It’s nice to have some normalcy back with most CVOID restrictions lifted. We had the opportunity to sponsor a hole in Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral’s Annual Golf Tournament in June 2020. From Hottel (starting left to right) in the picture below is Bret Nielsen, Joel Knight, Dave Kantner, and Ken Fennell.
Huge thanks for everyone from Saint Sophia’s for hosting this event. It was great to see members of Saint Sophia’s and other members of the community, such as Father Steven Zorzos, Deacon Panayiotis Steele, Janice Calomiris (President of the Board), George Wallace from WTOP Radio Sports, and Eleni Planzos who organized this event.
In 2019, customers turned to Hottel to install geothermal heating and cooling. However, due to setbacks and space constraints it was agreed that the next best solution would be installed, which was the Daikin Life VRV Heat Pump System. After calculating the homes heat loss/gain, Hottel determined that the existing 6-tons of equipment could be replaced with a single 5-ton Daikin Life VRV unit when paired with a gas furnace for backup heating. It’s a great alternative to Geothermal.
“We are very pleased with the system. It is super quiet and very efficient. In the summer, the system is powered entirely by our solar panel array and we don’t receive an electric bill. I have been impressed with the heating performance of the heat pump, even in sub-freezing temperatures. We have the gas furnace option for the coldest days, but the heat pump seems to cover more of the heating needs. Our gas bills in the winter are quite modest and electric bills are very reasonable.
We initially considered a geothermal system. After weighing the high initial costs and uncertainty of results for well-drilling, along with the regulatory challenges in DC, you offered the Daikin Life VRV Heat Pump System as an alternative with nearly the same efficiency as geothermal. I am pleased by our choice and with the quick and easy installation process.
I appreciated your advice about insulation. My wife, Judith and I added blown fiberglass in our attic to R-60. We are in the process of replacing some old drafty windows as part of our effort to get as close as possible to net zero.” – David Gilmore
Alexandria Restaurant Partners (ARP) plans to open two new waterfront restaurants soon in Old Town Alexandria. Barca Wine and Bar and Ada’s on the River will be their flagship restaurants, chosen out of a list of ten restaurants. Barca, meaning “boat” in Spanish, will be a wine, tapas, and charcuterie bar. Barca’s will include an outdoor extension that offers seating on the pier. Ada’s will be a larger restaurant, serving woodfire food such as steak, seafood, and grilled vegetables. These establishments will be designed with a relaxed, California-vibe atmosphere in mind.
When this project began in 2019, ARP hired Gage Construction Company to oversee the restaurants’ construction. Lance, Gage’s Senior Project Manager, had already decided to use Harvey Hottel for Plumbing, even though other companies had submitted bids. Lance felt confident in Hottel’s work because of previous project experience. Gage Construction and Hottel worked together on Joe Theismann’s Restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia. According to Lance, the Thiesmann project was very challenging because the restaurant only closed for four days during the four-month construction period. Daryl and Leo, from Harvey Hottel, scheduled teams to work odd hours, so that the work could be completed with minimal disruption to the restaurant. This began the great working relationship between Gage Construction and Harvey Hottel employees.
Barca Wine and Bar and Ada’s on the River came with a different set of challenges for the Hottel teams. The project was both a design build, requiring a great deal of coordination with all of the other contractors. “We ended up working with Leo (Hottel Field Superintendent) very closely and really teaming up on getting everything done. Also, the other contractors worked well with us. The ceiling looked like spaghetti; it was so jam packed. It took a lot of coordination. Again, working with Harvey Hottel there’s never been an issue. We have asked a lot from Hottel on both projects, and they always show up with a smile on their face,” Lance described.
The smaller Barca restaurant on the pier was a challenging project for Hottel, because there were significant modifications. During the design process, everyone realized that the containers were set too high and needed to be lowered. Due to the fact that there was limited room underneath for plumbing, 12-inch holes were drilled through the concrete to have the traps countersunk into the holes of the pier. Daryl, Manager of Hottel’s Plumbing Department, mentioned that they had done this before, but not on a pier in the middle of water! It was a cool and unique learning experience.
Lance made a point to bring up that there were some challenging issues that Gage Construction really looked to Hottel for their expertise. Specifically, the design originally had all the gas lines for the outdoor heaters in an accessible trench, which was not possible because there was so much concrete. Gage, Hottel, and the other contractors brainstormed for a creative way to run gas lines. Fortunately, everyone worked together to form a new design that was approved, allowing the project to move forward. Lance noted, “That is typical on how we work together, and you need to have that creative problem solving with whoever you work with. Our personalities also work well together and that’s a huge reason on why I keep going back to Hottel. It’s because I know what they are capable of.”
Lance, Daryl, and Leo have built a strong relationship and now friendships, which is what allows them to work so well together. They are not afraid to roll their sleeves up and get involved. Additionally, Daryl emphasized on how many of these jobs would not be possible without Leo on the team. Leo and the other guys will work whatever hours needed. As Daryl concluded, “Leo and his team had completed everything by end of day. Leo goes above and beyond to make sure these projects go well. He is a very smart man and deserves a lot of credit.”
Increased ventilation is one of the recommended strategies during these times.
Have you benchmarked your facility’s ventilation rates?
Hottel has always strived for excellent customer service, which is accomplished through learning from our employees and clients. For the past 15 years years, our Senior Sales Associate, Mike Hollidge, has built a strong client relationship with the Chief Engineer of Rubenstein Properties, Ozzie Acosta. Ozzie, along with his coworker, Jimmy Martinez, reached out to Hottel for mechanical maintenance and replacement of cooling towers at a building they manage in Rockville, MD. Starting the submittal process two years ago, Hottel has worked closely with Rubenstein Properties on contract changes and adjustments before kicking off this project. When interviewed, Jimmy emphasized how well our entire team (sales, mechanical, techs, and administrative) works together and communicates throughout the project process.
He stated, “Everyone at Hottel has been very prompt and really knows what they are doing. We are almost at the point where we just hand over our key and let them go take care of whatever needs to be done.”
It’s great to hear that our clients think that Hottel and its employees are trustworthy and are going above and beyond for customer satisfaction. We look forward to all future projects!
One of Harvey Hottel’s top priorities is to make sure that we are doing the best we can for our customers. Part of that is tracking that we and the units installed are beneficial to your initiatives. Air Advice allows us to just do that. Harvey W. Hottel, Inc uses high-tech sensors to track the air flow, ventilation, humidity, and carbon monoxide within our clients buildings.
We preformed a walk through of the Sandy Spring Museum using diagnostic monitoring equipment and visual inspection to identify the opportunities for improving the energy and comfort performance of the building. Our key findings highlight what we discovered in the process:
1. Relative humidity in the archive room is being maintained in the acceptable range (between 30-55% relative humidity).
2. The installation of the dehumidifier is providing the ability to remove excess humidity, which the system was not capable of in the past.
Opportunities for Improvement:
1. Consider additional thermostat in archive room to provide less temperature spread across the room.
2. Continue to monitor humidity and temperature levels during the warmest months. A final Sensor Data Assessment will be provided (at no additional cost) during this period to insure system control is maintained.
Our team worked closely with Sandy Spring Museum to identify the problem areas, so we could develop solutions. They building is now running more efficiently with reduced humidity levels.
We have recently had a lot of interest in and success installing UV lights to provide additional health and safety through air supply decontamination for tenants/building occupants returning to work.
Now is an excellent time to stay updated on building maintenance such as:
- Filter Changes: Changing filters regularly to ensure air flow is kept up to acceptable levels. Upgrading your filters to a higher MERV rating can increase the amount of particles captures during circulation.
- UV Light: When passing through UV light, viruses and other bacteria are effectively killed by the ultraviolet light.
- Evaporator Cleaning: Utilizing an evaporator coil cleaner and disinfectant is effective against killing germs on hard, non-porous surfaces.
- Ventilation: Completing an assessment on your current ventilation rates and possibly making improvements to your air changers per hour.
- Humidity Control: Maintaining a humidity level of 40-60% in an indoor facility can lower the survival rate of airborne viruses up to 30%.
- Portable Air Purifiers: We can supply air cleaners that utilize HEPA filtration and UV lights for portable disinfection. This can be used to augment systems that cannot provide adequate airflow in certain areas within your facility (CDC, 2020).
Please do not hesitate to contact our Commercial Service Department at 240-912-8900 to discuss keeping your facility at its optimal health level. We hope that you and your families are safe and healthy during these uncertain times.
Hottel is always looking forward to hearing from our clients and about the work we have done. We continuously work with Saint Sophia’s Church on maintaining their equipment and installing new equipment if needed.
“After researching and interviewing several HVAC companies in our area we decided to go with Harvey W. Hottel, because they are a reliable company and they presented us with great choices and pricing that fit our Cathedral needs. I was especially pleased by the explanation of the way the new unit would be installed and how it would work. As well as other HVAC and plumbing issues we had.
We were very pleased with the service we received from Harvey W. Hottel. Kenneth Fennell and the installers were very knowledgeable and professional. They were very attentive to our needs and answered all of our questions and concerns. Richard Hottel and crew should be very proud!The technicians were on their game and repaired the work in a timely fashion. We are extremely satisfied! Kudos to the Hottel team.”
Saint Sophia Cathedral, WDC
Beautiful passive solar home with geothermal heating and cooling that has a net-zero footprint. This house is built from resources that we found right on the land where it’s located; strawbale walls that surround 3,500 SF of space with a mud mixture for the walls. Trees from the property, such as black walnut, cherry, locust and hickory are used throughout for ceilings, flooring, doors, and other accents. We worked closely with the owners and designer to strategize on the installation of geothermal heating and cooling, high efficiency triple pane windows, radiant flooring, tub, master bedroom and gym. We also installed a 3-ton water to water unit with a storage tank and a hot/cold water coil for the air handler. Take a look at the before and after pictures!
The FEMA National Emergency Training Center needed a partner to install 32 tons of VRF (viable refrigerant flow). FEMA quickly turned to Harvey Hottel to fulfill the task. Our Project Executive, Scot Hottel, developed a plan and executed flawlessly. He worked closely with the stakeholders to ensure success.
This project was completed with minimal disruptions to their facility members, which was a mandatory request. From maintaining the project timeline, ensuring a quality installation, to keeping the occupants informed, Scot was able to deliver another success.
VRF systems are increasingly becoming more popular especially in larger urban areas where space in premium. According to Arista.com (2017) there are 7 major benefits for installation of VRF systems:
- Consistent Comfort – these systems can accurately identify the exact amount of refrigerant needed to each air handling unit.
- Quiet Operation – smaller air handlers, which means smaller noise amount.
- Energy Efficiency – precise amount of refrigerant needed so it can run at a lower capacity and less frequently.
- Installation Flexibility – VRF’s are compact systems designed to travel lightly, no ducts and are space effective.
- Heat and Cool Simultaneously – has the ability to capture heat recovered from the cooling process and redistributed into another area that needs it.
- Controls and Smart Technology – can be controlled and maintained through a mobile device.
- Fewer Breakdowns – less stress on the parts because VRF’s are designed to run only when necessary, which leads to fewer breakdowns.