Category: Solutions

While overall data center efficiency can be increased through server virtualization and consolidation efforts, the use of these technologies is also pushing many data centers’ power and cooling densities beyond their original infrastructure capacity. These trends, along with the EPA’s recent report on data center inefficiencies, have caused many data center owners to reevaluate the design of their facilities and to look for innovative ideas to optimize their next generation mission critical facilities.1  more

The movement to provide more sustainable school buildings continues to grow. At the same time, the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and recent campus shootings are driving education institutions to construct safer campuses and more secure buildings. Although these movements appear to have little in common, they complement each other in several areas.  more

The reemergence of our core cities as more active and vibrant communities brings pressures and challenges to those who design. The density of buildings, traffic, the scarcity of land, and a competitive spirit among developers are all factors that work together to push modern buildings higher.

Sometimes, especially in motion pictures, we envision high-rise buildings as towering skyscrapers. While this is the romantic and not always incorrect vision, a “high” rise can be as short as eight to 10 floor levels. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) defines a high-rise building as a building with an occupied floor that is 75 feet above the level where the firefighting apparatus would stage firefighting operations. That low threshold requires several specific features to be designed into buildings to promote life safety and allow for emergency responders to safely and quickly access the higher levels of the building, thereby saving lives and considerable invested resources. With that fairly simple definition, all high-rise design challenges should be the same, right? Perhaps some additional discussion is warranted before we make that determination! more

Water – The Universal Solvent

In its purest form, water is one of the most aggressive solvents known and will dissolve a material until the solution reaches saturation. Pure water is also a critical ingredient in many business ventures; manufacturing, power generation, health care, pharmaceuticals, research, food production and processing, etc. Each of these business sectors has a different but specific use for high purity water. Water purity is relative to its use. Different industries have different critical levels or types of impurities; microelectronics – TOCs (total organic compounds); power – silica; pharmaceutical – bacteria; research –conductivity/resistivity.The specific purity needs, along with the analysis of the source water, form the basis of treatment to produce high purity water. more

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is undergoing significant changes at its Atlanta campuses. With many of its buildings constructed in the 1950s and ’60s, the main campus now requires facility upgrades to improve its ability to fulfill its missions, which include being a national leader in research and response to the threat of bioterrorism. more

If a desktop computer had the capability to transmit data at 10 Gigabits per second, one could transfer an entire DVD movie in 30 seconds-a movie that otherwise would require two hours to consume. The speed of 10GBase-T is so much greater than 1000Base-T that it dwarfs the speed at which modern hard disk drives read and write to the system bus.

When hardware that can use this technology becomes commercially available, the opportunities for working directly from centralized data storage will be possible. This can potentially change the concept of using local storage. If used in a current desktop, the computer would quickly become overwhelmed with data.  more

In the pursuit of science, competition for the best and the brightest minds has become fierce. Institutions and organizations often use laboratory facilities as recruiting tools to lure top researchers to their team. Today’s laboratories emphasize architectural design by featuring natural light, open floor plans, and flexible layouts, while at the same time promoting comfort, collaboration and productivity. more

We have a cagewash area with extremely poor exhaust design. The space is, on average, at 95% relative humidity. What are the typical environmental operating parameters of a cagewash area? What are ideal velocities in the duct and what is the ideal slope of said duct?  more

Emory University has had a long history of providing quality cancer care, research and medical training since its clinics first opened in 1937. Unfortunately, cancer remains one of the leading killers of Georgians, and Atlanta is one of the largest cities in the country without a National Cancer Institute designated “Comprehensive Cancer Center.” When Emory University’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center set out to change that, it realized that a new home was required to meet its potential, and the Winship Cancer Institute (WCI) project was initiated–focusing exclusively on cancer research, and serving cancer patients and their families. The new WCI is a powerful tool in the fight against cancer and represents not only cutting edge healthcare design, but leadership in sustainable design and construction.

In the old days, telecommunications consisted of only the telephone network, and the design services were provided free of charge by the local telephone company. The internal personnel responsible for this design were known as the BICs, or building industry consultants. The fee for this design was covered by telephone subscribers as a part of their regular service.

Back then, coordination was not a major concern. BICs would work with architects and engineers in the planning phases and continue throughout construction by working with the contractors.

But all of this changed with industry deregulation in 1984. Not only did it break up the phone company into the regulated bell operating companies for local service, with AT&T continuing to provide long distance, but it also shifted the ownership of the cabling in a facility to the customer.  more