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MNS, ECS March 1, 2024

Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer content, February 23-29, 2024

The top Consulting-Specifying Engineer articles covered topics including NFPA 72,standby power and office building design

By Anna Steingruber
MNS, ECS February 6, 2024

When, how to tailor occupant notification for varied settings

Learn the innovative strategies for building safety, from private signaling to positive alarm sequences

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
MNS, ECS January 30, 2024

Innovations in fire safety: exploring survivability and alarms

Learn to navigate NFPA 72 by understanding the evolving landscape of fire alarm circuit survivability

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
MNS, ECS January 16, 2024

How to determine the ambient sound level

Sound level, audibility and intelligibility are key aspects of adhering to NFPA 72

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
MNS, ECS January 9, 2024

What to know about NFPA 72, which defines notification systems

NFPA 72-2022 outlines design and installation requirements for fire signaling and alarms

By Consulting Specifying Engineer
MNS, ECS December 27, 2023

Your questions answered: Notification systems and NFPA 72-2022

Fire signaling and notification system questions are answered here

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
MNS, ECS March 29, 2023

How to design fire alarm visual notification in office hoteling

Office hoteling is on the rise, creating the need to adjust fire alarm design approaches that better accommodate deaf and hard of hearing occupants

By Matthew Christopher Lausch
MNS, ECS May 6, 2022

Your questions answered: Fire and life safety: Detection systems

Fire detection systems are specified for the safety of the building’s occupants in the event of a fire. Read more for responses to items left unanswered at the April 28 webcast

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
MNS, ECS April 14, 2022

Fire alarm changes and challenges

NFPA 72 continues to provide challenges and solutions to fire protection engineers and fire alarm designers

By Larry D. Rietz
MNS, ECS March 30, 2022

Which fire alarm signal should be used?

Fire alarm signals should be based on response, not on the type of device

By William E. Koffel, PE, FSFPE, Koffel Associates, Columbia, Md.
MNS, ECS March 10, 2020

Design aspects of mass notification systems

The design and implementation of a mass notification system requires a risk analysis to determine the needs and requirements

By Richard Vedvik, PE, IMEG Corp., Rock Island, Illinois
MNS, ECS August 5, 2019

What is a unified mass notification ecosystem?

Fire and life safety professionals need to leverage notification assets to get the emergency message out to the affected group as soon as possible

By Isaac Chen CCIE, MISSP, and Michael Amorello, WELL AP, WSP, San Francisco
MNS, ECS November 2, 2018

New Federal Legislation Would Require Sprinklers in Nursing Homes

The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) participated in a media conference call on Aug. 25 held by Congressman John Larson (D-Conn.) and the American Health Care Association (AHCA) to discuss legislation that would require nursing homes to be retrofit with automatic fire sprinkler systems. In response to fatal nursing home fires in Hartford, Conn., where 16 people died, and Nashville, Tenn., where 15 lives were claimed, Rep. Larson has introduced the Nursing Facility Fire Safety Act of 2004.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS November 2, 2018

U.S. Senate Moves on Sprinkler Tax Incentive Legislation

According to the National Fire Sprinkler Assn., a pair of U.S. senators are moving to propose a bill that would provide tax relief for building owners that installed sprinklers. Jim Dalton NFSA's director of public fire protection, says Senator John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) has agreed to cosponsor Senator Rick Santorum’s (R-PA) "Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act of 2004." A companion to House Bill HR 1824, the bill has been held in abeyance for lack of a primary Democratic cosponsor. “It gives me great pleasure to announce that we have now received confirmation from the office of Senator Rockefeller that he will cosign this landmark piece of fire-protection legislation,” says Dalton. Rockefeller's agreement to cosign now clears the way for Santorum to submit the bill when the Senate returns to session after Labor Day. Elsewhere, NFSA reports that Illinois Gov.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS November 2, 2018

Tech Talk: Fire Suppression

In the world of fire suppression technology, the sophistication of fire detectors and control panels and the sustainability of fire extinguishing agents are currently topping the list of recent technological advancements. "If a detector senses a fire and creates an alarm, the panel can not only tell that a potential fire exists, it can also indicate when, where and how big, and it also tracks the history of the event," explains Joseph Behnke, manager of technical services engineered systems for Tyco Safety Product's fire suppression business, Marinette, Wis. Not only that, but the latest control panels are not only faster and smaller, but they offer increased monitoring ability with graphic displays and text messages, according to David N. Holst, department manager for plumbing and fire protection systems, Bala Consulting Engineers, Philadelphia. "These panels offer more programming and connectivity options so that the extinguishing systems for multiple rooms, buildings or even locations can all report to one central panel," explains Holst. With regards to clean agents, Jeff LaSalle, P.E., chief fire protection engineer for EwingCole, Philadelphia, explains that the phasing out of Halon 1301 has resulted in a significant increase in the number of viable alternatives. "As a number of these agents are considered to be quite sustainable, this gives the facility owner or manager the peace of mind that he or she will only have to purchase the system once, eliminating a costly retrofit due to future environmental restrictions," says Behnke. At the same time, LaSalle points out that the increased number of agents can sometimes be confusing, but it is a small price to pay for providing engineers, designers and owners with more options. Elsewhere on the fire suppression new technology front, special purpose sprinkler heads and heads that provide greater coverage are being developed, says Holst. And while it is pretty hard to improve on the technology of pipe, there is a continuing attempt to make it stronger, lighter and cheaper, he adds.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS November 2, 2018

Hitting the Mark: A Primer on Fire Pumps

Water-based fire-suppression systems rely on an adequate water supply for proper operation, and fire pumps are often required to increase available water pressure. Engineers should always consider the following basic issues when writing specifications. Demand and Supply 1. Sprinkler- and standpipe-system water demand.

By Lisa Bossert, P.E., Office Manager Schirmer Engineering, Charlotte, N.C.
MNS, ECS November 2, 2018

Changing of the Guard at Fire-Protection Associations

Two major fire-protection industry associations have issued announcements concerning officers and board members: The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) has announced that members of its MasterFormat Expansion Task Team will receive a Technical Commendation at its 48th Annual CSI Convention. The presentation will take place on April 21 in Chicago during the event's opening general session. Team member Russell P. Fleming, P.E., executive vice president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA), represents the fire sprinkler industry on the Task Expansion Team. MasterFormat Expansion Task Team members will be recognized for their contribution to CSI's technical programs through their work on MasterFormat 04.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS November 2, 2018

FCIA Promotes ‘Triad’ Solution

Chicago is the birthplace of the high-rise building and has been a world leader in building safety after the great Chicago fire in 1871. We applaud Mayor Daley, the City Council and the High Rise Building Safety Committee chaired by Alderman Bernard Stone for facilitating public discussion about fire and life safety in Chicago's buildings. During recent testimony at the City Council, we were saddened to hear from senior citizens as well as building owners and managers that might have to move elsewhere or shutter buildings due to the expense of the high-rise building sprinkler mandate. We, like this committee, believe Chicagoans should be protected from fire and smoke in buildings. However, we need to keep the economics of living and employing in Chicago affordable.

By Bill McHugh, Executive Director, Firestop Contractors International Assn., Wheaton, Ill.
MNS, ECS April 15, 2014

Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2014 Product of the Year finalists: Mass notification, emergency communication

Read about the 8 finalists in the Mass Notification, Emergency Communication category for the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2014 Product of the Year program.

By Chris Vavra
MNS, ECS April 8, 2013

Fire alarm, emergency communications system

The Farenhyt ECS line by Silent Knight delivers real-time communications over a supervised system that meets NFPA 72, UL 2572 and U.S. Dept. of Defense standards.

By Chris Vavra, Content Specialist
MNS, ECS January 4, 2013

Fire alarm and ECS voice amplifiers

NOTIFIER by Honeywell uses amplifiers for its fire alarm and emergency communications systems.

MNS, ECS May 25, 2012

Fire alarm unit

Silent Knight by Honeywell's Farenhyt emergency communication system.

MNS, ECS May 22, 2012

Designing an effective emergency communication system

Catastrophic events have changed the way fire protection engineers design emergency communication systems and mass notification systems.

By Robert J. Libby, PE, FSFPE, Hagatna, Guam; and Jon M. Evenson, LEED AP, Chica
MNS, ECS May 14, 2012

2012 40 Under 40: James P. Begley, PE, LEED AP, 38

Principal, TERPconsulting, Las Vegas

By Emma Renee Dutton, Content Specialist
MNS, ECS May 2, 2012

Advanced fire protection

Gamewell-FCI by Honeywell has expanded its ECS portfolio with the E3 Series fire alarm and ECS.

MNS, ECS May 1, 2012

Migration solution for fire alarm systems

Siemens MXL systems can be upgraded to the current FireFinder XLS systems.

MNS, ECS April 30, 2012

Photoelectric detector

System Sensor's 2251BR Remote Test Capable photoelectric detector.

MNS, ECS April 23, 2012

Transmitter for CO2 measurements

Rotronic has expanded its measurement line to include carbon dioxide transmitters.

MNS, ECS April 20, 2012

Fire alarm communication, monitoring tool

Gamewell-FCI by Honeywell expands its alarm and ECS response

MNS, ECS April 18, 2012

Integrated voice messaging system

Fike's integrated voice messaging system has been expanded.

MNS, ECS April 11, 2012

Molded case circuit breaker family

The FORMULA UL family of molded case circuit breakers by ABB.

MNS, ECS March 28, 2012

Control switch relay

Time Delay Control Switch Relay (TD-CSR) by Electroswitch

MNS, ECS March 23, 2012

Striking a balance between passive and active fire protection

Occupant protection, structural safety, and proper suppression systems designed in compliance with the 2012 International Building Code can reduce the risk of damages from fire exposure in a building.

By Sean S. Donohue, PE, LEED AP, ccrd, Greenwood Village, Colo.
MNS, ECS March 19, 2012

SFPE document for fire safety open for public comment

The SFPE and International Code Council's document, Guidelines for Designing Fire Safety in Very Tall Buildings, is available for public comment until June 8, 2012.

MNS, ECS March 16, 2012

Arc flash protection

Arc Guard TVOC-2 by ABB

MNS, ECS March 14, 2012

School is in session

With mitigating factors like aging structures, complex codes and standards, and emerging technologies, K-12 school projects can pose quite a test. Here, top consulting engineers share important lessons on what techniques and technologies will get you to the head of the class.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
MNS, ECS March 13, 2012

Scalable intelligent fire systems

Cerberus PRO and Desigo Fire Safety portfolios from Siemens Industry Inc.

MNS, ECS March 12, 2012

Surge protector for electrical ac mains

ZoneMaster and ZoneSentinel Type 1 models by MTL Instruments

MNS, ECS March 9, 2012

Top Consulting-Specifying Engineer Articles, February 2012

The most visited articles at during February 2012 include ASHRAE standards affecting HVAC designs, control sequences for chilled water systems, how to balance energy and indoor air quality, restructuring the fire alarm code, and strategies on business development.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
MNS, ECS March 8, 2012

SGH names fire principal, leader

David Jacoby, a veteran of fire protection engineering, has been named principal and leader of Simpson Gumpertz and Heger Inc.'s Fire Engineering Practice.

MNS, ECS March 6, 2012

Active high-speed switching can mitigate arc flash

Mitigating arcing-fault hazards in medium-voltage switchgear is an urgent concern, which is being addressed by safe work practices, operator training, and innovative solutions.

By Michael D. Divinnie, PE, and James K. Stacy, PE, Schneider Electric, Nashville,
MNS, ECS February 28, 2012

Webinar for metal building systems protection

The Metal Building Manufacturers Assn. (MBMA) has developed a webinar on protecting metal building systems from fire. The first webinar is March 27.

MNS, ECS February 24, 2012

Series of emergency management seminars

NOTIFIER by Honeywell's emergency management series are focused on educating essential design and planning concepts for life safety and emergency communication systems.

MNS, ECS February 21, 2012

Remote power supply released

Fike's Remote Power Supply is designed to compliment the fire alarm, detection, and control solutions already in stock.

MNS, ECS February 20, 2012

Testing atrium smoke control systems

Smoke control systems often require unique testing strategies and involve a larger than usual coordination effort between construction disciplines.

By Justin Garner, PE, TBE, Engineered Air Balance Co. Inc.
MNS, ECS February 13, 2012

AKF Group introduces code consulting services

The code consulting group, lead by Dr. James Ierardi and A. Vernon Woodworth, will provide building, fire, life safety, and accessibility code consulting for new construction and existing building projects as well as litigation support.

MNS, ECS February 7, 2012

Top Consulting-Specifying Engineer Articles, January 2012

The most visited articles at during January 2012 include power system grounding, engineering education, ASHRAE standards, fire alarm code restructuring, and proper fan design benefits.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
MNS, ECS February 3, 2012

Nevada ICC names Industry Person of the Year

Nick Moriarty, a fire protection engineer for JBA Consulting Engineers, was named as the 2011 Industry Person of the Year by the Southern Nevada International Code Council.

MNS, ECS January 20, 2012

Fire alarm monitoring system

Silent Knight by Honeywell has introduced a dynamic fire alarm monitoring system.

MNS, ECS January 17, 2012

Restructuring the fire alarm code

NFPA 72-2010 features significant changes to benefit system design and installations.

By Raymond A. Grill, PE, FSFPE, Arup, Washington, D.C.
MNS, ECS January 13, 2012

3-D PDF converter

A 3-D PDF converter for Revit is available from Tetra 4D.

MNS, ECS January 12, 2012

Clarifying the NESC/NEC boundary

The demarcation between National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) and National Electrical Code (NEC) sounds simple, but it can be quite complex.

By Michael J. Hyland, NESC chair; and James R. Tomasesk, NESC vice chair
MNS, ECS January 11, 2012

SFPE names 2012 president

The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) has named James A. Milke, a professor and department chair for Fire Protection Engineer at the University of Maryland, as its president for 2012.

By Chris Vavra
MNS, ECS January 11, 2012

Water mist fire protection

Marioff Corp.'s HI-FOG water mist fire protection has received UL listing for use in ordinary hazard group 1 applications.

MNS, ECS January 6, 2012

Fire alarm maintenance tools

Honeywell’s PS-Tools program is designed to simplify fire alarm system installs and service while building a database of information on each installation.

MNS, ECS January 4, 2012

Top Consulting-Specifying Engineer Articles, December 2011

The most visited articles at during December 2011 included articles on natural ventilation, standby power, the Smart Grid, and many others.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer staff
MNS, ECS December 28, 2011

Dual strobe expander plates

The SpectrAlert Advance Dual Strobe and Dual Strobe with Speaker Expander Plates by System Sensor were designed for emergency communications system (ECS) and mass notification system (MNS) applications.

MNS, ECS December 19, 2011

ASPE members appointed to ICC

Nine ASPE members are named to the International Code Committee to help establish future guidelines for the group.

MNS, ECS December 12, 2011

Design approaches for integrated systems

Successful design and specification of integrated systems requires knowing the goals, selecting the correct approach, creating a defined design and specification, and working with experienced contractors who can implement the systems to achieve the desired result.

By Jeff Carpenter PE, RCDD, KJWW Engineering Consultants, Des Moines, Iowa
MNS, ECS November 30, 2011

Engineering standby power systems

Standby systems design requires focusing on electrical protection to ensure safe, reliable operation and the physical protection of standby system equipment and distribution from natural catastrophes and vandalism.

By Dwayne G. Miller, PE, RCDD, jba consulting engineers, Las Vegas
MNS, ECS November 30, 2011

Fire alarm communicator

This Honeywell fire alarm communicator offers a choice between Internet protocol or global system for mobile communications as its primary communications pathway.

MNS, ECS November 29, 2011

Engineer climbs to new heights

Sunondo Roy, the vice president for CCJM Engineers, talks about his past experiences as a multidisciplinary engineer and how these experiences have shaped him.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
MNS, ECS November 29, 2011

Performance art

Performing arts centers and museums play host to a wide range of virtuoso concerts, exhibits by master artists, and other special events. It stands to reason, then, that such structures require special engineering considerations. Here, a group of experts lend advice on how to ensure these unique projects receive standing ovations.

By Jenni Spinner, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS November 17, 2011

Fire protection engineering program started in Minnesota

The University of St. Thomas in Minnesota has started a fire engineering program--the first to be opened in the Midwest in 25 years.

MNS, ECS November 10, 2011

Separating seismic certification fact from fiction

A legitimate certification process would require manufacturers to play by the same rules, providing risk protection to registered design professionals and peace of mind to building owners and authorities having jurisdiction.

By Steve Stoyanac, Chillicothe Metal Company, LLC, Chillicothe, Ill.
MNS, ECS November 10, 2011

Understanding how genset load factor affects mission-critical power

Understanding how average load factor can affect mission-critical standby power systems during emergencies can ensure continuity of electrical power—and business operations.

By Brandon Kraemer, MTU Onsite Energy, Mankato, Minn.
MNS, ECS November 7, 2011

Intelligibility software

Intelligibility Software from System Sensor and AFMG Technologies.

MNS, ECS October 21, 2011

How to be a better CxA

Top 12 tips that commissioning agents (CxA) need to know to do their jobs better.

By Robert Linder, PE, NEBB BSC CP, LEED AP, Sebesta Blomberg, Roseville, Minn.
MNS, ECS October 18, 2011

Applying NFPA 13 in high-rise buildings

Designing and installing fire standpipes and sprinkler systems in modern high-rise buildings properly requires in-depth analysis to ensure occupant safety.

By Michael Dillon, PE, CEng; and Diane B. Copeland, Dillon Consulting Engineers Inc
MNS, ECS October 17, 2011

The state of commissioning

Commissioning providers are optimistic about the immediate future, while continuing to focus on existing buildings.

By Ray Bert, AABC Commissioning Group, Washington, D.C.
MNS, ECS October 7, 2011

Military intelligence

With added security concerns, international code issues, and other special considerations, military facilities are unique, demanding projects. Here’s how to handle such complex structures and get results that make clients stand at attention.

By Jenni Spinner, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS October 4, 2011

Fire protection system

Marioff’s HI-FOG is an advanced fire protection system that can be used for commercial and public buildings.

MNS, ECS September 29, 2011

Carbon monoxide detector

System Sensor’s CO1224TR Carbon Monoxide Detector with RealTest is a round version of the award-winning System Sensor CO1224T CO detector.

MNS, ECS September 22, 2011

Clean extinguishing agent helps save the Alamo

During a fire, The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library saved numerous historical documents from the flames thanks to a solution called fluoroketone that would not damage or harm the older documents like other agents would.

By Information provided by 3M.
MNS, ECS September 19, 2011

Carbon monoxide/smoke detector

The IntelliQuad PLUS detector has four sensing elements for smoke, carbon monoxide, light/flame, and heat.

MNS, ECS September 7, 2011

Arc flash analytic software program

The DC Arc Flash Analytic (DCAFA V1.0) by ARCAD

MNS, ECS September 2, 2011

Advanced multi-criteria fire/CO detector

System Sensor’s Advanced Multi-Criteria Fire/CO Detector (AMCF/CO)

MNS, ECS September 1, 2011

Autodesk Revit MEP 2012 released

Advanced Solutions released Autodesk Revit MEP 2012 Fundamentals and Autodesk Revit MEP 2012 Advanced training courseware for MEP engineers.

MNS, ECS September 1, 2011

BIM for fire control panels

Notifier has added digital content models of its ONYX series fire alarms

MNS, ECS August 30, 2011

CSEC announces keynote speaker

Morrissey Goodale’s Mark Goodale is slated as the keynote speaker for the Career Smart Engineers Conference in October.

MNS, ECS August 30, 2011

Integrating fire protection in building systems

Large-scale building systems integration, such as mass notification systems and video image smoke detectors, are aiming to cut costs and decrease energy usage as well as improve communications during emergency situations.

By Richard W. Bukowski, PE, FSFPE; Charles T. Joyce, PE; Steven Venditti, PE, RJA
MNS, ECS August 26, 2011

Fire alarm control panel retrofit kit

Gamewell-FCI's IF600 Retrofit Kit

MNS, ECS August 12, 2011

Structuring for success

The 2011 MEP Giants discuss current challenges and how the industry is preparing for what 2012 will bring.

By Gust Gianos, Content Specialist
MNS, ECS August 12, 2011

Mergers and acquisitions on the rise—again

Industry consolidation continues to shape the competitive environment for MEP engineering firms. The biggest MEP Giants are getting bigger. Is this good for our industry?

By Mick Morrissey
MNS, ECS August 12, 2011

2011 MEP Giants

Over the past year, the engineering firms that make up the 2011 MEP Giants have made a commitment to having a diverse portfolio of building specialties, while continuing to invest in their young engineers’ development.

By Patrick Lynch, Project Manager
MNS, ECS July 26, 2011

Mississippi gains new commissioned facilities

CxBGS commissioned three new public safety facilities—and a command center for future disasters—in Harrison County, Miss.

MNS, ECS July 25, 2011

Life-safety platform

The Simplex 4100ES fire alarm system by SimplexGrinnell is a life-safety platform.

MNS, ECS July 12, 2011

Specifying fire sprinkler systems

Specifying engineers can add value and clarification to the installation process for a sprinkler system.

By Kenneth E. Isman, PE, National Fire Sprinkler Assn., Patterson, N.Y.
MNS, ECS July 12, 2011

Major league fire protection

Citi Field’s highly advanced fire protection and evacuation systems make use of both centralized and distributed intelligence.

By Information provided by NOTIFIER
MNS, ECS July 8, 2011

Total Building Commissioning welcomes Shearrow

TBC is pleased to announce that Roger L. Shearrow has joined the firm’s Phoenix office.

By BY: TBC, Inc.
MNS, ECS July 6, 2011

Specification productivity tool

Arcom’s Altarix is a productivity tool in its SpecWare suite of specification software.

MNS, ECS June 30, 2011

Winning high-first-cost projects

Enhance your engineering with economic acumen and sales techniques to overcome first-cost and payback-period barriers.

By Michael Ivanovich, The Ivanovich Group LLC, Oak Park, Ill.
MNS, ECS June 29, 2011

Extinguishing system

Using 3M NovecFire Protection Fluid, the Sinorix 1230 from Siemens Industry Inc. is a green solution based that ensures quick extinguishing in mission critical areas.

MNS, ECS June 7, 2011

Fire protection PE exam preparation class

Preparation course for the 2011 Fire Protection Engineering PE exam now available.

MNS, ECS June 7, 2011

Commissioning mission critical standby power systems

Commissioning ensures that all components of the mission critical power system function according to design specifications and the owners’ expectations.

By Wayne F. Belerman, BSEE, Sebesta Blomberg Inc., Roseville, Minn.
MNS, ECS May 26, 2011

NFPA 3: a new standard for commissioning

NFPA 3 focuses on active and passive fire protection and life safety systems.

MNS, ECS May 23, 2011

Tall order for super high-rises

Super high-rise buildings pose unique challenges to engineers. The number of these buildings is increasing, which is creating more demand for specialized engineers with high-rise expertise.

By Jenni Spinner, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS May 13, 2011

2011 40 Under 40: Rajeev “Raj” Arora, PE, 34

Executive Vice President, Arora Engineers Inc., Newark, N.J., Consulting-Specifying 40 Under 40, CSE 40 Under 40, CSE 2011 40 Under 40, CFE Media

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

2011 POY Finalists: Fire, Life Safety, and Mass Notification

Finalists in Fire, Life Safety, and Mass Notification in Consulting-Specifying Engineer's 2011 Product of the Year competition

By Edited by Amanda McLeman, Consulting-Specifying Engineer
MNS, ECS May 6, 2011

NFPA 3: Commissioning fire protection systems

NFPA 3, Recommended Practice on Commissioning and Integrated Testing of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems, is nearly complete after moving through the review process.

By Thomas C. Brown, PE, Rolf Jensen and Assocs. Inc., Baltimore
MNS, ECS April 15, 2011

Legacy compatibility minimizes downtime

The Texas Capitol is heralded by preservationists for its 15th-century Italian architecture, but by 2010, its discontinued fire and life safety legacy systems had reached the end of their lifecycle and needed to be updated.

MNS, ECS April 8, 2011

Setting up an emergency communication system

Engineers should learn to develop and implement an ECS in accordance with national fire and life safety requirements.

By Jon M. Evenson, LEED AP, Rolf Jensen & Assocs. Inc., Chicago
MNS, ECS April 7, 2011

New brand launched for U.S. services business

UTC Fire and Security has aligned its United States fire and security services businesses under the Chubb brand, providing a new, more seamless interface to customers.

By Source: MSL New York; Chubb
MNS, ECS April 1, 2011

Firestopping electrical systems

When electrical engineers review the location of rated walls, they should consider the layout of their equipment to avoid the need to firestop.

By Timothy E. Kuhlman, PE, RCDD, CH2M HILL, Portland, Ore.
MNS, ECS March 16, 2011

Duct smoke detectors

System Sensor's InnovairFLex watertight duct smoke detectors can operate without bulky enclosures and in extreme conditions.

MNS, ECS March 8, 2011

Integrated design of electrical rooms

Electrical engineers should coordinate with mechanical engineers, architects, structural engineers, and others involved in the design of electrical rooms.

By Brian Rener, PE, LEED AP, Senior Design Manager, M+W Group, Chicago
MNS, ECS March 7, 2011

2011 NFPA Conference to take place in Boston

This year’s NFPA Conference and Expo will take place June 12 to 15 and feature expanded sessions on suppression and detection.

By Kate Green, Source: NFPA Journal
MNS, ECS March 7, 2011

US DOD awards IDIQ contract to Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls to provide building and security systems to U.S. Dept. of Defense.

By Source: Johnson Controls
MNS, ECS March 7, 2011

Pressure pipe for fire sprinklers

Aquatherm’s Polypropylene-random pressure pipe brings an alternative to pressure piping for concealed light hazard fire sprinkler applications.

MNS, ECS March 2, 2011

Open-area smoke imaging detection

Xtralis’ open-area smoke imaging detection system can be configured to use a single imager while still delivering a wide field of view.

MNS, ECS January 27, 2011

Learning curve

In the face of dwindling budgets, growing sustainability requirements, and other considerations, K-12 school projects can be a challenging—yet rewarding—area for engineers to tackle. Here, a group of experts share advice on how to handle such projects and go to the head of the class.

By Jenni Spinner, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS January 1, 2011

California Building Code changes take effect

On Jan. 1, California will see the introduction of the first Green Building Standards Code in the nation.

By Linda Williams
MNS, ECS December 28, 2010

Fire protection engineering: Where are we today? Where are we going?

When this article was being written, the question was raised, “What keeps fire protection engineers up at night?” The first and foremost answer is the fear that a major fire catastrophe may be just around the corner.

By Joseph H. Talbert, PE, ARM, Aon
MNS, ECS December 21, 2010

Fire Suppression Fluid

3M Introduces Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid, a clean agent fire suppression material designed to protect high-value assets and critical devices where water cannot be used.

MNS, ECS October 15, 2010

Fire and life safety design trends fuel innovation

Fire and life safety innovations arise from current design trends in tall buildings. In response to these trends, a number of fire and life safety innovations have been developed.

By Ray Grill, PE, FSFPE, LEED AP, and Nate Wittasek, PE, LEED AP, Arup
MNS, ECS October 15, 2010

Gray matters; Water reuse systems

Gray-water reuse systems are becoming a staple in both newly constructed and existing facilities. Industry experts share the benefits and pitfalls of specifying and implementing the systems.

By Jenni Spinner, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS September 29, 2010

WPI, Honeywell announce new fire protection engineering facility

Honeywell Life Safety to Name Fundamentals Lab Area of Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s New Fire Protection Engineering Facility.

MNS, ECS August 5, 2010

Product of the Year Voting time is here!

VOTE NOW Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s annual Sixth Product of the Year competition announces its finalists. Readers can cast their votes in these 10 categories online for a chance at deciding who receives the premier award for new products in the HVAC/R, fire, electrical, lighting, building software, BAS, and plumbing systems engineering markets. Check out the digital edition and read the full story about the 2010 Product of the Year Finalists.

By Patrick Lynch, Project Manager
MNS, ECS July 28, 2010

Fire suppression sprinkler fittings

Sprinkler fittings for fire suppression

MNS, ECS July 21, 2010

Using elevators in fires

Engineers in the United States are rethinking the traditional stairwell centered approach to emergency egress from buildings and embracing a more holistic strategy that includes all aspects of building design and operation, and their impacts on occupant safety. Elevators are a key component of this strategy. The effort is targeted at developing a consensus of the engineering and regulatory communities on how stairs, elevators, and other means of egress can meet the need for “timely” egress from and access to tall buildings in emergencies including fires. An early conclusion of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) investigation of the Sept. 11, 2001, events was the need for “timely” full evacuation of tall building occupants.

By Richard W. Bukowski, PE, FSFPE, and Fang Li, MSFPE, Rolf Jensen & Assocs. Inc.
MNS, ECS July 13, 2010

Powering up after a disaster

The International Building Code (IBC) is a comprehensive set of building standards that was first proposed in 1997 by the International Code Council (ICC) and adopted in 2000. The IBC sought to harmonize the many national, state, and local codes that govern the design of structures in an effort to eliminate duplicative or conflicting standards and, therefore, make compliance more uniform. The IBC has been updated on a three-year cycle; the latest version is IBC-2009. Currently, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have adopted version IBC-2000, IBC-2003, IBC-2006, or IBC-2009 as their de facto building code. While the main focus of the IBC is structural integrity and fire prevention, certain provisions govern the certification and installation of emergency standby power systems used in locations that are seismically active or are subject to high wind loading of up to 150 mph.

By Dwight Wells MTU Onsite Energy
MNS, ECS April 1, 2010

Risk analysis and mass notification

In the fire alarm community, there has been a lot of discussion about mass notification. The incorporation of mass notification systems (MNS) in buildings first got attention after the Dept. of Defense (DoD) began requiring the installation of such systems as a result of the attack on Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996.

By Ray Grill, PE, FSFPE, Arup, Washington, D.C.
MNS, ECS April 1, 2010

Dampers: An essential component of fire protection design

Based on an examination of NFPA data in the 1930s, in 1939 the National Board of Fire Underwriters recommended that dampers be installed in HVAC systems to interrupt the passage of smoke, flame, and heat during a fire. Since that time, numerous experts in the field of the fire sciences have substantiated the effectiveness of automatic closing fire and/or smoke dampers and automatic fan shutdown...

By Vickie Lovell, Intercode Inc., Delray Beach, Fla.
MNS, ECS February 15, 2010

New fire alarms for old buildings

Installing new fire alarm systems in old buildings can require a lot of legwork to assess what parts of the old system can and cannot be used. The cost savings for integrating the old system with the new can, however, be significant.

By David Jacoby, PE, New York, and Nate Wittasek, PE, Los Angeles, Arup
MNS, ECS January 4, 2010

The top ten stories from 2009

A top ten list of the most heavily trafficked stories of 2009 from the CSE website.

By Patrick Lynch, Associate Editor
MNS, ECS December 16, 2009

Trends and positioning for fire protection engineers

Not since the late 1980s have we seen a business climate as challenging as the current one. Here are the characteristics of the fire protection engineers who have been able to remain successful and employed during the downturns.

By Ray Grill, PE, FSFPE, Arup, Washington, D.C.
MNS, ECS December 16, 2009

Data Center Owners and Designers, Part 1: What Owners are Demanding of Design Engineers

The owner's responsibility is to establish the requirements and make the decisions necessary to implement them. Developing solutions and providing hard data to support the decision making is what the design engineer is hired to do.

By Julian Kudritzki and John H. Seader, Uptime Institute, New York
MNS, ECS December 14, 2009

Chicago high-rise fire may change standards

The repeat of a fire tragedy in a Chicago high-rise should have been prevented.

By Source: Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board
MNS, ECS November 20, 2009

Resources for reducing violence in workplaces and schools

Annotated hyperlinks to an extensive body of government and institutional programs, statistics, and other resources for combatting workplace and school violence.

By Michael Ivanovich
MNS, ECS November 6, 2009

CSE publishes bibliography on mass notification

Responding to Ft. Hood, chief editor Michael Ivanovich has published a bibliography of technical articles on mass notification system (MNS) that have appeared in Consulting-Specifying Engineer

By Michael Ivanovich
MNS, ECS November 4, 2009

Ivy League school performs campus-wide mass notification system test

University of Pennsylvania successfully conducts a campus-wide mass notification system test in less than 10 minutes.

By Source: Reuters
MNS, ECS September 1, 2009

Fire alarm systems for schools

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition Children are our future, so when it comes to their safety, parents, guardians, and adults have a duty to protect them. However, there are times when parents cannot be there to protect their children, such as when they are in school. Once children are on school property, their safety and well-being become the responsibility of the school personnel and administrators. In reality, the safety and well-being of the children occurs long before they even step foot on a school campus.

By Manuelita E. David, Schirmer Engineering, an Aon Global Co., Concord, Calif.
MNS, ECS August 11, 2009

For better or worse, customers driving control panel trends

Users are demanding simpler interfaces for control panels, but their desire for mass notification systems may be misdirected.

By Source: Matt Wickenheiser, Security Systems News
MNS, ECS August 1, 2009

Recessed lighting system

Integrate vital building systems with high-efficiency lighting using the Neo-Ray Series 1B from Cooper Industries Inc. The fixtures feature a lamp-floating lensed microlouver on 1-in. centers with separate end utility compartments for occupancy sensors, daylight sensors, air returns, sprinklers, speakers, or a MR16 downlight.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer staff
MNS, ECS August 1, 2009

Fire alarm network

Operating nearly 40 times faster than its standard platform, the high-speed NOTI-FIRE-NET, manufactured by Notifier, is a high-tech fire alarm network. Using the system allows buildings to use multiple alarms and MNS over a single network, resulting in complete monitoring control. The system is designed for facilities and campuses of all sizes, and its scalability allows for easy expansion and reconfiguration. #3.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer staff
MNS, ECS August 1, 2009

Fighting fire without water

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition On the evening of April 3, 2009, a financial institution in downtown Chicago was protected from the possibility of a large fire. Earlier that evening, an electrical component in the self-contained air conditioning unit had overheated and set ablaze. The air conditioning unit was located in close proximity to highly sensitive equipment in a computer room. Fortunately, the computer room was protected with a clean agent suppression system from Fike Corp ., Blue Springs, Mo.

MNS, ECS August 1, 2009

High-expansion foam fights hangar fires

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition In September 2008, the Tennessee Air National Guard (TANG) 164th Airlift Wing received one of the U.S. military's most advanced aircraft hangar fire suppression systems to date. The hangar fire protection project was led by architect-engineers Frankfurt Short Bruza (FSB), Oklahoma City; sprinkler design specialist Security Fire Protection (SFP), Memphis, Tenn.; and Tyco Fire Suppression & Building Products (FS&BP), Marinette, Wis.

MNS, ECS July 22, 2009

Fire sprinkler degree program offered

Parkland College is hosting a webcast to discuss their new fire sprinkler system degree program.

By Source: Parkland College Academy of Fire Sprinkler Technology
MNS, ECS July 20, 2009

Industry roundup – 2009-07-20

Contracts awarded, and other industry news

By Eli Kaberon
MNS, ECS June 10, 2009

UL and RJA announce partnership

Two leaders in fire safety, Underwriters Laboratories and RJA Group Inc., have announced a partnership in the field of fire safety evaluation. 

By Source: RJA Group Inc.
MNS, ECS June 1, 2009

AHRI opposes clean energy bill

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) has announced its opposition to H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES Act), in its current form. If the bill is passed into law, it would, among many other onerous provisions, eviscerate the federal preemption provisions of the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) and the Energy Policy ...

By Edited by Eli Kaberon, Editorial Intern
MNS, ECS June 1, 2009

Smoke detector

Meant to be used in a location that's subject to extreme weather, the InnovairFlex Watertight smoke detector from System Sensor handles all temperatures and conditions. With the ability to operate in temperatures ranging from -4 to 158 F and air flow of 100 to 4,000 fpm, the InnovairFlex is perfect for a rooftop because it can simplify building maintenance and reduce costs generated by false al...

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer staff
MNS, ECS June 1, 2009

Integrating Fire Alarm Systems

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition Fire alarm systems are commonly used to supervise, monitor, and control functions of other building systems. They integrate with other fire protection and building systems in almost every project. Therefore, thoughtful consideration is needed to properly address the detailed hardware and software issues for integrating fire systems with other building systems.

By John Mahoney, PE, LEED AP, Arup, Washington, D.C.
MNS, ECS May 27, 2009

Industry Roundup – 2009-05-27

Details about contracts awarded, and other industry news.

MNS, ECS May 20, 2009

Fike acquires axonX Video Technology

Signifire technology is recognized by NFPA 72 as an authorized flame and smoke initiating device.

By Source: Fike
MNS, ECS May 13, 2009

Fighting fire with innovative engineering

Young engineers have built an early prototype of a new "smart" fire suppression system that pinpoints the location of a fire in a building and douses the fire with flame suppressants.

By Source: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
MNS, ECS May 1, 2009

Nitrogen steels suppression system

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition When Kentucky-based North American Stainless (NAS) was building a new production line for annealing and pickling of stainless steel, the company needed a fire suppression system that would meet certain requirements at the new facility. The new NAS pickling line, AP4, is one of the largest units of its type in the world, with an annual rolling capacity of more than 1.2 million tons. The new fire suppression system would have to protect more than 200 ft of pickling line, and both flooding and local application solutions would be required. NAS and its special hazards fire system provider, 3S Inc., decided on the electronic detection equipment, manual pull stations, and Vortex fire suppression system from Victaulic .

MNS, ECS May 1, 2009

Specifying fire suppression agents

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition Gas or water? Clean agent or carbon dioxide? There are a growing number of products available within today's fire suppression technologies. Fire sprinklers and foam-water products have been on the front line of defense for many years, but new technologies have and continue to emerge that make decisions even more complex. Before leaving sprinklers, it is important to note that when dealing with agents having a defined or limited supply, automatic fire sprinklers often will be required to provide a backup to the primary agent. In the event that a fire is not controlled or re-kindles after a discharge, sprinklers provide a backup.

By Tom Prymak, Rolf Jensen & Assocs. Inc., Dallas
MNS, ECS April 3, 2009

Hostage situation in N.Y. shows importance of mass notification system

In Binghamton, N.Y., two gunmen entered an immigration services center and opened fire on the people inside.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS April 1, 2009

Industrial fan – 2009-04-01

Integrate electronic devices such as VESDA smoke detection, lights, cameras, and motion sensors on the platform of the Powerfoil X from Big Ass Fans. Hermetically sealed and filled with nitrogen, the fan's NitroSeal Drive is a gearbox designed for heaver load requirements. The fan's precision HeliCamber gearing provides low friction between gear teeth for reduced heat and 50% less backlash than a standard gearbox.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer staff
MNS, ECS April 1, 2009

Emergency communications systems and NFPA 72-2010

  Over the past two years, the technical committees responsible for NFPA 72 have been hard at work developing the 2010 edition of the National Fire Alarm Code . The 2010 edition will be put before the NFPA membership at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Chicago this June. The 2010 edition of NFPA 72 will have undergone significant changes from the 2007 edition, including the addition of three new chapters and a name change to National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. One of the most significant changes is the incorporation of design, installation, and testing requirements for mass notification systems into the body of the code.

By Andrew Woodward, PE, Arup, Cambridge, Mass.; and Ray Grill, PE, FSFPE, Arup, Washington, D.C.
MNS, ECS March 17, 2009

Antimicrobial steel-pipe coatings

The Lubrizol Corp. has completed compatibility testing on the first two antimicrobial products to be included in its FGG/BM/CZ System Compatible Program. The additions include Pipe-Shield corrosion inhibitor from Potter Electric Signal Co.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS March 2, 2009

Sprinkler floods Scottish National Library

A faulty sprinkler doused books throughout the library, causing light water damage.

By Source: National Library of Scotland
MNS, ECS March 1, 2009

Data center discussion

CSE: What problems arise due to a lack of a standard for data center energy efficiency or Power Utilization Equivalence (PUE)? Keith Lane: There have been many unsubstantiated claims of very low PUE levels from data center operators and salespeople. PUE is a good matrix to identify energy efficiency, but there must be a standard to make sure that you are comparing the same thing. Also, the PUE levels are going to be dependent on the climate.

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief, and Patrick Lynch, Associate Editor
MNS, ECS February 27, 2009

About Us

Consulting-Specifying Engineer is the industry's premier integrated engineering source for commercial, institutional, & industrial building systems. Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is delivered to qualified subscribers on a monthly basis free of charge. Consulting-Specifying Engineer has been the industry's premier engineering source since 1977. Electrical Engineering Fire, Life-Safety and Security HVAC Plumbing Lighting Power Quality Green Buildings Codes and Standards Buildings by Type Engineering News & Resources Electrical Engineering Consulting-Specifying Engineer is the building engineering source for electrical systems including electrical power, distribution systems, standby power, and pure power. Back To The Top Fire, Life-Safety and Security Consulting-Specifying Engineer covers news, information and product updates on fire, life-safety and security systems including smoke control, fire alarm systems, smoke detector and commercial security system.

By Preetham Mohan
MNS, ECS February 3, 2009

Connecticut schools without sprinklers

Most schools in the Constitution State lack sprinklers--although as outdated schools are renovated, more schools are installing the safety systems.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS January 1, 2009

ICC code changes

Here are some key changes that will appear in the 2009 editions of the IBC and IFC.

By Ray Grill, PE, FSFPE, Arup Fire, Washington, D.C.
MNS, ECS December 9, 2008

CSE Product Showcase Dec2008

Visit for industry news and featuresDecember 2008 Special Advertising Section Here is the next edition of Consulting-Specifying Engineer's product and system solutions showcase.To unsubscribe from CSE Product Showcase, send us an email here . Featured Products Cooper B-Line's Durablok provides the best solution for your rooftop support needs. Durablok is made from recycled rubber, qualifies for LEED credits, and combined with B-Line bolted framing products and accessories offers the most complete rooftop support system.Durablok protects your roof, dampens vibration and will not float or blow away.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS December 1, 2008

Video smoke detection

Notifier from Honeywell Fire Systems provides video smoke detection as part of the line of fire and smoke detection products. The unit employs a computer analysis of video images provided by CCTV cameras. Existing or new cameras are linked to a self contained processing system, which is capable of recognizing smoke and flame patterns within the video image.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS December 1, 2008

Duct smoke detector

InnovairFlex designed by System Sensor provides a flexible, single unit, which can convert to fit multiple smoke duct footprints. The design allows for increased wiring space with a #6.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS November 3, 2008

Factory fire stemmed by sprinklers

A blaze at a Colorado wood-pellet plant is all but extinguished by the automatic sprinkler system.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS November 1, 2008

Adjustable concealed sprinklers

Mirage commercial concealed sprinklers manufactured by Viking Corp., are factory-fitted with a brass adjustable drop nipple that provides 1 in. of vertical adjustment. Combined with a 0.5 in. cover plate adjustment, the sprinklers allow the installer a total vertical adjustment of 1.5 in. Units are available in 2.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS September 24, 2008

Efforts to water down sprinkler codes fall short

The largest U.S. building code organization brushed off calls for more manageable rules, citing the need for stringent safety in buildings vulnerable to attacks.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS September 1, 2008

Fire suppression system – 2008-09-01

Suppress fires, discharge minimal water, and provide a fire suppression system safe for people and environment with the AQUASONIC water-atomizing fire suppression system from ANSUL.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS August 26, 2008

Firefighters find false alarms more than annoying

Deploying firefighting resources to the site of false alarms—often caused by poor maintenance—consumes valuable time, fuel, and money.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS August 22, 2008

Mass notification system selected at Virginia Tech

A new emergency mass notification system has been selected for Virginia Tech’s classrooms and lecture halls.

By Amara Rozgus
MNS, ECS August 14, 2008

M/E insider: recent new hires and promotions – 2008-08-14

News from Lane Coburn & Assocs., Emcor Group, Newcomb & Boyd, and Leo A. Daly.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS June 1, 2008

Concealed sprinkler

Viking has expanded its Mirage line of concealed sprinklers to include two new quick-response, extended-coverage units. The VK632 and the VK634 sprinklers include a “push on, thread off” cover plate that can be installed on the inside of the sprinkler cup to provide better protection from drywall mud and paint.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS June 1, 2008

Not a drop to waste

CSE: Do sensor-activated faucets really save water? J. PATRICK BANSE: Sensor faucets are more sanitary than handle-type faucets, and with preprogrammed “on” times, reduce the water use and possibility of leaving the faucet running longer than needed. Flow-control devices are the real water savers, as they limit the flow rate discharge of water to the user, which also minimizes spla...

By Melissa Hillebrand, Associate Editor
MNS, ECS May 21, 2008

Property loss prevention guidelines available

FM Global has released thousands of pages of its previously exclusive property loss prevention engineering guidelines -- for free.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS May 1, 2008

U.S., China fire experts gather in Beijing for fire protection seminars

Experts from the United States and China gathered in Beijing to study fire sprinklers and fire detection systems in roadway tunnels at a seminar conducted by the Fire Protection Research Foundation.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS April 1, 2008

NIST submits national construction safety report to Congress

The National Institute of Standards and Technology in  March submitted to Congress the annual report of activities under the National Construction Safety Team Act, which authorizes the agency to conduct technical investigations of major building failures in the United States.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS April 1, 2008

Engineering by the inch

I remember a “Get Smart” TV episode where Maxwell Smart, in describing how a Chaos agent fell to his death while trying to jump from a building to moving truck, said, “Missed it by that much,” and used his pointer finger and thumb to indicate a very small space. If engineering isn’t that way, I don’t know what is.

By Michael Ivanovich, Editor-in-Chief
MNS, ECS April 1, 2008

The challenge of mass notification systems on American campuses

For most of our history, Americans have felt relatively safe and isolated from violence as they went about their daily work and leisure activities.

By William Sako, Chairman, Sako & Assocs., Chicago
MNS, ECS April 1, 2008

Amber lens strobes

Indicate non-fire evacuation in mass notification systems with the Spectr Alert Advance line from System Sensor.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS March 28, 2008

Fire protection in MCFs (part 2)

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

By Lance Harry PE, director of sales, Fenwal Protection Systems
MNS, ECS March 26, 2008

2008 World Safety Conference & Exposition slated for June 2-5

World Safety Conference & Exposition is the annual conference of the National Fire Protection Association.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS March 3, 2008

Mass notification strobes

This line includes the SW-ALERT and the SWH-ALERT amber lens strobes for use in mass notification systems as a visible means to indicate non-fire evacuation.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS March 3, 2008

Fire sprinkler drain valve

The Never-Trip drain valve assembly adds value to a building’s fire sprinkler system and benefits building owners by reducing costs and maintenance.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS March 3, 2008

Fire protection in MCFs (part 1)

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

By Lance Harry PE, director of sales, Fenwal Protection Systems
MNS, ECS March 3, 2008

Fire sprinkler inspection updated

The American Fire Sprinkler Assn. released 13 newly updated report of inspection forms designed to cover the mandatory inspection, testing, and maintenance requirements for fire sprinkler systems.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS February 21, 2008

CSE Codes and Standards – February, 2008

Welcome to the latest issue of CSE Codes & Standards. As a subscriber to Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine or e-newsletter, you’re among a select group of industry professionals receiving a special trial subscription. Please scroll to the bottom for links to our new Privacy Policy, customer support information or instructions on how to stop receiving e-mail promotions from CSE .

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS January 31, 2008

Fire sprinkler systems monitoring

Fire sprinkler systems monitoring product line includes two new additions: the PDRP-2001 and PDRP-2001E fire alarm control panels (FACPs).

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS January 18, 2008

Ask the experts: Alarm panels and mass notification systems

The complexity of alarms and panels and their widespread use make this a perennially popular and interesting topic. What are the new trends here?

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer staff
MNS, ECS January 1, 2008

Historic fire alarm upgrade

In 2003, the blaze that traveled through a nightclub in West Warwick, R.I., where 100 people lost their lives may have a silver lining. Since that time, Rhode Island fire officials and lawmakers worked to tighten the state’s fire protection laws. Notable among Rhode Island’s recent regulation changes is the elimination of the grandfather clause that permitted an existing facility t...

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS January 1, 2008

Rethinking high-rise egress, top to bottom

Good egress design was fairly simple when high-rises first became popular: Provide enough stairways and doors for people to get out, and designers were set. Not true anymore—Sept. 11 changed all that. Now engineers must think about reinforced stairways, evacuation by elevator, and mass notification systems.

By Scott Siddens, Senior Editor
MNS, ECS December 17, 2007

Selecting radiant ceiling cooling and heating systems (part 3)

This three-part series provides an overview of the most commonly available and applied commercial building radiant cooling systems. Part 3 describes concrete core conditioning (radiant slab ceilings).

By Geoff McDonell, PEng, LEED AP, Senior mechanical engineer, OMICRON, Vancouver, British Columbia
MNS, ECS December 6, 2007

A second chance for first-class fire protection

Maitland Green I, an office building in Orlando, Fla ., boasts a strong occupancy of 100%, with a stable tenancy that includes a number of high-profile, industry-leading companies. When it came time to replace the building’s original fire-protection system, second-best would not do.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS December 6, 2007

Egress design solutions, emergency evacuation, and crowd management planning

Two engineers from Arup have authored a book that is described as “the architect's primary source for information on designing for egress, evacuation, and life safety; egress design solutions; emergency evacuation; and crowd management planning.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS November 6, 2007

AFSA to present 90-minute virtual seminar

This online seminar will cover all phases of fire sprinkler engineering, and will be broadcast Dec. 18 at 4 p.m. EST.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS November 1, 2007

High-bay presents unique challenges

This month's panel discusses fire detection and suppression challenges in high-bay environments—what systems are ideal what technological advances have been made. CSE: What are the unique design challenges in fire detection and suppression systems for high-bay environments? GOLDHAMMER: Design challenges depend on the type of fire scenario anticipated for the expected occupancy.

By Melissa Hillebrand, Associate Editor
MNS, ECS September 5, 2007

New Products for Fire and Life Safety

ESFR pendent sprinklers, clean agent systems for small fire hazard areas and UL 864 Ninth Edition listed fire alarm control panels

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS September 1, 2007

Letters: Reader Feedback – 2007-09-01

Data center fire protection I just read your article entitled “Data Center Technology Past, Present and Future” (CSE 07/07, p. 38). Very interesting. I am a fire protection engineer with more than 30 years of experience in the field. I hope that I am up-to-date on extinguishing agents. As such, I would like to comment on a paragraph found in your informative article.

By Staff
MNS, ECS August 1, 2007

Integrating fire protection, security

This month's panel discusses the challenges engineers face integrating fire alarm and security systems, and provides practical solutions. CSE: What integration snafus have you seen in the field and how were they fixed? CASAMASSIMA: 1) Running out of node capacity within a network. Solution was to divide the system into two independent networks and utilize a global monitoring station.

By Melissa Hillebrand, Associate Editor
MNS, ECS July 1, 2007

Fire Suppression Systems

This month's panel discusses the issues that engineers and designers need to be aware of concerning fire suppression systems, extinguishants and codes. CSE: What questions should designers ask their clients at the start of a project for a new fire suppression system? KELLY: For new projects, the designer should ask the client or owner several basic questions that are vital to the design of the ...

By Melissa Hillebrand, Associate Editor
MNS, ECS July 1, 2007

NFPA Conference & Expo Post-Show

The National Fire Protection Assn. World Safety Conference and Expo took place June 3 to June 7 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Below is a sample of some of the extinguishants that were featured. See the M/E Roundtable on p.23 for further insights into extinguishants. Clean agent fire suppression system is available that is non-synthetic, made from nitrogen, argon and carb...

By Melissa Hillebrand, Associate Editor
MNS, ECS June 1, 2007

The Secret to Moving Plans Through the Review Process—Be Complete

When it comes to plan review, the most frequently asked question is, “What do I need to have on my plans and in my construction documents to move through the process faster?” The answer: Be complete. To reduce the inevitable delays from partial submittals, give the reviewers what they want from the start.

By Richard A. Piccolo, President, B & F Technical Code Services, Hoffman Estates, Ill.
MNS, ECS May 9, 2007

Study of Smoke Characterization Could Change the Face of Fire Safety

The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) announced the completion of a study that enhances the fire safety community’s understanding of modern fire hazards and may eventually lead to changes in how people are kept safer from fire. 

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS May 2, 2007

R.I. Fire Code Panel Focuses on Sprinkler, Alarm Costs

The debate over the fire safety codes that Rhode Island adopted after the fire at The Station nightclub continued in April at the second hearing of the 2007-08 House Oversight Commission to Study the Ramifications of the Fire Safety Code.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS May 2, 2007

Colorado Fire Suppression Program Adopts Latest NFPA Codes

The latest editions of 22 National Fire Protection Association codes have been incorporated into regulations that comprise the Colorado Fire Suppression Program. NFPA documents are referenced as they pertain to the installation of sprinklers and other fire protection systems.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS May 2, 2007

SFPE’s Annual Conference and Expo Planned for October

The Society of Fire Protection Engineers will host its Annual Professional Development Conference and Exposition on Oct. 15 to Oct. 19 at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This educational event for fire protection professional will include two days of presentations.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS May 1, 2007

2007 World Safety Conference & Expo

The National Fire Protection Assn. World Safety Conference and Exposition takes place June 3 through June 7 at the new Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Last year, more than 4,000 attendees were at the event, a nearly 7% increase over 2005. The expo takes place on Monday, June 4 and Tuesday, June 5.

By Melissa Hillebrand, Associate Editor
MNS, ECS April 5, 2007

Case study: Widener University

Michael Gaffney is not a professor. Yet as the life safety and compliance officer at Widener University in Chester, Pa., Gaffney is in charge of fire alarms, sprinklers, burglar alarms, and all OSHA compliance and environmental issues and he teaches many of the visitors a very valuable lesson. “When parents and their kids come to visit Widener, we have them attend an orientation in which we review the school’s various safety features,” said Gaffney, who has been at the school for 13 years. “Inevitably, someone always asks whether we have sprinkler systems in the dormitories. “Whileportant as sprinklers are, it’s the fire alarms and smoke detectors that parents should really be concerned about.I tell them, ‘A sprinkler system will save property; smoke detectors and fire alarms will save your child’s life.’” Since 1998, the year Gaffney added the oversight of fire and sprinkler systems to his life safety responsibilities, 26 new addressable fire panels have been installed on the school’s two campuses (Chester and Wilmington, Del.), protecting a total of 1,723 beds in the school’s residence halls, as well as all of the fraternity and sorority houses. Armed with a desire to upgrade the school’s fire equipment—and convinced that procuring it all from one manufacturer would translate to more efficient performance—Gaffney enlisted the expertise of the Chester fire commissioner at that time.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS April 5, 2007

Intl. Code Council, SFPE Team Up

The International Code Council (ICC) and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) are collaborating on initiatives to expand services offered to the memberships of both organizations. The partnership will facilitate fire protection design and education—SFPE will offer ICC members a discounted rate on SFPE’s six new online training seminars. "Fire protection is a crucial part of building safety and code compliance," ICC CEO Rick Weiland said. "Performance-based fire protection designs are being used more and more.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS March 1, 2007

Briefly… – 2007-03-01

• In late 2005, the National Fire Protection Assn. published an alert notice entitled “PASS alarm signals can fail at high temperatures“ on the NFPA website, advising emergency responders, especially firefighters, of high temperature exposures causing the loudness of PASS alarm signals to be reduced.

By Staff
MNS, ECS March 1, 2007

SFPE Marks Anniversary of Deadly Hotel Fire

In the wake of the 60thanniversary of the nation’s deadliest hotel fire, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) asks that engineers continue to foster fire protection and advance the practice of fire protection engineering, and also recognize the technological improvements in the fire protection industry during the past 60 years. On Dec. 7, 1946, a fire at downtown Atlanta’s Winecoff Hotel left 199 people dead and 90 people injured, the deadliest hotel fire to date in the United States. At the time of the fire, the hotel had only one exit stairway for occupants to escape the upper floors of the 15-floor building.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS February 22, 2007

California Approves CPVC for Hot and Cold Potable Water Distribution

The California Building Standards Commission (BSC) has approved a final environmental impact report (EIR) prepared by the state’s Housing and Community Development (HCD) Dept. and put its stamp of approval on the use of chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) pipes for hot and cold potable water distribution in houses, apartments, hotels and motels anywhere in the state of California. The state’s action comes after nearly 25 years of stops, starts, litigation and environmental review. The EIR anticipates the market for CPVC pipe in California will swell by two and a half times, from the current 13% market share to 32% compared to copper and other alternatives. CPVC has technically been allowed for use under the state’s plumbing code, but it was restricted to use in areas where soil or water conditions caused premature failure of copper pipe.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS February 14, 2007

UL 864 Ninth Edition: The New Standard In Fire Protection

On June 30, the Ninth Edition of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 864 will take effect—with an enormous impact on the worldwide fire alarm industry.For fire alarm equipment manufacturers, it will serve as a de facto test of financial, engineering and manufacturing strength. In fact, UL 864 already has. UL 864, “Standard for Control Units and Accessories for Fire Alarm Systems,” has been around since 1948. Since that time, minor changes have been made to each edition of the standard.

By Mike Lynch, Sr. Vice President, Engineering, Honeywell Fire Systems, Northford, Conn.
MNS, ECS February 1, 2007

Modeling Electrical Distribution Systems with 3-D CAD

Electrical distribution systems for commercial buildings can be complex and sophisticated. Two-dimensional construction drawings of a complicated electrical distribution system may not be the best method of clearly defining the electrical scope to the other design team members, the owner and the field electrician.

By Keith Lane, P.E., RCDD/NTS Specialist, TPM, LC, LEED AP Vice President - Engineering. SASCO, Seattle
MNS, ECS January 1, 2007

Good Sense

No matter the intention, be it a green facility or not, cost containment in building design and construction is always an issue. And with the rising costs of construction and energy, building owners and developers are seeking innovative methods to provide an infrastructure capable of accommodating up-to-date technology, but still offering the ability to contain costs.

By R. Stephen Spinazzola, P.E., Vice President, Applied Technology Group, RTKL
MNS, ECS October 25, 2006

NFPA 13 Adopts Code Language on Flexible Sprinkler Hose Fittings

For the first time, the National Fire Protection Assn.’s NFPA 13: Installation of Sprinkler Systems includes code language that clarifies the use of flexible sprinkler hose fittings and provides applicable guidelines. The new language appears in the 2007 edition of NFPA 13 . This clarification is welcome news for engineers who want direction on specifying flexible fittings. Proponents argue that such fittings offer perfect aesthetic uniformity and flawless center-of-tile.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS October 4, 2006

Symposium on Fire Protection for LNG Industry

Fire-suppression equipment manufacturer Ansul, is hosting a symposium Oct. 16—18 at its Fire Technology Center in Marinette, Wis., to discuss comprehensive fire-protection for the the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry. The symposium will be two full days of classroom sessions, roundtable discussions and hands-on fire suppression demonstrations. For more than 40 years, according to Ansul officials, the company has been providing comprehensive fire protection for this industry, which is one of the energy industry’s fastest growing segments. In the United States alone, forty new LNG terminals are either before the U.S.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS October 1, 2006

Letters: Reader Feedback – 2006-10-01

Texas umbrage FYI, regarding the story “A Texas-sized Sprinkler Installation, (CSE 9/06, p. 50), I'd like to clarify that the largest university residential complex in the United States is the 1,093,468-sq.-ft. Joseph Ellicott Complex at the University at Buffalo, which houses approximately 3,300 residents.

By Staff
MNS, ECS October 1, 2006

What to Know About Smoke Detectors When Renovating Building Space

Tenants come and go. One month, an area is filled with a maze of cubicles, and the next, it's a suite of private offices. As each new company takes over a space and adapts it to their needs, there's a completely different set of fire-protection guidelines.

By David R. George, Director, Corporate Communications, System Sensor, St. Charles, Ill.
MNS, ECS September 28, 2006

Industry Roundup: Acquisitions and Awards

• ANSYS, Southpointe, Pa., has been named to the software industry Sustained Success Honor Roll for the third consecutive year. Culled from a list of more than 500 public software companies, ANSYS is one of 20 that made the 2006 honor roll. • Arthur E. Cote, executive vice president and chief engineer of the National Fire Protection Assn.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS September 1, 2006

A Texas-sized Sprinkler Installation

The motto of the University of Texas at Austin is: “What starts here changes the world.” While this phrase refers to UT's success in education, research and athletics, it could just as easily allude to the university's leadership in dormitory fire protection. The school just completed a six-year program to install sprinklers, as well as address other life safety issues, in all of its residence halls. And that's no small task at one of the largest universities in the country. UT's dorms house approximately 7,000 students during the academic year.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Associate Editor
MNS, ECS September 1, 2006

New Products – 2006-09-01

High-BTU gas connector is designed for large-demand appliances such as tankless water heaters. The connector has a 3/4-in. diameter (1-in. O.D.) that delivers a minimum of 290,000 BTU/h natural gas in a 24-in. length. The connector is also available in 36-in. (255,900 Btu/h) and 48-in. (215,000 BTU/h) lengths.

By Staff
MNS, ECS September 1, 2006

The 60-Day Wonder—A K-12 Project Story

Following is a construction log from a fast-track summertime renovation project for the fire alarm and security system upgrade at a typical K-12 educational facility. It spells out all the challenges faced by the building team, a two-story, 207,000-sq.-ft. high school November 2005 : The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) selection process begins.

By Arden E. Everhart, Jr., Life Safety and Electronic Systems Design, URS Corp., Denver
MNS, ECS September 1, 2006

Technology Yields a Confluence of Fire Protection and Security

Security is a behavioral science based on human want, need, decision-making and action. Fire protection is a discipline based on physical science. But thanks to breakthroughs in technology, notably in the world of digital video, the two crafts are converging to produce unexpected results. According to Bill Sako, president of Sako & Assocs., Chicago, a division of the fire protection firm RJA, video smoke detectors are a prime example of this hybrid science.

By Lindsay Saran, Editorial Intern
MNS, ECS July 1, 2006

Code Red

Full integration of fire alarm and IT systems hasn't yet happened, but networking capabilities have advanced, with open systems that use an intranet as a communication path. CSE: What's the latest and greatest in the world of fire alarms and related equipment? WEAVER: Well, for one thing, the tough new 9th Edition of UL Standard 864 is certainly still big news. All manufacturers must test their products to this standard to meet local codes requiring UL-listed products. Originally scheduled to go into effect last October, there have been two extensions to accommodate the sizeable amount of redesign and testing with which most manufacturers are finding necessary to comply.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS June 23, 2006

NFPA Product Report

One of the biggest buzzes on the show floor of NFPA’s recent World Safety Conference in Orlando was fire alarms panels, specifically, the effects of UL’s 9th edition to its fire alarm standard—UL 864. “I know it’s been very critical for us,” said Jeff Hendrickson with Silent Knight . “Everything we’re showing is UL-compliant.” For the record, the new UL requirements call for a number of improvements, including more stringent power supply testing, more battery monitoring and better synchronization with notification appliances. FireLite saw the change as an opportunity to roll out a whole new line of products. According to the company’s Nick Martello, they started the process three years ago, and their panels are not just compliant, they’re UL-864-approved.

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
MNS, ECS June 8, 2006

NFPA World Safety Conference & Expo Concludes Today

The National Fire Protection Assn. wraps up its annual World Safety Conference and Exposition, which has been running for the past five days at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., today. Major items of business at this year’s conference were the proposed 2007 edition of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code, and NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. Also NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, has just completed its cycle with a number of significant changes. Look for full coverage of the 2006 NFPA World Safety Conference in CSE’s upcoming June issue, both in print and online. And beginning this year, the NFPA website is offering a “show blog” that is updated daily.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS June 1, 2006

Safety Expo Highlights

The theme of this year's annual NFPA World Safety Conference & Exposition, which convened in Orlando, June 4-8, was: act individually when it comes to making a difference in life safety. NFPA President Jim Shannon set the tone of the conference with his opening remarks in the general session imploring members that it was "a personal responsibility" to help overcome the forces who stand in the way of life safety. A secondary theme was NFPA's push to promote fire-safe cigarettes, something a number of states are considering, with Shannon reporting that New York and Illinois have already enacted such legislation. One thing the NFPA membership did act upon was a number of proposed changes to the association's standards. Among the biggies was NPFA 72, National Fire Alarm Code , which was also the subject of a couple of sessions.

By Staff
MNS, ECS June 1, 2006

Keeping Fire in Its Place in Data Centers

The first automatic sprinkler system was patented by Philip W. Pratt of Abington, Mass. in 1872, and sprinklers have since been the global leader among fire extinguishing systems.

By Edward L. Fixen, P.E., Vice President, and Vidar S. Landa, P.E., Assoc. Consultant, Schirmer Engineering Corporation, Los Angeles
MNS, ECS May 5, 2006

Webcast: Critical Changes to Fire Code

When: June 29, 2006Time: 1:00 p.m. (CDT) Register Now View PDF of this webcast Earn valuable Click here .NFPA 72, the National Fire Alarm Code, will see a number of significant changes in the 2007 edition after final voting at this year's annual World Safety Conference in Orlando June 4-8. Among the changes the organization is considering include: a provision for mass notification systems; a relaxing of the requirement for the protection of the control unit if a unit is protected by a sprinkler system(chapter 4); provisions to facilitate performance-based design, particularly relating to initiation devices; the creation of Response Time Index on heat detector documentation and markings; mandatory smoke detector spacing in the absence of pfd criteria, and much more. Our panel of experts will break down the changes, including what didn't make the cut and why; They'll also explain how all this will affect future building fire protection designs and specifications.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS May 1, 2006

Avoiding the Smell of Burning Data

Information technology has become an important and integral part of our daily lives. As a result, most organizations today have a primary data center, which accommodates the computing, data storage and networking equipment that are critical to operations and communication. Since the strategic importance of information technology in business depends on uninterrupted use, data centers require a superior fire protection, security and backup power infrastructure. Due to significant financial losses that can follow business interruption, the importance of fire protection cannot be overemphasized.

By Edward L. Fixen, P.E., Vice President, and Vidar S. Landa, P.E., Associate Consultant, Schirmer Engineering Corporation, Los Angeles
MNS, ECS March 28, 2006

A Close Look at the Signal Reference Grid for Grounding

Editor’s Note: In the Spring 2006 issue of Pure Power, authors Vincent Saturno and Rajan Battish present the second installment in their two part series on single- and mult-point grounding systems. In Part 1 (Spring 2005) they explained how hybrids of these systems work. In Part 2 they continued their discussion with a closer look at hybrid strategies.

By Vincent Saturno, P.E., and Rajan Battish, P.E., RTKL Assocs., Baltimore
MNS, ECS March 7, 2006

A/E Design Dream Team Scores Big Savings with HVAC systems at MizzouRecCenter

Visitors at the new $49 million Rothwell-Brewer Student Recreation Center Complex at the University of Missouri in Columbia might be in awe of one of the nation's top five recreation projects and Missouri's largest aquatic complex. But what they might not be aware of is the equally impressive behind-the-scenes energy savings that the team of architects, consultants and engineers built into the state-of-the-art project, expected to save the university millions of dollars in operating costs over the life of the center’s dual natatoriums. The team consisted of consulting engineering firm, McClure Engineering Assocs., St. Louis; architect Hastings + Chivetta Architects Inc., St. Louis; commercial pool consultant, Councilman/Hunsaker Associates, St.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS March 2, 2006

New Products for Fire Protection

Photoelectronic Duct Smoke Sensors are said to sense smoke in HVAC system air velocities from 100 to 4,000 fpm. The sensors operate by sampling air currents passing through the ducts, activating fans, blowers and dampers and also communicating electronically with each other. An indication at the panel specifies the location of the problem, facilitating access for selected maintenance.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS March 2, 2006

Property Loss Prevention Solutions Available on CD-ROM

Consulting engineers now have access to a single technical reference library to protect facilities from fires, equipment breakdown and many other devastating property threats. Business property insurer FM Global has just released its new computer network-compatible 2006 Resource Collection CD-ROM, containing more than 350 property loss prevention data sheets, the 2006 Approval Guide published by FM Approvals and FM Global’s 2006 Property Loss Prevention Resource Catalog. The CD-ROM’s contents answer questions on construction, automatic sprinklers, boilers and pressure vessels, extinguishing equipment, heating equipment, mechanical equipment, electrical, general and nuclear hazards, storage, water supply and welding. The data is based on 170 years of research, product testing and property loss analysis. Additionally, the 2006 Approval Guide’s more than 45,000 listings of loss prevention products and services help product buyers purchase those fire protection, electrical and building equipment materials and services that are FM Approved and will best reduce property losses.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS March 1, 2006

The Power Behind the Pump

Proper fire pump system design is an essential piece of a building's life-safety system. But don't forget that there's an equally important electrical component to consider for this system. More specifically, in addition to referencing NFPA 20—the standard for stationary fire pump installation—fire pump design also draws on National Electrical Code section 695, NEC section 430 and a number of other NEC sections. Design of fire pump electrical systems must be coordinated with both the plan review agency and the local electric utility.

By Keith Lane, P.E., RCDD/NTS Specialist, TPM, LC, LEED AP, Director of Engineering, SASCO, Seattle
MNS, ECS February 22, 2006

Sprinkler Protection of Plastics in Big Box Retail

Editor’s note: The February 2006 issue of Consulting-Specifying Engineer offers a full-length feature from author Lisa Bossert, P.E., Schirmer Engineering, on fire-protection strategies in big box retail operations ( Of Stores, Storage and Sprinklering ). Readers are greatly encouraged to click the link above to read this invaluable article. Currently, NFPA does not recognize the use of anyn of a foam insulation boards.

By Lisa Bossert, P.E.m Schirmer Engineering, Charlotte, N.C.
MNS, ECS February 15, 2006

Product Showcase | February

Visit for industry news and features February 2006 Special Advertising Section Dear reader,Here is the next edition of Consulting-Specifying Engineer's product and system solutions showcase if you would like any additional information sent to you from any of the companies below regarding their products fill out this form . Featured Products MSR-100 Series Advanced Remote Accessories Air Products and Controls Inc. now offers its MSR-100 Series Advanced Remote Accessories. These accessories work with APC duct smoke detectors to indicate problems, perform tests, and alert users to alarm conditions using special features not found on other remote accessory units.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS February 1, 2006

Of Stores, Storage and Sprinkling

Many big box retailers stack their merchandise to the ceiling. If heights exceed 12 ft.—on racks or in piles—these buildings are subject to many of the same fire protection requirements as warehouses. Certain high-hazard products such as rubber tires, Group A plastics, flammable liquids and idle pallets may be considered high-piled if their height exceeds 6 ft.

By Lisa Bossert, P.E. Fire Protection Engineer, Schirmer Engineering, Charlotte, N.C.
MNS, ECS February 1, 2006

Sprinkler Connection First to be Seismically Qualified

Flexible fire protection connection manufacturer FlexHead Industries, Holliston, Mass., recently completed full-scale seismic qualification testing at the Structural Engineering Earthquake Simulation Laboratory at the University at Buffalo, N.Y. using the International Code Council Evaluation Services (ICC-ES) testing standard ICC AC-156 Seismic Qualification Testing of Nonstructural Components . According to FlexHead, this was the first time a sprinkler component has been successfully tested in accordance with the acceptance test criteria of ICC-ES and is the only flexible sprinkler connection to satisfy these testing requirements. For the test, a fire sprinkler system was installed pursuant to NFPA13 requirements, and the company's flexible sprinklers were connected to the branch lines and installed in suspended ceilings to meet code requirements for Seismic Design Categories C, D, E and F. The suspended ceilings were then subjected to the seismic accelerations determined for each category.

By Staff
MNS, ECS January 5, 2006

Remote Monitoring System Enhances Fire Protection for Norwegian Historical Site

Røros, Norway, is a remote copper mining center on UNESCO's list of priceless world historical sites. Needless to say, an historic site of this caliber needs protection. Consequently, the town has implemented advanced remote monitoring technology for 24-hour surveillance and early detection of firein 17th century wooden buildings. Merging visual imaging with thermal imaging and temperature measurement, the new system is mounted on a pan-and-tilt head in the city’s church tower and remotely controlled from a PC at the local fire station. The city center of Røros is under a preservation order and is listed by UNESCO as one of the world’s cultural treasures, in company with Versailles and the pyramids of Egypt.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS January 5, 2006

SFPE Issues Call for Papers for Its Annual Symposium

The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), Bethesda, Md., has issued a call for papers for its annual symposium entitled Partners for Protection: Fire Protection Engineers and the Fire Service. The symposium will be held Oct. 17 and 18, 2006, in Ellicott City, Md. Presentations about recent advancements in fire-protection engineering related to the fire service are sought for this symposium, and may address topics such as: firefighter safety, fire investigations, incident information systems, wildland-urban interface, mass notification, manual fire suppression agents, and fire department interface with fire-protection systems.The emphasis is on engineering design and how it applies to the fire service. “The fire-service and fire-protection engineers work together to make our communities safe from fire.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS December 7, 2005

Effective Fire Protection For the Retail Environment

There are a number of criteria to be considered when choosing a fire alarm system for a retail operation. By paying close attention to these criteria, retail building owners and managers can feel quite comfortable that their choices will translate to a level of fire detection that will effectively protect their employees, their patrons and their products. This article is meant to provide some basic guidelines that will assist owners and managers of diverse retail operations in addressing these criteria. The “real” starting line in the fire protection race is at the point of building construction or renovation.

By Richard Aldrich, Project Engineer Fire Control Instruments, Westwood, Mass.
MNS, ECS December 1, 2005

NEC 645 Might Not be for You

First of all, let us present a few important facts about Article 645 of the National Electrical Code: it is titled "Information Technology Equipment," but it does not apply to most IT equipment, and devices listed as IT equipment do not have to be installed in IT equipment rooms. The reason that we make this last point is because most people associate IT equipment with computer rooms and data centers. The truth is that most IT equipment is not used in such locations. For example, any desktop computer, fax machine or printer is a piece of IT equipment, but isn't only found in computer rooms—and isn't directly covered by the NEC. But when a room is full of electronic equipment racks and dedicated cooling equipment, most people call it a data center or a computer room.

By Ron Shapiro, Data Center Design Engineer, EYP Mission Critical Facilities, New York and Steve Mccluer, Senior Applications Engineer, American Power Conversion, West Kingston, R.I.
MNS, ECS November 7, 2005

Construction Industry Coalition Council Convenes Forum on Risk Management

The Construction Industry Coalition Council (CICC) will convene the third session in its three-part 2005 Fora Series on Risk Management. To be held on Tuesday morning, Nov. 15, the forum will address Innovations in Building Reliability . Topics include non-traditional fire suppression systems, performance-based earthquake engineering and building security standards for occupant survivability. Earlier in the year, the first of the trilogy focused on Reducing Risks: Materials- volatility, evaluations of barriers, international trade, pricing, substitution .

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS November 1, 2005

Life After Halon

The halon phase-out is on, and has been for quite some time. In today's increasingly environmentally sensitive construction world, the not-so-environmentally friendly fire-suppression method is becoming obsolete. Replacement of halogenated agent suppression systems first became a concern of physical plant managers and fire suppression designers with the adoption of the 1987 Montreal Protocol—amended in 1990 and 1992—wherein member states agreed to work toward reducing ozone-depleting chemicals. The requirements of the protocol created a surge of research, development and marketing of new alternative suppression agents.

By Kenneth L. Gentile, P.E., Senior Consultant, Rolf Jensen and Assocs., Houston
MNS, ECS November 1, 2005

Letters: Reader Feedback – 2005-11-01 – 2005-11-01

Important NEC exclusion In your Codes and Standards story "New NEC Could Change Emergency Power Distribution System Design" (CSE 8/05, p.21), you neglected to mention a section 700 paragraph that is certain to have a significant impact on the design of emergency feeders. 700.9(D)(1), for buildings that exceed 75 ft.

By Staff
MNS, ECS October 5, 2005

NFPA Report Finds Higher Estimated Reliability of Fire Sprinklers

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has released an updated report with new evidence on the value of automatic fire sprinkler systems. The report finds sprinklers to be even more reliable than previously estimated in reducing U.S. fire deaths. The report, “U.S.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS October 1, 2005

State of Sprinklers

Designers of fire sprinkler systems today confront many issues: requirements that exceed minimums set by NFPA 13; an abundance of new technologies; and evolving job expectations. CSE: What are some of the latest trends in the design and specification of sprinkler systems? HOPKINS: One of the hottest design trends is performance requirements that exceed the minimum prescribed levels of NFPA 13 [Installation of Sprinkler Systems]. Many jurisdictions, including the federal government, are requiring these provisions.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS September 7, 2005

Fire Protection Engineers’ Annual Meeting and Conference Set for October

The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) 2005 Annual Meeting and Professional Development Conference kicks off on Monday, Oct. 17, in California, at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. The week’s events will illustrate the “wave of the future” in fire-protection engineering, say SFPE officials. The annual meeting will be followed by the Awards and Honors Banquet and will feature a special presentation by former SR-71 pilot Colonel Buz Carpenter entitled "Recognizing Achievement - Performance and Protection.” Four days of educational events that demonstrate how science and technology are used to make the world safe from fire will start on Oct.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS September 7, 2005

NFPA Codes Now Require Fire Sprinklers in Vulnerable Facilities

The codes and standards development oversight body of the National Fire Protection Assn. known as the Standards Council, The provisions apply to the 2006 editions of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code and NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code ; they went into effect on August 18. The Standards Council action endorsed the report of the applicable NFPA technical committees and the subsequent membership action at the NFPA World Safety Conference & Exposition “The code provision for sprinklers in new one- and two-family dwellings is a milestone in fire protection,” said James M.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS September 1, 2005

What’s at Risk?

While it's true that fire protection in educational occupancies is generally well-regulated by applicable building codes— the Life Safety Code and local fire codes—is this really good enough for parents, teachers and administrators? After all, it is a well-established fact that code requirements are a minimum and do not address the specific needs of a building owner or user. Fortunately, qualitative risk-based approaches to fire safety can be a cost-effective way to address specific risks and improve life safety in educational occupancies beyond the minimum code requirements. However, such solutions require an understanding of the school fire record, knowledge of the population characteristics and the application of a holistic, engineering-based approach to fire safety. All classrooms not equal The 2003 International Building Code defines educational occupancies as those that house, for instructional purposes, at least six occupants ranging from 2ty classroom buildings are classified as business occupancies. A similar definition can be found in the 2003 Life Safety Code . In any case, this classification includes within its scope buildings that have a broad range of occupant ages, capabilities, fire hazards and risks.

By Jeffrey Lasalle, P.E., Principal, LaSalle Engineering, LLC, Willow Grove, Pa.
MNS, ECS August 12, 2005

Webcast: The Confluence of Fire, Security, and Life Safety Technologies

Webcast registration policy The participation of our sponsors in this Webcast enables us to provide this event free of charge to our registrants. Part of the value we are able to provide our sponsors is information they can use to more effectively market their products and services. Accordingly, by agreeing to register for this event, you agree that we may share your registration information with our sponsors.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS August 4, 2005

Equipment Manufacturer and Congressman Join to Promote Fire Sprinkler Legislation

Officials from the Viking Corp., Hastings, Mich., met recently with Congressman Vernon J. Ehlers [R-MI] in Grand Rapids to recognize his leadership in cosponsoring HR 1131, Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act of 2005. With Congressman Ehlers’ support, the bill now has a total of 89 cosponsors. During the meeting, Viking’s President Mike Bosma presented the Congressman with hundreds of letters written by Viking employees and other members of the community expressing support for the legislation. According to a Viking spokesperson, the major hurdle keeping many property owners from installing sprinklers is finance of the systems.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS August 1, 2005

State of Security

Security experts say digital technology is quickly becoming the norm, particularly in the CCTV realm, and that other, formerly exotic equipment, such as biometrics, is also gaining more acceptance. CSE: What are some of the newest and trendiest security technologies being considered for facilities these days? GARCIA: Trendy technologies would have to include video system enhancements, pedestrian access control, biometric access and automated vehicle penetration bollards. For example, digital video devices, with larger storage capacity and more effective data retrieval, have replaced analog equipment. Digital provides these benefits through integration into existing facility LAN infrastructures. Also, storage of video images on dedicated security systems is no longer the only alternative. The trend is toward images stored on computer mainframes managed by the IT departments. In access control, the utilization of turnstiles in main lobbies has become more common, since they provide a means of establishing accountability for individuals entering and exiting. The use of magnetometers and x-ray equipment is being seen more in manufacturing facilities and high-rise buildings.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS July 18, 2005

NFPA 101: Changes to the 2005 Life Safety Code

Significant additions and revisions were made to NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, at the National Fire Protection Assn.’s 2005 World Safety Conference and Expo in June. Some of these important changes are outlined below, including the following: ABHR dispensers protected IAW Section 8.7.3 unless all of the following are met:Where installed in a corridor, min. width 72 in.Min.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS July 8, 2005

A Cost-Efficient One-Gallon Bladder Expansion Tank for Fire Protection

Young Engineering, San Dimas, Calif., known for highly engineered, industrial-quality surge and pulsation control products, announced today that it has developed a new UL approved one-gallon, non-repairable Bladder Expansion Tank (BET) designed specifically for the fire protection industry to protect anti-freeze sprinkler systems from the damaging effects of thermal expansion. “We had more than one goal when designing this one-gallon BET product,” said Winston Young, president of Young Engineering. “The simplicity of its design makes it unique. It’s compact design makes it easier to fit and install in smaller commercial or residential systems, it’s more cost-efficient for those smaller systems, and it still meets and exceeds safety requirements of both UL and NFPA.” On systems that utilize backflow preventors, over-pressure problems can occur when temperature variation (excessive heat) cause the antifreeze to expand resulting in component damage.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS July 8, 2005

Call for a Measured Response to NIST’s WTC Recommendations

Two risk and fire-safety experts have called for a balanced, measured response to recommendations on tall building regulation and design released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in response to the World Trade Center collapse. “It is important that we learn all we can about how the WTC towers collapsed, but we must be careful not to take building-specific and event-specific failure information out of context,” said Brian Meacham, risk consulting team leader for London-based engineering firm Arup. “We need to recognize that not all factors that contributed to the WTC collapse may be applicable to other building designs.” Meacham is widely regarded as a leading authority on risk-informed performance-based design and regulation. He recently participated in the National Construction Safety Team investigation of The Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island and currently chairs the Risk and Security Advisory Committee for the New York City Department of Buildings building code development effort. “Everyone knows that there is no such thing as zero risk—in most cases the best we can hope for is to strike a balance between a tolerable level of risk and the cost of risk mitigation.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS July 8, 2005

Viega, Fenwal and United Fire Protection Join Forces to Protect Lady Liberty

In 2003, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. was asked by the U.S. National Park Service to raise funds necessary to make a number of critical improvements to the statue.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS July 1, 2005

Addressing Security: Plenty of Room in MasterFormat to Grow

It's Monday morning. Jane leaves for the office. She drives up to the parking garage entrance and swipes a keycard to raise the gate.

By Tom Rauscher, CSI, President, Archi-Technology, Rochester, N.Y.
MNS, ECS July 1, 2005

Fire Protection Systems: One Size Does Not Fit All

Recent legislation and a higher concern for life safety have created a major increase in fire detection and alarm system modifications. When it comes to designing and specifying these modifications, the engineer must consider many items that may have a significant impact on the ultimate construction. Also, several jurisdictions now are requiring the fire detection and alarm system to be fully designed prior to issuance of a building permit.

By Herb Knieriem, LEED AP, Managing Principal, and Lee Fleming, Associate Electrical Engineer, Glumac, Sacramento
MNS, ECS June 30, 2005

Product Showcase: June 3, 2005

Visit for industry news and featuresJune 3, 2005 Special Advertising Section Here is the next edition of Consulting-Specifying Engineer's product and system solutions showcase. BDS-40 Battery Diagnostic System Alber has developed a new easy-to-install Battery monitor optimized for UPS battery cabinets. BDS-40 will monitor all vital parameters and allow you to optimize useful battery life.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS June 30, 2005

Product Showcase: June 2, 2005

Visit for industry news and featuresJune 2, 2005 Special Advertising Section Here is the next edition of Consulting-Specifying Engineer's product and system solutions showcase. Visit Harrington Fire's website Request more information about Harrington Fire Fire Spy™ Tracker 8000NEW-The Fire Spy™ System is a complete life safety notification system. Addressable and/or conventional modular design Auto programming 15 remote annunciators per panel Expandable to 60 conventional zones (10 zones per module) Network 64 panels (over 60,000 points) Expandable to eight addressable loops two per module per panel Drift compensation Optional off-site trouble shooting capability Easy to install, Program friendly Meets new UL 864 standards I-Spy and C-Spy Detectors Experienced technical team Experienced customer service team Complete line of life safety equipment to meet your needs. Quality service Alternative for insulated pipe applications Cooper B-Line Armafixy solution for an insulated piping system. Visit Cooper B-Line's website Request more information about Armafix Duct Smoke Detector Raises the Bar The SL-2000 Series from Air Products and Controls Inc.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS June 28, 2005

Fire Protection FINALISTS

Early-suppression fast-response sprinkler system offers a solution to the disadvantages of in-rack fire sprinklers in cold-storage environments with temperatures as low as -20ith the pressurized pre-mix and the water solution is maintained from a pressure pump system. A valve with special trim is used to isolate antifreeze from the water supply. The system is designed to protect up to class II storage commodities in buildings up to 45 ft.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS June 15, 2005

Tyco Division to License Revolutionary Sprinkler Technology

Tyco Fire and Building Products (TFBP), Lansdale, Pa., has entered into a license agreement with Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co., Viking Corp. and Victaulic Co. of America concerning Tyco’s low- pressure, early-suppression fast-response (LP/ESFR) sprinkler technology. TFBP reached this agreement on behalf of Central Sprinkler Co., the company that originally developed this technology before being acquired by Tyco.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS June 14, 2005

NFPA’s 2005 World Safety Conference & Exposition: Highlights from the Education Sessions

Educational sessions at this year’s annual meeting of the National Fire Protection Assn. in Las Vegas offered a wide range of information from industry experts. Some of these presentations included unique and novel ways of looking at some longstanding issues.

By Scott Siddens, Senior Editor
MNS, ECS June 8, 2005

National Electrical Code 2005: Designing Computer Rooms

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a regular monthly column that covers significant new issues raised by the 2005 Edition of the National Electrical Code. Computer room designs and construction vary, but common features of most are self-contained HVAC systems, fire and smoke monitoring systems, automatic sprinkler or gaseous agent fire extinguishing systems, fire-rated walls, raised floors, underfloor wiring systems, and emergency power-off systems. Because of the critical nature of the 24/7 operation of most computer rooms, reliability is the critical design factor.

By Chris Tapas, P.E., President, Tapas Engineering Services PC, Chicago
MNS, ECS June 8, 2005

NFPA 2005 Products 6/05

Firestop system selector uses a short questionnaire to determine all acceptable options and installs them directly onto the user’s digital organizer. Additionally, the selector software displays recommendations in order of importance and eliminates irrelevant questions based on previous answers. For more on the FS 411 from Hilti, Inc., click here .

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS June 1, 2005

Book It

Back in the early days of the World Wide Web—all of 10 years ago—some predicted the web would bring an end to the traditional library, as efforts to convert text into an electronic format would make physical storage less important. Well, the ongoing strength of library construction today has proved those predictions wrong, and experts say that today's new libraries are only getting bigger and more feature-packed. "Right now, dollar-wise, it gets bigger every year," says Dick Waters, president of Cottonwood, Ariz.-based Providence Assocs., a consulting firm that helps library systems develop programming requirements for new or renovated facilities. "I think the one thing that's not happening is that the Internet is going to stop the need for libraries.

By Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer
MNS, ECS May 26, 2005

Technical Training and Certification in the HVAC/R Industry

Physicians have their board exams. Lawyers, realtors and other professionals also have tests to measure their skill levels. Leaders at the United Association (UA), a multi-craft union representing service and piping technicians in the HVAC/R fields, believed that their industry needed a similar testing standard.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer staff
MNS, ECS May 6, 2005

Federal Fire Sprinkler Act Update: Legislation is Gaining Momentum

In Sept. 2004, CSE reported on the introduction of the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act in the U.S. Senate.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS May 1, 2005

Change is in the Air

The elevator may have fostered the development of high-rise buildings, but it has also created problems. First and foremost, from a life-safety perspective, is that elevator shafts are a ready path for heat and smoke in multi-story buildings. The hazards of vertical fire movement, in fact, became apparent as early as 1911, with New York's landmark Triangle Shirtwaist fire.

By Gregory J. Cahanin, President, Cahanin Fire & Code Consulting, St. Petersburg, Fla.
MNS, ECS May 1, 2005

Protecting People and Property: NFPA’s 2005 World Safety Conference & Expo

In the past, the National Fire Protection Assn. has hosted two national meetings per year. Beginning this year, however, they are being combined into the annual World Safety Conference & Expo, to be held in Las Vegas June 6 through 10. The trade exposition promises to be the biggest NFPA expo ever.

By Staff
MNS, ECS May 1, 2005

NFPA World Safety Conference to Tackle Big Code Items

Big happenings are expected at this year's upcoming National Fire Protection Assn. World Safety Conference and Exposition, June 6–10. For starters, the conference and show will take place in Las Vegas for the first time. This summer's show also marks the consolidation of NFPA's two annual programs into one major event.

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
MNS, ECS May 1, 2005

Stayin’ Alive

As long as people gamble, some things will never change in Las Vegas: Casinos will always be open; neon lighting will always be in style; and the house will always win if you play long enough. And that's the real secret of success in Sin City: giving people everything they need—accommodations, shopping, dining, gambling and entertainment—all under one roof.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Staff Editor
MNS, ECS April 6, 2005

New Products for Fire-Protection and Security

Comparison Video demonstrates the fire-resistant effectiveness of an alternative to oriented-strand board. The video demonstrates how two structures, one built with OSB and the other with the alternate, show two entirely different burn scenarios. After both buildings were set on fire, one building remains intact,while the building constructed of untreated OSB is completely destroyed.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS April 6, 2005

Solving Seismic Design Challenges for Fire-Sprinkler Systems at JFK

A 1.84-million-sq.-ft. behemoth that holds three complete concourses. Passenger check-in space big enough to hold Giants Stadium.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS February 28, 2005

Industry Roundup: Strategic Alliances and Association Memberships

• Schneider Electric , Rueil-Malmaison, France, is moving to enhance its capabilities in energy management systems with the acquisition of Canadian-based Power Measurement, Inc. Schneider has agreed to acquire PMI, owned by a consortium led by GFI Energy Ventures LLC. A leading designer, manufacturer and provider of enterprise energy intelligent systems for energy suppliers, PMI had sales of $57 million in 2004. • FlexHead Industries, manufacturer of flexible fire-sprinkler connections has announced that they have entered into the system compatibility program created by Noveon, Inc.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS February 1, 2005

Chicago Sprinkler Mandate: Bridging the Code Gap

Creating and revising building codes normally moves at a glacial pace—until disaster strikes and pushes authorities into action. The problem is that government agencies are often politically pressured to act fast under extraordinary circumstances and don't have the time to spell out all the details in the code.

By Scott Siddens, Senior Editor
MNS, ECS February 1, 2005

Have a Safe Flight

Fire professionals share the finer points of airport fire-protection design for these unique facilities. CSE: Given the unique nature of airports, what special fire-protection requirements do these facilities have? CASTELLANO: Today's airports incorporate large open areas, often atriums, to provide passengers with a sense of spacious surroundings and a welcoming environment to the arriving city.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS January 26, 2005

Reader Feedback: The Real “Facts” on UFAD

I appreciated your presentation of the roundtable discussion comparing underfloor air distribution (UFAD) systems with overhead (OH) systems ( CSE 10/04 p. 33 ). As design engineers are learning about new and potentially promising HVAC technologies such as UFAD, it is very important and helpful to present accurate information, as well as a range of viewpoints.

By Fred Bauman, P.E., Center for the Built Environment, University of California, Berkeley
MNS, ECS January 1, 2005

Smoke Control: To CFD or not to CFD

Computational fluid dynamics is the latest and greatest when it comes to designing smoke management systems. But it's a complicated tool that's not necessary for every project. CONSULTING-SPECIFYING ENGINEER: Smoke management is an area where fire protection and mechanical engineers truly interface. Software for fire modeling and computational fluid dynamics make for even more exciting interfac...

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS January 1, 2005

The Electrical Impact of IBC Fire Pump Criteria

With the recent implementation of the International Building Code in the state of Washington, a need to increase fire pump horsepower has arisen. But equally important is the need to increase the size of associated generator and standy power equipment. In recent design meetings with fire-protection engineers, it has been brought to our attention that the pump size calculations under the Uniform...

By Keith Lane, P.E., RCDD/NTS Specialist, LC, LEED AP, Vice President, Engineering, SASCO, Seattle
MNS, ECS January 1, 2005

Government Restoration

Buildings all over the country, constructed in the '50s, '60s and '70s "need massive upgrading," declares Bill Helmuth, AIA, design director for the Washington, D.C. office of A/E HOK. In the private sector this is not welcome news, as buildings from these eras aren't exactly retrofit-friendly because of narrow floor plates and low floor-to-floor heights.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS January 1, 2005

MasterFormat 2004 : A Major Step Forward for Construction Project Delivery

Project delivery takes a major step forward with the recent release of MasterFormat 2004 Edition. This new version of commercial construction's organizational standard for project information is designed to reduce construction changes and delays caused by incomplete, misplaced or missing data. How? By undergoing the biggest expansion in the product's 40-year history to foster more comprehensive...

By Karl Borgstrom, Ph.D., Executive Director, Construction Specifications Institute, Alexandria, Va.
MNS, ECS January 1, 2005

Letters: Reader Feedback – 2005-01-01

LEED titles incorrect The story "Ready for Take Off" (CSE 11/04 p. 30) made many good points about the benefits of a good BAS system, but there's no need to stretch the truth. It was peculiar that the authors took the liberty of changing the names of three LEED credits. They changed the name for EA Credit 5 from "Measurement & Verification" to "Measurement & Verification Utilizing BAS.

By Staff
MNS, ECS December 21, 2004

Smoke Detection in Places of Worship

Places of worship are among the most precious historic landmarks in the United States. Protecting these facilities and their irreplaceable contents from fire and smoke damage is of great concern to congregations and those interested in heritage preservation. After arson, the leading cause of church fires is electrical problems, which often remain undetected until substantial damage is done. Church structures present unique problems for smoke and fire detection.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS December 21, 2004

Safe Solutions for High-Rise Buildings Require Long-Term Planning

By Claude Hollyfield, DAHC, Director of Training, YSG Door Security Consultants Close your eyes. Can you locate the nearest fire exit in your building? If not, imagine the similar darkness you would experience if your building became engulfed with smoke during a fire. Occupant safety in high-rise buildings depends on being able to quickly exit into stairwells and gain access to other safe floors. While it would seem the obvious solution, completely vacating a high-rise is simply not practical - leaving high-rise safety dependent on finding safe refuge elsewhere in the building. As recent high-rise tragedies have illustrated, moving away from a gauntlet of flame, smoke or heat doesn't always ensure the safety of those in distress.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS December 15, 2004

First Step Towards High-Rise Fire Safety

Copyright 2004 PR Newswire Association LLC. All Rights Reserved. PR Newswire US December 15, 2004 Wednesday Fire Sprinkler Group Says Daley's Ordinance is First Step Towards High-Rise Fire Safety ORLAND PARK, Ill., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) congratulates Chicago Mayor Richard Daley for the first constructive step toward making the city's commercial high-rises safer. "It's the first step because some high-rise buildings where people work will be protected," said Tom Lia, NIFSAB executive director.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS December 14, 2004

Product Showcase 12/14/04

Visit for industry news and featuresDecember 14, 2004 Special Advertising SectionDear Reader,Here is the December edition of Consulting-Specifying Engineer's product and system solutions showcase. Browse Products: Delta Cooling Towers | Cooper B-Line | Metraflex | Cummins | Harrington Fire | CSE Specifier's Guide Free TowerSelect™ software for sizing corrosion-proof cooling towers Delta Cooling Towers, Inc. introduces TowerSelect ™ software, which will help you select the corrosion and leak proof cooling tower needed for your project.

MNS, ECS December 2, 2004

New Products for Fire Protection 12/1/04

Fire alarm control panel product lines are being expanded. The analog addressable control panel is said to be ideal for commercial, institutional, and industrial life safety applications. The panels can accommodate up to sixteen 600 series expansion modules and can support up to 128 conventional input circuits or more than 2,000 addressable points using the XP95 protocol.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS November 2, 2004

Fire and Life-Safety Innovations in Audio

Two new innovations in audio technology that are applicable to fire-protection and security systems in buildings have been announced recently—directional sound technology and smart audio surveillance. Directional sound technology works in conjunction with smoke detectors and audible/visible notification devices to expedite occupant evacuation from burning buildings. Device manufacturers that are using this technology claim that it provides significant improvement over using only visual-based emergency egress aids, such as emergency lighting and photoluminescent guidance strips and standard sound alarms. Directional sound systems deploy a series of evacuation beacons throughout a facility that offer easy-to-understand, nonverbal cues to draw people through the building and out to safety. “Sound beacons are not intended to replace traditional fire-alarm sounders,” says Professor D. Withington of the University of Leeds School of Biomedical Sciences and lead researcher on the directional sound studies.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS November 1, 2004

Letters: Reader Feedback – 2004-11-01

Why sprinklers now? The proposed ordinance to sprinkler all high-rise buildings in the city of Chicago has been the source of more public pressure, aldermanic wrangling and technical debate than any other issue facing the city council in the last three decades. Millions of dollars in potential costs are at stake.

By Staff
MNS, ECS October 1, 2004

Chicago Fire Report Blazes

A report issued this month by emergency management consulting firm James Lee Witt Assocs., "Independent Review of the Cook County Administration Fire," blames last year's Chicago high-rise fire on mistakes and miscommunications between officials at the city, county and state levels. Six people died from smoke inhalation in the fire, which occurred on Oct.

By Staff
MNS, ECS October 1, 2004

Fire and Life-Safety Product News

Intelligent addressable control panel targets the small building market and features features advanced smoke-detection capabilities and auto-programming. The unit is a single-loop panel with a capacity of up to 198 addressable devices. Auto-detector testing, drift compensation, maintenance alert and auto-device type verification offer advanced maintenance and troubleshooting capabilities.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS September 1, 2004

Being Safe, Sound and Secure

With much of the current presidential campaign focusing on the recommendations of the 9/11 panel and how to best deal with terror threats, the spotlight is on security. This is also the month when ASIS International, the major association of security professionals, hosts its annual expo. This year's event will take place from Sept.

By Staff
MNS, ECS August 1, 2004

New Products – 2004-08-01

Pressure transducer is compatible with multiple liquids and gases and contains no seals or O-rings that could cause leakage. The unit offers ± 0.25% full scale accuracy, 0.10% hysteresis, stability of 0.5% FS/yr. and pressure ranges as low as zero to 1 psig up to zero to 10,000 psig with either voltage (0.

By Staff
MNS, ECS August 1, 2004

Houston … No Problem

Houston, we have a problem! Those, of course, are the immortal words uttered from the cold void of space by Jim Lovell, commander of the seemingly doomed, yet miraculous Apollo 13 lunar mission of 1970. Some 30-plus years later, in another very cold place, similar words were uttered when school officials in the city of Houston—Alaska—decided to build a new, energy-efficient high sch...

By David F. Shumway, P.E., Associate/Senior Mechanical Engineer, and Edward E. Peck, P.E., Senior Electrical Engineer, AMC Engineers, Anchorage, Alaska
MNS, ECS July 1, 2004

Reader Feedback – 2004-07-01 – 2004-07-01

Questioning SFPE Politics Regarding "Sprinkler Act Support" (CSE 05/04 p. 11), I think it is laudable that the Society of Fire Protection Engineers supports the idea of motivating building owners to install these life-saving systems. However, why support a five-year write-off of investment? Why not a write off in the year of retrofit? Where does engineering judgment enter the arena of taxpayer ...

By Staff
MNS, ECS June 1, 2004

Sensitive Issues

CONSULTING-SPECIFYING ENGINEER: What are the criteria for determining when to specify fire suppression in place of traditional sprinklering? RZEZNIK: The use of special suppression systems, which includes both gaseous agents and water mist systems as the primary extinguishing method, is generally dictated by the nature of what's being protected and its relative value to the owner—or to so...

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS May 1, 2004

Beyond Traditional Inspection and Testing of Fire-Alarm Systems

Ask a building owner, engineer or contractor what commissioning means, and you're likely to get a variety of answers. Some may say that commissioning focuses on the performance of a building's HVAC system. Others will say that it is glorified testing, adjusting and balancing. Some may even get closer to the industry definition and describe commissioning as a process that starts in the early pla...

By Jeffrey LaSalle, P.E., President, EwingCole, SAFE Consultants Div., Philadelphia
MNS, ECS May 1, 2004

Sprinkler Act Support

The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) last month announced support for the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act of 2003. If the act passes, the current federal tax code would be modified to classify sprinkler systems as five-year property for purposes of depreciation, allowing building owners to depreciate the cost of a sprinkler system over an accelerated schedule and recover costs much more...

By Staff
MNS, ECS May 1, 2004

Letters – 2004-05-01

Good Place to Start In the April Editor's Viewpoint "Justice & Politickin', Crockett-Style," Mr. Crockett notes he chooses not to let his children listen to TV and radio programs such as Howard Stern. Talk about control—he must be very good at it if he can control everything his kids listen to.

By Staff
MNS, ECS May 1, 2004

Spirits of the Sky

Flying into Dulles International, home to architect Eero Saarinen's landmark terminal, one might not easily spot the Smithsonian Institution's contribution to the airport, despite its expansive 760,000 sq. ft. That's because the museum's new facility, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, very much resembles any other large airport hangar.

By Rock Shi Meng, P.E., Fire Protection Engineer, Gage-Babcock & Associates, Inc., Chantilly, Va.
MNS, ECS April 1, 2004

Frequently Overlooked Issues in Designing Fire Pump Systems

Some important considerations are often missing in fire pump system design. Asking the following questions will help the designer avoid overlooking some key concerns: Were adjustments made for altitude, pump-room temperature and for a right angle drive on a diesel-engine pump? On one engine derating table, the temperature graph begins at 77ºF.

By John D. Jensen, P.E., Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho
MNS, ECS April 1, 2004

Fighting Fires … Before and After They Start

Contrary to what many industry professionals might think, a fire-protection engineer is neither the pump controls operator on a fire engine nor a sprinkler system designer. Practitioners of a relatively new and specialized discipline, fire-protection engineers today are licensed and recognized as P.E.

By Dominique Dieken, P.E., CFPS Senior Engineer, HSB Professional Loss Control, Crestline, Calif.
MNS, ECS April 1, 2004

New Products – 2004-04-01

Digital video recorder is single-channel and non-PC-based, and offers remote viewing and control though LAN, ADSL and other network types. It features image compression, digital watermarking, multiple recording modes, advanced search modes, selectable playback speeds, power-loss protection and two hard drives.

By Staff
MNS, ECS March 1, 2004

New Products – 2004-03-01

Main system board for manufacturer's life-safety system has a processor that's eight times faster than its predecessor and two analog loop device circuits that allow the use of unshielded, untwisted wires. The board uses firmware in flash memory, and upgrade chips are not required to change the firmware.

By Staff
MNS, ECS March 1, 2004

Station Tragedy Recalled

Last month marked the one-year anniversary of one of the largest U.S. nightclub death tolls in recent years. A mid-February, 2003 fire killed 100 at the Station, a live rock-and-roll music venue in West Warwick, R.I. This event, as well as a recent high-rise fire in downtown Chicago, has spurred new discussion on the subject of fire and life safety in U.

By Staff
MNS, ECS March 1, 2004

Efficient Distribution

Warehouses may look a lot alike from the outside, but M/E/P engineers familiar with this type of facility know that the same is not true of the infrastructure. Warehouse owners all have unique needs and requirements. And while there may be ideal types of building systems for these facilities, what is desired often conflicts with what is practical in terms of size and cost.

By Scott Siddens, Senior Editor
MNS, ECS February 1, 2004

Letters – 2004-02-01

Get Up, Stand Up In your Editor's Viewpoint, "A Call to Action" (CSE 11/03 p. 7), you noted that in the past, some readers have made it known that you should keep "politics out of engineering discussions." I disagree—it's what makes the discussion more interesting and relevant. To put it in further context, consider this quote I ran across recently from Martin Luther King, Jr: "Our lives...

By Staff
MNS, ECS February 1, 2004

Fire Protection: The Right Balance

CONSULTING-SPECIFYING ENGINEER: Do fire-protection engineers look more to active techniques? How can passive fire protection play a greater role? HAYNES/PRYMAK: The National Fire Protection Assn. (NFPA)—and all the building codes—continue to stress active fire protection in the form of sprinklers and alarm and detection systems.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS January 1, 2004

Going Automatic in California

Effective July 1, 2002, the California Legislature passed a law requiring automatic fire alarm systems in various school construction projects, such as Eureka High School, pictured right. The law is known as the Green Oaks Family Academy Elementary School Fire Protection Act (SB 575). In order to ensure proper long-term operation of an automatic fire alarm system in a school, the system designe...

By Hadi Rezvani, P.E., RCDD, Lead Electrical Engineer, Glumac International, Sacramento, Calif.
MNS, ECS December 1, 2003

Briefly … – 2003-12-01

Denver-based CH2M HILL recently acquired Lockwood Greene, Spartanburg, S.C., for $95.5 million. Lockwood Greene has been operating since 1832, making it the oldest continually operating U.S. professional services firm. Aerias has released a CD of selected papers on indoor air quality from its Third Annual National Symposium.

By Staff
MNS, ECS December 1, 2003

All Rise

The Alamo is the most photographed building in Texas. But the next edifice on the photo-op list isn't as obvious. It's not the site of an epic battle. It's not a towering skyscraper. And no, it's not the Southfork Ranch. The second-most photographed building in the Lone Star State is the historic Ellis County Courthouse in Waxahachie.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Editor
MNS, ECS December 1, 2003

’03 ARC Awards

I'm pleased to unveil the winners of this, our second ARC Awards competition. For a refresher, the awards, short for Advancing, Reinvigorating and Cultivating excellence in engineering, is not necessarily a competition about the "best" buildings or designs but about designs and designers that find the right solutions, often by going outside the box.

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
MNS, ECS November 1, 2003

Computer Fire

Fire-protection design for computer rooms doesn't need to be an expensive guessing game. But it's true that when companies attempt to protect these most valuable electronic assets, the stakes are higher and the fire-protection systems become more complex and costly. For example, in most cases, the conventional wet sprinkler system plays only a secondary role.

By David N. Holst, Department Manager, Plumbing and Fire Protection, Bala Consulting Engineers, Inc., Philadelphia
MNS, ECS November 1, 2003

A Call to Action

Sports stadiums filled the pages of CSE last issue, and as I'm writing this piece, football stadiums are on my mind again, but for much more somber reasons. As I tuned into Monday Night Football for the Chargers/Dolphins matchup, the pre-game segments were very different from usual, focusing not on football, but on the wild fires that were ravenously consuming homes across Southern California.

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
MNS, ECS November 1, 2003

NFPA Head Wants 100% of Nursing Homes Sprinklered

The National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) president, James M. Shannon, last month called for all U.S. nursing homes to be equipped with fire sprinklers. The decree was prompted in part by two nursing home fires—one in Nashville and one in Hartford, Conn.—that claimed 24 lives and injured dozens earlier this year.

By Staff
MNS, ECS September 1, 2003

MasterFormat Revisited

The latest revision to the Construction Specifications Institute's (CSI) MasterFormat is now available for review by the AEC community at "This draft, like those before it, is provided to elicit commentary from users and others interested in and affected by the MasterFormat expansion process," notes Leonard Greenberger of the CSI MasterFormat Expansion Task T...

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
MNS, ECS August 1, 2003

Guidelines for Guiding Smoke

The National Fire Protection Assn's. Technical Committee on Smoke Management Systems will meet in September to discuss proposals to NFPA 92B, Guide for Smoke Management Systems in Malls, Atria and Large Areas. Among the topics of discussion is how to transform the guide, which provides design, operation and maintenance data for smoke management systems in large-volume spaces, into an actual st...

By Geoff Weisenberger, Production/Web Editor
MNS, ECS August 1, 2003

Life, Security and the Pursuit of Effectiveness

It's unanimous: Government spending on building projects is up—for the federal government, that is. At the state and municipal level, on the other hand, budget deficits have put many plans on hold. The surplus of federal building programs, however, coming to bear in a wide range of projects for dozens of different agencies, is keeping a number of engineers busy this year, and the action i...

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS July 1, 2003

Letters – 2003-07-01 – 2003-07-01

Firestopping is not an option, but a requirement Many thanks for mentioning new technologies from manufacturer members of the Firestop Contractors International Association (FCIA) who were exhibiting at the NFPA Show in Dallas, in your special NFPA issue of CSE NewsWatch (and CSE 06/03 p.16). HILTI, Specified Technologies and 3M have been active members of FCIA for some time now.

By Staff
MNS, ECS June 1, 2003

Fire Alarms for the Future

CSE: Have you noted any significant changes in how fire-alarm systems are set up in buildings since the events of 9/11? HEIN: Many people are beginning to recognize the importance of fire-alarm systems as part of a comprehensive security system. We've also seen a keen interest in emergency-evacuation systems.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS June 1, 2003

Re-Making History

Peabody Mansion, in Chicago's west suburbs, can accurately be described as an atypical single-family suburban domicile. This sprawling 30,000-sq.-ft. former residence on 90 acres was designed in the early 20th century by renowned architect Benjamin H. Marshall as a testimonial to the power of energy.

By Thomas F. Laskowski, P.E., Director of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Holabird & Root-Architects & Engineers Chicago
MNS, ECS May 1, 2003

SFPE Gets FEMA Grant

The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) received a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to convert the four-day Principles of Fire Protection Engineering class—authored by Professors John L. Bryan and James A. Milke, FSFPEs—to a distance-learning format. The goal is to bring the program to a broader, international audience of fire service personnel, buil...

By Staff
MNS, ECS May 1, 2003


When it comes to the structure of a building, rigidity is an important trait. After all, a strong skeleton is the basis of a strong body. But as in the case of a willow, flexibility is a good thing, especially for one building system in particular—plumbing. Suppleness is becoming not only more prominent, but also more desired.

By Geoff Weisenberger, Production/Web Editor
MNS, ECS April 1, 2003

Letters – 2003-04-01

Pain Felt with Insulation and Shop Drawings I looked at the cover of the February issue and noticed all the piping with stainless steel jacket. I saw the text about "revamping industrial M/E systems." On the table of contents, another image of chilled-water piping insulated and jacketed with aluminum was pictured.

By Staff
MNS, ECS April 1, 2003

The Model for Smoke Control

CSE: What new technologies or trends are currently affecting the design of smoke-control and fire-detection systems? NADGIR: We have seen a tendency among end users to move away from the use of ionization detectors. However, this trend seems more pronounced in the detection and alarm business than in the fire-suppression business.

By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS April 1, 2003

NYC WTC Task Force Identifies 21 Recommendations

"These recommendations are the result of months of careful deliberation and thought-provoking debate," announced New York City Dept. of Buildings (DOB) Commissioner Patricia J. Lancaster, last month in unveiling the findings of a task force commissioned to study the problems revealed in the attacks against the World Trade Center a year and a half ago.

By Staff
MNS, ECS March 14, 2003

NFPA Acts Quickly to Address Nightclub Disasters

The National Fire Protection Association’s Technical Committee on Assembly Occupancies convenes a special meeting in response to recent nightclub tragedies

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS March 1, 2003

Unusual Sprinkler Hose Lends Unexpected Flexibility

The advance of technology in the biotech and semiconductor industries has translated into good news for schools—at least for the Plano, Texas school system. Sprinkler technology created over a decade ago for fire protection in semiconductor cleanrooms is now making its way into five of the district's schools.

By Staff
MNS, ECS March 1, 2003

Disasters Offer Lessons for Future

Egress and life safety have come to the forefront of the news, as two deadly nightclub disasters within four days of each other last month resulted in a death toll of more than a hundred people. On Sunday, Feb. 16, 21 were killed in a stampede of patrons trying to escape the E2 nightclub in Chicago.

By Staff
MNS, ECS March 1, 2003

Fiber Optics Drive High-Tech Fire-Protection System

New Jersey's Ramapo College prides itself on excellence. The college was ranked number two in a recent survey of comprehensive colleges in the North by U.S. New & World Report. Its faculty of 149 and student body of 5,000 teach, live and learn in 500,000 sq. ft. of academic space and 500,000 sq.

By Staff
MNS, ECS March 1, 2003

Graduate Degree Dorms

The college dormitory is graduating to the master's program. No longer seen as an ancillary necessity by school administrators, student housing has become an important element in efforts to engage entering freshmen into school life and build ties with upperclassmen that will last after graduation. This increased attention is resulting in a wave of amenity-filled new and renovated facilities, an...

By Chuck Ross, Contributing Writer
MNS, ECS February 1, 2003

Pipe Down

In its day—1906—the former Sears and Roebuck campus on Chicago's west side was a fine example of cutting-edge engineering, capable of generating its own power and heat and even hydraulic fluid for elevators. Over time, of course, the campus' central plant—despite a number of upgrades—passed its prime, particularly when the once-exclusive mail-order company shifted its fo...

By Anil Ahuja, P.E., Senior Vice President and Sachin Anand, Senior Project Manager, CCJM Engineers Ltd. Chicago
MNS, ECS February 1, 2003

NYC Considers IBC on the Eve of 2003 Revision

In December, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with Dept. of Buildings (DOB) Commissioner Patricia Lancaster and City Council Housing and Buildings Chair Madeline Provenzano, announced that the city would research the possibility of adopting the International Building Code (IBC). The new 2003 IBC is scheduled for release in mid-February by the International Code Council (ICC).

By Staff
MNS, ECS January 1, 2003

Clarifying Clean Agents

CONSULTING-SPECIFYING ENGINEER: What is the status of Halon phase-out in the United States? RIVERS: All production of halon in the United States ceased in the early 1990s after the U.S. signed on to the [1987] Montreal Protocol. The transition to alternative means of clean-agent fire-protection has reportedly gone quite well, with the introduction of inert gas fire-protection systems and hydr...

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief and Barbara Horwitz, Contributing Editor
MNS, ECS December 1, 2002

Beam Me Up, Scotty … Or is it Down?

We're all familiar with AM and FM radio. Now, "XM" digital satellite radio—being touted as the biggest advancement in radio technology in decades—has hit the airwaves, with thousands of subscribers signing up nationwide. A big part of XM's success can be attributed to the completion of its highly secured, mission-critical digital broadcast center in Washington, D.

By Barbara Horwitz, Associate Editor
MNS, ECS November 1, 2002

Letters – 2002-11-01

Speaking Out on 9/11 and Other Topics Thanks for the thoughts recalling Sept 11 (Editor's Viewpoint CSE 09/02 p. 7). I share your feeling of a renewed perspective as we must look at what we can and should do to make this a better place for us, our children and beyond. I also think we all need some more of that "Catholic guilt" of aspiring to live and conduct ourselves by very lofty standards.

By Staff
MNS, ECS October 1, 2002

The State of Sprinklers: MIC, Recalls and New NFPA Standards

CONSULTING-SPECIFYING ENGINEER (CSE): Central Sprinkler's recall of 5 million Omega sprinklers, the recall of dry-pendant sprinklers and now o-ring replacements in glass-bulb and solder-link sprinklers potentially affecting 35 million in- stalled sprinklers brings into question sprinkler reliability.

By Barbara Horwitz, Associate Editor
MNS, ECS August 1, 2002

By the Book

If a facility—be it a plant, a laboratory or a farm—plans to store flammable and combustible liquids, there's a lot more involved than merely putting the volatile materials in an out-of-the-way place. Consideration must be given to many different aspects of fire-protection and life safety, as the inherent physical properties of flammable and combustible liquids—flash point, va...

By Jonathan Eisenberg, Consultant and Eric Cote, P.E., Engineering Manager, Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc. Framingham, Mass.
MNS, ECS August 1, 2002

New Products – 2002-08-01

Upright storage-facility sprinkler with a k-factor of 16.8 saves end-head pressure from 15 to 23 psi compared to K14 sprinklers. As a result, this early-suppression fast-response sprinkler head can reduce the need for a fire pump. Designed for use in storage buildings up to 35 ft. in height, with 30 ft.

By Staff
MNS, ECS July 1, 2002

Demand Performance

Editor's note: This is the second part of a two-part series on HVAC and fire-protection design for large open-air spaces, while last issue focused on atriums, this installment will examine criteria for auditorium and theater design. From the opening scene to the curtain call and beyond, it's important that theater and concert patrons not only be entertained, but are also afforded comfort and s...

By Byron Stigge, New York, Stuart Martin, MRICF, Manchester, U.K. and Mark Owen, IEng., ACIBSE, MASHRAE, Leeds, U.K. Buro Happold Consulting Engineers
MNS, ECS July 1, 2002

Accommodating Smoke Detection in Warehouses

Although sprinklers have long been recognized as the means of choice for protecting warehouse/storage occupancies, in recent years, smoke detectors, have played an increasing role in these facilities. The introduction of such technology in these non-typical occupancies has opened a Pandora's Box for fire-protection engineers, who find themselves having to address concerns about false-alarm trip...

By Gerald Schultz, P.E., Principal, Woodridge, Ill. and Phillip M. Gunning, Senior Engineer, Concord, Calif., Fire Protection International Consortium & Global Fire Protection Consulting, Inc.
MNS, ECS July 1, 2002

Aircraft Hangars Can Now Turn to Other Means

Prior to last year, NFPA 409, Standard on Aircraft Hangars, gave hangar operators only one option for fire protection in Group 1: overhead foam-deluge systems. While effective, these systems have always been costly to operate and often damage aircraft when used, because the water supply and low expansion foam requirement is based on the height of the ceiling.

By Staff
MNS, ECS May 1, 2002

Advanced Fire Protection for Minneapolis

This April, the Minneapolis Convention Center opened the doors on a seamless expansion that adds 200,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space, 33 more meeting rooms and a 3,400-seat plenary hall. With a total size of approximately 1,500,000 sq. ft., the center's usable space has nearly been doubled. Naturally, managment insisted that a state-of-the-art fire-protection system be part of such an ambitious...

By Staff
MNS, ECS May 1, 2002

2002 NFPA conference & exposition

The public unveiling of NFPA's new single building code (NFPA 5000) is only one of the many events taking place at the 2002 World Safety Conference and Exposition, May 19-23, in Minneapolis. This year's event will be one of the first hosted at the newly remodeled Minneapolis Convention Center, the retrofit of which included a unique fire safety design featured in this month's "Technology In A...

By Staff
MNS, ECS April 1, 2002

New products & literature – 2002-04-01

Editors Note: CSE recently amended the process for retrieving additional product information, moving the procedure to our Reader Service site at . However, due to reader feedback we will be reinstating the paper card in our May 2002 issue. AC drive for HVAC applications features built-in network communications for a variety of building-automation protocols.

By Staff
MNS, ECS April 1, 2002

Letters to the Editor – 2002-04-01

Not everyone sold on the benefits of UFADThe January article on underfloor air distribution ("Undervalued?" Jan. 2002, p. 28) raised a question: "... whether this is a legitimate trend or a case of a client or designer falling in love with a particular technology?" and then very strongly answered it for me.

By Staff
MNS, ECS April 1, 2002

Concrete Plumbing Solution

Plumbing engineers play a key role in creating the optimal conditions for medical research

By Tom Boehnen, P.E., Director of Plumbing Engineering, Arnold & O'Sheridan, Madison, Wis.
MNS, ECS March 1, 2002

New products & literature – 2002-03-01

Editors Note: CSE has amended the process for retrieving additional product information. Instead of circling the corresponding number on our reader service card, please visit our Reader Service site at and enter the corresponding reader service number. Or just click on "Reader Service" at www.

By Staff
MNS, ECS March 1, 2002

New Products – 2002-03-01

TRANSIENT PROTECTION. The CRITEC SLP1-RJ11 for industrial equipment connects to telecommunications lines by a hybrid, multi-stage clamping circuit. Erico Circle 464UNINTERRUPTIBLE POWER SUPPLY with all-digital DSP controls is a 3-phase model in sizes from 30 to 130 kVA. The Npower unit is said to be ideal for data centers, because it uses online double-conversion technology for isolation ...

By Staff
MNS, ECS January 1, 2002

The Ballpark ‘Safe’ at Home in Arlington

Major league baseball began in 1971 for the Dallas/Fort Worth area, when the former Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers. The team opened at Arlington Stadium, at the time a minor league park that had been renovated and expanded to seat 36,000. After 22 years of playing host to major-league baseball, Arlington Stadium closed its gates forever.

By Staff
MNS, ECS December 1, 2001

New Products & Literature – 2001-12-01

Steam traps can handle hot condensate flows as high as 149,000 pounds per hour and are available in five models for differential pressures up to 320 psi. Up to 18 bimetallic elements can be added or deleted to match conditions. (Magnum Series by Bestobell Steam Traps) Circle 1Delayed-egress exit device secures interior or exterior openings during alarm states for 15 to 30 seconds upo...

By Staff
MNS, ECS November 28, 2001

Tall Building Talk

In the wake of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, building professionals have been hard at work formulating ideas for how building safety and security can be enhanced.

By Staff
MNS, ECS November 1, 2001

New products & literature – 2001-11-01

Telemetry monitoring system uses wireless data transmission technology to send digital data packets from remote locations through existing cellular towers throughout the continent. The remote transmitter has six analog/digital inputs, two counter inputs and one relay output for connection to sensors and other field equipment.

By Staff
MNS, ECS November 1, 2001

Wildcats Turn to Networked Fire Protection

Located on 352 acres in the heart of Tucson, the University of Arizona serves 35,000 students from around the world. Add faculty and staff and the university becomes the seventh largest city in the state, with 172 buildings on the main and medical campuses, all told.In the past, all fire-alarm systems and connections were selected and installed by the university's own personnel.

By Staff
MNS, ECS October 19, 2001

The Unforgettable Fire- Part 2

Continued from the magazine, our group of leading fire-protection engineers discuss issues stemming from the events of September 11.

By Jim Crockett, Editor-in-Chief
MNS, ECS October 1, 2001

Achieving Fireproof Network Reliability

As the need for secure broadband networking capabilities increases, it is imperative that data centers be protected against any threats. Zama Networks Inc., a company providing Internet infrastructure and managed services deployment, has designed a state-of-the-art environment that has helped put its customers' minds at ease.

By Staff
MNS, ECS October 1, 2001

The Model of Success

Fire modeling applications are gaining in sophistication and importance thanks to a growing focus on performance-based design

By Craif Hofmeister, P.E., Senior Consulting Engineer, The RJA Group, Raleigh, N.C.
MNS, ECS October 1, 2001

New products & Literature – 2001-10-01

New building-system components, as featured in our October issue.

By Staff
MNS, ECS September 7, 2001

NFPA Offers Handy Sprinkler Installation Pocket Guide

A new pocket guide released by the National Fire Protection Association promises to be a handy tool for engineers as a quick reference for fire sprinkler system installation.

By Staff
MNS, ECS September 1, 2001

Circuit Security

Every day, engineering design professionals face the challenge of creating a cost-effective scheme that meets client goals, including long-term performance, and that is, of course, delivered with a reasonably high level of quality assurance. Nowhere does this tax the engineer more than systems that must provide life safety and property protection.

By Dean K. Wilson, P.E., C.F.P.S., Senior Engineer, Hughes Associates, Inc. Windsor, Conn.
MNS, ECS July 19, 2001

Central Sprinkler to Replace Millions of Sprinklers

Concerned that older sprinkler heads with O-ring seals may not function properly, the Central Sprinkler Company, Landsdale, Pa., owned by Tyco International Ltd., has volunteered to replace 30 million fire sprinklers.

By Staff
MNS, ECS July 1, 2001

Survey Says …Senior Facilities Will Grow

Despite some market saturation—particularly in the Sun Belt—development of health-care, residential and commercial facilities designed for seniors is still projected to increase. In fact, 71.7 percent of the design and construction firms recently surveyed by Consulting-Specifying Engineer anticipate that the senior housing market will grow next year.

By Staff
MNS, ECS July 1, 2001

Rescuing the Ozone

A recent survey conducted by the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) suggests that about half of the 80,000 chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) chillers that were in service in the early 1990s have been converted or replaced with non-CFC refrigerant units. In this month's M/E Roundtable, engineers discuss progress that has been made—and a prognosis for the future.

By Scott Siddens, Senior Editor
MNS, ECS July 1, 2001

Combining Corporate-Wide Security

When Minneapolis-based Ceridian, the second largest payroll processor in the United States, implemented its move to a new, company-owned headquarters, company officials prioritized parking ramp security, life safety and corporate-wide access control. Life safety Ceridian's new five-story, 260,000-square-foot headquarters utilizes a security and life-safety system that integrates a broad range ...

By Staff
MNS, ECS May 1, 2001

Up to Snuff

The Anaheim Convention Center—site of NFPA's 2001 meeting—serves as a demonstration project for performance-based design

By Daniel Gemeny, P.E., and Martin Reiss, P.E., The RJA Group
MNS, ECS April 24, 2001

Simplex and Grinnell Fire Protection Combine Forces

Forming a major industry alliance, Simplex, a Westiminster, Mass.-based manufacturer of fire-detection and alarm equipment, and Grinnell Fire Protection, a Houston-based provider of fire-suppression equipment, have combined forces to create SimplexGrinnell, under the umbrella of Tyco Fire and Security Services.

By Staff
MNS, ECS April 1, 2001

Preserving History—and Lives

Meshing fire safety and preservation goals in historic structures is a challenge for engineering firms

By Wayne D. Moore, P.E., Eric R. Rosenbaum, P.E., and Cheryl Domnitch, P.E., Hughes Associates Inc., Baltimore
MNS, ECS March 1, 2001

Automating Industrial-Strength Integration

Automated planning tools improve the integration of M/E/P and fire systems in manufacturing facilities

By David F. Sereno, P.E., Affiliated Engineers, Inc., Madison, Wis.
MNS, ECS January 1, 2001

Is There a Future for Underfloor Air?

While high-technology facilities have long pioneered the use of raised-floor systems, there is scant agreement among engineers that underfloor air plenums are the next logical step.The rising heat-load densities of computer and telecommunications equipment-and the need for increased processing speed in a smaller box-is driving the use of underfloor air technologies, says Marc Anderson, P.E.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS January 1, 2001

Commissioning: A Quality Assurance Process

Commissioning is not primarily a process of error identification. It is a quality-assurance program-undertaken while the workforce is still on the site and before the damage is done. When the commissioning process begins in the planning and design phase, it can be the ounce of prevention that eliminates the pound of cure required in the final project stages.

By RONALD J. WILKINSON , P.E. Staff Engineer, State of Montana, Architecture and Engineering Division, Helena, Mont.
MNS, ECS December 1, 2000

The Best Laid Plans

For modern medical research facilities, it is an absolute must to keep up with the times. Without the best environmental controls, a facility runs the risk of sacrificing the validity of its research. Without an energy- and cost-efficient operation, it may lose out on valuable federal funding that is contingent on keeping costs down.

By Jeromie Winsor, Web Editor
MNS, ECS December 1, 2000

Sustainable Design at Fox Studios-Take One

While their parents spend the day shooting the latest episode of a prime-time sitcom or building the set for an upcoming Hollywood blockbuster at Fox Studios in Los Angeles, more than one hundred infants, toddlers and preschoolers are busy playing with toy trucks and blocks at a new, cleverly engineered day-care/child-development center located right on the studio lot.

By Barbara Horwitz, Associate Editor
MNS, ECS December 1, 2000

New products & literature – 2000-12-01

Dimmer features full-range dimming and on/off preset switching with a built-in arrow rocker that controls brightness levels even when lights are turned off. This device is available for incandescent, magnetic low-voltage and fluorescent loads that employ specialized ballasts.

By Staff
MNS, ECS November 1, 2000

Stating Sprinkler Facts

In "Just Passing Through," (June 2000), it is indicated that large-drop sprinklers can be used to protect storage with the top of storage height at 35 to 40 feet. Please be advised that these storage heights exceed those allowed for large drop sprinklers by the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) code 13 - 1999, Installation of Sprinkler Systems.

By Staff
MNS, ECS November 1, 2000

What’s So Hot About Chilled-Water Storage?

If power companies around the world are still offering customer incentives to reduce peak demand, when it comes to larger chilled-water cooling systems, why are so many mechanical engineers ignoring the money-saving advantages and other significant benefits of chilled-water storage (CWS)? Often, new facilities that seem particularly suitable for CWS are being designed to employ conventional, nonstorage cooling systems. Admittedly, there aren't that many papers available documenting the reputed savings, but many happy owners using thermal-energy storage (TES) know that, as compared to their previous cooling systems, they: Moreover, when adapted properly to the circumstances, CWS also offers competitive front-end and life-cycle costs. Put together, that's a pretty hot case for CWS and TES. Favorable off-peak, load-leveling power rates that lead to significant operating economies are the advantage most often cited for TES.

By JOHN M. CHANEY, Jr., P.E. , Director, Mechanical Engineering, Hayes, Seay, Mattern Mattern, Inc., Roanoke, Va.
MNS, ECS November 1, 2000

Dynamite Design for Hazardous Areas

Step inside a manufacturing facility, refinery or laboratory where toxic gases and materials are processed and discover some heavy-duty industrial engineering. For example, every electrical conduit is enclosed, the lighting fixtures are sealed and the fire-protection system is well-fortified.

By Barbara Horwitz, Associate Editor
MNS, ECS October 1, 2000

Protecting Data-Processing Facilities

Prior to the implementation of the Montreal Protocol, Halon was the fire-suppression system of choice for computer and data-processing facilities throughout the United States.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
MNS, ECS October 1, 2000

Web Threads

A monthly compendium of facts and figures

By Staff
MNS, ECS October 1, 2000

Raising the Bar, with Raised Floors

The best moments in consulting are when clients need to solve seemingly intractable problems, and the consultant can offer creative ideas and approaches that—more than simply overcoming the challenge—create a project of superior value and performance. Such an opportunity arose at the new Student Services Building at San José State University (SJSU), San José, Calif.

By STEVEN GUTTMANN, P.E., Principal, Guttman Blaevoet Consulting Engineers, San Francisco, Calif.
MNS, ECS October 1, 2000

A Report Card for Raised Floors

The development of raised-floor systems for commercial office environments has led to the creation of new systems for delivering conditioned air, power, data and telecommunications infrastructure. Their use has hardly been limited to office buildings, however. The use of one such system for the interim Student Services Center at San Jose State University, San Jose, Calif.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff

A Letter From The Editor

Consulting-Specifying Engineer is written and peer reviewed by engineers and industry professionals. These engineers design, specify and commission mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP), fire/life safety, lighting and controls systems for nonresidential buildings. Consulting-Specifying Engineer covers codes and standards, smart and high-performance buildings and design specifications in a variety of commercial buildings.

Amara Rozgus - Consulting-Specifying Engineer