Compiled by Anne K. Goedken
Expert Offers Top 5 Bird-Control Tips
Cory Gellerstedt, president of administration and treasurer at East Moline, IL-based Nixalite of America Inc., a manufacturer of bird-control products, offers these tips for eliminating pest birds without harming them.
1. Analyze the problem. Identify the type and number of birds causing the problem. Note the areas on which they land and roost. Eliminate food and water sources, if possible.
2. Research available products. Choose a reliable company that offers free technical support and installation plans. Don’t make your decision on price alone: Consider maintenance costs, product life-span, and installation costs.
3. Consider using a combination of products. The products you choose depend on the size and number of birds, the types of areas you wish to protect, and a host of other factors. The most effective, durable, and economical devices are “porcupine wire” and bird netting (if they are well constructed and installed properly). Pin and wire, non-lethal chemical repellents, and scare devices have their place in some situations. Sticky pastes and ultrasonic devices are not recommended.
4. Plan the installation properly. Decide if you want to install the bird-control products yourself or have a qualified contractor do the job. Either way, make sure that all areas have been carefully measured per the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you order the correct amount of material.
5. Treat droppings with caution. Bird droppings are hazardous waste. Thoroughly cleaning, disinfecting, and deodorizing the surface is imperative to protect people from infection. It also discourages pest birds from following the scent back to their old roosts. Check with your local health department for proper disposal methods.
ARTI Report Lays Groundwork for More Efficient Air-Conditioning
Replacing traditional round-tube heat exchangers with flattened-tube technology may enable the air-conditioning industry to provide comfort cooling using a new refrigerant that increases efficiency, but not the system’s size. In a report from the Arlington, VA-based Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology Institute (ARTI), Champaign, IL-based University of Illinois researchers provide analysis, modeling, and interpretation of air-side, thermal-hydraulic performance for flattened-tube heat exchangers under wet and frosted surface conditions. The geometry of a flattened tube compared with the traditional round-tube heat exchanger allows for improved heat transfer and thermal performance, increased coil and overall unit efficiencies, substantial refrigerant charge reduction, and compact and reduced coil size.
IREM® Introduces New Credential
Launching its first new credential in 25 years, the Chicago-based Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) now offers the Accredited Commercial Manager certification for managers of small- to mid-size commercial properties. The credential requires that applicants manage a commercial portfolio of at least 20,000 square feet and have a minimum of 12 months of commercial real estate management experience.
Individuals who earn the new credential must complete IREM courses, pass a certification exam, and adhere to the IREM Code of Professional Ethics. This ensures current/prospective employers and clients that they have the professional, financial, and analytical expertise to meet the highest industry performance standards. Those who earn the Accredited Commercial Manager certification automatically become IREM members.
ACEEE Report Examines CHP Systems
The Washington, D.C.-based American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has released its Survey of Emissions Models for Distributed Combined Heat and Power Systems, a report that reviews existing models’ attempts to quantify or describe the emissions effects of combined heat and power (CHP) systems. Despite the benefits of CHP installation, relatively few tools exist for estimating the displaced emissions or for predicting how CHP affects constrained transmission systems or distributed emissions implications.
The report reviews the Integrated Planning Model (IPM), Average Displaced Emissions Rate (ADER), Market Allocation (MARKAL), All Modular Industry Growth Assessment (AMIGA), Oak Ridge Competitive Electric Dispatch (ORCED), and National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) tools. The Washington, D.C-based U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) CHP emissions calculator is also profiled. “The absence of a comprehensive tool to estimate displaced emissions penalizes CHP by not allowing the full appreciation of the environmental benefits,” says Neal Elliott, co-author of the report and ACEEE industry program director. Available for download at (www.aceee.org/pubs/ie071.htm), the study discusses the framework for the creation of a comprehensive tool.
ZweigWhite Reveals Hot Markets for 2007
According to a report from Natick, MA-based ZweigWhite, 2007 AEC Industry Outlook: Strategy and Insight for Design & Construction Firms, healthcare and higher education will be among the hottest markets for design and construction firms in 2007, while the parks and recreation, government, and financial markets are expected to struggle. Increases in healthcare expenditures are expected to result in additional capital available for healthcare projects. Higher-education construction is at a record level; universities are still upgrading and expanding residence halls and educational facilities to deal with increasing enrollments.
Massachusetts Firm Honored for Accessibility
Margulies & Associates, an architectural and interior design firm based in Boston, received an Accessible Design Award in the public architecture category for its work at the Quincy, MA, facility of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA). Co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (AAB) and the Boston Society of Architects (BSA), the Accessible Design Awards Program recognizes excellence in the design of buildings or facilities that are accessible for persons of all abilities.
BCBSMA arranged a focus group of employees with disabilities and the design team to talk about the everyday challenges that individuals with disabilities have to face. The design of BCBSMA’s facility included ramps and sloping walkways to create an updated lobby that reflects an inviting and accessible entrance to the public office building.
NRCA Launches Online Wind-Load Calculator
The Rosemont, IL-based National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), in cooperation with the Lawrence, KS-based Midwest Roofing Contractors Association and the Braintree, MA-based North/East Roofing Contractors Association, now offers an online wind-load calculator - the Roof Wind Designer. Available for download at (www.roofwinddesigner.com), the calculator provides roofing professionals with a means for accurately determining roof system design wind loads for common building types.
Users can input information about a specific building and roof area, including the building’s location and configuration, roof area dimensions, mean roof height and slope, and exposure and occupancy information. The calculator will then provide a report that describes the design wind loads for the roof area’s field, perimeter and corner zones, and minimum recommended design wind-resistance loads.
NASCO Working Group Identifies Security Issues
With the intent of providing a basic “best practice” guideline for security functionality, the Alexandria, VA-based National Association of Security Cos. (NASCO) has formed a Federal Protective Service (FPS) Working Group. This group will begin the task-analysis process for security guards or officers across federal and commercial markets, as well as industries and applications. The three primary goals of the group are to establish the definition of a security guard or officer, identify security functions and tasks, and validate these for contract and training requirements.
The group emphasized that the difference between the terms “guard” and “officer” may have to do with training. The term “officer” is used instead of “guard” when an individual has “met minimal defined standards” as outlined by federal agencies, departments, and state and local municipalities. The group determined that a “security system” is comprised of counter measures to reduce and mitigate risk that can be categorized into seven primary systems: surveillance, barriers, alarms, access control, communications, screening, and security force. Additionally, five functions were identified as the basic tasks of the majority of security officers: access control, visitor processing, screening, patrol and response, and control center integration. The NASCO FPS Working Group will meet quarterly to discuss and refine these initial findings.
Website Promotes Safe, Secure Electronics Recycling
Need to know where to recycle your used electronics? E-cycling Central (formerly known as the Consumer Education Initiative) is an online guide to U.S. electronics recyclers and proper management options of used electronics. Created by the Arlington, VA-based Environmental Issues Council of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), E-cycling Central (www.EcyclingCentral.com) is a user-friendly resource that provides information about how to manage used electronics. The site contains information on where to find electronics recycling, reuse, and donation programs in every state across the country; users can also search nationally. E-cycling Central includes a list of recommended questions to ask your recycler to ensure the proper handling of used electronics, as well as information about the economic benefits of recycling these devices.
Study Compares Green Building Rating Systems
A team of independent researchers at the University of Minnesota, based in Minneapolis/St. Paul, has published the results of a 3-month analysis of the two most prominent commercial building environmental assessment and rating systems in the United States: the Portland, OR-based Green Build Initiative’s (GBI) Green Globes™ system and the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED® system. The report, Green Building Systems: A Comparison of the LEED and Green Globes Systems in the US, provides a detailed comparison of how the systems operate, as well as their respective strengths and weaknesses.
The study states that “in total, the systems are quite similar” and “both include a common set of potentially impactful design elements that contribute to the improvement of a building’s green performance.” It found that nearly 80 percent of the categories available for points in Green Globes are also addressed in LEED 2.2; over 85 percent of the categories specified in LEED 2.2 are addressed in Green Globes. However, differences exist in the emphasis placed on categories. Green Globes emphasizes “Energy Use” above all other categories; LEED allocates more points to the “Materials” category. View the complete report on the University of Minnesota’s website
Coastal CRE Values Struggle to Recover
According to a report by New York City-based Fitch Ratings, U.S. commercial real estate (CRE) values in coastal areas may still suffer from the 2005 hurricane season. Despite a calmer-than-expected 2006 Atlantic hurricane season, insurance companies continue to increase premiums, raise deductibles, drop coverage amounts, and even drop coverage altogether in hurricane-prone areas to recoup losses from the 2005 season. According to the report, Fitch Ratings is concerned that windstorm insurance policies are now becoming unavailable in some coastal areas. If this trend continues, Fitch believes that CRE properties will experience serious cash-flow stress.
Historic Fire Station Comes Back to Life
Constructed in 1913, Fire Station 28 in Portland, OR, ceased to be used as a fire facility in 1984 due to its small size. In 2000, the City of Portland saw an opportunity for the station and began to explore the possibility of remodeling the building. Collaboration between the design team (led by Portland, OR-based Hennebery Eddy Architects), the Bureau of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services, and the neighborhood Station Advisory Committee resulted in seismically upgrading the historic un-reinforced masonry structure to facility standards and constructing a modern building addition. Respecting the proportions and materials of the existing facility, the new structure is connected to the historic building by a multi-story transparent circulation hinge containing stairs and the fire pole.
New Tool Calculates Water & Money Savings
A free evaluation sheet developed by Vista, CA-based Waterless Co. can help facility managers determine if waterless urinal systems will help them save money and water. The evaluation sheet asks users about the number of males that populate the facility; the number of urinals in the facility; the hours of operation; the amount of water used per urinal, per flush; and local water and sewer rates per 1,000 gallons. Contact Waterless Co. via e-mail at ([email protected]) to receive a free evaluation sheet in either hard-copy or electronic format.
Non-Profit Offers Online Resource for Building Commissioning
According to the California Commissioning Collaborative (CCC), the practices of commissioning new buildings and retrocommissioning existing facilities offer the potential to significantly reduce energy use and improve the building environment, but are not widely practiced. The CCC, a non-profit organization committed to improving the performance of buildings and their systems, is made up of government, utility, and building-service organizations and professionals. To encourage the use of building commissioning, the CCC develops cost-effective programs, tools, and techniques. The organization’s website contains a variety of resources, including over 40 commissioning case studies and a searchable online library with nearly 300 resources. The CCC’s website also includes a link to Cx Assistant, a Web-based tool designed to provide project-specific building commissioning information to design teams. Cx Assistant also enables users to estimate commissioning costs, identify an appropriate commissioning scope, and access sample commissioning specifications related to their construction projects.
Although the CCC site is particularly beneficial to California building owners, most of the information is universal to owners in all locations. This project was conducted by the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. The CCC resources are available online at (www.cacx.org).
Wind Power Capacity Expected to Grow
According to a market forecast by the Washington, D.C.-based American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), wind-power generating capacity increased by 27 percent in 2006 and is expected to increase by an additional 26 percent in 2007. The U.S. wind energy industry installed 2,454 megawatts (MW) of new generating capacity in 2006, an investment of approximately $4 billion, making wind the second-largest source of new power generation in the United States (second to only natural gas) for the second year in a row. AWEA claims that this clean source of electricity will displace approximately 23 million tons of carbon dioxide - the leading greenhouse gas - each year.