Top Consulting-Specifying Engineer articles, February 2011
February 2011’s leading Consulting-Specifying Engineer online stories include:
ASHRAE 90.1 reduces energy consumption – The recently published 2010 version of ASHRAE’s energy standard is expected to provide guidance for reducing energy consumption by more than 20% over savings realized in the previous version. The standard’s purpose is to establish minimum energy efficiency requirements of buildings for design, construction, a plan for operation and maintenance, and use of on-site renewable energy resources. This article focuses on the revisions to Standard 90.1 in sections 6, 8, 9, and 10.
Keeping up with Standard 90.1 – The Standing Standard Project Committee 90.1 has been hard at work for the past six years making significant strides in the energy efficiency provisions of 90.1. The goal was to create a 2010 standard that would be used to build buildings that are 30% more efficient that buildings built to the 2004 version of the standard. This article highlights some of the significant changes. Further reading of the document to understand the direct implications is required and encourages.
Rethinking the ‘smokeproof’ enclosure – Stair pressurization systems are the most widely selected design option recognized by the IBC, and has been the predominant method for protecting stairwells in high-rise buildings for more than 20 years. Design difficulties experienced in tall buildings and recent events that challenge the underlying fire scenarios for which the stairwells may be in use may necessitate a rethinking of how stairwells are protected during high-rise fire events. Some of these design challenges and potential alternatives are discussed in this article.
Transients in mission critical facilities – Each of the three transient conditions in a mission critical facility (MCF) has a different cause, different result, and different method of mitigation. This discussion investigates each of these and the kinds of effects they have on the operation of an MCF.
U.S. commercial property recovery spares economy – Commercial properties in 2010 sold more than they did one year prior – the second-largest gain on record, defying predictions of further economic collapse. Prices of commercial properties sold by institutional investors surged 19% in 2010, the second-biggest gain on record, according to an index developed by the MIT Center for Real Estate.
Modular data centers – Modular design plays an essential role in the planning, design, and construction of a data center. This articles discusses how using a modular design approach will help lower capital spending while at the same time increase efficiency, reliability, and expandability.
Learning curve – In the face of dwindling budgets, growing sustainability requirements, and other considerations, K-12 school projects can be a challenging – yet rewarding – area for engineers to tackle. Here, a group of experts share advice on how to handle such projects and go to the head of the class.
Short-term energy outlook – EIA forecasts average expenditures for space-heating fuels to increase by $24 from 2010, expects natural gas working inventories to remain high through 2011, estimates the total U.S. consumption of electricity this year to remain at the same levels from 2010, and expects retail sales of electricity to fall 2%. This article covers other highlights and links to the full report.