New LEED-Certified Projects in the Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is experiencing new “firsts” in LEED accreditation through recent construction projects across the region.
Alcyone, a residential project located in Seattle’s Cascade District near Lake Union, became the first market-rate, multi-family facility in the city to earn LEED accreditation. The 161-unit building opened in June 2004 and was developed by Harbor Properties Inc. and Vulcan Inc., both based in Seattle. Key elements of Alcyone’s design and construction include its commitment to energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, water preservation, and eco-friendly materials. Some features of the development are:
- A landscaped roof deck for residents to grow plants and produce, using recycled rainwater.
- Non-toxic paint and flooring.
- Construction materials with high recycled content.
- Operable windows to conserve energy and provide fresh air.
- A location close to downtown and bus routes to reduce vehicle dependency.
The 8-story, 150,000-square-foot building is located at the corner of Minor Avenue North and Thomas Street in Seattle. For more information, visit (www.alcyoneapartments.com).
Farther south in Corvallis, OR, a new facility at Oregon State University (OSU) is making headlines as being the first university building in the Northwest constructed to achieve a LEED Gold rating and become the greenest academic engineering building in the country. The 153,000-square-foot Kelley Engineering Center, which opened in October, was designed by the Portland-based Yost Grube Hall architectural firm. Conceived around the goal of sustainability, the center incorporates numerous green features, including:
- Operable windows that deactivate the heating system when opened.
- A central atrium and windowed walls to provide natural lighting.
- Collection of rainwater to flush toilets and irrigate the landscape, reducing water usage by over 60 percent.
- Rooftop solar panels that produce 2,400 watts for heating sinks and showers.
- A heat recovery system that pulls waste heat from the ventilation system.
For more information on the Kelley Engineering Center, visit OSU’s website at (www.oregonstate.edu).
Johnson Controls Completes Acquisition of York Intl.
Milwaukee, WI-based Johnson Controls Inc., a global leader in energy management and building controls, recently announced that it has completed its acquisition of YORK Intl., the largest independent supplier of heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R) equipment and services. The acquisition creates the largest global provider with more than 700 sales and service offices in the building efficiency business serving over 125 countries. The new business will have market leadership in North America and Europe, and increased strength in Asia (especially China), Central Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. YORK will retain its global product brand under “YORK, A Johnson Controls Company.” For additional information, visit (www.johnsoncontrols.com).
The Right Window Film Can Enhance Indoor Air Quality, Too
Today, the environmental issues facing building professionals are anything but simple and extend beyond overheating and energy conservation; indoor building design challenges include dealing with under-ventilated and circulated air, moisture and mold growth, off-gassing of furniture and building components, and the impact of such conditions on the productivity, health, and wellbeing of building occupants. Ironically, many of the measures taken to increase energy efficiency - such as “tightening” buildings to reduce both air infiltration and outflow - have contributed to negative impacts on a building’s environment and air quality.
What’s the role of window film in all of this? Marty Watts, president and CEO of Houston-based V-Kool Inc. (www.v-kool-usa.com), explains.
Take the issue of heat. According to the California Energy Commission, 30 percent of a building’s cooling requirements is from heat entering through existing windows. Whether this fact is known or not, reducing heat in a building is usually considered to be a legitimate and exclusive HVAC function. As a supplement to HVAC, however, stopping heat at the window using heat-blocking window film can not only reduce air-conditioning operating frequency and cost, but can also placate many building occupants who rightly or wrongly believe “conditioned” air is less desirable to work or live in than non-conditioned air.
According to a study conducted by ECOS Corp., an environmental design firm in Sydney, Australia, “Intensive air-conditioning all year long was identified as having a strong negative impact on the quality of the office environment.” Anecdotal evidence suggests that air-conditioning may aggravate the effects of arthritis and neuritis and makes people sick due to the extreme variances between outside and inside temperatures.
Note that as heat reduction becomes a shared function of HVAC and window film, benefits include both energy savings and building occupant perception of improved environmental conditions.
In addition to the practice of reducing heat to mitigate off-gassing, reducing interior temperatures supportive of mold growth in humid environments need not depend entirely on HVAC systems. Less costly and more benign window film can shoulder much of the burden of interior heat reduction if that heat is caused by solar energy entering through glass in the building envelope.
Knowledgeable decision-makers responsible for establishing and implementing a comprehensive strategy for designing a building’s environment realize that no single program component constitutes a silver bullet. In that regard, window film can no more do the job alone than can overburdened HVAC systems, which historically have been expected to carry 100 percent of the responsibility for maintaining a healthy indoor environment.
In reality, the quality of the indoor air and overall environment depends on several proactive initiatives undertaken by building decision-makers. They include selecting furnishings and building components that will not off-gas and preventing the formation of condensation and humidity in sufficient amounts to cause mold. Most significantly, a strategy to manage a building’s environment must rely on an adequate HVAC system whose ability to reduce heat is aided by the simultaneous implementation of appropriate heat-blocking window film and other relevant methods to both save energy and enhance environmental quality. Only when a multitude of systems function in an integrated and orchestrated approach will positive results be achieved and maintained.
Study Finds Expanded Worldwide Demand for Insulation
Global demand for thermal and acoustical insulation materials is predicted to increase 3.6 percent per year through 2009 to more than 18 billion square meters of R-1 value, according to a study conducted by The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm.
The study, World Insulation, found that the fastest gains will occur in the developing countries of Asia, where building construction, rising living standards, and manufacturing of insulation-based products like refrigerators will fuel demand. However, slowing residential construction in the United States and Canada will decrease insulation demand in North America during the same time period. Elsewhere, concerns about energy efficiency will spur demand for insulation - notably in places like Western Europe and Japan. Additionally, the report found that foamed plastic insulation can be expected to have the best growth of all insulation types through 2009.
World Insulation was published in October and is available for purchase from The Freedonia Group. For more information, visit the firm’s website at (www.freedoniagroup.com).
NEMA Introduces New Fire Service Standard
The Rosslyn, VA-based National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) recently announced that its Signaling Protection and Communications Product Section, representing elements of the fire alarm industry, has released SB 30-2005, Fire Service Annunciator and Interface.
SB 30 was developed jointly by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Building and Fire Research Laboratory, NEMA, and the U.S. fire alarm industry. The standard facilitates the development of uniform equipment for use by the fire service to display essential information during fires and other emergencies, and is intended for use by both incident commanders and first responders.
SB 30 covers the design, operation, and arrangement of equipment intended to display essential data and status of building systems for use by firefighters in the role of first responders, as well as for incident commanders. It is also intended to cover requirements for firefighter-interface equipment to provide real-time information of value in making rapid assessments in support of tactical decisions and for monitoring the safety of firefighters. It also contains a set of recommended fire service display icons for use in the graphical and spatial formats that are both functional and accessible at the scene of a fire or other hazardous situation. It is intended to increase life-safety conditions by providing firefighters with key parameters associated with the conditions of the building where a fire emergency is occurring prior to their arrival on the scene.
“By using the form-factor data in this standard, manufacturers will develop intuitive firefighter and first responder user interfaces that readily display building information and facilitate rapid situational assessment,” says Andrew Berezowski of the Signaling Protection and Communications Section. More information is available at (www.nema.org/stds/sb30.cfm).
Louisiana Will Build Back Stronger, Safer With New Building Codes
While Hurricane Katrina devastated much of Louisiana, the state is poised to rebuild stronger and safer than ever using the Intl. Codes (I-Codes) developed by the Intl. Code Council (ICC).
In a special session, the state legislature approved adoption of the 2003 Intl. Building, Residential, Existing Building, Mechanical, and Fuel Gas Codes for use in Louisiana. The bill applies to buildings rebuilt in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It also will be required for all buildings built or rebuilt statewide starting in 2007. The code requires homes and businesses built along the Gulf Coast to withstand winds of 130 to 150 miles per hour. The bill also establishes a 19-member council to oversee enforcement of the codes by local governments.
“The massive effort to rebuild Louisiana will be long and difficult. However, with the Intl. Codes in place to help guide reconstruction, homes and businesses will be safer, stronger and more resistant to future natural disasters,” says Sara Yerkes, ICC senior vice president of government relations. “Hurricane damage disrupts private industry and government services, puts people out of work, reduces disposable income, and diminishes the tax base. By adopting and enforcing I-Codes, the state is helping to protect lives and property while limiting the far-reaching effects of hurricanes and other natural disasters.”
Successfully Eliminate Mold
A special website (www.fosterproducts.com) has been developed to support hurricane clean-up and provide access to information regarding mold treatment and prevention. It also offers links to relief agencies, mold remediation associations/contractors, and distributors.
On its website, Foster® (a technological leader in mold- and mildew-resistant coatings) recommends that property owners/managers take a three-phase approach to remove mold and prevent its return:
- Clean. Get rid of any water-damaged and mold-contaminated materials that cannot be salvaged, such as carpet, furniture, and wallboard. Thoroughly dry all materials to be left in place by exposing them to circulated dry air.
- Treat. Treat all remaining non-porous surfaces with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered premixed, ready-to-use disinfectant. Clean and deodorize other porous materials to remove residual microbial contaminants. Specially formulated products containing surfactants can be more effective than bleach and water to clean surfaces, and are often safer to use.
- Coat. Professionally apply an antimicrobial or mold-resistant coating. These coatings can help protect the surfaces from moisture intrusion and provide residual long-term protection against the re-growth of mold and mildew on their surface.
Educational Seminars at the University of Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin-Madison announced that its Department of Engineering Professional Development will offer a series of buildings-related courses this coming spring for facilities professionals. The first class, “Below-Grade Waterproofing and Moisture Control,” will be held between March 30 and 31, 2006, and will discuss materials and systems for dampproofing and waterproofing, design approaches and specifications, cost-effective installation techniques, repairs, restoration, and maintenance procedures. The second, “Repair of Concrete,” will take place from April 4 to 6 and will update participants on cost-effective concrete repair methods. A third course, “The Commissioning Process for Delivering Quality Constructed Projects,” is scheduled for April 3 to 5. It will be complemented by “The Commissioning Process for Building Assemblies and Systems” and “The Commissioning Process for LEED Projects” on April 6 and 7, as well as “Certification Training for Accredited Commissioning Process Provider” on April 8. For more information, contact Raymond Matulionis at (608) 263-3372.
Calendar of Events
Making the Business Case for Security
Cooling Technology Institute’s 2006 Annual Conference
Intl. Roofing Expo
Las Vegas, NV
5th Annual TISP Congress on Infrastructure Security for the Built Environment
Fundamentals of Commercial and Industrial Lighting
Management Models for Capital Projects and Facilities Management
Hilton Head, SC
The Roof Consultants Institute’s 2006 Convention
Los Angeles, CA
For more information, visit (www.buildings.com/liveevents).
Environmental Organization Releases Guide on FSC-Certified Wood Products
In an effort to provide comprehensive listings of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified products, the Rainforest Alliance has developed the SmartGuide to Green Building Wood Sources, a free-of-charge booklet that can be downloaded online.
Recognizing that many facilities professionals do not use FSC-certified wood products because they are difficult and time-consuming to locate, the alliance created this literature to include contact, product, and company information of FSC-certified suppliers. The guide seeks to link growing demand for FSC-certified timber with an ever-increasing supply. Use of such products is worth points toward earning Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation.
“FSC-certified wood now enjoys a sizeable market share, thanks to the millions of acres of forests that have achieved certification in recent years,” says Frank Judd, the Rainforest Alliance’s market development manager. “It’s time to raise market awareness of the wide array of FSC-certified building products available today.”
SmartGuide includes an extensive list of FSC-certified vendors compiled from a variety of sources, including FSC, SmartWood, and Metafore. To obtain a free copy of this document, or to check for updates to its list of suppliers, visit (www.rainforest-alliance.org/greenbuilding).
Where Old Meets New
Every once in a while, something magical occurs. Something that makes people stop and take notice. Something that redefines how an old building is perceived and brings it into perspective through the lens of the present.
The Tremont Grand is that something special.
Originally constructed in 1866 and reconstructed in 1907, the Grand Lodge of Maryland Masonic Temple, located at 225 Charles St., served as the center of Masonic activity during the 20th century. The Mason organization, and its history, has long been intertwined with Baltimore’s history - every mayor (through Mayor William Donald Schaefer) was a member of the Masons.
In 1994, the Mason’s sold the building to Baltimore attorney and developer Peter Angelos. Then, in 1998, William C. Smith purchased the building with the desire to restore it to its early grandeur.
This past fall, this historical building reopened as the Tremont Grand. After undergoing its extensive renovation, the majestic building successfully integrates state-of-the-art technology with 19th-century architectural elegance. With 5 floors and over 45,000 square feet of meeting and reception space, the Tremont Grand is intent upon becoming Baltimore’s premier site for business and social events.
Looking to the future of the Tremont Grand is as important as remembering the impressive history of the building. The Grand’s exquisite Marble Hall provided temporary selling spaces for local Baltimore merchants after the Great Fire of 1904. Also, during the 20th century, the room served as a USO canteen for the brave soldiers and sailors staying in Baltimore between deployments. Other rooms throughout the Grand boast historical elements that lead one to believe that they have stepped back in time when visiting.
That is, however, if one has stepped back in time with all of the amenities of the 21st century. The Tremont Grand's project team - developer William C. Smith & Co. Inc., architect Murphy Dittenhafer, and construction manager WCS Construction LLC - has worked tirelessly to maintain the original architectural integrity of the building while incorporating the latest technology.
The story of the Tremont Grand is long. Its influence on Baltimore is great. The future is still being determined. But one thing is clear: The building has endured 3 centuries of change and remains strong today.
American Society of Safety Engineers Provides Tips on Maintaining Safety and Health of a Diverse Workforce
At the Intl. Facility Management Association’s (IFMA’s) 2005 World Workplace Conference last fall, American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Practice Specialty Administrator Linda Tapp informed attendees that with the workforce being more diverse than ever, it’s imperative for facilities managers to be aware and take actions to help provide a safe workplace for everyone - regardless of their age, language, body shape, or size.
Tapp notes that there are more women workers, workers with English as a second language, and older workers than ever before. The safety and health of a diverse workforce can be maintained through awareness and education about the different risks and needs of various groups, injuries, and illnesses.
A way to accommodate today’s diverse workforce is by applying good ergonomic principles. “Ergonomics is the science of improving employee performance and wellbeing in relation to job tasks, equipment, and the environment,” Tapp said. “Ergonomics is a continuous improvement effort to design the workplace for what people do well and to design against what people don’t do well. The goal of workplace ergonomics is to minimize the effects of workplace stressors and adapt jobs to meet worker needs. “Equipment should be designed to optimize human efficiency and reduce musculoskeletal strain,” Tapp continued. “By applying good ergonomic principles, employers can reduce injury rates, contain worker’s compensation costs, increase productivity, and improve product quality.
“By implementing good workplace design principles and programs to help older workers, younger workers, overweight workers, non-English speakers, and women workers, we are not only making the workplace safer for these diverse populations but for all employees as well,” noted Tapp.