Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer


Lighting and Lighting Controls March 1, 2007

A Green Building for the Wild Blue Yonder

In 1975, Indianapolis showed few signs of outgrowing its airport, at the time less than 20 years old. Nevertheless, the local Airport Authority, seeing increased capacity needs in the city's future, set aside a midfield site for later development in a master plan for the overall facility. Designs for the terminal now rising on this protected parcel illustrate similar foresight, by providing ada...

By Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer
Educational Facilities December 1, 2006

Electrifying Integ Ration

With CSE's emphasis on integrated engineering, it's no surprise we'd take note of a building as integrated as Cleveland's recently renovated Idea Center at Playhouse Square. Constructed as a furniture showroom in 1912, the structure brings together both radio and television broadcast capabilities, along with live performance space and the ability to capture video from performances in the surrou...

By Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer
Other Building Types November 1, 2006

Advocating & Protecting Art and Science

Maybe the last decade's dot-com billionaires are now reaching their prime philanthropic years, or perhaps a number of lucky curators simply hit the lottery. Whatever the reason, cultural-facility construction in the U.S. is currently going through a boom of sorts. In planning this new generation of museums and science centers—including mammoth aquariums—designers are recognizing th...

By Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer
Other Building Types April 1, 2006

Building a Better Prison

Louis Sullivan most likely wasn't thinking about correctional facilities when he argued that the form of a building should follow its function, but few other building types point out the wisdom of this school of thought quite as well. Each facility is designed to meet a specific population's needs, and every element must be designed to perform—and survive—in a highly demanding environment. Experts say the market for these buildings shows no signs of slowing, and new design strategies and technologies are evolving. Your tax dollars at work Though correctional facilities rarely top taxpayers' agendas, tougher sentencing laws have resulted in more prisoners—and the need for space to house them—across the U.S. Those specializing in correctional-facility design say today's market is primarily centered at the county and state level, with federal projects being fewer and farther between.

By Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer
Educational Facilities October 20, 2005

Studies in Power Management: Two Cases

Large facilities, whether spread out over a campus setting or housed under a single roof, face unique challenges in keeping energy costs and usage under control. With utility costs rising, the ability to allocate expenses to various budget units is becoming an important factor in understanding where efficiency measures make sense. And getting better control of electrical operations can mean substantial savings when utility peak-demand pricing programs are involved. Facility managers for the University of Chicago's main campus in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood are responsible for buildings serving a range of needs, from typical classroom structures to specialized medical, biological and physical science facilities.

By Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer
Other Building Types September 1, 2005

Half Full or Half Empty?

On the face of it, engineers pursuing business in the industrial market today should be seeing plenty of half-full glasses. According to a July National Assn. of Manufacturers (NAM)/ Fortune Magazine survey, 86% of large manufacturers and 82% of smaller ones describe their outlook as positive.

By Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer
MNS, ECS June 1, 2005

Book It

Back in the early days of the World Wide Web—all of 10 years ago—some predicted the web would bring an end to the traditional library, as efforts to convert text into an electronic format would make physical storage less important. Well, the ongoing strength of library construction today has proved those predictions wrong, and experts say that today's new libraries are only getting bigger and more feature-packed. "Right now, dollar-wise, it gets bigger every year," says Dick Waters, president of Cottonwood, Ariz.-based Providence Assocs., a consulting firm that helps library systems develop programming requirements for new or renovated facilities. "I think the one thing that's not happening is that the Internet is going to stop the need for libraries.

By Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer
Codes and Standards December 1, 2004

Bringing Theory Into Practice

Engineers and architects at Albert Kahn Assocs., Inc. have created more than just a building in the new Granger Center, developed for Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. In essence, designers at this Detroit-based firm have also written a textbook for students in Ferris State's construction technology management and HVAC/R programs.

By Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer
Codes and Standards September 1, 2004

Evolutionary Design

Darwin's theory of evolution argues that minor changes in biology or physiology can have major implications for a species' ability to survive and thrive. Tweaking genetic makeup one way or another can mean new dominance over a habitat—or colossal failure. Planners of a new bioscience lab at Stanford University near Palo Alto, Calif.

By Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer
Electrical and Power June 1, 2004

How About Some Respect for the Electrical Guys?

Consider, for a moment, some of the major concerns graying the hair of building owners and facility managers today: power quality and availability; rising energy costs; and ever-increasing computer and telecommunication loads. Yet while this menu might seem to be just what an enterprising electrical engineer could only dream to order, particularly to boost his or her prominence on a building-t...

By Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer
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