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Mission Critical October 6, 2021

Education Session: How to Design Health Care Power Systems

Emergency power supply systems in hospitals and health care facilities are key aspects of the electrical and power system. Learn how to design and specify power systems in these mission critical facilities by attending this session.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Mission Critical August 17, 2021

What hardened facilities can do for the continuity of critical services

Hardened facilities can continue critical services through natural disasters and man-made threats.

By Dewberry
Mission Critical April 15, 2021

Public safety facilities and technology needs real-time information

Emergency operations centers, 911 communications facilities, law enforcement headquarters and hospital security offices rely on accurate and real-time information.

By Taw North
Mission Critical October 22, 2020

How operational understanding leads to resilient design

Designing a resilient building requires understanding of both the built environment and operations for critical facilities

By James D. Ferris
Mission Critical July 28, 2020

Your questions answered: Power event analysis in mission critical facilities

Ram Kaushik from Schneider Electric replied to questions from “Power event analysis in mission critical facilities,” originally broadcast on July 23, 2020.

By Ram Kaushik
Mission Critical November 2, 2018

Building Corporate Backbone

When the owners of ING Investment Products Group decided to build a new headquarters in West Chester, Pa., cabling infrastructure was a big concern. Recognizing the fast pace of technological developments and how difficult it is to avoid rapid obsolescence, they wanted a voice and data infrastructure that gave them not only reliable performance, but also longevity.

By Staff
Mission Critical November 2, 2018

Dollars for Homeland Security

As this past Saturday marked the third anniversary of 9/11, anti-terrorism measures continue to be on the mind of the federal government. The U.S. Dept.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical May 14, 2018

2018 40 Under 40: James Dipping, PE, CPD, LEED AP BD+C, ARCSAA, AP; 39

Vice President, Environmental Systems Design Inc. (ESD), Chicago BS mechanical engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago Dipping joined ESD in 2009. Since joining the firm, his project role has grown from project engineer to project manager to technical authority, and today to a technical director and discipline leader.

By Jack Smith, Content Manager; Amara Rozgus, Editor-in-Chief
Mission Critical November 15, 2017

How to design medical buildings: Electrical, lighting, and power

Hospitals and health care buildings have become very sophisticated. Coordination among all parties, special attention to codes and standards, and a focus on patient comfort have each become highly important to engineers. Electrical and power system design are highly sophisticated.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Mission Critical June 20, 2017

Your facility is mission critical: Resiliency, electrical commissioning

Efficient electrical design directly contributes to resiliency and sustainability. Without it, the consequences can be expensive or unsafe. Extra care and oversight at the start of a project is important to prevent future problems.

By Reza Hosseini, Glumac
Mission Critical February 3, 2017

Weekly merger, acquisition, deal update: February 3

This week Morrissey Goodale reported five deals in the United States and four international deals involving companies from the U.S., Australia, and France.

By Morrissey Goodale
Mission Critical January 23, 2017

Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer Articles, January 16-January 22: the whole-system approach, NFPA 110-2016, batteries in mission critical facilities, more

Articles about the whole-system approach in design/construction, applying NFPA 110-2016, batteries in mission critical facilities, choosing a modular data center, and fire door inspections were Consulting-Specifying Engineer's five most clicked articles from last week, January 16-January 22. Were you out last week? You can catch up here.

By Brana Webb
Mission Critical January 16, 2017

Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer Articles, January 9-January 15: NFPA 110-2016, test batteries in mission critical facilities, electrical system replacement, more

Articles about NFPA 110-2016, test batteries in mission critical facilities, electrical system replacement, NFPA 70E compliance, and designing government facilities were Consulting-Specifying Engineer's five most clicked articles from last week, January 9-January 15. Were you out last week? You can catch up here.

By Brana Webb
Mission Critical May 16, 2016

2016 40 Under 40: Jeff Yirak, PE, CPMP, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, 37

Associate Principal, Commissioning; Wood Harbinger, Bellevue, Wash. BS Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington

By Jack Smith, Content Manager, and Amara Rozgus, Editor-in-Chief
Mission Critical February 5, 2016

PBA promotes Allen, Mrak, and Peck to senior associate

Peter Basso Associates (PBA) is pleased to announce three promotions.

By Peter Basso Associates
Mission Critical August 25, 2015

Hospital-grade power-indicating receptacles

Legrand's hospital-grade power-indicating receptacles are suitable for healthcare locations and feature a green dual LED with power indication at all times.

By Legrand
Mission Critical October 20, 2014

Preparing our companies for the future

While history does occasionally repeat itself, the next wave of engineering firms will set itself apart by staying on the leading edge. Share your ideas and future outlook with the Consulting-Specifying Engineer audience.

By Amara Rozgus
Mission Critical January 22, 2014

Regional specific technology to increase the adoption of Safe Cities

FirstNet is expected to increase collaboration between emergency responders, a new report from the IHS Security and Fire division has found.

By IHS Inc.
Mission Critical January 10, 2014

Jerry Bauers joins advisory board

Jerry Bauers has joined the Consulting-Specifying Engineer editorial advisory board.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Mission Critical November 15, 2013

November 1 Southland Industries update: Roughing-in Levels 2 and 5; temporary air conditioning; parking garages

Roughing-in systems on Levels 2 and 5; North and West Clinics being prepared for temporary air conditioning; CUP stream plant being finalized; three parking garages underway.

By Gary Lovewell, LEED AP BD+C
Mission Critical September 30, 2013

September 30 Southland Industries update: Mechanical room equipment, cooling towers passivated, chilled water system insulation

Roughing in systems on Levels 1 to 4, connecting equipment in main mechanical rooms, North and West clinics near completion, cooling towers being passivated, chilled water system getting insulation.

By Gary Lovewell, LEED AP BD+C
Mission Critical September 3, 2013

September 3 Southland Industries update: Rough testing began, major equipment placed, condenser water system flushed

Rough testing has begun in hospital basement, Level 1; all major equipment has been set in place; the condenser water system is being flushed and passivated in the CUP.

By Gary Lovewell, LEED AP BD+C
Mission Critical July 29, 2013

July 29 Southland Industries update: Level 3 air handling units set, condenser water system testing

Hospital Level 3 air handling units have been set; Condenser water system in the CUP is being tested; Rough in testing begun in the west clinic.

By Gary Lovewell, LEED AP BD+C
Mission Critical July 26, 2013

NZEB examples to inspire

These three facilities are current examples of net-zero energy buildings (NZEB).

By Scotte Elliott, CEM, Metro CD Engineering, Powell, Ohio
Mission Critical July 8, 2013

July 8 Southland Industries update: rough in, testing of plumbing systems completed

Continuing rough in on interstitial levels of North and West clinics; completed rough in and testing of plumbing systems; CUP steam boilers arrived, being installed.

By Gary Lovewell, LEED AP BD+C
Mission Critical June 3, 2013

June 3 Southland Industries update: mechanical room open

Currently roughing in on interstitial levels of the North and West clinics; the Level 3 mechanical room has opened up; trade installations have begun.

By Gary Lovewell, LEED AP BD+C
Mission Critical May 1, 2013

May 1 Southland Industries update: CUP nearly complete

The central utility plant is currently 80% complete; the project team recently hung four Armstrong vertical inline 1,900 gpm chilled water pumps; the boiler flue gas economizers have been hung.

By Gary Lovewell, LEED AP BD+C
Mission Critical April 10, 2013

Reliability considerations in simple paralleling applications

When a decision is made to use paralleled generator sets, many considerations need to be addressed to ensure a reliable system.

By Rich Scroggins, Cummins Power Generation, Shoreview, Minn.
Mission Critical February 26, 2013

ESD names senior vice president

Addam Friedl was named senior vice president and mission critical facilities practice leader at Environmental Systems Design.

Mission Critical September 26, 2012

Atkins launches retro-commissioning group

Atkins has launched its retro-commissioning service, based out of Ft. Myers, Fla. The day-to-day operations will be run by Dave McFarlane.

Mission Critical August 13, 2012

Scheduling for commissioning, MCAA change order overview

Discussions on scheduling for commissioning provide attendees with the opportunity to efficiently schedule testing and balancing sequences and tie them to the contract.

By Presenters: Paul Stychcomb, FTI Consulting; and Tom Carcaterra, PE
Mission Critical July 16, 2012

Ongoing commissioning

With more and more owners becoming familiar with and utilizing commissioning and retro-commissioning for the repurposing of existing facilities, they are becoming aware of ongoing commissioning (OCx) in order to maintain and sustain their facilities at the highest levels.

By Presenter: Jim Bochat, Commissioning Concepts
Mission Critical May 14, 2012

2012 40 Under 40: Mark Blackburn, PE, CFPS, 31

Senior Fire Protection Engineer, Hughes Assocs. Inc., Warwick, R.I.

By Emma Renee Dutton, Content Specialist
Mission Critical January 11, 2012

CxA January 2012 Workshop in Chicago

The ACG workshop is scheduled for Jan. 24, 2012, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Mission Critical November 15, 2011

ACG CxA workshop and exam

The AABC Commissioning Group CxA Workshop and Exam is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Mission Critical August 22, 2011

Benchmarking: Understanding building performance

Conducting an energy performance comparison, known as benchmarking, can boost energy efficiency and lower building operating costs.

By Aliza Skolnik, LEED AP, GGP, Environmental Systems Design Inc., Chicago
Mission Critical July 22, 2011

TLC gains senior electrical engineer

Mark Murphy rejoins TLC Engineering for Architecture as senior electrical engineer.

By BY: TLC Engineering for Architecture
Mission Critical July 6, 2011

California data center achieves Green Globes certification

The Internap Network Servides data center has achieved Green Globes certification, which is the first of its kind for a public data center in the United States.

Mission Critical June 29, 2011

Office design: raising the standard

Office buildings present a range of challenges as diverse as the tenants that occupy the structures. To succeed, engineers need to stay on top of owners’ needs, environmental concerns, sustainability, and a range of other issues.

By Jenni Spinner, Contributing Editor
Mission Critical June 27, 2011

USGBC launches LEED O+M

The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED O+M process delivers green building guidelines for existing facilities.

Mission Critical June 15, 2011

Dewberry’s Joarder becomes department manager

Dewberry announces its new department manager for MEP services in its New York City office.

Mission Critical June 15, 2011

PI Solutions management changes

Primary Integration Solutions announces expansion of the executive team.

By BY: PI Solutions
Mission Critical June 1, 2011

Keeping genset fuel flowing during disasters

Developing a strategy to ensure the availability of fuel for your generator system is a key element of disaster planning.

By Robert M. Menuet, PE, GHT Limited, Arlington, Va.
Mission Critical May 27, 2011

ETC Building and Design grows

California-based AEC firm specializing in healthcare, biotech, and seismic retrofits hires five seasoned architects and construction experts to support its accelerating growth.

By SOURCE: ETC Building and Design
Mission Critical May 25, 2011

CxA workshop, commissioning training

ACG has announced six new opportunities to prepare for the Certified Commissioning Authority (CxA) exam.

Mission Critical May 13, 2011

2011 40 Under 40: Jon Evans, PE, LEED AP, 31

Senior Project Engineer, Sustainable Engineering Group LLC, Madison, Wis.

By Bettina Chang, Content Specialist, and Amara Rozgus, Editor-in-Chief
Mission Critical May 13, 2011

2011 40 Under 40: John Peterson, PE, LEED AP, 36

Senior Project Engineer, Hewlett Packard, Herndon, Va.

By Bettina Chang, Content Specialist, and Amara Rozgus, Editor-in-Chief
Mission Critical May 10, 2011

Clean agent fire suppression systems

The next edition of NFPA 2001, Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems, will be published later in 2011. Updates will capture advancements in technologies and the latest thinking on the subject.

By Milosh Puchovsky, PE, FSFPE, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Mass
Mission Critical May 6, 2011

ESD promotes VPs

Environmental Systems Design promoted Mike Kuppinger and Mehdi Jalayrian to new posts.

By Source: Environmental Systems Design
Mission Critical May 2, 2011

InfoWorld names Green 15 IT stars of 2011

This year's awards show that third-party green products/services have made their mark on sustainable information technology practices.

By Source: InfoWorld
Mission Critical May 2, 2011

Have bacon, will engineer

Bill Ammons, PE, LEED AP, has been involved in base building system retrofits, the design of cleanrooms, and believes bacon is the one food he could not live without.

Mission Critical April 16, 2011

RMF Engineering launches A/V-Telecomm Group

Paul Bruckman will head the group’s operations with the support of nine electrical staff.

By Source: RMF Engineering
Mission Critical April 6, 2011

Commercial lease language provides energy efficiency incentives

NYC takes the lead in creating groundbreaking language that allows owners and tenants to share the costs and benefits of energy upgrades.

By Source: Priya Lopes,
Mission Critical March 28, 2011

California group pushes for more green investment

The same group that fought to save California’s landmark global warming law last year has $1 million left to fund more clean energy efforts.

By Source: Todd Woody, New York Times
Mission Critical March 23, 2011

Seismic design tips for MEP engineers

In the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan, U.S. engineers need to refresh their knowledge on designing MEP systems in earthquake-prone areas.

By Ronald O. Hamburger, SE, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., San Francisco
Mission Critical March 21, 2011

Federal program to award $12M for clean energy innovation

The i6 Green Challenge will fund six teams to move new green technologies from the lab to the marketplace.

By Source: U.S. Department of Energy
Mission Critical March 14, 2011

Centering on data

With the need to balance a number of complex, changing demands (such as scalability, sustainability, and shifts in codes), data center projects are among the most complex an engineer can face. Here, top experts in the data center field offer advice on getting projects to compute.

By Jenni Spinner, Contributing Editor
Mission Critical March 10, 2011

$4.7B savings for energy efficiency projects

Johnson Controls guaranteed that its more than 1,000 public-sector projects will save money on energy, water, and operational costs over the next 10 years.

By Source: Johnson Controls
Mission Critical March 8, 2011

Seismic codes for nonstructural engineering

Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components are not always taken into account when the thought of earthquakes comes up, but proper attachment to the structure can be just as important as proper attachment of a beam or column.

By Beau M. Sanders, PE, SE; and Uriah J. Wolfe, PE, SE, LEED AP; GRAEF, Milwaukee
Mission Critical March 4, 2011

U.S. construction spending falls on slump in commercial projects

Nonresidential construction dropped 6.9% in January, partly due to winter storms, tight credit and high vacancy rates.

By Bob Willis, Source: Bloomberg
Mission Critical February 25, 2011

LEED Volume Program celebrates 500th certified pilot project

The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Volume Program enables large-scale organizational builders and operators to deliver a consistent end product, earning LEED certification faster and at a low cost.

Mission Critical February 10, 2011

WSP Flack + Kurtz names managing director

Christian Agulles, PE, LEED AP has been selected as the Managing Director of WSP Flack + Kurtz’s Washington, D.C., office

Mission Critical February 9, 2011

President Obama’s Plan to win the future: Better Building Initiative

President Obama focuses on making American business more energy efficient through ‘Better Building Initiative’, features tax incentives, more financing for retrofits, and innovative clean energy technologies.

By Source: The White House, Office of Media Affairs
Mission Critical February 9, 2011

U.S. commercial property recovery spares economy

Commercial properties in 2010 sold for 20% more than they did a year prior - the second-largest gain on record, defying predictions of further economic collapse. Prices of commercial properties sold by institutional investors surged 19 percent in 2010, the second-biggest gain on record, according to an index developed by the MIT Center for Real Estate.

By Brian Louis and David M. Levitt
Mission Critical February 7, 2011

KlingStubbins selects new associates, senior associates

KlingStubbins promotes four new associates, two senior associates.

Mission Critical January 19, 2011

U.S. Green Building Council welcomes new board directors

20-member board responsible for articulating and upholding the vision, values, mission of organization

By Source: USGBC
Mission Critical January 19, 2011

A passport to international engineering

Some engineering firms are moving beyond North America, and expanding their engineering offerings to other countries.

By Amara Rozgus
Mission Critical January 17, 2011

Mike Walters welcomed to advisory board

Consulting-Specifying Engineer has added Mike Walters, PE, LEED AP, to its editorial advisory board.

Mission Critical December 8, 2010

Secretary Chu and seven other Agencies launch Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Export Initiative

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu joined seven other U.S. Government agencies in launching the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Export Initiative, a coordinated effort to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency exports. In partnership with the Dept. of Commerce, the Dept. of Energy co-chairs the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Working Group of the federal agencies participating in the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Export Initiative.

By Source: Dept. of Energy
Mission Critical December 7, 2010

Secretary Chu to Participate in New Millenium Nuclear Summit

On December 7th, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu will participate in the New Millenium Nuclear Summit along with White House Advisor Carol Browner, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Greg Jaczko.

Mission Critical December 6, 2010

Passage of Diesel Emission Reduction Act applauded

More than 500 environmental, health, industry and government organization endorse re-authorization of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA).

By Source: Diesel Technology Forum
Mission Critical December 1, 2010

Fuel flow equals data flow

Designing a standby power system for a data-intensive application requires not only the right generator for the load requirements but also the most reliable fuel available.

By Daniel Barbersek, Generac Power Systems Inc., Waukesha, Wis.
Mission Critical November 16, 2010

How to select a VFD

These guidelines dispel the confusion about matching variable frequency drives (VFD) and motors to fans and pumps that are typically encountered in commercial building applications. While the motivation to increase energy efficiency could be financial (reduced energy costs) or ethical (reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with power production), it is taken for granted that VFDs are an easy way to improve energy efficiency in a motor application. And with these noble intentions in mind, the engineer will specify a VFD for his client. Oftentimes, that isn't the end of the story for the engineer.

By John Yoon, PE, LEED AP, McGuire Engineers Inc., Chicago
Mission Critical October 28, 2010

Supercomputer Title no longer owned by U.S. thanks to China

A Chinese scientific research center has built the fastest supercomputer ever made, replacing the United States as maker of the swiftest machine, and giving China bragging rights as a technology superpower. According to an article written by Ashley Vance in the New York Times, the computer, known as Tianhe-1A, has 1.4 times the horsepower of the current top computer, which is at a national laboratory in Tennessee, as measured by the standard test used to gauge how well the systems handle mathematical calculations, said Jack Dongarra, a University of Tennessee computer scientist who maintains the official supercomputer rankings. Modern supercomputers are built by combining thousands of small computer servers and using software to turn them into a single entity. In that sense, any organization with enough money and expertise can buy what amount to off-the-shelf components and create a fast machine. The Chinese system follows that model by linking thousands upon thousands of chips made by the American companies Intel and Nvidia. But the secret sauce behind the system — and the technological achievement — is the interconnect, or networking technology, developed by Chinese researchers that shuttles data back and forth across the smaller computers at breakneck rates, Mr.

By Ashlee Vance, New York Times
Mission Critical October 18, 2010

View from the top

The 2010 MEP Giants provide insight on the state of the engineering industry and what to look for in 2011.

By Patrick Lynch, Project Manager
Mission Critical October 12, 2010

Healing today’s hospitals

Building analysis, energy efficiency, and flexibility are the keys to successful hospital design. This challenge has led administrators to demand more of their healthcare facilities in the way of flexibility, energy efficiency, and codes and standards compliance.

By Craig Kos, PE, LEED AP, and Dennis Quadi, Environmental Systems Design Inc.
Mission Critical September 19, 2010

Transformers – 2010-09-19

Schneider Electric Introduces Premium 30 Energy Efficient Transformers with NEMA Approval.

Mission Critical September 13, 2010

Higher education, higher protection

In response to the shooting incident at Virginia Tech in 2007 and other similar events, the call for providing better forms of emergency communications on a university campus is growing at a rapid pace.

By Jon Kapis, ET, Rolf Jensen & Assocs., Bothell, Wash.
Mission Critical September 3, 2010

Tier 4i Emissions

Experts answer questions about EPA Tier 4i emissions regulations and generator operating procedures.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer webcast with MTU Onsite Energy
Mission Critical August 9, 2010

The death of HVAC

The death of HVAC can lead to the rise of thermal environmental engineering. Here are some thoughts on the effectiveness, efficiency, and installation and operating costs of modern air conditioning systems

By Grahame E. Maisey, PE, Building Services Consultants Inc., Wyncote, Pa.
Mission Critical July 21, 2010

2010 40 Under 40 winners

Consulting-Specifying Engineer announces the winners of its third annual 40 Under 40 awards program.

By Dawn Reiss, Contributing Writer, and Amara Rozgus, Senior Editor
Mission Critical April 1, 2010

Part 1: Basics of sustainable lighting

Within the newly established field of sustainable lighting design, lighting professionals are working with other building professionals to define a fundamentally different way to practice. Design team processes are more integrated than ever as the lines between the responsibilities of different disciplines blur.

By Siva K. Haran, PE, LC, LEED AP, Naperville, Ill.
Mission Critical April 1, 2010

Safety first

CSE: Whose responsibility is it to ensure that equipment such as control panels, lighting panels, or panelboards are properly labeled? Designer, contractor, or the building owner/operator? Lanny Floyd: NEC110.16 is specific that the equipment is “field marked” as opposed to the label being applied by the manufacturer.

By Patrick Lynch, Associate Editor
Mission Critical March 17, 2010

Earning LEED 2009 Water Efficiency credits

Meeting LEED's Water Efficiency Credit 3-Water Use Reduction is no longer a sure thing, even for commercial office buildings.

By Ben Biada, PE, LEED AP, Advanced Engineering Consultants, Columbus, Ohio
Mission Critical March 16, 2010

Tiers of a generator: Emissions regulations for diesel gensets

Manufacturers face the next phase of EPA emissions limits for diesel engines and gensets.

By Jack Smith, Managing Editor
Mission Critical March 1, 2010

Beyond Green awards recognize high-performance buildings

The program demonstrates the successful application of the whole building approach.

By Source: Sustainable Buildings Industry Council
Mission Critical February 26, 2010

Climate scientists hope independent reviews will reverse public’s loss of trust

An opinion poll this month found the number of people believing climate change is an established fact has fallen from 41% in November to 26%.

By Source: Times Newspapers Ltd.
Mission Critical February 15, 2010

Cost-effective boiler system retrofits

Retrofits that directly reduce operating costs are readily available, in most cases with well-documented savings and quick paybacks.

By Mary Sue Lobenstein and Martha J. Hewett, M.S., Center for Energy and Environment, Minneapolis, and John T. Katrakis, PE, LEED AP, J.T. Katrakis & Assocs. Inc., Barrington, Ill.
Mission Critical February 5, 2010

Report: BAS market poised for change

According to a report, the BAS market will change, based on an increased focus on energy efficiency.

By Source: ABI Research
Mission Critical January 22, 2010

IEEE launches Smart Grid Web Portal

IEEE's new content-rich web gateway provides intelligence, education, and news on the global Smart Grid network.

By Source: IEEE
Mission Critical January 20, 2010

Green-lighting energy efficiency

At the intersection of energy codes, technology developments, cost constraints, and demands for higher efficiency and lower emissions, how should designers proceed?

By Patrick Lynch, Associate Editor
Mission Critical January 20, 2010

For 2010, it’s the economy, energy, and the environment

In July 2009, I wrote that building performance data is golden said that, consequently, there would be a greater call for retrocommissioning and ongoing commissioning services, a greater call for dashboard software for reporting status and trends to owners and occupants, and a continued shift in consulting engineering services toward improving the performance of existing buildings. Since then, enough has happened that I’m escalating my assessment that building performance data will be platinum in 2010. The new construction market continues to muddle through economic concerns such as high unemployment and tight financing restrictions.

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Mission Critical January 20, 2010

How to start a retrocommissioning business

In a recessive construction market and in increasingly regulated and incentivized energy and environmental markets, retrocommissioning services represent a new business opportunity for engineering firms.

By Peter D'Antonio, PCD Engineering Services, Longmont, Colo.
Mission Critical January 1, 2010

First integrated green construction code poised for debut

Drafters of the International Code Council's International Green Construction Code (IGCC) are nearing completion of the first-ever integrated green code for traditional and high-performance commercial buildings, set for a public release in March.

Mission Critical January 1, 2010

The U.S. EPA greenhouse gas reporting rule

There was heightened public attention on climate action in 2009 because President Obama shifted U.S. policy from being defensive to being proactive. Three strong federal measures for climate action were taken in advance of the Copenhagen Climate Conference in December 2009, where a binding agreement on emissions levels was expected.

By Michael G. Ivanovich, Editor-in-chief
Mission Critical December 29, 2009

Renewable energy legislation passes in China

Chinese government officials announced the passage of legislation that requires grid owners to use electricity generated by renewable energy sources.

By Source: Wall Street Journal
Mission Critical December 22, 2009

First integrated green construction code poised for 2010 debut

Drafters of the International Code Council's International Green Construction Code are nearing completion of the first-ever integrated green code for traditional and high-performance commercial buildings.

By Source: International Code Council
Mission Critical December 16, 2009

Large UPS Technology report: Balancing green and high reliability

Twenty five years ago, the large UPS market—500 kVA and above—was served by two distinctly different technologies: rotary and static. At that time, a rotary UPS for data center applications was a rather kluge-like combination of motors and generators, while a static UPS was a step-wave inverter-based technology (Figure 1). The slow switching statics of the day had many reliability and application issues, while the rotaries were very inefficient but, in many cases, more reliable.

By Dennis P. DeCoster Mission Critical West Inc., Redondo Beach, Calif.
Mission Critical December 16, 2009

Get shovel-ready for the new economy

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition The term “shovel-ready” became popular after the Obama administration announced that billions of dollars would be injected into the construction market to help resuscitate a dying economy. Shovel-ready projects —those that municipalities had on their books and were ready to begin after the dollars were secured—were given priority. While some economists are pointing to data indicating the national economic recession might be over, the commercial construction industry is far from feeling the impacts of recovery.

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Mission Critical December 16, 2009

Energy policy: The view from Washington

Energy and environmental legislation will be slow and may stall. Engineers should work ahead of it to serve their clients.

By Robert Cavey, Global Strategy Initiative, Washington, D.C.
Mission Critical December 16, 2009

The light at the end of the tunnel

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition For many of us who design lighting and lighting control systems, the recession may have severely curtailed our efforts to continue designing state-of-the-art systems. The recession also may have thwarted our ability to stay abreast of changing user attitudes and technological innovations in real-world applications. As a result, many of us may have missed out on designing the lighting and lighting controls projects that people will likely want when construction begins to rebound in earnest.

By Joseph M. “Jody” Good, III, LC, FIES, IALD, LEED AP, Spectrum Engineers,
Mission Critical December 16, 2009

Redefining the role of electrical engineers

The successful engineer is on top of all of the emerging technologies and practices. System scalability, modularity, and system efficiency are terms that have been around for years, but as energy use in data centers has become a larger part of the bottom line, CEOs and CFOs are demanding more efficient critical environments.

By Keith Lane, PE, RCDD, LC, LEED AP, Lane Coburn & Assocs., Seattle
Mission Critical December 4, 2009

New Virginia Tech report reveals mass-notification lapses

New report on Virginia Tech massacre reveals new timeline, details of notifcation lapses

By Michael Ivanovich
Mission Critical December 1, 2009

Maximizing MCF standby power

Identify equipment, systems design, and maintenance procedures that contribute to dependable standby power systems for critical facilities.

By Michael Dauffenbach, MTU Onsite Energy, Mankato, Minn.
Mission Critical November 24, 2009

U.S. unemployment to peak by March: poll

National Assn. of Business Economics panelists believe the end of net employment losses is near.

By Source: AFP
Mission Critical November 3, 2009

NSA building $1.5 billion cyber security data center

The massive complex, comprising up to 1.5 million sq ft of building space, will provide intelligence and warnings related to cyber security threats across government bodies.

By Source: J. Nicholas Hoover, InformationWeek
Mission Critical November 2, 2009

Slump sinks visa program

The weak economy has eroded employment even among highly trained professionals.

By Source: Wall Street Journal
Mission Critical October 30, 2009

The U.S. government’s plan to improve the nation’s smart grid

A $3.4-billion portion of the ARRA will help modernize the U.S. smart grid, while integrating renewable energy resources into the nation's power infrastructure.

By Source: Inside Science News Service
Mission Critical October 7, 2009

President Obama orders for a trim in greenhouse gases at federal agencies

Obama's Executive Order requires federal agencies meet new sustainability and energy efficiency guidelines.

By Source: Department of Energy
Mission Critical October 5, 2009

Stimulus funding boosts construction spending

Reed Construction Data's chief economist analyzes how the stimulus plan has benefitted the construction market through the first three quarters of 2009.

By Source: Jim Haughey, Reed Construction Data
Mission Critical October 1, 2009

As recovery begins, nonresidential construction will lag behind

The "delayed recession" in nonresidential construction means a slower recovery for the market as the economy begins to grow again.

By Bettina Chang, Editorial Intern
Mission Critical October 1, 2009

Government releases smart grid framework

A90-page document released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on Sept. 24 proposes 77 standards for smart grid development. The report also detailed 14 areas that the government agency will prioritize in order to facilitate development. Utilities, regulators, and vendors have been waiting for this release from NIST.

Mission Critical October 1, 2009

Green design vs. green performance

The latest version of LEED 2009 (v3) requires high-performing buildings to perform up to even higher standards, but key issues remain unaddressed.

By Patrick Lynch, Associate Editor, and Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Mission Critical October 1, 2009

The future of HVAC design

As I retire at the end of a 54-year career in the HVAC industry, I can't help reflecting that my timing is a bit off. I find myself envious of the young mechanical engineers who are entering the design business. Why? Because for the first time, the emphasis is truly on good design for low energy use.

By David C.J. Peters, PE, Southland Industries, Dulles, Va.
Mission Critical September 30, 2009

High-performance buildings boosted by stimulus funds

Massachusetts seeks plans for "high-performance" buildings.

By Source: Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press Writer
Mission Critical September 1, 2009

Is the safety of U.S. electrical products in danger?

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition To sell many types of products in North America, manufacturers must have their products certified by an independent certification organization. That certification process verifies that products comply with relevant safety requirements prior to entering the marketplace. For many products in Europe, however, manufacturers can self-declare that their products comply with requirements.

By Eli Kaberon, editorial intern, and Michael Ivanovich, editor-in-chief
Mission Critical September 1, 2009

Unifying the smart grid

With the unprecedented unification of power, communications, and information technology (IT) planned for the emerging smart grid, companies across typically siloed industries are adapting product roadmaps to dovetail with this tremendous federal undertaking. The IEEE P2030 work group is facilitating cooperation and visibility among power, communications, and IT silos to produce the long-term unification that is necessary to make the smart grid a success. The term “smart grid” gives important identity to a gathering, broad-based drive to improve the United States' electrical utility infrastructure. The nation's electrical grid has been getting “smarter” for years.

By W. Charlton Adams Jr., PE, PhD, IEEE Standards Assn., Piscataway, N.J.; and D
Mission Critical August 20, 2009

Al Gore to keynote Greenbuild

Former Vice President and noted environmental advocate Al Gore will open as keynote speaker at the Greenbuild conference in Phoenix this November.

By Source: U.S. Green Building Council
Mission Critical August 12, 2009

Web-based tools track federal stimulus spending

Looking for a slice of stimulus funds? Online maps show where the money goes.

By Source:
Mission Critical August 11, 2009

Australia sponsors green air conditioner

Solar-power cooling unit said to be 12 times more efficient than traditional systems.

By Source: Manufacturers' Monthly
Mission Critical August 1, 2009

MEP Giants 2009

Editor's note: A pull-out poster tabulating the CSE MEP Giants firms is included with this issue. The poster has ranking for 2009 and 2008, revenue figures, and contact information for the MEP Giant. The poster is available at Giants 2009 Poster The construction market of 2008 closed dramatically different from how it opened.

By Patrick Lynch, Associate Editor and Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Mission Critical August 1, 2009

Letters – 2009-08-01

Europeans versus Americans on energy Energy taxes are needed Europeans have placed large taxes on energy for decades recognizing the other impacts (costs) of energy use beyond the extraction, processing, and delivery costs. We need to get serious about gradually applying energy taxes here and efficiently direct their use toward energy-saving technologies. LARRY B Demographics and climate change I'm an American HVAC engineer who's been working in the U.K. for a while.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical August 1, 2009

CSE adds two editorial board members

Consulting-Specifying Engineer is pleased to welcome two new members to our Editorial Advisory Board, Brian Rener (left) and Gerald Versluys. The two new members assist editors in reviewing magazine content for technical accuracy and consistency. Rener, PE and LEED AP, is the senior design manager for Chicago-based M+W Zander US Operations.

By Edited by Eli Kaberon, Editorial Intern
Mission Critical July 22, 2009

Reclaimed water chilling Microsoft data center

Treated wastewater is cooling a Microsoft data center in Washington state; Yahoo and Intuit data centers may be next.

By Source: Doug Flanagan, Quincy Valley Post-Register
Mission Critical July 1, 2009

Ensuring emergency power performance

Several rivers in the Midwest swelled well beyond their banks in 2008, causing multiple levee failures and widespread flooding. Homes and businesses became islands surrounded by raging waters. When the flooding knocked out the municipal power supply, many relied on emergency generators to provide electricity. Businesses and industries commonly rely on emergency generators to provide power in the event of utility outages.

By Vernon McAllister, Stanley Consultants, Muscatine, Iowa
Mission Critical July 1, 2009

Fire pumps in high-rise buildings

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition The NFPA 20 Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection committee has proposed and accepted a new chapter covering fire pumps in high-rise buildings. A final vote by the full NFPA body at the spring 2009 NPFA convention is necessary before the changes officially become part of next edition of NFPA 20. This proposed high-rise chapter has significant implications for high-rise fire protection and may also impact cost and some current design practices. The provisions in this chapter were developed in response to observed significant differences in the way fire pumps were used in high-rise buildings, and concern that some of the design practices would not provide the high level of reliability needed. After the destruction of the World Trade Center on Sept.

By Gayle Pennel, Schirmer Engineering, Glenview, Ill.
Mission Critical June 26, 2009

U.S. to spend $3.9 billion on smart grid

DOE Secretary Steven Chu has announced $3.9 billion in smart grid funding.

By Source: Reuters
Mission Critical June 18, 2009

LEED may be coming soon for data centers

The U.S. Green Building Council is considering adjusting LEED to incorporate the energy used by commercial data centers. 

By Source: Reuters
Mission Critical June 15, 2009

SMUD rolls out a smart electrical grid

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District is set to roll out a smart grid.

By Jim Downing , Sacramento Bee
Mission Critical June 1, 2009

Integrating Electrical Systems

With many facilities relying on multiple power sources to ensure continuous operation, the value of integrating and coordinating these electrical systems becomes critical. Integrated power systems can include primary utility transformers, standby engine generators, UPSs (battery or rotary), fuel cells, and other types of power sources. The integration of these electrical systems requires careful planning, communication with other project team members, and support in the field during installation and startup. Numerous items need to be addressed during the planning phase.

By Brian Rener, PE, LEED AP, Chicago
Mission Critical June 1, 2009

ASHRAE 90.1 book combines codes

The International Code Council and ASHRAE have teamed to publish the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, in one book. The new publication is a powerful document that the government can use to qualify for federal energy grants, and a guide for the construction industr...

By Edited By Eli Kaberon, Editorial Intern
Mission Critical June 1, 2009

BAS design issues

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition View "Systems design and performance tips for packaged rooftop units" in the first edition of the HVAC Technology Report We know it's tough out there for BAS designers who want to keep up with the latest in sensors and controls. You know that sensors and controls are “where the rubber meets the road” in HVAC. But the available hardware and software mutate faster than an H1N1 flu virus on steroids.

By Richard L. Kronick, Freelance Writer and Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Mission Critical May 29, 2009

Software theft ranks high

The Business Software Alliance states that manufacturing, sales, and service industries were the three leading victims of piracy in 2008.  

By Source: BSA
Mission Critical May 27, 2009

MEP Insider – 2009-05-27

Recent hires and promotions

Mission Critical May 15, 2009

U.S. GBC Federal Summit convened

U.S. Green Building Council 2009 Federal Summit convened May 14 in Washington, D.C.

By Source: U.S. Green Building Council
Mission Critical May 8, 2009

Congressional Coalition files report on high-performance federal buildings

A Congressional Coalition issued recommendations regarding the development of high-performance federal buildings.

By Source: ASHRAE
Mission Critical May 8, 2009

Legislation to support building safety re-introduced

New legislation to establish a competitive grant program in the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development to help local governments with enforcement of residential, building, fire, energy, plumbing, and related codes was introduced in the U.S. Senate.

By Source: International Code Council
Mission Critical May 1, 2009

U.S. power grid seen at risk

Members of Congress launched an effort Thursday to protect the nation's electricity grid from criminals, vandals, or U.S. enemies.

By Source: The Washington Times
Mission Critical May 1, 2009

2009 40 Under 40 Winners

The 2009 40 Under 40 winners are among some of the best and brightest minds in our industry. They've created innovative systems to solve difficult engineering problems, both in North America and abroad. These young geniuses have won awards and risen quickly to the top in their fields. They've worked hard to bring their projects—and their companies—into the spotlight.

By Dawn Reiss, contributing writer, and Amara Rozgus, senior editor
Mission Critical May 1, 2009

What’s notable about MNS

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition Our panel discusses the importance, application, and necessary improvements needed for mass notification systems in hospitals, college campuses, and commercial buildings. CSE: What situations require the use of mass notification systems (MNS)? Ray Grill: Currently, the Department of Defense is the only entity that requires MNS to be installed in its facilities. MNS can be appropriate for a facility or area that is susceptible to hazards that may require the occupants to take some action (or stay in place) to prevent them from being impacted by the hazard. Mark Suski: Any facility that has multiple buildings—a college campus—or a building with an extensive footprint—a hospital or shopping mall—should have a MNS to notify occupants in the event of an emergency. The armed forces have been installing MNS on military bases for many years in the form of speakers and public address systems.

By Patrick Lynch, Associate Editor
Mission Critical April 29, 2009

New lead pipe requirements

California lead content requirements for plumbing products effective Jan. 1, 2010.

By Source: NSF International
Mission Critical April 22, 2009

Green commercial building code

The International Code Council will initiate a green code development project.

By Source: International Code Council
Mission Critical April 17, 2009

WTC office towers could be put off for decades

New World Trade Center office towers might not be built and occupied for nearly 30 years.

By Amy Westfeldt, Associated Press
Mission Critical April 17, 2009

Interview: Healthcare market holding steady even in down economy

Midwest Real Estate News interviewed Tag Birge about the healthcare construction market.

By Source: Dan Rafter, Midwest Real Estate News
Mission Critical April 1, 2009

Testing emergency lighting systems

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition   Unfortunately, emergency lighting equipment often is installed and forgotten. Despite numerous federal, state, and local codes requiring routine testing and documentation, mandated testing of emergency lighting units remains a “hit or miss” proposition. James Lathrop, vice president of Koffel Associcates , Elkridge, Md.-based independent fire protection engineering firm, said, “Excluding healthcare and most government buildings, based on my experience I would estimate that more than 75% of the building owners/mangers across the country are not testing their emergency lighting as mandated by the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code .” The Life Safety Code, which was established by NFPA nearly a century ago, sets very specific standards for the presence and routine testing of life safety equipment. Specifically, every emergency lighting fixture requires a monthly 30-sec test, as well as an annual 90-min test.

By Robin Martin, Lithonia Lighting, Conyers, Ga.
Mission Critical March 25, 2009

Kuwait refinery construction screeches to a halt

Kuwait National Petroleum Co. has ordered Fluor Corp. to stop construction of a refinery.

By Source: Dallas Morning News
Mission Critical March 23, 2009

Smart Grid could be vulnerable to hackers

Several reports point to the vulnerability of the Smart Grid.

By Source: CNN, IDG News, and others
Mission Critical March 22, 2009

Corporate complex named Green Development of the Year

The National Assn. of Industrial Office Properties recognizes the LEED Gold-certified HSBC's North American headquarters.

By Source: Environmental Systems Design
Mission Critical March 17, 2009

Fire kills seven at Bangladesh mall

A blaze tore through the country's largest shopping mall, killing seven people and injuring 50 others in the high-rise complex

By Source: Associated Press
Mission Critical March 17, 2009

Michigan proposal puts LEED power into local hands

A bill introduced in the Michigan legislature would permit local governments to mandate green-building standards.

By Source: Dan Meisler, Ann Arbor Business Review
Mission Critical March 9, 2009

Experts reject NAIOP study

Leaders from ASHRAE, ACEEE, New Buildings Institute, and Yudelson Associates voice strong opposition, say study's faults result in misleading conclusions.

By Source: CoStar Realty Information Inc.
Mission Critical March 1, 2009

Using gray water efficiently

View the full story , including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition Most engineers focus on lighting, HVAC, windows, and building siting when designing an efficient building. Often secondary on the list is designing a water-efficient building, which can be accomplished with various methods like no-water urinals, dual-flush water closets, and water reclamation, i.e., harvested rainwater and gray water. It’s sometimes referred to as graywater or grey water.

By Amara Rozgus, Senior Editor
Mission Critical March 1, 2009

Networked controls for a 21st century university

View the full story , including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition Have you ever asked “What will the 21st century university look like?” The was the question posed to Cannon Design when Ave Maria University (AMU) began planning a completely new campus near Naples, Fla. An optimal system for building controls, telecom, audio/visual, and safety was the answer. For decades, the 16-division Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) MasterFormat has been the standard in building design and construction. However, as technology—particularly network technology—has evolved, it is clear the old standards do not address the integrated systems designed into today's buildings. The need for construction specifications to reflect current building practices prompted CSI to develop Division 17 for Technology and Communications Infrastructure .

By Theodore G. Fowler, PE, LEED AP, and Salvatore Bonetto, RCDD, EIT, Cannon Design, Grand Island, N.Y.
Mission Critical February 28, 2009

Are energy efficiency improvements unreachable?

A study released by NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Assn., suggests that office building managers find it difficult--if not impossible--to effectively balance energy efficiency requirements while keeping their structures economically feasible.

By Source: NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Assn.
Mission Critical February 23, 2009

Green-building partnership expanded

The Clinton Climate Initiative and U.S. Green Building Council agree to collaborate on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from newly constructed buildings.

By Source: U.S. Green Building Council
Mission Critical February 20, 2009

L.A. enacts the largest LED lighting retrofit on record

Los Angeles will replace its 140,000 streetlight fixtures with LED units over the next five years. L.A. will receive help from the Clinton Climate initiative for taking part in the most extensive municipal green lighting retrofit on record.

By Source:
Mission Critical February 1, 2009

Harmonics & VFDs: prevention, analysis, resolution

Our roundtable explores the harmonics issue from prevention to problem resolution.

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief, Patrick Lynch, Associate Editor
Mission Critical February 1, 2009

Installing a genset

Generator set installation involves lots of details, but don't overlook the broad concepts.

By Todd Riemann and Steve Resner, MTU Onsite Energy, Mankato, Minn.
Mission Critical January 8, 2009

Advisory Board

Consulting-Specifying Engineer is proud to present its 2009 Editorial Advisory Board.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical January 5, 2009

Trash-burning plant damaged by fire

An Iowa waste-to-energy plant suffers an estimated $30,000 in damages, thanks to a fire most likely started in the facility's shredder.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical January 1, 2009

2009 Economic outlook

Access to credit has improved at the beginning of this year, so the projected further decline in nonresidential construction is primarily due to weaker space demand.

By Jim Haughey, Reed Construction Data, Waltham, Mass.
Mission Critical December 3, 2008

Is BIM ready for prime time engineered systems?

Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineers have justifiably lagged behind architects and structural engineers in their use of building information modeling (BIM) software. Is it the right time for them to upgrade?

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief, Patrick Lynch, Associate Editor
Mission Critical December 2, 2008

Danfoss event brings HVAC/R heads together

During November's Danfoss EnVisioneering Symposium, more than 40 professionals gathered to discuss climate change, energy efficiency, pending legislation, and other critical issues impacting the industry.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical December 1, 2008

Green-collar jobs

Renewable energy sector could restore economy, and Kankakee County, Ill., wants to be at the forefront.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical December 1, 2008

EPO: Emergency Power ON

Over the last several years, continuity of electrical power has become increasingly important not only to individual utility customers, but to the national and world economy. Meanwhile, confidence has eroded in our overstressed and aging utility grid given such events as the Chicago Loop outage of 2000, California’s rolling blackouts of 2001, the Northeast blackout of 2003, and the European outages of 2003 and 2006. To ensure that power is available when needed, many businesses are taking control by installing on-site generation.

By Paul Bearn, PE, KlingStubbins, Philadelphia
Mission Critical December 1, 2008

Installation Considerations for IBC-Compliant Generator Sets

The International Code Council's (ICC) International Building Code (IBC) has replaced regional codes in most jurisdictions, making it the primary code document for engineers who specify and supervise the installation of generating equipment. Currently, authorities may be using either the 2000, 2003, or 2006 edition of the IBC, with one of these editions now adopted at either the state or local level in all 50 states. Recently, the State of California adopted the 2006 edition, leading the way for that edition to become a preeminent standard across the United States. The IBC addresses both the design and installation of building systems, with an emphasis on how those systems will perform in emergency situations—and continue to perform after such events. One big change for engineers specifying seismic-related equipment is that the United States is no longer divided into broad seismic zones.

By Aniruddha Natekar, Cummins Power Generation Inc., Minneapolis
Mission Critical November 1, 2008

Picking the right fire extinguisher

When supplying a building with fire extinguishers and suppressants, ensuring the security of the entire structure is extremely important. As mentioned in NFPA 10 Chapter 1, portable fire extinguishers are intended to be the first line of defense for fires of a limited size and can be used in several areas including vehicle repair, aircraft and marine servicing, cooking areas, and storage and m...

By Joe Beranek, Tyco Fire Suppression & Building Products, Marinette, Wis.
Mission Critical October 22, 2008

DOE and EPA release report on advancing energy efficiency in data centers

The U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the report, “Energy Efficiency in Data Centers: Recommendations for Government-Industry Coordination,” that details the discussions and recommendations covered during a national strategy workshop on July 8, 2008.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical October 6, 2008

Filipinos draw power from buried heat

The Philippine government has championed geothermal power, and the United States can only learn from their success.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical October 1, 2008

Government construction projects hit a wall

Under strain, cities are cutting back projects.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical September 23, 2008

Credit woes worsen for commercial construction

While borrowing rates have fallen for prime-rate mortgages and public works, they've increased for commercial projects, and relief most likely won't come until 2009.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical September 19, 2008

Copper thief a real live wire

Man zapped with 11,000 V while trying to pilfer cable.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical September 12, 2008

GSA opposes new high-rise building provisions: STORY UPDATED

The dispute reflects a debate among safety officials and real estate executives nationwide as to how to respond adequately to the 2001 attacks.

By Amara Rozgus
Mission Critical September 1, 2008

Security management system

Secure facilities, such as government and military installations, manage intrusion detection, and access control and video surveillance from a single-user interface with the Pro-Watch security management system from Honeywell.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical September 1, 2008

Data centers for Uncle Sam

Growing computing needs have forced many government agencies into a corner they did not foresee.

By Colin Coyle, AIA, and Robert G. Arno, EYP Mission Critical Facilities
Mission Critical August 27, 2008

Natural gas could save us all this winter

More natural gas production could make winter heating costs drop.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical August 6, 2008

Energy misers take aim at PCs

A consortium is working to decrease energy use of PCs and laptops in a shift from the traditional digs at power-hungry data centers.

By Amara Rozgus
Mission Critical August 1, 2008

Critical look at power

This month's panel discusses what facilities need mission critical power and at what levels, successful design schemes, technological advancements, and commissioning for these facilities. CSE: The term “mission critical” applies to data centers, telecom centers, and healthcare facilities.

By Melissa Hillebrand, Associate Editor
Mission Critical August 1, 2008

Washington, D.C., rules in favor of full disclosure of Energy Star scores

The DC Council unanimously passed the Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008, which includes the benchmarking mandate that building owners annually reveal Energy Star scores.

By Edited By Patrick Lynch, Contributing Editor
Mission Critical July 18, 2008

Teaching an old grid new tricks

Increased investor interest in the improvement of power grids drives success

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical July 10, 2008

Industry roundup: partnerships, mergers, etc. – 2008-07-10

News from S&C Electric, Lochinvar, Ferraz Shawmut, Leviton, Dual-Life, and CES Group.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical July 1, 2008

Chart data center energy use

The Data Center Energy Profiler, or DC Pro, an online software tool provided by the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE), is now available in release 1.1.1. The tool is designed to help industries quickly diagnose how data centers use energy. A company can use DC Pro as a first step to identify potential savings and to reduce environmental emissions.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical July 1, 2008

Technology is power

This month's panel discusses on-site power, with regard to power generation, new designs, and renewable technologies.

By Melissa Hillebrand, Associate Editor
Mission Critical June 20, 2008

Nineteenth annual energy efficiency forum held in Washington, D.C.

The event creates awareness of technical, economic and political solutions available to optimize energy-efficiency.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical June 16, 2008

Mission-critical 500-kVA PDU by PDI

Wavestar mission-critical 500-kVA PDU by PDI with two point locks, and bus connections for the transformer and circuit breakers.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical June 12, 2008

Challenge: Slash air conditioners’ electricity use

University of California Davis energy-efficiency experts recently launched a novel program designed to slash electricity use by rooftop air conditioners in the western United States by more than 40%.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical June 1, 2008

Be Prepared: Hospital Protection for Catastrophic Events

As healthcare engineers, it's one thing to know the Boy Scout motto—and another to design for it. It's almost impossible, not to mention cost-prohibitive, to plan for every unforeseen occurrence. But natural and manmade catastrophes occur all too often, and when they do, they drive home the importance of designing hospitals to withstand potential disasters.

By Michael Sheerin, PE, LEED AP; James Ferris, PE; James D. Worth, PE, LEED AP;
Mission Critical June 1, 2008

Tenant sub-billing software

PowerLogic Tenant Metering Commercial Edition from Schneider Electric has been added to the company's existing range of tenant submetering software. The new billing software enables commercial property managers to allocate and recover the actual cost of their utilities while adhering to government cost allocation regulations.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical May 16, 2008

Tips for a successful ARC Awards entry

Adapted from Building Design + Constructions "How to Win" Tip Sheet

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical May 16, 2008

ACG meeting breaks records

Nearly 200 commissioning providers, engineers, and building owners attended the AABC Commissioning Group annual meeting in Las Vegas, April 22-24.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical May 1, 2008

Detecting carbon monoxide

When building professionals discuss carbon monoxide, they're uncertain as to where and how detection should be installed.

By Kenneth Gentile, PE, Senior Consultant, Rolf Jensen & Assocs., Houston
Mission Critical April 23, 2008

M/E insider: recent new hires and promotions – 2008-04-23

News from EMCOR Group, Gotama Building Engineers, Smith Seckman Reid, BSA LifeStructures, Sebesta Blomberg, Syska Hennessy Group, KlingStubbins, Sys-tek, Peter Basso Assocs., Baxter & Woodman, MACTEC Engineering and Consulting, and Spectrum Engineers.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical April 1, 2008

Power grid problems

This month’s panel discusses the national grid, its problem and innovations, and how to prepare for the digital future.

By Melissa Hillebrand, Associate Editor
Mission Critical March 28, 2008

ASHRAE, USGBC co-sponsor fellowship in Washington, D.C.

The one-year fellowship will allow the participant to work in the federal government in a technical advisory role. Applications are due May 1.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical March 24, 2008

Case study: children’s hospital designed for speedy recoveries and power reliability

The bright, playful façade of Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary looks like a random stack of colored building blocks—and that’s how the kids who had a hand in its design wanted it. And even though the kids didn't design the standby power system, it is every bit as innovative.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical March 24, 2008

HP acquires EYP MCF, offers new services

HP announced last week a set of products and services designed to help customers transform their data centers from a standalone collection of physical assets into a virtual and adaptive infrastructure designed—the logical result of the company’s acquisition of engineering firm EYP Mission Critical Facilities.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical March 19, 2008

IEEE and NFPA collaborate on arc flash initiative

The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the National Fire Protection Assn. have undertaken a joint research project to expand the knowledge of electric arc phenomena. Schneider Electric announced a $500,000 contribution to the effort.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical March 1, 2008

When UPS and gensets have issues

Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) are an example of the profound impact electronics have had on the electrical distribution world. Not only do these devices provide instantaneous backup power in the event of a power outage, but they also provide clean power on a continuous basis.

By Michael Shields, PE, Senior Electrical Engineer, SEi Engineering Inc./A Flack
Mission Critical March 1, 2008

Sustainable semantics

Semantics, according to Merriam-Webster, is the study of meaning. Meaning is conveyed in words. The green movement needs to clarify its semantics—its words—if it is to lead us to sustainability. To start, the words “green” and “sustainability” mean different things, but often are used interchangeably.

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
Mission Critical March 1, 2008

Ignite opportunities to mentor fire protection engineers

We often hear or talk about formal mentoring programs. These programs are touted as employee benefits and advertised in recruiting campaigns. What does mentoring mean in the context of fire protection engineering?

By Ray Grill, PE, FSFPE, Principal, Arup Fire, Washington, D.C.
Mission Critical February 29, 2008

Comment period open on Energy Star draft for computer servers

The EPA released its draft of the Energy Star standard for computer standards and invites feedback. The deadline to provide comments is March 14.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical February 14, 2008

ASHRAE bestows Technology Awards to outstanding building projects

Read about project winners in the Heath Care, Commercial Building, Institutional Building, Public Assembly, and Industrial Facilities or Processes categories.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical February 14, 2008

M/E insider: recent new hires and promotions – 2008-02-14

News from Dunham Assocs., JacobsCarter Burgess, Peter Basso Assocs., KlingStubbins, Smith Seckman Reid, MACTEC Engineering & Consulting, Tetra Tech Rizzo, EMCOR Group, Howard R. Green Co., IBA Consultants, TLC Engineering, and more.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical January 11, 2008

Consulting-Specifying Engineer selected to promote National Conference on Building Commissioning

Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine was selected by Portland Energy Conservation Inc. (PECI) as a media partner to promote the National Conference on Building Commissioning.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical January 1, 2008

Commercial buildings toreceive energy boost

Key organizations have formed the Commercial Buildings Initiative (CBI) to examine how to transform commercial building energy use. The CBI is an alliance of industrial, academic, and governmental representatives who develop ways to deliver Zero Net Energy Commercial Buildings in a cost-effective and widespread manner.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical December 27, 2007

M/E insider: recent new hires and promotions – 2007-12-27

News from Peter Basso, EwingCole, KJWW, and more.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical December 26, 2007

President Bush signs energy bill

On Dec. 19, President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 after the U.S. House of Representatives adopted the bill by a large margin.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical November 21, 2007

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issues final part of “Climate Change 2007” report

The UN Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change has issued its fourth and final assessment report as part of its "Climate Change 2007" survey.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical November 12, 2007

HP acquires EYP Mission Critical Facilities

HP today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire EYP Mission Critical Facilities Inc., a consulting company specializing in strategic technology planning, design, and operations support for large-scale data centers. 

Mission Critical November 6, 2007

Fire products

New products in the fire, life-safety and security industries.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical October 29, 2007

Swap out that bulb, America

The National Energy Star Change a Light Bus Tour has ended with 1 million pledges to change to energy-efficient bulbs.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical October 25, 2007

M/E insider: recent new hires and promotions – 2007-10-25

BSA LifeStructures names changes to its staff, UTC Power acquires Dome-Tech Group, Opus Architects & Engineers promotes three to principals, and more.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical October 18, 2007

Reduce data centers’ drain on energy–a history

While this information is still very fresh and many initiatives are still in the early stages of development, it is important to realize that the discussion on identifying and reducing energy use in data centers actually has roots dating back more than a decade.

By William J. Kosik, P.E., CEM, LEED AP
Mission Critical October 12, 2007

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Consulting-Specifying Engineer serves management, engineering management and engineering personnel who perform mechanical and/or electrical engineering activities in Consulting Engineering Firms; Design/Build Firms; Construction Firms; Contracting Firms; Engineering/Architectural Firms; Architectural/Engineering Firms; and In-house Engineering for Government Agencies, Public Utility Companies, Industrial Firms, Commercial Firms, and Institutions.**June 2008 BPA Statement Click here for the Consulting-Specifying Engineer BPA statement. Are you interested in advertising with Consulting-Specifying Engineer? Check out our guidelines, rates, and contact information below. Consulting-Specifying Engineer Magazine and Web Site Consulting-Specifying Engineer reaches more decision makers with more purchasing power than any other publication in the field and carries more advertising, from more companies and vendors, than any other publication in the field.Advertise with Consulting-Specifying Engineer and you can be assured that due to our reader respect and reach, your ad will have maximum sales-building impact.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical October 11, 2007

M/E Insider – 2007-10-11

Acquisitions, new hires, and other changes at the nation’s MEP engineering firms: Dewberry, RTKL, Newcomb & Boyd, and others.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical October 1, 2007

Going Green in Data Centers

The August release of a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on data center energy efficiency adds fuel to the fire in the research and development of new ways to reduce energy use. The findings on the energy use of data centers, summarized at, are staggering: Several organizations are working to reduce energy consumption in data centers.

By William J. Kosik, PE, CEM, LEED AP, Managing Principal, EYP Mission Critical Facilities Inc., Chicago
Mission Critical September 19, 2007

Energy-efficient data centers are here to stay

The EPA’s July report to Congress on server and data center energy efficiency explains what it means to the data centers we’ve come to rely upon.

By Bruce Myatt, P.E., principal partner with EYP Mission Critical Facilities, San Francisco, and founder of the Critical Facilities Round Table.
Mission Critical September 18, 2007

U.S. DOE joins The Green Grid

The DOE and The Green Grid signed a memorandum of understanding to promote energy efficiency in IT.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical September 5, 2007

Latest edition of fire reference from U.S. Fire Administration

Gregory Cade, FEMA Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Fire Administration, announced the latest edition of “Fire in the United States”. The 14th edition covers the 10-year period from 1995-2004 and focuses on the national fire problem and provides an overview of the fire problem in structures, vehicles and other mobile properties.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical August 21, 2007

The keys to marketing green building design

Jerry Yudelson, national faculty member for USGBC's LEED program, describes the seven keys to marketing sustainable design.

By Jerry Yudelson, P.E., MBA, LEED AP, Yudelson Assocs., Tucson, Ariz.
Mission Critical August 21, 2007

DOE launches initiative to decrease energy intensity by 30%

The TEAM Initiative aims to meet or exceed the goals already laid out by President Bush for increasing energy efficiency throughout the federal government. Experts predict that reducing energy intensity by 30% across the DOE complex will save approximately $90 million each year, after projects are paid for.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical August 20, 2007

Bush to create advanced energy research agency

President Bush signed the America COMPETES Act Aug. 9 that may advance the government on cutting-edge renewable energy research, but it's unclear whether such an agency will receive any funding. 

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical August 6, 2007

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Issues Its Final Report on Server and Data Center Efficiency

The EPA issued its final report to Congress last week on Server and Data Center Energy Efficiency.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical August 1, 2007

Giants stand tall

In comparing last year's CSE Giants Report with our 2007 ranking, two things are striking: First, combined total revenue for all of these 100 firms is a sizable chunk of the economy. Second, growth in revenue compared to the prior year attests to the strength of the AEC industry and the good health of MEP engineering.

By Scott Siddens, Senior Editor, and Patrick Lynch, Editorial Intern
Mission Critical August 1, 2007

Energy forum: wide range of views

This year's 18th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum, in June at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., co-sponsored by Johnson Controls, Milwaukee, and the U.S. Energy Assn., couldn't have been more timely. Major congressional hearings on energy convened the same day. And the forum followed immediately upon the G-8 Summit's discussions on climate change.

By Staff
Mission Critical July 1, 2007

Data Center Technology Past, Present and Future

After 42 years, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore's prediction that the number and speed of transistors on a microchip would double every one to two years is still going strong. Named Moore's Law, this 1965 forecast was expected to endure just a decade its author says, but historical cycles lengthened the grip of Moore's Law on technological innovation (see Figure 1).

By Michael Kuppinger, P.E., RCDD/NTS, Senior Vice President, Mission Critical & Technology Group, Evironmental Systems Design, Inc., Chicago
Mission Critical July 1, 2007

San Diego’s CleanTECH

Mayor Jerry Sanders of San Diego in June announced the official formation of CleanTECH San Diego, a non-profit trade association that is intended to foster and build an energy and environmental technology cluster in the greater San Diego region. The organization will be incubated at CONNECT, a public benefits organization that promotes entrepreneurship in the San Diego region by supporting the ...

By Staff
Mission Critical June 25, 2007

New Products for Power Quality and Reliability – 2007-06-25

Testing tools, surge suppression devices and lightning protection equipment

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical June 5, 2007

A Tutorial on Low Profile Roof Exhaust Mixed-Flow Impeller Technology

Where limitations on building height influence the design of the ventilation system, HVAC system designers might consider mixed-flow impeller exhaust fans to meet height restrictions and enhance roofline aesthetics.

By Charlie Gans, P.E., Assistant General Manager, Strobic Air Corp., Harleysville, Pa.
Mission Critical June 1, 2007

DNA of R&D Labs

Although the overall R&D facilities market is somewhat slowing down, a number of R&D markets remain hot and are driving a new generation of high-tech, energy-efficient, amenity-packed laboratories. Leading the R&D charge is biotech, nanotechnology, bio-fuels, bio-safety and alternative energy research.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Mission Critical June 1, 2007

ICC Adopts ASHRAE 62.1

Approval of ASHRAE's Standard 62.1 ventilation rate calculation procedure for the International Mechanical Code (IMC) in May marks a milestone for the high-profile mandatory-language standard after years of development aimed at code adoption. The International Code Council approved an ASHRAE proposal to incorporate the prescriptive ventilation rate procedure from ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.

By Staff
Mission Critical June 1, 2007

Transfer of Power

The transfer switch allows multiple sources of power to supply a given load. While the transfer from one power source to another can be controlled manually or automatically, all transfer switches are built to certain code requirements for transferring loads. No matter what type of transfer switch is used, it is important that the electrical system designer understand the basics about these devi...

By Brian A. Rener, P.E. LEED AP, Vice President and Chief Electrical Engineer, A. Epstein and Sons, Chicago
Mission Critical May 23, 2007

Greening of Corporate America

Findings from the newMcGraw-Hill Construction Report "Greening of Corporate America," say that profitability in America’s corporations correlate to green building principles and sustainability practices.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical May 22, 2007

SECA Fuel Cell Development Program Completes First Phase

Six industry teams participating in a U.S. Dept. of  Energy program have successfully completed tests of the first solid oxide fuel cell prototypes that can be manufactured at costs approaching those of conventional stationary power-generation technology.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical May 17, 2007

Clinton Retrofit Program to Promote Energy Efficiency

Former President Bill Clinton announced yesterday the creation of a global Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program, a project of the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI). This program brings together four of the world’s largest energy service companies, five of the world’s largest banks and 16 of the world’s largest cities in a landmark program designed to reduce energy consumption in existing buildings.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical May 15, 2007

New Products for Electrical Systems – 2007-05-15

Enhanced series relays from SEL, disconnect switches from Hubbell Wiring, cable solutions by Corning and wireless mesh photo sensor from Cooper Lighting.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical May 9, 2007

Boulder Passes a Tax for Climate Action Plan

The city of Boulder, Colo., passed a city-wide referendum last November that establishes a charge on electricity users based on how much energy they use. The money will go to support Boulder's Climate Action Plan to reduce global warming pollution. The passage marked the first time in the nation that a municipal government will impose an energy tax on its residents to directly combat climate change.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical May 1, 2007

New Products – 2007-05-01

Bypass packages are electronically controlled and feature automatic bypass, common start/stop in drive or bypass modes, and advanced override that performs in coordination with the drive and bypass for improved protection. All features are programmed through the drive keypad. The packages provide improved protection and operation through a bypass 24-volt DC switch-mode power supply.

By Staff
Mission Critical May 1, 2007

Talkin’ NEC 708

One out of every six dollars spent on power system equipment is spent on alternate power systems that back up primary systems.¹ To what degree does spending on alternate systems take from the investment needed to increase the security of the primary power system? Conversely, to what degree can investment in the alternate systems increase the security of the primary system? Power security i...

By Michael A. Anthony, P.E. Senior Electrical Engineer, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Mission Critical April 23, 2007

Metering Accuracy is Critical to the Success of Toronto’s Innovative Deep Lake Water Cooling

The city of Toronto has capitalized on a valuable asset lying 272 feet below the surface of Lake Ontario — icy cold water that remains at a constant 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit all year round.Since August 2004, this previously-untapped resource has been supplying economical and environmentally-friendly air conditioning to large buildings in the city’s downtown. The Deep Lake Water Cooling (DLWC) system in Toronto is the world’s largest.The city is an ideal location for this innovative technology, because a deep body of water is situated near the dense, urban center.The DLWC system is operated by Enwave Energy Corporation, a private corporation co-owned by the City of Toronto and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) that provides heating and/or cooling services to over 140 institutional and commercial buildings in downtown Toronto. The DLWC process is not complicated.A heat exchange system at the City's John Street Pumping Station transfers cold energy from the lake water to a separate, closed water loop that distributes cooling energy to Enwave’s customers.The closed water loop circulates in an underground piping distribution network, providing air conditioning to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and to skyscrapers and other major buildings.The DLWC system has enough capacity to air condition 100 office buildings or 34 million square feet of building space. After the lake water passes through the heat exchange process, it is fed into the city’s potable water system, avoiding the potential negative environmental impact of discharging the warmed water back into the lake.A single source of water provides cooling for Enwave's DLWC system and drinking water for the city. The environmental benefits of DLWC are dramatic.DLWC consumes only one-tenth the electricity compared to conventional chillers.The lake water system thereby eliminates 61 megawatts of electricity demand from Ontario’s electricity grid, during peak usage periods — equivalent to the electricity required to air condition 6,800 homes.The reduced electricity consumption annually removes 79,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the air, an amount equivalent to taking 15,800 cars off the road.The DLWC system not only reduces these greenhouse gases, but it also eliminates the use of large quantities of ozone-depleting refrigerants. Enwave’s customers benefit from the availability of smart energy that is sustainable, clean and renewable, without having to pay premium prices.Moreover, DLWC, like other green projects, involves high capital expenditures and low operating costs.Therefore, Enwave is able to offer price stability, an important advantage in an era of rising and unpredictable energy costs. Centralized production of cooling energy is more cost-effective, reliable and convenient, than distributed building-specific cooling, because it removes the need to acquire, service and maintain cooling equipment in each building. The noise, vibration and structure-born sounds of cooling equipment are eliminated. The space typically reserved for cooling equipment is freed for other purposes, and the coolers visible on roofs and walls are no longer needed. “We are changing the paradigm of how buildings provide air conditioning,” explains Steve Perkins, Enwave’s Vice President of Engineering.“Instead of buying electricity to power their own cooling system, our customers now outsource the process to our district cooling operation.They receive cooling energy in the form of cold water and they need only distribute that cooling energy within their building.” Enwave bills each customer by calculating energy consumed, based on the water flow and the temperature differential between the customer’s supply and return lines.“Our customers are used to the model of buying precisely-metered electricity, and it is critical that we provide excellent metering accuracy,” says Perkins.“Some of our cooling customers are buying hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars in cooling each year.” For metering systems, Enwave has turned to SRB Controls Inc., of Markham, Ontario, which recommended the IFS 4000 KC Enviromag electromagnetic flowmeter (EMF), ranging in diameter from 3 inches to 20 inches, from KROHNE, Inc.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical April 23, 2007

Transfer Switches Exceed Seismic Requirements

Independent tests show that transfer switches from ASCO , Florham Park, N.J., exceed the International Building Code requirement by operating during a simulated severe seismic event. The significance of this test is that the requirement only requires the transfer switch to operate before and after an event. IBC 2003 certification for severe seismic events is critical for states such as California, Washington, Nevada, Idaho and Colorado. ASCO had its transfer switches tested because IBC requirements now demand that transfer switches be subjected to simulated seismic events, rather than an engineering analysis.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical April 1, 2007

Reclaimed Water and the Codes

While it is recognized that potable water is an increasingly fragile resource in the United States, the issues of water-conservative fixtures, rainwater harvesting, water recycling and reclamation are only just starting to be addressed by codes and regulations. The recent surge in green building is bringing the issues into focus as plumbing engineers and building and code officials attempt to i...

By Alan Traugott, Principal, CJL Engineering, Moon Township, Pa.
Mission Critical March 8, 2007

Industry Roundup: News from Industry Suppliers

Bristol Compressors, Bristol, Va., is being acquired by New York-based KPS Capital Partners LP from Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc. E-Mon , Langhorne, Pa., maker of electric submetering equipment, announced its sale by Hunt Power, L.P. to the E-Mon management team backed by private equity investor Branford Castle, Inc.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical March 8, 2007

Legislation to Repeal Withholding on Government Contracts Introduced

Legislation to repeal a tax withholding requirement for all government contracts and payments was introduced in the House this week by Congressmen Kendrick Meek (D-FL) and Wally Herger (R-CA). The Meek/Herger bill (H.R. 1023) would repeal Section 511 of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005, which is a sweeping new requirement mandating that federal, state and local governments that spend $100 million or more annually withhold 3% from payments for goods and services. The withholding mandate is scheduled to take effect in 2011 and covers all government contracts as well as any payment to any person for a service or product provided to a government entity. The legislation is supported by the American Council of Engineering Companies, Washington, D.C., among other associations. "This is one of the most inherently unfair pieces of legislation to come along and we will aggressively fight to see that it is killed," said ACEC President Dave Raymond. ACEC is working with a broad coalition and actively lobbying Congress to pass the bill. Passage of this legislation will also be a major goal for ACEC's "citizen lobbyists" during its annual convention, which takes place May 6-9 in Washington, D.C., To view ACEC's endorsement letter to Congressman Meek, click here .

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical March 1, 2007

A Sprinkling of Expertise

This month's panel of fire protection experts hash out the advantages and disadvantages of steel, copper and CPVC sprinkler systems. CSE: What are the main advantages and disadvantages of copper, steel and chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) sprinkler piping materials? SCHULTZ: Steel is the oldest, most common pipe in use.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Mission Critical February 20, 2007

Data Center Power Consumption Has Doubled in Five Years

In a keynote address at the LinuxWorld OpenSolutions Summit in New York on Feb. 15, Randy Allen, corporate vice president, server and workstation division, AMD, Sunnyvale, Calif., revealed findings from a study that comprehensively calculated, for the first time, the energy consumed by national and global data centers annually. Addressing the need for thorough, credible estimates on data center power use, the study found that in 2005, in the United States alone, data centers and their associated infrastructures consumed five million kW of energy, the equivalent of five 1,000 MW power plants. Instituting an annual report on energy efficiency in U.S. data centers to measure progress and determine new opportunities and challenges; Developing a mechanism to enable businesses, large and small, to measure their own data center efficiency; and Increasing alignment between government and vendor-neutral industry groups to foster the development of energy-efficient data centers for the future. "The Environmental Protection Agency applauds AMD and this latest benchmarking effort to better understand the global impact data centers have on energy consumption," said Andrew Fanara, team leader, U.S.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical February 8, 2007

Executive Order Tasks Federal Agencies with Reducing Environmental Impact

President George W. Bush released an executive order last month calling on the head of each federal agency to reduce "energy intensity" (energy consumption per sq. ft.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical February 6, 2007

Liquid Cooling Guidelines Discuss IT Heat Load Solutions

Heat loads generated by IT equipment can present significant problems for data centers by introducing effects such as decreased equipment availability, wasted floor space and inefficient cooling system operation. One solution, liquid cooling, is described in detail in ASHRAE’s new publication, “Liquid Cooling Guidelines for Datacom Equipment Centers.” The guide covers a broad range of liquid cooling topics such as facility cooling systems, facility piping design, liquid cooling implementation for datacom equipment, liquid cooling infrastructure requirements for chilled water systems, and liquid cooling infrastructure requirements for technology cooling systems. The book is the fourth in a series written by ASHRAE Technical Committee 9.9, Mission Control Facilities, Technology Spaces and Electronic Equipment. “The book incorporates the experience of liquid cooling from the mainframe days,” said Roger Schmidt of IBM and chair of TC 9.9. “Liquid cooling is a proven technology, and the book provides a good central source of liquid cooling information from the datacom equipment to the facility level.” For more about “Liquid Cooling Guidelines for Datacom Equipment Centers,” visit the Bookstore at .

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical February 6, 2007

China, U.S. Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Groups Sign MOU

A memorandum of understanding to strengthen intellectual property rights (IPR) protection was signed between the major U.S. and Chinese air conditioning and refrigeration industry organizations during the AHR Expo held in Dallas last week. The exhibition companies of the largest U.S.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical January 18, 2007

Nonresidential Construction Growth Continues in 2007

Construction will experience healthful economic conditions in 2007, with nonresidential construction supporting its growth. Spending on nonresidential construction expanded at a 16% annual rate, during the year ended September. Since then, growth has slowed to 11% to 12% and will slow to 8% by the end of 2007, Reed Construction Data (RCD) reported. The slowdown is expected to occur because of the plunge in residential building last year and the decrease in overall economic growth from 3.5% to 4%, to 2.5% to 3%. Reed Construction Data also detailed growth in specific areas.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical December 19, 2006

New Products for Electrical Systems – 2006-12-19

Two-compartment recessed floor boxes provide power and communications services in open spaces or directly to a workstation as a furniture feed box. The floor box can be installed in either concrete or wood floors. A lightweight slab-on-grade version features a fusion-bonded epoxy finish that is applied to the standard steel box, which eliminates the need for a costlier cast iron box.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical December 13, 2006

M/E Engineering Group Works with ASHRAE to Further Advocacy, Education

The Atlanta-based American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Council of American Mechanical and Electrical Engineers (CAMEE). The agreement formalizes a working relationship between ASHRAE, which is interested in the technical aspects of the building environment, and CAMEE, which is focused on the business aspects of mechanical and electrical engineering. CAMEE, a coalition within the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), was formed to provide up-to-date information to its M/E/P engineering member firms on new concepts such as green buildings techniques and the new building information modeling (BIM) system—innovations that advance design capability, but also carry potential liability. “The agreement serves to bridge a gap between ASHRAE and CAMEE and their common interests in government advocacy on behalf of our members and education for the operation of engineering businesses,” said Terry Townsend, P.E., ASHRAE president. “ASHRAE and CAMEE can now market our activities to the mutual benefit of our collective memberships.” “We look forward to our cooperation with ASHRAE and the benefits that will accrue to both organizations,” said David Raymond, president of ACEC.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical November 28, 2006

Australia Has Mega Solar Power Plant Project in the Works

Australian officials say that they intend to build the world's largest solar power plant. With warnings of blackouts within five years unless it can increase electricity generation, and extended severe drought eating into economic growth and water availability, the Australian government has begun very active support for alternative forms of energy. Demand for power in Australia's most populous state, New South Wales, is predicted to outstrip supply by 2010 or 2011. The smaller states of Victoria, South Australia and Queensland could experience power blackouts much earlier, starting from 2008, said the National Electricity Market Management Company. The new solar concentrator, with a capacity of 154 megawatts, would be built in Victoria state, and would reach full capacity by 2013, according to Peter Costello, "The project aims to build the biggest photovoltaic project in the world and this is by using mirrors which concentrate the sun's rays on a power plant," Costello said.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical November 20, 2006

Industry Roundup: M/E/P Vendors Garner Many Awards

Cleaver-Brooks announced that its Stratford, Ontario facility has won the 2005 GAMA Hydronics Institute Plant Safety Award at the institute’s recent HI Division Semi-Annual Meeting. Cummins Power Generation, Minneapolis, has received the 2006 North American Diesel Engine Technology Leadership of the Year Award from Frost & Sullivan. Ferraz Shawmut, Newburyport, Mass., was honored by the IMARK Group at the 2006 IMARK Distinguished Performance Awards for top honors in “Sales Leadership.” Prolec-GE, a joint venture between Atlanta-based GE Energy and Xignux, Monterrey, Mexico, recently received a “Recognition for Environmental Excellence 2005” award from Mexico’s federal government and the Federal Ministry for Environmental Protection, Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (PROFEPA). Johnson Controls, Inc., Milwaukee, has announced that the American Diabetes Assn. recognized John M. Barth, JCI’s chairman and chief executive officer, as the Corporate Honoree of Diversity at its 2006 Live the Good Life Gala on Oct.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical November 15, 2006

Poor Cash Flow Can Affect an A/E Firm’s Value

Poor cash flow directly impacts the value of a firm, more so than profits. Understanding the difference between profits and cash flow is the first step to strong financial management, according to consultants at Natick, Mass.-based ZweigWhite. "Growing companies, even profitable ones, often experience financial pains. I've heard of successful companies growing themselves out of business because of liquidity issues," says David Rabinovitz, a ZweigWhite associate who specializes in financial advisory services.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical November 1, 2006

The Power of Independence

Several technical and economic advantages argue in favor of both distributed generation and alternative power—but there are also disadvantages that hinder development. CSE: Right off the bat, what are the biggest obstacles to implementing distributed generation (DG) and alternative power solutions? DAUFFENBACH: Justifying capital cost to install, operate and maintain the equipment, becaus...

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Mission Critical October 4, 2006

Kentucky Adopts Latest Uniform Fire Code and Life Safety Code

The state of Kentucky has adopted the most recent editions of NFPA 1, Uniform Fire Code and NFPA 101, Life Safety Code . The adoptions became effective in September. “The adoption of NFPA 1 , NFPA 101 and other key NFPA codes and standards provides the most comprehensive set of safety tools that the enforcement community and building owners can have,” said Rodney Raby, Kentucky’s state fire marshal. “This adoption is just one more example of Kentucky’s ongoing commitment to providing the highest level of protection for those living in and visiting the Commonwealth.” Recognized worldwide and adopted statewide in 19 states, NFPA 1 provides requirements necessary to establish a reasonable level of fire safety and property protection from hazards created by fire and explosion.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical October 1, 2006

Using Water Wisely

The “green” revolution has gradually evolved from niche to mainstream and continually surfaces in our everyday lives. Whether it's eco-friendly cars or products/building materials for a more sustainable home, consumers increasingly understand that being green not only benefits the environment, but also benefits them and their children in the long run. For instance, water conservation is a resonating issue today and not just in areas typically affected, such as Arizona or California. Everyone must conserve water, and this message is clear to consumers.

By Ken Martin, Senior Director of commercial product development and R&D, Delta Faucet Company
Mission Critical October 1, 2006

Mechanics of Water Conservation

Water today has become a hot topic among those trying to reduce their impact on our precious environment. And as water and sewer rates climb rapidly, water consumption has also become an important subject when considering how to reduce costs and impact to the bottom line. Most commercial buildings are typically large consumers of water, and frankly, the largest percentage of their indoor water use passes through their toilets.

By Gunnar I. Baldwin, Toto USA, Inc., New York
Mission Critical September 28, 2006

California Adopts IAPMO Codes; IAPMO Releases 2006 Version of Two Codes

The state of California plans to adopt the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials’ (IAPMO) 2006 Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) and 2006 Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC). Government subcommittees are currently drafting state-specific amendments to the codes and preparing to present the recommended changes at forthcoming public hearings. The proposed codes will be identified as the 2007 California Plumbing Code (CPC) and 2007 California Mechanical Code (CMC) and are expected to go into effect January 1, 2008. Dwight Perkins, IAPMO’s western regional manager, was enthusiastic about the imminent code adoptions.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical September 22, 2006

Federal Government’s Official Business Site Re-Launches in October

For the first time, small business owners can go to one website to find federal compliance information. , the official business link to the U.S. government, is re-launching on October 2 to focus on compliance information, federal forms and agency compliance contacts across multiple federal agencies.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical September 5, 2006

Heat Pump Reduces Hospital’s Steam Bill By $8,000 Per Day

Like medical centers everywhere, St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada, is under budget constraints and constantly seeking ways to pare down operating expenses. The facility’s managers have discovered that energy efficiency can make a tremendous difference in their bottom line. This 550-bed acute-care, teaching and research hospital, which has served the residents of Toronto since 1892, found a way to save Can$1.4 million annually through a major heating and cooling system retrofit.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical September 1, 2006

Which UPS?

It’s no surprise that reliability, energy efficiency and high density are dominating discussions about data centers. High-density server facilities have quickly become a widespread reality. Not only are they adding nearly 1 GW of power demand to the U.S.

By Kfir L. Godrich, Dir. of Technology Development, EYP MCF, New York
Mission Critical August 30, 2006

Webcast Archive

Click Here to View Upcoming Webcasts Critical Power University On-Demand Webcasts: Standby Power Systems for Hospitals: The Debate: Is Paralleling Generators a Good Idea? Original Air Date: May 14, 2009 The primary goal of an emergency power system for a hospital is the reliability of the power source of adequate capacity to serve the Priority 1, 2, and 3 loads. In the event of a failure of one of the generators, the priority 1 and 2 loads should be powered (as a minimum). There are two ways to achieve this reliability and capacity: A) Provide a paralleling, emergency system with N+1 generators such that the N generators will serve the entire load without exceeding 80% of their individual unit rating. Or, B) Provide a system of generators and transfer switches so that the each generator serves a dedicated load (that does not exceed 80% of any unit rating) and the load of any generator can be transferred to another generator or generators to maintain power reliability. For the paralleling system the pros are:Traditional system configuration, true N+1 configuration, and the cons are: higher cost, large space requirements, and single-point-failure mode in the paralleling cabinet. For the multiple generator system the pros are:Smaller footprint, reduced cost, no single point failure modes, and the cons are: the configuration requires that two transfer switches be placed in series at some point in the system. Which is the better approach? View the Webcast and judge for yourself. Arguing for paralleling generators is Tom Divine, PE, Project Manager and Electrical Engineer, Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. (SSR), Houston. Arguing against paralleling generators is Kenneth Lovorn, PE, President and Chief Engineer, Lovorn Engineering Associates, Pittsburgh. All CPU Webcasts are FREE and continuing education credits are available.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical August 4, 2006

ThamesValley Police Custody Suites Select Zandar MultiViewers

Zandar Technologies has provided its 1RU FusionPro MultiViewers to Thames Valley Police, to create what are accepted to be the most technically sophisticated custody suites in the United Kingdom. This large partnership project was carried out for the Custody Refurbishment Programme worth approximately “The recognized increase in incidents of near misses and death in custody were a driving force behind this project. Other critical factors included an increase in accountability, rising staffing costs as well as the operational aspects of clutter in an operator’s space (alarms, cell calls, intercoms and CCTV systems). The police wanted a system that utilized space and to visually alleviate these challenges,” explained Stephen Smith, sales and marketing director at Integrated Security Manufacturing (ISM). Five out of 12 custody suites have so far been completed at Thames Valley Police and a Zandar 1RU FusionPro MultiViewer is allocated to each suite.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical August 1, 2006

Security Tech Innovations are Radical

Just a month ago a fairly significant anniversary passed without much ado. The specific date was July 7—the one-year anniversary of the London subway bombings. At the time, the event, just after London was named host of the 2012 summer Olympic Games, brought back many of the same insecurities people experienced after 9/11. But while the anniversary passed under the radar of the average American, it didn't mean those in the security industry weren't paying attention.

By Lindsay Saran, Editorial Intern
Mission Critical July 1, 2006

Data Center Market Sustainable

For those involved with the design and construction of data centers, it's good news all around. Leading experts report no foreseeable end to the need to build and upgrade these critical facilities. Speaking at a supply chain event in Nashville, sponsored by Turner Logistics, key executives from EYP Mission Critical Facilities, one of the nation's top data center design firms, addressed key trends in this market sector. According to Rick Einhorn, the firm's chief marketing officer, advances in distributed computing and a potential lack of proper facilities to house this increasingly sophisticated—and power-consuming/heat-generating—equipment will continue to drive the market for at least the next three years. "At least 18 of the top 20 financial institutions are in some kind of build-out right now," said Einhorn. And it's not just banks: Hospitals, big box retailers, the government, universities, Internet companies, telecom, pharma, oil services and even broadcast companies are all building data centers.

By Staff
Mission Critical June 8, 2006

M/E Insider: Promotions and More

• Lilker Assocs. , New York, announced that Michael Levine, P.E. , has joined the firm as Director of Institutional Projects.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical June 1, 2006

Rising Fuel Costs Sparking Nuclear Reaction

Nuclear power, a technology long thought dead in this country, is gaining renewed interest from electric utilities and regulators as a way to address both rising fuel costs and plant emissions concerns. Utilities have announced plans to build 17 new nuclear reactors, and government officials are promoting such plants as one way to counter concerns regarding emissions from coal- and oil-fired plants. However, waste concerns continue to plague developers. Fifteen of the 17 proposed new plants would be sited in the southeastern United States, including three in South Carolina.

By Staff
Mission Critical June 1, 2006

Supply Chain Blues

Two big issues in the construction of any project are costs and schedule. In an ideal world, there would be a way to meet the demands of both in a manner that satisfies all parties. Of course, that's easier said than done.

By Staff
Mission Critical May 2, 2006

A Dip in the Lake: Using LakeWater to Cool HVAC

Increasing energy efficiency and lowering costs while satisfying comfort-demanding consumers and protecting the environment is no small task. A recently completed project in Toronto, Canada, is an example of what can happen when all the right components are in place. The key was drawing icy water from the lake, and using it to chill the water used to air condition downtown buildings. Water at 4 The project was initiated by Enwave District Energy Ltd., an organization owned 43% by the city of Toronto, and 57% by the OMERS pension fund (the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System).

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical April 19, 2006

Best Practices in Operation: Do Nothing is No Option

In the good old days, it seemed as though profit margins were high and demand was upward and predictable. While business inefficiency was always a topic of some concern, it was overpowered by the need to never stop the production juggernaut. Where inefficiency was recognized and addressed, the attention was clearly on improving the means of production, not on the business as a whole.

By Fred Fishman, Manager, Strategic Procurement Programs TechSolve, Inc.
Mission Critical April 18, 2006

NEMA Launches Electroindustry Economic Outlook Service

NEMA Business Information Services (NEMA/BIS), the consulting arm of the National Electrical Manufacturers Assn., has announced the availability of its newest product, the Electroindustry Economic Outlook Service, an up-to-date, forward-looking analysis of the electroindustry and the economic fundamentals that drive it. The Electroindustry Economic Outlook Service is described by the association as a subscription-based, regularly updated compendium of the information that industry professionals and executives most often request. Content is drawn from a wealth of data sources, including numerous U.S. government and international data agencies, the Global Insight model of the U.S.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical April 1, 2006

Building a Better Prison

Louis Sullivan most likely wasn't thinking about correctional facilities when he argued that the form of a building should follow its function, but few other building types point out the wisdom of this school of thought quite as well. Each facility is designed to meet a specific population's needs, and every element must be designed to perform—and survive—in a highly demanding environment. Experts say the market for these buildings shows no signs of slowing, and new design strategies and technologies are evolving. Your tax dollars at work Though correctional facilities rarely top taxpayers' agendas, tougher sentencing laws have resulted in more prisoners—and the need for space to house them—across the U.S. Those specializing in correctional-facility design say today's market is primarily centered at the county and state level, with federal projects being fewer and farther between.

By Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer
Mission Critical March 10, 2006

CH2M HILL Secures General Contractor License in China

CH2M HILL announced in February that it has been issued a general contractor's license by the Shanghai Ministry of Construction in China. This enables CH2M HILL to provide consulting, engineering, project management, construction management and fully integrated engineering, procurement and construction services. The license also positions the firm for future general building and public works facilities in China. “This will position CH2M HILL to serve its many multi-national clients’ expansion plans in the industrial marketplace to fulfill Chinese demand,” said David Rosamond, vice president.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical March 1, 2006

A New Lab Formula

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

By Geoff Weisenberger, Staff Editor
Mission Critical March 1, 2006

Wyoming Seeks To Make Power an Export Crop

A recently announced study is intended to help Wyoming planners determine the transmission facilities needed to make the state a larger power exporter to the western United States . The Wyoming-West study will build on previous efforts to determine future energy needs in the region. Several major transmission projects have been either proposed or initiated in the last year to create new interconnections between Wyoming and other states in the area, including California , Nevada , Utah , Wyoming and Arizona . This new study will identify infrastructure requirements to meet the needs of these new interconnections. The study is being sponsored by the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority , a quasi-governmental group formed in 2004 to plan and fund new transmission capacity, and National Grid , a British-based power company whose U.S.

By Staff
Mission Critical March 1, 2006

Eminent-Domain Debate Could Affect Georgia Power Lines

The populist movement against municipal eminent-domain actions could add fire to a Georgia group's efforts to rein in the right of power companies to site new transmission lines on private property. Homeowners Opposing Powerline Encroachment (HOPE) is hoping to gain new support as the Georgia legislature begins debate on several bills seeking to curb the ability of towns and cities to seize pri...

By Staff
Mission Critical March 1, 2006

DOE Boosts FSU’s Grid Research Efforts

The U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) awarded Florida State University (FSU) a $4.7 million grant in late 2005 to aid the research efforts of the school's Center for Advanced Power Systems (CAPS). CAPS is already a leading power-system research center, focusing on both land- and ship-based equipment and systems.

By Staff
Mission Critical March 1, 2006

Solar Industry Reps Promise Growth Following California Rebate Plan

Photovoltaics makers are planning for expansion in the wake of an announcement by California regulators in January that the state will offer $3.2 billion in rebates for solar. The plan, which puts California second only to Germany in terms of governmental spending on solar power, will span the next 11 years and could enable the installation of up to 3,000 MW of solar-based generating capacity. The program includes $2.8 billion in incentives for solar-equipment installation on existing residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural buildings. An additional $400 million will provide incentives for residential builders to incorporate PV into new-home designs. Solar manufacturers indicated the move could lead to expansions of existing manufacturing facilities, according to interviews reported on the Renewable Energy Access website.

By Staff
Mission Critical January 1, 2006

News from Power-Gen: EPA Regs, IBC and CHP

Codes and regulations for standby and emergency generators were among the hottest topics of discussion at the Power-Gen International conference and expo, held in Las Vegas in early December. And one of the most widely discussed issues was the recent announcement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concerning its New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for stationary generator sets.

By Staff
Mission Critical January 1, 2006

Security Awareness and Rating Group Created

While the effort to secure federal buildings against terrorism is well underway, more than 85% of non-residential U.S. buildings are neither owned nor leased by the federal government. In an effort to fill the security gap, a new group has been formed to promote security awareness and measures. Led by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Architectural Engineering Institute—and supported by numerous building, design, management and ownership organizations—the Building Security Council (BSC) is dedicated to enhancing public safety by promoting building security.

By Staff
Mission Critical January 1, 2006

Student Centric

For a generation of students used to having their own bedrooms, TVs, computers and, in many cases, cars, the expectation—demand, even—for certain lifestyle amenities at colleges and universities is quickly becoming the norm. This is a lesson savvy school designers have learned and are communicating to their university clients so that these institutions can deliver the kinds of buildings that best allow them to be in a position to land these highly desired, if somewhat pampered, prospects. "You have to have the best facilities if you want to compete for the best students," says Don Rerko, AIA, director of college and university facilities, URS, Cleveland. And, according to Mike Brennan, AIA, senior vice president, HSMM, Roanoke, Va., the competition among institutions is very strong. "Most [schools] are looking for ways to differentiate themselves with expanded programs, modernized facilities, diverse residential opportunities and a host of amenities," he says. It's this last category, says Gary Pateau, a senior vice president of development with Altanta-based Carter, that's really influencing a lot of campus construction.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Mission Critical January 1, 2006

In Hot Water

Industry experts discuss strategies for reducing Legionella outbreaks while, at the same time, maintaining water temperature at levels safe enough to prevent scalding. CSE: How common is it for facility owners and designers to proactively address the issues of Legionella and scalding? FITZGERALD: Unfortunately, not as common as it should be. I attribute this to the lack of understanding by infection control practitioners and facilities management about sources of bacteria and effective treatment protocols. SHEERIN: But in general, media coverage, facility maintenance education and sometimes local and state regulatory enforcement have created a greater awareness of the Legionella hazard. And most health-care facilities we work with proactively monitor and maintain their domestic hot water systems. HOOVER: While that's generally true, one obstacle I foresee to a more proactive approach is the rising cost of natural gas.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Mission Critical December 19, 2005

M/E Insider – 2005-12-19

• Dennis Cronin has joined Gilbane Building Company , Lawrenceville, N.J., as principal for the Mission Critical Center of Excellence. Cronin has 25 years experience in the data center/mission-critical market segment. • Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. has added four new employees to its Memphis office: Francois van Eck, P.E.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical November 11, 2005

The Light Brigade Wins GSA Contract for Fiber-optic Training

The Light Brigade, Tukwila, Wash., has been awarded a contract from the U.S. General Services Administration to provide fiber-optic training and training materials to the federal government. This contract, #GS-02F-001R, details special discounts on Light Brigade training courses as well as on educational DVDs, videos and CD-ROMs. Fiber Optics 1-2-3 focuses on the design, installation, testing and maintenance of fiber-optic communication systems for voice, video and data applications.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical November 7, 2005

AGC Voices Displeasure to Congress on Proposed Spending Cuts

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) has expressed concern about proposed discretionary spending cuts being reviewed by Congress. The cuts include reductions in federal investment in infrastructure programs. AGC Senior Executive Director, Government and Public Affairs Jeff Shoaf, in a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, said, “while we recognize the need to provide disaster relief funding, and support accomplishing this goal in a fiscally responsible way, AGC is concerned that spending reductions to federal construction accounts will diminish our ability to meet the nation’s critical infrastructure needs, including those resulting from the impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.” The letter noted that deferring critical infrastructure investment today will only put off additional federal spending until later, when it will be necessary to respond to higher construction costs and address compounding capital and maintenance needs. “Now is not the time to propose spending cuts to programs that protect against the impacts of natural disasters,” Shoaf said, adding, “A two percent reduction in federal construction programs would result in more than a $1 billion cut to critical infrastructure spending.”.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical November 1, 2005

Enlightened on EPAct

The National Electrical Manufacturers Assn. (NEMA) recently convened a coalition of organizations to educate its members, government officials and the community on the commercial buildings tax deduction provision and proper implementation of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005). EPAct 2005 provides a new deduction for investing in energy-efficient systems for commercial building property. The deduction is equal to the energy-efficient expenditures made on the property, subject to a cap, and applies to both new construction and retrofits that are installed between Dec.

By Staff
Mission Critical November 1, 2005

The Right Kind of Lighting Can Save You Money in Energy Costs—and Taxes

On August 8, President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005). Estimated to cost the federal government about $14.5 billion over 10 years, EPAct 2005 is the biggest overhaul of national energy policy since 1992. One of the act's provisions includes a tax deduction of up to $1.80 per sq. ft.

By Craig DiLouie, Lighting Controls Assn.
Mission Critical October 1, 2005

A Push for Security Standards

A subject consistently billed in numerous sessions at the American Society of Industrial Security's recent conference in Orlando was Homeland Security. Besides generating a lot of work, the federal government is having another significant impact on the security industry in the form of a cordial, but firm push for security standards for both products and design. According to Jon Kinsey, business development manager for the government services group of Simplex, Dublin, Ohio, it starts with the Safety Act. "When you register with the government to get your product approved for use in Homeland Security projects, you must meet these standards," he said. Kinsey's company is currently a pre-qualified vendor with the U.S.

By Staff
Mission Critical September 8, 2005

Restoring the Nation’s Infrastructure

A new publication, entitled Revitalization, is scheduled to debut in Jan. 2006 and will provide “an integrated voice for redevelopment, restoration, reclamation, renewal and revitalization throughout the country,” according to its publisher, Natick, Mass.-based ZweigWhite. “This is an estimated $1 trillion industry.” The publication is designed to be a comprehensive resource for developers, owners, builders, contractors, planners, designers, landscape architects, environmental professionals, community leaders and government officials.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical September 1, 2005

Power System Checkup

During the 2003 summer blackout, which left large parts of the Midwest and East Coast in the dark, hundreds of health-care facilities were affected. Like many of its neighbors, one Midwest hospital lost both primary and alternate power. To add insult to injury, the local utility soon after informed the hospital that due to local growth, it would have to start charging a hefty fee for alternate power service. The hospital decided it was time to back up its entire campus with emergency gensets. Power events are often the catalyst that finally motivates a health-care facility to address neglected maintenance and needed upgrades.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Mission Critical September 1, 2005

Half Full or Half Empty?

On the face of it, engineers pursuing business in the industrial market today should be seeing plenty of half-full glasses. According to a July National Assn. of Manufacturers (NAM)/ Fortune Magazine survey, 86% of large manufacturers and 82% of smaller ones describe their outlook as positive.

By Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer
Mission Critical September 1, 2005

Sprinkler Retrofits Can Be Fast and Cost-Effective

If you haven't finished a fire sprinkler retrofit recently, chances are you'll be starting one soon. College dorms, in particular, are a hotbed of activity, as are downtown high-rises. Why all the interest? Basically, there are three reasons driving the increase in fire sprinkler retrofits: First, more people are safety-conscious and see fire sprinklers as a means to save lives.

By Gary Johnson, Steering Committee Member for Operation Life Safety, Member of the Board of Governors for the Int'l. Fire Sprinkler Assn., National Sales Manager for BlazeMaster, Cleveland
Mission Critical September 1, 2005

GSA LC Mandate Gets Mixed Reviews

The U.S. General Services Administration mandated the participation of certified lighting designers on its projects a few months ago, but this has created questions among those involved in lighting design. Already hazy on what exactly it means to bear the "LC" (Lighting Certified) credential after one's name, some electrical engineers are expressing further confusion in attempting to understand the ramifications of GSA's mandate. In response to a web story CSE ran last month, one reader queried: "Does one infer correctly that in addition to being a licensed professional engineer, one must now obtain certification from NCQLP in order to sign, seal and deliver GSA documents?" According to the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions (NCQLP), the makers of the LC exam, "The LC credential demonstrates to clients/customers and your peers that you have acquired the necessary knowledge, understanding and ability to apply lighting principles and techniques successfully." In other words, it verifies that one is a capable lighting designer.

By Alex Schultz, Editorial Intern
Mission Critical August 24, 2005

ASHRAE Tells Engineers: When it Comes to Smoke, Follow Local Codes

What do engineers need to know to balance the health impacts of smoking with the desires of building owners and with local laws and regulations? According to a new position document from ASHRAE, engineers should abide by local regulations and codes addressing environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). The organization also takes the position that designers should educate their clients about the substantial limitations and available benefits of engineering controls. ASHRAE’s Environmental Tobacco Smoke Position Document provides information on the health consequences of exposure of nonsmokers to tobacco smoke in indoor environments, and on the implications of this knowledge for the design, installation and operation of HVAC systems. While ASHRAE realizes that elimination of indoor smoking is the best way to minimize ETS exposure, it also recognizes that much of the population is exposed to ETS in workplaces, homes and public places. As such, the Society recommends that engineers work with clients to address ETS exposure. Engineers should take into account all laws and regulations in regard to indoor smoking and develop a strategy that will result in the lowest ETS exposure to building occupants within the context of building use. The document outlines four design and operation approaches to addressing ETS exposure in buildings: • Banning smoking indoors • Only allowing smoking in isolated rooms • Allowing smoking in separate but not isolated spaces • Allowing a mixed occupancy of smokers and nonsmokers The document also contains information on characteristics and concentrations of ETS in indoor spaces, health effects of involuntary smoking and considerations related to HVAC system design and operation.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical August 12, 2005

Year-End Bonuses Vary Significantly Among Design Firms

Most employees who receive cash bonus payments usually compute them as a percentage of their own individual salary (e.g., “I received a 14% cash bonus!”), according to the 2005 PSMJ A/E Bonus & Benefits Survey , which reports the lowest, average and highest cash bonus—as percentage of employee salary—paid to eligible individuals. The survey yields some surprising results: • For the overall survey, the bonus percentages ranged from a low of 2% to a high of 15% with firms providing an average of 8% bonuses. • With respect to firm size, the large firms (staff size over 500) award the largest average (12%) as well as the largest highest (40%) bonus percentages. • By type of service, the engineering (prime), A/E and full-service (A/E/P/I) firms report the widest variation in bonus awards from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile. Bonus awards vary from 2% to well over 20% in these engineering firms. Even though individuals compute their bonus as a percentage of their own individual salary, the firm should benchmark their total bonus awards compared to the other design firms competing for this same pool of employees.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical July 13, 2005

Is Long-Term Care Insurance the Right Choice?

In a June e-newsletter from SullivanKreiss Financial , financial consultantSiobhan Kelleher has some good benefit planning advice concerning long-term care insurance. Both the planners of benefit programs and the potential recipients of these benefits would do well to consider these issues. “A significant consideration in retirement planning is how to pay for long-term nursing care, should your health require it,” writes Kelleher. “According to research by the MetLife Mature Market Institute, once you reach age 65, you have a 50% chance of spending time in a nursing home and a 60% chance of needing some type of care at home or in a facility.” This issue is the biggest element of risk in many people's post-retirement financial strategy, Kelleher points out, but unfortunately, the high cost of skilled care can wreak havoc with a financial plan. She goes on to explain that long-term care insurance is a possible solution, but that it might not be the right answer for everyone. “Long-term care insurance, offered by private companies, covers all, or a portion of, the cost of skilled nursing care facilities and in-home assistance,” writes Kelleher.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical July 5, 2005

ASHRAE Forum Examines Gray Water Use

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

By Geoff Weisenberger, Staff Editor
Mission Critical July 1, 2005

Technology Transfusion

Whether it's allocating space for new technology, contending for U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification or weighing in on a project budget, today's engineers are being asked to get more involved in facility design—and involved from the beginning. For years architects were the ones who estimated the amount of space for mechanical and electrical equipment. Mechanical and electrical infrastructure were viewed almost as if they were necessary evils. Today, however, owners, designers and building managers have a much different view; they're putting more emphasis on the function of M/E/P systems within their facilities—and rightfully so. Communicating early with other team members allows the engineer to design systems that work for all parties, from the facility's administration, care-giving staff and operating engineers to its patients.

By Raj Gupta, P.E., LEED AP, President, and David Marshall, P.E., ASHE, Senior Vice President, Environmental Systems Design, Inc., Chicago
Mission Critical June 16, 2005

Energy Roundup: New Sources ofPower and Energy Efficiency

• Northern Power Systems , Waitsfield, Vt., a subsidiary of Distributed Energy Systems Corp, has entered into an agreement to design, engineer and construct a 400-kW solar power system at a 429,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in southern California owned by footwear maker Timberland. The 401.8-kW PV system will be installed on a new "TruckPort" steel mounting structure next to the warehouse, leveraging an unused area of the facility's truck yard by providing storage space for the facility as well as shaded parking for employees. • New Energy Capital Corp ., Waltham, Mass., has teamed with Energy and Power Solutions, Inc ., to finance three cogeneration facilities at large food processing plants—one in Southern California and two in Massachusetts.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical June 1, 2005

A Win-Wind Solution

An innovative new wind energy system, expected to be available later this summer, offers buildings and businesses a viable system for generating wind power on-site and provides a hedge against future utility price increases. The product of more than 20 years of research, the new turbine is safe and aesthetically pleasing, say its developers. Compact and quiet, the turbine can be installed beside buildings or on urban rooftops and is designed to produce energy with winds of six to 60 miles per hr. "It can reduce costs and provide a natural hedge against rising fuel costs for commercial and industrial users consuming at least 600,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually. Businesses, manufacturers, retailers, high-rise office and apartment buildings, local governments, hospitals, schools and universities can all benefit," says Gary Westerholm, CEO and president of McKenzie Bay International, Ltd. To aid in eliminating operating and capital risks for customers, McKenzie Bay will install, own and maintain the equipment.

By Ann Tappan, Contributing Writer
Mission Critical May 12, 2005

More A/E Firms are Turning to Market Research

On average, firms in the architecture and engineering industry are expected to double in size every ten years. The question many of these firms need to answer is where all of this growth is going to come from. “One of the first steps firm leaders take toward identifying opportunities is conducting market research,” says Mark Goodale, vice president with Natick, Mass.-based ZweigWhite. “We're getting more and more requests to scan the business environment for new trends and developments.” Goodale shares a few market research tips for firm leaders looking for growth opportunities: Join professional associations.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical May 10, 2005

HI Members Launch “Pump Systems Matter” Program

Thirty-three pump manufacturing and leading supplier companies, all members of the Hydraulic Institute (HI), will lead a National Pump Systems Educational and Market Transformation Initiative called Pump Systems Matter (PSM).The program will place a primary focus on pump systems education and outreach, addressing significant energy savings opportunities, and total cost of pump ownership.The initiative is seeking the active support and involvement of non-government organizations focused on market transformation and energy-efficiency, utilities, user companies, consulting engineering firms, other associations and state and federal agencies among others.The first PSM Organization Meeting will be held in conjunction with the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy's (ACEEE) Summer Study Program in West Point, N.Y. Announced today at the National Market Transformation Symposium in Washington, D.C.,Pump Systems Matter is the first industry-led market transformation initiative in the United States.The following HI member companies have agreed to become Charter Partners of the initiative and will serve on the PSM Steering Committee: • Applied Flow Technology • EagleBurgmann Industries LP • Emerson Motor Company • Flowserve Corporation • Grundfos Pumps • Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation • Inpro/Seal Company • Intelliquip, LLC • ITT Industries - Fluid Technology • Iwaki America Incorporated • John Crane, Inc. • KSB, Inc. • Moyno, Inc. • Peerless Pump Company • Pentair Pump Division • Rockwell Automation • S.A. Armstrong Limited • Sulzer Pumps (US), Inc. • TACO, Inc. • WILO-EMU USA LLC Optimization of pumping systems represents a significant opportunity for U.S. companies and municipalities to save money and energy while reducing maintenance costs and increasing productivity.

By From the Hydraulic Institute
Mission Critical May 9, 2005

The State of Green

With spring coming into full bloom, and of course, the recent observance of Earth Day, it’s an appropriate time to consider the state of sustainable design and LEED—Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. In a meeting last week with CSE advisor Anil Ahuja of CCJM Engineers, Chicago, we spoke of his company’s work in this area, which is significant, including a trio of schools in the far northern suburbs and the new Ford Calumet Center on Chicago’s Southeast side—a former heavy industrial area in a wetland environs. In fact, CCJM is currently working on a total of 10 LEED-hopeful projects. But despite the seeming cornucopia, Ahuja, a LEED-Accredited Professional, thinks firms aspiring to enter the green market need to go into the process with their eyes open and be prepared to get their hands dirty with a lot of hard work. “Developers, for the most part, just don’t care about LEED,” he said. “They just don’t see how they’re going to get more rent money by doing so.” For the most part, he’s found that green backers are generally owners who are committed to the environment.

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
Mission Critical April 25, 2005

Economist Forecasts a Bright Year for Nonresidential Construction

Nonresidential building construction has begun to expand, and the next three years should be good, said Jim Haughey, Ph.D., director of economics for Reed Business Information. Haughey delivered his forecast last week at Reed Construction Data’s 10th annual CEO Breakfast, held in conjunction with the Construction Specifications Institute’s national show in Chicago. Haughey pointed to a number of economic indicators that bode well for the U.S. economy in general and for the construction industry in particular.

By Scott Siddens, Senior Editor
Mission Critical April 1, 2005

King of the Hill

In fashion with the nationwide goal of getting a better handle on health-care costs, one of the country's largest health-care insurance companies, Pittsburgh-based Highmark, decided it would do all it could to achieve economies of scale in developing its new data center. The process began with a decision to remain on the site of an existing facility near Harrisburg, Pa.

By Doug McCoach, AIA, Vice President, RTKL, Baltimore
Mission Critical March 1, 2005

Around the World

American A/Es venturing beyond the Atlantic and Pacific shores are finding plenty to do these days, with an overseas market that is generally up, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. "The big news, which isn't necessarily new news, is that China is very hot," says Gene Schnair, AIA, a managing partner with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's San Francisco office.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Mission Critical March 1, 2005

Pennsylvania Joins States Pushing Greener Power

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be generating 18% of its energy from cleaner sources by 2020, according to legislation signed in December by Gov. Edward G. Rendell. With this move, Pennsylvania joins a growing list of states backing the development of more environmentally friendly energy resources.

By Staff
Mission Critical February 10, 2005

Industry Roundup: Alliances, Awards and Anniversaries

• Advance Transformer, Rosemont, Ill., will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2005. From its beginning as a producer of transformers for government contracts from a 4th floor storefront operation in Chicago, Advance has grown to employ more than 5,000, offer over 1,000 ballast and LED driver products and occupy more than 1 million sq. ft.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical February 1, 2005

Attention FAA: Turn Off the Lights!

Electrical savings are significant wherever efficiencies are practiced, and airports are no exception. I recently wrote to Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) on this subject, after the results of her Government Accountability Office (GAO) commissioned study, published last fall, on the inability of many Americans to consume less electricity in off-peak hours.

By Charles Fehner, P.E., Fehner Assocs., Winter Park, Fla.
Mission Critical February 1, 2005

Industry Events – 2005-02-01 – 2005-02-01

For a complete listing of events go to and click Events.

By Staff
Mission Critical January 1, 2005

The Long View of Energy

A detailed consensus strategy was recently released with recommendations for major long-term challenges to the formulation of a national energy policy. Ending the Energy Stalemate: A Bipartisan Strategy to Meet America's Energy Challenges is the result of efforts by a commission comprised of energy experts from industry, government, labor, academia and environmental and consumer organizations a...

By Staff
Mission Critical December 16, 2004

Consulting-Specifying Engineer Site Map

Want a quick overview of what's on our site? Find it all in the map below. Registration Subscribe Log In Channels Electrical Fire, Life Safety and Security HVAC and Building Automation Lighting Plumbing Power Quality Market Sectors Health Care Education (K-12 and Universities) Industrial/Manufacturing/Pharmaceutical Transportation/Airports, Train Hubs Office Hospitality/Retail Government/Military/Justice Facilities Issue Archives Specifier's Guide Events About CSE Contact CSE Advertise w/CSE CSE's Reprints Reader Service.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical December 16, 2004

Webcast: Fire and Life-Safety in the Wake of High-Profile Tragedies

Webcast originally aired LIVE This Webcast is only available on CD-rom: Purchase a CD-Rom of this Webcast Consulting-Specifying Engineer makes it easy to earn learning units right at your desk-- learn how ! Earn learning units for this Webcast: Take the CEU Exam now. High-rise fires in major cities, club tragedies with major casualties. These and other recent high-profile incidents have shifted the attention of building owners, and the attention of the nation, to fire and life-safety protection issues in today’s buildings. How can the Professional Engineer best respond to these heightened demands from the building community and state and local governments? Find out in an exclusive webcast event from Consulting-Specifying Engineer. Earn valuable learning unit's for your participation. Interact and ask questions from leading experts on the subject.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical December 6, 2004

Health Care and Education Should Be Hot Design Markets in 2005

Consulting-Specifying Engineer -- 12/6/2004 Health care, K-12 and higher education will be among the hottest markets for design and construction firms in 2005, say analysts from Natick, Mass.-based A/E consultant ZweigWhite. Power, air pollution and ports markets, however, will struggle. According to ZweigWhite's latest report, 2005 AEC Industry Outlook: Strategy and Insight for Design & Construction Firms, the architecture, engineering and construction business has outperformed the U.S. economy as a whole in recent years, including in 2004.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical December 1, 2004

Home-Sized Cogen Could Be Hot Product

A team of government engineers and appliance manufacturers is hoping to develop combined heat-and-power units sized for U.S. homes and designed to be compatible with forced hot-air heating systems. The U.S. Dept. of Energy is leading the group, which also includes the product and technology-development firm TIAX, HVAC supplier Rheem Manufacturing company, and GAMA, an appliance-manufacturer tra...

By Staff
Mission Critical November 16, 2004


Advertise w/ CSE Thank you for your interest in Consulting-Specifying Engineer (CSE) and for wanting to learn more about the smart solutions that CSE offers to reach your most important customer—the Professional Engineer (P.E.) Fill out the form at the bottom of this page to request entry to CSE's Media Planning Guide and product demos. You will immediately receive a passcode in your e-mail box.For those who already have a passcode and need access to the Planning Guide and product demos immediately: Planning Guide and Product Demos . At In print, online and in person, CSE is your connection to your most important customer — the Professional Engineer who makes design, specification, and product selection decisions about the equipment you market every day. The subscribers of CSE all have one thing in common — they are Professional Engineers designing and specifying all of the mechanical and electrical systems including the Automation and Controls, Electrical, HVAC, Lighting, Fire, Security & Life-Safety, and Communications, and Plumbing products for today’s Commercial, Industrial, Institutional, Governmental and Public Utility buildings. If your goal is getting specified and staying specified, during the construction process (prebid through product installation), then CSE is the right choice for your advertising and sponsorship investment. The Professional Engineer has the greatest impact on specification and purchasing decisions.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical November 3, 2004

Market Sectors

Health care Education (K-12 and Universities) Industrial/Manufacturing/Pharmaceutical Transportation/Airports, Train Hubs Office Hospitality/Retail Government/Military/Justice Facilities.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical November 2, 2004

CSE Homepage Wildcard

Healthcare Event one goes here Event two goes here Event three/more goes here Education Headline one goes here Headline two goes here Headline three/more goes here Industrial Research one goes here Research two goes here Research three/more goes here Transportation Sustainable one goes here Sustainable two goes here Sustainable three/more goes here Office Headline one goes here Headline two goes here Headline three/more goes here Hospitality/Retail Codes & Standards one goes here C & S two goes here C & S three/more goes here Government Test Test Test eNewsletters Coming Soon Product Showcases Coming Soon.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical November 1, 2004

Ready for Takeoff

How does one get from a "green" building that merely looks environmentally friendly to an intelligent, high-performance building? The answer is already before us—traditional building automation. BAS may not be the first thing that comes to mind when contemplating green products, but its importance has clearly been recognized by one of the leading agencies on sustainable design, the U.

By Donald G. Posson, P.E., CIPE, LEED AP, Engineering Design Principal, Kling, Washington, D.C., Alberto Rios, P.E., LEED AP, Automation & Controls Chief Engineer, Kling, Philadelphia
Mission Critical October 25, 2004

IT Report: CAD News

Any DWG Software, Inc. has come out with an Any DWG to PDF Converter for use with the Windows operating system. The application provides AutoCAD users with the tools to convert CAD drawings to PDF files.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical October 12, 2004

Terms of and Conditions of Use

The following terms and conditions of use (the " Terms and Conditions ") govern your (" You ") use of the Consulting-Specifying Engineer ), which shall include, without limitation, several Reed Business Information publications within one common industry category, and all content thereon (the " Site ") as provided by Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. (" Reed Business Information " or " we "). BY USING THE SITE, YOU ACCEPT AND AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS AS APPLIED TO YOUR USE OF THE SITE.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical September 1, 2004

A New Law Affects Standards Writing

Way back in the Sept. 1990 issue of CSE, I discussed potential liability for organizations involved in codes and standards development. However, Congress passed a new law this year that will directly affect how the earlier court rulings are applied. In my article of 14 years ago, I highlighted the case of Hydrolevel v.

By Kenneth M. Elovitz, Esq., P.E., Energy Economics, Inc., Foxboro, Mass.
Mission Critical August 1, 2004

Power Coalition Formed

On the anniversary of last year's East Coast blackout, representatives of the critical power industry announced the formation of the Critical Power Coalition (CPC), an organization dedicated to developing public policy and establishing a unified voice to ensure the quality, reliability and continuity of power within critical industries, businesses and public services.

By Staff
Mission Critical August 1, 2004

Briefly … – 2004-08-01

The Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC), Washington, D.C., has issued a call for entries for its 2004 Awards. Winners in three categories—institutional, residential and government—will be honored on Oct. 13 for contributions to sustainable design.

By Staff
Mission Critical July 1, 2004

A Standard of Care for Energy

The minimum acceptable criteria for energy efficient design should be defined because there are many conflicting publications and codes available. Since 1975, the generally accepted standard of care for designing commercial buildings for energy efficiency has been ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

By Lawrence G. Spielvogel, P.E., L. G. Spielvogel, Inc., King of Prussia, Pa.
Mission Critical June 1, 2004

Asia Where It’s At

Earlier this month, real estate technology/automation conference Realcomm brought its message of intelligent buildings to high-tech San Francisco. While the intelligent building phenomenon is seeing progress in this city and neighboring Silicon Valley, it's generally "somewhere between myth and reality" here in the United States, according to the show's co-founder and Producer Jim Young, the Ja...

By Staff
Mission Critical May 1, 2004

What’s the Alternative?

CONSULTING-SPECIFYING ENGINEER: What advantages do non-metallic piping systems offer over traditional plumbing? DeANGELIS: CPVC and PEX are growing in popularity as acceptance levels increase for these non-metallic piping systems. CPVC delivers long-term performance benefits, such as not being susceptible to corrosion, pitting or scaling.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Mission Critical April 1, 2004

NYC Courthouse Gets a Lift

An involved criminal or civil court case can take a toll on the individuals involved. Similarly, the thousands of people involved annually in such court cases, be they jurists, lawyers or bailiffs, can equally cause wear and tear on a building and its systems. Such was the case with the 40-year-old Manhattan Civil Court Building at 111 Centre Street.

By Keith Fitzpatrick, P.E., Vice President and Mike Giunta, Associate, Syska Hennessy Group, New York
Mission Critical March 1, 2004

Below the Surface

Geothermal experts share system specification tips for this ever-emerging, energy-efficient, sustainable technology. CONSULTING-SPECIFYING ENGINEER: It's been said that geothermal technology has been gaining popularity over the past few years at a rate of roughly 20% per year among building owners and design professionals alike.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Mission Critical February 1, 2004

Dollars and Sense

When it comes to the design of many commercial buildings, a number of owners believe that future capital generated by their buildings will offset increasing operating and maintenance costs. Future anticipated O&M costs are therefore of little concern and are often not included in initial capital cost evaluations.

By Carlos Petty, P.E., Associate Partner, Syska Hennessy Group, Inc., New York
Mission Critical February 1, 2004

Reliability: A Critical Mission

The actual cause of last August's unprecedented power outage remains unknown. A hapless squirrel, a fallen tree branch or a worn-out insulator—all of these have been suggested as possible initiators in an event that cascaded to include much of the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. Even if an exact cause can't be pinpointed, there are some obvious lessons to be learned from th...

By Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer
Mission Critical December 1, 2003

Transmission-System Upgrades Can Often Face Powerful Opposition

Months after this summer's massive North American blackout, the nation's electric transmission system remains the focus of attention. Most involved agree on the need for more—and newer—lines. But there is considerable disagreement among leading industry groups on just how much needed upgrades will cost.

By Staff
Mission Critical December 1, 2003

Tech Train Rolls Stateside

The Technology Train is coming to town. In an effort to showcase its products and services to technology decision makers through out the country, Siemens Energy and Automation, Atlanta, will take a 1,000-ft. exhibit-on-rails to 10 U.S. cities between February and May next year. The firm's goal is to board more than 15,000 selected guests including construction managers, contractors, consulting ...

By Staff
Mission Critical October 1, 2003

A World Without Wires?

Communications and networking experts offer a glimpse into the current state of wireless technology—common applications, relevant codes and standards and obstacles to more widespread use. CSE: Compared with more conventional cabling, what are some of the advantages—and disadvantages—of wireless? CALOZ: When designing a voice or data network, the considerations are application,...

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Mission Critical September 1, 2003

Protecting the National Power Grid

Energy department investigators will require some time in pinpointing exact causes for the largest blackout in U.S. history on Thursday afternoon, Aug. 14. After all, an investigation of a 1996 outage in the western United States that knocked out power to four million customers took two months to complete.

By Staff
Mission Critical August 1, 2003

Working with the Authority Having Jurisdiction

Wouldn't it be great if we could just practice our profession without interruption—just do the engineering, supervise the work and turn the system over to the owner? But the law complicates things—and with good reason, of course. We apply for construction permits, inspections and certificates of occupancy for new construction and alterations.

By Robert C. Sheldon, P.E., Director of Building Systems Integration, The Austin Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Mission Critical August 1, 2003

Contractor Control

Members of Congress and several construction industry organizations are pushing for tighter restrictions on the behavior of federal contractors. The Project on Government Oversight (POGO), an independent, non-profit watchdog, recently found 70 instances of misconduct and alleged misconduct perpetrated by some of the top 10 federal contractors.

By Staff
Mission Critical July 1, 2003

Minnesota ‘Re-hires’ Consulting Engineers

The clock ran out on Minnesota's moratorium on government consulting contracts June 30, and after much debate, state legislators chose not to extend the ban. In our November, 2002 issue, CSE reported that Minnesota had suspended consulting contracts, a move which reduced work for M/E engineers in that state.

By Staff
Mission Critical July 1, 2003

Get the Idea . . .

On many projects, lighting responsibilities fall to the electrical engineer. Depending on the talent and experience of the engineer, that can be a good thing, or it can be an extra and sometimes onerous duty. "There's just so much product out there that it's hard for an electrical engineer to keep on top of," says Shawn Good, P.

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
Mission Critical July 1, 2003

Shedding Light on Efficiency

In the quest to achieve the ever-efficient office lighting environment, both ASHRAE and the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) are pushing the envelope to encourage lighting designers and building owners to continually improve lighting efficiency levels. For example, ASHRAE 90.1 2001—which in 2004 will become the default guideline for states that do not adopt their own energy co...

By Ken Lovorn, P.E., President, Lovorn Engineering Associates, Pittsburgh
Mission Critical July 1, 2003

Water Woes a Barrier to Overcome

Although difficult to believe after a winter of snows and a spring of record rains in the Northeast, water shortages had a significant impact on development in many regions of the country in the summer of 2001. The concern over dwindling water reserves and continuing drought-like conditions spurred the city of Frederick, Md.

By Michael Sheerin, P.E., Healthcare Division Director, TLC Engineering for Architecture, Orlando, and Brian Harrington, Senior Plumbing Designer
Mission Critical July 1, 2003

There’s Something in the Water

When it comes to potable water for commercial facilities, for the most part, no additional treatment is required or provided between the local water utility and the facility. Unless you've got a filtered water cooler, what you get from the spigot is what you drink. One exception to this is in healthcare facilities.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Production/Web Editor
Mission Critical June 1, 2003

NERC Acts on Electronic Security Concerns

The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) has unveiled a proposed standard that is designed to address security concerns raised by sometimes-aging transmission and distribution computer systems. Member organizations would have through the first quarter of 2004 to follow through on the standard's requirements.

By Staff
Mission Critical May 1, 2003

Doin’ Time

Monolithic. Blocky. Cold. These are all words that jump to mind when one thinks of prisons and jails. And most people are probably guilty of categorizing these facilities as relatively simple structures—concrete or stone boxes. But in reality, prisons and jails are much more than guard towers and razor wire.

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
Mission Critical May 1, 2003

Avoid the Dot-Com Disaster: Manage Risk Properly

Much has been written about the demise of the "new economy" and the return to the old. The fact is that while the new economy—exemplified by the dot-com bubble of the '90s—enjoyed the spotlight for a few years, the old economy never really died. It was only pushed to the footlights, while business pundits and young executives exercised new options for operating their businesses.

By Donald L'Abbate, Senior Partner, L'Abbate, Balkan, Colavita & Contini, L.L.P., Garden City, N.Y.
Mission Critical May 1, 2003

NFPA 5000 Is Making Headway, Slowly

The need for a unified building code has long been desired, but until recently, had not been met. Fortunately, the advent of NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code, as well as the International Building Code (IBC), filled this void (see "NYC Considers IBC on the Eve of 2003 Revision," CSE 02/03 p.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Production/Web Editor
Mission Critical April 1, 2003

Healthcare Costs: Hold the Line

Healthcare is a two-edged sword for engineering firms these days. As our cover story (p. 34) attests, the sector, without question, is a red-hot, seemingly recession-proof economic engine for those in the AEC community. At the same time, according to design industry analyst ZweigWhite Assocs., providing healthcare coverage for their employees is one of the biggest challenges facing many AEC firms.

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
Mission Critical April 1, 2003

Hospitable Climate

Last year the American Hospital Assn. (AHA) reported that there are currently 900 fewer hospitals in the United States than there were in 1980, so it's no surprise that demand for new or improved facilities is hot. "I've been involved in the healthcare market for 40 years, and I've never seen such a strong market in my life," says Robert Levine, a vice president with Turner Health Care, Nashvil...

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
Mission Critical March 14, 2003

Manufacturing Survey: Crisis May be Coming Soon

Representatives from the National Association of Manufacturers, at the recent National Manufacturing Week show in Chicago, announced the results of a survey of their membership. The responses were not encouraging.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical February 3, 2003

Canadian Roadmap for Building Automation

The Continental Automated Building Association (CABA), Ottawa, Canada, and the Canadian government has announced the completion of the Technology Roadmap (TRM) for Intelligent Buildings.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical February 1, 2003

PowerGen Hints at Industrial Trends

The comments of exhibitors and attendees at the recent PowerGen International show in Orlando revealed quite a bit about the industrial big picture. Distributed generation (DG) and cogeneration remained hot topics but are still obstructed by a number of barriers, particularly the IEEE 547 interconnection standard.

By Staff
Mission Critical February 1, 2003

Feds Get Tough on California Water Use

After years of excessive water use in California and a lack of a conservation plan, the federal government has responded sternly by officially reducing the flow of surplus water to the state from the Colorado River. If California can agree upon a formal plan to reduce its water consumption by 2015, as it pledged to the Clinton administration, the Dept.

By Staff
Mission Critical January 1, 2003

Briefly … – 2003-01-01

U.S. construction spending rose 0.3% in November to a $843.2 billion rate, according to the Commerce Dept. The surprise gain follows an upwardly revised figure for October, and may result in more optimistic estimates for the fourth quarter of 2002. Wireless Internet access may pose a threat to the functioning of military radar, say U.

By Staff
Mission Critical January 1, 2003

A Bigger Box?

For those of you living in regions where it's cold this time of year, I'm sure you've experienced a snowfall at some point this winter. And true to my sometimes curmudgeonly manner, I loathe snow. But so far this season, this has not been the case. In fact, I must confess that the few snowfalls we've had have been very refreshing.

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
Mission Critical December 1, 2002

Keep the Faith

An unfortunate engineer and an economist travelling in South America on business were captured for ransom by a group of rebels. After two weeks and no response, the rebel leader informed the pair that they would be executed. As was tradition, a last request was proffered. The economist noted he was on his way to present a five-year forecast to executives at a locally based corporation when he w...

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
Mission Critical October 9, 2002

Fortune 5000 Execs on the Kyoto Protocol

Although opinions about the Kyoto Protocol—the international treaty addressing global warming—are split among Fortune 5000 executives, the majority of these business leaders support many of the provisions within the protocol, according to American Viewpoint, a Washington, D.C.-based Republican polling firm.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical October 1, 2002

Briefly … – 2002-10-01

ASHRAE's BACnet building controls protocol is now being considered for adoption as a standard by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the European Committee for Standardization. In December, both organizations will vote on whether to adopt BACnet. Fortune 5000 business executives espoused their views on the Kyoto Protocol in a recent market survey, with 34% supporting i...

By Staff
Mission Critical September 25, 2002

Motor Decisions Do Matter

With significant opportunities for energy and cost savings, not to mention environmental benefits, the Boston-based Consortium for Energy Efficiency’s Motor Decisions Matter campaign has continued to promote the benefits of premium-efficiency motors.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical September 1, 2002

Court Decision Threatens Code Developers’ Copyrights

Building codes enter the public domain once they've been adopted by a local jurisdiction, according to a recent decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In Veeck v. Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI), the court ruled in favor of Texan Peter Veeck, who posted SBCCI's building codes on his web site after the code had been adopted by his local municipality.

By Staff
Mission Critical September 1, 2002

Powered Up for Non-Stop Info

The LexisNexis data center in Miamisburg, Ohio, operates 24 hours a day to supply 2.6 million subscribers with legal, corporate, government and academic information. The 45,000-sq.-ft. facility has hundreds of mainframes, servers, workstations and storage devices. Jerry Zahora, consulting systems engineer at LexisNexis, faced a huge task: The only exception to the center's round-the-clock servi...

By Staff
Mission Critical August 1, 2002

Choosing Cogen

Cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power, is the simultaneous production and utilization of power and heat, typically in the form of electricity and either steam or hot water. Because the heat generated by the production of electricity is captured and utilized—and not expelled as waste heat—successful cogeneration results in a much higher fuel efficiency and lower energy ...

By Charles Braunstein, P.E., C.E.M. President, Dome Tech Engineering, Edison, N.J.
Mission Critical July 1, 2002

Forum Extols the Virtues of Energy Efficiency

Energy conservation, environmental concerns and economic growth were the main agenda when more than 350 industry, government and environmental leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., at a recent energy efficiency forum. Among the speakers at the event, "Evolution of the Energy Economy: Ensuring Security and Stability," U.

By Staff
Mission Critical June 1, 2002

California’s Wise Use

California businesses and facility owners have responded to the energy crisis in productive ways: They are conserving energy and creating efficiencies that have greatly reduced power consumption in California during this last year. Rather than just calling for greater generating capacity—no matter how "dirty" the power—in many cases, they are figuring out ways to become efficient, a...

By Staff
Mission Critical May 13, 2002

Canada Expands Energy-Efficiency Programs

In support of greater energy efficiency for facilities and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the Canadian government has established a new Industrial Building Incentive program and an expanded Commercial Building Incentive program offering subsidies to facilities demonstrating efficiencies of at least 25% greater than Model National Energy Code for Buildings standards.

By Staff
Mission Critical May 1, 2002

Professional Practices: Insurance Carriers Put Less of a Premium on Fire Protection Engineering

Insurance carriers have traditionally had a major influence on fire protection design, but recently, the amount and quality of their fire protection services are diminishing.

By Dominique Dieken, P.E., CFPS, HSB Professional Loss Control, Kingston, Tenn.
Mission Critical May 1, 2002

Insurance Carriers Put Less of a Premium on Fire Protection Engineering

Regardless of whether owners or designers welcomed it, insurance carriers have traditionally had a major influence on fire protection design. Based on knowledge accumulated for more than a century, the insurance industry built a stable of fire protection experts, including engineers, who could offer solutions to complex design problems.

By Dominique Dieken, P.E., CFPS, HSB Professional Loss Control, Kingston, Tenn.
Mission Critical May 1, 2002

Fight the Good (Green) Fight

As you read this, Earth Day will have already passed, but its spirit, I would hope, carries on through the rest of the year. Depending on what camp you side with, Earth Day is celebrated March 22, in conjunction with the Vernal Equinox—or April 22—somehow expanding the role of Arbor Day. Either way, the concept remains the same—reflect on the state of our planet and what we mi...

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
Mission Critical April 5, 2002

ASHRAE Promotes the Use of Ammonia

Promoting the use of ammonia as a refrigerant in air conditioning and refrigeration applications, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has released a refrigeration position document.

By Staff
Mission Critical March 21, 2002

Water Infrastructure Funding May Be Insufficient

Funding slated for U.S. drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, as dictated by the Bush administration's fiscal year 2003 budget, may fall short of what's really needed, according to a recent statement released by the Water Infrastructure Network.

By Staff
Mission Critical March 18, 2002

NFPA and ASHRAE to Develop Energy Code

The National Fire Protection Agency and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have announced an agreement to collaborate on the development of an energy code, which will include ASHRAE Energy Standards 90.1 and 90.2.

By Staff
Mission Critical March 1, 2002

Is DG for Everybody?

Everyone seems to want everyone else to get involved in distributed generation (DG). And many organizations, agencies and public officials have been on the bandwagon lately, the following being but a few examples:Owners, consulting engineers and installation contractors can build a power plant on a company's site, but all must ask whether it is the wise choice.

By Joe Salimando, Project Editor
Mission Critical March 1, 2002

Front-End Help Against Power Shortages

In waste management, there have been two major ways to reduce the volume of waste flowing to a landfill: recycling some of it, or designing products that have less material to dispose of. Now, the same thing appears to be happening in the electrical industry. Consider these recent developments:Arthur D.

By Staff
Mission Critical February 25, 2002

Energize America Connects Energy Users with Energy-Efficient Providers

In order to help promote energy efficiency in buildings, the Energize America Educational Institute (EAEI) has launched a new Internet portal to help connect energy users with energy service companies, manufacturers of energy-efficient products, environmental government agencies and sources of project financing.

By Staff
Mission Critical February 1, 2002

Specifying Ends and Means

The term performance-based is commonly used to describe codes and standards that seek to define the purpose and scope of a building system, without specifically prescribing its details. Performance-based specifying pushes the concept a step further, using it to describe the nature of the actual specification that an engineer writes.

By Scott Siddens, Senior Editor
Mission Critical February 1, 2002

Web Threads – 2002-02-01

A monthly compendium of facts and figures

By Staff
Mission Critical December 1, 2001

Bank on it

Global banker Mellon Financial Corporation is no stranger to the shores of the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. In fact, its primary operations were housed for years in a cluster of facilities in downtown Pittsburgh, the heart of this "Golden Triangle." The separate high-rise structures, however, did not mesh well with a key functional requirement of Mellon's modern banking operati...

By Jeromie Winsor, Web Editor
Mission Critical December 1, 2001

Value Engineering: Mistaken Identity?

Our December "Specifier's Notebook" continues the discussion on the value of value engineering.

By Harold Tufty, CVS, FSAVE, Editor, Value Engineering & Management Digest, Washington, D.C.
Mission Critical December 1, 2001

Caution: Turbulent Waters Ahead

It had to end sometime, but we'd all rather it had gone out with a whimper than a bang. The nation's decade-long run of good economic luck—historians will record it as America's longest period of economic prosperity—has come to an abrupt halt. And now the best that can be reasonably hoped for is that the nation is in the middle of—not just beginning—the current p...

By Daryl Delano, Cahners Economics
Mission Critical November 1, 2001

Rising Sun

The sun, of course, lies literally at the center of our solar system. Figuratively, one could also say it lies at the center of our universe. And although the sun is approximately 93 million miles away from Earth, it bestows upon us more energy—in the form of light and heat—than we could ever possibly need.

By Jeromie Winsor, Web Editor
Mission Critical September 17, 2001

Bill Challenges Low-Flow Toilets

In another attempt to amend federal water conservation that limit end-users to 1.6 gallon-per-flush toilets, a bill has been reintroduced proposing to legalize traditional 3.5 gallon-per-flush toilets.

By Staff
Mission Critical September 1, 2001

Making the Most of Fuels

In light of recent energy shortages in various areas of the country, end users are searching for new ways to not only save on energy costs, but to recycle waste energy. In this month's M/E Roundtable, engineers discuss the trends and issues end users must understand when considering cogeneration or trigeneration systems.

By Mindi Altman Zissman, Assistant Editor
Mission Critical July 23, 2001

New York Prioritizes Energy Efficiency

In an effort to prioritize energy efficiency, the governor of New York recently issued an executive order which mandates that state agencies purchase at least 10 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2005, and 20 percent by 2010.

By Staff
Mission Critical July 1, 2001

A Call for More Water and Wastewater Funding

The federal government has been called upon to help address a $23 billion shortage of funds every year that is needed to maintain the nation's water and wastewater infrastructure. The Water Infrastructure Network (WIN)—a coalition of elected officials, manufacturers and construction and engineering professionals—has asked for $57 billion in federal investments over the next five y...

By Staff
Mission Critical July 1, 2001

Before the Doors Open

Designing attractions for theme parks presents a fun and interesting set of challenges

By Peter McDonnell, P.E., Principal and Senior Mechanical Engineer, Tilden Lobnitz Cooper, Orlando, Fla.
Mission Critical June 1, 2001

When the Power Goes Out

Exactly what happens when utility power supply becomes unreliable? It's a question that those in the power-reliability business have dealt with on a one-at-a-time basis. In the late 1990s, many of the answers were based on suppositions.Suddenly, however, a mega-case study has appeared: California.

By Joe Salimando, Project Editor
Mission Critical June 1, 2001

New Mexico DG Project Networks Standby Units

When completed, a project in New Mexico that links distributed-generation assets—including standby generators—will provide 25 MW of "dispatchable" peaking power to Public Service Company of New Mexico.Industrial and commercial concerns with standby generators will join a network, put together by Portland, Ore.

By Staff
Mission Critical June 1, 2001

Fresh Approaches to New Needs

Continuous change in needs and technology are a constant part of building design and engineered systems. As new demands are dictated by building occupants, owners and government institutions, different approaches step in to fill the need. Simultaneously, developments in technology bring expectations of building-system performance to continuously higher levels.

By David Niemann, P.E., and Scott Clark, P.E., CEM, Carter & Burgess, Dallas, Texas
Mission Critical May 1, 2001

Energy to Spare

Energy efficiency was the focus of opening remarks at this year's American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Winter Meeting. ASHRAE officials discussed the effectiveness of the current ASHRAE Standard 90.1-1999, "Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings," and the need to both simplify requirements and push for greater energy co...

By SCOTT SIDDENS, Senior Editor
Mission Critical May 1, 2001

M/E Roundtable: Energy to Spare

Volatile energy costs are making efficiency the watchword in HVAC systems design

By Staff
Mission Critical March 1, 2001

High-Speed Cabling for Engineers

The new headquarters of engineering firm Brown & Caldwell in Walnut Creek, Calif., is a design-build project that boasts a sophisticated, high-speed structured cabling system.The enhanced Category 5 system includes a one-gigabyte backbone and provides a high-speed 100-megabyte throughput to each desktop in a local area network comprised of 300 stations.

By Staff
Mission Critical March 1, 2001

Zero Waste and Green Buildings

Leading engineers discuss strategies for minimizing industrial and commercial sources of pollution

By C.C. Sullivan, Editorial Director
Mission Critical March 1, 2001

Utility Ends Dereg Deal

More than two years ago, municipal utility Seattle City Light signed a two-year deal to supply electricity to all 38 Nordstrom stores in the state of California. However, the utility has refused to renew the deal, which expires in March 2001, "largely because we don't see a prospect of having surplus energy beyond our system requirements," a city official told The Seattle Times.

By Staff
Mission Critical March 1, 2001

Visit the New C-SE Online—a Growing Resource

Consulting-Specifying Engineer's (C-SE) home page on the Web,, has been redesigned and improved to offer more engineering tools and content. Visit the site to find these improvements: Full-length feature articles. C-SE has added all of its coverage from the magazine to its site, giving our readers the chance to read our content from anywhere.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Mission Critical February 10, 2001

Major Trends in the Security Industry

January: Security A major security-component developer offers a look at recent movements in the market.

By Staff
Mission Critical February 7, 2001

Deep Links

O ur Deep Links' section offers Web-only articles and collections of links. Visit here every month to find supplementary technical, manufacturer and product information related to specific stories. Deep Links' ArticlesImportant Links Deep Links: Interoperable Controls Our June issue featured some 'field reports' on the progress of interoperable controls, and this group of web links offers some follow-up information. 2D or 3D: Do You Really Have to Choose? Following up on our May M/E Roundtable on CAD development, this Deep Link from Autodesk offers thoughts on 'model-based design.' Visionary System Lights the Way In CSE's May issue, consulting editor Al Borden wrote about the advent of modern lighting-control systems, and this Deep Link offers a high-tech example: the new Vulcan, Inc. headquarters in Seattle. Fast Schedules for Laboratory Projects Participants in our April M/E Roundtable discussed the design challenges of modern laboratories.

By Staff
Mission Critical February 6, 2001

EPA Forms Chiller Partnership

With one eye on the environment and the other on energy-efficiency, 18 government agencies, corporations and professional and environmental organizations from around the world have teamed up under the leadership of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to form the Building Air Conditioner Climate Partnership.

By Staff
Mission Critical January 25, 2001

Overestimating Design-Build

Even though design-build activity continues to grow, a recent Zweig White & Associates (ZWA) survey concludes that there is little evidence suggesting design-build will ever become the project delivery method of choice in the industry.

By Staff
Mission Critical January 1, 2001

Promoting Performance-Based Design-at Home

As the leader among industrialized countries in fire death rates, the United States is lagging significantly behind other nations in the adoption of performance-based fire-safety practices, according to a recent report released by the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Center for Firesafety Studies, Worcester, Mass.

By Staff
Mission Critical January 1, 2001

Feeling Secure

Security has become a part of every organization-large or small-and security systems have become an integral part of security programs. Such programs consist of people, policy and hardware. Technologically, the ability to cost-effectively monitor and document activity complements a security program. A typica...

By Patrick Markham, Kroll Schiff & Associates, Chicago
Mission Critical January 1, 2001

M/E Roundtable: Cooling Data and Dot-Coms

As data centers, clean manufacturing and telecommunications come to dominate many an engineer's design work, unique issues are impacting heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. From air purity and cable management to thermal decay and fire suppression, mechanical designers must...

By C.C. Sullivan
Mission Critical January 1, 2001

Cooling Data and Dot-Coms

As data centers, clean manufacturing and telecommunications come to dominate many an engineer's design work, unique issues are impacting heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. From air purity and cable management to thermal decay and fire suppression, mechanical designers must smooth technical snags and hold down installed costs.

By C.C. SULLIVAN, Editorial Director
Mission Critical December 1, 2000

Questioning Project Web Sites

Design professionals know the fees that they earn for construction administration rarely compensate them for the time spent and headaches incurred. An exciting, but controversial tool for construction administration is the project Web site.

By MARK C. FRIEDLANDER, Partner, and JAMES D. WEIER, Associate, Construction Group, Schiff Hardin and Waite, Chicago
Mission Critical November 1, 2000

New products & literature – 2000-11-01

Combined plumbing/fire-sprinkler system is based on a stainless-steel four-port fitting attached to the sprinkler head. Cold-water manifolds feed the 1/2-in. tubing directly to the fitting, while remaining outlets on the fittings are used to feed other sprinkler heads or cold-water plumbing fixtures.

By Staff
Mission Critical November 1, 2000

Putting a Face on Engineering

While the building and construction industry is well aware of engineers' invaluable work, unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the general public, according to recent polls."Clearly, engineers don't get credit for the magnificent things they do," explains Lee Herring, director of public affairs for the American Consulting Engineers Council, Washington, D.C.

By Staff
Mission Critical November 1, 2000

Answering the Central Question

Examples of centralized and distributed strategies permeate our environment. Even our own bodies are arranged with a central cardiopulmonary apparatus, widely distributed sweat glands and regional lymph nodes.

By George P. Karidis, P.E. and John D. Richards, P.E. SmithGroup Detroit
Mission Critical October 1, 2000

Mandating Dorm Sprinkler Protection

In response to a number of tragic campus fires that occurred this past year, the state of New Jersey has become the latest to adopt legislation mandating and supporting the installation of sprinkler systems in college housing facilities.Similar to recent initiatives in Chapel Hill, N.C., Durham, N.C., Boulder, Colo. and Lawrence, Kan.

By Staff