Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) participated in a media conference call on Aug. 25 held by Congressman John Larson (D-Conn.) and the American Health Care Association (AHCA) to discuss legislation that would require nursing homes to be retrofit with automatic fire sprinkler systems. In response to fatal nursing home fires in Hartford, Conn., where 16 people died, and Nashville, Tenn., where 15 lives were claimed, Rep. Larson has introduced the Nursing Facility Fire Safety Act of 2004.
According to the National Fire Sprinkler Assn., a pair of U.S. senators are moving to propose a bill that would provide tax relief for building owners that installed sprinklers. Jim Dalton NFSA's director of public fire protection, says Senator John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) has agreed to cosponsor Senator Rick Santorum’s (R-PA) "Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act of 2004." A companion to House Bill HR 1824, the bill has been held in abeyance for lack of a primary Democratic cosponsor. “It gives me great pleasure to announce that we have now received confirmation from the office of Senator Rockefeller that he will cosign this landmark piece of fire-protection legislation,” says Dalton. Rockefeller's agreement to cosign now clears the way for Santorum to submit the bill when the Senate returns to session after Labor Day. Elsewhere, NFSA reports that Illinois Gov.
Penn State's Department of Architectural Engineering has installed the first Internet-controllable lighting laboratory in the world, based on the digital addressable lighting interface (DALI). The DALI interface allows users from any PC and any location to control any lamp in this laboratory with a web browser; observe the effects with a web camera; and remotely monitor energy use and time-of-day use. Most recently, the control system was on display at Lightfair 2004 in Las Vegas.
For more than three decades, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has been a leading voice for environmental advocacy in the US. When the group decided to open a regional office in Santa Monica, California, they knew it had to be environmentally friendly. The building, named for Robert Redford, actor and long-time environmentalist, would combine cutting-edge technologies and materials with energy-efficient architecture to create a showcase for green-building design and promote environmental activism. The building, extensively remodeled by the NRDC and opened in November 2003, pushes the envelope for environmental design and construction techniques.
As one of the founding teams in the league that would become the NFL, the Chicago Bears are steeped in traditions that run deeper than most. The roster of retired Bears jerseys on display in the lobby of the team headquarters is awe-inspiring, the names timeless: Blanda, Butkus, Ditka, Payton, Sayers. The faithful converge on Soldier Field every home Sunday, win or lose, to shiver in the open air as the wind howls off Lake Michigan. Even the stadium itself, until recently a crumbling Greek temple with peeling plaster and questionable plumbing, has been part of the team's mystique for more than 30 years. In such a franchise, change does not come easy.
The International Code Council (ICC) voted unanimously in June to amend its International Fire Code (IFC) in order to permit electronic monitoring of fire extinguishers in lieu of 30-day physical inspections. According to the ICC, 32 states use the IFC. Utah was the first state in the nation to adopt standards for the electronic monitoring technology. Moreover, state fire marshals in Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire and New Jersey have also given the go-ahead for occupancies to install such equipment while the necessary code changes are in process. The new code language, which is endorsed by the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), does not mandate the use of electronically monitored fire extinguishers; instead it allows its use as an alternative to thirty-day physical inspections.
New research recently completed in schools provides additional insight into energy conservation, ventilation and indoor air quality (IAQ). The research utilized continuous IAQ monitoring technology, which measures temperature, relative humidity, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and odors and gases (TVOCs). Two comprehensive studies, conducted simultaneously in more than 100 classrooms in 11 Minnesota K-12 schools, will assist education professionals and decisions makers in all levels of state and federal government. Study Descriptions “Schools Air Monitoring Project for Learning & Energy Efficiency” (SAMPLE 2). The study was funded by a Minnesota public utility company as part of the State of Minnesota’s Conservation Improvement Program (CIP).
Chicago's Palmer House Hilton needed to replace its cooling tower and called on industrial and commercial HVAC firm Team Mechanical, Inc. (TMI) to aid with the purchasing and installation of the tower onto the roof of the 24-floor hotel. TMI worked with Maddock Industries to purchase the new $250,000, 112,000-lb.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) College of Engineering has announced a new research center boasting a sensor driven computing platform to manage people and equipment. University officials claim that the new Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science will host a number of "firsts," including the first commercial sensor-driven computing system using ultra-wideband (UWB) technology. Developed by location-based computing company Ubisense, the system will utilize UWB radar technology created by scientists in Cambridge, England.
Two major fire-protection industry associations have issued announcements concerning officers and board members: The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) has announced that members of its MasterFormat Expansion Task Team will receive a Technical Commendation at its 48th Annual CSI Convention. The presentation will take place on April 21 in Chicago during the event's opening general session. Team member Russell P. Fleming, P.E., executive vice president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA), represents the fire sprinkler industry on the Task Expansion Team. MasterFormat Expansion Task Team members will be recognized for their contribution to CSI's technical programs through their work on MasterFormat 04.