When considering a florescent lighting system upgrade, many facilities managers are retrofitting by placing adapters in existing lighting fixtures. Lighting retrofit kits with adapters have advantages over more comprehensive lighting system component upgrades – they reuse existing lamp fixtures, provide new self-contained electronic lamp ballasts, and offer reduced installation, maintenance, and operating costs. We’ll take a look at the basic ideas involved in a T5 lighting retrofit project, including a return on investment (ROI) case study that calculates payback as less than five years.
Facilities Ops & Maintenance
Building Information Modeling (BIM), which first proved its value as a software solution for the design and construction industries, is now being introduced in another sector: building operations. The advancement is a logical one, considering the limitations of the traditional supply chain. “There has always been a ‘handover’ from AEC to the building owner,” says Marty Chobot, Vice President of Product Management at facility management company FM:Systems, “but we need to find a way to bridge the gap between AEC and O&M.”
Thermal imaging or infrared thermography is a nondestructive maintenance method that uses infrared cameras to measure the amount of thermal radiation emitted by objects, which is converted to temperature. Normally, to measure the temperature of objects near room temperature requires the detection of radiation in the infrared wavelength range (which is much longer than that of visible light, i.e., approximately 400–700 nanometers). Infrared images are normally colorized so that objects that emit more thermal radiation than others will appear as brighter colors (yellow, red, and white). Cooler objects appear in darker blue, purple, or green colors. Although thermal imaging normally detects only surface temperatures, infrared signatures often indicate temperatures inside structures.
Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, is in the midst of a $20.6 million -- $1.2 million of which represents the information technology (IT) portion -- construction project that will double the physical size of its Conservatory of Music. Expected to be completed by the fall of 2011, the project includes major renovations and new construction; joining two existing campus buildings with the adjacent church complex. Upfront planning is crucial to ensure a good IT installation that meets all the needs of their students and professors and wisely uses capital funds. Here are the basic concepts involved in IT system planning and infrastructure. Greg Flanik and Daniel Stilla from Baldwin-Wallace’s IT department provided Buildipedia a look into the planning and technologies involved in getting their new building “wired for sound.”
Although there are far more residential fires than those involving non-residential structures, commercial fires still have a hefty price: in 2009 the 103,500 non-residential fires cost 105 lives and over $3 billion in losses, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Preventive actions are critical to avoid these losses altogether. That’s where a properly designed and installed fire alarm system comes in.
Michael Hughes is Chief of the Construction Department for the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) in Cleveland, Ohio. He’s also one of the people most familiar with CMHA’s Building Automation System (BAS). In this lead article initiating a case study with CMHA, we’ll provide a summary overview of their BAS, which was installed by Siemens Building Technologies. In future articles, we’ll take some more in-depth journeys with Mr. Hughes into the BAS, including the daily use of the system. Throughout this series, we’ll cover some detailed time and cost-savings scenarios that BASs offer to building owners.
The Falkirk Wheel, constructed in Falkirk, Scotland in 2002, was developed to connect the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal so travelers could easily navigate through central Scotland. After consideration was given to several designs including a see-saw-like structure and a rolling eggs structure, a rotating boat design was chosen. British Waterways, Morrison-Bachy-Soletanche, and specialists from Butterley Engineering, RMJM Architects, and Ove Arup Consultants engineered a one-of-a-kind rotating boat lift to connect the two canals.
Theodore (Ted) E. Scott is the Managing Member of Stormwater Maintenance, LLC, in Hunt Valley, Maryland. He has provided our audience some insights into the inspection, maintenance, and repair of storm water systems. There are three categories of these systems that we’ll investigate: surface basins, underground structures and drainage systems.
In most cases, property owners are required by regulation to maintain pond embankments and outfall works as related to structural integrity and dam safety. Proper maintenance also lessens the liability of pond and lake ownership by reducing the likelihood of failures that can impact downstream property. Owners or property managers may believe that proper maintenance is occurring only to later learn that they need expensive repairs. This situation illustrates that many contractors providing routine maintenance, such as landscapers, are not trained to properly identify issues that can be problematic or lead to increased cost of ownership.
Technologies to monitor emergency lighting systems throughout buildings or campuses have increased in popularity across Australia over the last decade. During the last six years, emergency lighting monitoring systems have also become more popular in North America. The idea behind these systems is to connect all exit signs and emergency (battery-powered) lighting devices to a central computer station so that they can individually report their functional status when tested, offering significant time and cost benefits to facility managers.
Bird control is a method of deterring birds from landing, roosting, and nesting in and around a building. In less extreme examples, birds in buildings can impede the productivity of workers and create additional building maintenance and cleaning challenges. In more extreme cases, they can damage capital equipment and create significant safety hazards. Fortunately, there is an entire industry in existence which offers various products and techniques for the control of birds, including bird spikes, bird shock tracks, netting, fragrances, wire arrays, and bundled wire stands, among others.
Sound masking technologies broadcast a consistent, comfortable, and unobtrusive background sound within a work space for the purpose of facilitating speech privacy. They prevent the transmission of speech beyond its intended local audience by carefully raising the level of ambient background noise within a building; often sound masking equipment is installed in an office, classroom, or meeting area.