. Sometimes, those changes can seem hard to understand or adapt to, but knowing the true impact of your equipment can help. Lately, the EPA has made changes to ensure equipment is not using “high global-warming-potential” (or GWP) refrigerants. Within the scientific community, there is a fear that the high GWP refrigerants can leak and in turn add to Ozone depletion.  As a result, we’ve seen certain refrigerants in the industry begin to “phase out.”

But what is Global Warming Potential and what are the other determining factors for a “sustainable” refrigerant? Well, it turns out there are three main criteria:

Global Warming Potential (GWP): The metric used to compare the global warming impact of greenhouse gases compared to a reference gas, Carbon Dioxide (CO2), where its GWP is equal to 1. For example, R-134a refrigerant has a GWP rating of 1,430, indicating that it has 1,430 times the 100-year warming potential of the same volume of CO2. R-410a has a rating of 2,088, indicating that it has 2,088 times the 100-year warming potential of the same volume of CO2. In this case, R-134a would be considered a more sustainable refrigerant.

Toxicity: Relative toxicity to humans, broken into two classes:

  • Class A (Lower Toxicity): Refrigerants for which toxicity has been identified at concentrations less than or equal to 400 parts per million (PPM).
  • Class B (Higher Toxicity): Refrigerants for which toxicity has been identified at concentrations greater than 400 parts per million (PPM).

Flammability: There are four classes of flammability (From Figaro):

  • Class 1: When tested, the refrigerant saw no flame propagation at 140°F (60°C)and 14.7 psia (101.3 kPa).
  • Class 2: When tested, the refrigerant exhibited flame propagation at 140°F (60°C)and 14.7 psia (101.3 kPa), had a heat of combustion less than 19,000 kJ/kg (8,174 British thermal units BTU/lb), and had a lower flammability limit (LFL) greater than 0.10 kg/m3.
  • Class 2L: When tested, the refrigerant had a maximum burning velocity of 3.9 in./s (10 cm/s)or lower when tested at 73.4°F (23.0°C) and 14.7 psia (101.3 kPa). The purpose of the 2L subclass is to reflect the lower flammability properties of the new low-GWP refrigerant options on the rise, such as hydrofluorolefins (HFOs), like R-1234ze.
  • Class 3: When tested, the refrigerant exhibited flame propagation at 140°F (60°C)and 14.7 psia (101.3 kPa) and either had a heat of combustion of 19,000 kJ/kg (8,174 BTU/lb) or greater or a LFL of 0.10 kg/m3 or lower.

Standards (like ASHRAE 15 and EN 378) and guidelines use this number to determine what size charge is permitted in an occupied space such that if one were to leak, it would not exceed the concentration limit.

So What Does It All Mean?

Over the past 30 years, some of the phase outs brought on by the EPA we have included: Ammonia, R-22, and R-123. The next refrigerants to be retired will be R-134a and R-410a. R-134a is commonly used in large tonnage HVAC equipment including Air-Cooled and Water-Cooled Chillers. R-410a is used in smaller HVAC equipment like Roof Top Units (RTUs), Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) units and even window units.

There are 12 states, including New York and New Jersey, that are seeing the phase out of R-134a by the end of 2023. The challenge we face now is that there is no replacement. R-134a had the best heat transfer properties and flammability rating compared to known legal refrigerants. As a result, the only options now will be to utilize a less efficient refrigerant or one with a higher flammability rating. A less efficient refrigerant will lead to more energy usage in order to get the same amount of cooling. Considering that most of our energy comes from fossil fuels, we will be adding more carbon to the atmosphere to obtain the additional energy required, having the opposite of the intended effect. Similarly, moving to Class 2 refrigerants introduce whole new challenges, having to take life safety into consideration. Moreover, most localities do not allow flammable refrigerants to be present in buildings, so we are at a crossroads.

Even for R-410a (Freon), we see the same challenges, with it being replaced by R-454b and R-32. Both of which are A2L refrigerants. Luckily, the R-410a phase-out will not happen until the start of 2025.

Almost all major manufacturers have decided already to go with an A2L refrigerant, compounding the effects previously outlined. While the end goal is to stay compliant and reduce global warming potential, we will need to see some local code changes to account for new equipment in the coming years.

Chris Plummer is a product manager at Gil-Bar Industries. Since 1986, Gil-Bar has been the HVAC solutions company that offers greater engineering expertise, with deeper commitment to client success, than any other firm.

Chris Plummer
(646) 584-5031

Gil-Bar Expands Philadelphia Office and Continues Expansion Across East Coast

NEW YORK – August 10, 2021 – Gil-Bar Industries (“Gil-Bar”), a leading provider of heating, ventilation and air conditioning solutions and services in the U.S., announced its existing partnerships with ClimateMaster, ClimaCool, ClimateCraft, and the International Environmental Corporation (IEC) is now expanding to the Philadelphia office. Gil-Bar opened its doors with the IEC line, and has continued to represent them for over 30 years and is excited to expand its ever-growing relationship with Climate Control Group (CCG) to its Philadelphia territory.

“Gil-Bar is incredibly proud of the long history it has with the Climate Control Group and its companies,” said Joe Sbarra, founding Partner, Gil-Bar. “Our missions of providing environmentally friendly and efficient HVAC solutions are uniquely aligned, and our expansion into the Philadelphia area means that Gil-Bar is poised to maximize successful project delivery and customer satisfaction.”

The Philadelphia office was started as part of the GBS and GBI merger earlier this year. The sales teams in place there have 40+ years of experience in engineering and HVAC sales combined. As Gil-Bar continues to grow along the East Coast, it will look to expand more product offerings through existing manufacturer partnerships.

“With roots in New York and New Jersey, Gil-Bar’s Philadelphia office was as inevitable as it is exciting,” added Chris Bisaccia, Partner, Gil-Bar. “As one of the country’s major cities, Philadelphia and its citizens face unique HVAC-related issues for which our team has spent over three decades developing unparalleled expertise. This latest development is the next step in our journey to offer custom HVAC solutions to every building in need.”

About Gil-Bar Industries
Founded in 1986, Gil-Bar has become the largest and most comprehensive provider of HVAC solutions in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Gil-Bar partners with building developers, architects, engineers and contractors to help design, install, problem-solve and service HVAC solutions for commercial, institutional, healthcare, life sciences and residential buildings. Gil-Bar has a team of more than 60 degreed sales engineers and works with over 40 equipment manufacturers. Gil-Bar delivers on more than 5,200 projects per year, with more than 85 percent of its business coming from repeat clients.

Gil-Bar in the News: “HVAC Solutions are Crucial to NYC’s Most Ascendant Asset Classes Right Now”

The following article originally appeared in the March 2021 edition of Mann Report.

Over the past few years, four property types have been gaining steam with commercial real estate investors, especially in the Tri-State area, where commercial and residential were king before Covid-19. Now, the talk is largely about life sciences, healthcare, warehouses and fulfillment centers, and data centers. Recent research by leading brokerages shows that favorable supply and demand metrics for these assets are not abating. 

For instance, the supply of U.S commercial laboratory space has grown 12% this year to 95 million square feet, with another 11 million square feet under construction, according to CBRE, which says rents will continue to climb despite supply. In terms of data center space, about one-third of the 373.6MW under construction has already been leased, according to CBRE, a figure that reflects stronger preleasing for the asset compared to last year. Regarding healthcare facilities, total private construction spending for healthcare has been at its highest in over a decade, per FRED data. And the volume of investment into medical office buildings is settling into a higher equilibrium, according to JLL, which cites $13.4 billion invested in 2019, nearly double the $6.8 billion spent in 2012. Meanwhile, an October report by NAIOP predicts that by 2025, there will be enough demand to satisfy 1 billion square feet of additional industrial real estate state space.  

What isn’t necessarily discussed are the specifications necessary for these facilities to perform optimally, especially HVAC requirements. Consider the following:

Life Sciences 

Life-sciences properties require some of the most highly specialized HVAC systems, and the property types are enjoying a renaissance in New York City. Nationally, demand for buildings that can accommodate life sciences research continues to climb, bolstered by public and private funding. 

These buildings typically house research labs, creating distinct challenges in airflow and filtration that need to be addressed by a robust HVAC system. These labs operate by BSL (biosafety level) ratings mandated by the CDC for containment of bioagents. The structure of HVAC systems becomes more complex to answer higher biosafety levels. A project may need separate breathing air systems, air handling units, exhaust systems and decontamination systems. These systems need to be structured within the building as to ensure researchers and scientists have a fresh supply of air and are not inhaling dangerous chemicals and bioagents.

Healthcare facilities

For healthcare and medical facilities like hospitals, medical offices or nursing and rehabilitation centers, it’s crucial to keep air as clean as possible. Infectious agents can spread quickly between rooms and common areas. In addition to temperature control, HVAC systems implemented into healthcare facilities need to be able to offer infection and odor control. Optimizing these systems to be able to operate with resiliency in the face of a power outage is also crucial. For larger facilities, HVAC systems need to carefully account for the number of air changes and proper filtration, based upon the number and types of rooms that could be in use at any given time.

Data Centers and Warehouse/Fulfillment Centers 

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted our reliance on ecommerce, a crescendo of demand for industrial space was fueling speculative development and repositioning of fulfillment centers. 

Although data centers and fulfillment centers represent different types of industrial space, they have similar HVAC needs. Data centers, for instance, require an optimal humidity and temperature to ensure their server rooms don’t fritz. Specialized HVAC solutions for data centers include systems that pump refrigerant, chilled water or indirect air evaporation. Environmental sensors are exceptionally useful to a data center HVAC system for tracking humidity, air flow and temperature.

Likewise, fulfillment centers humidity and temperature levels to shelter goods from damage. In the case of centers that may employ robots or other automation technology, humidity and temperature is especially critical. Another consideration for these types of warehouses is whether they function for distribution and are trafficked by cargo trucks. In those cases, a DOAS system or OA/RA system can provides a dedicated supply of outdoor air and combat the threat of high carbon monoxide levels.

Covid-19 and digitization continue to drive the need for industrial and data center square-footage, many commercial and retail spaces are repositioning to meet these needs. But it will take more than a remodel or a white box solution to deliver an effective and strategic space; HVAC considerations are crucial, as they are for all development and construction plans.

See this article and other coverage at Mann Report here!

One Year Post-Covid, It’s Time to Reassess Your Long-Term HVAC Needs

After over one year of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, Gil-Bar continues to be the solution in the battle for greater indoor air quality (IAQ). Offering an array of products to provide a clean and safe return to offices and indoor dining, Gil-Bar is partnered with several U.S. manufacturers to bring us back to a “new normal” through a variety of applications.

Currently, Gil-Bar products include HealthWay portable units, bi-polar ionization technology, enVerid air cleaners, and High Intensity UV emitters.

Through ongoing research and lab reports, these manufacturers show their individual efficacy of disinfecting the air and reducing the spread of COVID-19, as well as other common contagions. Please reach out to Gil-Bar for information regarding stocked inventory on all your buildings’ IAQ needs as we begin recovering and reopening the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware regions. Gil-Bar’s sales team is available for on-site and virtual space surveys offering turnkey solutions for all applications in the Northeast Market.