Later on this month, Emerald City One's Management has scheduled the turning over of the building's HVAC system from heating to cooling (does that mean better weather is on its way? We sure hope so!). In light of this process, we figured it would be an excellent opportunity for Residents to better understand how the turnover process works, and what better way than coupling that with our new "Contractor of the Month" for the month of May...
This month, I had the opportunity to interview Emmanuel Efraimidis, the President and CEO of Complete Energy Solutions. Some of you may remember either Emmanuel, or CES, from my past posts about Emerald City One's "Building Automation System", which CES installed.
Thank you, Emmanuel, for participating in my interview, and for all the amazing work that you and your technicians have done for and in our building. Our Board, Staff, and Residents truly appreciate it!
Please read below for my interview with Emmanuel (CES).
All the best,
President of the Board of Directors
of Emerald City One - TSCC 2368
COMPLETE ENERGY SOLUTIONS
1) In one paragraph, please summarize what CES does.
Complete Energy Solutions offers a diverse portfolio of services with a particular emphasis on the multi-residential building market in the GTA. We offer complete HVAC maintenance and preventative services, as well as energy management solutions, which includes building automation systems, complete HVAC retrofits and upgrades. We also have a full-service plumbing division, CES Plumbing, which focuses on high rise installations, retrofits, maintenance, and emergency services. In short, we try to do everything we can to make our clients’ buildings greener, more energy and cost efficient to run.
2) What has been one of the biggest challenges that CES has overcome?
Finding top caliber skilled labour, to compliment our existing staff. We have managed to overcome this industry-wide challenge by offering our employees above-average industry salaries, full benefits, profit sharing and providing a great overall working environment. After all, we are only as good as our employees and they hold the keys to our longterm success with our clients!
3) What is something interesting that sets CES apart from other companies?
One of the things that sets us apart best is that we are a true one-stop-shop with a special focus on high rise multi residential buildings. A lot of our clients initially come to us because they require routine maintenance work. As our relationships with these clients grow, we can offer them more services that are tailored to their unique properties. For example, we can design, install, and maintain large and complex building automation systems. We can also offer specific retrofits designed to improve their internal systems. The fact that we can build lasting relationships with our clients that often go beyond the original service they required is an testament that sets CES apart from the crowd.
4) Tell us something non-business related about yourself?
I am passionate about sports and try to live life to the fullest. Aside from playing various sports all throughout high school and university, I have been fortunate to travel extensively and at last count, have visited more than 30 different countries. Experiencing various cultures has enriched my life and enabled me to appreciate our world and the incredible people within it. I hope to continue this "enrichment" by visiting more places and showcasing to my children just how precious and beautiful our world really is!
5) Can you tell us some mechanical details about the process of switchover from heating to cooling?
The changeover process, is, on the surface, as simple as it sounds: this is when we shut down your heating systems and start up cooling. Emerald City’s system uses what we call a dual loop, which means that it incorporates both the heating and cooling systems. So when we change over, we need to isolate all heating boilers from the dual loop and shut down the building’s circulation pumps. Then we use valves built into the system to finish isolating the loops from the heating side. Finally, we can direct water through the chiller and start up the cooling process.
6) Why does the switch over take multiple days?
When changing over from heating to cooling, the water temperature must be less than 80ºF (around 27ºC) before we can start circulating water through the chiller. If the water is above this level, it will create a high-pressure condition for the refrigerant, which can actually lead to discharging the refrigerant into the atmosphere — which we absolutely want to avoid! So the recommended minimum is to wait forty-eight hours.
When changing from cooling to heating, the wait is also a couple of days because raising the temperature means you risk expansion and contraction from the equipment gaskets during the process. To be on the safe side, it is best to spend at least two days when switching over from cooling to heating.
7) How many people are involved, for a total of how many hours of work, during switchover on our site?
The switchover process from heating to cooling takes a single mechanic around four hours to complete, while starting up the cooling process can take slightly longer — a single mechanic may take four to six hours to complete.
When we switch from cooling to heating, on the other hand, the start up time is dependent on the number of boilers, and can take several days!
8) How many buildings does CES attend to for turnovers?
A lot! We service close to 300 buildings for change overs.