Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Stat-X fire suppression system saves screw machine

As told by Bill Roberts, engineer, Roberts Automatic Products:

"About eight months ago, we had a fire in a Davenport screw machine without fire suppression, and the machine burned to the ground.  The fire and equipment were too hot to manage, and the plant was evacuated.  We ended up with one inch of water on the floor throughout the plant.

After this experience and a little influence from our insurance company, the decision was made to add a Stat-X condensed aerosol fire protection system to our replacement Davenport lathe.  The Davenport lathe is a multi-spindle screw machine.  The machine was protected with a detection panel and two Stat-X 250E generators.  During a manned shift, a tool broke and started a fire while the machine was making a stainless steel part, with oil as the coolant.  Once the fire started, the Stat-X fire suppression systems was activated, and the lathe was shutdown.  An employee noticed the event, and by the time they crossed the aisle to the machine, everything was done and the fire was extinguished.  The only damage to the machine was the internal light bulb cover was slightly melted.  The machine was back in production shortly."

Stat-X fixed systems and Stat-X First Responders are automatic condensed aerosol fire suppression solutions.  These unique, robust generators are UL Listed, eco-friendly (zero ozone depletion, zero atmospheric life, and insignificant global warming potential) and non-toxic, and save lives and protect property for facilities, machinery, vehicles, and industrial sites around the globe.  These units are deployed in tough conditions worldwide, including surface and underground mines, military vehicles, long-haul buses, rolling stock, remote telecom sites, wind turbines, power substations, electrical cabinets, and various marine and off-shore settings.  Capable of being manually, thermally, or electrically activated by industry-standard control panels, Stat-X provides fire suppression solutions to customers around the world.

Monday, February 17, 2014

URS releases next generation of cloud-based facilities assessment and computerized maintenance management system

URS Corporation, a provider of services required to modernize and develop new public infrastructure, has released the latest version of CASCADE, the next generation toolset for integrated facilities management, which includes a condition assessment module and a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). A cloud-based, database-driven product suite that provides full life-cycle facilities management at the click of a mouse, the new version of CASCADE is the current evolution of the URS facilities, asset, and work-order management system.  It represents a decade-long process and system development improvement effort. 
URS has long recognized the complexity of assessing facility conditions, correlating assessment conditions to capital expenditures and managing capital needs, preventive maintenance, and work schedules in an integrated manner. While evaluating the competing products offered throughout the industry, the company determined that it was advantageous to combine facility assessment capabilities with an integrated CMMS. With the use of CASCADE, URS customers can achieve improved asset visibility, uptime, reliability, and productivity while reducing costs.
CASCADE provides the capability to detail and record condition assessments, determine capital costs, and plan, schedule, and execute preventive maintenance. This eliminates one of the most challenging aspects of managing large and distributed facility portfolios by applying a fully integrated approach that provides detailed visibility into the portfolio’s health.
URS Corporation provides engineering, construction, and technical services for public agencies and private sector companies around the world. The company offers a full range of program management; planning, design and engineering; systems engineering and technical assistance; construction and construction management; operations and maintenance; information technology; and decommissioning and closure services. URS provides services for federal, oil and gas, infrastructure, power, and industrial projects and programs. Headquartered in San Francisco, URS has more than 50,000 employees in a network of offices in nearly 50 countries (www.urs.com).

Monday, February 10, 2014

Building Drops announces new project manager to oversee its engineering department

Hermes Norero, president and founder of Building Drops, has  announced the promotion of Matthew Spahr, E.I. to project manager. Spahr has been with Building Drops since 2009 and started as an intern. "I have seen how Matt has grown from an intern from the University of Central Florida into a vital member of our business" says Norero. "While continuing to grow within the company, Matt is also preparing to take the Florida P.E. examination within the next year. I encourage Matt to continue in this path, as he is an integral part of our team."

Spahr currently oversees the engineering department, providing engineering and drafting support for product approval submittals to the State of Florida, Texas Department of Insurance, and Miami-Dade County. He manages projects ranging from full product development processes to shop drawings and engineering for building envelope systems. Matt's experience with building departments and the product certification and testing processes has carried over to his ability to create, review, and manage submittals for high-profile projects. He has managed projects with varied requirements, from historical renovations in the northeast U.S. to the strict requirements of South Florida's High Velocity Hurricane Zones (HVHZ).

Spahr works closely with manufacturers, contractors, and architects to develop creative solutions for achieving the architect's vision. He has overseen the submittal of hundreds of product approvals, all of which involved maintaining close communication with the customer.

Building Drops is a one-stop engineering/consulting service company that provides product manufacturers with a solution to get products from prototype to state certification. With our team, our clients can focus on other business tasks, knowing that our associates and staff are handling the product certification and permitting process from start to finish.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Green Building Initiative welcomes new president Jerry Yudelson, who reveals his Top 10 MegaTrends

The Green Building Initiative (GBI) has announced that it has named Jerry Yudelson as its president to accelerate growth of the non-profit and further leverage its green building assessment tools, including the Green Globes rating system, as it brings green building options to a larger audience of owners, designers, facility managers and investors.
Yudelson is recognized as one of the nation's leading green building and sustainability advocates and an internationally recognized keynote speaker. Formerly the president of Yudelson Associates in Tucson, AZ, he has authored 13 green building books, achieved recognition as a LEED Fellow, and chaired the steering committee for Greenbuild, the country's largest annual green building show, which he helped grow during its first eight years. As the GBI's president, Yudelson will oversee the growth of the non-profit, including the ongoing development, expansion and marketing of the Green Globes green building rating system. His role will also include expanding understanding and use of GBI's additional assessment tools, such as the GBI's Guiding Principles Compliance tool, designed specifically to support compliance by federal agencies with President Obama's green government requirements.
"After many years promoting the advancement of green building and market transformation in the building industry, I'm pleased to be asked to lead the GBI at this key time in its development," says Yudelson. "There is a huge audience of building owners, designers, and facility managers who are looking for more cost-effective and practical options to applying green building principles to every building. The GBI has a unique approach with its interactive, web-based Green Globes platform and on-site, independent third-party assessment. I'm excited by the opportunity to build on the GBI's successes and help bring more focused green building and facility management options to new audiences."
Yudelson is a professional engineer and an engineering graduate of Cal Tech and Harvard University; he also holds an MBA from the University of Oregon. From 2007-2009 he served as the Research Scholar for Retail Real Estate Sustainability with the International Council of Shopping Centers, a 70,000-member global organization. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural class of LEED Fellows by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The GBI is a nonprofit organization and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standards Developer dedicated to accelerating the adoption of green building practices. Founded in 2004, the organization is the sole U.S. provider of the Green Globes and Guiding Principles Compliance building certification programs.
Green Globes is a web-based program for green building guidance and certification that includes on-site reviews by an independent third party assessor. The program is administered in the United States by the GBI. Green Globes is a user-friendly assessment tool designed to advance the overall environmental performance and sustainability of commercial, government and institutional buildings. The program certifies new construction and existing buildings. An additional assessment tool is the GBI's Guiding Principles Compliance program for federal agencies. Also available are education and professional credentialing through the Green Globes Professional, Green Globes Assessor, and Guiding Principles Compliance Professional accreditation programs.

The Future of Green Building is Bright in 2014: New Top 10 MegaTrends

Bottom line: The horizon is bright for green building, and it looks like another good year ahead for our industry. And, with the New Year approaching, it’s time for our annual look ahead and another edition of Jerry Yudelson’s Top 10 Green Building MegaTrends.
Based on our experience, it seems clear to us that green building will continue its rapid expansion globally in 2014, especially considering the nearly fully recovered construction economies in most countries of Europe and North America. There is no doubt that we are seeing more agencies, architectural firms, development organizations, and companies building green each year, and there is nothing on the horizon that will stop this MegaTrend or its constituent elements.
This list of Top 10 Trends for 2014 are based on recent conversations Jerry Yudelson has had with green building industry leaders in the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia.

Yudelson Associates’ Top Ten Green Building MegaTrends for 2014

  1. Green building in North America continues its strong growth in 2014, with the ongoing expansion of commercial real estate construction together with government, university, nonprofit and school construction. This will build on the fact that in 2013 green building project registrations in new construction accounted for about 30% of all new projects.
  2. In 2014there will be rapid uptake of energy-efficiency green building retrofits.. Note: this trend will be strongest in corporate and commercial real estate, along with the “MUSH” market (Municipal, University, School and Hospital) projects, given the availability of cheap financing and the rise of numerous new players in the building energy retrofit market. Jerry Yudelson’s recent book, The World’s Greenest Buildings: Promise vs. Performance in Sustainable Design, makes a persuasive case that absolute building performance, and resultant operating cost (vs. the relative improvement approach still enshrined in most rating systems) is going to be an increasing focus for building owners.
  3. Zero-net-energy buildings are become increasingly common in both residential and commercial sectors. LEED and ENERGY STAR certifications and labels have become too commonplace to confer competitive advantage among building owners. Developers of speculative commercial buildings have also begun to showcase Zero Net Energy designs in order to gain marketplace advantages. Systems such as the Net-Zero Certification of the International Living Building Institute are driving this trend, but it has been growing steadily for about five years.
  4. LEED will see enhanced competition from Green Globes. This trend is supported by the fact that the Federal government has released its “once every five years” assessment of rating systems and has now put the two systems on equal footing for government projects. More importantly, LEED will struggle to convince owners, designers, and consultants in all sectors that LEED v4 represents more value than hassle.
  5. The focus of the green building industry will continue its switch from certifying new building design and construction to full greening of existing buildings. This trend has been in place since 2010, and we expect it to accelerate in 2014. Jerry Yudelson’s green building book, Greening Existing Buildings, documents the strategic and tactical components of this trend.
  6. Green Buildings will increasingly be managed by information technologies, especially those in the “Cloud.” This trend is reflected by the large number of new entrants and new products in fields of building automation, facility management, wireless controls and building services information management over the last three years. In fact, we are calling 2014, “The Year of the Cloud” for how quickly this trend will become fully established.
  7. Green Building Performance Disclosure will continue as a major trend. This is highlighted by disclosure requirements enacted in 2013 by more than 30 major cities around the country, laws that require commercial building owners to disclose actual green building performance to all new tenants and buyers and, in some places, to the public. This trend will spread rapidly as the easiest way to monitor reductions in carbon emissions from commercial and governmental buildings.
  8. Healthy Building Products, Product Disclosure Declarations, along with various “Red Lists” of chemicals of concern’ to healthy building advocates, will become increasingly contentious. This trend has manifested through such tools as the Health Product Declaration and the inclusion of points for avoiding certain chemicals contained in LEEDv4, currently scheduled for full implementation in 2015. We predict that building product manufacturers will increasingly try to gain or maintain market share based on open disclosure of chemicals of concerns. We also foresee that industry-developed disclosure systems will begin to compete with systems offered by dozens of third-party rating agencies.
  9. Solar power use in buildings will continue to grow, especially because of the prospect of increasing focus on implementing aggressive state-level renewable power standards (RPS) for 2020 and the move toward zero-net-energy buildings. As before, third-party financing partnerships will continue to grow and provide capital for larger rooftop systems on low-rise commercial buildings, parking garages, warehouses and retail stores, as well as on homes.
  10. Awareness of the coming crisis in fresh water supply, both globally and in the U.S., will increase as global climate change affects rainfall and water supply systems worldwide. Leading building designers, owners and managers will be moved to take further steps to reduce water consumption in buildings by using more conserving fixtures, rainwater recovery systems and innovative new onsite water technologies. Yudelson’s 2010 recent water conservation book, Dry Run: Preventing the Next Urban Water Crisis, shows how this is being done in green buildings all over the developed world.