Douglas F. Zentz
Associate Professor – HVACR Program Coordinator
HVACR Program
School of Built Environment
College of Engineering Technology
Ferris State University
20616 Madison Avenue
Big Rapids, MI 49307
United States
(231) 796-8162
Region: V
Honorarium: None
Douglas F. Zentz, Associate Professor, is the Program Coordinator for the HVACR Programs within the College of Engineering Technology at Ferris State University. He received his Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Purdue University in 1980 and his Master degree in Career and Technical Education from Ferris State University in 2007. He is a past President of West Michigan ASHRAE, a past RVC of Student Activities for Region V, and past Chair for Student Activities within ASHRAE.

In the field of HVACR, his background includes professional engineering sales for the Trane Company, manager of engineering-design-build for W.J. O’Neil Company in Detroit, and vice-president of engineering for EPPA-Strand Custom Air Handling in Detroit. This experience started in 1980 and continued until his transformation into teaching at Ferris State University in 2003.

In the area of teaching, he has taught junior and senior level HVAC Design (primary and secondary systems), Primary Equipment Selection, Commercial Building Heat Gain/ Heat and the senior Capstone Experience. His teaching experiences includes development of new curriculum (both in the traditional classroom and fully on-line) and teaching fully on-line courses for over 10 years. He has mentored eight (8) different student groups which have received either a First, Second, or Third place recognition from ASHRAE in the Student Design Competition. He serves on many educational committees and was a member of Fluke Instrument’s Advisory Board on IAQ.

In the area of professional speaking, he has been the guest speaker at 36 events since 2005. Organizations which have invited him to speak include: 1) Mechanical Contractors of America, 2) Air Conditioning Contractors of America, 3) ASHRAE 4) ARI (teachers workshop), 5) Lily West Conference (educational workshop), 6) USGBC (West Michigan), 7) Ferris State University (Energy Conferences), and 8) Efficiency United (educational arm of 16 Michigan Utilities).
What’s Your EUI?

Energy Efficiency related to commercial buildings is being analyzed by the DOE in a way to establish benchmarking for different building types within different climate zones. This has lead to average building energy footprint figures for most commercial buildings, yet the industry is now aware of how this new benchmarking will affect buildings and their lifecycle.  This presentation explains the complicated process of overall building energy efficiency, how this relates to DOE standards, and how this is related to other elements including potential Carbon Indexing (or Carbon Taxation). Closely tied to this discussion will be a brief connection to ASHRAE Standard 189.1 due to the characteristics of this standard and its impact on EUI.

ASHRAE Standard 189.1 – “Standards for the Design of High Performance Buildings; except Low-Rise Residential”

This new ASHRAE standard was developed in coordination with USBGC and IESNA for the purpose of creating a code ready standard that addresses the overall building performance needs in establishing a minimum level of acceptance as to what is a “GREEN” building. ASHRAE Standard 189.1 incorporates ASHRAE Standards 62.1, 55, and 90.1 (all current versions) and the platform of LEED to develop code language explanations for all areas of a Green Building and what the building owner can expect for building performance. The presentation will address the following in reference to ASHRAE 189.1; (a) Why have it?, (b) Relationship to Other ASHRAE Standards, and (c) What is in the Standard. The content of the details of the standard will be covered in a general context (due to time) as it will outline the areas of the standard, show Mandatory elements within each area of the standard, and then illustrate the two paths of compliance (prescriptive and performance) for each area of the standard.

How to Communicate Technically in a Professional World with Technical Information

Many in our Industry struggle with how to communicate effectively with technical information, keeping on target, providing the reader with a proper roadmap of information, delivering all necessary information in a logical & clear format, and doing so such that anyone within our industry can understand the objective and the solution to a given situation or problem. This session illustrates a thought process along with a structure such that anyone can present a technical problem/situation and provide a clear and logical solution in written communication for others.

Sustaining ASHRAE Through Leadership, Mentoring Our Future

This presentation will examine “what is leadership”, “why ASHRAE needs leadership”, “why it is our responsibility to grow leadership within our local chapters”, and “how do you mentor generation Y into leaders”. The mentoring process is critical to this success and this presentation includes the elements of generation Y such to explain how these generations think, what their values are, and what makes them tick. In doing so the older generations (current leaders in most situations) can understand “how” to motivate and mentor generation Y into future leaders for ASHRAE and the HVACR industry.

Applied Psychrometrics

This presentation will include the following elements; (a) a review of the Psychrometric processes, (b) defining state points of saturated air and how this creates the basis of the Psychrometric Chart, (c) the application of mixed air streams, (d) defining sensible heat ratio and applying this to the Psychrometric Chart, and (e) illustrating real world examples of HVAC systems to the Psychrometric Chart. The examples illustrated will include a common heating and ventilation unit with humidification, a 100% outside air unit used in process cooling applications where supply air temperature and absolute humidity are critical, a common VAV air handling unit with mixed return/outside air which must supply cooled air to satisfy a specific space Sensible Heat Ratio, and a more complex Dual Duct system where final supply air out of a diffuser can be calculated/illustrated through Psychrometrics (this example illustrates problem solving and integrates heat transfer equations of fluids).

HVAC and Energy Efficiency

This presentation looks at the evolution of HVAC within commercial buildings and how this impacts the energy footprint of buildings, how the DOE is viewing this in relationship to current and future energy efficiency demands, what should buildings owners today be doing with common HVAC systems, and what should our industry be doing to move forward and actually satisfy future needs for commercial building energy efficiency.

Doing More With Less

Water based systems have a long history of use in HVAC and provide many benefits; however, most of these systems are still being used as they were over 60 years ago.  Water has a high affinity for energy and we should be using it in a much wiser fashion.  This presentation will illustrate how to use water based systems to transfer energy more efficiently, save operational expense, help control systems operate with greater ease, and open other benefits to the overall building design and operation.


  1. Introduction
  2. Review the properties of water and energy transfer
  3. Review of control valve operation
  4. Review hydronic pump operation
  5. Illustrate the differences of low delta systems verse higher delta systems
  6. Illustrate other benefits due to changes in supply and return water temperatures
Sustainable Building Operation via Standard 189.1
This session illustrates how using ASHRAE Standard 189.1 can provide the foundation of Sustainable Building Operation for Higher Performance of building owner expectations through a roadmap of mandatory maintenance procedures and documentation. "Objectives for “Sustainable Building Operation via Standard 189.1 & Lessons Learned”