Thursday, April 23, 2015

GHT principal Jeffrey Salay earns Certified Energy Manager credential

GHT Limited (GHT), a DC metro area mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering firm, announces that Principal Jeffrey Salay, PE, CEM, LEED AP has earned his Certified Energy Manager (CEM) credential from the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE).

According to AEE, the CEM certification “recognizes individuals who have demonstrated high levels of experience, competence, proficiency, and ethical fitness in the energy management profession.” AEE also states that the credential “has gained industry-wide use as the standard for qualifying energy professionals both in the United States and abroad. It is recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Office of Federal Energy Management Programs (FEMP), and the U.S. Agency for International Development as well as by numerous state energy offices, major utilities, corporations and energy service companies.”

Jeffrey Salay partners with building owners and operators to develop solutions for long-term energy efficiency. He focuses on developing energy management strategies that reduce the impact building energy use has on the environment.

As section head of building energy services in GHT’s Operations and Energy Services studio, Salay leads the firm’s efforts to provide ENERGY STAR benchmarking services, conduct ASHRAE energy audits and other energy studies, and design energy efficiency upgrades. He also applies two decades of experience as a mechanical engineer to support the design of high-performance systems for commercial, government, residential, educational, and senior care facilities.

A Professional Engineer, Certified Energy Manager (CEM), and LEED Accredited Professional, Salay earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland. He earned a certificate of training on the Commonwealth of Virginia Construction and Professional Services Manual (CPSM) from the Bureau of Capital Outlay Management (BCOM).

GHT helps optimize building performance by providing sustainable mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering services for commercial office buildings, tenant interiors, and government properties as well as institutional, hospitality, and mission critical environments. GHT's areas of expertise include MEP system design, commissioning, building energy services, and real estate advisory services. Based in Arlington, VA, and founded in 1965, GHT is one of the largest locally owned and headquartered MEP consultants in the Washington D.C. metro area. Learn more about GHT at

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Oregon State to develop new construction safety research lab

The College of Engineering at Oregon State University (OSU) is developing a facility to improve safety for construction workers and the general public. A $1 million grant from Knife River Corporation and MDU Construction Services Group will help support creation of this laboratory, to be called the MDU Resources Group Construction Safety Laboratory. “This lab establishes us as the principal national facility for construction and transportation safety research and education,” says Scott Ashford, the dean and Kearney Professor of Engineering at the OSU College of Engineering.

“We’re delighted to partner with Knife River and MDU Construction Services Group on this critically important project,” Ashford says. “These two companies are industry leaders in safety, and their commitment to our program will allow us to further advance processes and technologies that will help to better prevent workplace injuries.”

When complete, the lab will have two components to create a virtual construction environment that replicates real-world jobsites. An interactive, high-definition projection system will allow multiple users to conduct sample work operations without actually putting workers at risk for injury. And a connected driving simulator will help evaluate driver and worker actions as vehicles pass through a work zone. “This project provides a virtual environment where industry and academia can work together on real-world solutions,” says Jeff Thiede, president and CEO of MDU Construction Services Group.

The lab will also expand and enhance an initiative begun several years ago at OSU to yield major improvements in worker safety by emphasizing prevention through design. This concept emphasizes safety consideration at the very design stage to make buildings, bridges, roadways, and other structures safer both to build and maintain. “There’s a long history in the construction industry of architects and design engineers leaving construction safety up to the builder or contractor, saying it wasn’t really the designer’s concern,” says John Gambatese, an OSU professor of civil engineering, a leader in this new movement, and a national expert in construction design and safety. “Some of this dates historically to the separation between owner, architect, contractor, maintenance, and construction worker. There are also legal and liability issues. But there are many ways we can improve construction safety with this approach.”

OSU researchers and other experts eventually see construction safety, both in design and job-site activities, as becoming one component of green construction concepts and adding a social aspect to the idea of sustainability. Based in part on OSU research, the U.S. Green Building Council recently added a pilot “prevention through design” credit to their rating system for sustainable buildings.

This emphasis on safety is needed, OSU researchers say. Construction is a traditionally dangerous profession, with such risks as falls from elevated heights, electrocution, trench cave-ins, and many lesser workplace injuries. The new laboratory at OSU will be able to simulate some of these situations on the jobsite, helping to identify safer ways to work while also studying improved productivity and minimizing costs, officials say.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Carlos Gittens joins KCI as highway practice leader and office manager in Greenville, SC

KCI Technologies, a multi-discipline engineering firm with offices throughout the eastern and central United States, welcomes J. Carlos Gittens, P.E. as highway practice leader and manager of the firm’s new office in Greenville, South Carolina. He will be responsible for business development, quality control, and project management for transportation projects throughout the state. 

Gittens brings to KCI more than 16 years of infrastructure experience in design and management. His background includes construction management, rail coordination, and extensive utility coordination and management. He has worked with state and municipal organizations on a wide range of projects, including road widening and bridge replacements for the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the South Carolina Port Authority’s Inland Port, University Point Boulevard in Charlotte, and North Carolina Department of Transportation design-build contracts for the new Salem Creek Connector and widening of eight miles of I-85 in Cabarrus County.

“Carlos’ experience and resume offer our Southeast clients a new service line,” says KCI Vice President and Regional Practice Leader W. Merritt King, P.E. “His strong highway design and management skills combined with his rail and utility experience will enhance our transportation capabilities, open up new markets, and broaden our relationships for major highway design-build pursuits.”

Gittens attended the University of Central Florida, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1998 and a Master of Business Administration in 2000. He is a registered professional engineer in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Florida.

Roughly 1,100 KCI employee-owners support clients from more than 20 offices throughout the eastern and central United States. KCI offers environmental, transportation, telecommunications, construction, facilities and land development services to government, institutional, and private-sector clients. For more information, visit