Wisconsin’s Congressman-elect, Dr. Steven Kagen, an allergist and aerobiologist, understands the health risks that mold poses. Katherine M. Skiba of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes: “When the Appleton, Wis., physician, just elected to Congress, learned that there was mold in the office building he’ll occupy next year, he first jumped into a hazmat suit Thursday – and then into action. Teasing before donning a respirator, Kagen remarked: ‘We’re going back to the Clinton administration: Do not inhale, anybody.’ Turns out the mechanical room in the sub-basement of the Longworth House Office Building had more than mold. More troubling was asbestos, Kagen said.” Visit the Sentinel’s Web site to learn more about Dr. Kagen’s war on mold and asbestos.
In an interesting piece, Felix P. Nater of Nater Associates, Ltd., sees workplace violence as a new, emerging threat that causes concerned managers considerable angst. While traditional company approaches suggest that the problem typically deals with the hostile behavior of a disgruntled employee or the escalation of disputes between employees, facility managers and security directors also include the risk posed by the armed robber and the opportunity criminals. That was the traditional perspective. Not factored into the traditional equation is the calculated threat posed by the “insider” who has privileged access to the company Intranet, company files, remote access and management, and oversight via his or her computer. The advent of remote access has further muddied the waters. New, non-traditional approaches to the Prevention of Workplace Violence and Workplace Security do not disqualify any potential threat to the safety and security of the workplace, hence the discovery of new more potent threats. These new approaches require an analytical perspective that looks beyond the walls and into the world of minimized detection and maximum damage. No longer should responsible officials limit their scope to preventing escalation of violence between employees. New, harder-to-detect methods have arisen for employees to exact revenge or “make a point.” One new retaliatory measure at employees’ disposal involves network privileged access. Devastating damage can be inflicted using such access. While we await the other “Threats from Within – the Terrorist” to strike, the new “lying in wait” culprit is the “privileged user” who might be a current employee, former employee, vendor or contractor with access…who has an ax to grind or score to settle. To read the rest of this article, click this link.
Control Group, an integrated facilities services and technology company located in Secaucus, NJ, was recently honored by the state’s legislative body by an Assembly Resolution. Entered into the official record by State Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin, the move recognizes the firm and its owners, Chairman and CEO Edward D. Turen and Vice President Neal L. Turen, upon the occasion of the company’s 100th anniversary. Also entered into the record was a commendation of Control Group’s “exemplary services ranging from repair and maintenance to security, engineering, janitorial, landscaping, and call centers.” The Resolution acclaims Control’s 7,000 well-trained employees and its “sterling reputation.” It concludes with congratulations from the entire body of the Assembly and praises the Turen family’s leadership. “This is one of the greatest honors that we could have received for our work and our longevity,” said Edward D. Turen. “It is humbling to be so well thought of by this auspicious legislative body and to be entered into the record of the great State of New Jersey.” Founded in 1906 by Austrian émigré Louis Turen, Control Group has evolved from a one-man window washing service into one of the nation’s leading privately-owned facility maintenance service companies. Today, the company’s portfolio of services includes landscaping, engineering, security, construction, integrated facility maintenance and innovation in the area of retail facility maintenance optimization technology. Its client base includes commercial office buildings, industrial and educational facilities, shopping centers and public spaces, such as airports, and entertainment venues that are maintained by a nationwide workforce. Many client relationships span a half century, along with newer ones with organizations such as Macy’s, Silverstein Properties, and Colliers ABR. Four generations and a century later, the Turen family remains at the helm of Control Group. Along with Edward and Neal Turen, is Edward’s son Scott Turen, President of Control Staffing. The growth of Control has generated job opportunities in New Jersey and across the nation. Currently, the company is embarking upon projects overseas.
This story, from Will Sturgeon of Silicon.com, reminds facility managers that new and unexpected problems should never come as a shock. The latest? Wi-Fi signal strength can be affected by holiday decorations. Sturgeon writes: “Companies are being warned that festive trinkets such as Christmas decorations can interfere with office Wi-Fi coverage. Though rarely considered in past years, a well-dressed Christmas tree and some decorations hung around the office could diminish the strength of a business’s Wi-Fi signal by as much as 35%. And that drop could be the difference between a usable signal and a connection that is faltering or intermittent.” Click here to read the rest of this story.
Following housing construction numbers from the Department of Commerce that dropped to their lowest level in over six years, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI), a leading economic indicator of construction activity, continued along the path of modest growth in October. Sustained demand for nonresidential projects should continue to offset the lagging housing market’s effect on the overall economy, and future growth in construction activity will come primarily from the commercial/industrial and institutional markets. There is an approximate nine to 12 month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending, projecting a healthy outlook for the nonresidential construction market throughout 2007. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the October ABI rating was 51.1 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings), and inquiries for new projects was 62.7. “These figures are consistent with continued growth in key nonresidential construction sectors,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Regional readings were unusually volatile in October. Firms in the Midwest had been reporting weakening conditions in recent months; however, the October score rebounded to its strongest pace of growth since the first quarter of the year. Firms in the South and West reported continued growth, but the pace of growth was down from recent months. Finally, firms in the Northeast reported only their second decline in billings since late 2003.” Key October ABI highlights:Regional averages: Midwest (51.5), South (51.3), West (52.2), Northeast (47.1) Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (55.6), institutional (52.3), mixed (49.4), residential (42.5) Billings inquiries index: 62.7 JP Morgan Business and Professional Services Analyst, Michael Fox said, “the continued strength in the ABI rating and the inquiries for new projects rating reflects very positively for growth prospects for nonresidential construction and is consistent with our positive view on companies in the reprographics industry over the next 12 to 24 months, as that industry is highly correlated to growth in nonresidential construction.”
The Association of Energy Engineers started in 1981 with the Certified Energy Managers (CEM) program. To date more than 14,000 professionals have been certified under AEE programs. The Certified Sustainable Development Professional is the newest certification program developed by AEE. It is designed to provide recognition for professionals who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the sustainable development field and have demonstrated high levels of technical expertise in energy management and environmental practices. Sustainable Development programs pioneered by AEE include both training and certification for buildings. For example Sustainable buildings must achieve acceptable indoor air quality and be properly commissioned. In 1993, the Certified Indoor Air Quality Professional (CIAQP) was initiated. Today, indoor air quality is a major concern for existing buildings and a goal of most green building programs. In 2004, AEE introduced the Certified Building Commissioning Professional Program (CBCP). Building systems commissioning now has a component of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation for both new and existing buildings. In 2005, AEE launched its Green Building Engineer (GBE) program. According to Robert Sauchelli, national program manager, ENERGY STAR Service and Product Provider Program, “The establishment of the GBE will make it easier to identify individuals with acceptable knowledge of the principles and practices of energy efficiency and improved building energy performance. The Green Building Engineer certification, which requires professional engineers to have energy management certification, will be an important resource for building owners looking to validate their Statement of Energy Performance, to apply for the ENERGY STAR Label.” According to Albert Thumann, executive director of AEE, “The Green Building Engineer is the only certification which meets the professional engineering requirement in most state. Green Building Engineers have also volunteered their time to help school systems get the ENERGY STAR label.” Another Sustainable Development program is the Alternative and Renewable Energy Institute (AREDI) to address the growing need to bring green energy sources to market. The Institute is also a means to provide and distribute information concerning real world applications of alternative energy technologies and green energy sources to members and the marketplace. The AREDI newsletter keeps members up-to-date in this fast growing field. According to Dr. Stephen Roosa, president of the Foundation of the Association of Energy Engineers, “During the past three decades, no other single professional non profit organization has done more to advance and promote the use of fundamental technologies that support sustainability efforts. Through periods of time when it simply was not in vogue to be energy efficient, the Association of Energy Engineers… …Read More…
Sloan’s Hands-Free Plumbing Products Take Center Stage This Week, December 3-9. Restroom users no longer need to kick flush handles, cover faucet handles with paper towels, or skip hand washing altogether to keep from catching germs. In support of National Hand Washing Awareness Week, Dec. 3-9, 2006, Sloan Valve Company emphasizes the importance of proper, hygienic hand washing and comprehensive restroom cleanliness for stopping the spread of everything from the common cold to serious, life-threatening diseases. As flu season swings into high gear and cold weather brings office workers, students, and the public in close proximity with one another — and one another’s germs — hand washing becomes even more important for staying healthy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes hand-washing as being the single-most effective method for preventing the spread of germs and bacteria. Sloan Valve Company’s public restroom plumbing products, which are designed for hygienic operation while conserving water and/or energy, include: · Sensor-operated faucets, such as the solar-powered Solis™, eliminate the need to touch faucet handles. The moistness of the area around the faucet, combined with the bacteria shed from hands during washing, often makes the sink the dirtiest part of the restroom. Touching contaminated faucet handles to turn off water after washing can negate the good done by washing hands in the first place. · Waterfree Urinals and sensor-operated Flushometers feature touch-free operation and keep germ-phobic restroom visitors from kicking handles to flush, which can damage the plumbing fixtures. · Sloan’s UPPERCUT™ Dual-Flush Flushometer has an antimicrobial coated flush handle to stop the spread of germs. The fixture, which gives users the option of saving one-half gallon of water per flush, is available as a complete flush valve or as a retrofit product for converting existing manual Flushometers. · The highly efficient, sensor-operated XLerator™ hand dryer runs automatically and completely dries hands in 10-15 seconds, while using about 80% less energy than conventional dryers. Sloan Valve Company, a manufacturer of water-conserving plumbing systems, is celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2006. Headquartered in Franklin Park, Illinois, the family-owned company manufactures plumbing products and accessories for commercial, industrial, and institutional markets worldwide.
The following Web Exclusive comes from Sylvia Greer, membership chair of the Los Angeles chapter of IFMA and expert on the subject of the role of art in the corporate environment. “What’s an Art Consultant?” “What do they do?” These were the FAQs 23 years ago, long before the term “FAQ” surfaced. The implication was “I never had one before, why do I need one now?” Today, everyone seems to know what an art consultant is supposed to do – provide the correct art to complement your office. As a corporate art specialist, I like to think that we’re beautifying the business world when we complement the reception area of a high rise office building with a custom created multi-media wall sculpture or find just the right environment for a spectacular oil painting. The perfect artwork can be the solution for your décor problems, make your employees happy, and boost your image with clients.Why Should You Hire an Art Consultant? Long gone are the days when I could take my clients to lunch; now they’re lucky if they have time for snacks at their desks. Save yourself some time and aggravation by hiring an art consultant who will quickly and easily put together a personalized presentation for you based on your specifications, while keeping your budget, corporate image, and branding in mind. If your company is expanding or moving to a new building, now or in the future, get an art consultant on board at the planning stage. Furniture, carpets, artwork, and wall colors, etc., should all be coordinated for maximum effect. There’s a huge array of styles and prices including signed giclee prints; fine art posters; custom wall sculptures; and historical photos, etc. Your art consultant can also commission original works to fit your parameters. We commissioned a huge wall mural for a hospital client depicting the history of Riverside County’s pioneers and representing the political jurisdictions today. Picture framing should complement and not compete with the artwork; many frame shops don’t seem to acknowledge this point. Framing can either make or break your budget; be sure and ask for wholesale pricing. The installation is crucial; non-professional art installers hang the art too high and don’t know how to install security mounts, which are used to discourage theft and earthquake damage. What Does a Great Art Consultant Look Like? Your art consultant must be well connected with the community and local artists; don’t just hire a bored housewife who likes to shop the galleries. Work with someone who loves… …Read More…
System Sensor, a Honeywell company, now offers a white paper that addresses concerns about correct spacing of smoke detectors on level ceilings with beams and/or joists. System Sensor’s white paper cites recent research using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) computer modeling to re-examine smoke detector spacing on ceilings with beams and/or joists. The results of the study and accompanying code changes are expected to reduce the overall cost of fire protection systems in beam ceiling applications without compromising occupant safety. Based on a variety of modeled flaming fire scenarios, the results of this study indicate: • Recent analysis does not support the 2002 NFPA 72 spacing requirement for placing smoke detectors in every beam pocket when ceilings are greater than 12 feet in height and/or beams are greater than 12 inches in depth. • Spot smoke detectors may be placed on the bottom of the beams or in the beam pocket without any significant difference in performance. • The concern about mounting smoke detectors a minimum of 12 inches from a ceiling-beam corner, per NFPA 72, is unsubstantiated. The CFD modeling showed no stagnant areas in the beam pockets that would preclude smoke detector activation. Based on these findings, the report authors proposed language for addition to the body and annex of NFPA 72. The language clarifies how smoke detectors shall be placed on ceilings with beams and/or joists. These changes are expected to be incorporated into the 2007 edition of NFPA 72, which will be released in late 2006, to quell some of the debate surrounding the current requirements for smoke detectors on beam ceilings.
Windy City Wire offers advanced training and certification programs to integrators. In addition to keeping technicians up to date with the latest technology through training seminars, manufacturer meetings, and vendor shows, Windy City Wire also certifies technicians on electronic systems. Windy City Wire is currently certifying technicians on the Corporate Edition of Kantech, an access control software. The certification on Kantech gives integrators top of the line training on access control, proximity readers and cards, and other security equipment. The technology department at Windy City Wire is trained and certified in many programs including IEI, International Electronics Inc., an access control company. The staff at Windy City Wire trains integrators on SmartWire and the SmartWire System Design Tool, as well, through training seminars and meetings. SmartWire is a low-voltage cable product that acts a tape measure, toner, tester, and a label maker. The SmartWire System Design Tool is a patent pending technology that allows for one person to design and create a low-voltage installation scheme in minutes on the web. The training and certification programs are conducted at either Windy City Wire’s facility or at the facility of the technician. A 50 person training room in the company’s new headquarters will allow for in-depth training sessions on SmartWire and the SmartWire System Design Tool, among other topics. The headquarters will also have a SmartWire showcase area to demonstrate how SmartWire is labeled and used in conjunction with various devices. Windy City Wire has been operating since 1994. Their flagship product is “SmartWire™.” Windy City Wire serves many types of system contractors including: Security, Access Control, CCTV, Temperature Control, Fire Alarm, and Home Automation.