Geoff Weisenberger, Staff Editor


Other Building Types March 1, 2006

A New Lab Formula

Dr. Frankenstein might have some trouble adapting to the modern laboratory environment. His cluttered, poorly lit, cave-like workspace—complete with crackling dynamos and vial upon vial of mysterious fluid—is a far cry from the spacious, daylit and well-ventilated facilities that researchers desire today. But one trait of scientists that transcends generations—and the boundary between fiction and reality—is a passion for the work.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Staff Editor
Educational Facilities December 1, 2005

Latest in Lab Design: Sweaters

The vision of college professors in tweed jackets is a common stereotype. Perhaps that preconception subconsciously affected the M/E/P designers of Clark University's new Lasry Center for Bioscience in Worcester, Mass., as the team cast aside traditional schemes for one that's left school officials telling its researchers to "put on a sweater." The odd mandate stemmed from the desire of school officials to make its new 50,000-sq.-ft. Cathy '83 and Marc '81 Lasry Center for Bioscience a project that was not only sustainable, but also stuck to the roughly $250 per-sq.-ft.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Staff Editor
Energy, Power December 1, 2005

A Grower of Growers

A reflection of how the industry is changing, large M/E/P firms like Detroit's SmithGroup are now bringing on board "Green Gurus." One such thought leader is Russell Perry, AIA, LEED AP, who was hired by the firm just last month to coordinate its sustainable initiatives. Perry noted that building green awareness at a firm often progresses one person at a time.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Staff Editor
Electrical and Power December 1, 2005

How Do You Sustain Sustainability? Try Building Data

Alan Traugott, principal, CJL Engineering, Moon Township, Pa., took a few minutes at last month's Greenbuild show to give CSE the scoop on what he feels is the future of the green movement: building operations data. On Traugott's green agenda is pushing for a protocol to gather building information and submit it to a central sustainable building database. "The job isn't done with the LEED plaque," he urged. "You need to get your building data out there." While long-term data on building sustainability won't be available for a while, building owners do have the power to submit performance data that can help identify trends. Companies already monitor absenteeism and health-care costs; they should also be able to monitor this data and how it's affected by sustainable building systems, said Traugott. This type of information is helpful in another project Traugott is involved in—convincing the city of Pittsburgh and the state of Pennsylvania to adopt LEED as a mandate for city- and state-funded projects. Beyond money or recognition, he said, it should be a mandate, as the whole green process is ultimately to benefit the occupants of buildings. Regarding LEED itself, Traugott pointed out that direct involvement is one of the major benefits of the program.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Staff Editor
Energy, Power August 2, 2005

LEED and D-B Big with Giants

In this year’s CSE Giants survey, one of the questions we asked participants is what sorts of “additional” services—beyond traditional M/E/P work—they’ve pondered or have already put to use. Sustainability and design-build services were two common answers. Sustainability sustains Over the past few years, a certain acronym has steadily become more prevalent in CSE articles—so prevalent, in fact, that it may someday become assumed: LEED. So it was no surprise that when asked about expanded offerings beyond traditional M/E/P work, more than 20% of our Giants respondents mentioned LEED or sustainable design. Bala Consulting Engineers, Inc., King of Prussia, Penn., notes that the topic of sustainability is starting to come up more often in discussions with clients, as many owners are looking to gain LEED status.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Staff Editor
Other Building Types July 5, 2005

ASHRAE Forum Examines Gray Water Use

Gray water, defined by some as recycled water for non-potable use, is gaining more and more attention in the building systems community, as illustrated in a forum that took place at the ASHRAE 2005 Annual Meeting last week in Denver, Colo. One unified call from the ASHRAE members present at the forum, entitled "What You Need to Know About Grey Water Before it Can Be Used in HVAC Cooling," was for the industry to settle on a clear definition of the term gray water. While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines it as tertiary treated municipal effluent, many members felt this definition was open to interpretation.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Staff Editor
MNS, ECS May 1, 2005

Stayin’ Alive

As long as people gamble, some things will never change in Las Vegas: Casinos will always be open; neon lighting will always be in style; and the house will always win if you play long enough. And that's the real secret of success in Sin City: giving people everything they need—accommodations, shopping, dining, gambling and entertainment—all under one roof.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Staff Editor
Energy, Power April 1, 2005

A Larger Role for Engineers?

Dallas played host once again to BuilConn last month, a show geared toward the proliferation of intelligent, interoperable buildings. Last year, one of the main questions was what role M/E/P engineers should play in guiding the overall building-automation process. In talking to Paul Ehrlich, president of the Building Intelligence Group and a program manager with Clasma, Inc.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Staff Editor
Healthcare Facilities March 1, 2005

In Between Sessions with a Pair of ASHRAE Insiders

A visit to this year's ASHRAE Winter Meeting/AHR Expo in Orlando, Fla. revealed some pleasant and odd symmetry with last year's program in Anaheim: ideal weather; both took place in a county named Orange near a Disney theme park; and both took place in mammoth and relatively new convention centers. An unwelcome difference this year was that the exhibits and meetings were miles apart.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Staff Editor
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