Terry Townsend, former president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, gave SPIDA members a presentation May 1 on sustainability and the role of spiral duct.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Spiral Duct Manufacturers Association was able to hold most of its April 30-May 1 summer meeting before much of Music City was under water. Hard rain started to fall May 1. More than 13 inches fell within the next two days, causing the Cumberland River to overflow, and sending water into Nashville’s famous tourist districts.

The weekend storm made it tough for some members to get home, but a golf outing was the only activity that had to be canceled, and SPIDA officials stayed dry, mostly.

There was still plenty of time to learn about the latest trends in spiral ductwork. Organizers lined up several guest speakers, including Terry Townsend, a licensed professional engineer and former president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. He also serves as president of his own company, Townsend Engineering Inc., with offices in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Panama City Beach, Fla.

Townsend’s keynote presentation, “What a Sustainable Future Means to the Spiral Duct Manufacturers Association,” explained how SPIDA members can benefit from the green construction movement. 

No waiting

Townsend summed up his philosophy on green building this way: “It’s never too late,” he said. “It’s only too late if you say ‘It can wait.’ ”

He lauded the group for its work on promoting the efficiency advantages of members’ products.

“It’s because of you that sustainable buildings are achievable,” Townsend said. “You know yourselves very well. Other groups just don’t know” about what SPIDA can offer.

“You have a superior product,” he said.

His presentation included background and statistics on the world’s energy consumption and the need for conservation. For example, he said 25 percent of the world’s coral reefs are damaged or destroyed. Similar amounts of the Amazon rainforests have been cleared and ocean temperatures are rising, as far as 2 miles below the surface.

“I hate to tell you this: Greenland is melting,” he said.

The oil and energy crises of the 1970s never really went away, Townsend claimed.

“(It’s) not getting any better,” he added. Developing powers such as China and India are poised to overtake America in oil consumption and their influence is rising as well.

Buildings consume much of the world’s energy and produce up to 33 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions, commonly called greenhouse gases, Townsend said.

No leaks

And that’s where Townsend said SPIDA can help. Using spiral duct saves on insulation and offers reduced leakage rates and saves energy. Members need to be visible and get that message out.

“Become more engaged. Become more involved,” he said. “I haven’t seen any of your members involved, and that’s not good.”

Net-zero energy-using buildings are no longer something to be built in the future. SPIDA needs to become a “stakeholder” in the movement.

“You see folks, it’s here,” Townsend said. “We’re no longer dreaming about it.”

In other meeting news:

• SPIDA members heard a presentation from Michael Resetar on AP Coilflex, the newest fiber- and formaldehyde-free duct liner from Armacell.

Resetar said it offers the potential for significant energy savings for schools, hospitals and businesses.

“If uninsulated ducts were insulated, it would be an energy savings of $878 million a year,” he said.

• Art Morrell, president of Southern Tier Custom Fabricators and vice president of SPIDA, gave an overview of “Duct Leakage for Various Ducted Systems,” an association-sponsored white paper.

• Mechanical engineering Professor Stephen Idem, Ph.D., of Tennessee Technological University, led a technical discussion on testing saddle-tap tees to determine loss co-efficients.

• Association President Bill Stout Jr. talked about the role spiral duct can play in earning green building credits as part of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.

The group’s next major meeting will be in late January before the AHR Expo in Las Vegas.

For reprints of this article, contact Jill DeVries at (248) 244-1726 or e-mail devriesj@bnpmedia.com.