View All Building Automation and Controls
Your questions answered: Can BACnet control an HVAC system?
Through the webcast and these responses, gain a basic understanding of ASHRAE 135: BACnet — A Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks
How to transition legacy campus building controls into a smart system
How Baylor University modernized its legacy systems to provide more efficiency
K-12 roundtable focuses on automation, control technologies
Building automation and controls systems are being incorporated into K-12 schools
HVAC and BAS webcast: Can BACnet control an HVAC system?
Register for this webcast March 21, 2023, to help identify how building automation systems can be incorporated.
Consulting-Specifying Engineer most-viewed content, January 2023
Read the best content in January 2023 including: automation controls, 2022 Commissioning Giants, codes and standards and more.
Consulting-Specifying Engineer most-viewed automation and controls articles in 2023
Read the best articles about automation and controls including building automation and HVAC systems, using AI in building systems and more.
Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer Content: January 6-12, 2023
The most viewed content from the past week covered building automation, generators, Commissioning Giants, NFPA 13 and more.
Applying artificial intelligence to decarbonize buildings
Artificial intelligence is being used to design energy-efficient district heat pump systems that also reduce a building's carbon footprint.
Consulting-Specifying Engineer most-viewed content, December 2022
Read the best content in December 2022 including: automation controls, 2022 Commissioning Giants, health care HVAC, lighting system controls and more.
Automation and controls in offices change, accommodating new work styles
To appeal to various clients and work styles, office building automation system design is shifting
Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer Content: December 23-December 29, 2022
The most viewed content from the past week covered HVAC, electrical systems, critical power, lighting and more.
Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer Content: December 9-December 15, 2022
The most viewed content from the past week covered HVAC, health care buildings, Commissioning Giants, air distribution and more.
Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer Content: December 2-December 8, 2022
The most viewed content from the past week covered HVAC, electrical power systems, health care buildings, air distribution and more.
Consulting-Specifying Engineer most-viewed content, November 2022
Read the best content in November 2022 including: Automation and controls helping HVAC systems, BAS audits, switchgears and more.
Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer Content: November 11-17, 2022
The most viewed content from the past week covered BAS, VRF, design-build, ESG and more.
How building automation, controls help HVAC systems
Learn how buildings can become smarter using building automation systems and building controls
Health care building automation, controls model shifts
As hospitals and health care facilities evolve, the building automation and controls within them must change
Five ways to prepare for an audit of a BAS
Understand the process of auditing an existing BAS
Your questions answered: Smart buildings, network requirements
This Q&A looks at many aspects of smart buildings, including how smart building capabilities can be leveraged in COVID-19
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
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.
How to define a smart building
Sanjyot Bhusari helps define a smart building and what that eventually means to the building owner and operator
Smart building basics
In this transcribed article, Julianne Laue gives an overview of smart buildings
Why we need more data scientists on engineering teams
Engineering teams: You need data scientists to join, and here’s why
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.
Trends, changes in data center control system design
Several trends are pushing the control systems in data centers in different directions
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.
Achieving building comfort through proper controls, integration design
Homeowners often try to find a balance between thermal comfort and the energy cost
How to manage building assets at airports
Integration of asset management systems at airports can significantly raise return on investment
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
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
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
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.
Data supply chains and the built environment
Reasons you need a solid data supply chain to optimize building controls systems
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.
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.
The advantages of BIM for facility management
Facility management aided by BIM can reduce expenses, save time and conserve energy
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.
Implementing innovative control system design ideas
Henderson Engineers outline their experience to improve their control system design.
How are hospital control systems being designed differently?
Automation and controls systems at hospitals and health care facilities are changing
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.
Five steps to BAS replacements
Replacement of building automation systems can follow the process and precision of medical surgery
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Specifying BAS in manufacturing, warehouse buildings
Warehouse, manufacturing and logistics facilities need engineering experts to specify various building automation systems
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
How smart buildings combat health concerns
Building owners can use sensor technology and centralized building controls to make their buildings safer and more resilient
What is a BAS today?
Building automation systems have come a long way in the past 100 years
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
Designing flexible, safe labs: Building automation and controls
Safety, budget and flexibility are key factors when designing laboratory and research space
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
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
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
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
How virtual design, artificial intelligence impact engineers
Architecture, engineering and construction professionals will be impacted by virtual design and artificial intelligence tools
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
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
Technology, automation and virtual engineering
Consulting engineers need to stay relevant, learn about new technology and remain digital to stay ahead of the competition
Best practices for designing government buildings: Automation, controls and technology
Learn how to specify automation, controls and technology systems for government and military buildings
How to select a building automation system
Explore the specification of standard, open and proprietary building automation systems
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Integrating building systems through controls
By considering updated controls architecture, integrating building systems together becomes much more attainable and streamlined
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
Will using augmented reality on the job kill you?
Well, probably not. But it will certainly enhance your engineering and design project collaboration
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Focus on specialty structures: Automation, controls and technology
Sports arenas, historical buildings, theaters and other specialty buildings require unique engineering design
KLH Engineers PSC project profile: Aloft Indian Springs
Aloft Indian Springs, Louisville, KY
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
Government facility design: Automation and controls
Consulting engineers are working on government, state, municipal, federal, correctional and military buildings
How to get started designing a smart building
What is a smart building, and how can engineers design integrated building systems?
Case study: Integrating an intelligent campus
A flexible and adaptable solution enabled future expansion for this campus
Integrating direct digital controls
Learn about control system attributes, and how integrated control systems can be designed for various building systems
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.
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.
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.
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.
Building safety – on all levels
Building engineers must keep cybersecurity top-of-mind when specifying products and setting up building automation and control systems.
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.
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.
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.
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.
VZH inverter scroll compressor by Danfoss
The VZH scrolls feature intermediate discharge valves, which prevent over-compression losses that compromise efficiency.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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...
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2017 40 Under 40: Vahid Balali, 31
BIM and Project Controls Specialist, STV
2017 Lighting and Lighting Controls Report
Changes to lighting technologies are affecting specifications and earnings, according to this report.
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.
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.
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.
The nLight Eclypse extends the power of nLight to deliver the next level of lighting control.
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.
The NX Fixture Module (NXFM) is designed to replace everything from stand-alone controls to wired and wireless networks in indoor and outdoor applications.
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.
Fixture connection module
The Connected Lighting Module (CLM) is a key component to a light management system (LMS).
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
Lighting, automation system controller
The InFusion Controller II extends BACnet support for the Wattstopper architectural dimming platform.
Automation, BIM-integrated plug-in
The Hilti Button for Firestop automation software is designed to integrate with BIM software platforms.
BAS symbol library
The BAS Symbol Library v5 is designed to monitor complicated building systems with ease.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Portable control for load bank testing
ASCO Sigma LT is a portable control system that offers operation and control of load banks during testing.
Online education: Smart building automation systems
BAS and building your future: Register for educational online courses about smart buildings.
Wireless lighting control sytem
The wireless lighting control system is designed with LED luminaries, wireless battery powered wall switches, and a mobile configuration app.
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.
Motor thermistor relays
DTA7 Series of motor thermistor relays are capable of monitoring the temperature of up to six motors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Control platform for building owners
iWorX control platform provides an updated graphical user experience and custom integration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Control solutions for large installations
Echelon's Lumewave RF+Powerline Gateway (LPG) are intelligent outdoor lighting products designed for complex and large installations.
Building systems integration best practices
Building automation systems (BAS) allow for state-of-the-art systems integration in nonresidential buildings.
Plug load controls
I thought we were specifying lighting controls, so why are we also talking about plug load controls?
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.
Industrial fire and gas system controller
The HS81-HS controller is designed for hazard monitoring and control at industrial sites.
Stand-alone lighting control
Douglas Lighting Controls' Dialog Room Controller, a stand-alone lighting control device for offices eliminates wiring complications.
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
Direct digital controllers
Tridium and NiagaraAX direct digital controllers are already a favorite selection of many system integrators when paired with a Tridium JACE.
Wireless technology for building controls
Trane offers Air-Fi wireless technology for building controls.
Connected IP and Wi-Fi product series
Controller permits integration with building management systems and convergence with IT networks.
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.
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.
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.
Air cooled condenser
A ModuleAir Air Cooled Condenser (ACC) will provide process cooling of exhaust steam.
Connected system controller
The connected system controller has a Web-based design and visualization interface prepare users for the Internet of Things building.
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.
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.
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.
Building Automation Products' (BAPI) Fixed Range Pressure Sensor features an IP66-rated BAPI-Box enclosure, free static pressure probe, and certificate of calibration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WaterFurnace’s CLW chiller is designed to monitor and optimize system performance and are available in 60-140 ton capacities.
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.
HMI-PLCs for OEMs
The XV Series HMI-PLCs by Eaton combines control, visualization, and data management tasks in a single device.
Fan controller application
BAFWorks gives users control over all of their Big Ass Fans from a single location.
Motor control module
The Building Automation Starter motor controls from Cerus feature the Smartstart Control Module for seamless integration with digital controls.
Read about the 26 finalists in the Electrical Distribution category for the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2013 Product of the Year competition.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Definitions and terminology
Open systems definitions and terminologies for building automation systems and features.
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.
The fully integrated system includes boiler, burner, and controls for multiple lead/lag configuration.
Reducing electrical system costs
Consider these cost-saving ideas for retrofitting existing equipment and tips for cost savings throughout the new-building engineering process.
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.
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.
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.
Special report: The business of buildings
Consulting-Specifying Engineer discusses the buildings industry with Jim Sandelin from Schneider Electric.
Designing office space: Building automation
Office building clients demand sustainability, flexibility, and cost conservation in both new and existing buildings.
Reliable Controls offers five equipment enclosures for control equipment protection.
Hybrid motor starter
Woehner's hybrid motor starter MOTUS ContactronControl is targeted for industries that use motor controlled motion.
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.
Wireless lighting controls
ControlScope by Daintree Networks allows commercial buildings' lighting systems to become smarter and more energy-efficient.
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?
Stopping industrial hackers: Cyber security for IEDs
Let’s examine cyber security issues as they pertain to intelligent electronic devices (IEDs).
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.
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.
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.
Automation solution changes panel wiring
The SmartWire-DT panel wiring system by Eaton offers new connectivity options.
Building automation: Can you see the light?
Report from IMS Research forecasts the increasing integration of building automation and lighting control systems.
Two In/Two Out multi-function module by System Sensor combines two relay outputs and two monitor inputs.
Networked lighting control system
nLIGHT network lighting control technology is available from Acuity Brands.
Daintree's wireless adapters are for lighting controls within commercial and industrial buildings.
Whatever happened to critical thinking?
New engineers are brilliant and stupid at the same time.
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.
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.
Fire, Life Safety, and Mass Notification
Finalists in the Fire, Life Safety, and Mass Notification category for the 2012 Product of the Year competition.
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.
Energy management system
Energy AnalytiX version 10.62 by Iconics is an application for building automation that monitors EMS.
Integrated control system
Hurst's boiler line features graphical visualization and information collection for better operational management.
Advanced metering system
Cooper Controls' energy monitoring solution with its Venergy Advanced Metering System.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Electric smart meters
D-Mon Smart Metering products from E-Mon offer a variety of features.
Schneider Electric's StruxureWare supervision and optimization software can offer up to 30% savings in capital and operational expenditures.
Certified data connector
Cooper Power Systems' SMP 4/DP
Examples of lighting controls cost savings
This case study shows the impact of lighting controls on whole building energy costs.
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.
Top Consulting-Specifying Engineer Articles, October 2011
Most visited articles at www.csemag.com during October 2011 included the state of commissioning, lighting controls, electrical design for HVAC, NFPA13 for high-rises, and RCx.
Screw chiller capacity
Johnson Controls has increased the capacity of its YORK model YVAA air-cooled, variable-speed screw chiller to 350 tons.
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.
Energy management architecture portfolio
Schneider Electric's EcoStruxure is to integrate with IBM's Intelligent Building Management Solution (IIBM).
Eaton's DS7 soft-start controllers
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.
Valve selection software
Metso’s Nelprof 6 valve-sizing software enables engineers to select valves and compare various forms of product data.
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.
Advanced application controller
Finalist in Networked Building Automation Systems/Controls, Energy Management Systems in Consulting-Specifying Engineer's 2011 Product of the Year competition
Finalist in Networked Building Automation Systems/Controls, Energy Management Systems in Consulting-Specifying Engineer's 2011 Product of the Year competition
Finalist in Networked Building Automation Systems/Controls, Energy Management Systems in Consulting-Specifying Engineer's 2011 Product of the Year competition
Finalist in Networked Building Automation Systems/Controls, Energy Management Systems in Consulting-Specifying Engineer's 2011 Product of the Year competition
Overcurrent protective devices
Cooper Bussmann's PolyTron PPTC overcurrent protective devices provide low resistance and fast trip times.
EnOcean Alliance announces TCP/IP for sensors and controls
TCP/IP interoperability allows flexibility for energy harvesting sensors and control systems.
Modine’s 15- to 30-ton commercial packaged ventilation system can use the waste energy from a building to temper the incoming load.
The Danfoss ERC 102 is an electronic refrigeration controller that regulates all energy-consuming parts in glass door merchandisers and vending machines.
The XV and XP series of operator interfaces from Eaton Corp. have an array connectivity options.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2017 40 Under 40: Maria Lupo, LEED AP; 30
Project Manager, Controls Engineer, Senior Associate, Environmental Systems Design Inc. (ESD)
International PUE agreement reached
An international agreement on power usage effectiveness (PUE) for measuring data center efficiency has been reached.
Manufacturers @ Caterpillar www.twitter.com/CaterpillarInc 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 www.twitter.com/siemensbt Siemens Building Technologies - comfortable, safe, secure and less costly bldgs w/energy and env.
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...
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.
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.
Dual VFDs versus bypasses: engineers weigh in
Dual VFDs, bypasses, and spare VFDs: a look at costs, benefits, and design considerations.
NEBB call for speakers
Organizers are looking for technical presenters for the November 2010 conference.
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.
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.
ASHRAE 135 addenda pass
BACnet adds language options for both computers and humans.
Dashboards: not just a pretty face
Dashboards can be integrated with controls, meters, and external resources to display energy, environmental, and economic performance.
Industry Roundup – 2010-01-07 – 2010-01-07
Contracts awarded and other industry news
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.
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...
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.
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.
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...
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...
ASHRAE Conference focusing on sustainable seminars
At its 2010 Winter Conference, ASHRAE will focus seminars on energy management, sustainability, code compliance, and commissioning.
It's important that young (and seasoned) engineers remain familiar with the principles and equations behind HVAC design and modeling software.
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 ...
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.
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...
Calculate energy savings online
WattStopper has launched a new energy savings calculating tool.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MEP Insider – 2009-07-20
Recent promotions and hires
Consulting-Specifying Engineer announces 2009 Product of the Year winners
Fifth Annual Product of the Year competition showcased practical innovation for the MEP industry.
New technology tackles energy drift
Scientific Conservation's new SCIwatch software can reduce energy spending by 25% by constantly monitoring and adjusting building systems.
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.
Industry roundup – 2009-06-24
Contracts awarded, and other industry news
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Retrocommissioning standards released
NEBB issues procedural standards on retrocommissioning to save the environment while saving building owners money.
Plenary announced: checking the Cx road map
NCBC will discuss the role of commissioning on the building industry.
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 BuildingGreen.com 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
DRSG gains another member
Echelon joins the Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition, offering metering systems and networking technology to utilities.
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.
Retrofitting office lighting controls
Lighting controls have many options, and can save building owners money by reducing electric costs.
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.
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.
California firm garners ACEC award
RBF Consulting receives recognition for work on a detention basin in Placer County, Calif.
DOE awards $5 billion in energy-efficiency contracts
TAC to implement federal projects using guaranteed savings.
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.
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.
Life safety systems at The Palmer House
The Palmer House has enhanced life safety systems to improve public safety in a grand Chicago hotel.
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.
Industry roundup – 2008-12-10
Details about contracts awarded and other industry news.
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.
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.
Industry Roundup – 2008-11-11
Details about contracts awarded and other industry news.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
Code’s goal: Safer buildings
Safer buildings are goal of new code changes based on recommendations from NIST World Trade Center investigation.
Cypress Envirosystems’ wireless pneumatic thermostat (WPT) enables automatic scheduling of temperature setpoint changes, automatic calibration, and remote monitoring of temperature and pressure.
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.
Commissioning best practices
Presentation to discuss commissioning of existing buildings and new construction at BCA Convention & Exposition.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Continuing education for engineers at Greenbuild
Check out these exciting educational offerings at Greenbuild 2008 in Boston.
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.
Process versus technical commissioning
While processing commissioning handles all the paperwork and background research, technical commissioning ensures each building systems works as specified.
NEBB conference sessions scheduled
The National Environmental Balancing Bureau features presentations and technical sessions at its annual conference.
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.
Sense and sustainability
Careful planning and continued effort were key to commissioning HSBC’s North American headquarters.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The high cost of improperly balanced buildings
Hidden costs may go undetected for years before a qualified TAB professional performs retrocommissioning.
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.
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.
Industry roundup: partnerships, mergers, etc. – 2008-05-08
News from Moisture Control Services, Selkirk Corp, Active Power, and WAGO Corp.
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.
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.
Fike smoke control
Provide a reliable way to indicate status and control remote air-handling equipment with the smoke control products from Fike.
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?
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
Energy Star changes
Energy Star has undergone a significant revision effective October 2007.
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.
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.
AERCO Modulex boilers
Condensing boiler is equipped with a boiler communications module to enhance communications and support integration with building automation systems.
News at a Glance: News Briefs and Events
Advanced Energy Design Guide; NFPA codes in Maine; upcoming events
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.
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.
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.
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.
Alarm control panels upgrade
Alarm control panels upgrade delivers multiple enhancements for end users, integrators, and central station owners and operators.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 www.csemag.com. Market forces are compelling owners and other financial decision makers to move toward lifecycle ...
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.
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, ...
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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...
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 ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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...
In the Blogs at csemag.com – 2007-06-01
Blogs at csemag.com 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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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).
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...
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).
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
Product Showcase | January 24, 2007
Visit www.csemag.com 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.
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...
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.
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...
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 www.ashrae.org/building , 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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 www.ashrae.org/standards . 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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 www.info.infonetics.com .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ASHRAE.org Bookstore at ashrae.org to order. And for more on commissioning, be sure to check out Professional Practices in the upcoming June issue of CSE .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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...
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.
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.
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%.
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...
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Caterpillar® Power Quality and Protection Systems
Offered by Caterpillar You need electricity to keep your operations running. Period. Without power, production stops.
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.
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 ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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-, ...
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.
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...
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: GreenerBuildings.com. 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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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...
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...
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 ...
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 ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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...
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.
Web Threads – 2003-05-01
An author discusses the connection between building automation and globalization at www.automatedbuildings.com/news/jan02/art/sin/sin.htm The 11/01 CSE story "Wireless: The Future of BAS" is available at www.csemag.com/magazine/articles/c01k024.asp Analysis of wireless and other technology markets can be found at www.
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...
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.
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...
(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...
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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...
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: www.rsmeans.com Cast iron section boilers may be assembled in place or shipped to the site as a completely assembled combustion package.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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: www.aspe.org. Wall-mounted sink creates clear floor space right up to the wall.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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."
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.
Using Internet Protocols for BAS
Our March M/E Roundtable hit on the advantages of open protocols. Is there one being overlooked?
M/E Roundtable: Building Consensus on BAS
Specifiers and BAS developers thresh out the current state of building control technology and applications
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...
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.
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.
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...
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 ...
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
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
Green design, underfloor air delivery and commissioning are key trends driving HVAC design in today's high-rise buildings
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NFPA Exposition Products
New components straight from the floor of the 2001 show.
Trends In Power Usage
An initial public offering document that was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by Chatsworth, Calif.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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...
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...
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
Web Threads – 2000-12-01
A monthly compendium of facts and figuresGo to www.csemag.com/thread.htm to find links for these facts.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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