One fun aspect of performing a building walk-through is getting to go out on the roof. There is almost always technical equipment up there to be inspected and the vantage point often offers great views. System designers and installers favor placing equipment on the roof because there tends to be a lot more space for the units and all their accessories, let alone for access and maintenance.
It is rare for two pieces of equipment to be placed right up against each other, but there are two common types of rooftop equipment that should not be anywhere near each other. These are exhaust fans (a device to eject unwanted, often malodorous air from the building) and outdoor air units (which function to bring fresh, clean outside air into the building). If placed too close together, the result is a bad short circuit of tainted air back into the building.
That’s what we found while doing a walk-through for an energy audit on a hotel. Both pieces of equipment were in good shape and functioning well but were unfortunately placed too close together. With the construction of a barrier in between or an extended duct for the exhaust air, the air quality down where the occupants are sleeping, relaxing, or socializing can receive a serious boost.