SVL News

enVerid: Innovative HVAC Load Reduction Modules

Don’t choose between air quality and energy efficiency. enVerid explains how to get both from one technology.

We recently sat down with Matthew Gundrum from enVerid as he explained how the company’s Sorbent Ventilation Technology (SVT) is changing how engineers design air delivery systems.

If you want to learn more about the latest technologies in HVAC at our bimonthly Coffee Break webinars, ask your SVL sales engineer for an invite to our future sessions.

What is Sorbent Ventilation Technology?

SVT is an innovation that enables tonnage reduction in a building’s air-handling equipment. This advanced air-scrubbing technology fully complies with ASHRAE standards, in which its air-cleaning abilities reduce the amount of outdoor air a building needs to meet code.

A smaller outdoor air requirement means a smaller first cost for new construction by reducing the tonnage of the specified air handling equipment. This translates into ongoing savings in energy use reduction over the life of the building.

Besides these savings, SVT delivers great IAQ results for the building occupants. It helps builders qualify for LEED, WELL, and other green building certifications in the categories of air quality enhancements and energy reduction.

How does SVT work?

Enverid-SORBENT VENTILATION FILTERS Load Reduction Modules

SVT is a filtration product. Sorbent is a gaseous media that uses adsorption to remove the contaminants generated in a space. It is a subtractive media that adds nothing to the airstream (no byproducts). Instead, it captures and sequesters contaminants. The sorbent media is packaged into a filter, and the filters are packaged in different fan-powered boxes. It can be integrated with various mechanical design schemes.

How does employing SVT reduce outdoor air requirements while still meeting code?

When contaminants are generated in a space, they enter the return airstream that is often ejected outdoors. This necessitates bringing in a high volume of outdoor air to replace that contaminated airstream, and conditioning outdoor air is a continual expense for building owners.

SVT reuses the return air you’ve already paid to condition by scrubbing that airstream of contaminants before it’s mixed with the new supply air and recirculated. In this strategy, ASHRAE gives you credit for cleaning the airstream and allows a reduction in the amount of new outdoor air you must bring into the AHU.

Which ASHRAE code does this refer to?

ASHRAE 62.1 defines this strategy, the Indoor Air Quality Procedure (IAQP), as a performance-based methodology that determines outdoor air requirements based on IAQ design targets and source-control and removal measures (like SVT).

IAQP results in equal or better IAQ than using 100% outdoor air (a strategy ASHRAE 62.1 calls the Ventilation Rate Procedure), especially when outdoor air is polluted or contains unusual contaminants. SVT is also fully compliant with International Mechanical Code.

How do the HVAC Load Reduction Modules work?

SVT may be deployed in a simple box with an ECM fan and a filter media core. In new construction or retrofits where RTUs are being replaced, SVT technology is available for integration into Daikin air handling equipment, requiring no new ductwork on the return side.

What are the best applications for SVT?

SVT is designed for spaces that use ASHRAE 62.1 to determine air changes and air quality, including offices, schools, commercial retail, event spaces, and other spaces prescriptively mentioned in that section.

This does not include spaces like critical healthcare settings with a mandated number of air changes per hour and anywhere with elevated exhaust needs, like commercial kitchens and laboratories, which require high volumes of makeup air.

Where can I learn more about SVT?

enVerid has over a thousand units installed and in design. This number is growing daily as more engineers learn that SVT is a great way to drive value for customers and be competitive in the marketplace.

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                      Jim Lubratt

                      President & Chief Executive Officer

                      Jim Lubratt has been president of SVL since 2006. He first joined the company as a sales engineer in 1992 and was made a partner in 2000. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Southern Methodist University and first entered the HVAC industry as a marketing engineer for a heat pump manufacturer in Texas.

                      In addition to his role at SVL, Jim is vice president of AQC Industries, LLC, a manufacturer of specialized underground ductwork systems. He is also an investor and board member for Hydromx, Inc., a manufacturer of heat transfer nanofluids, and Crotega, Inc., creators of personal and building security solutions.

                      Jim and his wife, Tracy, met in college and married in 1993. They have three children, two of whom have graduated college in Texas, while their youngest is attending Grand Canyon University in Arizona.

                      Outside of work, Jim places a priority on his faith, family, friends, and fitness. He enjoys helping people-supporting charities, time with his wife and kids, road-biking with friends and efforts to stay physically fit.

                      A message from Jim on the achievements of SVL

                      SVL started in February 1967 by Charlie Schwab and Craig Vollhaber. Schwab-Vollhaber, Inc. (as it was named at the time) steadily grew and, in 1985, welcomed Paul Lubratt as another partner, becoming Schwab-Vollhaber-Lubratt, Inc. SVL’s founders had the determination to build the most talented, customer-focused HVAC representative in the Midwest. Our original drive and passion still shape the company and culture to this day. The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined efforts of every individual. From humble beginnings, SVL founders paved the way to industry success with hard work and determination. “Today, SVL is strongly organized with great people to lead our industry forward as we are challenged with fast-paced changes to reduce our environmental impact,” says Jim. Now, 55+ years later, SVL is under the leadership of two new principals who share the same vision and drive that has propelled SVL throughout the years. Built on a foundation of integrity, Jim Lubratt, and Charlie Vollhaber strive to ensure opportunities for personal growth, improved work environment, and shared life enrichment. The achievements of our organization are the results of the combined efforts of every individual.

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                      Charlie Vollhaber

                      Executive Vice President & Officer

                      Charlie Vollhaber is a third-generation employee at SVL, as a grandson of company co-founder Craig Vollhaber and son of former CEO Todd Vollhaber. Charlie holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and an MBA, both from the University of Minnesota. He became an outside salesman for SVL in 2013, was made a partner in 2019, and then executive vice president and officer in 2022.

                      He grew up playing sports, including football, basketball, golf, and track, and enjoys the competitive nature of the HVAC industry. “I like that no two days are ever the same as there are always questions to answer and problems to solve,” he says. “Most of all, I enjoy working with great people and coordinating together on challenging projects to achieve positive results together.”

                      Outside of work, Charlie enjoys spending time with his wife, Lesley, and their three boys. He’s also fond of golfing, traveling, and attending concerts and sporting events. One of his favorite quotes is from the book of Philippians: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count other more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Because HVAC and construction is such a team effort, he says, “this mindset helps to create positive results in a vast majority of situations.”

                      A message from Charlie on the culture of SVL

                      “At SVL, we strive to cultivate a unique culture that revolves around finding and empowering exceptional individuals. We believe in equipping our team members with the right tools and resources to succeed.

                      As we’ve grown the business, we have deliberately maintained a small firm culture, fostering an environment where collaboration thrives. We encourage open dialogue and promote a sense of comfort among our employees, allowing anyone to ask questions and seek guidance from anyone else, regardless of their level within the organization.

                      We foster a workshop-like atmosphere where everyone’s contribution is valued. Presenting your work to another individual or a group of teammates provides a platform for collaboration, where ideas are shared, dissected, and improved collectively. We firmly believe in the power of mentoring and provide various avenues for both formal and informal guidance. Whether it’s through structured training programs or casual conversations, we encourage team members to discuss a wide range of topics, from work-related successes or issues to everyday personal life topics.

                      In summary, our culture is built on the foundation of attracting exceptional individuals, empowering them with the necessary tools, and fostering a collaborative environment where mentorship and growth thrive. We are committed to creating an atmosphere where every team member feels supported, valued, and encouraged to reach their fullest potential.”

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                      Al Gramse

                      Vice President of SVL Service Corporation

                      Al Gramse has been in the HVAC industry for over 30 years. He began as a service technician.  Then over his career worked in technical support, building automation, then service manager prior to his current role.

                      How did Al end up in the HVAC industry?  “After high school, I took a couple years to figure out what I wanted to do.   Where I was working at the time, a grumpy old coworker, who I didn’t get along with, walked up to me and said ‘What are you doing here?  Go back to school.’”  I said, “For what?”  He said “There’s a tech school down the street.  Go down there and pick something that interests you”. Then he walked away.  That weird interaction, with someone I didn’t get along with, sent me down a 30-year path in the HVAC industry.   Never underestimate the potential of a little encouragement.   Even if it is from a strange source.

                      Al has been with SVL for 15 years and is the head of our SVL Service division. “The people here are some of the best in the industry,” Al says. “A bunch of team-oriented, knowledgeable, go-getters.” His personal mantra is “figure it out,” “Do a little fact-finding on your own. Use your own brain before you use someone else’s. But know when to ask for help.” he prescribes. “It’s amazing what you can accomplish on your own if you dig in a little bit.”

                      Outside of work, Al has lots of outdoor hobbies, including hunting, fishing, and motorcycling, though his favorite pastime is simply hanging out with family.

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                      Jennifer Roach

                      Director of Creative Services

                      Jen Roach brings 30 years of marketing and leadership experience to her work directing the creative team at SVL. A graduate of South St. Paul High School, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in visual communication and design from Brown College.

                      She began her career in graphic design before moving into an art director role with Dayton Hudson Corporation. Later, she became creative director at an advertising agency working on recreational vehicle accounts, before taking in-house creative director positions first at Gander Mountain and then at HOM Furniture.

                      Jen joined SVL in 2021, during a time of major growth for its marketing team. “My style is ‘servant-leadership’, putting my team’s needs before my own, doing whatever I can to make them feel valued and secure,” she says. “I think it drives stronger working relationships, builds trust, and produces higher quality work. I want the team to care about the company, the work, and each other.”

                      Outside of work, Jen enjoys spending time with her husband, Scott, and son, Crew. Together they love weekend getaways, being outside, riding bikes, gardening, baking, and traveling to wrestling tournaments to cheer on Simley High School. She recently constructed her forever home in Cottage Grove and now spends her free time as a weekend reno warrior.

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