First Building at the World Trade Center Completed
The first office building to be rebuilt in Lower Manhattan after 9/11 recently opened its doors. 7 World Trade Center is the first certified green skyscraper in New York City, earning LEED Gold certification for providing occupants with cleaner air and more natural light while conserving energy. The 52-story building was designed by David Childs, consulting design partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. With the collaboration of artist James Carpenter, they designed the constantly changing exterior of the building to reflect color and light. New York City-based Tishman Construction Corp. Chairman and CEO Daniel R. Tishman served as construction manager for 7 World Trade Center. Manhattan-based real estate development and investment firm Silverstein Properties acquired the 10 million-square-foot World Trade Center in 2001, just 6 weeks before the terrorist attacks. Starting with 7 World Trade Center, it has committed to the redevelopment of the site.
Report Shares Hurricane Experiences
Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle manages buildings heavily affected by 2005 Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma in New Orleans, Texas, and southern Florida. A report written by the organization offers facility managers and building owners advice on disaster-planning strategies, including preparation, recovery, and business continuity. The report advocates scenario planning to anticipate the impact of the disaster, as well as the challenges that can arise afterwards.
As part of any facility manager’s off-season preparation strategy, Jones Lang LaSalle advocates the following:
- Update emergency communication contacts.
- Make arrangements with national service providers.
- Stockpile necessities.
- Check into emergency-housing options for employees.
- Establish a response team within the organization and clearly define roles.
- Review legal responsibilities, including insurance agreements and tenant leases.
- Prepare a shutdown plan to enact days before the hurricane’s landfall.
After the storm hits, Jones Lang LaSalle emphasizes that empowering the recovery team is important when facility managers and building owners are unable to re-enter the property. Once it is safe to return, building officials should take these steps:
- Examine the area for potential safety hazards and avoid dangerous areas.
- Attend to the needs of the recovery team.
- Set up a security system.
- Keep employees connected with wireless Internet-enabled laptops and set up daily, toll-free conference calls.
The website includes facts about fighting mold, highlights specific mold-resistant products, and lists useful resources for additional mold information. The site (www.getmoldfacts.com) also takes visitors through pre-construction care, construction care, and recommended maintenance practices. USG Corp. has formed a new organization, the Responsible Solutions to Mold Coalition (RSMC), to communicate accurate information to the commercial building industry.
BOMA reports that the Washington, D.C., City Council is considering legislation that would require any commercial construction or renovation project of 20,000 square feet or more to achieve LEED certification. The proposal also requires a Green Building Incentive Program that would allow a commercial developer to apply for an expedited permit review if project plans indicate that the building will achieve LEED certification upon completion. The bill is expected to come up for review later this year after examination by the council’s Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Committee.
Survey Reveals Technology Preparedness
A joint survey conducted by St. Louis-based Emerson Network Power and Continuity Insights magazine, Doylestown, PA, shows the high degree of change occurring in IT today.
- 42 percent of respondents plan to add blade servers.
- 69 percent are adding other high-density systems.
- 49 percent are adopting Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems.
- 53 percent plan to physically expand the network into new locations.
The survey also reveals that many business-continuity executives may not be prepared for the effect of power and cooling technology on mission-critical systems.
- 35 percent of respondents think that their current power systems won’t support planned expansions.
- 40 percent have cooling systems that do not have the capacity to support expansion.
- 49 percent have recovery-time objectives of 2 hours or less for re-establishment of business-critical functions.
- 44 percent have calculated the amount of time their computer systems can operate without cooling in the event of an outage.
- 70 percent had not quantified their cost of downtime. For those that had, the potential loss per hour ranged from $1,500 to $800,000.
DOE Provides Funding for Energy-Efficient Lighting
New breakthroughs in light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic LEDs (OLEDs) have prompted the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to award $7 million to five organizations for research in energy-efficient fixtures. Made from semiconductors, both LEDs and OLEDs could potentially revolutionize the lighting industry.
One organization is working on a white-light LED replacement for a 60-watt incandescent bulb that would be 4-times more efficient, producing 80 lumens of light per watt. Another company is also aiming for an efficiency of 80 lumens of light per watt in a white-light LED, but is using multiple layers of thin film to build the device. By using nanotechnology, a third company is working on a white-light LED that produces 96 lumens per watt.
The two remaining organizations are developing OLEDs, one of which hopes to produce 50 lumens per watt.
LEED-CS on the West Coast
Tower 333, currently under construction in downtown Bellevue, WA, will be the West Coast’s first office building to be pre-certified in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Core and Shell Development program (LEED-CS). The project is a partnership between the Seattle office of Hines, an international real estate firm, and Washington Capital Management, a Seattle-based investment management firm. With completion anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2007, the 20-story, 410,000-square-foot facility will maximize natural light in tenant spaces with full-height windows and 10-foot finished ceilings. Tower 333 is designed to attract and retain employees with its easy access, views of the Cascades and Mt. Rainier, access to green space, and superior air quality.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF HINES
AQS Develops Mold- Resistance Rating
A new test method from Atlanta-based Air Quality Sciences (AQS), in conjunction with the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI), measures the mold resistance of newly manufactured building materials. Products are tested and given a performance rating of 1 to 4 (1 being highly susceptible to mold growth, and 4 being highly resistant to mold growth).
The GEI will use this rating system to develop product-certification criteria for mold resistance as more data becomes available on key construction and furnishing materials. “This easy-to-use rating system will greatly assist architects and specifiers by taking the guesswork out of selecting the best building materials that resist mold growth as well as supporting product manufacturers in their efforts to provide products that meet this critical need,” says Marilyn S. Black, CEO and chief scientist at AQS.
Report Addresses Data-Storage Needs
According to ZweigWhite, a Natick, MA, information services company, data and file-storage needs for architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting firms have hit a new high. The 2006 Information Technology Survey of Architecture, Engineering, Planning & Environmental Consulting Firms shows that firms have a median of 12.3 gigabytes of online disk storage space per employee, and one-quarter of firms have at least 21.4 gigabytes per person. Survey results indicate that 51 percent of firm leaders and IT managers expect to increase their storage in 2006. Sixty-five percent of respondents predict an increase in overall IT spending this year. Last year, firms invested a median of 3.4 percent of net service revenue in IT, or $3,488 per employee.
Data storage and file management is one of the biggest IT challenges for survey respondents. They cite the difficulties of managing increasingly large project files, images, and digital photos. Respondents’ other top challenges include training needs for firm employees and the ability to adapt to and keep up with changing technology. To order the report, visit ZweigWhite’s website (www.zweigwhite.com).
Higher Institution Facilities are a Factor for Students
A recent survey by the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers’ (APPA’s) Center for Facilities Research (CFaR) addresses the impact that a college or university’s facilities have in recruiting and on students’ choice of an institution. Although the top five institutional characteristics chosen by students were all related to academics, two-thirds of the respondents indicated that the overall quality of campus facilities was “essential to” or “very important to” their decision.
When asked which facilities were the most influential in their decisions, 73.6 percent of students listed facilities related to their majors as “extremely important” or “very important.” Other significant facilities included the library (53.6 percent), classrooms (49.8 percent), and residence halls (42.2 percent). According to the survey, inadequate residential facilities on campus were the top facility-associated reason that students would reject an institution. When asked which facilities were missing from an institution, students replied that missing facilities related to their majors (20.6 percent) and lack of open space (15.1 percent) were reasons for rejecting a college or university. The survey also found that two-thirds of students currently on campus were “extremely satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the facilities on their campus.
NIST Releases Hurricane Reconnaissance Report
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is currently investigating building failures caused by 2005’s Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Its goal is to establish the likely technical causes of building failure and evaluate the technical aspects of emergency response and evacuation procedures. Ultimately, it hopes to recommend improvements to the way in which buildings are designed, constructed, maintained, and used.
The report, Performance of Physical Structures in Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita: A Reconnaissance Report (NIST TN 1476), is available online (www.bfrl.nist.gov). It documents the teams’ observations and outlines the NIST’s major findings. The report concludes with 23 recommendations for: 1) improvements that will have an immediate impact on the rebuilding of structures damaged or destroyed by the hurricanes; 2) improvements to standards, codes, and practices; and 3) further study or research and development.