Most-viewed Consulting-Specifying Engineer articles for 2020

Most-viewed Consulting-Specifying Engineer topics posted in 2020 include egress and NFPA 101, COVID-19 impacts on consulting engineers, building pressurization and more.

By Chris Vavra January 7, 2021

2020 was a year like none other in recent memory. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our day-to-day lives. Even when things go back to “normal,” it will be different from what came before. Engineering has already been impacted by the pandemic in many ways and has forced companies, building owners, manufacturers and more have had to change how they operate. Some of the changes have been subtle, but many more have been far-reaching.

Consulting engineers are dealing with this new reality and they are as determined as ever to stay ahead of the curve. How buildings are designed and constructed will never be the same. What we took for granted or accepting as normal – such as coming into an office five days a week – is no longer a certainty. The future is an uncertain one and consulting engineers are trying to stay on top of trends and new realities because of the effects COVID-19 has had in our world.

The most-viewed articles on Consulting-Specifying Engineer certainly reflect that with a majority of the top 10 stories in 2020 touching on COVID-19 in some form or another. Even if it the articles doesn’t directly touch on COVID-19 or the possibility of new pandemics in our future, the specter of our present reality and future are not far off.

1. How egress is planned using NFPA 101 – NFPA 101: Life Safety Code is one of the primary sources for the requirements of exit pathways.

2. Climate-informed HVAC increases in relative humidity may fight COVID-19 and other pandemics Indoor relative humidity is a function of seasonal climate and building HVAC. The range of 40 to 60% RH may reduce contagion and help those who are infected.

3. How NFPA 101 defines building egress NFPA 101: Life Safety Code provides fire protection engineers many resources for designing safe egress, along with several other life safety options.

4. Best practices for infiltration and building pressurization Observe the mechanics of infiltration and pressurization in a building, modeling methodologies and what can be done to better account for them in air handling system design.

5. COVID-19 and the impacts to the workplace The Bala Consulting Engineers COVID-19 Task Force has published a white paper to assist engineers in making buildings safer.

6. Converting alternative structures for COVID-19 patients Converting structures such as hospitals, arenas, convention centers and other large-scale buildings in the wake of COVID-19 is a challenge, but perhaps a necessary one as the pandemic continues.

7. What’s so important about air filtration? Filters are ubiquitous in air handling systems, so it’s helpful to understand the different options for filters and to learn about how they function,

8. MEP Giants revenue increased 5% over last year  The 2020 MEP Giants gross revenue increased nearly $8 billion, while MEP/FP revenue increased $434 million compared to last year.

9. Illuminating the means of egress Differentiating the requirements of egress lighting versus emergency egress lighting requires a close look at several codes and standards.

10. Pandemic control in high-performance buildings High-performance building design in health care facilities may teach engineers how to design other building types.

Every Friday, Consulting-Specifying Engineer posts its most-viewed articles of the week. Check out what is top of mind for our readers.

Author Bio: Chris Vavra is senior editor for WTWH Media LLC.