Carol Brzozowski 2017-01-12 17:05:26
I n a speech after his first term election, President Barack Obama referenced the need to find a solution to buildings’ energy waste, indicating it would most likely be an entrepreneur working out of a garage who would produce the solution. Lance Rock and his wife Wendy gave each other a “high-five.” “We have it,” Rock recalls saying. “Now we just have to finish developing it.” After years of R&D and beta testing, Rock—president of United Building & Energy Services (UniBES) in Illinois—created a process and software to help building owners and operators achieve optimal HVAC efficiencies. Audit Master Pro is a cloud-based, field-ready energy auditing HVAC system performance and report generation software program designed to identify building HVAC equipment heat transfer efficiency and performance and fluid flows. The process is designed to accurately measure actual field HVAC efficiency by applying a fuel and BTU heat transfer performance value to each individual mechanical system component within 1% probability of error. The test takes less than 20 minutes, with a prescriptive means for system optimization to reduce energy consumption delivered within minutes of completion. The report also provides various accounting formats. “We primarily find air blending issues, coil fouling, improper balancing of the mechanical systems, or wall degradation and leakage to be the problems,” notes Rock. UniBES is a multi-service independent test and balance firm providing certified services in building and mechanical equipment audits and efficiency testing, energy management analysis, air and water balancing, and commissioning and retro-commissioning. The company has executed domestic and international projects including nuclear power plants, pharmaceutical laboratories, hospitals, and buildings in both the commercial and industrial sectors. Rock holds a number of certifications, including Certified Energy Manager, Certified Energy Auditor, Professional Energy Manager, Certified Commissioning Authority, LEED AP, Associated Air Balance Council, Test and Balance Engineer, Adjusting and Balancing Bureau, Infrared Analyst Level III, and Vibration Analyst Level I. Other certifications include Certified Carbon Reduction Manager, Level III Thermographer by the Infrared Training Center, and nuclear industry certification. Rock has co-authored three nationally recognized technical training manuals for the International Training Institute on building and envelope energy auditing, HVAC systems, and energy utilization index. What He Does Day to Day Rock consults with building owners and engineers, troubleshooting existing and new HVAC equipment with the ultimate goal being energy efficiency and HVAC operation optimization. He also continues to refine Audit Master Pro. What Led Him to This Line of Work Rock comes from a family of HVAC professionals, including his father, uncles, and cousins, and worked in HVAC shops after school as a boy. He earned a B.S. from the University of South Dakota Springfield and studied metallurgy at Illinois State University. Before starting his company 28 years ago, Rock worked at Johnson Controls in its energy service (ESCO) program. “I was given the opportunity and freedoms to solve problems no one else was solving,” notes Rock. After spending the day setting up HVAC equipment, Rock spent the evening poring over technical books. Before long, he pieced together the principles of thermodynamics, thermography, psychrometrics, and tracer gas testing and balancing to create a process by which he could identify HVAC inefficiencies. Rock used the process to profile a building, realizing he had come across the ability to fully analyze a piece of equipment in less than 20 minutes and be cognizant of “every single thing going on with it,” he says. What He Likes Best About His Work Providing the means for building owners to increase HVAC efficiency to its maximum optimized potential with an ROI derived within one to five months gives Rock his greatest sense of satisfaction. The process identifies a minimum 20% deficiency up to 70%, with optimization efforts targeted to nearly 100%, he says. He also takes pride in the fact that the software will reduce greenhouse gases, create jobs, and allow companies to expand their services into the energy efficiency and sustainability market. His Greatest Challenge Rock says his greatest challenge is educating building owners and operators, and showing them that it is possible to enable optimal HVAC efficiencies against the backdrop of other companies that charge substantial fees without producing significant results. DE Carol Brzozowski specializes in topics related to energy and technology.
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