New York, NY – Claudio Gomez is a TAB Technician with SMART Local 28 — TAB stands for Testing, Adjusting and Balancing— the three step process needed to help make HVAC systems achieve proper operation.
What Gomez and his co-workers do should be of interest to the average person — as it directly impacts the building environments in which we live and work.
Airflow must be constantly regulated to bring building interiors in good balance between fresh air and a comfortable temperatures. Skyscrapers are especially affected, as their windows are closed to the outside, so air must be highly regulated. Years ago, workers in offices with poor air circulation suffered from “Sick building syndrome.”
“Our TAB work insures people can come back to the workplace safely as we get through COVID-19,” Gomez says. “We make NYC breathe.”
TAB technicians perform air and hydronic measurements on HVAC systems and adjust the flows as required to achieve optimum performance of the building environmental equipment.
“The balancing is usually based upon the design flow values required by the Mechanical Engineer for the project, and the TAB contractor submits a written report which summarizes the testing and balancing and notes any deficiencies found during the TAB work,” Gomez explains.
Gomez has been in Local 28 for nearly 10 years, but his HVAC career began in 2007, in a non-union job. The Argentine emigre and married father of two from New Jersey understands the stark differences between the union experience and working without one.
“The biggest difference is the education available,” he says. “With all the certifications I have from Local 28, I became a nighttime instructor, teaching night classes to apprentices and also full-time mechanics/journeymen, who want to learn or a career change.” Gomez also points to improved safety on the job. “The union is more proactive. You have someone to go to if you don’t feel safe. It’s not you against the boss.”
He has numerous certifications, and is accredited through TABB, the Testing, Adjusting and Balancing Bureau, which is an ANSI [American National Standards Institute] accredited certifying agency. Gomez and his team at Advanced Testing, Balancing & Energy Consulting LLC are sometimes at work on multiple jobs at the same time. Current projects include Facebook office buildings, rehearsal studios for Broadway, SAG’ 54th Street Theater and all the Viacom buildings, among others.
“You go from the big top names to the mom and pop shops,” he says.