Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
Be it stricter energy and environmental codes, spikes in material and labor prices, alternative methods for designing and constructing buildings, industry consolidation or simply rapid advances in computer- and microprocessor-aided technology, change is inevitable. Over the near decade I've spent on this magazine, these are but a few of the forces that have altered the horizon of M/E/P engineer...
Let’s plant a billion new trees... Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) ranks some sports cars greener than current hybrids... both headlines I ripped out of my local paper on the same day earlier this month, and I think they say something about efforts toward sustainability. The first was a quote from the latest Nobel peace prize winner Wangari Maathai who suggested the tree planting underta...
The University of Pittsburgh, in the educational and cultural enclave of Oakland, just outside the Steel City, is surrounded by forested hills—a much different vista from the acres of farm fields that typically surround many colleges and universities in more rural and open locations. At the same time, existing in a well-developed urban environment presents a number of challenges to the school, particularly when it comes to expanding the campus. Thus, it's not a surprise that the university's main chemistry building—the Chevron Science Center—is a 14-floor high-rise. That said, when it came time to re-evaluate the fume hood venting scheme of the '70s-era building, a number of challenges other than energy efficiency—the main impetus of the upgrade—arose.
Crockett, I never liked you. Those were words, tongue-in-cheek, that I often heard from a former boss, colleague and, more importantly, friend, Paul Beck. It is with a heavy heart that I must report that Paul, CSE's chief editor and resident funnyman from 1991 through 1997, passed away at age 45 after a four-year battle with cancer.
A recent radio advertisement told me I'd be 58 when my youngest graduates college, and by gum, they're right (well, pretty close at least). They also told me I'd better be planning now for his collegiate career. These words ring true on many levels, not only for students and their parents, but also for the people who commission, design and operate school buildings.
The apex of summer means different things to different people: blockbuster movies, all-star baseball, HEAT, vacation, more heat. But in the thankfully cool offices of CSE, it means something entirely different: time to crunch numbers! It's not the budget cycle, it's GIANTS time, and with our abacuses mightily worn, we have once again tabulated our annual Top 100 M/E/P engineering firms (p 37).
Cheap and technologically superior? That’s what the promoters of a new electronic dimmable ballast are claiming. Lumenergi, formerly Lumenoptics, has come to market with a new name and technology it claims will revolutionize the world of lighting the way the Toyota Prius is changing the driving habits of many Americans. The growing popularity of daylighting on the building side of the green equation is certainly reason for lighting designers to consider greater use of dimmable electronic ballasts (DEBs). There’s just one problem: “To install dimmable ballasts right now is just too expensive,” says Bill Alling, president and CEO of the Sparks, Nev.-based company.
Tai Shan, the nation's resident baby panda, just turned one. "Peaceful Mountain" in Chinese, the panda has come a long way from the hairless four-ounce creature that many dubbed "butterstick." I had the good fortune to see the youngster on a recent trip to D.C., where I learned that his successful transition to "rambunctious toddler" is partly attributable to technology developed for commercial...
One of the biggest buzzes on the show floor of NFPA’s recent World Safety Conference in Orlando was fire alarms panels, specifically, the effects of UL’s 9th edition to its fire alarm standard—UL 864. “I know it’s been very critical for us,” said Jeff Hendrickson with Silent Knight . “Everything we’re showing is UL-compliant.” For the record, the new UL requirements call for a number of improvements, including more stringent power supply testing, more battery monitoring and better synchronization with notification appliances. FireLite saw the change as an opportunity to roll out a whole new line of products. According to the company’s Nick Martello, they started the process three years ago, and their panels are not just compliant, they’re UL-864-approved.
Whether it’s a show like NFPA’s recent World Safety Conference in Orlando, the ISC shows or the American Society of Industrial Security’s annual exposition, attendees, more frequently, are seeing both fire protection and security hardware exhibited on the show floor. It’s also not uncommon to hear a lot of buzz about integration of the two. And certainly, there’s been a growing number of official educational sessions dedicated to discussing the advantages of integrated fire protection and security design. But one player in this evolving marketplace is taking that philosophy to an entirely different level: military-grade.