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March 2014

Annual MEP Supplement

1 Annual Supplement:



MARCH 2014

Fire Suppression Systems

Is Your Building Properly Equipped, Up-to-Code

Stephen Affanato Page...5

Matthew Guarracino Page...8

Hugh Kelleher Page...10

Barry Poitras Page...11

Shawn Stalker Page...12

Photo courtesy Shawn Stalker, Stalker Electric Inc.

Stalker Electric performing a full discharge test of the foam fire suppression system at the Delta Hangar at Logan International with Massport fire and Delta representatives.


Annual MEP Supplement


The Skilled Professionals from Behind the Walls by Annie McEvoy Over 100 years have passed since Westinghouse lit up the Chicago World’s Fair. Original pipes were wooden, hollowed out by hand to carry water for fighting fires. They can still be found during excavations on new projects. Fireplaces, once the sole source Annie McEvoy for heat, have become interior sculpture for creative design. Inventions in the MEP industry have made life more comfortable and simpler for us. With new and advanced technology, the need for knowledgeable and experienced mechanical and technical engineers increases. Associations and unions have been formed to provide advanced education, ensure safety, and implement codes. Technical engineering education can also be acquired at schools such as Wentworth and M.I.T. Most high schools offer vocational training for some of the professional trades. Continued on-the-job training can be found through various unions and associations. The Sheet Metal Workers union, local 17 has an apprentice and training program at the Joint Apprenticeship Training Center (J.A.T.C.) in Dorchester. An ap-

prentice works alongside a journeyman in order to learn his professional trade. After five years of time spent on the job and in the J.A.T.C. training facility, an apprentice receives journeyman status.This allows them to perform all the tasks of the trade within the area where they are certified. Associations such as NECA, ASHRAE, SMACNA, PHCC, and many more provide continued education as technology continues to advance the way projects and products are designed and built for efficiency, productivity, and energy savings. Technology also has changed the process between the architect, general contractor, and project team with 3D modeling, saving time, errors, and money. After years of training and continued education the majority of the hard work by a professional MEP engineer and contractor who designs and installs the lighting, heating, air conditioning, and water, is hidden behind the walls and ceilings or in the basement and or the rooftop and control rooms. It is the education and skill of a trained professional that allows us to see the lights on, makes the water run, keeps us warm, or cools us off. I look forward to meeting some of the professionals from behind the walls at the BE14 trade show and The Boston Chapter – ASHRAE Product Show. Annie McEvoy is the associate publisher for the annual MEP Supplement.

March 2014

Support Plumbing Education Plumbing Museum Hosts Fundraiser Watertown, MA - In commemoration of World Plumbing Day, the Plumbing Museum is pleased to announce that it will host its first-ever fundraising gala on Thursday, March 13, 2014. Held at the historic museum itself, this one-ofa-kind event is titled “Looking Forward, Giving Back,” and is expected to shine a spotlight on the importance of educating the next generation of the plumbing industry. Proceeds from the event will support the non-profit American Sanitary

Plumbing Museum as well as a host of students in pursuit of careers in the Greater Boston Plumbing industry. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the event’s Guest of Honor, is scheduled to be on hand as the Plumbing Museum and its followers raise support for the young men and women who will solve problems and make enhancements to plumbing and sanitation for years to come. Contact: Linda Veiking, Museum Event Coordinator at 617-926-0092 or email at lveiking@cannistraro.com.

RDK to Design Biomass Plant at HS Teams Up with CGKV Architects

Andover, MA - RDK Engineers and CGKV Architects have been awarded the design for a new heating plant at Narragansett Regional School District’s (NRSD) middle and high schools. The project includes designing a new hot-water biomass (wood chip) boiler system and new back-up propane boilers within the existing boiler plant. Also, a new chip storage facility (bunker) and conveying system will be constructed to feed the biomass plant.

The goal of the project is to reduce operating costs and to significantly reduce CO2 emissions. The new heating plant will provide a highly renewable energy source that is in keeping with NRSD’s commitment to sustainability (the district constructed a 1.65 MW wind turbine behind the school’s practice field in 2010). The project is being funded in part by grants from the U.S. Forestry Service and the Woody Biomass Utilization Group.

Academic Facilities are a Key Focus Area of Our Firm Our academic projects have included a full spectrum of facilities, including classrooms, science and computer laboratories, residence halls, auditoriums, arts and sports facilities, and administrative offices. Our extensive experience has given us in-depth knowledge of today’s educational building systems.

New Quinn Middle School Hudson, MA

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Annual MEP Supplement

March 2014



EASTERN NEW ENGLAND SETS ITS SITES ON QUALITY AND SAFETY IN ELECTRICAL AND TELECOM CONSTRUCTION. NECA and IBEW set the standard for excellence in electrical, telecom, and renewable energy projects throughout Eastern New England.

Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

Courthouse Station, Silver Line, Boston, MA

In the world of construction, quality and safety are critical to every project. Which is why leading architects, general contractors, building owners, and facility managers throughout Eastern New England rely on the skilled union electricians of Local 103 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the professional electrical contractors of the Greater Boston Chapter of the National

MFA Boston, The Art of the Americas Wing

Leonard P. Zakim Bridge

Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). For more than a century, IBEW and NECA have literally helped build our region. From our most cherished historical sites and renowned educational institutions, to major transportation projects, leading technology companies, community schools, and libraries, our landmarks shed light on a century of electrical construction unsurpassed in quality.

MIT Stata Center and Building 57

JATC Training Center/Wind Turbine, Boston, MA

Take a close look at just a few of the recently completed projects by NECA Greater Boston Chapter members. It will tell you where to turn for the highest standards in electrical, telecom, and renewable energy construction. Rely on the power of quality electrical work. Call 1-877-NECA-IBEW for a complete directory of NECA Greater Boston Chapter Members, or visit us at www.bostonneca.org

The future of renewable energy and green buildings is here.


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Annual MEP Supplement


March 2014

New England MCA Student Chapters Page School Completions by Stephen Affanato For several years, the New England Mechanical Contractors Association has been sponsoring two mechanical engineering student chapters at Northeastern University and Wentworth Institute of Technology. Over the Stephen Affanato years, both chapters have met with great success in the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) National Contest. Starting in October, the student chapters receive information on a project completed by an MCAA member contractor. The student chapters must put together a full bid package on the project

tion in 2010. Wentworth, the newer of the two MCA chapters, has just missed the finals during the last two years. They have placed 5th nationally in 2013 and 2014. This year, Northeastern finished 9th nationally. New England MCA member contractors also reach out to both student chapters during their co-op terms. Many of the students go to work for a New England MCA contractor during their term to gain field and office experience. This has been an outstanding partnership over the years. Many alumni from both Northeastern and Wentworth currently work at the local firms where they served during their co-op terms. Northeastern competition participants were Cecily Allen, Emile Bourgeois, Kevin Barnaby, Max Mathey, Jeffrey Evans-Mongeon, Nate Zane, Caroline Hunter, and James Oliver.

“Many alumni from both Northeastern and Wentworth currently work at the local firms where they served during their co-op terms.” and submit it by mid-December. The bids are then reviewed by the MCAA Career development committee made up of contractor members. Four student chapters are chosen to present their bids to the committee at the MCAA National Convention. About 25 student chapters submit bids for the contest. Northeastern has made the “Final Four” three times and won the competi-

Wentworth competition participants were Logen Johnson, Wesley Taggett, Michael Sullivan, Jessica Mendez, Alex Rozek, Drew Sylvia, Kendra Deneault, Argenis Martes, Richard Melo, and Arthur Lekkas Stephen P. Affanato is executive vice president of New England MCA / MSCA.


Energy & Carbon Management

Electrical Plumbing Fire Protection Commissioning Central Plants

Building Performance Simulation Sustainable Design Technology Infrastructure Audiovisual Security

West Newbury MA – Fitzemeyer & Tocci recently completed the HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering services for the Dr. John C. Page Elementary School, owned by the Pentucket Regional School District. This included a 25,000sf addition as well as an HVAC and electrical renovation of the existing 85,000sf building. These renovations were necessary to address serious temperature control concerns for the building occupants. The school in West Newbury underwent an improvements project that included the construction of a 25,000sf addition as well as renovations to the existing cafeteria, gym, and the entire building’s heating and temperature controls systems. A new gymnasium was constructed to meet the school’s need for multifunctional assembly space. The old gymnasium was converted into a cafeteria while the original cafeteria was converted into new administrative offices. In addition, envelope upgrades, including a new roof and windows, ensured immediate energy savings for the town of West Newbury. The main design challenge of this project was finding a cost-effective way of addressing the environment control issues in the existing building. The existing building’s temperature control system was antiquated, the heating and ventilation systems were beyond their useful life expectancies, and the budget was only a fraction of what would be needed for system replacements. To address the project challenges, Fitzemeyer & Tocci’s design integrated with the district to determine the right to-

Dr. John C. Page Elementary School tal solution using thoughtful, practical engineering. The solution was to provide a new digital temperature control system, a new hydronic heating system intended to resolve the air temperature concerns while rehabilitating and reusing much of the existing ventilation system, extending the useful life and deferring replacement costs. In order to hone in on the right total solution, the project team leveraged conceptual design, cost estimating, and value engineering efforts to complete the alternative analysis. A design selection matrix was utilized to compare the operational performance, installed costs, operating and maintenance costs, and overall advantages and disadvantages of each option. Working through the schematic design, cost estimating, and cost reconciliation cycles ensured that the team verified its initial analysis. It was the design development and the construction document cycles that allowed the details to be worked through in a way that gave all project stakeholders the confidence that the construction implementation would yield the desired results.

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Annual MEP Supplement

March 2014

Mayor Martin Walsh’s

Sensible Kind of Unionism The following article, recently published in the Boston Globe, was written by Hugh Kelleher, executive director PHCC of Greater Boston. On January 5, 2014, The Boston Globe published an article I wrote on its Opinion/Editorial pages. It has Hugh Kelleher generated a lot of response. You can read the article on the Globe’s Website. I have also included the text below. Since the moment Marty Walsh declared for mayor, there has been much discussion about what his long history with construction unions might mean for Boston. He was the head of the Boston Building Trades, representing laborers, electricians, plumbers, and other unions — a résumé that raised concerns in some quarters about how he might approach contracts with city employees. Most commentators took too little account of which union world Walsh comes from. There is a tendency to conflate construction unions with other types of private-sector unions, and with public unions. But each of these three types functions differently, and Walsh’s history with construction unions actually bodes well for taxpayers.

As a representative of employers, I sat in joint union-management meetings with Walsh. Although he and I represented different sides in collective bargaining, I supported his candidacy for mayor. In meetings he was able to find consensus. He in no way fits the stereotype of a construction union leader as a table-banger or bully. Beyond that, Walsh comes from a world where people are employed only when there is a job that needs doing. Construction unions in Boston and elsewhere are cognizant of the bottom line in these key ways: • Our layoff process rarely involves any subsequent arbitration. In over 25 years running my own company and negotiating with the Boston plumbers union, we’ve had exactly one such arbitration. Workers understand that their jobs depend upon performance and the availability of work. • Unlike public unions representing teachers, police, and firefighters — and unlike unions in other private-sector industries — construction unions provide no job guarantees. There is no tenure or seniority. As a union employer, I hire the best people and fire those who don’t perform. Period. • How much notice must the employer give a union construction worker before layoff? Fifteen minutes. This hap-



Engineering Excellence


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MEP Engineering | Commissioning | Construction Administration | REVIT | LEED

Continued on page 10


Annual MEP Supplement


March 2014

JMB Provides Fit-Out for New Offices Cablenet Systems Connects

MIT’s LabCentral Biomedical Research Facility

Cambridge, MA - Peabody based NECA Boston telecommunications contractor Cablenet Systems, Inc. has completed the data/technology infrastructure project at M.I.T’s LabCentral biomedical research facility at 700 Main Street in Cambridge. Cablenet Systems specified and employed a Superior Essex Leviton Network Solution to meet the 27,000sf facility’s IT requirements. The project entailed installation, termination, and certification Installing the generator

Photo: Ed Malitsky Photography, courtesy of Lee Kennedy Co., Inc.

Boston - J. & M. Brown Co., Inc. (JMB) has completed electrical installations at the new 400,000sf headquarter offices of Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) at 50 Post Office Square, meeting an aggressive six-month project schedule. BBH took occupancy in fall 2013, consolidating its 1,900 Boston employees in its new location in the heart of the financial district. J. & M. Brown’s multidimensional scope entailed comprehensive electrical installations in BBH’s 12 floors (7 through 18) of office space in the renovated, historic 18-story high rise, including: power distribution, emergency power, electrical systems, fire alarm, and lighting/lighting control systems. To ensure uninterrupted operations in the event of major power outages, the NECA contractor installed three 800kW generators to meet BBH’s back-up power requirements.

The project team included general contractor Lee Kennedy Co., Inc., Quincy; EE: RDK Engineers, Boston; architects: Dyer Brown Architects, Boston, and Habjan Architecture + Interior Design, LLC, Montclair, N.J. Lee Kennedy project executive Scott Giles said, “This was a very tight, complex and demanding project. To provide a $70 million build-out in a six-month project schedule required a dedicated and skilled group of subcontractors. J. & M. Brown did a phenomenal job – they were instrumental in making it happen.” Formerly 185 Franklin Street, 50 Post Office Square was originally constructed in 1947 as the headquarters for New England Telephone and Telegraph Company, and later served as regional headquarters for Verizo.

facility also offers promising, young research company tenants with conference rooms, event space, and administrative areas. Cablenet Systems handled the fast track, three-month IT project managing a crew of skilled IBEW Local 103 technicians, supervised by project manager Gary Wood. Installations were completed in November 2013, meeting LabCentral’s schedule requirements and opening. Cablenet Systems served on a proj-

The project entailed installation, termination and certification of more than 400 Category 5E cables, enabling connectivity throughout the facility’s lab settings and office areas. of more than 400 Category 5E cables, enabling connectivity throughout the facility’s lab settings and office areas. Installations of Wi-Fi access points, connecting patch cords, and server room rack design and installation were also integral to the project scope. LabCentral is a first of its kind, shared research laboratory space, serving as a biotech incubator for high-potential life-sciences and biotechnology start-ups. This first phase of the renovated, historic Kendall Square facility will support early-stage research for as many as 25 startups, accommodating 65+ scientists in a fully outfitted lab setting, comprised of 30 individual MA Lic. benches and 22 lab desks. The

ect team with consultant Arthur J. Brunelle – A.J.B. Consultants, Inc., of Carlisle, and GC: The Richmond Group, of Hopkinton, KlingStubbins, Cambridge, provided architectural design services. LabCentral vice president, operations Margaret O’Toole directed the historic building’s build-out into the state-of-the-art wet lab facility. LabCentral is supported by a $5 million major grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and by the Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research and donations by founding sponsors Triumvirate Environmental and Johnson & Johnson Innovation.



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Annual MEP Supplement

March 2014

MassCEC Expands Program

Rebates Increase to Boost Solar Hot Water Boston - Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Alicia Barton announced an increase in the rebate amounts available for individual projects completed under the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water program. “Solar hot water systems present an opportunity for families and business owners to save money on their water heating bills,” said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rick Sullivan, who chairs the MassCEC Board of Direc-

business owners will be eligible for rebates of up to 40% of total system costs, up to $4,500 for residential systems, or up to $50,000 for commercial-scale systems. Nonprofit organizations and municipalities, who are not eligible for state and federal tax incentives, will be eligible for larger rebates, and additional funding will be available for projects that are installed alongside solar electricity systems. Solar hot water systems use the sun’s natural energy to heat water for use

“By increasing the adoption of clean energy technologies like solar hot water, we can create local jobs and lessen our dependence on costly, dirty fossil fuels,” said Barton. tors. “Expanding rebates will make these projects more affordable, and hopefully allow more people across Massachusetts to participate.” “By increasing the adoption of clean energy technologies like solar hot water, we can create local jobs and lessen our dependence on costly, dirty fossil fuels,” said Barton. Launched first as a pilot program in 2011, the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Program offers rebates for qualifying solar hot water projects at residential, multi-family, commercial-scale, municipal, and nonprofit buildings. Under new guidelines, home and

in homes and businesses, often through roof-mounted panels that look similar to those used to generate solar electricity. A solar hot water system typically provides between 50% and 75% of a household’s hot water needs, and can, in some cases, be used to provide space heating. Roughly 20% of the energy consumed by a typical Massachusetts home is used to heat water. Since its launch, the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water program has helped facilitate the installation of nearly 500 systems across Massachusetts.


Almost No R-Value


Gallagher Racks up Prefab Points Cambridge, MA - TG Gallagher recently announced it is nearing completion on a 45,000sf lab fit-out project located at the epicenter of Kendall Square. Consigli Construction Co., Inc. selected TG Gallagher to install the HVAC, plumbing, and fire protection systems for this worldclass life science space. When the project is completed later this spring, it will meet the research and development requirements for a French-based drug company. Aligned with the tenant’s goal that innovation is at the heart of everything it does, TG Gallagher presented an opportunity to pursue a collaborative, innovative prefabrication strategy that would facilitate the installation in a compressed timeframe. Intrigued by the Lean benefits of prefabrication-higher quality, safer work conditions, increased productivity, and less waste, Consigli was onboard. Using building information modeling software, the project team coordinated the entire system layout first, then fabricated and assembled it in TG Gallagher’s 40,000sf offsite prefabrication facility. While the MEP components were being fabricated, Gallagher’s team of plumbers, pipefitters, and sprinkler fitters were laying out sleeves, hangers, and bang-its on-site, using one of Trimble Total Stations. Modular plumbing racks were delivered to the site, equipped with: potable and nonpotable hot and cold water, compressed air vacuum, RO water, insulation valves and CO2 and N. Once each rack was piped, it was tested, insu-

The piping raised into place lated, marked “complete,” and was ready to be shipped to Kendall Square. Eight shipments of six to eight racks were delivered, that equates to over 9,000 ft of corridor piping. When the racks arrived to the project site, they were hoisted to the floor, wheeled to their final location, and raised into place. Using this method, up to 4,000 ft. of piping was installed in a single day. The team worked aggressively not only to prefabricate, but to employ the latest Lean processes for a flawless choreographed installation. The extensive use of prefab has kept the site from being encumbered with workers, material, equipment, and waste.


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Annual MEP Supplement


March 2014

The Importance of Energy Efficiency in Our Learning Institutions by Matthew Guarracino While energy usage and management is a significant component of any academic institution’s sustainability strategy, surprisingly as much as 30% of a school’s total energy is used inefficiently or unnecessarily. According to the U.S. Department of Environmental ProMatthew Guarracino tection, 17,450 K-12 American school districts spend more than $6 billion annually on energy, amounting to more than what is spent on computers and textbooks combined! By being more energy efficient, schools can help prevent greenhouse gas emissions and improve the students’ learning environment, all while successfully saving funds. There are a number of simple measures that can be easily integrated into a school’s plan that helps lower energy costs. To start, it is important to measure and track energy performance by initiating low-cost measures that include turning off lights when not in use, setting back the thermostat at night and when a building is unoccupied, and performing maintenance on equipment. Awareness is a key component, and educating students and employees of the school can have a very positive affect on energy usage behaviors. Cost-effective investments also bring significant savings in the long run.

Energy audits and plans that identify potential improvements in energy efficiency continue to be an effective way for schools to discover opportunities for both immediate and long-term cost savings. These investments include installing energyefficient controls, upgrading equipment, and replacing outdated energy consuming equipment. It is also recommended that facilities work with professionals to help manage and improve performance. Conversely, many energy service companies (ESCOs) offer performance contracts where equipment upgrades are financed by the ESCO from the anticipated future savings. Although it may not seem like the most immediate need for schools and universities, improving energy efficiency within facilities can help alleviate other problems as well. Increased energy efficiency can provide schools with a greater incentive to become greener, while also creating energy savings which can be put toward capital improvements, ultimately creating a healthier and higher performing school. Educational institutions are consistently looking for ways to obtain and maintain the best atmosphere for their current students and faculty, and reliability can contribute in a major way to a facility’s atmosphere, specifically on a college or university campus. Schools and universities have access to a wide variety of efficient energy strategies and solutions that can deliver energy and capital savings along with providing

proven benefits to the environment. Administrators and building managers that take advantage of these opportunities will reap benefits for the long term.

Matthew Guarracino is business development manager at JM Electrical Company , Inc.

N.B. Kenney Names Two

Devens, MA - Brian Curran and Robert W. Dejadon have recently been named vice presidents at N.B. Kenney Company, Inc. of Devens. With 30 years in plumbing and HVAC – mostly with N.B. Kenney – Curran has been promoted to vice president of sales, having previously served as the firm’s chief estimator for the past seven years. Dejadon, a 35-year veteran of construction management, recently rejoined N.B. Kenney as vice president of special projects.



ASHRAE - February Meeting Recap by Mark Leonard ASHRAE Boston saw many familiar faces at this month’s chapter meeting as it featured the annual Past Presidents night at the Embassy Suites in Waltham, Mass. The night also held a technical session covering hydraulic shock in refrigeration systems followed by the main presentation on “Lessons Learned” in designing AC refrigeration systems by one of the chapter’s long-time members. The technical session was presented by Dr. Samuel Martin, a former professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, who currently uses his expertise as a

consultant for hydraulic shock and water hammer type applications. He gave an overview of one of his own experiments where he simulated condensation-induced hydraulic shock. The experiment used pressure transducers to study a liquid slug moving through a pipe containing ammonia gas. Dr. Martin also described how the ASHRAE technical committees are structured. He noted that a proposed change can take up to four years before it takes effect if approved by the appropriate committee. Continued on page 11

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(above) athletic field (top and below) Entrance to athletic center and performing arts center.

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Inside this Issue

September 2011

Windover Construction Completes Three School and College Projects BOND CM for UMass Fitchburg State Project Erland Tops Off New School Center with Robert Olsen + Assoc. LLD Designs, KBE Builds URI’s Hillside Residence Hall Profile: CTA Cements Place as Leading School Builder Cutler Associates’ Design Build Anna Maria College Holds Open House Oldcastle Precast Awarded Liberty Terrace Dormitory Featuring: BC Project Achieves LEED Platinum Tewksbury High School Tops Off UMass Lowell Begins Steel Erection

Library P.O. Box 7, Pembroke, MA 02359 Change Service Requested

Suffolk Construction Builds The Victor Luxury Apartments Pro Con Breaks Ground For Aviv Center for Living, KDA Architect Contracting Specialists Awarded Ground Breaking for Bristol Hotel Construction Starts on New Storrs Center Increasing Natural Gas Demand in NE by Douglas Pope MIT Sloan: Archieving Acoustical, Audiovisual, and Technological Success Colleges Carving out New Space on Existing Campuses by Julie Nugent

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Annual MEP Supplement

March 2014


Attention Vendors!! Booth spaces are still available! Be sure to reserve your spot today to be aRS part of the show! $900 per single booth; multiple adjoining booths are available as well.

The Boston Chapter of ASHRAE

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers

Cordially invites you to the

2014 Biennial Chapter New Product & Energy Show Tuesday, April



Seminars 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM Product Show 3 PM -8:30 PM Dinner 6:00 – 8:00 PM Free to Attend! Free Diner! Lantana 43 Scanlon Drive Randolph, MA www.thelantana.com RSVP by April 1 to Mark LaFrance at ashraebostonattendance@outlook.com

Outside trailer demo areas are available with the purchase of at least one (1) booth. Spots are $500 each; all proceeds from demo areas benefit ASHRAE Research Promotion. For more information, visit Boston Chapter website - www.ashraeboston.org/upcomingevents/product-show.html. To reserve your space, contact:

Bill Garvey – wgarvey@rdkengineers.com Jeff Schultz – jschultz@eypae.com

Seminar Schedule 1:00 – 2:00 pm “Smoke Control” Speaker: Nate Birmingham, Code Red Consultants Approved for 1.0 PDH! 1:00 – 2:00 pm “Modern Absorption Chillers” Speaker: Douglas Davis, Broad USA Approved for 1.0 PDH! 2:15 – 3:15 pm “Geothermal Piping Technology” Speaker: Rob Warnke, REAHU Approved for 1.0 PDH! 2:15 – 3:15 pm

“Demand Controlled Ventilation (DCV) for Commercial Kitchens” Speaker: Rich Catan, Halton PDH Pending

3:30 – 4:30 pm

“HVAC Acoustic Strategies” Speaker: Bruce Majer, BRD PDH Pending

3:30 – 4:30 pm

“Maximizing the Benefits of Chilled Beam Systems – Energy Savings & Comfort” Speaker: Mike Woolsey, Swegon Inc. Approved for 1.0 PDH!


Annual MEP Supplement


Thompson Adds Four Marion, MA - Sean J. Brice, PE, LEED AP, president of Thompson Consultants, Inc. (TCI) recently announced four additions to its staff. Each maintains principal, project management and high level engineering involvement with all of their clients. They are a major addition, strengthening the life sciences and academic market sectors as well as integrating into the remainder of TCI’s project portfolio. Principal, Keith W. Whited, PE, LEED AP is a licensed professional mechanical engineer with over 25 years experience in critical space HVAC design, thermal fluid systems, utility infrastructure, and environmental control. His industry experience includes biologics, pharmaceutical, nuclear, educational and consumer products as well as master planning, site start-up and commissioning. Principal Robert M. Cunningham, CIPE, CPD is a plumbing and fire protection engineer with over 20 years of experience specializing in highly complex and technically challenging projects, with particular emphasis on biopharmaceutical research and development and manufacturing facilities. Associate James M. Conway, PE, LEED AP is an electrical engineer with over 25 years of experience in providing a wide range of engineering services for college and university, healthcare, and life science clients. Project manager Marc Draleau has 40 years of experience in the design

Sensible Kind of Unionism Continued from page 5





and layout of HVAC systems. He is experienced in the design of ductwork and piping for utility, research, commercial, institutional, government, biotechnical and pharmaceutical facilities. On January 16, 1974, Bob Thompson and four close associates created a corporation “for the purpose of engaging in and carrying on the business of mechanical, electrical and industrial, consulting engineering”. Since then, we have maintained a constant process of evolution and growth that our clients have come to rely upon.

pened to me 30 years ago, when I was a young plumber. We were finishing work in a downtown Boston apartment building. At 3 p.m. the boss called: “Hugh, I’m sorry, but we don’t have any work tomorrow.” Two months later, when there was another job, he hired me back. The construction industry’s emphasis on reliability and performance offers lessons for city government. While the benchmarks for construction work may be more easily measured than those in, say, education (“How many feet of pipe did you put in today?” vs. “How much did your students learn today?”), the construction model of linking employability to performance could prove useful as Walsh deals with public-sector unions. Consider also the way construction unions deal with wages and benefits. When construction unions reach a wage agreement, it is understood that the money needed to keep pension and health funds solvent is subtracted directly from the total wage package. Negotiating wage increases while treating benefits as an afterthought has led to disaster for many public pension funds. But that isn’t what construction unions and employers do.

Here’s an example. Last summer I helped negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the Boston plumbers union. After a series of meetings, we employers agreed to a raise of $2 an hour. This agreement did not presume that additional money would magically appear for benefit programs. If workers wanted to strengthen their health or pension plans, or to operate the union training school in Dorchester, funding would come from their wages. And because we employers hold an equal number of votes on all the union funds’ boards, we ensure a business eye is brought to those decisions. Sadly, construction unions (and unionized contractor groups like the one I represent) have historically done a poor job helping the public understand that we operate in ways that distinguish us from the common impression of “unions.” Walsh says he’s interested in strengthening the middle class in Boston. Having sat across the table from him, I have no doubt about his commitment. But once he takes the employer’s seat, the standards he lived by during his years with construction unions will serve Bostonians well.

Boston- Mayor Martin J. Walsh will join the AEC community to talk about his agenda when Massachusetts Building Congress (MBC) hosts “Breakfast with the

Mayor,” Thursday, March 20, 2014 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Grand Ballroom. Visit buildingcongress.org for more information.

Mayor at MBC Breakfast


Fred Williams, Inc. a PPL company Provider of mechanical services to Eastern Massachusetts since 1936

• Mechanical Contracting • Engineering • Service • Enegy Services 320 Libbey Industrial Parkway, Wemouth, MA 02189 Tel: (781) 961-1500 Fax: (781) 335-3937 www.fwilliams.com www.high-profile.com

March 2014

March 2014


Continued from page 8

The social crowd and technical session attendees all gathered in the main hall for dinner. As dinner commenced, ASHRAE Boston Chapter president, Teri Shannon, made her general announcements including reminders for next month’s chapter meeting on March 13, and the ASHRAE product show on April 8. Eric Edman, presently chapter historian and a past president of ASHRAE Boston, followed Shannon by giving a warm introduction to the evening’s main presenter, Steve Tafone. Tafone is currently employed by Suffolk Construction Inc. as the vice president of engineering. With more than 37 years of experience in the HVAC and construction industries, he presented lessons learned on chillers versus direct expansion (DX) for DOAS. He noted that maintenance and floor area play big roles when deciding between the two design approaches. He also emphasized to “know what you’re asking for” when specifying pieces of equipment. Items such as a differential pressure sensor on a chiller system monitoring pump head pressure was one example used to demonstrate how a MJDaly_Ad_A.pdf 3/17/09 11:47:58 AM simple oversight can be very costly in the long run. The February meeting concluded with Teri Shannon presenting gifts to the presenters followed by her closing remarks.

Annual MEP Supplement


All Category 6 Cables Are Not Created Equal! by Barry Poitras Andover, MA – Knowing the type of cabling infrastructure being implemented on your next project is very important. It can be critical to the success of the coordination between other disciplines and cost impacts for the overall budget of the project. The type and quantity of cabling infrastructure Barry Poitras can impact the project by creating inadequate pathways that have to be revised during, or worse after, installation, having a huge impact on the schedule and budget of the project. A solid understanding of questions to ask during the early stages of the design project can aid in success of the project. For many years now, the telecommunications industry has created and used the classification of Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) copper cable in terms of “Categories.” The term Category was developed by standards organizations EIA/TIA to assist in design and implementation of structured cabling systems that meet or exceed the transmission characteristics of the ever increasing speed and bandwidth compression of Ethernet switch manufacturers to send high speed signals over unshielded copper cables. As cable manufacturers continued to develop and push their cables beyond the testing parameters of the standards organizations of ANSI/EIA/TIA, the manu-

facturers began to promote their newest version of the Category 6 cable as better than the competition due to the boundaries or “headroom” in which they tested their cable above and beyond the standards requirement. This forced the standards organizations into reviewing, testing, validating, and accepting the new levels of performance of the higher levels from cable manufacturers. However, instead of classifying the next level of cable as Category 7, 8, etc., the standards organizations labeled them as levels within the Category 6 standard. This has created great confusion for end users, design specifiers, and integrators trying to review competitive proposals. There are currently four levels of Category 6 cable. They are Category 6 minimum compliance, Category 6 midcompliance, Category 6 maximum compliance, Category 6a augmented. As you can see, this has created a source of frustration for design engineers and contractors both on specifying and RFP responses since signal quality, cost, and size of each cable can have an impact on the project. Let’s review each of these and discuss the potential impact on the next project. As a general rule of thumb, signal quality goes up as category level goes up, but so does the cost of the cable. The reason is that more bits per second can be sent over the same length of the cable. For instance, jumping from 1 gigabit per second Gb/s to 10 Gb/s will be limited to approximately 100 feet on the mid compliant as opposed to 300 feet on the augmented level. This can have an impact on the client’s

IT staff that may be rolling out Ethernet switches and network interface cards with higher transmission rates than the cabling can not support. This will only manifest itself in transmission failures after the cabling infrastructure is in installed. The cost of each level also varies and can have a huge impact on the project budget and bidder responses. The delta between Category 6 maximum compliance to Category 6 minimum compliance cable is approximately $100 per 1,000 feet of cable. In addition to cost, Category 6A cable has almost a three times larger cable outside diameter size than Category 6, which can have a huge impact on conduit pathways and boxes usually specified under the electrical design. In conclusion, it is best to know exactly what type of cabling infrastructure is being specified, proposed, and installed to ensure a smooth coordination and expectation of the structured cabling system solution. To learn more about telecommunications rooms or discuss one for your company, contact Barry Poitras at 978-296-6365 or email him at bpoitras@rdkengineers. com. RDK Engineers has specialized in providing high-quality HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, Tel Data, and Fire Protection engineering services for over 100 years. Barry Poitras, RCDD, is a Principal and Director of Telecommunications/ ESS Design at RDK Engineers.

The Power to Master Complexity

Mechanical and fire protection systems are the cornerstones of every successful construction project. For more than 100 years, M.J. Daly has led the industry with the most advanced design, construction and maintenance solutions available. The supervision provided by our engineers and project managers, tradesmen and women, and service technicians in the field ensures that we deliver a unified approach across the lifecycle of a project. From complex heating, ventilating and cooling systems, to critical life safety systems, the breadth and depth of M.J. Daly’s capabilities are unmatched.

Design Construct Maintain

110 Mattatuck Heights Road, Waterbury, CT, 06705 Tel (203) 753-5131 | www.mjdalyllc.com


Annual MEP Supplement


March 2014

Fire Suppression Systems

Is Your Building Properly Equipped, Up-to-Code, and Is the System Regularly Maintained? by Shawn Stalker How important is it for public and commercial buildings, institutional facilities – hospitals, universities, schools, and libraries, residential buildings, and private facilities to be equipped with up-to-date fire suppression and fire alarm systems? In the event a fire disaster occurs, it is truly Shawn Stalker a matter of life and death – first and foremost in protecting the workers, inhabitants, and visitors to the facility, and also, in limiting damage to the building structure itself and valuable critical equipment within the facility. The goal of fire protection always has been to limit the damage a fire can cause. In keeping with that goal, fire suppression is an integral component of every facility’s fire protection system. Fire suppression systems are designed and installed to limit fire spread in new and existing buildings in order to protect lives and control property damage, including the loss of valuable equipment and costly downtime. It is critical to make sure the system is up-to-date, inspected and tested, and maintained, at regular intervals, by highly qualified specialists. Every public, commercial, institutional, and private


building is required by federal, state and local law to be equipped with updated fire alarm systems. The design, engineering, installation, and maintenance of fire suppression and fire alarm systems must meet stringent National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code requirements. So what types of facilities really need to have fire suppression equipment that’s inspected, up-to-date, and with a preventative maintenance plan in place? You name it – data centers, cooling towers, cable vaults, theatres, airports, aircraft hangers, museums, libraries, utility plants, electric rooms, universities, public and private educational facilities, technology, life science, and hospital facilities – and the list goes on. Critical facilities require the highest level of fire suppression equipment. Water via fire protection sprinkler systems has long been the first line of defense against fires. Systems that use water as their primary suppressant are monitored by air pressure, and typically, electricians provide the controls and control wiring that will warn of a leak that can be repaired to keep potential water damage minimal. Today, however, suppression systems are far more sophisticated and varied in their design and installation; depending on the environment, the most appropriate type of device and agent should be designed and installed. For instance, it is typical to use a combination of dry and wet agents to suppress equipment fires. Clean agent fire protection, that is, the use

Photo by Shawn Stalker

A deluge fire suppression system protecting transformers at National Grid.

of gases in extinguishing and controlling fires, is often employed in critical facilities, where equipment can suffer damage through the use of sprinkler systems and other wet agents. That said, there are no shortcuts when it comes to fire suppression system design, installation, testing, and preventive maintenance. It is critical that the fire suppression system is not only installed correctly, but also tested and maintained to ensure functionality. An electrical contractor that specializes in the installation of these fire protection systems will know exactly what is required and provide the most effective system and appropriate means of suppressing a fire, based on the type of facility, the specific environment, and application. That electrical contractor/ installer will work closely with fire protection contractors, building managers,

engineers, emergency personnel, electrical inspectors, and fire department personnel to ensure the intricate installations are performed to code, fully tested, and operational. It is very important for the electrical contractor’s electricians to be educated and fully up-to-date in all aspects of this highly specialized field. With a multitude of systems appropriate to specific facilities – from low, medium and high expansion foam systems to CO2 extinguishing systems, and from dry chemical to wet chemical extinguishing systems – technical wiring requirements must be performed to meet NFPA Codes. And, there are many different types of initiation for each system, requiring extensive training to ensure the components of the system tie in properly. The facility manager should research and interview the installing electrical contractor to make sure the firm and its electricians that will be performing installations have field experience with their specific kind of facility and, also, expertise with the types of fire suppression systems that will be installed. In closing, it is the building owner’s and manager’s first and foremost responsibility to make sure the fire suppression systems, within the facility’s life safety systems, are up-to-code and inspected and maintained regularly. Shawn Stalker is a project superintendent for Stalker Electric, Inc., based in Woburn, Mass.

Profile for High-Profile

High-Profile: MEP 2014  

High-Profile: MEP 2014