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Building Envelope November 9, 2023

Your questions answered: Acoustic design for occupant well-being, health and productivity

During the September 9 webcast, attendees were introduced to inspiring case studies demonstrating the successful integration of sound masking solutions in real–life projects.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Building Envelope December 29, 2022

BIM’s role in facility design and management

Building information modeling (BIM) has become a major factor in building a successful facility and company because it cuts down on wasted time and costs.

By Anna Liza Montenegro
Building Envelope September 7, 2022

Humidity and building envelope failures

Specialized expertise is needed when designing and maintaining an enclosure for an indoor spa, pool or steam room to avoid the negative effects of condensation, such as mold growth, rotting wood, flaking paint or rust and damage to exterior building envelope elements

By Chander Thusu
Building Envelope October 26, 2021

UIC surgical innovation training lab places in HCD remodel/renovation competition

This groundbreaking project was the Bronze winner in the annual competition. Earlier this year, the project also won the Award of Merit in the Healthcare Design Showcase.

By CannonDesign
Building Envelope September 22, 2021

Stanislaus County Library: Using meaningfulness as a catalyst for success

The Stanislaus County Library in Northern California was part of a project to revitalize the community, with Dewberry brought on as lead architect for the 5,000-square-foot design-build project.

By Will Oren
Building Envelope July 27, 2021

WELL success stories

WELL building certification has many drivers

By Hannah Walter
Building Envelope July 26, 2021

Building envelope assessments: From pre-design to construction

There are many aspects to a building envelope assessment and it’s crucial the consulting engineer takes them all into account.

By Jose Colon
Building Envelope September 14, 2020

Integration, interoperability in high-performance buildings

When information and operational technology collaborate with business leaders, facility managers gain secure access to the data they need to achieve their sustainability goals

By George Hawkinson, Jarrod McMains and Matt Morris
Building Envelope May 29, 2020

Designing flexible material to protect buildings

University of Missouri researchers designed a flexible material that can help buildings withstand multiple waves of energy traveling through a solid material, including the ground motions found in earthquakes.

By Eric Stann
Building Envelope March 23, 2020

Best practices for infiltration and building pressurization

Observe the mechanics of infiltration and pressurization in a building, modeling methodologies and what can be done to better account for them in air handling system design

By Kevin Ricart, PE; Rosemary Hwang, LEED AP; and Connor Harrigan
Building Envelope October 2, 2018

Video: Drones & Thermal Imaging for Building Envelope Review

This presentation touches on the drone usage and commissioning workflows as well as the organizational considerations for implementing drone technologies.

By CxEnergy
Building Envelope February 28, 2018

Working together toward a sustainable world

Engineers and companies need to think about and advocate the short- and long-term business benefits of sustainability in all forms as well as the humanitarian benefits it can provide.

By Sharbel El Haber, PE, LEED AP BD+C, CRB
Building Envelope February 20, 2018

Five Lean principles of design-build

To be able to apply Lean concepts on a project, it's imperative to have a holistic view of the five Lean principles and how they directly correlate to design-build best practices.

By Craig Unger, principal & CEO, Unger Security Solutions, LLC
Building Envelope November 15, 2017

Stories from the field: Improving processes with ERP for the construction industry

ERP for the construction industry streamlines materials planning, work in progress inventory, and ordering, adding a real-time ability to forecast inventory and materials needs.

By Andrew Stein, Ultra Consultants
Building Envelope January 17, 2017

Arup Thoughts: Are developments really improving health?

To address the pressures of growing and aging urban populations, cities need to be made of high-quality places that contribute positively to physical and mental health.

By Hannah Wright, Arup, Netherlands
Building Envelope January 9, 2017

Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer Articles, January 2-January 8: all-air VAV systems, using a whole-system approach, designing modular data centers, more

Articles about all-air VAV systems, using a whole-system approach, designing modular data centers, life of a mechanical engineer, and NEC 2017 changes were Consulting-Specifying Engineer's five most clicked articles from last week, January 2-January 8. Were you out last week? You can catch up here.

By Brana Webb
Building Envelope November 16, 2016

Green building envelopes for lower city temperatures

It’s never been more important to design buildings to offset the urban heat island effect created by our cities.

By Arup
Building Envelope September 9, 2016

Leveraging design to minimize risk

Learn how the application of best practice design principles can help mitigate the risks confronting biotechnology companies when navigating the uncertainty surrounding the demand profile of its product pipeline.

By Matthew Kennedy, CRB, Philadelphia; Matthew Khair, EIT, CRB, Philadelphia
Building Envelope September 5, 2016

Process simulation and its benefits

Philip Lyman, PhD—director of process simulation at CRB—discusses how a process model, at the right detail level and properly validated, can be an invaluable tool to compare alternatives and justify cost for manufacturing and manufacturing-related processes.

By Philip Lyman, PhD, CRB, Philadelphia
Building Envelope August 30, 2016

Rethinking water at Hassalo on Eighth

The Lloyd District—a low-residential, high-commercial neighborhood anchored by one of the Portland’s largest malls—has long enticed developers looking for space where plots are available for purchase en masse.

By Kirk Davis, PE, LEED AP BD+C, Glumac; Kyle Andersen, AIA, LEED AP, GBD Architect
Building Envelope August 30, 2016

Facing the challenges of mixed-use buildings: sustainable buildings/energy efficiency

Fulfilling the demands of a mixed-use facility can be challenging, considering the structure’s diverse components. Here, professionals with experience on such projects share advice and explain how to end up with positive results for energy efficiency.

By CFE Media
Building Envelope August 26, 2016

Arup Thoughts: How cities can benefit from becoming digital platforms

Governments across the world are excited by the possibilities offered by digital tools—and are trying to keep up with digital expectations driven by the best consumer brands in the world.

By Ben Cooper-Woolley, Arup
Building Envelope August 24, 2016

Arup Thoughts: Urban climate change resilience is vital

Rather than focusing on single threats, UCCR recognizes that climate change may result in a wide range of hazards, which are impossible to predict. It addresses risk as part of a wider agenda emphasizing the importance of inclusive governance and integrated planning.

By Jo da Silva, Arup
Building Envelope August 15, 2016

Design and assessment of daylit spaces—the best way to use daylighting metrics

The end goal of daylighting is often better defined than the path to success. Correctly applying daylighting design in major retrofits and new buildings can be challenging.

By Craig Casey, Lutron Electronics
Building Envelope July 14, 2016

Changing environment: Higher adoption of multi-criteria detectors and the future of fire detectors

The introduction of multi-criteria detectors has given purchasers increased flexibility and functionality in their fire-detection systems.

By Justin Siller, IHS Technology
Building Envelope July 8, 2016

Top MEP considerations when designing for elevator systems

Designing multistory buildings requires architectural teams to carefully plan elevator systems that meet current safety standards as well as address the unique needs of the space. This whitepaper will discuss mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection considerations for designing a safe and efficient elevator system.

By RTM Engineering
Building Envelope July 7, 2016

Designing healthier spaces

From the materials we choose to the way the space is configured, buildings can be more than functional. They can promote better health of inhabitants, too.

By David W. Morison, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, WD Partners
Building Envelope June 24, 2016

Lighting control basics: occupancy and vacancy sensors explained

Occupancy sensors have been around for decades and, when used correctly, can be a highly efficient means for saving energy, reducing light trespass, increasing security and lamp life, and decreasing fixture maintenance.

By Christine Culver, Glumac
Building Envelope June 24, 2016

Noise and vibration control in building design

The acoustical environment in a building—good or bad—is the result of design. For optimal occupant comfort and facility functionality, attention to noise and vibration issues should be included early and throughout the building design and construction process.

By Timothy Cape, CTS-D, JBA Consulting Engineers, Atlanta; and Michael Schwob, PE,
Building Envelope May 16, 2016

Arup Thoughts: Consider ‘people factors’ early

Assets, such as buildings, don’t work in isolation; people use and operate them. So people need to be considered and engaged upfront in their design, and throughout the operations process.

By Kate Fairhall, Arup
Building Envelope May 2, 2016

Arup Thoughts: Design buildings for the future

Cities across the globe are facing increasing demand on the resources they need to function.

By Martin Shouler, Arup
Building Envelope April 22, 2016

A comprehensive look at the intelligent building

Technology is changing what’s possible for buildings. With the advent of smart building technology, heating, cooling, electrical, lighting, fire/life safety, and other systems need monitoring and intercommunication for optimized efficiency and operation.

By Steve Brown, CAP; Kurt Karnatz, PE, CEM, LEED AP, HBDP, HFDP; Rob Knight, CCS,CD
Building Envelope April 19, 2016

Fire/life safety: Detection, notification, and suppression

Both active and passive fire protection systems are specified to ensure the safety and well-being of building occupants in case of a fire. As in most industries, the safety of people comes first and property protection is secondary.

By CFE Media
Building Envelope April 14, 2016

VRF system design software

LATS CAD 2 seamlessly integrates with AutoCAD to allow engineers to lay out and validate LG variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems directly into their CAD drawings.

By LG Electronics
Building Envelope April 14, 2016

Adjustable LED downlight

A companion to the Portfolio LED square recessed downlighting line, the 4.5-in., square-aperture, adjustable downlight is designed for slope-ceiling applications or as an adjustable accent in traditional ceilings.

By Eaton
Building Envelope April 14, 2016

Surface, wall LED luminaire

The Metalux SWLED Surface and Wall LED luminaire is a versatile, high-performing, and energy-efficient lighting solution for a broad range of commercial and industrial applications.

By Eaton
Building Envelope April 14, 2016

Life safety LEDs

The Tempo Pro series of life safety LEDs embodies the evolution of LEDs with smaller footprints and more performance.

By Barron Lighting Group
Building Envelope April 14, 2016

Addressable aspirating smoke detector

The VESDA-E VEA series of detectors combine VESDA reliability and early warning smoke detection with pinpoint addressability and a variety of annunciation options that truly surpass traditional spot detectors.

By Xtralis
Building Envelope April 14, 2016

Fire protection fittings

PEX Press fitting is an innovative and versatile installation mounting bracket that can be used with all sprinkler pendent styles and every sprinkler configuration.

By Viega
Building Envelope April 14, 2016

Aspirating smoke detectors

FAAST XS aspirating smoke detectors enable users to better serve the needs of small data centers, environmentally challenging spaces like manufacturing or process plants.

By Notifier
Building Envelope April 8, 2016

Fighting cancer, DLC and health sciences education: early trends in healthcare 2016

The future of health and healthcare delivery is happening at lighting pace. Just more than a month into the New Year, there are numerous new efforts and developments spanning cancer care, medical research, health education that are both inspiring and exciting.

By Deb Sheehan, CannonDesign
Building Envelope April 6, 2016

Meet Mike Cavanaugh, CannonDesign’s new sustainability leader

Last week, CannonDesign announced Mike Cavanaugh as its new firmwide sustainability leader. As part of that introduction, Mike took time to answer some key questions about his new role, sustainable design and key industry initiatives.

By CannonDesign
Building Envelope March 31, 2016

Arup Thoughts: Do we still need the airport terminal?

Global demand for air travel is increasing substantially and is expected to continue. The aviation industry has responded by streamlining processes where they can, but also committing to building more and bigger terminals.

By Stacey Peel, Arup
Building Envelope March 1, 2016

Arup Thoughts: Are more sustainability standards needed?

Sustainability became a key built environment aspiration in the mid-90s and the market quickly developed volunteer-led standards, including BREEAM and LEED.

By Fiona Cousins, Arup
Building Envelope February 26, 2016

Arup Thoughts: Social resilience builds truly smart cities

Across the world urban planners are adopting 'Smart City' initiatives, introducing digital technology into urban life to build efficiencies, support increased productivity and bolster the resilience of vital infrastructure, like energy or transport.

By Christoforos Romanos, Arup
Building Envelope December 9, 2015

Arup Thoughts: Industry engagement is essential

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has recently published proposed changes to Section J of the National Construction Code, which gives minimum requirements for energy efficiency in the design and construction of new buildings.

By David Barker, Arup
Building Envelope December 2, 2015

How design can address generational issues in today’s healthcare workplaces

Jocelyn Stroupe shares a few thoughts on some of the issues healthcare providers face when it comes to creating a workplace designed for a multi-generational workforce.

By Jocelyn Stroupe, CannonDesign
Building Envelope September 16, 2015

Dynamic and adaptive building envelopes

While designing the appropriate HVAC system is essential for new and existing buildings, there are several other aspects that play into the building’s energy efficiency. Designing the building envelope correctly is key to an efficient HVAC system.

By Irene C. Pau, PE, LEED AP, Arup
Building Envelope August 28, 2015

Commissioning commercial buildings: Sustainability, energy efficiency

Ideally, all nonresidential buildings would be commissioned, and the team would start at the onset of the project. Because that’s not always the case, commissioning authorities and experts offer advice on building projects in various stages of commissioning, recommissioning, or retro-commissioning energy-efficient buildings.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Building Envelope August 27, 2015

Commissioning commercial buildings

Ideally, all nonresidential buildings would be commissioned, and the team would start at the onset of the project. Because that’s not always the case, commissioning authorities and experts offer advice on building projects in various stages of commissioning, recommissioning, or retro-commissioning.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Building Envelope July 30, 2015

Engineering on an international scale: Sustainability

Working on projects clear across the globe may introduce more obstacles to overcome than mere distance and language barriers—each locale comes with its own codes, climate conditions, and unique characteristics. Sustainability, high-performance buildings, and energy efficiency are always considered.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Building Envelope September 23, 2014

Severe duty aluminum louver

AFL-501 severe duty aluminum louver protects exterior wall penetrations on FEMA 361 or 320 compliant storm shelters or safe rooms.

Building Envelope May 9, 2014

Inaugural Cx Energy conference a success

The Cx Energy Conference and Exposition included the launch of the Energy Management Association, technical sessions, and professional networking.

By Energy Management Association
Building Envelope May 7, 2014

Integrating lighting design, building envelope

In this Q&A, the importance of total building integration—including lighting design—is discussed. Engineers must consider not only the lighting, but also building envelope, lighting controls, and daylighting.

By Amara Rozgus, Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Building Envelope April 29, 2014

CannonDesign: LEED Platinum interiors at the University of Chicago

The university's Harper Court is an example of mixed-use, sustainable development.

By CannonDesign
Building Envelope March 12, 2014

Integrating a high-performance building

This case study shows how design teams can integrate building envelope with HVAC, lighting, and shading.

By Scott Bowman, PE, LEED AP, BD+C, KJWW Engineering Consultants, Des Moines, Io
Building Envelope October 18, 2013

Great progress at UCSD Jacobs Medical Center

The US San Diego Jacobs Medical Center is continuing to make progress as the building begins to take shape.

By Joseph O'Neill, Cannon Design
Building Envelope August 28, 2013

Tips and tricks for commissioning, balancing buildings: Fire and life safety

Building commissioning is one of the most important (and complex) types of projects an engineer can be tasked with. Fire and life safety systems—including smoke detection—are discussed.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Building Envelope August 19, 2013

FOS case study: Strategically planning a university’s future

Cannon Design Facility Optimization Solutions (FOS) assisted with a series of assessments for Knox College in Toronto.

By Joe Cassata, Cannon Design
Building Envelope July 26, 2013

Integration: Net-zero energy design

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

By Scotte Elliott, CEM, Metro CD Engineering, Powell, Ohio
Building Envelope May 29, 2013

NEBB building enclosure testing seminar

NEBB's seminar on Building Enclosure Testing (BET) will be held Sept. 9 to 11 at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in Washington, D.C.

Building Envelope May 16, 2013

NEBB conference presentations available

The 2013 NEBB Conference presentations are available to download from NEBB's website.

By National Environmental Balancing Bureau
Building Envelope March 26, 2013

Building envelope: Testing and commissioning best practices

Due to the increased interest in high-performance buildings, more attention is being paid to how envelope assemblies affect interior comfort and energy performance.

By James Bochat, LEED AP, NEBB Cx, Commissioning Concepts, Phoenix
Building Envelope October 23, 2012

Commissioning best practices for building performance

Follow these best practices to ensure a building meets the performance standards required by the owner and design engineer.

By Jim Bochat, LEED AP, NEBB CCP, NEBB RCCP, Commissioning Concepts, Phoenix

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