Commercial Conversation podcasts

Commercial Conversation is a new podcast series from the editors of Commercial Building Products. Twice monthly we will post a podcast in which editorial director Gary Parr discusses commercial-construction issues with industry experts. Two podcasts are now available for listening:

Are you renovating?

The Commercial Building Products editors would like to know what role renovation is playing in your business. Please take a couple of minutes and answer our four-question survey.

Thank you for your time and feedback.

Click here to go to the survey.

Beth Glasser wins iPad

Beth Leslie Glasser, AIA, LEED AP, is the winner of our Brand Preference Survey drawing and will soon be enjoying an Apple iPad. Beth’s firm, BLGarchitecture LLC is located in Baltimore. You can contact her at or 410-929-1239. I’m confident she’d be receptive to any work you want to shove her way. Congratulations Beth! Enjoy the new toy.—Gary L. Parr

Find furniture sources at FF&E Specifier

Outdoor seating by Ratana

Commercial Building Products has begun coverage of commercial interior spaces. Our new FF&E Specifier is a web-based publication for those involved in specifying furniture, fixtures, and equipment for commercial interior spaces; specifically offices, hotels, restaurants, spas, healthcare, education and retail.
   FF&E Specifier is a destination website where readers find design inspiration and sources of furniture, lighting, floor coverings, and other furnishings used in commercial interiors. FF&E Specifier features products and recently completed projects.
The intended audience consists of interior designers, FF&E specifiers, architectural firms, building owners, and facility managers. We draw from the circulation of Commercial Building Products magazine.

TLS by Design in a Hilton hotel

   To be considered for publication, FF&E suppliers should submit images and product descriptions that include basic information such as dimensions, materials, options, the markets served, and custom capabilities.
   We invite interior designers and architects to submit newly completed projects. Send a project statement of up to 600 words and a selection of photos. We add new content regularly throughout the week, so check back often. Receive updates through the RSS feed and follow @ffespec on Twitter. —Jim Carper

A new idea in LED lighting

Redwood Systems launched its network-based technology for LED lighting and building-performance systems in March. The new technology  is based on the idea that LED lighting presents opportunity to create a unified network-based digital platform for smart buildings, helping building owners and designers reduce energy costs while providing control and automation in commercial lighting never before possible.
   At Lightfair last week, Commercial Building Products asked executive Jeremy Stieglitz to demonstrate the product. By combining three typically discrete systems (power, communications, sensors) into one low-voltage networked system, Redwood says its platform “will make smart buildings vastly simpler, easier, and lower cost to own and operate.”
   Redwood Systems’ CEO is Dave Leonard,  formerly general manager of Cisco’s Ethernet Switching Business Unit. Mark Covaro, Redwood’s CTO, is the former principal power design engineer for Cisco’s widely deployed power-over-Ethernet platform.
   “Redwood’s vision is to use LED lighting’s low voltage to power not just lighting, but create a digital network to manage and efficiently optimize lighting, heating, venting, air conditioning, plug loads, window shading, and just about everything else that uses power in a building,” said Leonard. “Using a network-based platform approach, we will deliver smart lighting systems that revolutionize how lights, and buildings, are powered, controlled, and optimized.” —Jim Carper

Complete survey, enter iPad drawing

It’s time for our annual Brand Preference Survey. Please take a few minutes to answer the survey questions. When you’re finished, leave your contact information and be entered in a drawing for a 16GB iPad. Click here for the survey.—Gary L. Parr

April E-Newsletter available

Our April e-newsletter will be sent to subscribers today. You can read it by clicking here.—Gary L. Parr

Jan/Feb articles available now

The Jan/Feb issue is in the mail, but if you want to see what’s new before your issue arrives, the features, project stories, and new products are all available at our website. Click here to start reading.Gary L. Parr

CBP December E-Newsletter now available

The CBP December E-Newsletter will be sent to subscribers in the next couple of days. Blog readers and Twitter followers can read it now by clicking here. Be sure to check out the award-winning activity by various USGBC chapters, many tips offered by Trane Inc. for sustainable building, and a new online training program from the BlazeMaster CPVC plumbing people.—Gary L. Parr

DC power: Coming soon to an office near you

There’s a movement underfoot to bring DC power to commercial building interiors. Members of the EMerge Alliance agreed upon a standard, but the announcement last month didn’t make much of a splash in the press. To tell you the truth, I put the press release aside until this week when I spoke with alliance chair Brian Patterson of Armstrong World Industries. He filled me in on the year-old organization, the work it is doing, and the implications of this standard. EMerge Alliance Standard Flow Chart For instance, building owners soon could find it easier to reconfigure space for new tenants.  Instead of rewiring a floor, owners can plug light fixtures into the ceiling grid. They’ll move fixtures around as easily as furniture. Facility managers will be able to integrate native wind energy into their buildings without first converting it to alternating current.
The statement from the alliance said the standard establishes a more efficient means of powering digital, DC-powered devices, such as sensors, lighting, and IT equipment. It creates an integrated, open platform for power, interior infrastructures, controls, and peripheral devices to facilitate the hybrid use of AC and DC power within buildings.
EMerge Alliance members favor the use of 24-V DC power, which allows for a “plug and play” approach to rewiring, said Patterson. He added that low voltage no longer equates to low performance.
Founding members are Armstrong World Industries, Johnson Controls, Nextek Power Systems, Osram Sylvania, and Worthington Armstrong Venture. Convia, Creston Electronics, Herman Miller, Lutron Electronics, Southern California Edison, Steelcase, and Tyco Electronics are among the participating members. The not-for-profit organization seeks additional members.
The alliance is establishing a third-party registration and evaluation program for labeling products based on the standard. The program is scheduled to begin this fall. Standard-compliant devices will be branded with the EMerge designation.
Check out the EMerge Alliance website for more informational, including a 3-minute instructional video. If you are attending Greenbuild in Phoenix next week, stop by the Alliance’s booth 2252. — Jim Carper