2013 Archives

December 2013

Commissioning buildings, systems using ASHRAE Standard 202

ASHRAE Standard 202-2013 was recently released, which offers guidance on the building commissioning process. » more

Incomplete testing and evaluation of VAV system requires reset

An overhaul of the air handlers at a community college reaped energy savings and improved occupancy comfort. » more

Fan controls don’t measure up

The fan controls at an airport terminal had never been reviewed, and needed to be updated with variable frequency drives. » more

Snowmelt system controls adjusted to save energy

At this large office campus, the sidewalk snowmelt system had never been reviewed or commissioned.  » more

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November 2013

Tom Boyle, Southeast regional sales manager, Fike, Blue Springs, Mo. Courtesy: Fike

Manufacturers’ prescription for hospital, health care facility success

Two manufacturers provide tips on how engineers can make their hospital and health care facility projects more successful. » more

Courtesy: Department of Energy, RMF Engineering

Prescription for sustainable hospital, health care facility success

Hospital and health care facility projects are especially important due to their sensitive nature. Clients are demanding that their facilities are energy-efficient. » more

Michael Lentz, Associate, RMF Engineering, Baltimore. Courtesy: RMF Engineering

Prescription for hospital, health care HVAC success

Hospital and health care facility projects are especially important due to their sensitive nature. The HVAC system—especially indoor air quality—must have reliable design. » more

Michael Lentz, Associate, RMF Engineering, Baltimore. Courtesy: RMF Engineering

Prescription for fire/life safety design in hospitals, health care facilities

Hospital and health care facility projects are especially important due to their sensitive nature. Fire and life safety are key in hospital design. » more

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October 2013

Specifying systems for new, existing office buildings

Office buildings might seem like simple structures from the outside, but engineers engaged in such projects know they can be highly complex, with specialized fire/life safety requirements, laboratory spaces, and other unique… » more

Specifying building automation, control systems for new, existing office buildings

Office buildings might seem like simple structures from the outside, but engineers engaged in such projects know they can be highly complex. This Q&A covers building automation systems (BAS) and controls. » more

Specifying electrical and power systems for new, existing office buildings

Office buildings might seem like simple structures from the outside, but engineers engaged in such projects know they can be highly complex, with specialized fire/life safety requirements, laboratory spaces, and other unique… » more

Specifying fire, life safety systems for new, existing office buildings

Office buildings might seem like simple structures from the outside, but engineers engaged in such projects know they can be highly complex, with specialized fire/life safety requirements, laboratory spaces, and other unique… » more

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September 2013

Figure 1: Wolfson Children's Hospital, Jacksonville, Fla. recently received a UPS system upgrade. The facility’s imaging departments were put on a central UPS. TLC Engineering for Architecture performed the upgrade. Courtesy: TLC Engineering for Architect

Saving money in hospital electrical distribution systems

There are two ways to attack the rising electrical costs of operating a hospital: UPS upgrades and co-generation. » more

Figure 3: BAS monitoring of critical power distribution equipment, such as generators, can provide alerts in advance of potential problems. Courtesy: Environmental System Design

Integrating BAS, electrical systems

Integrating electrical systems with BAS can promote operational efficiencies, optimize maintenance staff effectiveness, and leverage fault diagnostics. » more

Figure 1: BAS user interface screens such as the dashboard shown in the illustration can provide user-friendly electrical system data visualization. Courtesy: DGLux by DGLogik

Why the time is right for integration

There are a number of factors that remove traditional integration barriers. » more

Choosing between grounded and ungrounded electrical system designs

Understanding both grounded and ungrounded electrical systems enables engineers to apply the appropriate grounding topology for the electrical system requirements. » more

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August 2013

What I learn each year from the MEP Giants

The 100 consulting engineer firms that make the MEP Giants list each year can teach us all a few tricks of the trade. » more

Jessica Frackleton, Senior manager of product marketing, Onset Computer Corp., Bourne, Mass. Courtesy: Onset Computer Corp.

Manufacturers’ tips and tricks for commissioning, balancing buildings

Two manufacturers provide insights, tools, and tips on how to commission and balance building systems. » more

RDK Engineers’ Building Solutions Group recently provided LEED commissioning for a new 183,000-sq-ft academic building at Boston College. Courtesy: RDK Engineers

Tips and tricks for commissioning, balancing buildings: Sustainability, energy efficiency

Building commissioning is one of the most important (and complex) types of projects an engineer can be tasked with. Renewable energy or sustainable systems require specialized expertise. » more

RMF Engineering’s commissioning projects include a criminal forensic laboratory at a North Carolina detention center. Courtesy: RMF Engineering, HDR Architecture

Tips and tricks for commissioning, balancing buildings: Mechanical and plumbing systems

Building commissioning is one of the most important (and complex) types of projects an engineer can be tasked with. Mechanical and plumbing engineering issues are covered in detail.  » more

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July 2013

The changing of the guard

Consulting-Specifying Engineer is pleased to welcome eight new members to the editorial advisory board this year. » more

Data centers and energy savings

Some advice on how to save energy in data centers to achieve net-zero energy. » more

Figure 5: The NREL Research Support Facility in Golden, Colo., has an EUI of 35 kBtu/sq ft/yr, which includes a high-performance data center. Courtesy: NREL

NZEB examples to inspire

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

Figure 4: The Melink headquarters in Milford, Ohio, includes six different types of solar photovoltaic systems on the roof, a wind turbine, two types of solar ground-mount systems, and a solar parking canopy with an electric vehicle charging station. Cour

Integration: Net-zero energy design

ASHRAE has a goal: net-zero energy for all new buildings by 2030. What do engineers need to know to achieve this goal on their projects? » more

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June 2013

Going mobile

Smartphones and tablets are pervasive in nearly every aspect of our lives.  » more

Managing your future as a supervisor

Use these five tips to proactively manage your professional transition to management. » more

Big data archaeology and the consulting engineer

The digital footprint we create today will help anthropologists tomorrow.  » more

NFPA 20: More key factors to consider

Other issues you should be aware of with the additions to the 2013 edition of NFPA 20. » more

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May 2013

Designing labs, research buildings: Electrical, power systems

Labs and research facilities house sensitive equipment and must maintain very rigid standards. Electrical and power systems are of key importance.  » more

Designing labs, research buildings: Sustainability and efficiency

Labs and research facilities house sensitive equipment and must maintain very rigid standards. Energy efficiency and sustainability are also key considerations.  » more

Designing labs, research buildings: Building automation and controls

Labs and research facilities house sensitive equipment and must maintain very rigid standards. In this discussion, the engineers will discuss building automation and controls.  » more

Designing labs, research buildings: Codes and standards

Labs and research facilities house sensitive equipment and must maintain very rigid standards. Codes and standards must be adhered to, with special attention to codes unique to these buildings.  » more

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April 2013

Manufacturers’ focus: Sports, entertainment venues

Sports arenas and entertainment facilities require unique product solutions. Hear from three manufacturers who provide solutions in these facilities.  » more

Sports, entertainment venues need engineering athleticism

Sports arenas and entertainment facilities involve complex engineering solutions. Five consulting engineers offer advice to get results worth cheering about.  » more

Sports, entertainment venues: Sustainability and energy efficiency

Sports arenas and entertainment facilities involve complex engineering solutions. Engineers discuss sustainability, renewable energy, and energy efficiency in these buildings. » more

Sports, entertainment venues: Fire and life safety

Sports arenas and entertainment facilities involve complex engineering solutions. Fire and life safety topics are discussed by five consulting engineers.  » more

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March 2013

Engineers with Bridgers & Paxton executed several systems at the V. Sue Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, N.M. The new 400,000-sq-ft building called for U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver Certification; site features include a ground-coupled heat-

Educational experience: HVAC systems and energy efficiency in K-12 schools

Engineering work on K-12 schools is complex—and not just because of dwindling school budgets. The facilities must meet a broad range of exacting standards coming from officials and state regulatory bodies, in addition to meeting… » more

Educational experience: Designing electrical/power systems in K-12 schools

Engineering work on K-12 schools is complex—and not just because of dwindling school budgets. The facilities must meet a broad range of exacting standards coming from officials and state regulatory bodies, in addition to meeting… » more

Educational experience: Designing automation systems in K-12 schools

Engineering work on K-12 schools is complex—and not just because of dwindling school budgets. The facilities must meet a broad range of exacting standards coming from officials and state regulatory bodies, in addition to meeting… » more

Educational experience: Codes, standards in K-12 schools

Engineering work on K-12 schools is complex—and not just because of dwindling school budgets. The facilities must meet a broad range of exacting standards coming from officials and state regulatory bodies, in addition to meeting… » more

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January/February 2013

University of Michigan North Quad

Integrated project delivery profile » more

Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery

Integrated project delivery profile » more

Green field oil seed processing facility

Integrated project delivery profile » more

A glimpse of the HVAC, BAS market

Here is the story of the mechanical, or HVAC, engineer. Take a look at this snapshot of where your business stands today. » more

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