In General Issues For Attorneys In HVAC Cases, HVAC expert witness Russell M. Keeler writes on guidelines that have emerged in his industry:
Over the past 50 years, heating and cooling design has progressed from a craftsman/apprentice trade to a pursuit solidly grounded in scientific principles. The authoritative body for this fund of knowledge is the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE).
ASHRAE funds extensive research into thermodynamics, heat transfer, the mechanics of building heat gain and loss and refrigeration. As processes become understood, the findings are published in the ASHRAE Handbook, a four volume compendium that is updated with new findings, one volume per year. ASHRAE also publishes standards for safety and testing of equipment. ASHRAE is the defining authority for heating, cooling and refrigeration.
Nevertheless, an engineer cannot design an HVAC system by merely studying the ASHRAE Handbook. The Handbook is written with the assumption that the reader has a general understanding of HVAC systems, including piping, ductwork, mechanical room layouts as well as a general understanding of architecture, structural and electrical engineering, specification methodology, and construction techniques.
Over the years of participating in disputes, I have faced various experts on the other side. In reality, the most formidable expert is generally the old pro (especially one with troubleshooting and systems diagnostic experience) who has seen it all (or at least most of it).
Reprinted with permission from Mr. Russell Keeler.