Author Archives: CS Editor

Designing Smarter Urban Buildings

Building management devices are becoming increasingly digital—from sign-in at security to the destination-control feature of elevators. Images courtesy KONE

Building management devices are becoming increasingly digital—from sign-in at security to the destination-control feature of elevators. Images courtesy KONE

By Robert Moler

Well-designed and properly managed public spaces—such as high-rises, airports, shopping malls or hospitals—can enable social interaction and promote a better lifestyle. Already, half the world’s population lives in urban areas, and the United Nations estimates that five billion people will be living in cities by 2030—up from 3.6 billion in 2010. This means the need for well-managed ‘flow’ will only increase.

As cities get larger and more populated, the safe and secure transport of people becomes more important, and construction professionals should consider how to upgrade the experience. By way of contrast, consider how online mapping technology on mobile devices or in vehicles make it easier to get to a location. However, once arriving at a location, visitors often search around to get to their final destination at places like airports, movie theaters, or even office buildings.

By understanding user needs, architects, designers, and product manufacturers—can develop innovative solutions to enable people to move safely, comfortably, and efficiently through buildings.

Large office buildings are more often using a turnstile application for security purposes.

Large office buildings are more often using a turnstile application for security purposes.

Accessibility
Most modern buildings have improved entrances, often using an automatic door system. Once inside, these tenants and visitors should have their movement made efficient through careful consideration of the design team.

To this end, large office buildings are more often using a turnstile application. Such a system allows security personnel to screen visitors and employees by integrating technology into the building’s overall security management. Designers are developing intuitive lighting and signage blending into the overall decor to ensure a smooth journey.

Destination control
Elevator companies specialize in destination control systems, most commonly the ability to account for the number of waiting passengers and their desired destination floors in order to group and guide them to the most appropriate elevator. Destination control might be used in a simple office building or in more complex scenarios, where various elevators serve different floors in a taller building.

An advanced destination control system can significantly improve convenience in tall or mid-rise buildings that use elevators, while also boosting elevator-handling performance by minimizing unnecessary stops. Comfort is also typically improved as destination control systems help to eliminate overcrowding inside elevators.

Many buildings employ an automatic door system. Once inside, design teams must consider how to manage occupant access.

Many buildings employ an automatic door system. Once inside, design teams must consider how to manage occupant access.

Additionally, advanced destination-control systems can further optimize system performance with artificial intelligence capable of learning and forecasting the traffic flows of a building. For example, when the traffic intensity changes, the control system measures the changed traffic patterns and accordingly switches its optimization routines. These benefits are particularly noticeable during intense traffic periods, such as mornings in office buildings.

Smart building integration
Many aspects of building management have been digitized, from sign-in at security to the destination-control feature of elevators. The next wave of innovation for smart buildings will connect all these features. In fact, the ‘smartest’ buildings are now bringing together turnstiles, automatic doors, elevators, and destination control with overall building management. This provides building owners with a full view of the people flow in a building, allowing the management team to quickly address problems and provide new features to enhance the user experience. This integration is not strictly functional, however. With today’s technology, it is possible to have a harmonized visual outlook between the destination control equipment in a building’s lobby and the elevators, for example.

Over the last decade, the construction industry has been working toward solutions that enable denser buildings in fast-growing urban areas, while still providing security and control for building managers. Architects, designers, contractors, and companies offering building products should focus their efforts on efficiently moving people, so as to provide the best experience for the people who will use the buildings for decades to come.

Robert MolerRobert Moler is the North America elevator area offering manager at KONE. He joined the company in 1986 and has held progressively senior positions within the organization. In his current role, Moler works to understand the needs of customers and ensure products successfully meets those needs. He can be contacted by e-mail at bob.moler@kone.com.

ASTM approves standard for intumescent coatings to protect steel in fire

 Intumescent coatings are used to protect steel in the event of fire. A new ASTM standard covers their specification, installation, and inspection. Photo © BigStockPhoto/T.W. van Urk

Intumescent coatings are used to protect steel in the event of fire. A new ASTM standard covers their specification, installation, and inspection. Photo © BigStockPhoto/T.W. van Urk

A new standard, ASTM E2924, Practice for Intumescent Coatings, provides recommendations to specify best practices for those products yielding an insulating char when activated by heat or flame. These materials are designed to safeguard the structural integrity of steel under fire conditions and to maintain safe temperatures for a specified period.

The standard covers the specifying, manufacturing, testing, labeling, transportation, delivery and storage (including shelf life), installation, and inspection. Architects, specifiers, and building owners will now be able to incorporate reference to it in construction documentation.

ASTM E2924 was developed by Subcommittee E06.21 on Serviceability, part of Committee E06 on Performance of Buildings.

“Intumescent coatings are a vital component in the modern building design of structures such as schools, hospitals, residences, offices, petrochemical, and manufacturing plants,” said committee member Philip Mancuso. “In the event of a fire, the steel load is compromised and devastating failures can occur. It is important intumescent coatings be properly specified, installed, and inspected in order to ensure life safety.”

However, the subcommittee’s work is not done, he explained.

“ASTM E2924 was designed to be expanded upon,” said Mancuso. “E06.21 also hopes to develop product-specific test methods and standards.”

To this end, specifiers, manufacturers, and representatives of both inspection agencies and accredited testing laboratories are invited to join E06.21.

RICOWI celebrates 25 years, awards Désjarlais life membership

 André Désjarlais, (RICOWI’s) recipient of Lifetime Honorary Membership, is flanked by the association’s chair, Michael Ennis, and executive director, Joan Cook. This year marks RICOWI’s silver anniversary.

André Désjarlais, (RICOWI’s) recipient of Lifetime Honorary Membership, is flanked by the association’s chair, Michael Ennis, and executive director, Joan Cook. This year marks RICOWI’s silver anniversary.

The Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues (RICOWI) will commemorate its 25th anniversary at the fall meeting in Norman, Oklahoma this October. Past and present colleagues are invited to join members for a special dinner, highlighting the group’s growth and success.

RICOWI was formed in 1989 to improve communication of weather-related roofing issues—specifically, those related to energy, durability, hail, and wind. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) served as the original ‘banner organization,’ providing knowledge and support, but the group is now a collaboration of the major roofing associations and members of academia, educational and testing facilities, and others involved in the science of roofing.

Over the last quarter-century, RICOWI developed the Wind Investigation Program (WIP) and the Hail Investigation Program (HIP), deploying teams of industry volunteers to research major hailstorms and hurricanes and obtain observational data available on such destructive forces. (The resulting reports are available at no charge at www.ricowi.com.) The group also has committees involved in addressing issues ranging from codes and underlayment to moisture control and sustainability practices.

In related news, RICOWI has awarded André Désjarlais with Lifetime Honorary Membership. Volunteering his services for more than 18 years, he represented ORNL on the board of directors and has held the position of secretary/treasurer. RICOWI cites Désjarlais’ efforts for the group’s recognition as a modern leader in weather research and more efficient roofing design.

Free air infiltration seminar

A free webinar through CSI’s WebReach program examines the role of silicone in minimizing air infiltration for building envelopes. Photo © BigStockPhoto/Cornel Achirei

A free webinar through CSI’s WebReach program examines the role of silicone in minimizing air infiltration for building envelopes. Photo © BigStockPhoto/Cornel Achirei

On Wednesday, August 27, a free webinar on minimizing air infiltration will be presented through CSI’s WebReach program.

The session, led by Dow Corning’s Andrea Wagner, LEED GA, outlines aspects of creating an airtight building envelope, explaining the different types of air barriers on the market and identifying their pros and cons in near-zero-energy buildings.

The webinar shows how a durable air barrier assembly can be created, with emphasis on how this can be accomplished using a complete silicone system. It also discusses solutions to common problems in the development of airtight building envelopes.

The hour-long webinar is scheduled for 2 to 3 p.m., EST. Up to 24 hours before the event, interested individuals can register or learn more at csinet.org/DowCorningWR. Attendees earn one American Institute of Architects/Continuing Education System (AIA/CES) learning unit or health, safety, and welfare (HSW) credit and one professional development credit hour.

The Construction Specifier at Construct

CONSTRUCT & the 58th CSI Annual Convention is now only three weeks away. Held at the Baltimore Convention Center from September 9 to 12, the event brings together design/construction professionals from across the continent for networking, education, association business, and the famous exhibit hall.

As the official magazine of CSI, The Construction Specifier is excited to take part in the week’s festivities. The editor, Erik Missio, is moderating the sold-out “Aspirations vs. Reality: Conflicts in Sustainable Construction” panel on the kick-off Tuesday. After that, he’ll be walking around the show floor (and occasionally hanging out at the CSI booth) in between attending various seminars to meet with potential authors for articles in 2015 (and trying to work in a trip to nearby Geppi’s Entertainment Museum to see some of the comic-book exhibits).

Quite a few contributors to the magazine will also be presenting technical sessions at the show. They include:
Christopher O’Hara discussing “High-Performance Façades: Deviation from the Norm,” (T16) and “God is in the Details: A Detailed Case Study Review of Non-traditional Façade Detailing” (F03);
Lisa Podesto on “Maximizing Value for Mid-rise Construction” (T18);
● The 2013 Construction Specifier Magazine Article of the Year-winner David Stutzman exploring “Evolving Specifications: MasterFormat to UniFormat” (W02);
● editorial advisor Vivian Volz on “Designing Contractors: The Project Team’s Guide to Design-Assist, Delegated Design, and Design-Build” (H06);
● former editorial advisor Paul Bertram looks at “Material Transparency and Evaluation Work Session” (H09);
Peter Babaian and Emily Hopps discussing “Building Enclosure Commissioning: Coordinating Specifications” (H11); and
Richard Ruppert on “Specifying Transitions: Utilizing Continuous Insulation for Maximum Building Performance” (H14).

The Construction Specifier’s presence will also be felt after-hours, as the magazine co-sponsors the inaugural CSI Night Out—an evening of drinks and dancing at two of Baltimore’s most popular club venues. On Thursday, September 11, CSI members and their guests will take over Leinenkugel’s Beer Garden and Luckie’s Tavern at Power Plant Live! from 7 to 11 p.m. to try some of the Charm City’s famous local beers before hitting the dance floor. The night calls for ‘party-casual’ attire, and includes a performance by the band Lost in Paris, along with appetizers and a cash bar. Registration  includes two drink tickets. (The event’s other sponsors include CSI Corporate Partners Assa Abloy, Behr, Sherwin-Williams and Tnemec.)

The next day, author Lori Greene, CSI, CCPR, will be presented with the 2014 Construction Specifier Magazine Article of the Year Award during the Annual Meeting for her October 2013 piece. The feature, “Questions About Fire Doors: Everything You Always Wanted to Know (But Were Afraid to Ask),” was lauded by the magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board for its relevance to the industry as a whole, readability, impact, and alignment with CSI’s mission and technical standards and formats.

Of course, recent copies of the magazine will also be made available at the show.

Are you attending Construct? What are you looking forward to, either at the convention or in Baltimore itself?