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Automation, Controls September 8, 2022

What are the building blocks for designing smart buildings?

Julianne Laue discusses reviews data requirements in smart buildings, and how they become the building blocks of the system

By Julianne Laue, PE, LEED AP BD+C, BEMP, BEAP, Mortenson, Minneapolis
Automation, Controls August 26, 2022

Synergy between prefabrication and advanced design tools

Prefabrication and BIM have altered not only how we think about the stages of design, but also the process in which buildings are constructed by bringing a large part of the construction process into a factory environment.

By Tony Rieth
Automation, Controls August 25, 2022

How to define a smart building

Sanjyot Bhusari helps define a smart building and what that eventually means to the building owner and operator

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls August 11, 2022

Smart building basics

In this transcribed article, Julianne Laue gives an overview of smart buildings

By Julianne Laue, PE, LEED AP BD+C, BEMP, BEAP, Mortenson, Minneapolis
Automation, Controls August 9, 2022

Why we need more data scientists on engineering teams

Engineering teams: You need data scientists to join, and here’s why

By Microsol Resources
Automation, Controls August 3, 2022

Adding up the benefits of WiredScore and SmartScore certifications

Creating benchmarks to rate how connected and smart buildings are can have a greater impact on workplace health, safety, and comfort than simply hoping for the best.

By Mo Fahim
Automation, Controls June 14, 2022

Trends, changes in data center control system design

Several trends are pushing the control systems in data centers in different directions

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls May 5, 2022

Water management and water intelligence: Protecting your building’s bottom line

A properly administered water management system integrated with automated monitoring and reporting can save money and lives.

By James Dipping
Automation, Controls March 4, 2022

Achieving building comfort through proper controls, integration design

Homeowners often try to find a balance between thermal comfort and the energy cost

By Jeff Czarniecki
Automation, Controls February 24, 2022

How to manage building assets at airports

Integration of asset management systems at airports can significantly raise return on investment

By Tom Grimard and Donn McMullen
Automation, Controls February 16, 2022

Office building control, automation design

COVID, employee well-being and indoor air quality issues have all changed the way office building controls and automation are designed

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls February 9, 2022

Top smart building system essentials

These three critical considerations, three best investments and three common pitfalls will help in the design of a smart building

By Aaron Szalaj
Automation, Controls February 2, 2022

Using artificial intelligence to control building systems

Energy savings in buildings can be achieved when artificial intelligence and building automation systems are connected to achieve HVAC goals

By Kevin Ricart
Automation, Controls January 27, 2022

Consulting-Specifying Engineer most-viewed automation and controls articles in 2022

Read the best articles about automation and controls including BAS replacements, chiller energy optimization, data center design and more.

By Chris Vavra
Automation, Controls January 26, 2022

Data supply chains and the built environment

Reasons you need a solid data supply chain to optimize building controls systems

By Sean Turner
Automation, Controls January 4, 2022

Consulting-Specifying Engineer most-viewed articles, December 2021

Read the best articles in December 2021 including: BAS replacements, Product of the Year winners, hospital design, engineering salaries and more.

By Chris Vavra
Automation, Controls December 27, 2021

Digital Twins: A key to efficient building operations

Digital twins update and change in synchronization with their physical counterparts when integrating BIM, the Internet of Things and machine learning.

By Adam Roth
Automation, Controls December 21, 2021

The advantages of BIM for facility management

Facility management aided by BIM can reduce expenses, save time and conserve energy

By Anna Liza Montenegro
Automation, Controls December 17, 2021

Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer articles: December 10-16, 2021

Read the best articles from the past week. Lighting system compliance, NFPA 110, hospital design, BAS replacements and health care generator requirements.

By Chris Vavra
Automation, Controls December 16, 2021

Implementing innovative control system design ideas

Henderson Engineers outline their experience to improve their control system design.

By Jared Carlson and Lynn Browning
Automation, Controls December 8, 2021

How are hospital control systems being designed differently?

Automation and controls systems at hospitals and health care facilities are changing

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls December 3, 2021

Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer articles: November 26 to December 2, 2021

Read the best articles from the past week. Product of the Year winners, automated fault detection, environmental conservation, BAS replacements and commissioning giants.

By Chris Vavra
Automation, Controls November 16, 2021

Five steps to BAS replacements

Replacement of building automation systems can follow the process and precision of medical surgery

By Christian Nazon
Automation, Controls November 12, 2021

Tap into a building automation system’s data and maximize investment

It’s possible to marry the old building automation system with newer pieces of mechanical equipment, gaining functionality and efficiency without having to replace the entire automation system

By Bob Swanger
Automation, Controls October 13, 2021

Changes to controls and automation in the manufacturing, industrial building market

Several changes to the design of automation and building controls in the manufacturing and industrial buildings are covered here by the experts

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls September 28, 2021

Engineering with automated fault detection and diagnostics

Building engineers and commissioning professionals can use automated fault detection and diagnostics, which has been more commonly used to save building energy and facilitate predictive maintenance

By Jiajun Liao and Victor Saeh
Automation, Controls September 3, 2021

Managing BIM workflow and improving the process

Building information modeling (BIM) is a workflow and acts as a combination of those three words that make up the acronym during the design process.

By David Butts
Automation, Controls July 22, 2021

How to design controls, automation in government buildings

In this Q&A with multiple experts, learn how to design building automation systems and controls for government, state, municipal, federal, correctional and military buildings

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls July 6, 2021

How pandemics affect automation, controls in building design

COVID-19 affected engineers and building professionals’ designs in many ways, including building automation systems and controls

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls May 25, 2021

Specifying BAS in manufacturing, warehouse buildings

Warehouse, manufacturing and logistics facilities need engineering experts to specify various building automation systems

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls April 29, 2021

How to design data centers: Building automation systems

An expert panel provides engineering and design tips about building automation systems, control and technology in this Q&A

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls April 19, 2021

How to choose and use modeling software

Consulting engineers should evaluate how to select and use the right modeling software tools for a building design project

By Clark Denson and Abe Morris
Automation, Controls April 15, 2021

Best practices for engineering government buildings: Building automation

Designing utilities, public works, airport, mass transit, transportation or other government projects is a big task. Learn how to design automation, controls and technology systems in government buildings.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls March 23, 2021

Enhancing learning in K-12 schools via building automation systems

Students and teachers benefit from many building automation, controls technologies in K-12 schools

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls March 8, 2021

Selecting the right building automation partner

Building owners and operators are facing even larger obstacles in keeping their systems running smoothly, which makes picking the right partner more important than ever.

By Jeremy Crowley
Automation, Controls February 17, 2021

Office buildings focus on air quality, energy efficiency: Building automation

Designing office buildings in a post-COVID world is a challenging task with engineering variables; building automation and controls come into play

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls February 12, 2021

Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer articles: February 5-11, 2021

Read the best articles from the past week. choosing between an ECM and VFD, BAS integration, data center metrics, NEC changes and the scope and cost of a BAS.

By Chris Vavra
Automation, Controls February 5, 2021

Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer articles: January 29 to February 4, 2021

Read the best articles from the past week. Building automation systems, choosing between an ECM and VFD, COVID-19 vaccine storage, NEC changes and COVID-19 mitigation for HVAC systems.

By Chris Vavra
Automation, Controls January 22, 2021

Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer articles: January 15-21, 2021

Read the best articles from the past week. The cost and scope of a BAS, choosing between an ECM and VFD, NEC changes, data center metrics and electrical grounding and bonding.

By Chris Vavra
Automation, Controls January 20, 2021

How smart buildings combat health concerns

Building owners can use sensor technology and centralized building controls to make their buildings safer and more resilient

By Tim King and Ray Mans
Automation, Controls January 13, 2021

What is a BAS today?

Building automation systems have come a long way in the past 100 years

By Jaco Cronje
Automation, Controls December 30, 2020

Integrating a BAS into design

Building systems should be high-performing, integrated and accessible — and the building automation system is the key to achieving these goals

By Casimir Zalewski and Derek Crowe
Automation, Controls December 17, 2020

Designing flexible, safe labs: Building automation and controls

Safety, budget and flexibility are key factors when designing laboratory and research space

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls December 10, 2020

Identify cost, scope of a BAS

Finding the budget to implement a building automation system often proves challenging. Learn to compare scope against the cybersecurity requirements

By Jaco Cronje
Automation, Controls November 24, 2020

Designing, retrofitting automation and controls hospitals during COVID

While COVID-19 has changed many aspects in a health care facility, some things remain identical. Learn about building automation systems and controls

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls October 30, 2020

How virtual design changes the way we work

Communication is required for good design, but does it need to always be in person? Virtual design is an option for coordinating building plans virtually

By Joel Martineau, Jim Marchese and James Mazza
Automation, Controls October 28, 2020

Students, tech, COVID drive higher ed design of automation and controls

College and university building design is being driven by student needs, technology and new air quality demands

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls October 23, 2020

How virtual design, artificial intelligence impact engineers

Architecture, engineering and construction professionals will be impacted by virtual design and artificial intelligence tools

By Karen Pierce
Automation, Controls September 30, 2020

Smart building consulting: integrating people and systems

Examine the role of a smart building consultant and uncover the tools and processes used to communicate and work with stakeholders to deliver valuable smart building solutions

By Owen Dalton and Sal Bonetto
Automation, Controls September 29, 2020

Basics of building automation in industrial, manufacturing facilities

Industrial and manufacturing facilities have several building automation and controls needs engineers must include in new or retrofit projects

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls July 31, 2020

Technology, automation and virtual engineering

Consulting engineers need to stay relevant, learn about new technology and remain digital to stay ahead of the competition

By Amara Rozgus
Automation, Controls July 29, 2020

Best practices for designing government buildings: Automation, controls and technology

Learn how to specify automation, controls and technology systems for government and military buildings

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls July 28, 2020

How to select a building automation system

Explore the specification of standard, open and proprietary building automation systems

By Kevin Ricart and Melissa Lim
Automation, Controls July 16, 2020

Consulting-Specifying Engineer July 2020 Issue

Read the July 2020 digital edition to learn about how technology is changing engineering, building automation systems, zero energy buildings, tech stacks and ASHRAE 90.4

Automation, Controls June 18, 2020

How is COVID-19 affecting retail, restaurants? Read about building automation, controls

With consumers frequently enjoying delivered meals and shopping for goods online, brick-and-mortar restaurants and retail structures need to have more advanced building automation systems than ever to compete

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls May 29, 2020

Warehouse, manufacturing facilities go high-tech: Building automation and controls

Warehouse, manufacturing and logistics buildings are more than simple boxy structures used to make products and store them before they move onto their next destination. Engineers working find these facilities can be as complex and advanced as any other building. What’s more, factors like increased interest in online shopping and demand to have desired products yesterday are boosting demand for these projects.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls April 23, 2020

How to find success on a process automation building project

Large-scale process automation projects have unique requirements and complexities that automation specialists should consider to mitigate issues and provide a path for success

By David Ubert and Francisco Alcala
Automation, Controls April 22, 2020

Automation and 5G’s potential for advanced building technology systems

Sal Bonetto from CannonDesign discusses what is on the horizon for advanced building technology systems

By CannonDesign
Automation, Controls April 22, 2020

Data centers achieve a new level of high-tech: Controls and building automation

Designing solutions for data center clients — whether hyperscale or colocation facilities — requires advanced engineering knowledge

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls April 14, 2020

Integrating building systems through controls

By considering updated controls architecture, integrating building systems together becomes much more attainable and streamlined

By Elena Gowdy and Matt Fogarty
Automation, Controls February 28, 2020

Four ways to sharpen the technology that runs buildings in 2020

IoT and intelligent management systems have revolutionized the capabilities of our buildings by enabling better automation and increasing efficiencies for better overall building health

By Himanshu Khurana
Automation, Controls February 3, 2020

Will using augmented reality on the job kill you?

Well, probably not. But it will certainly enhance your engineering and design project collaboration

By Amara Rozgus
Automation, Controls January 30, 2020

What’s so special about office buildings? Learn about automation and controls

Office buildings are complex structures containing automated features, energy-saving designs, high-tech equipment and other components as advanced as you’d find in any other state-of-the-art project. Building automation and controls play a key role

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls December 27, 2019

Advances in building automation

Building automation has seen a tremendous amount of advancement and is changing not only how buildings are managed and operated, but also how they interact with the grid

By Julianne Laue, PE, LEED AP BD+C, BEMP, BEAP, Mortenson, Minneapolis
Automation, Controls December 26, 2019

Lab, research facility design: Building automation and controls

Learn tips on how to design labs and research facilities — some of the most high-tech buildings around

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls November 20, 2019

Ask an expert: Hospitals, health care facilities: Automation and controls

Health care facility designers are expected to keep pace with increasingly complex, advanced engineered systems and features

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls November 8, 2019

Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer articles: November 1-7

Read the best articles from the past week. Eight steps to managing building cyberrisk, 2019 Commissioning Giants, Division 25 Specification questions answered, 2019 Product of the Year winners and selecting the proper wiring solutions.

By McKenzie Burns
Automation, Controls November 4, 2019

Your questions answered: Division 25 Specification

Questions not answered during the Oct. 22, 2019, webcast on “Division 25 Specification: Live Software Demonstration for Integrated Systems” are answered here

By Brad Bonfiglio, Schneider Electric
Automation, Controls October 29, 2019

Video: FDD Software to Support Monitoring-based Commissioning & Building Optimization

This session explores how advanced energy and building analytics software unlocks the power of BAS data to enable monitoring-based commissioning, giving owners and energy managers the insights to improve energy efficiency, occupant comfort, and equipment longevity.

By CxEnergy and the AABC Commissioning Group (ACG)
Automation, Controls October 24, 2019

Learning how to engineer colleges, universities better: Automation, controls and technology

Read about emerging trends in college and university buildings, and learn about the emerging trends impacting their design

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls October 1, 2019

Video: Leveraging Your BMS System to Identify Issues Before They are Issues

This presentation provides an overview of analytics and FDD. How they are implemented within BMS, how to use advanced analytics to predict facility issues, and how to use weather data to provide system control.

By CxEnergy and the AABC Commissioning Group (ACG)
Automation, Controls September 27, 2019

Enhancing efficiency in industrial and manufacturing facilities: Automation and controls

From high-tech automation to energy-saving lighting and HVAC systems, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to warehouses and factories

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls September 20, 2019

Framework for designing the intelligent building

Intelligent buildings are no turnkey matter. They take a deeper understanding of client’s goals and objectives for what is desired and discipline to implement through a collaborative design and construction process

By By Brad Kult, PE, CTS, HGA, Minneapolis; and Neil Osten, PE, LEED AP, Mortenson, Minneapolis
Automation, Controls September 13, 2019

Outcome-driven system integration in smart buildings

Digitalization is evolving the design and operation of the built environment and a smart building design approach can focus on outcomes that deliver results

By Jay Wratten, IALD, LC, WSP USA, Boulder, Colorado
Automation, Controls September 6, 2019

Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer articles: August 30-September 5

Read the best articles from the past week. Getting started designing smart buildings, Puerto Rico's new building codes, a circadian approach to lighting design, understanding ASHRAE's standards development process and ways to improve engineer retention.

By McKenzie Burns
Automation, Controls August 16, 2019

Focus on specialty structures: Automation, controls and technology

Sports arenas, historical buildings, theaters and other specialty buildings require unique engineering design

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls August 13, 2019

KLH Engineers PSC project profile: Aloft Indian Springs

Aloft Indian Springs, Louisville, KY

By KLH Engineers PSC
Automation, Controls August 13, 2019

KLH Engineers PSC project profile: Miami Trace Local School District New High School

Miami Trace Local School District New High School, Washington Court House, OH

By KLH Engineers PSC
Automation, Controls July 29, 2019

Government facility design: Automation and controls

Consulting engineers are working on government, state, municipal, federal, correctional and military buildings

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls July 23, 2019

How to get started designing a smart building

What is a smart building, and how can engineers design integrated building systems?

By Benjamin Weerts, PE, and Rachel Kennedy, EIT, WSP USA, Boulder, Colorado
Automation, Controls July 23, 2019

Case study: Integrating an intelligent campus

A flexible and adaptable solution enabled future expansion for this campus

By Benjamin Weerts, PE, and Rachel Kennedy, EIT, WSP USA, Boulder, Colorado
Automation, Controls July 15, 2019

Integrating direct digital controls

Learn about control system attributes, and how integrated control systems can be designed for various building systems

By Jason R. Gerke, PE, CxA, LEED AP BD+C, GRAEF, Milwaukee
Automation, Controls June 28, 2019

Retail, restaurant and mixed-use facilities: Automation, controls, technology

What are the trickiest aspects of retail, restaurant and mixed-use projects and what trends lie ahead? Read on for solid advice from experienced professionals.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls June 18, 2019

Your questions answered: How to Specify Integrated Automation and Connected Buildings Using MasterFormat Division 25 Specifications

The June 6, 2019 “How to Specify Integrated Automation and Connected Buildings Using MasterFormat Division 25 Specifications” webcast presenter addressed questions not covered during the live event.

By Brad Bonfiglio, Schneider Electric
Automation, Controls May 22, 2019

Planning multifamily dwellings: Automation, controls, technology

Multifamily dwellings are fascinating projects with a variety of building automation, controls and technology system specified to keep residents comfortable.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls April 30, 2019

Top design trends in data centers: automation, controls, technology

An increasingly data-driven society demands advanced, high-performance data center facilities. Read on to learn the biggest automation and controls challenges, emerging technologies and upcoming trends affecting data centers.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls April 17, 2019

Building safety – on all levels

Building engineers must keep cybersecurity top-of-mind when specifying products and setting up building automation and control systems.

By Amara Rozgus
Automation, Controls April 4, 2019

Cybersecurity in automation — legality and ethics

There is some misunderstanding on what’s required legally, and a lot of indifference on what should be provided ethically.

By Jacob Jackson
Automation, Controls March 28, 2019

Designing high-tech K-12 schools: Automation and controls

The technology at play in today’s K-12 schools is evolving rapidly—inside the classrooms, and in the various systems behind the scenes. Engineers handling such projects, whether the work is on new facilities or retrofits, have their work cut out for them.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls February 12, 2019

Video: Owner and Engineer’s Success with a Monitor Based Approach

This case study outlines how the monitoring system was set up and utilized throughout the process.

By CxEnergy and the AABC Commissioning Group (ACG)
Automation, Controls January 17, 2019

Designing flexible, complex office buildings: Automation, controls, and technology

Mixed-use office buildings demand a great deal of expertise, flexibility, and complex technology, making them more challenging than one might expect. Engineers with experience handling office buildings share advice and a glimpse into the future regarding automation, controls, and technology.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls January 1, 2019

VZH inverter scroll compressor by Danfoss

The VZH scrolls feature intermediate discharge valves, which prevent over-compression losses that compromise efficiency.

By Danfoss
Automation, Controls January 1, 2019

Desigo Control Point by Siemens

Desigo Control Point is an end-user focused operating and monitoring interface that is accessible on a touch panel, desktop, tablet, or smartphone.

By Siemens Industry, Inc.
Automation, Controls December 19, 2018

Designing safe laboratories and research facilities: Automation, controls, and technology

Engineers working on laboratory and research projects are tasked with balancing state-of-the-art systems, budgetary concerns, occupant safety, sustainable performance, and other factors including automation, controls, and technology

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls December 4, 2018

Video: Cover your BAS: Simple Steps to Address Cybersecurity Concerns in Your Building Automation Systems

This presentation covers common vulnerabilities in BACnet systems and provides common sense approaches to ensure your Building Automation System deployments don't leave a building open to attack.

By Pook-Ping Yao, Optigo Networks
Automation, Controls November 21, 2018

Designing health care facilities and medical campuses: Automation, controls and technology

Hospitals, clinics, and similar facilities are among the most demanding an engineer can tackle—automation, controls and technology are evolving rapidly, hospital managers are increasingly budget-conscious, and assist in saving lives.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls November 2, 2018

Hydraulic Institute Releases Air Operated Pump And Test Standards

The Hydraulic Institute (HI), Parsippany, N.J., has just added two new standards to its ANSI/HI Pump Standards: the American National Standards for Air Operated Pumps (ANSI/HI 10.1-10.5-2004), and the American National Standards for Air Operated Pump Tests (ANSI/HI 10.6-2004). Air Operated Pump Standard This new standard is for air operated pumps, including positive displacement reciprocating pumps used for general liquid transfer, which are driven by means of compressed gas (usually air) from an outside source. The pump may be designed with a single diaphragm or double diaphragms connected to a reciprocating shaft in which one side of the diaphragm is in contact with the liquid being pumped, and the other side is in contact with the compressed gas (air). The standard includes the following sections: • Types, Configurations and Nomenclature• Definitions• Design and Application• Installation, Operation and Maintenance Air Operated Pump Test Standard This new standard applies to the test of air-operated diaphragm and bellows pumps.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls November 2, 2018

ARI Sees Flaws in DOE’s Energy-Efficiency Plan

If the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) fails to reconsider its decision to mandate a 30-percent energy-efficiency increase for central air conditioners and heat pumps, 84 percent of all central air conditioners and 86 percent of all heat- pump models on the market will be rendered obsolete, according to Ed Dooley, director of communications for the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute ...

By Staff
Automation, Controls November 2, 2018

Build Value in Now … or Later?

Our enlightening and spirited discussion of value engineering (VE), also known as value analysis, continues. Its ardent defenders have been its practitioners, while the most vocal detractors have been consulting design engineers. For example, Gregory Josephs, P.E., of Philadelphia, was involved with modifications to sedimentation tanks at a large sewage-treatment plant, and VE was mandated by...

By C.C. Sullivan, Editorial Director
Automation, Controls October 25, 2018

Examining higher education facilities: Automation, Controls, and Technology

As technology advances in every field, the college and university students being prepped for future careers in those fields need the tech they’re learning with to keep up. That presents unique challenges for the engineers working on such structures—specifying advanced systems that satisfy the unique needs of each institution. Here, professionals with experience in the area offer advice on how to tackle such facilities and receive top marks in regard to automation, controls, and technology.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls October 5, 2018

Preventing physical damage from cyberattacks

All too often, security vulnerabilities are much closer to home, much simpler, and in some ways more concerning precisely because they can affect our everyday lives.

By Ken Robinson
Automation, Controls September 26, 2018

Licensed drone pilots: a day in the life

In this world of autonomous technology, licensed drone pilots remain an essential component of the safety and viability of UAVs. But what can a licensed drone pilot offer to an engineering firm?

By Adam Westfall
Automation, Controls July 20, 2018

Improving wayfinding in complex environments: The case for dynamic signage

The increasing sophistication of automated building systems has allowed for opportunities in the improvement of wayfinding using dynamic signage in complex, changing environments.

By Andrew Biery, PE, Arup, New York City
Automation, Controls May 29, 2018

Where AEC meets IT: Tech services M&A is driving industry growth

Architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting (AEC) firms are adding technology-driven capabilities at an increasingly rapid pace.

By Neil Churman, 7 Mile Advisors
Automation, Controls May 14, 2018

2018 40 Under 40: Amir Tasbihi, PMP; 36

Director of Construction Technology, STV, N.Y. BS civil engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, IranMS environmental engineering, Amirkabir University of TechnologyMS construction management, Manhattan College, NYC Tasbihi is one of the construction industry’s leading innovators in the application and integration of building information modeling (BIM), project management information system (PMIS), and data analytics software. As STV’s director of construction technology, he oversees construction software operations for the firm’s national project controls group. The company is currently engaged in more than 20 high-profile construction management projects, where its unique application of BIM 456 services allows the firm to track a project’s cost and schedule in real time via a BIM model.

By Jack Smith, Content Manager; Amara Rozgus, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls December 21, 2017

Developing successful lighting solutions

Successful lighting projects take many shapes, but there are core traits that make them shine regardless of the building type or scale.

By Sara Schonour, CannonDesign
Automation, Controls August 29, 2017

LEED v4 updates and impacts on lighting controls

LEED v4 has adopted ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010, which includes a number of mandatory lighting controls requirements.

By Robert J. Garra Jr., PE, CDT; CannonDesign, Grand Island, N.Y.
Automation, Controls August 16, 2017

How to use LEED v4 for lighting controls

Lighting requirements in LEED v4 have become more holistic, with a greater emphasis on improving the quality of illumination for building occupants.

By John Yoon, PE, LEED AP ID+C; McGuire Engineers, Chicago
Automation, Controls June 29, 2017

Offsetting the costs of patient satisfaction with operational efficiencies

An advanced building automation system, LED lighting, and airflow changes improve the efficiency of healthcare facilities.

By RTM engineering consultants
Automation, Controls June 19, 2017

BIM: What do owners want?

The Spring BIMForum conference hosted several professonals in the AECO industry to bring forth their ideas for the evolving business information modeling process.

By Brian Skripac, CannonDesign
Automation, Controls June 16, 2017

Autonomy enables adaptive built environment

Autonomous operation, though posing certain challenges, seems to be heading in the direction of creating an environment that can adapt to environmental change over time and make decisions.

By Alvise Simondetti, Arup
Automation, Controls May 15, 2017

2017 40 Under 40: Vahid Balali, 31

BIM and Project Controls Specialist, STV

By Jack Smith, Content Manager, and Amara Rozgus, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls May 4, 2017

2017 Lighting and Lighting Controls Report

Changes to lighting technologies are affecting specifications and earnings, according to this report.

By Amanda Pelliccione, Research Director
Automation, Controls May 1, 2017

Color control scene switch with UI software

Legrand's Wattstopper DLM Color Control Scene Switch is ideally suited for use in health care facilities, offices, classrooms and training centers, retail spaces, and other applications where preset, scene-based color temperatures are desired.

By Legrand
Automation, Controls April 13, 2017

Intelligent pump controller

Capable of running systems with up to eight pumps, the fifth-generation Hydrovar features multimaster functionality, enabling each individual pump to take control of the system if one or more units or sensors are not active.

By Bell and Gossett
Automation, Controls April 13, 2017

Building management system

The Tracer Ensemble building management system makes advanced building management fast and easy with a web-enabled, enterprise wide view into multiple buildings and control systems.

By Trane
Automation, Controls April 13, 2017

B-BC controller

The nLight Eclypse extends the power of nLight to deliver the next level of lighting control.

By Acuity Brands
Automation, Controls April 13, 2017

Low-voltage lighting control system

The Distributed Low Voltage Power (DLVP) system blends the benefits of both ac and dc power distribution and is designed to reduce the total installed cost of LED lighting and controls projects.

By Eaton
Automation, Controls April 13, 2017

Fixture module

The NX Fixture Module (NXFM) is designed to replace everything from stand-alone controls to wired and wireless networks in indoor and outdoor applications.

By Hubbell Control Solutions
Automation, Controls April 13, 2017

Dimming relay

wiSTAR is a wireless, self-powered lighting control system designed for stand-alone indoor applications, such as offices, conference rooms, break rooms, classrooms, and other applications.

By Hubbell Control Solutions
Automation, Controls April 13, 2017

Fixture connection module

The Connected Lighting Module (CLM) is a key component to a light management system (LMS).

By Osram
Automation, Controls April 13, 2017

Dimming wall-switch occupancy sensor

The DW-311 is a passive infrared and ultrasonic dual-technology 0- to 10-V dimming wall-switch occupancy sensor designed to work in a variety of small- and medium-sized applications

By Wattstopper, Legrand
Automation, Controls April 13, 2017

Lighting, automation system controller

The InFusion Controller II extends BACnet support for the Wattstopper architectural dimming platform.

By Wattstopper, Legrand
Automation, Controls April 13, 2017

Automation, BIM-integrated plug-in

The Hilti Button for Firestop automation software is designed to integrate with BIM software platforms.

By Hilti
Automation, Controls April 13, 2017

BAS symbol library

The BAS Symbol Library v5 is designed to monitor complicated building systems with ease.

By QA Graphics
Automation, Controls April 13, 2017

Monitoring, control system app

iCOM CMS is an IoT mobile app designed to provide IT managers and service providers with advanced thermal monitoring and control for remote, mission critical locations and edge-computing sites.

By Vertiv
Automation, Controls April 13, 2017

Rooftop-unit economizer

The Outside Air Optimization (OAO) Kit uses the power of cloud-based predictive analytics to create thermal models of a building based on the past 7 days of temperature and humidity space readings.

By 75F
Automation, Controls March 7, 2017

BAS for mobile devices

Johnson Control's Metasys 8.1 is optimized for mobility, the system’s easy-to-use interface employs photo-realistic graphics for better visualization and faster troubleshooting from customers’ mobile devices.

By Johnson Controls
Automation, Controls January 31, 2017

Extra-short inductive proximity sensors

The ICB12S Extra-Short Inductive Proximity Sensors are designed for applications where space is limited and high performance is required.

By Carlo Gavazzi
Automation, Controls January 23, 2017

Understanding the impact of IECC updates on lighting controls

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is revised periodically to stay up-to-date on current technology and practices. Interior lighting plays an impactful role in the electricity usage of commercial buildings, and the 2012 IECC recognizes this by including various major updates to lighting control systems for energy conservation.

By RTM Engineering Consultants, Ill.
Automation, Controls November 30, 2016

Portable control for load bank testing

ASCO Sigma LT is a portable control system that offers operation and control of load banks during testing.

By ASCO Power Technologies
Automation, Controls November 18, 2016

Online education: Smart building automation systems

BAS and building your future: Register for educational online courses about smart buildings.

By Amara Rozgus, Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls October 31, 2016

Wireless lighting control sytem

The wireless lighting control system is designed with LED luminaries, wireless battery powered wall switches, and a mobile configuration app.

By Acuity Brands
Automation, Controls October 5, 2016

Converged controller for lighting, IoT applications

SmartServer 2.2 controller is built on open standards, providing users with the ability to integrate a wide range of devices.

By Echelon
Automation, Controls September 1, 2016

Motor thermistor relays

DTA7 Series of motor thermistor relays are capable of monitoring the temperature of up to six motors.

By Carlo Gavazzi
Automation, Controls August 2, 2016

Passive harmonic filters for various power electronics

FN3415 is an addition to the ECOsine family of passive harmonic filters, for 60 Hz, 480 or 600 Vac applications.

By Schaffner EMC
Automation, Controls July 28, 2016

Ensuring the reliability of NFPA 11 systems in aircraft hangars

Damage caused from an accidental discharge in one of these occupancies can be costly, easily reaching into the millions. These costs are related to damage to aircraft, foam resupply, removal of contaminant, cleanup and manpower, and the potential loss of future business.

By Aaron Johnson, TheCodeCoach
Automation, Controls July 28, 2016

Computer series with robust construction and easy access device

Matrix MXE-5500 Series feature 6th generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processors, and robust construction, rich I/O, and easy device access.

By Adlink
Automation, Controls May 18, 2016

Mass flow controllers

20SLPM is a model of BASIS line of mass flow controllers that fits applications including sparging into liquids, sample dilution, and gas mixing applications.

By Alicat Scientific
Automation, Controls April 27, 2016

Control platform for building owners

iWorX control platform provides an updated graphical user experience and custom integration.

By Taco
Automation, Controls April 14, 2016

Wireless fixture control

PowPak wireless fixture control allows users to transform any fixture into an intelligent and energy-saving luminaire by providing it with wireless-dimming, occupancy-sensing, and daylight-harvesting capabilities.

By Lutron Electronics Co. Inc.
Automation, Controls April 14, 2016

Industrial strain-relief fittings

Kopex-Ex ISR Fittings from Thomas & Betts feature an integral clamping mechanism that enables the industrial strain-relief fittings to comply fully with the IEC's pullout requirements without external clamping.

By Thomas & Betts, ABB
Automation, Controls March 31, 2016

Air/gas flow meter

ST98 air/gas flow meter provides direct biogases flow measurement without the need for additional temperature or pressure sensors or density calculating devices.

By Fluid Components International
Automation, Controls December 1, 2015

Communication modules

Eaton's C441 series communications modules with expanded protocol compatibilities are designed for industrial end users and facilities using networked motor-control centers (MCCs) and motor control panels.

By Eaton
Automation, Controls October 12, 2015

Control solutions for large installations

Echelon's Lumewave RF+Powerline Gateway (LPG) are intelligent outdoor lighting products designed for complex and large installations.

By Echelon
Automation, Controls September 25, 2015

Building systems integration best practices

Building automation systems (BAS) allow for state-of-the-art systems integration in nonresidential buildings.

By Sanjyot V. Bhusari and Michael Watts, Affiliated Engineers Inc.
Automation, Controls September 24, 2015

Plug load controls

I thought we were specifying lighting controls, so why are we also talking about plug load controls?

By Brian Fiander, PE, LEED AP BD+C, MIES, Harley Ellis Devereaux
Automation, Controls July 21, 2015

Wireless receptacle controls series

Extending occupancy-based lighting control to plug loads, this series helps lighting-control professionals meet new ASHRAE 90.1 and California Title 24 requirements to switch off selected receptacles.

By WattStopper
Automation, Controls July 8, 2015

Industrial fire and gas system controller

The HS81-HS controller is designed for hazard monitoring and control at industrial sites.

By Honeywell
Automation, Controls May 27, 2015

Stand-alone lighting control

Douglas Lighting Controls' Dialog Room Controller, a stand-alone lighting control device for offices eliminates wiring complications.

By Douglas Lighting Controls
Automation, Controls May 14, 2015

2015 40 Under 40: Frank P. Sidari III, PE, BCEE, CDT, CHA, 39

Vice President, SPL Consulting Services, Special Pathogens Laboratory, Pittsburgh MS Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University; BS Forest Engineering, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

By Jack Smith, Content Manager, and Amara Rozgus, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls May 5, 2015

Direct digital controllers

Tridium and NiagaraAX direct digital controllers are already a favorite selection of many system integrators when paired with a Tridium JACE.

By KMC Controls
Automation, Controls April 27, 2015

Wireless technology for building controls

Trane offers Air-Fi wireless technology for building controls.

By Trane
Automation, Controls April 16, 2015

Connected IP and Wi-Fi product series

Controller permits integration with building management systems and convergence with IT networks.

By Distech Controls
Automation, Controls April 6, 2015

Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Product of the Year finalists: BAS, controls, energy management

Read about the eight finalists in the BAS, Controls, and Energy Management category for the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Product of the Year program.

By Amanda Pelliccione
Automation, Controls April 6, 2015

Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Product of the Year finalists: Equipment-level sensors and controls

Read about the three finalists in the Equipment-level Sensors and Controls category for the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Product of the Year program.

By Amanda Pelliccione
Automation, Controls April 6, 2015

Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Product of the Year finalists: Lighting controls

Read about the six finalists in the Lighting Controls category for the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Product of the Year program.

By Amanda Pelliccione
Automation, Controls March 31, 2015

Air cooled condenser

A ModuleAir Air Cooled Condenser (ACC) will provide process cooling of exhaust steam.

By SPX Cooling Technologies Inc.
Automation, Controls January 2, 2015

Connected system controller

The connected system controller has a Web-based design and visualization interface prepare users for the Internet of Things building.

By Distech Controls
Automation, Controls December 17, 2014

Conductive level controllers

The CLD2EB1BU24 and CLP2EB1Bxxx conductive level controllers are designed to provide level control for a wide range of conductive liquids including salt water, sewage, and chemicals.

By Carlo Gavazzi
Automation, Controls August 25, 2014

Control platform for health care facilities

The EcoStruxure solution for Healthcare is an Integrated Control Platform designed to help hospitals and healthcare facilities by bringing together a large variety of hospital systems into a single, intelligent control system.

Automation, Controls July 1, 2014

Lighting control system – 2014-07-01

XPoint wireless lighting control systems are designed to deliver fixture-by-fixture outdoor lighting control for new construction and retrofit lighting projects.

Automation, Controls May 19, 2014

Pressure sensor

Building Automation Products' (BAPI) Fixed Range Pressure Sensor features an IP66-rated BAPI-Box enclosure, free static pressure probe, and certificate of calibration.

Automation, Controls April 15, 2014

Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2014 Product of the Year finalists: Lighting controls, sensors

Read about the 4 finalists in the Lighting Controls and Sensors category for the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2014 Product of the Year program.

By Chris Vavra
Automation, Controls March 13, 2014

Balancing and control valve

Victaulic's TA Series TCP PIBCV combines balancing and control valve functions with full stroke EQM modulation to optimize energy savings through flow control.

Automation, Controls March 3, 2014

Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer articles, Feb. 24 – March 2, 2014

Were you out last week? Miss something? Here are the Consulting-Specifying Engineer's five most-clicked articles from last week, Feb. 24 – March 2, 2014, including articles about the 40 Under 40 program, avoiding corrosion in electrical systems, designing laboratory ventilation systems, lighting control, and a column about female engineers.

By Jessica DuBois-Maahs, Jordan Schultz
Automation, Controls February 24, 2014

Daylight, occupancy sensors

Hubbell Building Automation’s WASP2 Occupancy and Daylight Sensor has added integrated dimming capabilities and is available for indoor and outdoor applications.

Automation, Controls February 17, 2014

Commercial chiller

WaterFurnace’s CLW chiller is designed to monitor and optimize system performance and are available in 60-140 ton capacities.

Automation, Controls November 8, 2013

Multiple bus load and generator control software

Emerson Network Power's ASCO Multiple Bus Load and Generator Control can operate up to eight independent multiple buses simultaneously as well as 16 gensets and 128 loads.

Automation, Controls April 9, 2013


The XV Series HMI-PLCs by Eaton combines control, visualization, and data management tasks in a single device.

By Chris Vavra, Content Specialist
Automation, Controls April 9, 2013

Fan controller application

BAFWorks gives users control over all of their Big Ass Fans from a single location.

By Chris Vavra, Content Specialist
Automation, Controls April 9, 2013

Motor control module

The Building Automation Starter motor controls from Cerus feature the Smartstart Control Module for seamless integration with digital controls.

By Chris Vavra, Content Specialist
Automation, Controls April 8, 2013

Electrical distribution

Read about the 26 finalists in the Electrical Distribution category for the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2013 Product of the Year competition.

By Chris Vavra, Content Specialist
Automation, Controls April 8, 2013

Equipment-level sensors and controls

Read about the 8 finalists in the Equipment-level Sensors and Controls category for the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2013 Product of the Year competition.

By Chris Vavra, Content Specialist
Automation, Controls April 8, 2013

Fire, life safety, mass notification

Read about the 10 finalists in the Fire, Life Safety, Mass Notification category for the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2013 Product of the Year competition.

By Chris Vavra, Content Specialist
Automation, Controls April 8, 2013

Software: Design, modeling, analysis

Read about the 3 finalists in the Software: Design, Modeling, Analysis category for the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2013 Product of the Year competition.

By Chris Vavra, Content Specialist
Automation, Controls April 8, 2013

Communicating room sensor

The Allure EC-Smart-Vue communicating sensor is designed to interface with Distech Controls’ BACnet ECB Series and LONWORKS ECL Series controllers.

By Chris Vavra, Content Specialist
Automation, Controls April 1, 2013

Definitions and terminology

Open systems definitions and terminologies for building automation systems and features.

By Ron Bernstein, RBCG LLC, Encinitas, Calif.
Automation, Controls March 14, 2013

Dewberry hires automation manager

Dewberry hires Troy Windom, a mechanical engineer with more than 25 years of experience with building automation systems, as automation manager for the company's Raleigh, N.C., office.

Automation, Controls March 7, 2013

Boiler line

The fully integrated system includes boiler, burner, and controls for multiple lead/lag configuration.

Automation, Controls March 4, 2013

Reducing electrical system costs

Consider these cost-saving ideas for retrofitting existing equipment and tips for cost savings throughout the new-building engineering process.

By Debra Vieira, PE, LEED AP, ATD, CPQ, CH2M HILL, Portland, Ore.
Automation, Controls January 25, 2013

Software development community

The Panoptix software development community by Johnson Controls monitors and displays energy and water use in real time to improve energy efficiency and sustainability in operations.

Automation, Controls November 30, 2012

User interfaces in intelligent buildings take lead from computer game industry

The increasing movement to photorealism and the gamification of GUIs is just one of the many trends affecting the market for value added services in intelligent building.

By Source: IMS Research (acquired by IHS)
Automation, Controls November 26, 2012

Building automation for hospitals, health care facilities

With daunting aspects such as ever-changing codes and standards, increasing medical complexity, and dwindling capital budgets, hospitals and health care facilities are among the most challenging building projects.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls November 6, 2012

Special report: The business of buildings

Consulting-Specifying Engineer discusses the buildings industry with Jim Sandelin from Schneider Electric.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls October 22, 2012

Designing office space: Building automation

Office building clients demand sustainability, flexibility, and cost conservation in both new and existing buildings.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls October 12, 2012

Product enclosures

Reliable Controls offers five equipment enclosures for control equipment protection.

Automation, Controls September 28, 2012

Hybrid motor starter

Woehner's hybrid motor starter MOTUS ContactronControl is targeted for industries that use motor controlled motion.

Automation, Controls September 14, 2012

Motor control

GE’s Limitamp AR arc-resistant medium-voltage motor control delivers increased safety, reliability, and ease of maintenance for industries like petrochemicals and gas, meeting the IEEE C37.20.7 standard and providing Type 2B protection.

Automation, Controls August 21, 2012

Wireless lighting controls

ControlScope by Daintree Networks allows commercial buildings' lighting systems to become smarter and more energy-efficient.

Automation, Controls August 16, 2012

Service, maintenance: The key to building controls integrators success

As dark economic clouds continue to linger across the world, how can building automation integrators guarantee future success?

By Source: IMS Research (IHS Inc.)
Automation, Controls August 13, 2012

Stopping industrial hackers: Cyber security for IEDs

Let’s examine cyber security issues as they pertain to intelligent electronic devices (IEDs).

By Sam Sciacca
Automation, Controls August 10, 2012

Lighting control app

The Q-Control+ Apple iPad app by Lutron Electronics is designed to control and monitor real-time status of lights and shades of a facility.

Automation, Controls August 7, 2012

Integrated outdoor sensor

The FSP-211 Digital High/Low Passive Outdoor Sensor by WattStopper is designed to control lighting and has a motion-based multi-level control.

Automation, Controls July 13, 2012

Integrating fire systems with HVAC controls

With building sophistication comes the need for a BAS to allow for nearly seamless operation of various interrelated equipment.

By Craig Studer, PE, Arup, Chicago
Automation, Controls June 27, 2012

Automation solution changes panel wiring

The SmartWire-DT panel wiring system by Eaton offers new connectivity options.

Automation, Controls June 18, 2012

Building automation: Can you see the light?

Report from IMS Research forecasts the increasing integration of building automation and lighting control systems.

By Source: IMS Research (IHS Inc.)
Automation, Controls June 6, 2012

Multi-function module

Two In/Two Out multi-function module by System Sensor combines two relay outputs and two monitor inputs.

Automation, Controls June 4, 2012

Networked lighting control system

nLIGHT network lighting control technology is available from Acuity Brands.

Automation, Controls May 21, 2012

Wireless adapters

Daintree's wireless adapters are for lighting controls within commercial and industrial buildings.

Automation, Controls May 17, 2012

Whatever happened to critical thinking?

New engineers are brilliant and stupid at the same time.

By Peter D. Zak, PE, Graef-USA Inc., Milwaukee
Automation, Controls May 15, 2012

GSA retrofits to create integrated, intelligent buildings

The U.S. General Services Administration has announced 50 of its highest energy-consuming buildings will be retrofitted with integrated and intelligent technologies.

By Source: IMS Research (IHS Inc.)
Automation, Controls April 20, 2012

Syska Hennessy Group re-launches ICT practice

Syska Hennessy's ICT practice will focus on a number of products including IT, security, audiovisual, building automation, and fire and life safety.

Automation, Controls April 16, 2012

Fire, Life Safety, and Mass Notification

Finalists in the Fire, Life Safety, and Mass Notification category for the 2012 Product of the Year competition.

By Emma Renee Dutton, Content Specialist
Automation, Controls April 11, 2012

Remote control portal

The inSite for ModSync tool from Synex Controls provides a private portal for remote Web-based access to a facility’s boiler room controls.

Automation, Controls March 5, 2012

Energy management system

Energy AnalytiX version 10.62 by Iconics is an application for building automation that monitors EMS.

Automation, Controls February 20, 2012

Integrated control system

Hurst's boiler line features graphical visualization and information collection for better operational management.

Automation, Controls February 15, 2012

Advanced metering system

Cooper Controls' energy monitoring solution with its Venergy Advanced Metering System.

Automation, Controls January 26, 2012

Controlling success

Rebecca Ellis is a nationally recognized leader in the commissioning industry and specializes in the design, analysis, and commissioning of intricate temperature and humidity control systems.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer staff
Automation, Controls January 25, 2012

LonMark announces “Best of the Year” winners

LonMark International has announced its 2011 Best of the Year award winners for companies that demonstrated innovation, vision, and leadership in their products and business.

Automation, Controls January 24, 2012

Electric power metering

Continental Control Systems' WattNode BACnet meter offers cost-effective energy and power metering for all of the major building automation communications protocols.

Automation, Controls January 19, 2012

Wireless use increasing in building automation market

IMS Research's report on wireless use in the Americas and the EMEA market forecast that wireless sensors used in building automation sensors will increase to 25% by 2015.

Automation, Controls January 5, 2012

Electric smart meters

D-Mon Smart Metering products from E-Mon offer a variety of features.

Automation, Controls December 15, 2011

Software platform

Schneider Electric's StruxureWare supervision and optimization software can offer up to 30% savings in capital and operational expenditures.

Automation, Controls November 21, 2011

Certified data connector

Cooper Power Systems' SMP 4/DP

Automation, Controls November 16, 2011

Examples of lighting controls cost savings

This case study shows the impact of lighting controls on whole building energy costs.

By Lindsey Fimek, PE, LEED AP BD+C, Primera Engineers Ltd., Chicago
Automation, Controls November 16, 2011

Don’t question commissioning when it comes to lighting controls

Commissioning and testing are as critical for lighting controls as they are for building management systems.

By Lindsey Fimek, PE, LEED AP BD+C, Primera Engineers Ltd., Chicago
Automation, Controls November 4, 2011

Top Consulting-Specifying Engineer Articles, October 2011

Most visited articles at during October 2011 included the state of commissioning, lighting controls, electrical design for HVAC, NFPA13 for high-rises, and RCx.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls October 21, 2011

Screw chiller capacity

Johnson Controls has increased the capacity of its YORK model YVAA air-cooled, variable-speed screw chiller to 350 tons.

Automation, Controls October 20, 2011

Rooftop unit controller

The Prodigy unit controller tracks the runtime of major components in Energence rooftop units, allowing for detailed system performance evaluation as well as operational optimization.

Automation, Controls September 26, 2011

Energy management architecture portfolio

Schneider Electric's EcoStruxure is to integrate with IBM's Intelligent Building Management Solution (IIBM).

Automation, Controls September 6, 2011

Soft-start controllers

Eaton's DS7 soft-start controllers

Automation, Controls July 29, 2011

Study: Global expansion for BAS products

A study by ABI Research suggests that BAS products will be expanding into Australia and much of Asia by 2016.

Automation, Controls July 18, 2011

Valve selection software

Metso’s Nelprof 6 valve-sizing software enables engineers to select valves and compare various forms of product data.

Automation, Controls May 21, 2011

Smartest Building in America challenge

Siemens Industry's Smartest Building in America challenge has returned to recognize the innovative implementation of APOGEE and TALON building automation systems and the role these systems plan in making buildings more energy efficient.

By Source: Siemens Industry, Inc.
Automation, Controls May 13, 2011

Advanced application controller

Finalist in Networked Building Automation Systems/Controls, Energy Management Systems in Consulting-Specifying Engineer's 2011 Product of the Year competition

By Edited by Amanda McLeman, Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls May 13, 2011

Touchscreen display

Finalist in Networked Building Automation Systems/Controls, Energy Management Systems in Consulting-Specifying Engineer's 2011 Product of the Year competition

By Edited by Amanda McLeman, Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls May 13, 2011

Web application

Finalist in Networked Building Automation Systems/Controls, Energy Management Systems in Consulting-Specifying Engineer's 2011 Product of the Year competition

By Edited by Amanda McLeman, Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls May 13, 2011

CO2 sensors

Finalist in Networked Building Automation Systems/Controls, Energy Management Systems in Consulting-Specifying Engineer's 2011 Product of the Year competition

By Edited by Amanda McLeman, Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Automation, Controls May 7, 2011

Overcurrent protective devices

Cooper Bussmann's PolyTron PPTC overcurrent protective devices provide low resistance and fast trip times.

Automation, Controls May 3, 2011

EnOcean Alliance announces TCP/IP for sensors and controls

TCP/IP interoperability allows flexibility for energy harvesting sensors and control systems.

By Source: EnOcean Alliance
Automation, Controls April 8, 2011

Ventilation system

Modine’s 15- to 30-ton commercial packaged ventilation system can use the waste energy from a building to temper the incoming load.

Automation, Controls March 31, 2011

Cabinet controller

The Danfoss ERC 102 is an electronic refrigeration controller that regulates all energy-consuming parts in glass door merchandisers and vending machines.

Automation, Controls March 14, 2011

Operator interface

The XV and XP series of operator interfaces from Eaton Corp. have an array connectivity options.

Automation, Controls March 9, 2011

Air-cooled variable-speed screw chiller

Johnson Controls’ YORK YVAA air-cooled, variable speed screen chiller offers flexible energy consumption for industrial jobs requiring unique tailoring.

Automation, Controls January 25, 2011

Energy Star boosts engineering business

EPA’s Energy Star program is the primary resource for property owners and operators seeking to reduce costs and demonstrate environmental stewardship through strategic energy management.

By Robert Sauchelli, U.S. EPA; and Andrew Schulte, ICF International
Automation, Controls August 24, 2010

Wireless Indoor Air Quality Monitor

PPM Technology’s newest IAQ monitoring system, the Wireless IAQ Profile PPMonitor, enables simple, effective and flexible management of the indoor air environment. The PPMonitor can continuously detect, measure and record a number of parameters, including temperature, humidity, formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, ammonia and TVOC’s. Real-time functions enable immediate warnings of the presence of harmful gases in the air, thus protecting employees and the public.

Automation, Controls July 8, 2010

Welcome back to CFE Media, Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering

We’d like to welcome you back, and welcome you to something new. Longtime readers of this magazine will notice very few changes, yet CFE Media is something entirely new – and not just in name.

Automation, Controls May 15, 2010

2017 40 Under 40: Maria Lupo, LEED AP; 30

Project Manager, Controls Engineer, Senior Associate, Environmental Systems Design Inc. (ESD)

By Jack Smith, Content Manager, and Amara Rozgus, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls April 7, 2010

International PUE agreement reached

An international agreement on power usage effectiveness (PUE) for measuring data center efficiency has been reached.

By Source:
Automation, Controls April 1, 2010


Manufacturers @ Caterpillar We are a global company, with hundreds of locations worldwide to serve and support our customer base, and respond quickly to their needs. Siemens Building Technologies Siemens Building Technologies - comfortable, safe, secure and less costly bldgs w/energy and env.

Automation, Controls April 1, 2010

CSE welcomes a new editorial board member

Consulting-Specifying Engineer (CSE) is pleased to welcome a new member to our Editorial Advisory Board Siva Haran, PE, LC, LEED AP, is an electrical and lighting consultant based in the Chicago area. An architect and engineer by education, Haran has more than 20 years of experience in designing lighting and electrical system for commercial, institutional, light industrial, and residential pro...

Automation, Controls March 16, 2010

Energy savings on a silver platter

As I moderated the Energy Star for Engineers webcast last month, it occurred to me how easy it is nowadays for building owners and engineers to save energy compared to 10 or 15 years ago. I like how Jean Lupinacci, chief of the Energy Star buildings program , put it during her portion of the webcast: She said that Energy Star distills the wisdom of its partners who have experience saving energy in thousands of buildings. Energy Star has benchmarking software (Portfolio Manager) for existing buildings, design analysis software (Target Finder) for buildings still on the books or without 12 months of performance data, a seven-step program for developing and implementing energy management plans, a resource guide for engineers who validate input and perform site surveys for Energy Star label applicants, marketing materials for partners, and statistics and information to help convince owners to think about energy and budget for savings measures and proper operations.

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls March 16, 2010

Solving sway

Engineers know that high-rise projects pose design challenges including building sway, creep, and thermal expansion/contraction of piping systems. With the Burj Khalifa exceeding the height of any existing structure, those concerns became even more critical and high-profile.

Automation, Controls March 16, 2010

Dual VFDs versus bypasses: engineers weigh in

Dual VFDs, bypasses, and spare VFDs: a look at costs, benefits, and design considerations.

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls March 5, 2010

NEBB call for speakers

Organizers are looking for technical presenters for the November 2010 conference.

By Source: National Environmental Balancing Bureau
Automation, Controls March 1, 2010


The H-Max Series VFDs from Eaton apply advanced dc capacitors and use the latest generation insulated gate bipolar transistors. The devices feature 80% less power loss across the drive, which equates to 20% to 60% less energy consumed, depending on speed. The VFDs are approved by UL, Conformité Européenne, Canadian Underwriters Laboratories, and Australia.

Automation, Controls March 1, 2010

Data center professionals to gather in New York

Green IT trends, strategies, new technologies, and best practices will be the topics of discussion at the Uptime Institute's fifth annual Symposium, May 17 to 19 at the Hilton New York. Global computing and data center industry thought leaders and experts on enterprise computing's productivity, energy efficiency, and eco-sustainability will be among the featured speakers at the symposium.

Automation, Controls February 10, 2010

ASHRAE 135 addenda pass

BACnet adds language options for both computers and humans.

By Source: ASHRAE
Automation, Controls January 20, 2010

Dashboards: not just a pretty face

Dashboards can be integrated with controls, meters, and external resources to display energy, environmental, and economic performance.

By Amara Rozgus, Senior Editor
Automation, Controls January 7, 2010

Industry Roundup – 2010-01-07 – 2010-01-07

Contracts awarded and other industry news

Automation, Controls December 15, 2009

Construction spending rebound coming–eventually

Total construction spending to drop 12.2% in 2009, 5.6% in 2010. Rebound expected in 2011 with double-digit growth returning in 2012 as struggling commercial sector comes back.

By Source: IHS Global Insight Construction Service
Automation, Controls December 1, 2009

ASHRAE publishes new guidelines for healthcare and commercial facilities

ASHRAE has announced that it has published two new design guides: “Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG) for Small Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities” and the “Energy Efficiency Guide for Existing Commercial Building: The Business Case for Building Owners and Managers.” According to ASHRAE, the AEDG for Small Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities is designed to provide reco...

Automation, Controls November 18, 2009

Coordination conflict

CSE: Please explain why selective coordination in emergency/standby electrical systems is more of an issue than selective coordination in primary facility electrical systems. Bruce Young : Selective coordination of electrical systems is one of the most critical design tools an engineer can use to achieve reliability. The public depends on emergency electrical systems to operate correctly and reliably. In the healthcare environment, lives may (and often do) depend on emergency electrical systems to provide reliable power.

By Patrick Lynch, Asssociate Editor, Jack Smith, Managing Editor, Plant Engineering
Automation, Controls November 18, 2009

The team approach to healthcare projects

Major construction projects and energy retrofits in the healthcare industry can be complex for hospital management and staff. Typically, the need for growth, service line expansion, and infrastructure upgrades readily declares itself.

By John Alsentzer, PE, Smith Seckman Reid Inc. and Clark Denson, PE, LEED AP, SS
Automation, Controls November 1, 2009

Natural gas engine alliance

Girard, Ohio-based Altronic Inc. announced the formation of a technical and marketing alliance with Kilowatts Design Co., Calgary, Alberta. The alliance will bring customers access to high-quality instrumentation and control solutions for natural gas engines. In Canada, Kilowatts has been appointed as the exclusive Altronic control panel original equipment manufacturer partner for the Canadian...

Automation, Controls November 1, 2009

Control valves

Combine a control valve with a differential pressure controller with the AB-QM line of pressure independent control valves from Danfoss. The line of control valves includes a 1½-in. and 2-in. valve that offers maximum flows of 35 and 55 gpm. Designed for hydronic cooling and heating applications, the valve controls terminal units such as fan coils, water-source heat pumps, chilled ceilings...

Automation, Controls October 9, 2009

ASHRAE Conference focusing on sustainable seminars

At its 2010 Winter Conference, ASHRAE will focus seminars on energy management, sustainability, code compliance, and commissioning.

By Source: ASHRAE
Automation, Controls October 1, 2009

HVAC basics

It's important that young (and seasoned) engineers remain familiar with the principles and equations behind HVAC design and modeling software.

By Ben Biada, PE, LEED AP; and Carl C. Schultz, PE, LEED AP, Advanced Engineerin
Automation, Controls October 1, 2009

Tunable ballast

A commissioning tool allows users to “tune” the DemandFlex B228PUNVDRH-D ballast from Universal Lighting Technologies to avoid over-lighting. The ballasts can operate two F14, F21, F28, or F35 T5 lamps with an input range of 120 to 277 V. The power level of an individual ballast or whole circuit of ballasts can be turned from 100% down to 35% with 1% increments (or a ballast factor ...

Automation, Controls October 1, 2009

A microcosm of mentoring

Don’t you love it when a plan comes together, especially when the plan is realized in hindsight? In this issue, David Peters, PE, publishes his last technical article before retiring with 54 years in the HVAC industry. His article on page 20 describes a 700,000-sq-ft underfloor air distribution (UFAD) design for a headquarters office building for the Defense Information Systems Agenc y (DISA), which is within the U.S. Dept.

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls October 1, 2009

Gas ignition controls

Control pilot and main gas valves, fire the spark electrode, and safely monitor flames with Fenwal’s 35-6xJ Series of direct spark and intermittent pilot ignition controls. Should the flame not be proven within trial-for-ignition time, the control goes into lockout. The controls are available with local or remote flame sensing and have the same footprint and wiring connections as disconti...

Automation, Controls September 30, 2009

Calculate energy savings online

WattStopper has launched a new energy savings calculating tool.

By Source: WattStopper
Automation, Controls September 1, 2009

HVAC Technology Report: Greening schools

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition Read the other articles in the HVAC Technology Report series: " Systems design and performance tips for packaged rooftop units (RTUs )" March 2009" BAS design issues " June 2009 When planning a green building, designers and engineers face a chicken-and-egg question: What comes first, the building envelope or the mechanical systems? In the case of green schools, the building envelope comes first. If the building's envelope and siting are considered before any mechanical systems are put in place, engineering the building is easier and less costly. The experts interviewed for this article agree that the building envelope—not the mechanical systems—must be the starting point when designing green schools. For example, to achieve greater control of a school's indoor environment, Donald Clem, LEED AP, senior architect with Steven Winter Assocs.

By Richard L. Kronick, Freelance Writer, and Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls September 1, 2009

Retrofitting PV and wind generation systems

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition Retrofitting alternative power generation systems such as solar photovoltaics (PV) is much easier than one might anticipate. While these systems typically still have rather long paybacks in the Midwest, where utility power is relatively cheap, other areas such as California are realizing paybacks in 3 to 7 years. It is anticipated that within the next 5 to 10 years, PV electricity will be cost-competitive nationwide with utility power.

By Scott Gray, LEED AP Advanced Engineering Consultants, Columbus, Ohio
Automation, Controls August 14, 2009

Dell sets global green building code for itself

The technology giant expects to save $5.8 million/year in energy costs after retrofitting facilities and setting green building standards for new company-owned sites.

By Source: GreenerBuildings
Automation, Controls August 1, 2009

Meeting labeling codes

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition Engineers involved in the specification, design, installation, or relocation of equipment should understand electrical panel labeling requirements needed to meet national codes and OSHA standards for individual state laws. A component that has a listed label, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc . (UL), has been subjected to test and evaluation, meaning the listed component meets the nationally recognized safety standards.

By Wayne Hochrein, PE, Westonka Engineering LLC, Mound, Minn
Automation, Controls July 20, 2009

MEP Insider – 2009-07-20

Recent promotions and hires

By Eli Kaberon
Automation, Controls July 15, 2009

Consulting-Specifying Engineer announces 2009 Product of the Year winners

Fifth Annual Product of the Year competition showcased practical innovation for the MEP industry.

By Patrick Lynch
Automation, Controls July 1, 2009

New technology tackles energy drift

Scientific Conservation's new SCIwatch software can reduce energy spending by 25% by constantly monitoring and adjusting building systems.

By Source: Leslie Guevarra, Reuters
Automation, Controls July 1, 2009

There’s gold in building performance data

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition Buildings have entered into an information age like never before. Consequently, giant strides in building energy, economic, and environmental performance can be made and credibly documented. Reasons for this renaissance are: 1) It’s become technologically easy to generate and access data from installed equipment, meters, submeters, and BAS. 2) It has become good business practice to monitor energy and water usage for economic and environmental purposes.

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls June 24, 2009

Industry roundup – 2009-06-24

Contracts awarded, and other industry news

By Eli Kaberon
Automation, Controls June 20, 2009

Increase of solar and wind power heading to Calif.

Southern California Edison has acquired 960 MW of solar thermal and wind power, with plans of opening plants in the coming years.

By Source: Reuters
Automation, Controls June 12, 2009

ComEd, GE, and Silver Springs Networks team up

Commonwealth Edison, General Electric, and Silver Springs Networks are working together to construct a pilot smart meter than monitors energy use.

By Source: Green Tech Media
Automation, Controls June 1, 2009

The integration issue

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition Yes, folks: 1+1=3 when talking about integration. Integration happens at many levels. Components, such as circuit boards, are integrations of chips, filters, solder, and the boards. Subsystems, such as an economizer, is a an integration of dampers, controllers, and sensors.

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls June 1, 2009

Circuit breakers – 2009-06-01

Rated up to 125 amp, the NDM1-125 high-current DIN rail-mounted circuit breakers from Automation Systems Interconnect are UL1077 Recognized for use as supplemental protectors. Available in 1-, 2-, and 3-pole versions, the circuit breakers can be ordered in C- or D-trip curves. The circuit breakers are 300% factory tested and feature a 10 kA interrupt capacity and a visual trip indicator.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls June 1, 2009

Breathing New Life Into Data Centers


By Michael Ryan, PE, Sun Microsystems Inc., Santa Clara, Calif.
Automation, Controls June 1, 2009

Harmonics No More

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition Increased dependence on electronics—in everything from fluorescent ballasts and desktop computers to large-scale hospital radiation suites—has created a much greater awareness of harmonic distortion and the havoc it wreaks on equipment. The good news is that tools are available to help determine exactly which pieces of equipment are being affected and to what extent. Looking at the system as a whole, we can pinpoint and address the causes of harmonics, rather than just the symptoms. HARMONIC CONSEQUENCES Harmonics-related problems can occur throughout commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities and include: Operation of overcurrent devices without an overload or short-circuit condition Random component failure in electronic devices, such as printers and personal computers Operating problems with electronic devices untraceable to any identifiable component problems Interaction between multiple variable frequency drives (VFDs) so that one or more drives do not follow their control setpoints Interactions between uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) and the emergency generator supplying power to them during extended utility power outages System power-factor reduction, with associated distribution-system capacity loss and power-factor penalties applied by the serving electrical utility Increased neutral currents, causing overheating of neutral conductors in panels, feeders, transformers, and other neutral locations Problems with capacitor operation and life, such as resonant conditions, capacitor-case expansion, and capacitor rupture. Most harmonics-related problems have one of two basic origins: current-wave distortion or voltage-wave distortion.

By Kenneth L. Lovorn, PE Lovorn Engineering Assocs., Pittsburgh
Automation, Controls May 20, 2009

Retrocommissioning standards released

NEBB issues procedural standards on retrocommissioning to save the environment while saving building owners money.

By Source: NEBB
Automation, Controls May 18, 2009

Plenary announced: checking the Cx road map

NCBC will discuss the role of commissioning on the building industry.

By Source: PECI
Automation, Controls May 1, 2009

The bleeding edge of green

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition   As local and national forces push toward higher levels of energy efficiency in buildings—even to net zero—a heated debate has broken out over what levels of efficiency are really achievable. The Commercial Real Estate Development Assn . (formerly known as NAIOP) generally supports the move to more efficient, sustainable buildings, but recently came out with a study claiming that efficiency levels above 30% are just not economically viable for today's office building market. The April online issue of admirably framed the study by saying it “reflects the two-pronged industry resistance to green building: energy efficiency is either seen as too expensive or as requiring too much change in design and construction practices.” This debate needs to be put in context. First, we need to consider what is technically achievable.

By John Jennings, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Portland, Ore.
Automation, Controls May 1, 2009

When sheep bite, buildings suffer

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition   I was watching the NCAA basketball finals with a few friends, and one of them, Adam, seemed kind of upset. I asked what was up and he related how his company’s IT department updated the infrastructure behind its Web site, which impacted how he and his team did their jobs (which revolve quite a bit around the Web site). He said IT had been working on the project for a long time, but had never involved his team in the process.

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls May 1, 2009

Lighting the way to 90.1

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition ASHRAE/IES 90.1, Energy-Efficient Design of New Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings , along with the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), is used as a standard for energy-efficient commercial building construction throughout the United States. Today, most states have adopted 90.1 or IECC as their commercial energy code, have a code based on one of them, or maintain a state-specific code with similar requirements. Currently, the United States presents a patchwork of energy codes that are either state-specific or based on ASHRAE 90.1-1999, 2001, 2004, or 2007; or IECC 2003, 2006, or 2009. Right now, 90.1-1999 is the national energy standard of record for state code adoption in the United States.

By A. J. Glaser, Lighting Controls Assn. and HUNT Dimming, Fort Collins, Colo.
Automation, Controls April 1, 2009

Specifying air curtains for savings and performance

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition Air curtains provide a controlled stream of air across a building entrance or doorway to separate interior and exterior environments. When the conventional door is opened, the air curtain's airstream prevents cold, hot, or humid outdoor air, as well as insects and dust, from infiltrating the indoor environment. Although air curtains require power to run the blowers that create the airstream, they save much more energy than they expend, making them an attractive option for building owners and operators. Air curtains have long been used in industrial settings; however, they are increasingly finding their way into new markets such as hotels, hospitals, stores, public facilities, and other commercial buildings. Air curtain manufacturers' catalogs can be misleading, however, because some manufacturers do not have their performance data certified.

By David Johnson, Berner International Corp., New Castle, Pa.
Automation, Controls April 1, 2009

Voltage monitor

Protect single-phase equipment against low-and high-voltage conditions and rapid short-cycling with the ICM492 digital line voltage monitor from ICM Controls Corp. The monitor displays real-time voltage on a backlit digital display and has the ability to field-adjust parameters at the push of a button. The monitor displays RMS voltage and continuously checks incoming line voltage or faults.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls April 1, 2009

Official NCBC agenda now available

The 1 7th annual National Conference on Building Commissioning (NCBC) will take place from June 3-5 in Seattle. The show will feature commissioning themes of energy efficiency, persistence, and performance. Now available on NCBC's Web site, the conference agenda is packed with informative presentations, group discussions, workshops, and educational sessions. Registration for NCBC 2009 is available online.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls March 3, 2009

Awards shine a light on LED design excellence

The DOE's Next Generation Luminaires awards salute designers making smart use of energy-efficient commercial lighting luminaires with LEDs.

By Source: U.S. Dept. of Energy
Automation, Controls March 1, 2009

Guidelines for data center grounding and bonding

Data centers have some very specific and unique requirements for grounding and bonding that differ significantly from the typical electrical distribution system in other types of facilities. These include: Grounding and bonding of equipment in the data center Grounding of the building distribution system Connection of the two systems as required by the National Electrical Code (NEC) Article 250 NEC REQUIREMENTS NEC Article 250 requires that the main electrical service be connected to a grounding electrode. Where available, this grounding electrode must be the metallic, incoming domestic water service line and this connection must be made within 5 ft of the water line entrance into the building.

By Kenneth L. Lovorn, PE, Lovorn Engineering Assocs., Pittsburgh
Automation, Controls March 1, 2009

Generator Sizing: Avoid the Pitfalls

Common generator application traps can cause significant project pain. The limitations of traditional sizing programs, load uncertainty, power factor, motor starting and generator transients, soft starting surprises, and harmonics are just some of the issues to contend with. A November 8, 2008 webcast, hosted by Consulting-Specifying Engineer and sponsored by Generac Power Systems, focused on how to achieve a successful design by avoiding common sizing pitfalls. After the speakers concluded their presentation, a lively question-and-answer session ensued.

By James Kerschinske and Mike Kirchner Generac Power Systems Inc., Waukesha, Wis
Automation, Controls March 1, 2009

Paralleled Generator System Considerations

Paralleled generator systems provide many advantages, especially for large, power-dense applications. Designing the most efficient and reliable system for a specific application requires a solid understanding of the options available. This article summarizes some of the key points and design criteria involved in designing a paralleled generator system for capacity, redundancy, and reliability in critical operations. It also covers some of the compatibility issues related to critical electrical distribution systems that include both generators and UPS systems. Critical installations can be classified using a tiered system, with Tier 1 being the most basic, offering the least amount of redundancy and uptime, and Tier IV being the most complex and expensive, offering the most uptime and reliability.

By Keith Lane, PE, RCDD/NTS Specialist, LEED AP Lane Coburn & Associates LLC, Se
Automation, Controls February 13, 2009

DRSG gains another member

Echelon joins the Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition, offering metering systems and networking technology to utilities.

By Source: Echelon Corp.
Automation, Controls February 1, 2009

In these tough times, stay connected

In reading news stories about these tough economic times and in talking to numerous engineers and manufacturers in the field, I’ve become aware that we’re all standing at the edge of our own abyss, and all of our abysses are connected. For some, what keeps them awake at night is a business loan they cannot get to meet payroll. For others, it’s the people they have to face to lay them off. And for others, it’s having been laid off or the fear of getting laid off.

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls February 1, 2009

Retrofitting office lighting controls

Lighting controls have many options, and can save building owners money by reducing electric costs.

By Ken Lovorn, PE, Lovorn Engineering Assoc. Inc., Pittsburgh
Automation, Controls January 30, 2009

Johnson Controls awarded Clinton Climate Initiative project

A Texas college partners with Johnson Controls to become the first higher-education institution joining the Clinton Climate Initiative's mission to increase global energy efficiency.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls January 28, 2009

Report: 37 million “green-collar” jobs by 2030

An industry forecast predicts that the number of U.S. jobs focused on  renewable and efficient energy will more than quadruple from the 2007 figure.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls January 14, 2009

California firm garners ACEC award

RBF Consulting receives recognition for work on a detention basin in Placer County, Calif.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls January 9, 2009

DOE awards $5 billion in energy-efficiency contracts

TAC to implement federal projects using guaranteed savings.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls January 1, 2009

Control your emergency power system

System designers and operators must have a good understanding of the emergency power capability and how it is designed and configured to work.

By Komson (Mak) Wagner, PE, Stanley Consultants, Muscatine, Iowa
Automation, Controls January 1, 2009

Event management system

The Precise Vision computer based event management systems from Fike Corp. allows facility managers to quickly respond to alarms with a few clicks. The software allows access to building floor plans, emergency contacts, and security plans.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls January 1, 2009

Life safety systems at The Palmer House

The Palmer House has enhanced life safety systems to improve public safety in a grand Chicago hotel.

By Ralph E. Transue, PE, The RJA Group Inc., Chicago
Automation, Controls December 30, 2008

Fifth Annual Consulting-Specifying Engineer Product of the Year Contest

Fifth Annual 2009 Consulting-Specifying Engineer From those of us at Consulting-Specifying Engineer , we would like to thank you for your product entries. The submission process is now closed. Our panel of judges will now evaluate each product based on its features and the finalists will be notified after the judging.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls December 10, 2008

Industry roundup – 2008-12-10

Details about contracts awarded and other industry news.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls December 1, 2008

Renovation Silver: On the hill

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition Since it was originally completed in 1916, Utah's State Capitol building has been a landmark of civic pride. Modeled after the nation's capitol, the Salt Lake City building architecturally echoes its Washington, D.C., sibling. Previous renovations to house modern electronic conveniences and other modifications left the building a shadow of its former self, with many false ceilings that covered up historic handcrafted details. The state's other major concern: upgrading the building to withstand a sizeable earthquake, since the capitol is used as an emergency command center. “The plan was to return it to its original glory and breathe new life into it,” said David Wesemann, Salt Lake City-based Spectrum Engineer's lead engineer for the project. Challenges and solutions One of the biggest tasks for the 330,000-sq-ft state capitol was installing 265 base isolators that would protect the capitol from earthquakes up to an 8.0 magnitude.

By Dawn Reiss, Contributing Editor
Automation, Controls December 1, 2008

New Construction Silver: A project of hope

VIew the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition The Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., is probably best known for its nationally acclaimed Ivy League preparatory Cranbrook School, which sits on a 40-acre campus. In that same city is the Wing Lake Developmental Center, a school that serves approximately 100 students with special needs—ages three to 26—who reside in the 28 Oakland County public school districts. For many years, the center operated in a building that dated back to a 1880s one-room stone schoolhouse. Although the antiquated school expanded in the 1940s and '50s, decades later it had to contend with poor ventilation, limited power, and poor technology access.

By Dawn Reiss, Contributing Editor
Automation, Controls November 11, 2008

Industry Roundup – 2008-11-11

Details about contracts awarded and other industry news.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls November 7, 2008

ISO Guide will help reduce environmental impacts of products

ISO has published an updated edition of its guide to reducing the potential environmental impact of products by taking environmental aspects into account in product standards.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls November 1, 2008

Choosing the right battery

Lead-acid models can be more affordable, but also can suffer from sudden failure. Nickel-cadmium (NiCd) units are more expensive, but generally decline slowly—rather than all at once—so owners have greater warning when replacement is needed and can worry less that any single event will trigger failure.

By Roger N. Pocock, Alcad Standby Batteries, North Haven, Conn.
Automation, Controls November 1, 2008

Advanced energy codes lead to major savings

State and local jurisdictions around the country are examining advanced alternatives to the traditional national Model Energy Codes, including ASHRAE 90.1 and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). In 2006 the American Institute for Architects (AIA) developed the “2030 Challenge,” an aggressive energy-efficiency goal that is now being promoted by Architecture 2030.

By Jim Edelson and Mark Cherniack, New Buildings Institute, White Salmon, Wash.
Automation, Controls November 1, 2008

Getting particular with particulates

Despite the growing popularity of natural gas, diesel remains the fuel of choice for many engine generating-set specifiers and operators. But pollutants resulting from diesel-fuel combustion are attracting increasing regulatory attention. In fact, between 2012 and 2014, allowable emissions of one of these pollutants—particulate matter—will be reduced by 90%.

By Michael J. K. Pope, Süd-Chemie Inc., Needham, Mass.
Automation, Controls November 1, 2008

Commercial geothermal heating and cooling system design

Geothermal heating and cooling systems, also known as geoexchange or ground source heat pump (GSHP) systems, provide heating and cooling for buildings. They also may provide domestic water heating to either supplement or replace existing more conventional water heaters, and may even be used for humidity control.

By Peter D’Antonio, PE, LEED AP, PCD Engineering Services, Longmont, Colo.
Automation, Controls November 1, 2008

Divide to conquer net-zero

Getting to net-zero carbon emissions is a difficult challenge for any building. First, you have to decide if you're going to tackle both electrical and thermal energy loads, which really is a lot to take on at once. Having faced this decision, I recommend the divide-and-conquer approach: Choose net-zero electrical or thermal, and after achieving one, tackle the other.

By Edward Brzezowski, PE, Noveda Technologies, Branchburg, N.J.
Automation, Controls October 3, 2008

Code’s goal: Safer buildings

Safer buildings are goal of new code changes based on recommendations from NIST World Trade Center investigation.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls October 1, 2008

Wireless thermostat

Cypress Envirosystems’ wireless pneumatic thermostat (WPT) enables automatic scheduling of temperature setpoint changes, automatic calibration, and remote monitoring of temperature and pressure.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls October 1, 2008

Cities under one roof

The larger and more complex facilities become, the more difficult it is to coordinate all required fire protection aspects and create a structure that provides a holistic approach to fire protection. Are resort hotel/casinos on the Las Vegas strip nothing more than big buildings? These facilities include a substantial list of amenities intended to keep occupants from wandering elsewhere.

By Douglas H. Evans, PE, Clark County Building Division, Henderson, Nev.
Automation, Controls September 2, 2008

Commissioning best practices

Presentation to discuss commissioning of existing buildings and new construction at BCA Convention & Exposition.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls September 1, 2008

Superconducting transmission cable reaches commercialization

The first application of high-temperature superconducting (HTS) cable in a commercial power grid was commissioned this spring by the Long Island Power Authority.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls September 1, 2008

Selecting appropriate egress strategies

Safe, robust, intuitive egress systems that account for human behavior are an essential component of any building design. It is important that egress system strategies be developed in concert with the overall fire and life safety program. Effective egress strategies reflect the facility, how it is used, and the characteristics of its occupants.

By Jeffrey Tubbs, PE, Arup, and Brian Meacham, PE, PHD, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Automation, Controls September 1, 2008

Decrypting building data

I was on-site, commissioning a new chiller at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, when a frantic assistant chief engineer waved me down. After hearing what he had to say, my attention quickly switched from cooling to heating. An aging boiler serving the ancillary building was in dire need of replacement.

By David Sellers, PE, Senior Engineer, Facility Dynamics Engineering, Portland, Ore.
Automation, Controls September 1, 2008

BCA’s Best Practices in Commissioning Existing Buildings available online

The Building Commissioning Assn. (BCA) officially released its Best Practices in Commissioning Existing Buildings. The document details practice solutions, facilitates the implementation of existing building commission best practices improvements over time, and assists in the standardization of the commissioning industry.

By Edited By Patrick Lynch, Contributing Editor
Automation, Controls August 20, 2008

Continuing education for engineers at Greenbuild

Check out these exciting educational offerings at Greenbuild 2008 in Boston.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls August 15, 2008

Student design team helps university save $2 million annually in utility costs

Students enrolled in the department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illionis at Urbana-Champaign helped design a waterside economizer system wtih a cooling tower to keep the department's new supercomputer cool.

By Melissa Hillebrand
Automation, Controls August 15, 2008

Process versus technical commissioning

While processing commissioning handles all the paperwork and background research, technical commissioning ensures each building systems works as specified.

By Dave McFarlane, President, Environmental Engineering, Grand Forks, N.D.
Automation, Controls August 13, 2008

NEBB conference sessions scheduled

The National Environmental Balancing Bureau features presentations and technical sessions at its annual conference.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls August 1, 2008

CSE is media partner for BCA conference

Consulting-Specifying Engineer has formed a media alliance with the Building Commissioning Assn. (BCA) to serve as the media partner for the annual BCA Convention and Expo. The third annual event will take place Oct. 5-7, in Long Island, N.Y., at the Hyatt Regency Long Island at Wind Watch Golf Club.

By Edited By Patrick Lynch, Contributing Editor
Automation, Controls July 18, 2008

Sense and sustainability

Careful planning and continued effort were key to commissioning HSBC’s North American headquarters.

By Jim Vallort, CBCP, CSDP, Vice President, Director of Building Sciences, Envir
Automation, Controls July 10, 2008

M/E insider: recent new hires and promotions – 2008-07-10

News from Hnedak Bobo Group; Harriman; Smith Seckman Reid; Arup; Albert Kahn Family of Companies; Lockwood Andrews, & Newnam; and Michaels Engineering.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls July 1, 2008

Energy assessment software

VE-Ware, designed by Integrated Environmental Solutions, increases the efficiency of buildings by providing instant feedback on energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions based on real geometry. It is suitable for use at early stages to make design changes because it allows the comparison of different design, layout, and system options.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls July 1, 2008

Hey! Good news!

Rough year, eh? Prices for gasoline, metals, fuel oil, airline tickets, and food: going up. Real estate values and consumer confidence: going down. Floods, earthquakes, cyclones, tornadoes, and wild fires: running rampant. Unsettled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; unsettling developments in Africa and Iran.

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls July 1, 2008

Testing instrument

Expedite the commissioning process for fire alarm systems with the TrueSTART from Simplex Grinnell. The battery-operated system scans hundreds of addressable fire alarm system devices and diagnoses potential problems such as ground faults, shorted wiring, or incorrect or duplicate addressing. The system is compliant with codes such as NFPA 72, the National Fire Alarm Code, and CAN/ULC-S537.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls July 1, 2008

Proposed standard ups green ante

ASHRAE Standard 189P (Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings) has been proposed to drive green building into mainstream building practices. It is based on the USGBC LEED rating system, and is intended to become a prerequisite for LEED certification.

By Peter D’Antonio, PE, LEED AP, President, PCD Engineering Services, Longmont, Colo.
Automation, Controls June 27, 2008

Military losing skilled, young engineers

Engineers used to be responsible for the most successful military projects in the 1970s and '80s, but now young engineers are joining high-tech companies and other cilivian firms, which offer higher pay and "geek credit."

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls June 27, 2008

Ask the experts: Commercial kitchens

Ask the experts : Commercial kitchens Restaurants are among the most energy-intensive buildings on a square-foot basis, and they face numerous challenges from fires, smoke, and odor control, and moisture management. What ingredients are you looking for when designing a commercial kitchen? What hurdles do you have to jump over? Click here to post your question for the experts to answer.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls June 19, 2008

DOE offers lighting competition

The Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize competition encourages the development of high-quality, high-efficiency solid-state lighting products to replace the common light bulb. The competition will award cash prizes (as much as $20 million) and may lead to opportunities for federal purchasing agreements, utility programs, and other incentives.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls June 19, 2008

Engineers battle NYC mayor over building commissioner position

The mayor wants to drop the requirement in the City Charter that only a registered architect or licensed engineer can hold the position, according to the New York Times. By doing so, Mayor Bloomberg hopes to deepen the pool of commissioner candidates.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls June 13, 2008

Power outage hits Washington, White House

A power outage Friday caused a blackout in parts of downtown Washington, including the White House, leaving thousands without electricity and causing major subway delays, the utility company said.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls June 1, 2008

Surge suppression devices

Strikesorb voltage surge protection devices from Raycap provide continuous protection from overvoltage and other transient voltage activity for electronic automation and control equipment. The SPD modules are available in a variety of application-specific voltages and packaging configurations to protect highly sensitive equipment and electronics.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls June 1, 2008

A new chapter on UV

During its winter meeting in New York this year, ASHRAE announced to its UV Technical Committee (TC 2.9) that the highly anticipated “ASHRAE Systems and Equipment Handbook” chapter, “UV Systems and Equipment,” unanimously was approved and submitted, now available from ASHRAE.

By Forrest Fencl, President, UV Resources, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Automation, Controls May 19, 2008

The high cost of improperly balanced buildings

Hidden costs may go undetected for years before a qualified TAB professional performs retrocommissioning.

By Dave McFarlane, President, Environmental Engineering, Grand Forks, N.D.
Automation, Controls May 16, 2008

2008 ARC Awards judge’s score sheet

Give each section of the entry points depending on how well the tactics were implemented, based on the information provided. If you think the question was not answered at all (in other words, avoided)—or if the building failed to include certain criteria of the ARC Awards, please give the section a ranking of “1 point.” Building systems (20 pts) Rate the solutions to the challenges posed Rate the building’s MEP design for innovation Technology (16 pts) Rate the use of new or unusual technologies Building controls and automation Electrical distribution Fire protection HVAC Lighting controls Motors and Drives Plumbing Software Sustainability design and documentation (40 pts) Rate the building’s energy efficiency Rate the building’s IAQ system Rate the building’s water conservation Rate the building’s renewable energy(__/5 design) Integration (10 pts) What examples of interdisciplinary integration, for example, online collaboration, BIM, etc., Rate the level of control system integration for this project—BAS, fire, communication, lighting, etc. Photography (18 pts) Do the photos show the building’s exterior and interior? Do the photos show: Building controls and automation Electrical distribution Fire protection HVAC Lighting controls Motors and Drives Plumbing Do the photos show specifically referenced engineered systems? Bonus (10 pts) What is the repeatability factor of the solutions from this project? Total Building Systems points Total Technology points Total Sustainability points Total Integration points Total Photography points Total Bonus points Overall points.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls May 9, 2008

ICC and SFPE jointly publish smoke control engineering book

A Guide to Smoke Control in the 2006 IBC, addresses smoke management and creates a bridge between smoke management and the code requirements of the IBC.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls May 8, 2008

Industry roundup: partnerships, mergers, etc. – 2008-05-08

News from Moisture Control Services, Selkirk Corp, Active Power, and WAGO Corp.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls May 1, 2008

Delta BACnet controller

The DLC-Pxxxx series are fully programmable, Native BACnet Advanced Application Controllers that communicate on a BACnet MS/TP RS-485 LAN.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls May 1, 2008

To stay or not to stay: egress and the I-Codes

About 30 years ago, the nation suffered a tragedy known as the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire, in which 165 club patrons lost their lives. As happens so frequently following a tragedy, fire codes were consequently strengthened to prevent such an event from recurring.

By Gary Lewis, Chief Inspector, City of Summit, N.J.
Automation, Controls May 1, 2008

Fike smoke control

Provide a reliable way to indicate status and control remote air-handling equipment with the smoke control products from Fike.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls May 1, 2008

Academic Center schools in electrical distribution

What if the intent of a green building on a university campus is to be a model for more sustainable design, meaning the physical structure itself becomes a means of learning for both students and scholars alike?

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls April 28, 2008

New York building commissioner resigns

Commissioner Patricia Lancaster resignation comes days after a window installer plummets 9 stories to his death and weeks after a crane collapse killed seven.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls April 26, 2008

Fire protection in MCFs (part 3)

A three-part series on fire protection in mission critical facilities will help you understand the value of your facility, evaluate its risks, and investigate the protection options.

By Lance Harry PE, director of sales, Fenwal Protection Systems
Automation, Controls April 8, 2008

New Legislation for Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers' A112 plumbing standards meetings were held recently. One of the hot issues was recent legislation affecting the development of the standard ASME A112.19.8, "Suction Fittings for Use in Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs."

Automation, Controls April 7, 2008

U.S. EPA approves registration of antimicrobial copper alloys

Copper, brass, and bronze kill pathogens—including “superbug” MRSA—responsible for hospital- and community-acquired infections.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls April 2, 2008

Case study: breaking the HVAC sound barrier in California schools

An HVAC equipment manufacturer and its western distributor reach a new standard for quieter ambient HVAC sound levels.

By CHRISTOPHER LAWTON, Owner, wecreate, Pittsburgh
Automation, Controls March 13, 2008

2008 Consulting Specifying Engineer Product of the Year Finalists

2008 Consulting-Specifying Engineer Product of the Year Finalists Building Automation Controls TAC: TAC Xenta 700 SeriesSiemens: Apogee Wireless v2Honeywell International: WebStat Controller Electrical Distribution Eaton: PRC 7500 Tenant MonitoringWiremold/Legrand: Ballroom BoxHubbel Wiring Device-Kellens: Pre-Wired Raceway HVAC Unical for AERCO: Modulex BoilersYork by Johnson Controls: York Tempo Air-Cooled Scroll ChillersAAON: R-410A D-PAC Motors, Starters, Drives Schneider Electric: S-FLEXEaton:Eaton: Flash Gard Motor Control Center Power Generation Katolight: 3250 KW Engine GensetGenerac Power Systems, Inc: Gemini Twin Pack GensetCummins Power Generation: iWatch Wireless Communications Bosch Security Systems, Inc: VideoJet X Video Encoder SeriesEmerson Network Power: Liebert vNSAEaton: Power XPert Gateway 400 Fire Protection Fike: ProInertKidde Fire Systems: AEGISMetraflex Co: NeverTrip Lighting Lithonia Lighting: ES8Cooper Lighting: Metalux Modular F-BayLutron Electronics: QS System Plumbing Zurn Engineered Water Solutions: Zurn EcoVantage Pint Urinal SystemLochinvar Corp: ARMOR Condensing Water HeaterAO Smith: Cyclone Xi Software: Design, Model, Analysis EDSA Micro Corp: Paladin DesignBase Version 1.2Operation Technology, Inc: ETAP Real-Time Energy Management SystemEaton: Power XPert Architecture Test Instruments, Meters, Data Loggers Schneider Electric: PowerLogic Tenant Sub-Billing SoftwareFluke: Fluke 289 True-rms Industrial Logging MultimeterSchneider Electric:Square D PowerLogic PM 800 Series Power Meter.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls March 13, 2008

Engineer pleads not guilty to perjury in NYC

A structural engineer was charged March 3 with lying to New York City investigators looking into the circumstances of a building collapse that killed two firefighters in 2006. The engineer, Jose D. Vargas, 82, pleaded not guilty to three counts of perjury in the State Supreme Court in the Bronx.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls March 1, 2008

A/E salary increases smaller in 2008

Architectural/engineering firms are predicting a median salary increase of 4.0% for 2008, according to a report from Natick, Mass.-based ZweigWhite, down from 2007's actual increase of 4.3%.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls March 1, 2008

Plumbing code update

The International Code Council (ICC) held its code hearings in late February in Palm Springs, Calif. The hearings, which took place Feb. 18 through March 1, were conducted in two tracks and covered all of the ICC’s family of codes. Notable changes to the plumbing code include increasing the minimum required water pressures at various plumbing fixtures and code changes addressing grease in...

By Ron George, CIPE, CPD, President, Ron George Design & Consulting, Newport, Mich.
Automation, Controls March 1, 2008

Grade A HVAC

The Chicago Public School system, which serves 410,000 students in 650 schools, likes to design its new buildings the old-fashioned way. That's not to say that its new schools are antiquated or out of date—quite the contrary. The Chicago Public Schools, or CPS, has gone back to basics in its MEP system design.

By Amara Rozgus, Senior Editor
Automation, Controls March 1, 2008


Setra Systems has updated its Micro-Cal Model 869 and Expert System Ultra-Low Pressure and Documenting Calibrators for all air handling processes in critical environments. The calibrators feature a Li-Ion battery pack, a 2-lb lighter weight, a universal charging plug, and a new plug-in that allows charging while the lid is closed.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls March 1, 2008

Cooling people, not buildings

Entering the manufacturing plant in Penang, Malaysia, we breathed a sigh of relief from the oppressive conditions outside to bask in the cool, dry air in the lobby. After a greeting, we walked toward a conference room for our meeting. Our host opened the door and we immediately felt the heat and humidity in the room, which was a surprise because the lobby had been so comfortable.

By John Suzukida, PE, president of Lanex Consulting LLC, Shoreview, Minn.
Automation, Controls February 20, 2008

Intelligent building lifecycle cost calculator

CABA in partnership with RSMeans, a Reed Construction Data company, announces a “proof of concept” beta test and actively seeks feedback from the engineering industry.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls February 16, 2008

Energy Star changes

Energy Star has undergone a significant revision effective October 2007.

By Judith M. Peters, mechanical engineer, LKPB Engineers Inc., Saint Paul, Minn.
Automation, Controls February 11, 2008

National BIM standard version 1 – part 1 released

The National Institute of Building Sciences’ Facility Information Council announced  the release of the "National Building Information Modeling Standard Version 1 - Part 1: Overview, Principles, and Methodologies" for public use.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls February 8, 2008

SFPE: Americans incorrectly feel safer from fires at home

A nationwide survey conducted by SFPE reveals that 79% of Americans feel safer from fires at home than in a public building. Because the U.S. government  report home fires outnumber all other building fires 3:1, these results are surprising.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls February 6, 2008

AERCO Modulex boilers

Condensing boiler is equipped with a boiler communications module to enhance communications and support integration with building automation systems.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls February 1, 2008

News at a Glance: News Briefs and Events

Advanced Energy Design Guide; NFPA codes in Maine; upcoming events

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls February 1, 2008

Going with the counterflow

Officials at Regina General Hospital, Regina, Saskatchewan, look well into the future to provide progressive and innovative care for the people of southern Saskatchewan. A recent major expansion and renovation of the hospital added significant new facilities, including an emergency ward, MRI and Energy Center, a tunnel connecting buildings, and nurses' residences.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls February 1, 2008

Mentoring engineers: myths, motivations, and models

As the world squeezes down staff sizes, enlarges requirements for billable hours, and we spend more work days than not constantly behind one project or another, there seems to be no room for our own curiosity within our fields.

By Amy K. Smith, Ph.D., Training Manager, PSAV Presentation Services, Schaumburg, Ill.
Automation, Controls February 1, 2008

Alarm panel versatility

This month's panelists discuss how fire alarm codes are addressing issues of mass notification and calls for easier modification of existing fire panels.

By Melissa Hillebrand, Associate Editor
Automation, Controls February 1, 2008

How to write control sequences

The development of prescriptive, detailed sequences as part of the design documents is now more critical than ever. As newer, more complex systems are applied to achieve greater energy efficiency, there is a need for equally new and complex sequences of operation.

By Jay Santos, PE, Principal, Facility Dynamics Engineering Inc., Columbia, Md.
Automation, Controls January 31, 2008

Alarm control panels upgrade

Alarm control panels upgrade delivers multiple enhancements for end users, integrators, and central station owners and operators.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls January 18, 2008

2008 Star of Energy Efficiency awards call for entries

The Alliance to Save Energy has announced that the 2008 Star of Energy Efficiency Award Nominations are now available online.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls January 18, 2008

Consulting-Specifying Engineer criteria and judging

Link to the nomination form Link to general information Link to supporting materials requirements Link to frequently asked questions 40 Under 40 nominees may come from the following fields related to the AEC community: * Academia * Applications engineers for manufacturers * Architecture * Building/engineering product inventor/developer * Building/engineering product manufacturing * Commissioning engineers * Construction * Construction management * Consulting engineers (in any of these disciplines) * Design/build * Engineering (MEP, structural, fire/life safety, acoustic, etc.) * Facility management, including sustainability leaders/managers * Finance (related to construction) * Government (federal, state, local) * NGOs, membership, or trade association in the engineering field * Nonprofit environmental or development organizations * Project management * Researchers (in building/engineering field only) Note: Individuals whose work is related exclusively to single-family housing or civil engineering are ineligible. Qualities and characteristics Consulting-Specifying Engineer is looking for (not necessarily in this order):* Academic training (degrees earned, licensure, etc.)* Client relations* Community service* Dedication* Innovation* Inventiveness* Leadership skills* "People" skills/mentoring ability* Personal integrity* Professional service (with professional societies, organizations, educational events, etc.)* Public speaking/presentation skills* Sustained career progress* Technical skills* Work/life balance International nominees welcomeCSE’s 40 Under 40 program is open to engineering professionals around the world. Nominations will be judged by the editors of Consulting-Specifying Engineer, whose decision is final. The timeline is: * April 11: intent to enter nomination due online * April 25: complete nomination documents due (this information must be mailed, no deadline extensions) * May 15: announcements to recipients made, interviews begin * May 23: personal photography due * July 23: magazine published, press releases filed with news wires * Fall 2008: professional networking event.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls January 16, 2008

Second annual BCA Forum set for April

The Second Annual Building Commissioning Assn. Forum will take place April 21 at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa, Newport Beach, Calif.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls January 1, 2008

What’s new for 2008? Plenty!

As the saying goes, you either are getting better or getting worse. Much preferring the former, Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s editorial team worked hard leading into 2008 to prepare a host of additions and refinements designed to meet the evolving information needs of our readers. Because you have a vested interest in how an engineering publication works and works for you, let me expla...

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls January 1, 2008

FieldServer Technologies system integrators

The FS-B35 series FieldServer is an interoperability solution for building automation system integrators. It brings together a driver library with the latest in gateway design. The system offers four serial ports, two 10/100 BaseT Ethernet ports, access to the largest driver library in the industry, and 1,000 point capacity.

By Melissa Hillebrand, Associate Editor
Automation, Controls January 1, 2008

Manage emergency power reports

Secure by Encorp provides healthcare facility managers with the capabilities to remotely test and generate reports for emergency systems. This program for emergency power supply systems is a single, Web-based tool that gives reports for single and multiple sites. Users monitor engine generator and ATS monitoring in real time and test remote initiation of required loads.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls December 18, 2007

2008 ARC Awards: Entry deadline closed

The ARC Awards honor engineers and firms that have incorporated unique MEP innovations into commercial, institutional and industrial building projects.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls December 6, 2007

Conference to highlight fire-protection strategies

The 7th International Conference on Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods will take place in Auckland, New Zealand, April 16-18, 2008.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls December 6, 2007

What’s New in 2008

Equipment Lifecycles This monthly department will provide guidance on how to consider the lifecycle of selected equipment items in electrical, HVAC, fire, lighting, and plumbing systems during the design and specification phase. Equipment Lifecycles e-Media Opportunities : Sponsor a podcast with the author to highlight top 10 items to consider in an equipment’s life. Podcast Details: Podcast sponsorship includes a one-minute commercial, a banner ad in the podcast window, the ability to generate leads with a registration component and a linked logo embedded in a dedicated email blast for $5,000. Click here for more detailed information on podcast sponsorships in the media kit.CSE Webcasts throughout 2008 touch on lifecycle costs.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls December 1, 2007

Time right for combined heat-and-power systems

As energy prices continue to increase, now may be the opportune time to consider combined heat-and-power (CHP) systems. Even with significantly higher costs for natural gas—the fuel of choice for CHP—the spark recently has returned to favor CHP systems with high load factors in many regions of the United States.

By Gearoid Foley, President, Integrated CHP Systems Corp., Fair Lawn, N.J.
Automation, Controls November 1, 2007

Fan the flames of innovation

With green becoming as ubiquitous as denim in the fashioning of buildings, what’s the next buzz that will have substance and credible empowerment for engineers? Innovation. For this assertion, I have more reasons than space, so here’s a few and the rest are on my blog at Market forces are compelling owners and other financial decision makers to move toward lifecycle ...

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls October 16, 2007

The art of protecting electrical systems, part 13: calculating short-circuit current at secondary of transformers

In this 13th installment of an ongoing series, the authors present calculations for available fault currents at the secondaries of three-phase transformers having secondary voltages of 120/208 to 600 V.

Automation, Controls October 1, 2007

Change order language makes a difference

The term “change order” (CO) refers to the formal method by which contract documents for a construction project are modified. While generally used to add work to a project, a CO can be used to modify any item that is related to the construction process. It's fairly safe to say that COs universally are disliked and much maligned by everyone who is a part of the construction process, ...

By Leonard W. White, PE, RCDD, Senior Electrical Engineer, Stanford White, Raleigh, N.C.
Automation, Controls October 1, 2007

Understanding NFPA’s Standard 90A for air conditioning and ventilation systems

Mastering the National Fire Protection Assn. (NFPA) 90A, “Standard for the Installation of Air Conditioning and Ventilating Systems,” can be daunting. Here are some tips: Divide the work. Architects and structural engineers on the project team will define the massing, compartmentalization, interior construction details, means of egress, function of the ceiling and raised floor plenu...

By Larry Wilson, PE, Senior Vice President, Environmental Systems Design, Chicago
Automation, Controls September 25, 2007

FERC reports growth of nationwide demand response efforts

Demand response and advanced metering programs have grown significantly over the past year, according to a new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report that charts progress in the number of demand response programs, the number of states introducing opportunities for demand response and the key role that demand response is playing in organized wholesale power markets.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls September 19, 2007

Washington Group Intl. named one of “North America’s Top Companies for Leaders”

 Washington Group Intl., one of the nation's largest engineering and construction firms, was ranked eighth in “North America’s Top Companies for Leaders” list by Hewitt Associates, FORTUNE magazine and The RBL Group.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls September 13, 2007

Carrier and the Indianapolis Colts donate AC, generator system to New Orleans Fire Dept.

Carrier Corp., Farmington, Conn., teamed with defending Super Bowl Champions the Indianapolis Colts to donate a commercial air conditioner and automatic standby power generator to the New Orleans Fire Dept. These systems will allow New Orleans firefighters to move back into their district firehouse.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls September 10, 2007

Stanley Consultants elects first female president

Gayle A. Roberts, P.E., will soon be president and COO of Stanley Consultants, Inc., Muscatine, Iowa, ranked eighth this year on the CSE Giants 100 list. Roberts is the first woman to serve in this capacity.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls September 4, 2007

Alerton’s Global and National Accounts Program for building automation systems

Alerton, Redmond, Wash., released its Global and National Accounts program to meet the needs of customers deploying building control solutions across multiple sites. The program provides clients one point of contact, which ensures standardized implementation, simplified procurement and coordination of on-going support and service.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls September 1, 2007

Engineered systems for K-12 projects

Below is a sample of products and technology solutions that help engineers build schools that are more efficient with effective design options. American School & University magazine’s “32nd Annual Official Education Construction Report” says that school construction spending is estimated to be $80 billion next year, which presents many opportunities for engineers to apply ...

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Automation, Controls September 1, 2007

The Importance of Load Bank Testing

Emergency and legally required electrical systems and critical installations require load bank testing of standby power systems during the commissioning process to ensure that the complete systems will operate as designed in the installed location. These test requirements are typically spelled out in electrical engineering specifications for optional loads and can be a requirement of local auth...

By Keith Lane, P.E., RCDD/NTS Specialist, TPM, LC, LEED AP Principal/PartnerLane Coburn & Assocs., LLC, Seattle
Automation, Controls September 1, 2007

Key procedures for BAS commissioning

Commissioning has been a formally recognized practice in project delivery for about a decade. ASHRAE defines commissioning as “a quality-focusedprocess for enhancing the delivery of a project. The process focuses on verifying and documenting that the facility and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated and maintained to meet the Owner’s ...

By George Bourassa, P.E., CCP, LEED AP, Senior Vice President, and Craig johnson, CxA, Senior Manager - Commissioning, Carter & Burgess, Inc., Chicago
Automation, Controls September 1, 2007

Back to School with New Systems, Ideas

As the kids gather their backpacks, notebooks and pencils for the new school year, MEP engineers are working tirelessly through issues of IAQ, energy efficiency and maintenance in their ongoing quests to design high quality, energy-efficient and cost-effective learning environments. And considering the fact that K-12 enrollment is expected to grow by 3 million—or 5.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Automation, Controls September 1, 2007

An enlightened look at photovoltaic cost

Given the double digit growth in the photovoltaic industry, PV conversion of sunlight is quickly making economic sense. There are two basic types of PV systems: grid-connected and remote-storage. Grid-connected systems are connected directly to the building power system to supplement the power delivered by the local utility.

By John Mills, P.E., LEED AP, Associate Principal, Goetting & Assocs., San Antonio
Automation, Controls September 1, 2007

Part 1 of a 2-part series: Shackled by liability to third parties

Most claims against engineers come from project owners; but as many as a third come from non-clients—individuals and entities who do not have a contract with the engineer. Negligent misrepresentation—inadvertently providing incorrect information on which a plaintiff relies and consequently suffers a loss—is a growing source of liability for engineers to third parties.

By Kenneth M. Elovitz, P.E., ESQ. In-house Counsel, Energy Economics, Inc., Foxboro, Mass.
Automation, Controls August 30, 2007

National Asthma Guidelines Updated

The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) this week issued the first comprehensive update in a decade of clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls August 28, 2007

Power factor correction yields savings for pharmaceutical distribution center

Healthy savings for a major pharmaceutical distribution center were the result of an energy initiative that was able to shave nearly $40,000—18%—annually from utility costs. Part of the solution was correction of poor power factor. Not bad for a patient showing no symptoms.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls August 27, 2007

Peeling the onion: How to design with codes and standards

At the foundation of every well-designed building lies a network of codes and standards. When incorporated properly, they can help create a safe and reliable facility. So, why is unraveling all these codes and standards such a quagmire for the engineer? Larry Wilson, P.E., senior vice president, Environmental Systems Design, Chicago, kicks off a continuing column on how to apply codes for a successful design.

By Larry Wilson, P.E., Senior Vice President, Environmental Systems Design, Chicago, Ill.
Automation, Controls August 14, 2007

New Study Reveals Top Lighting Fixture Manufacturing Trends

North American lighting fixture manufacturers are optimistic about sales prospects for 2007-2008, particularly in the nonresidential construction market, and more optimistic about profitability than they were two years ago, according to a new study.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls August 14, 2007

National Engineering Society Names Prominent Engineer and Author as President

The National Society of Professional Engineers installed Bernard R. Berson, P.E., LS, PP, F.NSPE, from Perrineville, N.J., as president for the 2007–08 year at the Society’s Annual Conference in Denver.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls August 6, 2007

The Basics of Gas-Fired Infrared Heating

When one thinks about building heat, the first consideration may be of the forced air variety. You know, the big unit suspended from the ceiling blowing hot air with the force of a jet engine. While that might work for some, independent reports suggest that gas-fired infrared heating can save 20% to 50% in fuel consumption over forced air heating.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls August 1, 2007

Change or die: Delivering value in a changing marketplace

Adapt, innovate, grow. These mandates are driving change in every type of firm, whether the mission is assisting clients with new product development and introduction, supporting global expansion, or helping them respond to a changing regulatory environment. Engineering firms are no exception. Across industries and regions, owners’ needs and perspectives concerning value have evolved sig...

By Denys H. Oberman, CEO, Oberman Assocs., Irvine, Calif.
Automation, Controls July 27, 2007

Johnson Controls CEO Retires after 38 Years

After 38 years of service, John Barth, CEO of Johson Controls, is retiring. Stephen A. Roell has been elected as the new CEO.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls July 16, 2007

EYP MCF Designs One of the World’s Most Powerful Supercomputing Facility

EYP Mission Critical Facilities was the design lead for the recently completed Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, N.Y.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls June 19, 2007

Review it! ASHRAE Green Building Standard 189P

ASHRAE has released the first ASHRAE green-building standard, which is being developed in conjunction with the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and the U.S. Green Building Council Standard 189P will be the first of its kind in the United States.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls June 1, 2007

A System for Peak Demand Reduction

The utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has chosen Cooper Power Systems, a division of Cooper Industries, Ltd., to provide a system for peak demand reduction designed for PG&E's residential and small commercial customers. The solution will enable PG&E to gain at least five megawatts of clean energy capacity by June 15, 2007, and can be expanded to ultimately provide mor...

By Staff
Automation, Controls June 1, 2007

New Products – 2007-06-01

TVSS module is now available in a 40mm version that can be easily integrated inside panelboards, cabinets and switchgear equipment. The fuseless design enables direct installation on busbars on the load side of a circuit breaker, eliminating the need to install additional interconnection wires or circuit breakers or fuses.

By Staff
Automation, Controls June 1, 2007

Commissioning LEED-NC

Much can be learned about the commissioning of green buildings from a study assigned by the Colorado Governor’s Office of Energy Management and Conservation. The study provides a wealth of information to help guide owners in setting commissioning budgets for LEED-NC projects as well as understanding the benefits and potential pitfalls related to commissioning and commissioning of LEED pro...

By Peter C. D'Antonio, P.E., CEM, LEED APPresidentPCD Engineering Services, Inc. Longmont, Colo.
Automation, Controls June 1, 2007

In the Blogs at – 2007-06-01

Blogs at are getting up to speed now. Blogger David Sellers weighed in recently with the first part of a continuing discussion on damper tests. “I recently had a chance to test the flow vs. damper blade position characteristics for the AHU1 economizer dampers at the Pacific Energy Center (PEC),” said Sellers.

By Staff
Automation, Controls May 24, 2007

ARI Announces Recipients of Inaugural Standards Achievement Award

The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute announced the recipients of ARI’s inaugural Standards Achievement Award. Presentation of the award occurred on April 24, 2007, during ARI’s Spring Product Section meetings held in Reston, Va.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls May 23, 2007

Don’t Forget the EE in Green

Standards for green consider a number of factors, including recycled and renewable materials, water savings, indoor air quality, siting and energy efficiency (EE). Yet, upon closer look, many buildings touted as green may be no more—and perhaps even less—energy efficient than their browner neighbors. The terms ‘sustainable’ and ‘high-performance’ offer no stronger guarantees of energy efficiency for buildings.

By Jean Lupinacci, director of the Commercial and Industrial Branch in the Climate Protection Partnerships Div. at EPA
Automation, Controls May 22, 2007

EnergyPlus Energy Simulation Software 2.0

EnergyPlus is a building energy simulation program that models buildings’ heating, cooling, lighting, ventilating and other energy flows. As a stand-alone simulation program it does not require a user-friendly graphical interface. Based on popular features and capabilities of BLAST and DOE-2, EnergyPlus reads input and writes output as text.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls May 1, 2007

UPS Design, Specification Considerations

This month's panel of electrical experts offer advice on specifying the most suitable UPS system for a givenapplication. CSE: What is driving the demand for uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems these days? CARLINI: UPS systems are in more demand than ever—primarily in the data center. Even though the new servers are much faster and require less power to operate, the demand for comp...

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Automation, Controls April 24, 2007

Tognum Group acquires Katolight

Tognum GmbH, Friedrichshafen, Germany, announced the acquisition of Katolight Corp., a manufacturer of generator sets. Katolight is based in Mankato, Minn., and produces diesel and gas-powered engine generator sets for industrial and agricultural applications as well as for emergency power supply.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls April 12, 2007

Berkeley Lab Researchers Developing Energy-Efficient Digital Network Technology

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are developing technologies to make electronic networks—whether they are used for the Internet, consumer electronics, or both—more energy-efficient. They also are developing specifications and information programs to speed the adoption of energy-efficient technologies in the marketplace. “The purpose of this research is to reduce electricity use of electronics used in digital networks,” said John Busch, a scientist in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division and the project’s principal investigator. Studies suggest that total energy consumption of electronics in the United States is more than 70 trillion watt-hours per year (TWh/yr) of electricity, costing billions of dollars, and equivalent to at least 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls April 1, 2007

Winners of Energy Challenge Announced

This year's winners of the Igniting Creative Energy Challenge were announced last month. The challenge is an educational competition sponsored and funded through a grant by Johnson Controls, Inc., Milwaukee, Wis., with additional support from Philips Lighting and the United States Energy Assoc. (USEA).

By Staff
Automation, Controls April 1, 2007

LFI Illuminates Trade Show, Conference

The 18th annual Lightfair International makes its way to Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. The Lightfair Daylighting Institute and the Lightfair Institute take place on May 6 and May 7. Trade shows, conferences and seminars take place May 8 through May 10. LFI attracts more than 19,000 attendees from around the world, with more than 550 manufacturers showcasing products in more tha...

By Melissa Hillebrand, Associate Editor
Automation, Controls April 1, 2007

GPS Helps Navigate More Than the Road

As part of my becoming chief editor of CSE, my wife, Amanda, and I agreed to relocate from Portland, Ore., to the Chicago area. Selling a house, finding a new place and preparing for an interstate move had our plate so full we couldn't spend a lot of time planning the long and logistically complex drive (pet-friendly hotels are few and far between these days).

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls March 15, 2007

Winter Blasts Construction Job Report, AGC Economist Says

“Calendar and climate quirks combined to chill construction employment in February, but nonresidential segments should rebound this month,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for The Associated General Contractors of America. Simonson commented last week on the February employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “In February, construction employment tumbled by 62,000, seasonally adjusted—the largest one-month slide since 1991. Weather anomalies deserve some of the blame, along with the housing slowdown,” he observed. “Employment estimates are based on the payroll period that includes the 12th day of each month,” Simonson explained. “In February, that included a week in which ice storms blanketed much of the United States, whereas in January, the 12th was the end of an exceptionally balmy week.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls March 8, 2007

USGBC Issues Final Report on PVC

The Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee (TSAC) of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Washington, D.C., has issued its final report to the organization’s LEED Steering Committee on the technical and scientific basis for a PVC-related credit within the LEED green building rating system. TSAC’s draft report for public comment was presented in December 2004. Based on the extensive comments and white papers that were submitted in response to the draft report, TSAC expanded its analysis to address concerns and new data raised during the process, including end-of-life issues such as backyard burning and landfill fires.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls March 1, 2007

UPS Module Selection for Large Scale Data Centers

In specifying uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems for the large-scale mission-critical facility, the first step is to determine the amount of load the UPS system will serve. Once load is determined, it is essential to determine the amount of redundancy that is required. System redundancy can be developed through the servers in your critical environment, typically referred to as “g...

By Keith Lane, P.E., RCDD/NTS Specialist, TPM, LC, LEED AP Director/VP - Engineering SASCO,Seattle
Automation, Controls February 28, 2007

Massachusetts Receives Accreditation in Emergency Management

Massachusetts is the eighth state to be accredited by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP). The program is a voluntary national accreditation process based on NFPA 1600, “Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Continuity Programs .” NFPA 1600 assesses current disaster and emergency programs; develops, implements and maintains programs to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from disaster and emergencies. State, territorial and local government programs earn EMAP accreditation by ensuring that their disaster preparedness and response plans meet national standards.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls February 27, 2007

Is it Time for a Standby Generator?

The process of selecting a standby generator either can be relatively quick or agonizingly slow. How you approach the specification, purchase, installation and maintenance issues will ultimately influence the speed—or agony—of your genset purchase. But first, one needs to ask some questions: Why would I need a generator for backup power? What happens in your facility when the power goes off? Do the employee’s simply go home to wait out the event? What do you have to do to start the facility or process back up? Are there machines that need to runoff the excess material in order to start anew?Are there machines that after a power outage need to be cleaned out in order to be restarted? How much material did you just consume in waste or scrap because the process wasn’t completed in time? How long does it take to get started again and do you know what the resulting costs are? Is it possible that lives may be at risk, for example, from being stuck in elevators or automatic access areas? If you had answers to these questions, or you were able to ask more probing questions, then you probably need a backup power source for your facility.

By Roddy Yates, Generator Marketing Manager, Baldor Electric, Fort Smith, Ark.
Automation, Controls February 6, 2007

Product Showcase | January 24, 2007

Visit for industry news and featuresJanuary 24, 2007 Special Advertising Section Dear Stephanie,Here is the next edition of Consulting-Specifying Engineer's product and system solutions showcase. Featured Products Big Ass Fans for Industrial and Commercial Buildings Big Ass Fans Click here . KMC Controls' native BACnet Building Controller KMC Controls BACnet Building Controller is an easy and cost effectivebuilding automation solution without the expense of a computer andspecial software.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls February 1, 2007

Selling Fear

Consulting engineering is one of the few professional industries that may exploit fear as a means to increase revenues, expand the duration of customer relationships and escape the bonds of traditional commodity design and implementation. Using building systems as the basis for fear creation, consulting engineers may create comprehensive product and service portfolios that serve to protect cust...

By Brad Dawson, Managing Director of LTV Dynamics, Catharpin, Va.
Automation, Controls January 29, 2007

U.S. Companies Might Be Wasting Billions on Web Development

Every year, U.S. companies spend thousands of dollars on Internet services for their web sites, including for web design, hosting and programming. This may total in the billions of dollars for the entire U.S.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls January 1, 2007

Top Grade for USDA

Charged with the mission of supporting the nation's agricultural production, food safety and nutrition, as well as protecting the environment and advocating for rural communities, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) had outgrown its headquarters complex in Washington, D.C. Consequently, a major upgrade was necessary and is well underway, involving a $250 million phased renovation of the comple...

By Sam Brunetto, P.E., Associate Partner, and John O'Neill, P.E., Vice President, Syska Hennessy Group, Washington, D.C.
Automation, Controls December 5, 2006

New Products for HVAC Systems and Controls

HVAC design software contains 25 simple "green" utilities, including capabilities for sizing duct work and piping, calculating cooling and heating loads, calculating psychrometric properties of air, and performing U-Value calculations. For more about Green Toolbox from Carmel Software, click here . Graphical tools for BAS offers graphical gathering and management of critical data needed for day-to-day operations and energy management. Smart components encapsulate intelligence and make the system easier to use.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls December 5, 2006

2007 AHR Expo Innovation Award Winners Announced

A record nine companies with a variety of new products varying from humidity sensing fans to a remote environmental surveillance system have been selected as winners of the 2007 AHR Expo Innovation Award. The winners will be honored at a special ceremony on Jan. 30 at the 2007 AHR Expo in Dallas, Texas.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls November 1, 2006

Briefly … – 2006-11-01

• ASHRAE has released the Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small Retail Buildings. Intended for use by builders, contractors and architects, the guide covers energy-efficient design for retail buildings up to 20,000 sq. ft. • The Building Security Council has established the Building Security Certified Professional (BSCP) certification, which addresses the security of buildings agai...

By Staff
Automation, Controls November 1, 2006

Comprehensive Reliability

The ability of any mission-critical facility to function properly depends on the sum of its parts. Facility owners need to optimize what they're trying to achieve by balancing their needs against their budget. Each aspect of a data center's design needs to be appraised, from its smallest component to its major M/E/P systems.

By Robert Weber, Senior Vice President, Environmental Systems Design, Chicago
Automation, Controls October 12, 2006

Industry Roundup: Promotions and Acquisitions

• ABB, Zurich, Switzerland, has been awarded the Frost & Sullivan "Growth Excellence in Market and Product Leadership of the Year Award, for 2006 Low Voltage Drives." • Anvil International, Portsmouth, N.H., has promoted Harold Arrowsmith to vice president of sales, mechanical division, and hired John Smayda as the eastern U.S. director of sales, fire protection division. • Aqua-Chem and Cleaver-Brooks, Milwaukee, have divided into two separate entities, With Aqua-Chem no longer a part of its corporate structure, the latter’s corporate name has been changed to Cleaver-Brooks, Inc. • Baldor Electric, Fort Smith, Ark., has achieved ISO 9001:2000 certification for its Fort Smith motor plant, service center and corporate offices. • Generation Brands, Cary, N.C., announced that W.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls October 4, 2006

Strobe Coverage May Need to Go Beyond NFPA 72 to Ensure Safety

A white paper from St. Charles, Ill.-based System Sensor, manufacturer of fire detection and notification devices, addresses concerns about the correct spacing and candela settings of strobes in facilities such as retail occupancies. "Visible Signaling in Large Spaces" cites the recommendation by the National Fire Protection Assn. (NFPA) Technical Committee on Notification Appliances for Fire Alarm Systems to clarify the design requirements of signaling systems in retail occupancies.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls October 1, 2006

New Products – 2006-10-01

Sidewall sprinkler for light hazard applications relies on a “flow shaper” design that is said to be the key to coverages of 14 ft. x 26 ft. and 18 ft. x 22 ft. A recessed model is available in 135°F, 155°F and 175°F temperature ratings, while domed concealed units are offered in 135°F and 175°F.

By Staff
Automation, Controls September 28, 2006

Plumbing the Only Traditional Building System at Mountain Lodge

Reached only by strenuous hike, LeConte Lodge in Great Smoky Mountains National Park has no electricity but offers other comforts such as hot meals and beds with blankets and clean sheets. Because of 23-year-old storage tanks made with Vipel resin technology available today through AOC, guests also enjoy running water. At outdoor faucets, guests can fill canteens or splash down after the hike up. Some water is propane-heated to provide washbasin bathing, and the readily available water is essential to food and beverage preparation in the Lodge’s dining hall.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls September 1, 2006

Sealing the Cracks in IAQ

Editor’s Note : The following is excerpted and adapted from “Commissioning Buildings in Hot, Humid Climates: Design and Construction Guidelines,” by J. David Odom, vice president of IAQ Services, and George Dubose, mechanical engineer, with CH2M Hill, Orlando, Fla. In addition to passages from the manual’s introduction and a section on mechanical considerations at the schematic design stage, comments from an interview with Odom are also included.

By Staff
Automation, Controls August 1, 2006

Switching Power

Innovations in controls and communication systems have improved monitoring of switchgear and transfer switches. Manufacturers are also touting arc-flash-resistant designs. CSE: What are the latest design innovations in switchgear and automatic transfer switches (ATS)? LIGGIO : In brief, equipment is smaller, communications have improved and arc-flash safety has increased. OLSON : There are new arc-resistant and arc-proof designs, but in general, these new capabilities are not yet hitting a large number of projects. The biggest advances are probably in the area of controls—both the integration and advancement of common feature sets and the advent of easy, low-cost communications, as Mr.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Automation, Controls August 1, 2006

2006 Giants Index

2006 Giants Index Click here for the Giants list organized by ranking. Firm A. Epstein and Sons International, Inc., Chicago 62 Affiliated Engineers, Inc., Madison, Wis. 10 Albert Kahn Associates, Inc., Detroit 59 Allen & Shariff Corporation, Columbus, Md. 49 Baird, Hampton & Brown, Inc., Fort Worth, Texas 90 Bala Consulting Engineers, Inc., King of Prussia, Pa. 71 Ballinger, Philadelphia 98 Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon, Nashville 100 Bridgers & Paxton Consulting Engineers, Albuquerque 54 Brinjac, Harrisburg, Pa. 79 Burns & McDonnell, Kansas City, Mo. 1 Burns and Roe, Oradell, N.J. 4 Burt Hill, Butler, Pa. 42 Cannon Design, Grand Island, N.Y. 23 Carter & Burgess, Inc., Fort Worth, Texas 3 Clark-Nexsen Architecture & Engineering, Norfolk, Va. 47 CMTA Inc., Louisville 86 Concord Engineering Group, Voorhees, N.J. 92 Cosentini Associates, New York 17 CRB Consulting Engineers, Kansas City, Mo. 34 DiClemente Siegel Design Inc., Southfield, Mich. 80 Dynamix Engineering Ltd., Columbus 87 Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering, Albany, N.Y. 50 Ellerbe Becket, Minneapolis 9 EMC Engineers, Inc., Lakewood, Colo. 83 Environmental Systems Design, Inc., Chicago 31 EwingCole, Philadelphia 28 EYP Mission Critical Facilities, New York 32 Fanning/Howey Associates, Celina, Ohio 84 Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc., Grand Rapids 97 Flack + Kurtz, New York 8 FreemanWhite, Inc., Charlotte 99 GHAFARI Associates, LLC, Dearborn, Mich. 68 GHT Limited, Arlington, Va. 40 Goetting and Associates, Inc., San Antonio 82 GRW Engineers, Inc., Lexington, Ky. 66 H.F.

By Staff
Automation, Controls August 1, 2006

Code Wars Over? Coming Soon: One Plumbing and Mechanical Code

History was made on a sweltering day in Denver this past month, when two model code organizations, the International Code Council (ICC) and the International Assn. of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), announced their intentions to publish one unified plumbing and mechanical code by 2009. This is indeed an historic event and probably the most significant change in the plumbing and mechanical codes since the introduction of the common code format and the drafting of the “Joint Model Plumbing Code” in 1994. The ICC, of course, publishes the International Plumbing Code (IPC) and the International Mechanical Code (IMC), while IAPMO publishes the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) and the Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC). The joint announcement was made July 15 at ICC's town hall meeting, where the two groups officially reported on the progress to produce a single model plumbing and mechanical code. One of the major motivations for a joint code, according to Chris Salazar, president of IAPMO, was the fact that both organizations had been spending large sums of money meeting with various municipalities in order to convince different jurisdictions to use their particular code. This “Code War,” he said, often a daily battle, took intense effort, a huge time commitment and significant travel expenses going all around the country.

By Ron George, CIPE, CPD President, Ron George Design & Consulting Services, Newport, Mich.
Automation, Controls July 19, 2006

M/E Insider: Girard Engineering Appoints New Prez; Ross & Baruzzini Provides Security Work to Houston-Area Transit Authority

• Girard Engineering, PC , has promoted Larry Beam, P.E. to president. Richard A.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls July 18, 2006

The Art of Protecting Electrical Systems, Part 7: Equipment Short Circuit Ratings

Editor’s Note: From 1965 through 1970, Consulting-Specifying Engineer ’s predecessor, Actual Specifying Engineer, ran a series of articles on overcurrent protection. Due to the immense popularity of the 31 installments in the series, the authors, George Farrell and Frank Valvoda, P.E., reprised the series in an updated version beginning in the Feb. 1989 issue of CSE.

Automation, Controls July 13, 2006

Industry Roundup: Danfoss Acquires Scroll Technologies, JCI acquires Berg

• Danfoss, Nordborg, Denmark, has entered into an agreement to acquire Scroll Technologies, Arkadelphia, Ark., an American-based manufacturer of scroll compressors for HVAC/R applications. Since 1995, Scroll has been a joint venture between Carrier Corp. and Bristol Compressors, a Johnson Controls company. • Assa Abloy ITG , Walluf, Germany, a manufacturer of identification components, has acquired Novacard do Brasil, a Brazil-based manufacturer of contactless cards. • Flomerics Group plc, a London-based developer of CFD software, announced that it has reached agreement on the proposed acquisition of the entire share capital of NIKA GmbH, an engineering fluid dynamics software company based in Frankfurt, Germany and specializing in simulation tools for the prediction of fluid flow and heat transfer. • Flowserve, Dallas, Texas, has partnered with Al Rushaid Group, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, to build the largest OEM pump repair, manufacturing and training facility in the Middle East. • Invensys Controls, Carol Stream, Ill., has announced a rededication to one of its core businesses—the safety segment that manufactures smoke and heat alarms and carbon monoxide and combination smoke/CO alarms. • Johnson Controls, Milwaukee, has acquired Berg Inc., Shreveport, La. • Mikropack GmbH, a German manufacturer of light sources and photonic accessories, has been acquired by Halma p.l.c., a safety and environmental technology group based in the United Kingdom. • Philips, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, has acquired The Bodine Company, a Collierville, Tenn.-based manufacturer of emergency ballasts.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls July 13, 2006

The Zweig Letter Announces A/E Hot Firm List

Management consulting and research firm Zweig White Information Services has identified the 100 fastest-growing U.S. architecture, engineering and environmental consulting firms for its annual ranking, The Zweig Letter Hot Firm List. This annual list features the design and environmental firms that have outperformed the economy and competitors to become industry leaders. Environmental firm Compass Environmental, Inc.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls July 13, 2006

Three-year RFID Initiative Launched in Brussels

A three-year initiative dedicated to research, development, training and demonstration in the effective use of RFID, based on EPCglobal standards, was launched recently in Brussels, Belgium. The Building Radio frequency IDentification solutions for the Global Environment (BRIDGE) project is being supported by the European Union’s Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP6) with€7,5 million in funding. Coordinated by global data standards body GS1, the BRIDGE project brings together a consortium of 31 global organizations. Participants in the program comprise universities in Europe and China--including three of the Auto-ID Labs--solutions providers both large and small, and large-scale retailers and manufacturers. “Since its inception, RFID has been hailed as the panacea for a more sophisticated and efficient global supply chain, but there are many questions to answer before this is realized,” said Henri Barthel, technical director at EPCglobal and BRIDGE project coordinator.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls July 1, 2006

Where Are all the Women Engineers?

When women consider careers in M/E engineering, one factor that's often overlookeed is that it's a fairly male-dominated profession. This, sometimes, can lead to culture shock. This was definitely the case for Marina Dishel, P.E., now a vice president with the Syska Hennessy Group's New York office.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Automation, Controls June 27, 2006

Beware of Transformer and Static Transfer Switch Location in Critical Environments

Editor’s Note: This is the author’s follow-up to his June 2005 Pure Power article, Location, Location, Location . This sequel provides some further observations on the importance of being cautious and aware of proper transformer and static transfer switch location in critical environments. As stated in the first article on this subject, a means of transferring between sources of power within the confines of the CBEMA (Computer Business Manufactures Association) or ITI curve is essential in critical environments that require high levels of site availability.

By Keith Lane, P.E., RCDD/NTS Specialist, LC, LEED AP Director and Vice President of Engineering, SASCO Seattle
Automation, Controls June 23, 2006

The War at Home: Military Security Technology Coming to a School Near You

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.

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls June 22, 2006

ASHRAE Hires Construction Manager for Headquarters Renovation

ASHRAE’s move toward a sustainable headquarters continues with the hiring of a construction manager and the creation of a technical advisory committee. The organization is currently studying whether to renovate its headquarters in Atlanta as a sustainable building. Gay Construction Co., a commercial construction company in Smyrna, Ga., will serve as construction manager for the project. To ensure the technical expertise of its 55,000 members is included in the process, ASHRAE has created a Technical Advisory Ad Hoc Committee that will provide input into the project requirements for the renovation. The committee members represent architectural features, mechanical systems, lighting/day lighting, controls, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or equivalent building rating systems, indoor environmental quality, energy, operation and maintenance/commissioning, and living laboratory. More information about the project can be found at , including photos of the building throughout the years, technical information about the building and a comments area. A schematic design is scheduled to be completed by June with discussion by ASHRAE’s Board of Directors taking place at the 2006 Annual Meeting, June 24-28, Quebec City.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls June 1, 2006

Connecticut Offering DG Grants

Even with two new transmission lines now under construction, Connecticut is seeing electricity demand approaching its supply limits, so the state has begun a program to encourage onsite generation. Grants of $450 per kW generated—or $500 per kW in the southwest part of the state, where demand is especially high—are now available through the State Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC). The grants are available for base-load power systems up to 65 MW, with no lower limit, and a new low interest loan program through Bank of America is available for financing these projects. Additionally, grants of $200 per kilowatt are now available for new emergency backup generating systems. The grants will be paid by ratepayers, but DPUC officials say these costs will be offset by reductions in the fees charged to state ratepayers by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) because of the state's lack of adequate generating capacity.

By Staff
Automation, Controls May 3, 2006

New Products at the 2006 NFPA World Safety Conference & Expo

The National Fire Protection Assn. is taking its World Safety Conference to Orlando, Fla. this year.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls May 3, 2006

VistaScape Surveillance Software Watches Over Corps of Engineers Waterway

VistaScape Security Systems announced last week that its automated wide-area surveillance software has been implemented to protect U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) dam facilities and assets along the Savannah River near Clemson, S.C. USACE adopted the technology to address and counteract potential threats to the facility, including terrorism, trespassing, theft and vandalism. Remote Technologies of Savannah, Ga.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls May 1, 2006

Letters: Reader Feedback – 2006-05-01

Kudos on defining switchgear vs. switchboard I am not in the habit of writing to magazines, but I felt compelled to compliment CSE and especially author Brian Rener for writing "Switchboard or Switchgear?" (Spring '06 Pure Power, pg. 10). The difference between these two pieces of electrical distribution equipment has been well defined by IEEE over the years, but has been ignored by most engine...

By Staff
Automation, Controls May 1, 2006

Gateway to China

The RJA Group has been building a presence in China for more than a decade, a success story that offers lessons for other design firms wishing to go international. The following is a Q&A session with three of RJA's major players in the China market. Martin "Mickey" Reiss, P.E., president and CEO of The RJA Group, parent company of Rolf Jensen & Associates, is based in Boston.

By Scott Siddens, Senior Editor
Automation, Controls April 18, 2006

The Art of Protecting Electrical Systems, Part 4: System Analysis

Editor’s Note: Protective equipment must withstand changes caused by short circuits in electrical systems. This fourth article in our series discusses aspects of short circuit calculations Engineers designing protection for electrical systems must consider the many changes that take place when a short circuit occurs. Protective equipment must be able to withstand the effects of short circuits, minimize damage and restore service as quickly as possible. The changes that occur during faults—many of which are interdependent—have not been brought to the attention of engineers.

Automation, Controls April 13, 2006

Global Companies Join with WBCSD to Further the Cause of Energy Self-sufficiency

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, based in Geneva, Switzerland, recently announced that it is forming an alliance of leading global companies to determine how buildings can be designed and constructed so that they use no energy from external power grids, are carbon neutral and can be built and operated at fair market values. The industry effort is led by United Technologies Corp., with headquarters in Hartford, Conn. and Paris-based Lafarge Group. Buildings today account for 40% of energy consumption in developed countries, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is hoped that the effort will transform the way buildings are conceived, constructed, operated and dismantled.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls April 4, 2006

Humidity Control: A Function of Type That Depends on Needs

Editor’s Note: For a detailed discussion of humidification, check out M/E Roundtable in the upcoming April print or online version of CSE. Humidity control is strictly a function of humidifier type and depends on the needs of the process. For example, duct-mounted steam and atomizing-type evaporative processes have the ability to try to put more moisture in the air than the air can accept. These types of systems need to be minimally controlled from return/exhaust air relative humidity through a supply air high limit control and an airflow switch to prevent operation when the airflow is off.

By Mark Lentz, P.E. President Lentz Engineering Sheboygan Falls, Wis.
Automation, Controls April 4, 2006

Changes to ASHRAE Standard 62.1 Ventilation Rates Proposed

Ventilation requirements for high-rise residential buildings are among changes being proposed for ASHRAE’s indoor air quality standard. Three proposed addenda to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2004, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, are available for comment until May 1. To obtain drafts of or comment on proposed addenda e, f and h, go to . Addendum 62.1h would add requirements for high-rise residential buildings to the standard’s ventilation rate table. These ventilation rates are somewhat higher than the residential rates included in ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.2, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings, according to Dennis Stanke, chair of the Standard 62.1 committee. “Standard 62.2 bases its rates on the assumption that infiltration always provides some ventilation and on the requirement that each dwelling unit includes operable windows for supplemental ventilation,” he said.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls March 28, 2006

Alexander Karsner Sworn In as New Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman has sworn in Alexander “Andy” Karsner as the Dept.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls March 7, 2006

Why IT is Good for BAS

The convergence of building automation systems and information technology is discussed by a noted control expert. Anto Budiardjo, president and CEO of Clasma Events, explains why BAS needs to involve IT. Click here for more .

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls March 7, 2006

ASHRAE’s Most Used Standards Available on One CD

They are being billed as “ASHRAE’s Greatest Hits”—the association’s 12 top selling standards and guidelines now available on a single CD. To order Design Essentials: ASHRAE’s Most Referenced Standards and Guidelines contains a library of documents that can be easily searched and printed with copy and paste features for text and graphics. The standards and guidelines address design or system operations, and most are code-intended standards. “Because ASHRAE standards/guidelines often refer to requirements in other standards, our documents need to be used together in order to understand the means for compliance with any one of them,” Rick Hermans, chair of ASHRAE’s Standards Committee, said.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls March 1, 2006

Engineering for the Sciences

With an enrollment of more than 24,000 students and an annual research budget exceeding $300 million, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has always been able to attract world-class research initiatives. To continue to do so, university officials knew it was high time to update the university's laboratory facilities. Consequently, for design and construction of the campus' new Advanced Chemical Technology Building (ACTB), they brought together a project team with a proven track record in lab design. Not only did the team prioritize current user needs, they also focused on providing flexible layouts and systems that could easily adapt to future needs. "Our team fleshed out all the options and coordinated the owner's priorities with current technologies, the budget and even a number of future variables," relates Jeff Pratt, a KJWW mechanical engineer on the project. Thus, the design team of architects, engineers and the owner—including researchers and administrators—began by holding a series of meetings during which a master list of needs and wants was created.

By Ryan Sprangers, Mechanical Engineer, KJWW Engineering Consultants, Naperville, Ill. and Paul Culver, Electrical Engineer, KJWW Engineering Consultants, Madison, Wis.
Automation, Controls March 1, 2006

Wind Energy Interconnection Standards, Technology Now Maturing

The variability of wind-turbine output can raise problems for the interconnections between wind farms and electricity grids, and standards have been lacking to address these designs. However, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a ruling in December establishing new interconnection standards for large generators with capacities of 20 MW and above. And new equipment now being tested could help address special considerations that exist when wind resources constitute an especially high proportion of a grid's overall load. The new FERC standard— Order No.

By Staff
Automation, Controls February 1, 2006

Saving Energy and Water with VFDs

In today's world, with power transmission overloads in the Northeast and blackouts in the West, the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) is concentrating its efforts on reducing energy consumption.

By Jeff Lovelace, P.E., Drives Product Manager, Baldor Electric, Fort Smith, Ark.
Automation, Controls February 1, 2006

BACnet, LON in Full Force

Backers of open building systems were in full force at AHR preaching the gospel of open systems. The folks from the Lon-Mark Americas Assn. conducted a day-long seminar on open systems including truly open specifications. Ron Bernstein, vice chairman of the group, presented a session on the "Good, the Bad and the Ugly," on specification practices where he laid out 10 questions every specifier should ask when selecting products and building automation systems.

By Staff
Automation, Controls February 1, 2006

Solar Growing?

Proponents of solar power won a recent victory in the campaign for photovoltaics when national retailer Walgreens recently announced it will install PV systems on 96 stores and two distribution centers in California and 16 stores in New Jersey. The new systems will generate more than 13.8 million kilowatt-hours per year, making this the largest solar project ever completed in the United States. The first systems are expected to be operational in early 2006.

By Staff
Automation, Controls February 1, 2006

Beyond Achieving ARC

Today, the HVAC industry faces a crisis that is growing by the day. We must find ways to significantly reduce energy use in buildings without making them uninhabitable. New solutions are desperately needed and there is enormous room for improvement. While it will vary from building to building, the performance gains our firm has been able to achieve in facilities like Wausau East High School, the project which won CSE's ARC award for HVAC, (see A+ for IAQ IQ ), have brought us to the conclusion that about 85% of the energy used in buildings today is just plain wasted—that's almost 40% of the total energy used in this country.

By Mark Lentz, P.E. President, Lentz Engineering Assocs., Sheboygan Falls, Wis.
Automation, Controls January 10, 2006

Top 10 Economic Predictions for 2006

Global Insight , a consulting firm based in Lexington, Mass., offers the following “top 10” predictions for global and U.S. economies for 2006. The following was The resilience of the U.S.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls January 5, 2006

New Products for Fire Protection and Security

Access management software is available in three new versions. The software is designed to enhance any access management system whether the user is operating in a single-server environment or a multi-region, multi-server system. The system can be combined with options such as integrated third-party CCTV, intercom and DVR interfaces in a single front end.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls January 1, 2006

Briefly … – 2006-01-01

Multi-loop electronic temperature controllers, for multi-zone applications, are seeing an increase in number of loops, according to a new study by Natick, Mass.-based Venture Development. Researchers say this results from users purchasing more expensive controllers. The Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small Office Buildings and Building for the Future , a supplement to the ASHRAE Journal , both received honorable mentions from the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council's Best Sustainable Practice Awards. VRTX Technologies LLC has won the first Greenovation Award—a new category in the annual AHR Expo Innovation Awards competition—for its VRTX System, which treats industrial cooling water from condensers and cooling towers. Commercial real estate technology solutions company Realcomm will launch a web portal early this year as an outlet for sharing information and resources. Information can be sent to the organization at .

By Staff
Automation, Controls January 1, 2006

Letters: Reader Feedback – 2006-01-01 – 2006-01-01 – 2006-01-01

Kudos for commissioning; Ethics talk excellent The article "Diary of a Commissioning Agent" (CSE 11/05, p. 29) by Joseph Sather is excellent. This is a perfect testimonial on why commissioning of equipment is so important. It is also very typical of how difficult it can be to make additions to or modify the infrastructure of a health-care facility.

By Staff
Automation, Controls January 1, 2006

Congress Cool with VSDs

With recent passage of the new Energy Policy Act, some congressional officials are putting their money where their mouth is. A new variable-speed drive for small heating and cooling air-handling units was placed in the Longworth House of Representatives Office Building in Washington, D.C., part of the U.S. Capitol building complex. While large institutions are generally aggressive in pursuing central plant energy efficiency, individual room AHUs, according to Carrier, the drive's manufacturer, have been frequently overlooked as a potential source of savings, especially in retrofits of older buildings, where, frankly, there can be lack of a solution that does not require the entire replacement of inefficient systems. The upgraded energy-saving unit provides precise heating or cooling to the occupied space based on comfort needs.

By Staff
Automation, Controls January 1, 2006

A Lesson in Campus Fire-Alarm System Design

There are many considerations prior to the layout and design of a campus fire-alarm system. The most important is finding out what the owner expects to accomplish with the system. Is the intent to have total monitoring and control of the site facilities? Or is it to have a central command center for monitoring the campus systems? Are there other systems to incorporate into this campus network infrastructure? The answers to these questions will help determine the direction of the system design.

By Arden Everhart, Fire Alarm/Life Safety Specialist, Swanson Rink, Inc., Denver
Automation, Controls December 14, 2005

NERC Winter Assessment: Electric Supply Adequate, Gas a Concern

The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) released its 2005/2006 Winter Assessment . The report states that, absent major unforeseen fuel supply or delivery constraints, electricity generating capacity should be adequate to meet the demand for electricity throughout North America this winter. However, the report notes that a significant amount of natural gas production may not be available this winter to interstate pipelines serving the Atlantic seaboard due to the lingering effects of hurricane damage on the Gulf Coast, and that preparations are under way to address this possibility. While additional delivery or supply curtailments could occur, individual regions do not anticipate significant reliability problems from these fuel supply issues, except for the potential concerns noted by ISO-New England. “This season’s hurricanes significantly reduced Gulf of Mexico natural gas and oil production and refinement capabilities,” said Rick Sergel, NERC president and CEO.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls December 12, 2005

New Products: electrical courses, services and websites

Sensor competency center (SCC) serves as a single, integrated resource in the United States for technical and application support for the sensor industry. With a staff of more than 60 experienced team members, SCC provides a central resource for all types and models of Hyde Park and Telemecanique sensors, including inductive, capacitive, photoelectric and ultrasonic. For more information about Schneider Electric’s SCC, click here . Wire device website has been updated with additional product information and new dynamic search capabilities.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls December 7, 2005

National Electrical Code 2005: Unifying Control Panels

Editor’s Note: This is the seventh in a continuing series covering significant new issues raised by the 2005 Edition of the National Electrical Code. Industrial control panels, used to control such systems as lighting, conveyor systems and air conditioning, in many cases, are manufactured in the field. Even thought the individual devices used in a system might be Underwriters Laboratories (UL)-listed, the panel itself is not. This has been a concern for both installers and inspectors, especially because these panels have been increasingly misused. In an effort to close existing gaps in safety requirements for industrial control panels, as well as to advance safety in the industry, NEC's new Article 409, “Industrial Control Panels,” details requirements for the installation and inspection of “control panels that are intended for general use and that operate at a voltage of 600 volts or less.” These assemblies of industrial control components are intended to provide control logic and distribution of power to various external motor loads, non-motor loads or a combination of both.

By Ken Seaton, P.E., President, The Seaton Group, Chicago
Automation, Controls December 1, 2005

Briefly … – 2005-12-01

Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., Buffalo Grove, Ill., announced the introduction of the first commercially ready wireless building automation system, APOGEE Wireless, which uses a mesh topology. U.S. Dept. of Energy and Social Security Administration officials last month dedicated a new solar array atop SSA's downtown Chicago office building, the city's largest federal solar energy installation and also one of the largest in the Midwest. The University of Texas at San Antonio College of Engineering last month was awarded the 2005 Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology Presidential Award for Diversity.

By Staff
Automation, Controls December 1, 2005

LonWorld a Success

More than 1,000 people gathered in Paris, France this past month for the annual LonWorld Expo and Conference and LonMark meetings. At the four-day event, the organization launched a number of new initiatives designed to extend LonMark open systems in building automation, home control, street lighting, network tools and network connectivity. Among the highlights of the conference, according to the organization, was the finalization of plans to release a profile for data-logging devices and controllers used in building automation systems. The new profile will allow for remotely extracting information that is collected and stored locally in Lon-certified devices. The group also agreed to create a method for testing and certifying programmable devices commonly used in buildings and industrial environments.

By Staff
Automation, Controls December 1, 2005

Big Changes for LEED

This year's Greenbuild conference and expo in Atlanta certainly produced some big news, with the two most notable announcements being that LEED design credits can now be locked in at the design stage, and the LEED application process will be all-electronic. Meeting with the press during the show, which took place Nov. 9—11, USGBC President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi unveiled a partnership the organization has entered with San Jose-based Adobe to streamline the whole LEED application process. Instead of a pair of oversized binders and accompanying spreadsheet, all documents will now be available in PDF format. "We're convinced this will make a black and white difference," said Fedrizzi. "And we really see this as just the first phase, as there are many more features available that haven't yet been implemented," added Kumar Vora, Adobe's VP of product strategy. While this move is intended to make the process easier, one thing Fedrizzi wanted to emphasize is that it was not done to make LEED accreditation any easier.

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls December 1, 2005

The Debate Over Circuit Breakers vs. Fused Solutions Continues

I have a number of reservations about the technical issues in Mr. Lane's articles, which broke down changes to the NEC and suggested fused distribution may not always be necessary when considering selective coordination requirements. Both circuit breaker (CB) and fused systems provide safe and reliable overcurrent protection when systems are carefully engineered, installed and maintained. But there are significant differences that must be recognized. The first problem with all three articles is they do not look at a complete system.

By George Farrell, Cary, Ill.
Automation, Controls December 1, 2005

Greenbuild Expo Rolling

Walking the Greenbuild exhibit floor in Atlanta this year, one felt that the most obvious difference from past shows was the size. With roughly 400 exhibitors and an attendance increase of about 2,000 from last year's record-breaking crowd of 8,000, the show is certainly growing. But like many shows M/E/P consulting engineers attend, it's often the case that the larger the event, the less relevance a show has to specific products engineers are looking for.

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls November 2, 2005

Philip J. DiNenno Receives SPFE 2005 Arthur B. Guise Medal

Phillip J. DiNenno was awarded the Society of Fire Protection Engineers’ (SFPE) most prestigious award, the Arthur B. Guise Medal.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls November 2, 2005

New Products for Security

Browser-based CCTV and access control system is said to be first of its kind and is based on the Microsoft SQL database. This system allows users to manage all access events and event images from any location. Users can select an event to view details and event footage.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls November 2, 2005

Winners of International Awards for Security Products Announced

The winners of this year’s Detektor International Award were honoured recently in Stockholm, Sweden. More than three hundred guests gathered at the Stockholm Globe Arena complex for the ceremony. In total, twelve security products were nominated in the categories of CCTV, alarm and access control products. The Detektor International Award Prize was initiated to reward and encourage research and development within the field of technical security systems. U.S.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls November 1, 2005

BACnet Groups Merge

The BACnet community recently gathered in Nashville for its annual conference and expo and announed first and foremost that the BACnet Manufacturers Assn. (BMA) and the BACnet interest Group-North America (BIG-NA) have merged to form BACnet International. "This is a great opportunity," said Carl Ruther, president of BIG-NA. "It will provide a wonderful forum for end users and engineers to network, exchange ideas and stay educated on current technology and application issues." Additionally, Ruther, facilities manager for the University of Cincinnati, said members will also be able to actually influence the direction of the standard by expressing their needs. Eric Craton, president of BMA, added that the two groups joining forces should allow the community to more strongly articulate and demonstrate the value of open systems. At the conference, a giant demonstration of interoperable systems was conducted with almost all exhibitors participating.

By Staff
Automation, Controls November 1, 2005

Managing Business in the Wake of a Disaster

Despite setbacks, the New Orleans' engineering community remains busy—and remarkably, for the most part remains in the city itself. When Dennis Lambert, P.E., drives around New Orleans today, he sees a city where everything has turned brown and dirty. At night, there are no street lamps, no house lights, no sparkling skyline. Hurricane Katrina, which plowed into the Gulf Coast in late August, made much of New Orleans unlivable and all but wiped out the city's business community.

By Maggie Koerth, Contributing Writer
Automation, Controls October 27, 2005

Water Conservation Strategies Can Improve Your Bottom Line

Water conservation and green building strategies are more than just environmentally responsible decisions. They make economic sense as well.credits in the water efficiency category. Increased Demands for Water According to the 2000 U.S. Geological Survey, more than 268 million people depend on water from public suppliers and use an estimated 43 million gallons a day.

By GEORGE SPEAR, Product Manager, Moen, North Olmsted, Ohio
Automation, Controls October 24, 2005

Big Boom Expected for Voice over Wireless LAN

Wireless LAN could reach one third of the voice communications market by 2007. This is the prediction of a new study by international data networking and telecom market research and consulting firm Infonetics Research, which says that the number of organizations deploying voice over wireless LAN (WLAN) will triple over the next two years from 10% now to 31% in 2007. This increase is due to the growing availability of wireless voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) handsets and voice-enabling wireless infrastructure. User Plans for Wireless LANs: North America 2005 is based on in-depth interviews with 240 small, medium and large organizations that will be using WLANs by 2006—including analysis of five vertical markets—along with surveys of 450 organizations for WLAN adoption rates. Besides the tripled use projection, others findings included: • 57% of small, 62% of medium and 72% of large organizations in North America will use WLANs by 2009 • Security and privacy were listed as the leading challenges of WLAN adoption • 42% of respondents have a policy in place that defines how employees can use WLAN and other wireless technologies • Intranet or VPN access and Internet access for guests were listed as the top two applications implemented over WLANs • 44% of respondents deploy and manage access points separately, without using WLAN switches, although this practice is expected to decline by 2007 due to centralized control architectures gaining ground and the number of deployed WLAN switch ports growing significantly Study excerpts are available at .

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls September 26, 2005

Industry Roundup: Movers and Shakers at S&C, SBT and NFPA

• S&C Electric Company, Chicago, reported that longtime President and Chairman of the Board John R. Conrad died on Aug. 30, 2005, at the age of 89.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls September 14, 2005

Successful Beta Test for a Power Trend Management System

Olson Power Trend Management, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, reports on a beta test project of its PTM system that concluded positively. The client, a medium-sized mall in Alberta, Canada, reported the following figures for power usage. Their facility energy usage for May 2002 was 228,557 kW-hr. Per hour, that averages out to 316 kW.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls September 14, 2005

New Products for Electrical Power

PoE power supply has integrated 24-port Power-over-Ethernet injection specifically for switch and PBX applications. The unit provides 12-volt DC output for switch and 50-volt DC output voltage per port in PoE, and can implement eight- to 24-ports in a PoE system, making it suitable for applications such as 10/100 Base T Ethernet switches, security systems, VoIP phone systems and blade servers. For more about PSM275-909 from Phihong, click here . Power Distribution Unit offers current monitoring and remote control for power outlets in data centers, server farms, ISPs and collocation facilities.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls September 1, 2005

Staying Lean and Green

When Henry Ford built his revolutionary manufacturing complex on the banks of the Rouge River in Dearborn, Mich., its vertically integrated approach became respected throughout the world as a model for industry. And for several decades, the Ford Motor Company's "Rouge" operated under the notion that America was blessed with an infinite supply of natural resources. But by the late 1990s, depletion of natural resources had become a common concern, lean manufacturing processes had replaced the methods of the past, and the facilities and infrastructure of the Rouge began to succumb to the ravages of time. The company was determined to revitalize the Rouge by embarking upon a redevelopment plan that incorporated a number of lean manufacturing and environmental features, thus creating a "model of 21st century sustainable manufacturing." The ensuing project included a 1.09 million-sq.-ft. assembly plant, a 907,000-sq.-ft.

By Tom Wozniak, P.E., Senior Electrical Engineer, and Bill Newman, P.E., Senior Mechanical Engineer, Giffels, Southfield, Mich.
Automation, Controls September 1, 2005

Tangle-Free Design

Density of cabling, its effect on cooling and air-handling systems and its interaction with other systems are some of the major challenges for communication cable layouts in telecom and data centers. CSE: What are the key challenges in organizing cable in telecom and server rooms? MONFORTON: From a capacity planning standpoint, building a permanent cabling infrastructure that not only meets current requirements but also anticipates future needs is tricky. One challenge is that ever-increasing quantities of cabling are being required at server and network equipment cabinets. There's also a greater density of cables being routed to main cross-connect frames.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Automation, Controls August 26, 2005

Industry Roundup: Schneider acquires Juno, JCI buys York

• Schneider Electric, Rueil Malmaison, France, has acquired Juno Lighting, Des Plaines, Ill. • Johnson Controls, Milwaukee, will acquire HVAC equipment manufacturer York Intl Corp., York, Pa., in a transaction that is expected to close in Dec. 2005. • Great Lakes Chemical, West Lafayette, Ind., and Crompton Corporation have finalized their all-stock merger to form Chemtura Corporation, said to be one of the largest publicly traded specialty chemical companies in the U.S. • Honeywell, Northford, Conn., has acquired Uster, Switzerland-based Zellweger Analytics, a manufacturer with nearly 40 years of experience in toxic and flammable gas detection systems. • TSI Incorporated, Shoreview, Minn., has acquired the instrument product lines of Airflow Developments Ltd., based in High Wycombe, U.K. TSI acquired the Test Instruments portion of ADL's business, including manufacturing, assembly and the sales and service operation based in High Wycombe.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls August 24, 2005

New Products for HVAC Applications 8/05

Electronic valve controller for pilot-operated control valves allows for remote operation, management and monitoring of valves through the Internet and can be programmed to automatically operate a valve based on specific application needs. Ideal for water-loss control, water conservation, level control and on/off applications. For more information about Autobox by Watts ACV, click here . Condensing boiler features a two-line, 16-character LCD display and a self-diagnostic feature that interfaces with a computer to speed up service calls, and shows trends in energy consumption.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls August 18, 2005

Specifying Adjustable Frequency Drives for Electromagnetic Compatibility

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is the ability of electrical and electronic equipment to operate in its installation environment while neither causing nor experiencing electromagnetic interference (EMI). EMI is any interference with normal equipment operation caused by abnormal energy entering the equipment either by conduction though wiring connections or by radiated wave reception. Radiated EMI is also called radio frequency interference (RFI). Conducted EMI is also called high-frequency line noise. Codes and standards In the United States, there are no codes and standards that specifically and completely cover electromagnetic compatibility of adjustable frequency drives (AFDs).

By Peter Walter, ABB, New Berlin, Wis.
Automation, Controls August 15, 2005

Rx for Maintenance-IntensiveCoolingTowers: Think Plastic

Metal cooling towers lined with galvanizing or other coatings have been around for a long time--in many instances, far too long. Like an aging fighter, decades-old metal cooling towers frequently become high-maintenance, while performance drops off sharply. Over time, these towers are increasingly thin-skinned and inefficient, and can cause unscheduled process disruptions. Secondary damage can also be caused by chronic "leakers," and outdated tower fans and motors often consume more energy than necessary.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls August 4, 2005

HVAC | July 28, 2005

CSE Magazine is pleased to present you with CSE HVAC Solutions. For customer support or to stop receiving e-mail promotions from CSE Magazine please scroll to the bottom for instructions. Home About CSE Advertise with CSE Electrical Fire HVAC Lighting Plumbing Power July 28 , 2005 This special edition of CSE NewsWatch focusing on the HVAC market is brought to you by the editors of Consulting-Specifying Engineer. This Issue's Stories 1.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls July 22, 2005

Power Power | July 21, 2005

#Ad:CSE_Text_Button4# #Ad:CSE_HTML_Button2# You are receiving this email as a subscriber to Consulting Specifying Engineer or Plant Engineering magazines or e-newsletters. If you do not wish to receive the Power Quality Vertical e-newsletter, simply use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page. Home About CSE Advertise with CSE Electrical Fire HVAC Lighting Plumbing Power July 21 , 2005 This special edition of CSE NewsWatch focusing on the Power Quality market is brought to you by the editors of Consulting-Specifying Engineer. This Issue's Stories 1.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls July 21, 2005

Consumer Energy Council Launches Fuels And Technologies Forum

The Consumer Energy Council of America ( CECA ), Washington, D.C., a public interest energy policy organization, this week launched a forum of the nation's energy leaders to recommend policies for the management of the nation's energy portfolio through 2025. The CECA Fuels and Technologies Forum, “Fueling the Future: Better Ways to Use America's Fuel Options," will examine the fuel-use public policy to meet future energy needs in ways that benefit consumers. The blue-ribbon panel will focus on meeting stationary energy demands, such as heating and cooling, electricity generation and industrial processes at a time when volatile gas and oil prices, growing environmental and climate concerns, and increased international competition require a critical examination of future domestic fuel supply, say CECA officials. The forum will use quantitative data to examine costs, externalities and characteristics of fuels. It will develop findings and recommendations to assist policymakers at the national and state level to optimize all fuels in environmentally responsible, secure and cost-effective ways. J.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls July 1, 2005

Call to Fire-Rate Cables Tabled but Still Smoldering

NFPA's recent World Safety Conference in Las Vegas provided a plethora of action and scuttlebutt on various code and standard developments. One key standard revision voted on was the proposed revision to NFPA 90A, Standard for the Installation of Air-Conditioning and Ventilating Systems . In a nutshell, the proposed revision would have required all electrical cabling in ceiling air plenums be fire-rated.

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls June 28, 2005

Electrical/ Motors and Drives FINALISTS

ACH550 Drive Low-Voltage AC Drives by ABB, Inc. AC adjustable-frequency drives with 1 to 500-hp capability have control panels modeled after cell phone design, interface and functionality, and were created “from scratch,” based on listening to customer needs, according to the manufacturer. The “Assistant,” via the control panel, asks users for motor nominal values, I/O configuration and application-specific parameters (acceleration and deceleration), and uses this information to control the specified motor and process.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls June 28, 2005


RT5 Volumetric Recessed Lighting by Lithonia Lighting T5 fluorescent lighting system provides an even distribution of soft, aesthetically pleasing light throughout a workspace, eliminating the glare and hot spots associated with parabolics, according to the manufacturer. It is also said to provide energy savings up to 33% over standard 18-cell, three-lamp T8 parabolics. A two-lamp configuration at 8-ft.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls June 24, 2005

Commissioning Engineered Building Systems: All In The Timing

In my last column , I looked at the concept of “breadth of scope” as it applies to building system commissioning and discussed the diversity of scope. And just as there is diversity in the scope of commissioning, there is also diversity in timing. So, when should you start the commissioning process and when, if ever, do you end it? Most clients are now realizing that commissioning should start early in the process, typically at the programming stage or at the conceptual design stage, of overall project development. In my experience, it should start in the programming phase, but should commence no later than the beginning or mid-point of schematic design. Yet, there are still some owners and facility managers who believe that commissioning occurs at the end of construction.

By George Bourassa, P.E., LEED AP, Senior Vice President and National Director of Commissioning, Facilities Division, Carter & Burgess, Inc., Chicago
Automation, Controls June 16, 2005

New Products for Power Quality and Reliability – 2005-06-16

Isolated power systems provides electrical fault protection required in “wet” operating room settings. The systems isolate faults while continuing to supply power to vital medical equipment, and an integrated alarm provides notification for quick fault correction. Systems are available in basic or dual-voltage models as well as a model specifically designed for use in laser procedures.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls June 6, 2005

Report Predicts Nearly 6% Growth for Photoelectric and Photointerrupter Sensors

A new report from technology market research and strategy consulting firm Venture Development Corp., Natick, Mass., suggests that photoelectric and photointerrupter sensor demand will be the biggest contributor to the overall growth of the North American proximity and photoelectric sensor market. The report predicts a combined compound annual growth rate of 5.8% for the two sensor types through 2007, compared to a projected overall North American growth rate of 4.7%. The current photoelectric and photointerrupter sensor market comprises 41%, the largest share of the $617.2 million proximity and photoelectric sensor market. 2004 Photoelectric and Photointerrupter (CAGR = 5.8%): $253.3Other* (CAGR = 3.6%): $363.9Overall (CAGR = 4.7%): $617.2 2007 Photoelectric and Photointerrupter (CAGR = 5.8%): 300.4Other* (CAGR = 3.6%): $408.1Overall (CAGR = 4.7%): $708.5 * Includes capacitive, inductive, magnetic, magnetic actuated and ultrasonic typesCAGR = Compound Annual Growth Rate Material handling, packaging equipment and electronics/semiconductor manufacturing equipment applications accounted for the largest industry shares of 2004 photoelectric shipments, and nearly half of 2004 shipments of photointerrupter sensors went to office automation equipment applications.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls June 6, 2005

Commissioning for Sustainability

Commissioning is an invaluable process in the engineering world, helping to ensure that buildings perform as intended. It’s especially crucial with systems that use sustainable design principles, as guided by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. “Commissioning typically helps to ensure good indoor environmental quality, reduce energy and water consumption, and improves how well the building is operated, all of which are the intent of LEED,” Jay Enck, a member of ASHRAE’s technical committee on building commissioning, said. Working from this mindset, ASHRAE has released Guideline 0-2005, The Commissioning Process , which describes how to verify that a facility and its systems meet the owner’s requirements for a project, including those geared toward sustainable goals. The National Institute for Building Sciences (NIBS) will use 0-2005 as its Total Building Commissioning Process Guideline, the foundation for a series of commissioning guidelines dealing with specific disciplines such as HVAC, lighting and fire protection. Visit the Bookstore at to order. And for more on commissioning, be sure to check out Professional Practices in the upcoming June issue of CSE .

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls June 1, 2005

NECA Launching New “Smart Building” Conference

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) is re-launching its previous VDV Conference as the Conference on Integrated Building Systems (IBS), and will be presenting the event concurrently with its own annual convention and trade show, Sept. 17–20 in New Orleans.

By Staff
Automation, Controls May 18, 2005

Electrical Equipment for Hazardous Locations Standards Updated

Three of the eight International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 60079 series-based ISA/UL co-published standards are being revised based on the new editions of the IEC standards. One of these standards, ISA 60079-0 (12.00.01), Electrical Apparatus for Use in Class I, Zones 0, 1, & 2 Hazardous (Classified) Locations: General Requirements, is scheduled for publication this month after it has been submitted for a 10-day default ISA Standards & Practices Board ballot and for ANSI approval. This standard specifies the general requirements for construction, testing and marking of electrical apparatus and Ex components intended for use in Class I, Zone 0, 1, or 2 hazardous (classified) locations as defined by the National Electrical Code, ANSI/NFPA 70. ISA 60079-1 (12.22.01), Electrical Apparatus for Use in Class I, Zone 1 Hazardous (Classified) Locations: Type of Protection - Flameproof "d", and ISA 60079-18 (12.23.01), Electrical Apparatus for Use in Class I, Zone 1 Hazardous (Classified) Locations: Type of Protection - Encapsulation "m", are also being revised and balloted based on IEC standard updates and are scheduled to be published this year after ballot completion and ANSI approval. ANSI/ISA 60079-0 (12.00.01) and the other ISA 60079 series standards help to ease global trade of U.S.-manufactured electrical equipment for use in explosive atmospheres. Among the benefits these standards offer U.S.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls May 18, 2005

Power Quality and Generators – Part 7: Commissioning, Training and Long-Term O&M Programs

This is the seventh article in a series covering basic engineering and code issues for standby generators and critical systems used in commercial building. Commissioning is an important “last step” in specifying and installing gensets. A good commissioning plan is essential for providing instruction to an owner and maintenance personnel for long-term generator testing and maintenance.

By Keith Lane, P.E., RCDD/NTS Specialist, LC, LEED AP, Vice President - Engineering, SASCO, Seattle
Automation, Controls May 12, 2005

Top Seven Legal Risks For Consultants—And How To Avoid Them

From unauthorized use of music and graphics to offensive content in presentations to contractual disputes, there are legal land mines out there that you don't want to step on as a professional consultant. Some basic awareness coupled with consistent procedures can save both anxiety and expense. At a minimum, you should know the steps you must take to license copyrighted materials and protect your own proprietary rights.

By Patricia S. Eyres,
Automation, Controls May 10, 2005

Plumbing Fit for a King

It’s not often that you hear about a castle being built on American soil. So when one is built, it’s little wonder that nearly every phase of its construction is watched closely by both the media and leaders in the building industry. And for the domicile that’s fit for a king, so to speak, of course only the best interior products and features will do. That was the feeling of Kim and Patricia Baker, who first got the idea to build their regal residence nearly five years ago (although Kim professes an interest in medieval history that dates back about 25 years).

By From FlowGuard Gold Pipe and Fittings
Automation, Controls May 6, 2005

Securing the Plant Floor

Recent headlines such as “Is Your Factory Data Safe?” and “Can’t Happen at Your Site?” point to a growing focus on the need for plant-floor security. This isn’t just “crying wolf” but rather a reality check on the current state of affairs, with printed magazines reflecting what control system managers already see firsthand: The factory floor is ripe for security disasters, and anyone with a computer poses a threat. The challenge we have as manufacturers is in knowing what to protect and how to protect it. In many cases, companies need to protect the systems that provide value to the business, but we need to apply protection in proportion to the risk and value.

By Rich Ryan, Vice President, Business Development, Global Manufacturing Solutions, Rockwell Automation
Automation, Controls April 25, 2005

M/E Insider: EYP Announces Southern Expansion; RJA Gains New Director

• EYP Mission Critical Facilities, Inc. has announced a strategic plan for expanding operations in the southeast, and has hired two new principals— James S. Coe, PE, RCDD and Benjamin F.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls April 6, 2005

National Electrical Code 2005: Expanding GFCI Requirements—Article 210 Branch Circuits

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a regular monthly column that covers significant new issues raised by the 2005 Edition of the National Electrical Code. The National Electrical Code has included ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection since 1962 and gave it definition in the 1968 NEC. In each edition thereafter, GFCI safety requirements have expanded.

By Chris Tapas, P.E., President, Tapas Engineering Services PC, Chicago
Automation, Controls April 1, 2005

LON Lecture Series Goal: ‘Open Minds’

Editor's note: The movers and shakers of the LON community tried a different tack at AHR in Orlando this year, conducting a day-long series of well-received lectures on open building systems. The sessions were really the precursor of an international seminar series addressing open building systems, as the organization is concerned, frankly, that too few M/E/P engineers are taking advantage of t...

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls April 1, 2005

No Two Boilers are Alike

The commissioning goal for any boiler is to achieve safe, reliable and efficient operation in accordance with the design intent and the owner's requirements. No two boiler brands are built or function alike. In order to be successful, the commissioning authority (CxA) must have a good understanding of the specific boiler being commissioned.

By Nathan Apprill, P.E., KJWW Engineering Consultants, Des Moines, Iowa
Automation, Controls April 1, 2005

It’s Your Business to Know Your Sub-Consultants

Most engineers, it's probably safe to say, will never go into business for themselves. However, design professionals at the management level frequently interact with such independent consultants. For their own protection, therefore, managers of large firms sometimes need to think like independent consultants, particularly to understand the business requirements of the sub-consultants they are c...

By John M. Rattenbury, P.E., CIPE, VP, Engineering, Rainwater System, Inc., Salem, Va.
Automation, Controls March 16, 2005

Uninterruptible Power Supplies Keep Trees from Stumping Power

According to the final report by a joint U.S.-Canadian task force, the power outage that was responsible for leaving nearly 50 million people in the dark in the United States and Canada during the summer of 2003 could have been prevented. With something as simple as “inadequate tree trimming” cited as one of the four causes of the massive power outage, what's a network or facility manager to do? That reality didn't stump Cowan Bowman, technology coordinator for the Farmington Public Library in Farmington, N.M. “We try to stay up with technology whenever we can, and power protection is one of the areas where we can't come up short,” said Bowman.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls March 14, 2005

ASHRAE Approves Indoor Noise Criteria Study

ASHRAE has recently approved more than $1 million in funding for research projects in various areas. Of that amount, nearly $70,000 is set aside for Productivity and Perception Based Evaluation of Indoor Noise Criteria, 1322-RP, a project that will study how indoor noise impacts productivity. The 15-month study, which is sponsored by ASHRAE’s Technical Committee (TC) 2.6, Sound and Vibration, will evaluate the acceptability of background noise—often caused by mechanical systems—in buildings. According to Lily Wang, Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the project’s principal investigator, indoor background noise can have dramatic effects on building occupants, causing annoyance, affecting productivity, hindering speech communication and sleep and lowering overall occupant comfort and satisfaction. “Our goal is to determine how these systems impact productivity and perceptions,” she said. “Based on the results, modifications to noise criteria systems may be made, allowing the rating systems to account better for the subjective results.” Other projects recently approved by ASHRAE include: • Inlet Installation Effects on Small Propeller Fans, Air and Sound, 1223-RP, Corrine Darvennes, Tennessee Technological University, 12 months, $94,320, sponsored by TC 5.1, Fans. • Maximum Velocity of Make-up Air for Smoke Management Systems in Atria and Other Large Spaces, 1300-RP, George Hadjisophocleous, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, 12 months, $44,800, sponsored by TC 5.6, Control of Fire and Smoke. • An Evaluation of the Efficacy of Fill Removal, Cleaning and Disinfection in Controlling Legionella Populations in Cooling Tower Systems, 1307-RP, Nicholas Cianciotto, Northwestern University, 18 months, $164,242, sponsored by TC 3.6, Water Treatment.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls March 8, 2005

Using 401(k) Plans to Sell Potential Candidates

More architecture and engineering firms are offering 401(k) plans as part of the standard benefits package, says a new survey from Natick, Mass.-based ZweigWhite. Ninety-one percent of firms surveyed for ZweigWhite's 2005 Policies, Procedures & Benefits Survey have a 401(k) plan, up from a low of 79% in the 1988 survey. “However, there are still many ways for HR Managers to use this benefit to sell potential candidates on joining their firm,” says Saman Chaudry, a principal with the consulting firm who specializes in staffing solutions consulting services. Chaudry offers some advice to HR Managers who want to use 401(k) plans as a recruiting and retention tactic: Leverage the benefits of your program. Most firms offer a matching contribution of 1.5% to 6%.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls March 1, 2005

Coordinated Protection for Critical Environments

There's no doubt that a sudden power failure can have a dramatic effect on business, especially in a facility with critical operations. Isolating a fault condition to the smallest area possible is essential in providing the most reliable electrical system with maximum uptime for the facility. But expensive electronic distribution protection equipment might not be worth the extra cost unless a p...

By Keith Lane, P.E., Vice President - Engineering, SASCO, Seattle
Automation, Controls March 1, 2005

Top Tips for Daylighting Control

The term "daylighting" often appears in the pages of this magazine, but perhaps without a clearly defined notion of the engineer's role in such illumination schemes. According to daylighting expert Dr. Pekka Hakkarainen, director of technology and business development with Coopersburg, Pa.-based Lutron Electronics Co.

By Staff
Automation, Controls March 1, 2005

MasterFormat 2004: Preventing Costly and Time-Consuming Project Afterthoughts

The first article in this series on CSI's MasterFormat 2004 (CSE 01/05, p. 23) provided an overview of this specifying resource. This month's installment focuses on two systems that have seen dramatic changes under the new format: communications and fire suppression. Perhaps no other building systems are as important—or have evolved so quickly—as the communications networks for voic...

By Greg Ceton, Technical Project Manager, Construction Specifications Institute, Alexandria, Va.
Automation, Controls February 28, 2005

M/E Insider: SBIC Elects New Board; State ACEC Chapters Hand Out Awards

• The Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) has announced its new board of directors for the 2005-2006 term. Re-elected were J. Gregg Borchelt , vice president of the Brick Industry Association; Scott Sklar , president of the Stella Group, Ltd.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls February 25, 2005

Commissioning Engineered Building Systems: The Buck Stops Here

sequent columns will explore specific aspects of commissioning in detail. There is no doubt that buildings are becoming more technologically advanced. The systems required in commercial and institutional buildings only a few years ago are now outdated and seem antiquated by today’s ever increasing standards of technology and sophistication. New requirements in fire protection, building safety, energy performance and information technology are driving architects, engineers and contractors to constantly learn new and increasingly complex systems, many of which are required to interact through multiple sequences of operation. With these changes over the past two decades, it has become more difficult to make sure systems operate seamlessly and nothing falls between the cracks during the design and construction phases and that the building meets the owner’s performance expectations from the day of substantial completion. The commissioning process can help owners, architects, engineers, contractors and the building’s eventual occupants foresee and correct operational problems and make for a smooth transition from construction to occupancy. Although commissioning has really only been formally recognized as an integral element of project delivery for about a decade, it has already proven to reduce callbacks from owners to contractors and designers and increase tenant satisfaction and productivity. The benefits are numerous and far outweigh the costs of correcting problems after a building is occupied. The formal definition of commissioning published by ASHRAE is: “A quality- focused process for enhancing the delivery of a project.

By George Bourassa, P.E., LEED AP, Senior Vice President and National Director of Commissioning, Facilities Division, Carter & Burgess, Inc., Chicago
Automation, Controls February 16, 2005

Power Quality and Generators – Part 4: Fuel Configurations for Standby Gensets

This is the fourth article in a series covering basic engineering and code issues for standby generators and critical systems used in commercial building. This month’s column covers various alternative fuel configurations that can be used for standby generators. We’ll also review the National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements for on-site fuel supplies and concerns over liquid petroleum storage and gas piping. In my experience, when a typical commercial building or critical infrastructure uses a standby generator, it is most often diesel-driven.

By Keith Lane, P.E., RCDD/NTS Specialist, LC, LEED AP, Vice President - Engineering, SASCO, Seattle
Automation, Controls January 31, 2005

NFPA and IEEE Collaborate on Arc-Flash Research Program

The National Fire Protection Association and IEEE have agreed to collaborate on a research and testing program focusing on arc flash and its potential hazards for those working on or near 50-or-more-volt electrical equipment. The results of the program will be used to strengthen electrical safety standards and codes. The program will evaluate existing test protocols and create new ones to understand how arc-flash energy and other characteristics—including hot gases, pressure, acoustic and electromagnetic energy—can affect the human body and clothing. Other factors, such as how energy varies with distance from the arc and how it can transfer from an arc to its surroundings in dangerous ways, will also be scrutinized. The goal of the first phase is to create a plan that defines new information needed for arc-flash events and identifies the necessary research to obtain it.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls January 1, 2005

A Wishful BAS Specification

Editor's note: After reading Lindy Johnston's piece on the role of the controls integrator (CSE 8/04 p.19), reader Al Peterson, who works for Broward County in Florida, in the Energy & Building Automation Section of the Dept. of Public Works and Transportation, wrote in with his thoughts on "wishful BAS specs" from a user's perspective.

By Staff
Automation, Controls December 30, 2004

M/E Insider: EYP Adds Employees; Syska Gets a New Director

Consulting-Specifying Engineer -- 12/20/2004 • Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. announced the promotion of Lew Brode, P.E. , to vice president and branch manager of the firm's Rockville office.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls December 30, 2004

ASIS Publishes Threat Advisory Guideline

Security organization ASIS International, Alexandria, Va., has published the final version of its Threat Advisory System Response Guideline . The guideline is designed to help organizations prepare plans, procedures and response strategies as a result of changes in the threat advisory levels set by the U.S. Dept.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls December 30, 2004

EPRI Envisions Smart, Clean and Universal Power

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) argues that for more than 100 years, electricity has been the wellspring and prime mover for technical innovation. And it will continue to be so in the 21st century—that is, if critical development and investment decisions are made now to transform the electricity system for the pressing needs of the new century. Kurt Yeager, president and CEO of EPRI, notes that there are three high-priority goals essential to assuring global economic health and well-being: Meeting the precision-power requirements of the emerging digital economy. Accelerating the development of clean-energy technologies to reduce air pollution and address climate change. Developing policies and tools to ensure universal access to the benefits of electricity for people throughout the world. According to the latest edition of the Electricity Technology Roadmap, a report spearheaded by EPRI in collaboration with more than 200 organizations, including energy companies, environmental groups, academia, government agencies, financial organizations and trade associations, the societal benefits of meeting these goals will far outweigh the costs. Smart Grid First, what is needed is a smart grid. “Development and full deployment of a modern 'smart' electricity system in the U.S.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls December 22, 2004

Conference Brightens Future of LEDs

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) offer great promise for general lighting applications. Their small size and color tunability open up possibilities for lighting to be the defining element for architectural spaces. Their promised high efficiency also makes LEDs an attractive choice for green building design.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls December 22, 2004

In Balance: UCSC Manages Comfort with Long-Term BAS Provider

The University of California Santa Cruz is ranked first in the nation for its academic research impact in the field of space sciences, as well as physics. The campus, situated in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, has also been rated “most beautiful” by multiple publications, partly attributed to the area’s Mediterranean-like climate. Keeping both of these distinctive qualities in balance is a top priority for the building operations staff that works to maintain the right indoor comfort level for both scientists and students. Dennis Parks, a programmer analyst who has been with UCSC for 18 years, and the building and utility services staff manage the 547 buildings that comprise the 2,000-acre campus.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls December 20, 2004

Leak Testing: Moving Beyond the Most Popular Methods

Leak testing is an essential element in product quality testing for a wide range of industries. From the automotive industry to HVAC manufacturers, countless products and parts have to be tested for tightness in order to meet specifications and be granted the positive end of the accept/reject option. In fact, for many suppliers to the automotive industry, leak testing is an integrated part of production; 100% of their parts are tested against a leak standard to meet quality requirements that are as important as the price or design of the product. While leak testing is almost always a matter of exactly measuring the leak rate of a manufactured part or product, n othing is ever absolutely tight—but leak testing ensures that the product has been tested for maximum allowable leakage. Leak testing can be done for several reasons—all extremely important.

By Claes Nylander, President, Sensistor Technologies, Linkoping, Sweden
Automation, Controls December 18, 2004

Caterpillar® Power Quality and Protection Systems

Offered by Caterpillar You need electricity to keep your operations running. Period. Without power, production stops.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls December 1, 2004

PDU Market A-OK, Says Study

New markets and innovative features will help feed continued growth for makers of power distribution units (PDUs) in the next five years, according to a recent study. Manufacturers are now targeting customers in the medical, aerospace and defense industries—all currently spending heavily on information-technology infrastructure.

By Staff
Automation, Controls December 1, 2004

BuilSpec Spec Tips

Specifying controls and building automation systems is no easy task. Often, bad specs end in bad results—bids over budget; proprietary specs; change orders; and ultimately, a customer not getting what they wanted. What's an engineer to do? Consider these tips proffered by Paul Ehrlich, president of the Business International Group and program development director for the BuilSpec seminar ...

By Staff
Automation, Controls November 1, 2004

Power Quality and Generators – Part 1: Sizing and Code Issues

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in an ongoing series that will cover basic engineering and code issues for standby generators. In a subsequent column, the author will address harmonic effects on generators. By Keith Lane, P.E., RCDD/NTS Specialist, LC, LEED APVice President - EngineeringSASCOSeattle The need for continuous electrical power and life-safety systems has increased for many installations. Critical installations that require reliable power quality typically include a standby generator for essential loads.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls November 1, 2004

Misconceptions Regarding IT in the Engineering Industry

Over the past 20 years, technology has advanced at a remarkable rate. And the engineering community has already begun to embrace some mind-boggling technologies such as satellite-based global positioning system (GPS) units, mobile computers, 3-D digital graphics and the Internet. But when it comes to understanding and implementing these resources, we are still in our youth.

By Steven Ward, IT Solutions Specialist, Terracon Consultants, Inc., Lenexa, Kan.
Automation, Controls November 1, 2004

ANSI Rejects Ventilation Rate Appeal

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Appeals Board has rejected a final appeal of an addendum to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62-2001, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. Addendum 62n was approved for publication at the society's 2003 Annual Meeting. Six appeals were filed and later denied by ASHRAE.

By Staff
Automation, Controls November 1, 2004

Zoning In

Zoned HVAC strategies make sense for facilities that have varying heating and cooling loads. This month's roundtable participants discuss the technology, practical applications and benefits of zoning. Consulting-Specifying Engineer: What are the most common applications for zoned HVAC systems? KENSKY: Office environments, both enclosed and open office plans.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Automation, Controls October 11, 2004

Shooting for the Electric Land Speed Record—with Off-the-Shelf Motors

Power and automation technology supplier ABB could be taking its place in the record books in early June this year, when its drives and motors equipment will be used to power the British challenger to the world electric-land-speed record. The attempt is scheduled to begin on June 9 on the Chott-el-Jerid salt flats in Tunisia. An ABB industrial drive and two 50-hp AC motors will be used to drive the ABB e=motion electric car to speeds in excess of the current world record of 245.523 mph held by the White Lightning team from the United States. Based on the development and testing data, the car could also set another first-it might become the first-ever electrically powered vehicle to break the 300 mph barrier. Already gone 146 mph With its motors producing a combined output of more than 500 bhp (the horsepower produced at the motor shaft), ABB's system has already helped propel the e=motion car to 146 mph during testing, unofficially breaking the 139 mph U.K.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls October 1, 2004

A Quick Guide for Adding Sprinklers to Historic Structures

Historic designation, by its name alone, implies, at the least, that a designer is going to approach such a project differently from a typical project. In the state of Florida, historic designation also means the particular facility is protected by local and state historic regulatory agencies from requirements of building and zoning rules that may alter its appearance.

By Craig Redfern, P.E. Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc., Orlando, Fla.
Automation, Controls October 1, 2004

University of Arkansas, Illinois Courthouse See Green

Arkansas, specifically the University of Arkansas, is the latest backer to get on the LEED bandwagon. UA's Innovation Center, part of the Arkansas Research and Technology Park south of the UA's main Fayetteville campus, was recently named one of the most environmentally friendly structures in the state and is the first LEED-certified building in Arkansas.

By Staff
Automation, Controls October 1, 2004

Teaming Up

Cogeneration is nothing new to the readers of CSE. However, applying wastewater to the process certainly merits discussion. The south-central Oregon community of Klamath Falls did just that three years ago by installing a 484-megawatt (MW) cogeneration plant that was built in conjunction with an upgrade to the community's wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).

By Scott Siddens, Senior Editor
Automation, Controls October 1, 2004

Above or Below?

Experts on air distribution weigh the advantages and disadvantages of overhead vs. underfloor air distribution. Consulting-Specifying Engineer: As HVAC technology and systems continue to evolve, are you seeing more movement toward either overhead or underfloor air systems? ABNEY: We're seeing growth in the use of underfloor HVAC systems.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Automation, Controls September 1, 2004

Assessing the Arc Flash Risk

Every year, arc flash kills between 200 and 300 people. Between five and 10 times a day, somewhere in the United States an arc flash explosion in electric equipment sends burn victims to a special burn center. This number does not include cases sent to ordinary hospitals and clinics, nor unreported case and "near misses.

By Jack Smith, Electrical Editor, Plant Engineering Magazine
Automation, Controls September 1, 2004

Researchers Highlight Barriers to More Efficient Lighting Controls

A new website can help designers and contractors understand the benefits and challenges offered by some of today's more advanced lighting control systems. The site was developed by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lighting Research Center in Troy, N.Y., as the result of a three-year project funded by the U. 

By Staff
Automation, Controls September 1, 2004

Making the Green Spec Process Work

It seems that all projects have financial pressures during design development, and Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center was no exception. Fortunately, the design team was committed to protecting both the budget and the owner's push for LEED gold accreditation. A couple of tactics that went a long way toward this goal were implementing pre-bid conferences and steering clear of propri...

By Art J. Hunkele, P.E., Project Manager, Turner Construction, Pittsburgh
Automation, Controls September 1, 2004

Improvement in Utility Storm Recovery Efforts

Utilities seem to be improving their service-restoration abilities following severe storms, according to a recent study conducted by the Edison Electric Institute, the trade association of investor-owned utilities. EEI research was based on a survey of storm repair efforts and results, drawing on the experience of six utilities and covering 44 major storms between 1989 and 2003.

By Staff
Automation, Controls August 1, 2004

Wireless Communication Booming

Don Wiencek, president of B&B Electronics, Ottawa, Ill., insists the economy is booming even in the staid industrial market. "A lot of people are complaining that sales are slow, that [President] Bush messed everything up, and breadlines are getting longer. But we sure aren't seeing it here," says the executive, whose company produces wireless networking products and devices that link 10-, ...

By Staff
Automation, Controls August 1, 2004

A Pair of Giants in My Book

Back in 1997, I encountered two men with whom I would only interact briefly, yet both would significantly influence my tenure here at CSE. The first was Paul Beck, the other, Dave Adams. Paul, as I'm sure many of you remember, was the publication's long-time editor-in-chief. Dave was principal electrical engineer with Anchorage, Alaska-based AMC Engineers.

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls July 1, 2004

VFDs In Tune with 90.1

The benefits of variable-frequency drives have long been apparent. When it comes to increasing, decreasing or maintaining electrical motor speed, VFDs can provide precise control and ensure that the motor uses only the energy required. "If you're not changing the speed of the motor in your fan, then you have to vary the airflow via mechanical or some other means, and it's just not economical to...

By Geoff Weisenberger, Production/Web Editor
Automation, Controls June 1, 2004

And Even Greener

The U.S. Green Building Council and the National Environmental Education & Training Foundation, both based in Washington, D.C., have partnered to launch a new website: Visitors to the site will find information on a range of topics, including architecture and design, building materials, energy use, facility management, interiors, land use, waste management and water use.

By Staff
Automation, Controls June 1, 2004

Waste Power is Flush With Success

High natural-gas prices, along with the the growing interest in both water quality and renewable energy, are fueling continued efforts to turn animal and human waste into economically viable power sources. Two current utility projects on opposite sides of the U.S./Canada border are focusing on new ways to encourage the capture of manure-based methane (or "biogas") as a generating fuel.

By Staff
Automation, Controls June 1, 2004

A Preview of the 2004 MasterFormat

The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) has released the section numbers and titles for the upcoming 2004 edition of MasterFormat. "After more than three years of work, we're pleased to announce that a major component of MasterFormat's new edition—the numbers and titles of the sections—has been completed," said Executive Director Karl Borgstrom, Ph.

By Staff
Automation, Controls May 1, 2004

Daylighting Has Its Day(s) at Lightfair

Las Vegas, one of the world's brightest cities—day or night—played host to Lightfair last month. It's no surprise that at this year's show, in staying true to one of Lightfair's longstanding themes—efficiency—daylighting was a major buzzword. The practice, which attempts to maxmimize the use of sunlight entering a building, was even granted a seminar track of its own, as...

By Staff
Automation, Controls May 1, 2004

Fire Expo Simmers with Hot Products

May is the month for the National Fire Protection Assn.'s annual World Safety Conference and Exposition. NFPA will open this year's event in Salt Lake City with pre-conference seminars scheduled for May 21-22. The main event runs May 23-26 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. For details, go to www.

By Staff
Automation, Controls May 1, 2004

Factoring Smoke Dampers into the System

While sprinklers, fire-alarm systems and firestopping are at the forefront of current fire-safety discussion, one overlooked measure is the smoke damper. Yet this device is crucial in commercial/industrial fire safety. It's the traffic cop of the system, routing smoke out of the building while keeping it away from areas where it could do harm.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Production/Web Editor
Automation, Controls May 1, 2004

Wide Open Spaces

People congregate for many reasons. Mirroring this diversity of purpose are the varied types of assembly facilities. But they all face similar engineering challenges. And in fact, many of these facilities are multipurpose, used for worship, lectures, concerts or other types of gatherings. With respect to mechanical systems, the issue is how to keep audiences—and the performers and presen...

By Scott Siddens, Senior Editor
Automation, Controls March 1, 2004

Getting Your IT House in Order

With all signs pointing to an economic recovery, it's likely that many design firms will experience increased workloads. Beginning in the late 1990s, many firms simply stopped hiring and spending. And many of these firms have let their information technology systems degrade. Now it's time to get the IT house back in order.

By Tomas Hernandez, Jr., Principal, DBC Technologies, Inc., New York
Automation, Controls March 1, 2004

Credit for Smart Lighting Controls

MasterCard International is one of the top credit card companies in the world. Over the last decade, along with every other competitor of its kind, it has invested billions in creating state-of-the-art data centers to manage electronic transactions on a 24/7 basis. Yet until recently, its 500,000-sq.

By Scott Siddens, Senior Editor
Automation, Controls March 1, 2004

Direct Digital Controls Can Be a Commissioning Solution

One of the hottest topics these days among engineering professionals is building commissioning. But when it comes to communicating this enthusiasm for commissioning to owners, I've faced the same question every time: "Why should I have to pay extra for you to commission my building?" A lot of people—including so-called commissioning agents—struggle with the answer to this question.

By Mark Kirby, P.E., Senior Mechanical Engineer, TLC Engineering for Architecture, Orlando, Fla.
Automation, Controls March 1, 2004

Engineering a New Crop of Distribution Centers

With their tilt-up concrete walls and sheet-metal roofs, today's distribution centers, from the outside, appear as nothing so much as a more hardy breed of barn. Their most frequent location, filling what was formerly farmland along city-skirting interstates, only adds to this low-tech perception. However, the M/E/P engineers who design the systems that keep these facilities running know just h...

By Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer
Automation, Controls February 1, 2004

Study Probes Indirect Lighting Practices

Indirect lighting in offices is an increasingly popular practice these days due to benefits such as improved illumination and reduced glare on computer screens. Low ceiling heights and initial cost are considered the main disadvantages of the technology, but that hasn't stopped lighting designers, architects and engineers from specifying indirect lighting in a large number of office and other c...

By Staff
Automation, Controls February 1, 2004

Network Interfaces Ranked

A recent study by Venture Development Corporation, a Natick, Mass.-based technology market research and consulting firm, determined the top five control network interfaces in use for industrial distributed/remote I/O applications. For all DCS, PC-based and PLC product classes combined, the 2002 results were: The projected order for 2005 is: Ethernet-based connectivity is expected to contribute ...

By Staff
Automation, Controls February 1, 2004

Automation Professionals Gain Certification Opportunity

The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society (ISA) this fall will award certification to the first batch of Certified Automation Professionals (CAP), the organization's new automation certification. "This new certification will give employers an objective measure for hiring and advancement decisions and a method for identifying qualified contractors to work on automation projects," said ...

By Staff
Automation, Controls February 1, 2004

One Small Step…

Awhile back on this page, I mentioned that growing up, I wanted to be an architect. But another loftier profession, both figuratively and literally, I aspired to was astronaut. Today, I'm grounded firmly on Earth (although many will debate that claim), but NASA and the space program still intrigue me.

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
Automation, Controls January 1, 2004

Standardization Comes to CAD

There are probably few things worse in the life of a professional engineer than encountering an incomprehensible CAD drawing. The fact that so many engineers feel this way may have been a strong incentive for development of the U.S. National CAD Standard (NCS). The latest good news concerning efforts to standardize CAD is that NCS version 3.

By Scott Siddens, Senior Editor
Automation, Controls December 1, 2003

ARC Merit Award

The Austin Company had a large and complicated order to fill. Staff from its Irvine, Calif. office were awarded a contract to design, engineer and construct a joint emergency operations center (EOC) that would not only serve the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), but also all of New Mexico's surrounding Los Alamos County, as well.

By Staff
Automation, Controls December 1, 2003

Is NFPA 5000 in California to Stay?

People have come to associate rancorous political debate with California— even more so now, with the recent gubernatorial recall vote ousting Gray Davis. California's debate over unified building codes earlier this year carried much of the same political acrimony. Interestingly, the change in administration may well reopen the debate on codes.

By Scott Siddens, Senior Editor
Automation, Controls December 1, 2003

ESCOs Are Paying Off

Energy service companies (ESCOs). Energy service providers (ESPs). One hears about such entities these days, but what exactly is an ESCO or ESP? What can they do for a facility? And do their services have anything to do with power quality and reliability? To answer all these questions: They assist customers with their energy-related needs: energy purchases, efficiency, operations and maintenanc...

By Scott Siddens, Managing Editor
Automation, Controls November 1, 2003

Letters – 2003-11-01

Work Together The Firestop Contractors International Assn. (FCIA) was saddened to hear about the loss of life at the Cook County administration building in Chicago recently. FCIA is not part of the investigation and has seen no official report on the causes for the loss of life. However, we've all heard and read in the media that deaths occurred due to smoke inhalation in stairwells while pe...

By Staff
Automation, Controls November 1, 2003

Computer Room Power: Up or Under?

Electrical experts discuss ways to avoid busway and UPS configuration faux pas, share a new technology update and check in on the latest codes. CONSULTING-SPECIFYING ENGINEER: What are the main challenges involved in designing busway configurations for the ever-increasing power needs of computer rooms? ROSS: The first is underfloor conditions.

By Barbara Horwitz, Contributing Editor
Automation, Controls November 1, 2003

Two Chicago High-Rise Fires Spur Code Reassessment

Last month, Chicago was the setting of yet another life-safety disaster, as six office workers died in a downtown high-rise fire. This comes in the same year as a fatal porch collapse in the city's Lincoln Park neighborhood that resulted in 13 deaths and a fatal nightclub incident south of downtown in which more than 20 were trampled to death.

By Staff
Automation, Controls November 1, 2003

School System Beefs Up Lighting

Officials of Utica Community Schools (Mich.) came to the realization recently that the district's 28 elementary school gyms could be more than just spaces for P.E. classes and basketball games and decided to use them as lunchrooms and auditoriums, as well as for dances, parties and other community events.

By Staff
Automation, Controls October 1, 2003

Bad Power is No Power

Motors used in building systems—despite their degree of efficiency—are all subject to poor power quality, which can cause overheating and render a motor useless. But there are steps to follow to protect your motors from the problems—spikes, harmonics, single-phasing and tripping—incurred from poor power quality.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Production/Web Editor
Automation, Controls October 1, 2003

Playing it Safe: Fire Protection Recreation Facility

The life-safety and fire-protection systems at Bucknell University's Kenneth G. Langone Athletics and Recreation Center in Lewisburg, Pa., presented a number of challenges for the A/E design team led by EwingCole (formerly Ewing Cole Cherry Brott), Philadelphia. The result shows how a project can push the limits of conventional building codes and focus on performance objectives.

By Staff
Automation, Controls September 1, 2003

Fire Down Below?

All new technology must go through its growing pains, and the use of underfloor plenums for HVAC distribution and power, voice and data cabling is no exception. While raised-floor systems have been used for space conditioning in commercial buildings overseas for more than 30 years—and for process cooling in computer rooms for more than 50—it is only recently that they have become mo...

By Kathryn M. Rospond, Contributing Writer
Automation, Controls September 1, 2003

As Systems Get More Complicated, the Need to Commission Escalates

Engineered building systems technology is becoming more complicated and computer-driven. For these complex systems, the design engineer must get involved in the commissioning process—and remain so—to ensure that systems are integrated and function successfully. Traditionally, the term "commissioning" has referred specifically to system start-up.

By Timothy Koch, P.E., Project Electrical Engineer, HDR Engineering, Omaha, Neb.
Automation, Controls August 1, 2003

BAS Breeds Better Boilers

Building automation systems are the norm these days. In fact, integration of HVAC, lighting and security systems into a building's central nervous system is a common scenario, especially in new construction. Now, the brain is becoming more and more aware of its body's lower extremities—namely the boiler system.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Production/Web Editor
Automation, Controls July 1, 2003

CAD Enhancements Go Beyond Design to Project Management

Now more than ever, consulting engineers are faced with the task of finding the right solutions. And nowadays, since their responsibilities aren't limited just to engineering, they need more than design tools. Design professionals are also managers of construction projects. They manage enormous volumes of information generated by the architect and other engineers to produce documents needed for...

By Tomas Hernandez, Jr., Principal, DBC Technologies, Inc., New York
Automation, Controls June 1, 2003

Can there be System Harmony in the Era of Integration?

The old adage "time is money" is truer than ever. So much so that a quality assurance solution that both ensures efficiency and preserves efficacy is the holy grail of the building industry. But just as many of King Arthur's knights failed to see the grail before them, so do engineers not see the solution before their eyes: commissioning.

By Emmillee Hogan, Mechanical Engineer, RTKL Associates, Baltimore
Automation, Controls May 1, 2003

Web Threads – 2003-05-01

An author discusses the connection between building automation and globalization at The 11/01 CSE story "Wireless: The Future of BAS" is available at Analysis of wireless and other technology markets can be found at www.

By Staff
Automation, Controls May 1, 2003

Back it Up

CSE: To begin, let's examine the most significant technological advances backup power systems have accrued. COURTEMANCHE: In my opinion, perhaps the most significant advances have not so much been in the equipment itself, but in the monitoring and reporting systems associated with the equipment. For example, with today's systems, the owner/operator can continuously monitor the health of their b...

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Automation, Controls May 1, 2003

Always Have a Backup Plan

The new 672,000-sq.-ft. Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution in Fayette County sits atop a 400-ft. precipice that overlooks the Monongahela River in a sparsely populated area of the state. Due to its location and budget constraints, the state had to be creative when it came to selecting and installing systems for the prison, and the boiler system was no exception.

By Staff
Automation, Controls April 1, 2003

Accreditation Guarantees Quality Continuing Ed

Consulting firms and their employees need quality continuing education. With today's rapidly changing technology, those responsible for the design of modern facilities are faced with constantly changing codes and standards, revised statutes, and new and innovative methods and products. Few consultants and engineers would deny that continual learning is necessary for them to provide state of the...

By George W. Farrell, P.E., George W. Farrell and Associates, Cary, Ill.
Automation, Controls April 1, 2003

Time Bypass

(Editor's note: This peek into the design of Frederick Memorial Hospital, Frederick, Md., is the beginning of an ongoing "project diary" that will break down different aspects of the hospital project's development from initial meetings with the architectural and hospital team, to permitting issues, to specifics about the major M/E systems, including special IAQ issues, construction and system t...

By Michael P. Sheerin, P.E., Healthcare Division Director, TLC Engineering for Architecture, Orlando, Fla.
Automation, Controls April 1, 2003

War—A Market Boon or Bust?

The uncertainty in the weeks preceding the war in Iraq was reflected in the stock market. Today, that uncertainty of its start has vanished, and the question now is when the war will end. While no one knows the answer, the Portland Cement Assn. (PCA) is projecting the economic impacts of what a shorter vs.

By Staff
Automation, Controls March 14, 2003

Web Tools Geared Just for the Engineer—No Strings Attached

In the current economy, sometimes it feels like a leap of faith is needed to keep moving forward. And in an act of leading by example, a couple of industrial-oriented electric products manufacturers-—one of the markets still reeling from the current economic stagnation-—have launched new products they’ll receive no direct compensation for.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls March 1, 2003

Product Spotlight: Building Automation and Controls

LonWorks product web site presents 1,500 products from 50 manufacturers. For each product, the site supplies product descriptions, data sheets and user manuals. Users can view pricing and order online. (from Engenuity Systems) RS #12 Zone pressure sensor measures and reports duct/building static pressure, room-to-room differential pressure and air velocities and volumes.

By Staff
Automation, Controls March 1, 2003

Battle Lines Drawn Over Transmission in Arizona

A David and Goliath battle is shaping up in Arizona, where town officials in Casa Grande have vowed to fight efforts to run a 500-kV transmission line through their city. Planners in Phoenix and Tucson argue that the line is vital to their cities' continued growth. The line would provide additional transmission capacity between the 3,800-MW Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station and Arizona's tw...

By Staff
Automation, Controls February 28, 2003

Demand for Pressure Transmitters and Transducers Stays Strong

According to Venture Development Corporation (VDC), demand for pressure transmitters and transducers is strong in the U.S. life sciences and automotive markets.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls February 18, 2003

Letter to the Editor

C-SE NewsWatch provided special-edition coverage of this year's ASHRAE show and AHR Expo, and our Jan. 28 story on today's open-protocol issues drew some attention. Echelon Corp. has responded with a letter to our editor. Read on to see what they have to say.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls February 3, 2003

U.S. Military Fears Wireless Internet Threat

New forms of wireless Internet access may pose a threat to the functioning of military radar, say U.S. Department of Defense officials, who are seeking a limit on the technologies.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls February 1, 2003

Keeping Doors Open

Industrial construction has been in the doldrums for almost two years now, and those engineering firms with a strong presence in the industrial market have come up with a number of strategies to keep their staff busy and their doors open. Some have shifted engineers into other specialties, others have focused on the few industrial sectors that have remained active, and a few are taking advantag...

By Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer
Automation, Controls February 1, 2003

R.S. Means Technology Cost Breakdown: Heating Boilers

Editor's Note: The following cost breakdown on heating boilers, provided by the R.S. Means division of Reed Construction Data, is intended as a quick reference for the most commonly specified system equipment types. For more info, visit: Cast iron section boilers may be assembled in place or shipped to the site as a completely assembled combustion package.

By Staff
Automation, Controls February 1, 2003

Don’t Forget About Firestopping

When most people hear the phrase "fire prevention," sprinklers, smoke detection and fire alarms spring readily to mind. While such active fire prevention measures are certainly necessary in any building—and have enjoyed a long history of success—many in the industry don't realize it's only half of the real fire-protection picture.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Production/Web Editor
Automation, Controls December 1, 2002

Defense Funding Bill Offers Construction Money

The funding bill for operating the U.S. Department of Defense in 2003, signed into law in late October, contains a $3.4 million allocation for a new program addressing the current shortage of skilled construction-industry labor. The new Center for Military Recruitment, Assessment & Veterans Employment established by the bill is intended as a centerpiece of the "Helmets to Hardhats" program.

By Staff
Automation, Controls November 1, 2002

Economic Future: Swiss Cheese

A number of industry professionals gathered in the nation's capital in October to hear business and construction experts' take on how the economy will fare next year. Unfortunately, the news was not heartening. Aside from health care, labs and pharmaceutical projects, says Ken Simonson, an economist with the Associated General Contractors, the rest of the non-residential market is "appalling.

By Staff
Automation, Controls November 1, 2002

Deregulation Drives Need for Interval Metering

The changing landscape of the power generation market has resulted in an increased need for interval metering—also known as automated meter reading—which is the practice of utilities and end users to measure energy use in short time intervals. Demand-response programs, particularly in New York and California, allow end users the option to voluntarily shed load at times when the elec...

By Barbara Horwitz, Associate Editor
Automation, Controls October 1, 2002

The Engineered Plumbing Exposition

The Engineered Plumbing Exposition 2002, sponsored by the American Society of Plumbing Engineers as part of its biennial convention, will be held at the Ft. Worth Convention Center, Fort Worth, Texas, Oct. 28 and 29. For more information, visit the ASPE web site at: Wall-mounted sink creates clear floor space right up to the wall.

By Staff
Automation, Controls October 1, 2002

M/E Firm Designs Its Own Telecom Space

When Newcomb & Boyd, an Atlanta-based M/E engineering firm, decided that its building was too small and outdated, the firm set out to lease and design a new space. But instead of providing a typical specification, the firm's engineers decided to set up the space in such a way as to showcase the M/E systems, particularly telecommunications, as an instructional demonstration for clients and y...

By Staff
Automation, Controls September 1, 2002

Improper Humidifier Substitutions Are All Wet

In the construction world—much to the chagrin of specifiers—product substitutions are frequently made, usually because an alternate product is available to the contractor at a lower cost, or is part of a package the contractor gets a better deal on. Sometimes these substitutions work, but often, especially with more critical or technical systems, the results are less than stellar.

By Staff
Automation, Controls September 1, 2002

New Products – 2002-09-01

SURGE SUPPRESSOR for overvoltage protection of industrial electronics offers a choice of two technologies: MOV and diode. MOV is an economical way to suppress transients. Computer-matched high-power cell diodes in array provides low clamping with high surge current ratings. Cooper Bussmann Circle 456 POWER SUPPLY eliminates noise from unbalanced AC power lines.

By Staff
Automation, Controls September 1, 2002

Letters – 2002-09-01

Reconsidering Centralized UPS Strategies Regarding "Don't Pardon the Interruption," (CSE 04/02 p.40, and also in a recent CSE e-newsletter), I have to agree with what the author, Timothy Koch, said, but I feel caution must be expressed on what was not said in the story. The reliability/availability of power is never any better than any single path circuit in the system.

By Staff
Automation, Controls September 1, 2002

Don’t Let Mold Claims Creep Up on You

Consider this question: If you were to go to your refrigerator for a healthy snack, and you find a light dusting of mold inside your yogurt container, do you scoop out the visible mold and then happily devour the rest? Probably not. If you are like most people you cringe, quickly place the lid back on the container and toss it in the garbage.

By John Getsinger, Leonard, Street and Deinard, P.A., Minneapolis
Automation, Controls August 1, 2002

Firm Roundup

Baltimore-based A/E RTKL has been granted broad patent protection rights by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office for the "Tower of Cool," a data-center cooling device that was written about in the January issue (see CSE 01/02, p. 36). Designs have been finished by SmithGroup , Detroit, for the new corporate headquarters of Visteon Corporation in western Wayne County, Mich.

By Staff
Automation, Controls July 1, 2002

Insuring Controlled Comfort and Energy

In many historic buildings across the country—including schools, offices and hospitals—occupants are discovering that their HVAC system is incapable of meeting the modern standard for a healthy building environment. On top of that, fluctuating utility rates are forcing more and more building owners to consider innovative, conservation-based systems for their buildings.

By Staff
Automation, Controls June 1, 2002

Grounding for Large UPS Systems

Power requirements for data centers and other mission-critical facilities continue to grow. While specific requirements of a facility's power distribution depend on the nature of its critical activities—and its anticipated future growth—most rely on large-scale uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems.

By Rajan Battish, P.E., Associate, RTKL Associates Inc. Baltimore
Automation, Controls June 1, 2002

Targeted Treatment Systems: More, and Why

In recent years, the field of wastewater management has seen a steady trend toward targeted treatment systems. These include packaged, self-contained, limited process—or even single process—systems for pretreating or treating liquid waste. This shift is unquestionably counter to the predominant trend throughout the 1960s, '70s and '80s, when larger, multiprocess, end-of-pipe syst...

By Thomas Doran, P.E., President, Tetra Tech MPS, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Automation, Controls June 1, 2002


Construction submittals are relevant Charles Kilper certainly makes some germane points about the problems with the submittal process ("Are Construction Submittals Irrelevant?" CSE 04/02, p. 15). But his proposed solution—eliminating the process—is not an improvement. The problems he highlights are real, but are almost entirely the result of misuse of a valuable tool.

By Staff
Automation, Controls May 17, 2002

2D or 3D: Do You Really Have to Choose?

The M/E Roundable in our May 2002 issue focused on issues of CAD development and usage. This Deep Link, supplied to us by the folks at Autodesk, offers their take on CAD development, focusing on the advent of "model-based design."

By Autodesk, Inc.
Automation, Controls May 1, 2002

Case Study: Advanced Fire Protection for Minneapolis

The Minneapolis Convention Center, site of the 2002 NFPA Conference and Exposition, recently re-opened its doors after an expansion that included an entirely new fire-protection system.

By Staff
Automation, Controls March 29, 2002

Using Internet Protocols for BAS

Our March M/E Roundtable hit on the advantages of open protocols. Is there one being overlooked?

By Mike Donlan, Director of Research and Development, Computrols, Inc.
Automation, Controls March 1, 2002

M/E Roundtable: Building Consensus on BAS

Specifiers and BAS developers thresh out the current state of building control technology and applications

By Jeromie Winsor, Web Editor
Automation, Controls February 1, 2002

Be Certain Before Certifying

The project must be coming to an end because you—the engineer—have just received a phone call from a subcontractor demanding approval of his final requisition. In fact, he wants to know what the hold up has been. After all, he faxed the document to the general contractor this morning, who in turn faxed it to the architect, and by his reckoning it's been on your desk for at lea...

By Kenneth M. Elovitz, P.E., Esq., Energy Economics, Inc., Foxboro, Mass.
Automation, Controls January 1, 2002

Computer-Generated Liability

Under the banner of progress, those involved in funding the construction of buildings push for projects to be built bigger, faster and less expensively. Designers typically meet this demand by maximizing production capabilities through the latest technology. However, when the technology fails, the effects can be devastating.

By Paul M. Lurie, Esq., Schiff Hardin & Waite, Chicago
Automation, Controls December 1, 2001

Retail Store Cashes in with Design Software

In retail spaces, the role of lighting is not only to highlight the vision of the architect and retailer, but also to focus attention on the store's merchandise. A case in point is the new Bruce store located in Vancouver, British Columbia's fashionable West End neighborhood. Bruce, called an "anti-department store" by its owner, represents a new trend in urban modernist stores.

By Staff
Automation, Controls December 1, 2001

Behind Bars

With stringent security requirements and many resources at their disposal, Madison, Wis.-based Arnold & O'Sheridan made integration and technology an essential part of the design for the new Supermax maximum-security prison in Boscobel, Wis.The end result—a technologically-savvy, on-time, on-budget performance by the building team—has earned the firm a 2001 Consulting-Spec...

By Barbara Horwitz, Associate Editor
Automation, Controls December 1, 2001

Firm Ownership: A Share of the Business

An ownership stake in a design firm is a goal for many ambitious engineers. If the opportunity arises, shares in the business can represent a substantial portion of an engineer's assets and it's critical for would-be owners to protect such a major investment.Whether it's the case that two or more entrepreneurs envision an enterprise and decide to form a corporation, or someone is invited ...

By Charles E. Whalen, Partner, Querrey and Harrow, Ltd., Chicago
Automation, Controls November 1, 2001

Good Catch

Our October all-star team once again steps up to the plate to discuss personnel management, including retention and growth strategies that sometimes necessitate mergers and acquisitions

By Jim Crockett, Editor in Chief
Automation, Controls November 1, 2001

Promoting Project Web Sites

Technical support, software training, enthusiastic users and well-defined roles among the project team are key to the effective use of extranets and web sites as project management tools

By Barbara Horwitz, Associate Editor
Automation, Controls October 1, 2001

High-Rise HVAC

Green design, underfloor air delivery and commissioning are key trends driving HVAC design in today's high-rise buildings

By Marvin Mass, P.E., Michael Maybaum and Robert Haughney, Cosentini Associates, Ne
Automation, Controls October 1, 2001

The Unforgettable Fire

Editor's note: The following report is gleaned from a special panel constituted of some of the leading fire-protection engineers in the community assembled to discuss the tragic fire that consumed the World Trade Center Sept. 11, 2001 and the impact the event may have on the design and maintenance of high-rise buildings from a life safety aspect.

By Staff
Automation, Controls September 1, 2001

Letters to the Editor – 2001-09-01

School HVAC Solutions hotly debatedI just completed reading "The Perils of Progress" (June 2001, p. 18) and found it quite interesting. It sounds as if the author is suggesting that designers should willfully ignore the regulations and laws that we are to design upon. If he can ignore ASHRAE's 15 cfm guideline in favor of Wisconsin's 7.

By Staff
Automation, Controls August 17, 2001

Useful BACnet Resources

August Deep Links: To find out more about the BACnet standards discussed in "BACnet Unscrambled," try this list of important reference materials.

By Staff
Automation, Controls August 6, 2001

Web Drives Business for Engineers

The use of Web sites for project management and recruiting continues to increase significantly, according to a recent ZweigWhite survey.

By Staff
Automation, Controls August 1, 2001

Take the electronic plunge: Electronic O&Ms beat paper hands down

Editor's note: Imagine, if you will, that you are a facility manager. It's come time to fire up a new building—something that fills you with a simultaneous sense of excitement and fear. The former for obvious reasons, and the latter because you simply dread the onerous task of sifting through the operation and maintenance manuals (O&Ms).

By Frank A. Niedzwiedz, P.E., R&N Systems Design, LLC, Memphis, Tenn.
Automation, Controls July 31, 2001

Study Reveals Potential Savings in Lighting

The close to one trillion kilowatt-hours consumed by lighting systems in nonresidential facilities could be trimmed by 10 to 20 percent with better maintenance, claims Cary S. Mendelsohn, chairman of the National Lighting Bureau (NLB), a non-profit lighting information source based in Silver Spring, Md.

By Staff
Automation, Controls July 20, 2001

Professional Standardization and Certification

Back to "Build it Green" As "green building" ideas and commitment grows so do the opportunities to gain professional certification and recognition in the field. Certification provides recognition of professional knowledge and advancement in the field of 'green buildings.' In addition, there is an increasing call for standardizing or rating green buildings and related components. Those involved in these processes include private sector and government entities.

By Staff
Automation, Controls June 1, 2001

Economy Offers Mood for Thought

A down economy is always a downer. For most M/E engineering firms, however, the presumably weak business conditions are only affecting a small fraction of projects currently on the boards. Most consultants report being very busy, and there have been no announced workforce reductions at any of the major firms.

By C.C. Sullivan, Editorial Director
Automation, Controls May 21, 2001

Calif. Power Crisis Gives Boost to Solar Power

As Californians brace for another summer of blackouts and price spikes, solar and photovoltaic installations are quickly becoming a popular power alternative, say designers.

By Staff
Automation, Controls May 1, 2001

Catch Mistakes Now, Save Money Later

While checking on the progress of an audio-visual system installation for a client, a consulting engineer discovered a worker preparing to sand drywall directly over an uncovered mixing board worth $35,000. Silly and expensive mistakes like this one are made all too often in today's busy commercial and industrial construction industry.

Automation, Controls May 1, 2001

NFPA Exposition Products

New components straight from the floor of the 2001 show.

By Staff
Automation, Controls March 1, 2001

Trends In Power Usage

An initial public offering document that was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by Chatsworth, Calif.

By Staff
Automation, Controls March 1, 2001

Distribution Generations Meets the Challenge

Times have changed," says Mark Gerken, president of American Municipal Power-Ohio, Inc. (AMP-Ohio). "Several years ago, the market was stable and it was possible to buy power in reasonable annual contracts. Today you can't. Prices now fluctuate on an hourly basis.

By Staff
Automation, Controls March 1, 2001

Problems with POWER

The concept of load and source compatibility is not new. In fact, the need to provide power with steady voltage and frequency has been recognized since the inception of the electric utility industry. However, the definition of "steady" has changed over the years, with increasingly sophisticated electronic equipment that is much more susceptible to departures from steady conditions.

By ANIL AHUJA, P.E., Director, New Products and Services Exelon Services, Inc., Westchester, Ill.
Automation, Controls February 9, 2001

Smoke Control for Fire-Protection System Designers

January: Smoke Control Advice for fire-protection system designers, including the major components of a smoke-control system and the special problems to look out for.

By Mike Prowse, Siemens Cerberus
Automation, Controls February 1, 2001

Integrated Buildings, Integrated Services

Buildings are constructed to serve the needs of both occupants and businesses. And while occupants need facilities with a comfortable, safe and healthy environment, businesses need reliable communication and technical equipment to perform their work. To meet the demands of both, an integrated building system...

By Anil Ahuja, P.E., Exelon Services, Westchester, Ill.
Automation, Controls February 1, 2001

Brightening Trends: Controls Manufacturers

Lighting-control systems can only develop as far as their components take them, making the role of manufacturers in lighting control an important one...

By Staff
Automation, Controls January 11, 2001

Paul Hardy Named President & CEO of OfficeTempo

BOSTON, Jan. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Paul E. Hardy, Jr. has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of OfficeTempo -- a Boston-based company that provides a web-enabled procurement solution to small and medium-sized businesses in office buildings. As an executive with GEN3 Partners, one of...

By Staff
Automation, Controls January 1, 2001

AHR Expo products & literature

For the 2001 AHR Expo (January 29 through 31 in Atlanta), Consulting-Specifying Engineer has created this special section to serve as a guide to some of the most innovative new systems and components on display at the show.

By Staff
Automation, Controls January 1, 2001

VFDs Control Costs for Cement Plant

The commissioning and start-up of a Lone Star Industries cement plant in Greencastle, Ind., last June marked the introduction of the semi-dry cement-making process in the United States. It is because of good availability of relatively inexpensive electricity, and the plant's energy efficiency...

By Staff
Automation, Controls January 1, 2001

Commissioning Smoke-Control Systems

Commissioning and acceptance testing demonstrate that the final integrated system complies with the design and that any modifications were correctly and successfully incorporated, so that the result is a properly functioning system. The design engineer must be involved with the test-and-balance contractor, the mechanical contractor, electrical contractor, controls vendor and fire-alarm vendor.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls December 1, 2000

Plant Controls in the Home Office?

Building-automation system (BAS) specification for commercial buildings has a long history of borrowing from more advanced concepts developed for the process industries.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls December 1, 2000

Redundancy = Reliability

As critical facilities such as data centers, telecommunications hotels and hospitals continue to occupy the workloads of engineers, so does the need for redundant power-system design. A select group of professionals, currently active with projects, discusses new technology, design challenges and strategies in the last of this year's new Consulting-Specifying Engineer feature.

By BARBARA HORWITZ, Associate Editor
Automation, Controls December 1, 2000

Integrating the Workplace

Office modernizations rarely rise to the level of a truly integrated engineering project. The reasons vary, but usually the utilitarian, cost-conscious aims of upgrades lead to well-intentioned shortcuts that undermine the long-term value of a workplace.Such can hardly be stated about the recently renovated general offices for Southern California Edison (SCE) in Rosemead, Calif.

By C.C. SULLIVAN, Editorial Director
Automation, Controls December 1, 2000

Web Threads – 2000-12-01

A monthly compendium of facts and figuresGo to to find links for these facts.

By Staff
Automation, Controls November 29, 2000

Government & Research Links

T hese various government and research organizations are directly involved in building construction and design. If you know of others that should be included, send the URL to Geoff Weisenberger at . Government Departments Military National Laboratories Reference Research entities University Programs/Continuing Education Government Departments California Energy Commission Center for Excellence for Sustainable Development Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network DOE Energy Information Administration DOE Federal Energy Management Program DOE Office of Industrial Technologies Energy Information Administration National Center for Photovoltaics National Institute of Standards and Technology National Renewable Energy Laboratory National Science Foundation New York State Energy Research and Development Authority U.S. Bureau of the Census U.S.

By Staff
Automation, Controls November 1, 2000

Serving Up a New Look for an Old Dining Hall

Texas A & M University's Sbisa Dining Hall in College Station, Texas, served its first meal in 1913. The 100,000-square-foot building is the oldest dining hall on campus and was the only building large enough to provide a meeting place for the student body.

By Staff
Automation, Controls November 1, 2000

Shop Drawing “Approval” Liability

One of the most common questions that engineers-and architects-ask is whether to mark shop drawings and other submittals "approved," or whether to take some lesser action. This is an area in which legal advice has changed over the years.

By MARK C. FRIEDLANDER, Schiff Hardin & Waite, Chicago
Automation, Controls October 1, 2000

Design-Build CMs and Liability

Design-build project delivery is changing the way that responsibility is allocated for assuring that construction complies with plans and specifications, and also for the responsibility for worker safety.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Automation, Controls October 1, 2000

High-flow directional control valve

High-flow directional control valve is available in sizes of up to 40 gpm and pressure ratings up to 5,000 psi for hydraulic applications requiring high cycle rates, long life and high efficiency. These four-way valves are available in two- and three-position configurations, and are designed for manifold mounting.

By Staff
Automation, Controls October 1, 2000

BAS brochure

BAS brochure provides designers and end-users with 16 pages summarizing the manufacturer's building-management solutions, controllers and third-party interface systems. Guide also includes information about electronic valves, valve and damper actuators, magnetic valves and sensors. (Staefa Control System) Circle 13

By Staff