The February Issue

Ad Close: January 20 |  Materials Due: January 23

Issue Focus: Best of Design & Construction Week

Connected Home

The Best of KBIS & IBS (Design and Construction Week).
A look at the newest, cutting-edge products seen at these two industry shows.

How fire sprinklers came to Camas without an ordinance.
In 2003, legislation was introduced to require fire sprinklers in new residential housing in Camas, Wash., a small city in the southwestern part of the state. Despite the backing of local fire officials, the measure failed in City Council after opposition from homebuilders and real estate agents. Yet, last year, without an ordinance, 214 of 215 new homes in Camas were built with fire sprinklers. How was this accomplished? It’s largely due to Randy Miller, deputy fire marshal for the Camas-Washougal Fire Department, who didn’t want to give up the fire protection residential sprinklers provide. But how? Miller and his predecessors realized that builders might voluntarily add sprinklers if given the proper incentives.

Boston Area Mechanical Pro Follows a Preordained Path, Successfully.
Sison Plumbing & Heating serves a large area from South of Boston to East of Worcester, Mass. Sison Plumbing & Heating takes on both new and retrofit jobs; routine service work keeps Sison busy year-round. Right now it’s just Bruce Sison, but that’s been intentional. “It’s been important to me to establish my business and build a strong reputation,” he explained. Sison doesn’t see himself as ‘just a plumber’ – especially now that he’s moved into sophisticated hydronic work.  In addition to maintaining familiarity with new technology and installation techniques, he enjoys building and maintaining customer relationships.  As part of that, he listens carefully to find out exactly what a customer wants and needs.

AGU Sets a New Bar in Reducing Carbon Footprint with Groundbreaking Net Zero Headquarters Renovation to Begin in Early 2017.
The American Geophysical Union (AGU) announced formal approval from its Board of Directors to undertake a $41.7 million complete renovation of its 62,000-square-foot headquarters building, located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. AGU is aspiring to be the first organization in the District of Columbia to renovate an existing commercial building to achieve net zero goals.

Whereas other development projects are striving for net zero in their initial planning stages, this project is different in that it requires the overhaul of an existing commercial building. A building reaches net zero when it realizes an annual balance between energy demand and the creation of energy on-site. This balance will be achieved through a variety of architectural, engineering, and advanced technology methods which reduce, reclaim, absorb, or generate energy or water, including:

  • 11-foot-6-inch high solar rooftop photovoltaic (PV) array to help generate on-site renewable energy
  • Municipal sewer heat exchange system to recover thermal energy from wastewater beneath Florida Avenue
  • Green wall to help reduce energy loads and improve indoor air quality
  • Water cistern to collect rainwater from the roof, as well as condensate water from the dedicated outdoor air system, to produce all the water needed for flushing low-flow toilets and irrigating on-site
  • Direct current (DC) electrified grid with DC LED lighting, which will allow the building to be more energy efficient and use power generated by the solar PV array
  • Radiant cooling system that circulates chilled water through a network of pipes and uses less energy than a traditional forced-air system
  • Enhanced building envelope insulation, dynamic glass shading, and triple-pane glazing, among other interior and exterior high performance strategies

A. O. Smith Hot Water Systems Help Summer Camp Return to Life.
On the shores of Case Inlet in the south Puget Sound underneath the long, afternoon shadow of Washington’s Olympic Mountains, the team that brought Camp Gallagher back to life is enjoying a perfect orange-and-pink Northwest sunset. Known for its spectacular natural surroundings and its overnight canoe-camping excursions, Camp Gallagher holds a special place in the heart of the inlet community — both for kids who look forward their summer adventures with friends and parents who remember fondly their time sailing on the salty waters and playing camp games. According to volunteer Megan Miller, formerly a counselor at the camp and now a project manager for Seattle, Washington-based commercial plumbing contractor SJS Mechanical, the shower house and kitchen cabin needed significant upgrades to serve daily meals and hot showers to as many as 65 campers and counselors. Working with Hollabaugh Brothers & Associates, a Kent, Washington-based agency that represents manufacturers in the plumbing and HVAC industry, the SJS Mechanical team identified replacement options. Jeff Woodard, vice president of operations for Hollabaugh Brothers, said he presented the Camp Gallagher project to the team at A. O. Smith, who decided to donate the needed hot water products.