• Industry

  • Challenge

What’s your
problem?

Your problems are ours and our response is based on thorough knowledge and understanding of your situation. We are an insight based business, starting every project by understanding the problems you face now with an eye on the challenges and influences that may lie ahead. Tell us more about your industry and challenges.

All Industries

Building Health Issues

Indoor Air quality, Odours, Stuffiness, Infection Control

  • A key function of air conditioning systems is to create a healthy indoor air environment. This has never been more important than it is now in a post-Covid world, with building health finally getting the attention it deserves, alongside energy and sustainability targets.
  • How do filtration levels, outside air quantities verses recirculation of conditioned air and internal airflow patterns play out in the real world to ensure a safe environment is achieved for all?
  • Are additional measures required to treat the air we breathe to ensure minimum standards of Indoor Air Quality are met?
  • What air treatment measures are most effective and practical to implement?
  • How do we know if our indoor air quality is being kept to an acceptable level?
  • What controls and checks are in place to provide reassurance to facility managers and building occupants that they are in a safe environment?
  • Do different facilities require different approaches to achieve acceptable Indoor Air Quality targets?

For answers to these questions and more, talk to our team who are up to date with the latest technologies and have the required expertise to help.

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Aged Care Facilities, Commercial Offices, Education, Sciences & Research, Regional / City Councils

Capacity Issues

Plant sizing, Back-up / Redundancy, Load Control

  • It is usually the job of the design engineer to ensure that plant and systems have sufficient capacity for the task at hand. Gaining a full knowledge of the building and intended operations within the building is essential information to be considered as a basis for plant sizing and selection.
  • Under-sizing of plant will usually not cause damage to specific plant items – but the obvious result being that desired conditions such as temperature, humidity or indoor air quality cannot be achieved.
  • Over-sizing of plant can be worse. Apart from spending more on capital outlay than required, over-sized plant is harder to control, operates less efficiently and can fail prematurely due to short cycling with frequent start/stop operation.
  • Where plant operates over a wide range of loads, systems need to be designed to cater for all operating conditions. Think air conditioning cooling loads which vary from almost nothing in mid-winter to extremely high in mid-summer. This may mean installing multiple plant items to allow staging equipment on and off as loads vary or installing buffering vessels to smooth out staging as loads come and go.

Remedial work to correct plant capacity issues is possible but invariably expensive. Avoiding rule-of-thumb designs and doing the appropriate homework and calculations up-front is by far the cheapest solution. Now is the time to stop and think.

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All Industries

Climate Change & Decarbonisation

Fossil Fuels, Electricity, Sustainability

The carbon discussion is now eclipsing the more established focus on energy consumption, incorporating sustainability as a primary consideration when designing new systems or indeed upgrading existing systems.

We applaud the focus of creating a better planet for our children to inherit.

The use of fossil fuels is finally under the spotlight with a corresponding rise in innovation towards natural ventilation systems and green technologies that work with nature instead of despite it.

Clever designers should now all be striving to achieve the desired result with the lowest overall impact on the planet – for the life of the facility. Our often used line of “Now’s the time to stop and think” has never been more relevant as achieving low carbon solutions are challenging and require more time for innovative thinking than the construction industry has been attuned to.

We note the increasing pressure on the county’s electricity network as pressure mounts to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Corresponding incentives to move towards more sustainable fuels, most readily in the form of sustainable electricity supplies, will drive the requirement to expand renewable power generation.

We welcome any opportunity to collaborate with our clients on practical low carbon systems for their facilities.

Call us for a chat or a feasibility study anytime.

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Aged Care Facilities, Airports, Commercial Offices, Education, Sciences & Research, Regional / City Councils

Comfort Complaints

Temperature, Humidity, Draughts, Lighting, Odours, Indoor Air Quality

  • Complaints of too hot & too cold often relate to seasonal changes but can also occur daily as the sun travels around the building.
  • The most common complaints received from air conditioned buildings relate to drafts caused by cold air blown in from supply air diffusers.
  • Low (rather than high) humidity is a common phenomenon from air conditioned buildings and presents first in people who wear contact lenses or have sensitive respiratory systems.
  • A lack of outside air can result in the build-up of odours and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) released from paints, carpets and furnishings.
  • Indoor air quality is now a significant concern to building occupants. It is essential to provide visibility and reassurance that the health of the indoor environment is being proactively managed.

These issues are best tackled by starting with good initial design but can be solved retrospectively (or at least improved) by altering controls settings or relatively simple system adjustments with the right knowledge and experience.

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All Industries

Compliance Issues

Mandatory Requirements / Minimum Standards

  • Similar to legal issues, compliance issues usually result from an upstream failure at some point during the design, installation or commissioning of a system.
  • By nature, compliance issues are relatively easy to identify, as an item of equipment or the operation of a system has failed to meet one or more rules defined by a local authority or government mandate.
  • Remedial work therefore has a clear objective to meet the breached rule(s), with a requirement to determine who is responsible for meeting the associated costs.

Urgency can depend on the severity of the failure; any life safety concerns or the ability to occupy or use a facility as intended as a result of the breach.

If you find yourself in this situation, please contact us for assistance.

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All Industries

Controls and Commissioning Issues

Plant Optimisation, Continuous Commissioning, Diagnostics

  • Optimising the performance of an accumulation of equipment into a coherent system remains one of the most elusive targets of modern buildings – especially as systems become increasingly complex with innovative controls and technologies.
  • Our experience in building performance diagnostics shows that poorly set-up complex systems designed to achieve significant energy savings will actually perform worse than simple systems, if not set-up correctly.
  • Poorly set-up air conditioning and control systems will invariably result in more complaints, use more energy and shorten the life of expensive capital plant & equipment.
  • Initial system commissioning is essential and takes time. Maintenance and system adjustments all too often result in unintended reductions in efficiency over time, eventually requiring major recommissioning exercises once complaints reach unacceptable levels.

Talk to us about undertaking an operational audit and Continuous Commissioning process within your facility to keep your plant tuned & controls optimised. These processes invariably help to meet tenant/occupant expectations, reduce energy consumption and maximise plant life.

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All Industries

Cost Issues

Capital / Opex, Budgeting, Long term Maintenance Planning

  • Cost is understandably a high priority for most customers.
  • Building Services systems are unique in that they not only present substantial capital cost considerations, but they also set the overall running cost, energy consumption and carbon footprint for a facility.
  • For this reason, whole of life or life-cycle costs should be considered when choosing and designing a system, or when undertaking a major upgrade project.
  • If a typical economic lifespan of a system is 20 years, then a life-cycle assessment over 30-50 years should be considered, factoring in the significant disruption to a building’s intended use when inevitable plant upgrade work is undertaken.
  • The often opposing forces of minimising capital cost, reducing energy consumption, minimising ongoing maintenance costs, minimising the carbon footprint and maximising plant life require careful consideration to arrive at an optimised solution.

Finding the optimal solution for a particular facility depends on the client’s horizon for the building and requires careful analysis.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss this subject further.

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All Industries

Design Issues

Design, Buildability, Safety in Design, Peer Review

  • Issues stemming from poor initial design are unfortunately all too common.
  • Determining plant capacity is an obvious first step to get right, however selecting the most appropriate system type for the application is just as important.
  • Making sure systems are designed to cater for the full range of operating conditions is also crucial towards achieving stable operation as well as achieving internal design conditions.
  • Buildability and considering access for maintenance are also key design considerations which often do not receive adequate attention during the design process – often being pushed onto the installation contractor to address.
  • Safety by Design is also a crucial element, so the final installation is able to be serviced and maintained without putting service staff at risk.
  • Early involvement to understand the client drivers and frequent collaboration with the wider design team is essential throughout the design phases of a project to achieve a fit-for-purpose end solution.
  • Early plant failures often stem from poorly designed systems rather than inadequate maintenance or shortcomings with the failed equipment.

Having designs peer reviewed is cheap insurance against the costs and inconvenience which invariably follow from a poorly designed system.

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Aged Care Facilities, Commercial Offices, Education, Sciences & Research, Regional / City Councils

Early Plant Failure

Diagnostics, Root Cause Analysis, Back-up

  • When expensive plant fails earlier than anticipated, there is a reason behind the failure.
  • Poor system design, lack of initial commissioning and inappropriate control can all lead to plant failing earlier than expected.
  • Unexpected failures can be very disruptive to tenants or interrupt industrial processes without warning. They can also undermine tenant / landlord relationships or damage customer relationships where product delivery expectations cannot be met.
  • Costs for remedial work are typically extremely high to building owners or plant managers, especially when undertaken in a panic.

Almost all early plant failures are preventable, and we have extensive experience gained from root cause analysis and diagnostics of early plant failure. Early intervention is the key to extending plant life, while identifying and addressing underlying causes is essential before putting replacement plant into serve, to prevent repeat failures.

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All Industries

End of Life Plant Upgrades

Economic Plant Life, Whole of Life Costings

  • Plant does not last forever.
  • We talk in terms of ‘Economic life expectancy’ for specific items of plant, meaning the average expected life of an item before the cost to maintain it escalates to unsustainable levels, or the plant simply fails.
  • Armed with this knowledge, plant assets can be proactively assessed and managed on a life-cycle basis with planning and budgets established well before the plant reaches its use-by date.

Given the plant to be replaced was probably designed some 20 years ago, the opportunity to re-assess requirements should be taken. Is the design or plant capacity appropriate for the next 20 years, what technology improvements are available, can we engineer new energy reduction and advanced control strategies into existing plant and equipment.

This is the time to pause and think before committing to the next 20 year life-cycle for your plant.

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Aged Care Facilities, Commercial Offices, Education, Sciences & Research, Regional / City Councils

Energy Consumption

Building Ratings, Metering, NABERSNZ, GreenStar

  • Higher than expected energy consumption is a frequent problem and a sure sign that a system is not optimised.
  • Issues can emerge from many directions including poor design, poor initial commissioning, inappropriate controls settings, inadequate maintenance or plant simply running unnecessarily.
  • On average commercial office buildings consume around 40% more energy than they need to, so savings of 20-30% are readily achievable with proper attention to plant set-up and control.
  • The first step is to measure your current energy usage – ‘what gets measured gets managed.’
  • NABERSNZ is now firmly on the radar in NZ with government mandates for minimum rating levels now required for government tenants. Early adopters include many high-end office buildings.

A process of ‘Continuous Commissioning’ is a proven methodology to achieve energy savings over time, resulting in lower energy costs and improved GreenStar or NABERSNZ building ratings.

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All Industries

Fit for Purpose Issues

Client Driven Metrics, Success Factors

  • Not all Building Services systems are created equal.
  • The basic requirements from a system must be understood before an appropriate system type can be selected and designed.
  • Consider an office building where the primary objectives are to create a safe, comfortable, quiet and healthy indoor environment for building occupants to go about their work without disruption or distraction from the air conditioning and ventilation systems. Referred to as ‘quiet enjoyment’ in terms of a lease for the premises.
  • By contrast, an industrial food manufacturing site may require the facility to be held under positive pressure to achieve mandated hygiene standards and a high rate of ventilation to remove moisture to eliminate the chances of condensation. Temperature control and sound levels are secondary objectives with far wider tolerances than those acceptable within an office environment.
  • The measures used to determine success of a particular project are specific to the fundamental objectives of that project. The solutions offered must be cognisant of the success factors at the outset.

It is essential that systems are designed to meet a known end use and a defined set of agreed parameters.

We have experience across a broad spectrum of industries so if you are unsure of exactly what would work best for you, please contact us for some advice.

We love challenging projects where standard solutions struggle to meet the client needs.

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All Industries

Independent Advice

Truly Independent, Market Overview, Bespoke Solutions

It is our ability to advise our clients on what we believe is the best solution for their particular site or need that adds value to our service offering.

In an industry which is embracing innovative technologies such as new refrigerants, advanced control systems making use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things), equipment suppliers hold a lot of valuable knowledge.

With all due respect, it is increasingly difficult to obtain an unbiased view on the best solution for your particular project when most businesses are attached to particular products or systems or have built up close relationships with particular suppliers.

Jacksons Engineering is a fiercely independent business, priding itself on broad industry knowledge, depth of experience and building on our significant base of real world diagnostics as the industry’s problem solvers.

Our level of experience along with our ability to talk to clients in plain English and our fiercely held independence are key ingredients for providing expert support to technically challenging problems.

No matter what business sector you are in, we are always happy to talk to you about a fit-for-purpose solution to your particular need or problem.

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Aged Care Facilities, Airports, Commercial Offices, Education, Sciences & Research, Regional / City Councils

Layout Changes

Layout Changes, Change of Use

With one of the only constants in business being change, office fit-outs and alterations are a common occurrence, and this will continue to be the case as we adapt to hybrid working models in a post-Covid world.

All too often services such as air conditioning and lighting are not altered appropriately (or not altered at all) to reflect new layouts, people densities or a change of activity within a space.

Checks are required to confirm the basics such as:

  • The provision of adequate heating and cooling to each space or ‘zone’
  • Providing adequate outside air to meet code and occupant respiratory & health requirements
  • Provision of adequate lighting to each space or zone served
  • Alterations to system layouts to cater for separate temperature control zones (perimeter areas verses centre-zone spaces)
  • Control system changes to effect good temperature and airflow control as appropriate.

These changes are usually readily achievable when undertaken during the fit-out works, but make sure you allow sufficient time for up-front design and proper commissioning at the end of the works.

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All Industries

Legal Issues / Expert Witness

Dispute Resolution, Independent Technical Expert, Cost Apportioning

  • We spend a portion of our time operating as expert witnesses for building services systems where expectations have not been met and mutual agreement cannot be achieved between aggrieved parties.
  • This is a situation best avoided where possible and invariably highlights upstream issues. These may include a lack of clarity about client expectations, poor design or equipment selection, installation and/or maintenance issues.
  • Resolution is rarely swift and usually involves considerable costs – both in legal fees and remedial actions for at least one (but often both) of the parties.

We offer practical, independent and fair technical and cost related advice to assist in resolving such issues and can also offer assistance throughout any remedial work process to ensure any agreed outcomes are in fact achieved.

Please contact us should you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

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All Industries

Noise Issues

Sound Advice, Noise Level Calculations, Boundary Noise Levels

  • Noise emanating from mechanical plant is no surprise, with resulting sound levels able to be readily assessed with a view towards noise mitigation during the initial design stages of a system.
  • Initial plant selections can influence the basic noise levels, but from there some form of attenuation or containment measures may be necessary.
  • Acceptable resultant sound levels within occupied spaces are well established and normally feature within design briefs, with external sound levels typically set and managed by City or Regional Council legislation.
  • Interestingly, complaints will often arise from intermittent noises such as fans and compressors cycling on & off rather than a continuous noise – especially during night-time operation of plant in residential or apartment settings.

Addressing noise issues once a plant has been built is typically quite difficult and can be very costly. Once a complaint has been received, it can be difficult to placate aggrieved parties even when compliance levels are achieved. The sound advice is to get this one right at the outset!

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All Industries

Timelines and Programming Issues

Critical Path Project Management, Contract Management

  • Whether you are looking at a green-fields site, a planned building refurbishment, upgrade of end-of-life plant or simply addressing a maintenance issue, there is never enough time.
  • Unfortunately building services plant and equipment is expensive, requires considerable space, makes noise, uses a lot of energy and often due to its bespoke nature, takes a long time to get.
  • Early engagement to understand costs, spatial requirements, energy supplies, design, documentation and procurement timelines are essential before site works can commence.
  • Prioritisation to identify and specify long lead time (often big ticket) plant items can help reduce the overall project timelines by allowing long lead time plant items to be placed on order early, in parallel with the design work. The plant item can then be novated to the successful contractor prior to the work commencing.
  • Thinking time spent up front is invariably time well spent and can avoid significant unplanned or unnecessary costs and delays.

We relish the opportunity to provide timely advice to our clients to help them plan for a smooth project or to anticipate plant end-of-life upgrade work ahead of time.

It is never too early to kick off the conversation about your project or ideas.

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