The voice of schools

09/01/2009


View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition
A school is the voice of a community’s outlook and commitment to its future. One can determine how healthy a school is by listening to it. Are children playing and laughing on the school playground? Are there well-attended performances in its theaters and the buzz of excitement in its hallways? Are the grounds being actively used by students for learning and physical education, and being routinely maintained by buildings and grounds staff?

MEP systems have voices, too—the sound of air moving through a grille, the start-up of a boiler, the alarm of a fire or security event. And exuding from the systems themselves are the echoes of the designers’ voices: what they presented to win the project, what they said (and didn’t say) during team meetings, and what they fought for during construction and commissioning.

Looking at this month’s cover showing an empty performing arts theater at the new Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute located in Troy, N.Y., there is a palpable silence about the photo. The stage and seats are empty of performers, audiences, choreographers, and conductors. The piano is a cleft note indicating that this theater is for fine arts, and with that comes a whole lot of engineering and construction baggage.

With nothing happening, it should be quiet. No HVAC noise, no noise transmitted from other spaces or the outside environment.

The EMPAC article featured on the cover brings the design engineer’s voice to print so you can learn how his team addressed the many difficult challenges of the project. These include the north-facing atrium glass in a cold-winter climate and the RC-15 acoustic rating of five venues potentially hosting rehearsals, research, or performances simultaneously. Unfortunately, energy and acoustic performance data were not available at the time we went to press, so we’ll try to get back to you with how things are working in the near future.

The other articles and columns in this issue present the voices of a dozen engineers and facility professionals who are involved with school projects. What are they thinking? What are they doing? What are they up against?

Why this focus on schools? Because performance requirements are increasing for energy and sustainability, and budgets are shrinking due to the recession. Meanwhile, the science of education and the implications of federal, state, and municipal regulations are changing the way schools are funded, designed, constructed, and operated. For example, many schools are switching to full-year programs and having classes in the summer. How are these changes going to impact student and teacher performance (which ultimately impact school funding)? How are fire and life-safety systems being impacted?

The voice of schools is changing, but what schools are saying remains the same: Successful education is paramount. For that message to ring true, engineers need to have their voices heard, too.

Send your questions and comments to: Michael.Ivanovich@reedbusiness.com





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Improving flowmeter calibration; Selecting flowmeters for natural gas; Case study: Streamlining assembly systems using PC-based control; CLPM: Improving process efficiency, throughput
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me