Facility Management Archives

Call for papers: Partners in Protection Symposium

Call for papers: Partners in Protection Symposium

The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) has issued a call for papers for its annual symposium entitled Partners for Protection: Fire Protection Engineers and the Fire Service. This symposium will be held on October 17 -18, 2006 in Ellicott City, MD.For TFM‘s coverage of this topic, see “Fire Protection And Building Codes,” from the archives. Presentations about recent advancements in fire protection engineering related to the fire service are sought for this symposium, and may address topics such as: fire fighter safety, fire investigations, incident information systems, wildland-urban interface, mass notification, manual fire suppression agents, and fire department interface with fire protection systems. The emphasis is on engineering design and how it applies to the fire service. “The fire service and fire protection engineers work together to make our communities safe from fire. Each share common goals: protection of life and property from fire,” said SFPE Engineering Program Manager Chris Jelenewicz. “This symposium will focus on how fire protection engineers work in concert with the fire service to achieve common fire safety goals.” Abstracts are due by March 6, 2006. Submittal requirements can be found online, or for more information, contact ChrisJelenewicz at (301) 718-2910 (ext. 108).


Asbestos bill dies in the Senate

Asbestos bill dies in the Senate

The possibility of an industry fund to payout asbestos related lawsuits has been scrapped for now, due to a vote in the Senate yesterday. If it passed, the bill would have established a $140 billion fund to pay for claims on asbestos cases. However, should the fund go dry, taxpayers may be held responsible for future claims under the failed legislation. According “Asbestos Fund Falls Short” by James P. Miller, staff reporter for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Opponents of the plan, including insurance industry interests, trial lawyers and some small businesses, had condemned the measure on a variety of grounds. Many asserted that the fund’s backers have grossly underestimated the cost of resolving the claims and that the measure might leave taxpayers on the hook for huge payments to claimants in future years. Others noted that the bill, which would oblige claimants to go through the settlement system, would deprive individual claimants of their day in court. And some, including Democrat Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, called the agreement too favorable to companies that allegedly knew about but concealed the health damage asbestos could cause. Tuesday’s vote was probably unwelcome news for USG, the building-products maker that is preparing to leave bankruptcy protection and that in late January reached a deal to settle all current and future asbestos-liability claims. USG’s agreement is structured so that the company’s liability would be capped at about $900 million if asbestos-settlement legislation clears both the Senate and the House this session. If the bill fails, as it appears to have done, then USG’s liability will total approximately $3.95 billion.


Superdome remediation

Superdome remediation

Munters Moisture Control Services (MCS) played a role in recovery efforts at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans after the devastating Hurricane Katrina. Superdome officials turned to MCS to stabilize the 270,000-square-foot venue to prevent further water damage, remediate mold, dry flooded areas and remove damaged materials. For TFM‘s coverage of this story, see “Worst Case Scenario” from the archives. The massive facility, home to the National Football League (NFL) New Orleans Saints and college football teams, was heavily damaged by high winds that breached parts of the building’s roof and suffered interior damage from the thousands of New Orleans residents who sought shelter there after the hurricane. Twenty-five MCS personnel and a temporary work force of nearly 250 laborers from the New Orleans/Louisiana area were used to complete the immense 45-day project. “Our role was to stabilize the environment and to initiate the recovery process,” said Brad Key, Superdome project manager and national business development manager for MCS. “We were one of the first catastrophe companies to get the facility moving on the path toward recovery. “Remediation of mold was a large portion of our job,” added Key. “Many areas of the facility remained wet for quite some time before we were granted access, and as a result, over one million square feet of drywall and ceiling was exposed to mold growth.” MCS also was asked to ventilate the dome to meet a certain number of air exchanges per day. This task was substantial, because the structure encompasses 125 million cubic feet. To meet the requirement, MCS installed equipment capable of exchanging 160,000 cubic feet of air per minute.Other project work included: * Removing the playing turf* Removing all carpet from the building* Removing all bio hazard waste including meat in refrigerators, freezers and concessions and fecal matter from sewer system flooding* Isolating and stabilizing 32 mechanical and electrical rooms in the building and maintaining proper ambient conditions in the rooms with use of desiccant dehumidification * Removing contaminated HVAC filter banks and the filters themselves* Evacuating 3.8 million gallons of water from the parking garage “We are honored to have played a significant role in the recovery of this grand facility,” Key added. The NFL recently announced that the Superdome will reopen for football in the fall. The New Orleans Saints will play the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 24, the first event scheduled for the facility.


OSRAM SYLVANIA lamp plant recognized for joining EPA’s NPEP

OSRAM SYLVANIA lamp plant recognized for joining EPA’s NPEP

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized the OSRAM SYLVANIA fluorescent lamp plant in Versailles, KY for joining the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) and committing to reduce the elemental mercury content of its linear fluorescent lamps significantly. The EPA formed the NPEP to pursue the goal of reducing the use or release of 31 highly toxic, priority chemicals—including mercury—found in America’s manufacturing processes. EPA regional administrator Jimmy Palmer, said, “We commend the company for its commitment to reducing the level of this priority chemical in its lamps. Voluntary partnerships like this are an essential way of advancing environmental protection.” “We continue to step up our efforts to reduce the amount of hazardous materials through the entire lifecycle of our products,” Charlie Jerabek, president and CEO of OSRAM SYLVANIA said. “SYLVANIA is currently reducing mercury levels for its OCTRON® 800 series by 50%, followed by a substantial reduction in our 700 series. Initiatives like these save over three-quarters of a pound of mercury for every million lamps produced.” “Environmental sustainability and stewardship is a commitment that goes well beyond our products,” Jennifer Dolin, environmental marketing manager for OSI’s General Lighting division, said. “It’s a responsibility we integrate into product design, production, distribution, and sales to use fewer natural resources, save energy, reduce emissions and recycle,” she added. Today SYLVANIA markets over 800 environmentally preferable ECOLOGIC products. It also is a three-time winner of the ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year award from the US EPA and US Department of Energy.


OSHA Vocabulary Quiz Answers

OSHA Vocabulary Quiz Answers

Here are the answer’s to last week’s OSHA vocabulary quiz. Match the term to the proper OSHA definition COMMON TERMS AND DEFINITIONS A. Barrel: A large cylindrical container, usually made of wooden staves bound together with hoops, with a flat top and bottom. B. Bite: To cut, grip, or tear with the teeth. C. Check: A written order to a bank to pay the specified amount. D. Ground: Soil or land. E. Hog: A domesticated pig. F. Husk: The envelope of leaves around an ear of corn. G. Jog: To run at a steady slow trot. H. Package: A wrapped or boxed object. I. Reach: To touch or grasp by stretching out or extending. J. Telltale: One who informs on another; a tattler. OSHA DEFINITIONS 1. A unit of lumber (Standard 1910.265(b)(28)). 2. A machine for cutting or grinding slabs and other coarse residue from the mill (Standard 1910.265(b)(18)). 3. A device used to serve as a warning for overhead objects (Standard 1910.265(b)(43)). 4. The nip point between any two inrunning rolls (Standard 1910.211(c)(1)). 5. A conducting connection, whether intentional or accidental, between an electrical circuit or equipment and the earth, or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth (Standard 1910.269(x), .399; 1926.449). 6. An intermittent motion imparted to the slide by momentary operation of the drive motor, after the clutch is engaged with the flywheel at rest (Standard 1910.211(d)(40)). 7. The effective length of an alloy steel chain sling measured from the top bearing surface of the upper terminal component to the bottom bearing surface of the lower terminal component (Standard 1910.184(b)). 8. A head saw framework on a circular mill (Standard 1910.265(b)(19)). 9. A volume of 42 U.S. gallons (Standard 1910.106(a)(33)). 10. A lengthwise separation of wood, most of which occurs across the rings of annual growth (Standard 1910.21(c)(17)). Answers: A.) 9B.) 4C.) 10D.) 5E.) 2F.) 8G.) 6H.) 1I.) 7J.) 3


Data center design needs

Data center design needs

An overview of the design needs for data centers and telecommunication facilities is available in a new publication from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). For more on this topic, see “Ensuring The Data Center,” from the archives. “The datacom industry is faced with tough technical challenges such as high density cooling and the lack of vendor neutral material,” said Don Beaty, chair of ASHRAE’s technical committee on mission control facilities, technology spaces and electronic equipment, which wrote the book.Design Considerations for Datacom Equipment Centers provides an overview of the design needs such as heat loads of datacom facilities. The book is divided into two parts. “Datacom Facility Basics” includes chapters on datacom design criteria, HVAC load, computer room cooling, including both air and liquid cooling, and air distribution. “Other Considerations” includes chapters on ancillary spaces, contamination, acoustical noise emissions, structural and seismic design and testing, fire detection and suppression, commissioning, availability and redundancy, and energy efficiency. The book is part of the ASHRAE Datacom Series, developed to provide a more comprehensive treatment of datacom cooling and related subjects. Other books in the series are ASHRAE’s Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments and Datacom Equipment Power Trends and Cooling Applications. The cost of Design Considerations for Datacom Equipment Centers is $54 (ASHRAE members, $43). To order this or any of the books in the series, contact ASHRAE Customer Service at (800) 527-4723 (United States and Canada) or 404-636-8400 (worldwide).


WEB EXCLUSIVE: For February, National Heart Month

WEB EXCLUSIVE: For February, National Heart Month

This guest commentary comes from Harvard Reynolds, founder and principal for LIFEGUARD Medical Solutions of Nashville, TN. For TFM‘s past coverage of this topic, see “Not Just Another Day At The Office,” from the archives. Heart disease is the greatest killer of all Americans, taking the lives of an estimated 300,000 of our family members, friends and co-workers each year. Considering that the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a shock to the heart from a defibrillator within three to five minutes after someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), the response time necessary to save a victim of SCA is extremely vital. Furthermore, as the ages and labor hours of our workforce continue to increase, so does the likelihood that cardiac arrests may occur in the workplace. The most common form of SCA is ventricular fibrillation, or V-F. V-F occurs when the body’s electrical system short circuits, sending the heart into an abnormal, chaotic rhythm and disallowing the heart to pump blood and oxygen properly to vital organs and tissues. Medical science has learned that the best response to V-F is the timely surge of electricity sent through the body from a heart defibrillator. This electrical “shock” ideally restores the heart to a normal sinus rhythm and may save a person’s life, if administered within an adequate timeframe. For every minute which passes without a shock from a defibrillator, the victim’s chance of survival decreases by as much as 10%. Certainly, after six or seven minutes without proper defibrillation therapy, the chance of survival is very slim. Furthermore, after only a few minutes without defibrillation, the lack of proper blood and oxygen flow can cause serious and permanent neurological damage—even if the victim happens to survive. While many of our paramedics, EMTs, firefighters, and other professional responders carry portable heart defibrillators on their vehicles, many factors may contribute to their inability to reach a victim in time. Distance to a location, busy traffic conditions, and inclement weather are just a few of the obstacles our public safety personnel face when responding to a medical emergency. Fortunately, advances in medical technology, as well as support from governmental agencies, have allowed our corporate facilities the opportunity to become safer environments, while also offering protection from potential liability. The modern day automated external defibrillator (AED) is designed to be safe and very easy to use by almost anyone. These AEDs use simple to understand voice prompts to guide a lay person through the entire rescue procedure for someone suffering a cardiac arrest. Most… …Read More…


As Data Centers Generate More Heat, High Density Cooling May Be A Remedy

As Data Centers Generate More Heat, High Density Cooling May Be A Remedy

Addressing the issue of cooling in data centers that have ever increasing heat loads, Peter Basso Associates, a full-service engineering firm headquartered in Troy, MI, offers the following insight. For TFM’s past coverage of this topic, see “Data Centers Heating Up” in the archives. As businesses rely more on IT, and data centers become filled with new, more powerful equipment, traditional underfloor air distribution systems may not be able to handle the additional heat that is generated. “Developments in IT equipment have allowed for large numbers of servers and equipment to be installed in smaller spaces,” says Dennis P. Sczomak, PE, LEED AP, Vice President at Peter Basso Associates. “This creates intense areas of heat, which traditional underfloor air distribution systems may not be able to accommodate. To reduce the risk of equipment damage from overheating, a high density cooling system can be added, which may be a more practical solution than trying to create or accommodate an extremely deep plenum for the underfloor air system.” High density cooling systems, which use piped refrigerant to cool local hot spots, are being used as a supplement where traditional systems fall short in both new and existing data centers. “Over time, the tendency of most businesses is to use more servers or platforms and to integrate multiple systems, such as telephone and security. This requires more intense equipment that creates additional heat, which frequently demands additional cooling beyond a traditional underfloor air distribution systems,” says Sczomak. To ensure adequate and effective cooling for data centers, Sczomak offers the following advice: Think ahead. Since most data centers, even small ones, will continue to generate more heat, and demand additional cooling over time, be sure to consider future needs when evaluating the cooling capacity. “If you’re designing your data center for 100 watts per square foot, that’s probably too low to handle the reasonably expected heat gains in the future,” says Sczomak. Assess the existing load and make a projection of the future load to determine if the capacity of the infrastructure will be sufficient.Do your spring cleaning. As the systems and equipment used in a facility change, it’s not uncommon for remnants to be left behind. Make sure the plenum is not cluttered or blocked by unused cables. By getting rid of these materials, you can improve the flow of air and the effectiveness of the cooling system.Make the most of your space. The layout of equipment impacts how effectively the space is cooled. Organizing servers and equipment into “hot” and “cold” aisles,… …Read More…


Test Your OSHA Vocabulary

Test Your OSHA Vocabulary

To most people, an apron is a simple garment worn over the front of the body to protect one’s clothes when cooking. But in the world of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, a common term like “apron” can mean something else entirely. According to construction industry regulation 1926.606, under Subpart O: Motor Vehicles, Mechanized Equipment, and Marine Operations, an apron is “The area along the waterfront edge of the pier or wharf.” For more on this topic, see “OSHA Compliance Made Easier,” from the TFM archives.Below you will find 10 common terms and their everyday definitions, and in a separate column, their very different OSHA definitions. Can you match the letter of the common term with the number of its OSHA definition? The OSHA definitions and the standards to which they relate are taken from MANCOMM’s OSHA Dictionary, a book containing all the terms and definitions from the 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) OSHA parts 1903, 1904, 1910, and 1926 (Inspections, Recordkeeping, General Industry, and Construction). If you get at least seven right, consider yourself exceptionally well-versed in OSHA matters – and give yourself a pat on the back if you can cite the standards to which the OSHA definitions apply. ANSWERS WILL BE PROVIDED on Monday, February 13, so check back then to calculate your score! COMMON TERMS AND DEFINITIONS A. Barrel: A large cylindrical container, usually made of wooden staves bound together with hoops, with a flat top and bottom. B. Bite: To cut, grip, or tear with the teeth. C. Check: A written order to a bank to pay the specified amount. D. Ground: Soil or land. E. Hog: A domesticated pig. F. Husk: The envelope of leaves around an ear of corn. G. Jog: To run at a steady slow trot. H. Package: A wrapped or boxed object. I. Reach: To touch or grasp by stretching out or extending. J. Telltale: One who informs on another; a tattler. OSHA DEFINITIONS 1. A unit of lumber (Standard 1910.265(b)(28)). 2. A machine for cutting or grinding slabs and other coarse residue from the mill (Standard 1910.265(b)(18)). 3. A device used to serve as a warning for overhead objects (Standard 1910.265(b)(43)). 4. The nip point between any two inrunning rolls (Standard 1910.211(c)(1)). 5. A conducting connection, whether intentional or accidental, between an electrical circuit or equipment and the earth, or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth (Standard 1910.269(x), .399; 1926.449). 6. An intermittent motion imparted to the slide by momentary operation… …Read More…


Friday Funny: More Meeting Humor

Friday Funny: More Meeting Humor

TOP TRICKS TO LIVEN UP A MEETING comes to us courtesy of The Comedy Zone. Stand up and act indignant. Demand that the boss tell you the “real” reason this meeting has been called. Spill coffee on the conference table. Produce a little paper boat and sail it down the table. Stay behind as everyone else, including the boss, leaves. Thank them for coming. Give a broad wink to someone else at the table. In time, wink at everyone. Sometimes shake your head just a little, as if to indicate that the speaker is slightly crazy and everybody knows it. Arrange to have a poorly-dressed young woman with an infant quietly enter the meeting, stare directly at the (male) speaker for a while, burst into tears, then leave the room. Bring a hand puppet, preferably an animal. Ask it to clarify difficult points. When there is a call for questions, lean back in your chair, prop your feet up on the table, smile contentedly, and say, “Well, here’s the way I see it, J.B…” (or any other impressive-sounding initials that are not actually your boss’s.) Complain loudly that your neighbor won’t stop touching you. Demand that the boss make him/her stop doing it. Bring a small mountain of computer printouts to the meeting. If possible, include some old-fashioned fanfold paper for dramatic effect. Every time the speaker makes a point, pretend to check it in one of the printouts. Pretend to find substantiating evidence there. Nod vigorously, and say “uh-huh, uh-huh!”