ASHRAE, Industrial Health & Glasnost

Someone once told me, "Speak the truth fast," when dealing with sensitive issues. Okay, here it goes: Since recently implementing a Glasnost-like policy of trying to include the voice of the manufacturing community into the magazine where appropriate (see 11/02 "Editor's Viewpoint"), it's been brought to my attention by a few members of that community that they feel they're not getting their fa...

02/01/2003


Someone once told me, "Speak the truth fast," when dealing with sensitive issues. Okay, here it goes: Since recently implementing a Glasnost-like policy of trying to include the voice of the manufacturing community into the magazine where appropriate (see 11/02 "Editor's Viewpoint"), it's been brought to my attention by a few members of that community that they feel they're not getting their fair share of representation in our M/E Roundtable discussions.

Such criticism is not unexpected as the magazine treads new ground. Surely the old maxim, "You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please everyone all of the time," applies—wait, maybe that's "fool" people...

Anyway, we are sensitive to this issue and are not trying to exclude anyone. In fact, this feedback is good, as I take it that it means people are reading the publication and perceive it has value—I sure hope it does. And again, our "Letters" page is an appropriate forum to address concerns of coverage and its degree of comprehensiveness. I'm certainly open to constructive criticism.

In fact, I recently had a colleague give the magazine a once over. He had his share of kudos, but noted he would like to see more "how to" engineering information. He also felt more detailed technical illustrations would be helpful, and that overall, the features were a little too general. I think we are on the right track, and a recent internal audit from our readership confirmed that, but I want to strive to improve the magazine. I'd love to know more of your thoughts.

Elsewhere, since my mug last appeared on this page, much come to pass, including the ASHRAE Winter Meeting, which we provide a peek at on p. 14. A big announcement at the conference was that BACnet has been adopted by ISO as an international standard. In fact, I saw two of the protocol's major protagonists—Mike Newman of Cornell University and Steve Bushby of NIST—receive a more excited welcome at a hospitality suite than famed Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy, who popped out of his office to greet the top dogs of the controls manufacturer who picked the musician's club as the site of their post-show reception.

The conference and show were well attended despite some brutal temperatures. Of course, many of the show's exhibitors supply product for the industrial marketplace, and many, unfortunately, reported the sector is still down. In fact, a number of vendors were stripping their equipment to provide a more affordable product that still meets basic needs. We report on the industrial sector in our market overview on p. 36, including strategies M/E firms are employing to combat this depressed sector.

A final ASHRAE note: I ran into Mark Lentz, the author of last month's "Sky's the Limit" feature on high performance schools that can deliver good IAQ. Mark wished to place some addenda to his story, including additional credits. We plan to publish that information next month along with reader responses, which are trickling in. Keep 'em coming.





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