RFID tags found to work better in building ducts
A research team at North Carolina State University has used a building ventilation duct to at least triple the normal distance that radio waves emitted from passive RFID tags can travel over open space. The discovery means that a small, inexpensive RFID tag could be used to wirelessly transmit data from any temperature sensor, smoke detector, carbon monoxide monitor or a sensor to detect chemical, biological or radiological agents in a large building, according to Dan Stancil, one of the main researchers and head of the university's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. More
AFE members participating in MentorNet to inspire next generation of facilities professionals
AFE members have already started signing up to be MentorNet mentors only weeks after the AFE Foundation announced that it has funded a program to encourage AFE members to participate in the e-mentoring program. MentorNet is an organization committed to matching students—particularly those in underrepresented populations—with mentors in the disciplines of facilities engineering, engineering, mathematics, computer, physical and life sciences, and technology fields. Students from community college, undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, or early career faculty levels are eligible to take participate in the program. The MentorNet One-on-One Mentoring Program is a chance to make a big difference in the life of a student in as little as 15 minutes a week.
Mentoring relationships last 8 months. Because mentors and students communicate entirely by email, they can communicate wherever and whenever they choose. In fact, 90 percent of our mentors feel that e-mentoring was a convenient way to volunteer. More
Making smart windows that are also cheap
Technology Review Share
Windows that absorb or reflect light and heat at the flick of a switch could help cut heating and cooling bills. A company called Soladigm has developed methods for making these "electrochromic" windows cheaply, making them more viable for homes and office buildings. Existing electrochromic window designs cost around $100 per square foot. Soladigm has not disclosed how much its windows will cost, but some experts say the method could reduce the cost to around $20 per square foot. More
AFE seeking volunteers to serve on several councils
AFE is in the process of starting additional Councils, and we are seeking members to share their ideas and leadership skills. The proposed Councils include:
Mission Critical Facilities Council
The role of the Council members will be to assist in promoting educational opportunities, networking and problem solving. The Councils will meet once every other month. If you are interested in serving a good cause while developing your leadership skills and networking with your peers, please let us know. For more information, please contact Maxine McIntosh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Certified Plant Supervisor prep classes added to education line-up at Facilities America
In order to help maintain its reputation as the premier education conference for facilities professionals, Facilities America has added Certified Plant Supervisor (CPS) certification review classes to its education lineup. The CPS classes and exam will be held in addition to the Certified Plant Maintenance Manager (CPPM) classes announced earlier this month. Both the CPS and CPMM Certification preparation classes have been scheduled for Oct. 2-5, so certification candidates will be able to obtain certification and still network with their colleagues at Facilities America from Oct. 5-6.
Why is CPS so important that it had to be added to the already solid lineup of education sessions at Facilities America? "As you develop your leadership skills, you need to equip yourself with the professional and interpersonal skills needed to keep everyone on the same page," explained Wayne Carley, PhD, of the AFE Professional Development Department. "The Certified Plant Supervisor (CPS) program enables you to be confident that you have the knowledge to execute and manage any situation that comes your way. Along with the technical skills necessary to perform your job, the CPS focuses on leadership development, time management, and effective communication skills to prepare you for front line management."
And just in case you needed another reason: Facilities professionals with AFE Certification earn an average of $7,000 more each year than those without certification. More
Wind turbines are coming to New York, and not just offshore
The New York Times Share
For years, New York officials have envisioned powering the region from a set of huge wind turbines in the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island. But well before an offshore wind farm would be up and running, giant turbines may soon be spinning much closer to the city. Within three years, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey hopes to have five wind towers, each more than 280 feet tall, operating on the west side of New York Harbor. Nearby, the City of Bayonne, N.J., plans to install an equally large turbine to power a sewage-pumping station. Meanwhile, the Department of Veterans Affairs is considering placing wind turbines on or near its hospitals in Manhattan and Brooklyn. More
Services & maintenance: Planning The next lighting upgrade
Today's Facility Manager Share
Between 2005 and 2009, fluorescent ballast regulations imposed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) became effective in phases, limiting availability of T12 magnetic ballasts in new fixtures. In July 2010, the final phase of these regulations went into effect, virtually eliminating fluorescent F40T12, F96T12 and F96T12HO magnetic ballasts from the market. This includes both full wattage and energy saving versions (e.g., ballasts for 34W T12 lamps) as well as replacement ballasts—with few exceptions. More
Powering Australia with waves
Science Daily Share
Wave energy is surging ahead as a viable source of renewable energy to generate electricity—with Australia's southern margin identified by the World Energy Council as one of the world's most promising sites for wave energy generation. One problem for wave energy developers, however, is that previous estimates of wave energy potential are based on information in deep ocean water, while "wave energy generation systems are typically positioned near to shore," says physical oceanographer Mark Hemer of Australia's CSIRO Wealth for Oceans National research flagship More
Top 10 world's tallest steel buildings
Construction Week Online Share
There was a time when building skyscrapers with steel as the main structural element was core to constructing exceptionally tall buildings. It wasn't until the 1960s however, when a vibrant young engineer of Bengali descent entered in to the fray and offered new systems designed to allow skyscrapers to reach new heights. More
Facilities America education sessions to focus on keeping buildings efficient, safe and eco-friendly
In response to AFE member requests, education sessions at the Facilities America Conference, to be held Oct. 5-6 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, will focus keeping buildings efficient, safe and eco-friendly. Facilities America Conference attendees will have a choice of 70 education sessions, thanks in part to a co-location arrangement between Facilities America and the Facility Decisions Conference and Expo. Some topics for the education sessions include maintaining green buildings, facilities maintenance cost control, ultra high efficiency heating and cooling systems, and keeping potentially deadly pathogens out of your facility's heating and cooling system water. Both events will be held Oct. 5-6, 2010 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. AFE's Facilities America will also include an awards ceremony and a facility tour of The Las Vegas Hilton, one of the world's largest hotels. The Facilities Decision Expo, with hundreds of latest time- and cost-saving products and services for facilities professionals, will be free to attendees of both conferences. Registration for Facilities America and Facility Decisions is free to AFE members and other facilities engineering, operations and maintenance professionals. More