Sika Corporation has donated building materials to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 in support of EMPOWERHOUSE and ENJOY House. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges 20 collegiate teams from around the world to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. This year’s college teams displayed their homes on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. from September 23 to October 2.
ENJOY House by Team New Jersey members Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and New Jersey Institute of Technology incorporates a new way of approaching high-performance, energy-efficient residential design. The house utilizes precast, concrete insulated panels and passive solar strategies to reduce heating and cooling loads. Sika Corp. donated G410 roofing membrane and adhesive, along with accessories and metal to waterproof the precast concrete deck. The Precast Concrete was produced utilizing Sika’s Viscocrete technology, Air Entrainment and a new product – Sika Watertight Concrete Powder. This combination resulted in a High Performance and Waterproof concrete structure. All of the precast panel joints, windows and doors were sealed utilizing various Sika sealants. The team effort included precast concrete produced by Northeast Precast, the applicator/installer Dumar Services, LLC with Martin Dubois leading the team, and the General Contractor Skanska Construction.
EMPOWERHOUSE is a community-based approach to building affordable, net-zero housing that addresses all aspects of domestic life. This superefficient, solar-powered house was designed and built by architecture and engineering students from Parsons The New School for Design, the Stevens Institute of Technology and the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy. In addition to technical support, Sika AG subsidiaries donated G410 roofing membrane and adhesive, sealants for windows and concrete, admixtures that included a high range water reducer and air entrainment, and a new product – Sika Watertight Concrete Powder. The Sika Sarnafil applicator/installer was Delta Contracting Services led by Chris Dubois.
ENJOY House’s design was aimed at creating an affordable, functional, energy-efficient precast concrete house suited to the climate of New Jersey and intended for a couple that retires to the New Jersey shore. In addition to being ADA accessible, the house incorporates evacuated solar thermal tubes that heat domestic hot water and provide pre-heating for the hydronic radiant floor; high-performing, energy-efficient windows; a photovoltaic system with a daily output of 36 kWh, and energy recovery ventilators and dehumidifiers that keep cool air inside the house while providing fresh air from outside.
The EMPOWERHOUSE team is working with community partners, including Habitat for Humanity Washington D.C. and the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development, to bring EMPOWERHOUSE beyond the National Mall. The team is constructing a second house in the D.C. neighborhood of Deanwood. After the Solar Decathlon, the two houses will be joined together to create a two-family home, and will be a model for affordable, net-zero housing that can be replicated around the globe.
Entrants must create a house that is affordable, attractive, and easy to live in; maintains comfortable and healthy indoor environmental conditions; supplies energy to household appliances for cooking, cleaning, and entertainment; provides adequate hot water; and produces as much or more energy than it consumes
This is the second participation in such an event for Sika Corporation. In 2009, Sika Sarnafil sponsored a team from the University of Florida, one of only two U.S. participants in the biannual global competition.
Despite wide-spread concern about the global economy, manufacturers appear to be very optimistic about the economic outlook for the HVACR industry. According to a recent survey of more than 1,000 AHR Expo exhibitors worldwide, nearly three fourths (72%) of the total respondents expect a ‘better year’ (59%) or a ‘much better year’ (13%) in 2012 compared to 2011. Twenty four percent replied that sales would be the ‘same’, while only four percent are expecting a ‘worse year’.
The fact that 72 percent of respondents expect a better year in 2012 is up six percent from last year’s survey that found 66 percent of respondents were expecting 2011 to be better than 2010. Actually, all categories of predictions for 2012 were up from 2011 forecasts, including those for a ‘much better year’ (13% vs. 9%) and ‘better year’ (59% vs. 57%). Likewise, only four percent predicted a ‘worse year’ in 2012 compared to seven percent in 2011.
Another very positive survey finding is that an impressive 82 percent of respondents expect sales to increase in 2012, with 29 percent anticipating increases of more than 10 percent. An additional 36 percent said sales would increase between five and 10 percent, while 17 percent expect sales to increase less than five percent. Eighteen percent expect sales to ‘stay the same’.
This overall optimistic 2012 outlook may be due in part to the fact that 76 percent of the respondents believe there is ‘pent-up industry demand’ for new products. This compares to the 61 percent that felt there was pent-up demand in 2011, which is an indication that their customers are getting ready to buy more new equipment.
Another encouraging survey finding is that 72 percent of the exhibitors plan on introducing new products at the 2012 AHR Expo in Chicago, January 23 – 25. This is up sharply from the 62 percent of companies that said they were introducing new products at the 2011 event. This also indicates that many exhibitors expect their customers to come ready to buy.
Other major findings of the survey were:
- The industry segments where they expect the strongest demand for their products in 2012 are Light Commercial (24%), Heavy Commercial (13%), Industrial (26%), Residential (26%) and Institutional (11%)
- The industry categories where they expect the strongest demand for products are New Construction (37%), Replacement (36%) and Renovation/Upgrade (26%).
- The geographical marketplaces where they expect the greatest demand are domestic (71%) and international (29%).
In times of crisis on a college or university campus, the ability to quickly communicate safety information to students, faculty and visitors is critically important. According to a recent study of Clery Act reports by Siemens Building Technologies division, analysis revealed that among institutions of higher learning, community colleges were least likely to have the integrated, multi-modal systems necessary to quickly reach the largest number of people when crisis strikes.
The Siemens-commissioned study Detailed Analysis of U.S. College and University Annual Clery Act Reports evaluated information submitted to the Federal government as part of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act). The study analyzed data from a sample of 77 U.S. colleges and universities to provide deeper insight into which types of institutions have the most advanced mass notification systems and how these differences manifest themselves geographically.
To make these determinations, the study classified the communications platforms into four types: At Your Side (text messaging, email, etc.), Indoor (public address system, digital signage, posted notices, etc.), Outside (outside public address system, warning sirens, blue light towers, etc.) and Extended (social media, CCTV, etc.). The institutions were then placed into five maturity levels that reflected the integration of different types of technology and the number of methods used in a notification system. None of the schools were ranked in the top level. Some of the report’s findings include:
- Community colleges are the least likely to have layered emergency communication plans, using mostly At Your Side methods
- Public universities tend to have the most sophisticated plans, including three or more types of communications platforms
- Overall, schools in the South have the most advanced notification plans with multi-modal systems that include three or more types of communications platforms
As a follow up to their initial study, Siemens plans to analyze this year’s Clery Reports scheduled for release later this month. To download a copy of Detailed Analysis of U.S. College and University Annual Clery Act Reports, please visit the Siemens website.
Developing a construction industry based on principles of sustainability and energy efficiency will require new levels of cooperation and knowledge sharing among architects, engineers, contractors, materials suppliers, and even governments, according to Saulo Rozendo, Global Strategic Marketer, Construction, Dow Corning. Rozendo made his comments at a workshop for building professionals at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 in which he discussed strategic decisions being made today by green building leaders and the future direction of the industry.
Rozendo outlined three key elements to help strengthen innovation within the sustainable building sector: employing whole life cycle assessment of building materials; leveraging building simulations to anticipate project complexities, timelines and construction costs; and utilizing performance certificates to encourage consumer shifts to green buildings.
To answer the growing demand for sustainable building practices and implementation, Dow Corning is bolstering its range of silicon-based construction solutions. It is working collaboratively with building professionals to foster understanding and awareness of the products and approaches essential to the green building industry.
Norton Healthcare’s cancer treatment and research center in Louisville, KY now includes a two-story tall, vibrant art glass wall that creates a powerful, yet tranquil, gateway to the center.
Designed by Kenneth von Roenn Jr., and fabricated by his studio, Architectural Glass Art Inc., the 30-ft. by 30-ft. art glass window projects peace and tranquility into a space where patients and their families seek strength and healing. The expansive wall of glass bathes the Institute’s Nixon Meditation Room in soft blues and greens, balanced with vivid magentas and oranges, all products of the sensitively chosen Lamberts mouth-blown range of glasses. Inspired by his brother’s long and successful fight with cancer, von Roenn chose colors and imagery to inspire positive, reflective thoughts, aiding the healing mission of the center.
The wall of art glass is composed of 35 individual panels incorporating Lamberts art glasses, silicone laminated to clear float glass. The modern lamination technique enabled the studio to create this wall without the black lines associated with traditional leaded glass windows. The glass pieces are carefully cut and bonded to the base glass, forming an elaborate mosaic of light and color. Mouth-blown in Germany and imported exclusively by Bendheim in North America, the glass features subtle surface striations and small air bubbles, unmistakable characteristics of its centuries-old production method.
The composition of the piece relates to nature and growth; a large tree silhouette references the Norton Healthcare logo and represents the strength necessary to battle cancer. More than 1,000 inlaid, multi-faceted, hand-cut glass jewels scatter light onto the floor and walls, representing seeds of hope. The art glass composition is organized in a rectangular grid mimicking the design of the Institute. Another grid, composed of dichroic glass, is laminated to the exterior plane of the window, reflecting back portions of the design.
GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, has announced an update of its GAF Green Central microsite — the destination for sustainability information on all the company’s product lines, including roofing and roofing accessories, ventilation products, and siding. The microsite is designed around the full lifespan of a structure, detailing the many ways that a roofing product can contribute to ‘greening’ that structure throughout its service life from production to recycling.
In order to be most useful to design professionals, the site includes submittal info for property owners and project teams, including the GAF LEED Playbook and ecoScorecard submittal tool. The site also has resources for those preparing for the next generation of green building codes, such as a template Construction Waste Management Plan, information on membrane and asphalt shingle recycling, and links to a number of helpful roofing industry resources, as well as listings of GAF products that meet CRRC, ENERGY STAR, and Title 24 requirements. Additionally, free access to the Green Building Certification Institute accredited course, “Asphalt Shingles and the Green Home” is provided.
Bradley Corp. announces its collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning (SARUP) to launch a Sponsored Studio featuring the company’s commercial restroom products during the Fall semester. While UWM SARUP is considered one of the top 20 architecture schools in the U.S., Bradley is known for its industry leadership in designing and manufacturing innovative commercial plumbing fixtures, washroom accessories and partitions, emergency fixtures and solid plastic lockers for the past 90 years.
The topic of the Bradley Studio is “Intelligent Skins for Intelligent Buildings,” which utilizes students’ design, research and analysis to influence the appearance and performance of a structure’s “skin” to create an intelligent building of the future. The studio is taught by Gregory D. Thomson, assistant professor and co-director of the Institute for Ecological Design at UWM.
The Bradley Studio will incorporate the use of the company’s commercial restroom products, ranging from lavatory systems made with sustainable materials to capacitive faucets to restroom partitions made with pre- and post-consumer recycled materials. Throughout the Studio, Bradley employees will collaborate with students, giving hands-on instruction on the company’s products and technologies.
Thomson says the students will begin the Studio by dissecting the elements of building design – from the tangible aspects of a building to the intangible realities of the human interface with buildings. These will be a basis for analysis and inspiration for developing a wide range of applications to apply in a real-life building design.
A review of the students’ final work will be presented after the semester ends in December.
A study by Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, Effective Management of Safe & Secure Openings & Identities, shows that 82 percent of public, private, and two-year colleges and universities believe they are not very effective at managing safe and secure openings or identities. Only 18 percent believe they are very effective at granting or denying access to appropriate individuals or knowing who goes where.
The five leading security concerns on college campuses are:
- Minimizing the occurrence of tailgating/piggy-backing.
- Maximizing the likelihood the students can comply with the intended access design.
- Maximizing real-time notification when problems occur.
- Minimizing the time it takes to lockdown a campus.
- Maximizing the ability to locate building occupants in an emergency.
In general, the study shows that access control on campus is evolving from the traditional security/product-oriented focus of the Facilities and Public Safety departments to the broader definition of the IT, One Card and Housing departments. Typically, campuses are in one camp or the other. Very few use both approaches simultaneously.
The study was conducted among more than 140 colleges and universities, including leading institutions such as the University of Michigan, MIT, UCLA and Columbia.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $13 million to Owens Corning and Soloxel for projects that will help shape the next generation of solar energy technologies. The funding is part of the DOE’s SunShot Initiative which seeks to make solar energy systems more affordable and sustainable for homeowners. With the DOE funding, Owens Corning plans to integrate Solexel’s technology into solar roofing solutions that are affordable, aesthetically beautiful, and easy to install.