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The design-build delivery method was used for the U.A. Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Building at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the schedule was aggressive: 18 months from beginning of design until substantial completion of construction. Although Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System certification was not a project requirement, the building still has many green elements. This article describes how the design-build team incorporated green concepts into this non-LEED project, and highlights sustainable features of the architectural, electrical and HVAC systems. 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.
Many groups in the facilities industry are becoming aware of the greatest potential of the commissioning revolution—retrocommissioning. Retrocommissioning is the systematic process by which owners ensure that their buildings and their systems are optimized to perform interactively to meet the current operational needs as closely as possible. This process may include remedial design and construction to accomplish this goal. more
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
On the surface, vivariums housing rodents are very similar in function, use, and frankly, design. Generally, they include holding rooms, procedure rooms, cage washing facilities, necropsy, and various other support spaces. Likewise, heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems serving these spaces can also be fairly typical. more
In its simplest sense, commissioning verifies that systems operate in a manner consistent with construction or procurement documents. This includes identifying and labeling devices, cabling and equipment; cleaning; preparing O&M documentation; testing and adjusting; and training personnel more
Despite the recent scrutiny and criticism of primary-secondary chilled water pumping systems, many owners still decide these systems are appropriate for their facility. Factors such as simplicity, familiarity, and experience are considered, in some cases, to have benefits to the owner that overshadow efficiency and first costs. Primary-Secondary pumping is not appropriate for all projects, but when the decision has been made to use it, properly addressing technical aspects of such designs and adequately addressing facility users’ needs significantly contributes to the project’s success. This article explores key issues to consider when designing a primary-secondary chilled water plant. more
When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classified environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) as a Group A carcinogen, many state and local codes began requiring restaurants and entertainment facilities to provide designated smoking areas that prevent smoke from being recirculated to nonsmoking areas.
For consulting engineers, these smoking areas open up whole new concerns—and special commissioning needs. The following case study is a primer on HVAC commissioning with special attention to smoking areas in these venues. more