Posts by: Michael Rader, PE, CEM

Who Is Deciding What Goes Into Your Facilities?

Managing the construction of new facilities or renovation and maintenance of existing facilities with multiple design and construction firms can be a daunting task even for the most experienced owner. One way to help eliminate miscommunication and set expectations of all project stakeholders is to have written design and construction standards. If you own, operate

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Do Lean Principles Apply in a Service Industry?

Regardless if you are a healthcare facility, school or university or a consulting engineering firm, we are all looking for ways to reduce cost, increase quality and drive employee engagement.  Lean concepts and principles have long been a part of industry but how can they be applied in a service industry? Some of these principles

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Doing More With Less

Making or exceeding your enrollment goal is a good thing, right?  Well, maybe… Colleges and Universities, especially private institutions, have continued to increase their offering of discount rates to help drive enrollment. This means that, even though enrollment goals have been met, there is less overall revenue to meet rising facility maintenance and operation costs.

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The Importance of a University’s Infrastructure

From people to structures, all good systems bear upon on a sturdy and reliable framework. Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) infrastructure is the framework of a successful campus. Central equipment, utilities, and buildings are all components of campus infrastructure that help students, faculty, and staff perform to their highest potential. Planning, maintaining, and optimizing your

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Home Away From Home

Student housing has become one of the most important pieces in an institution’s strategic plan to attract prospective students, transition new students to collegiate life, develop and retain students as well as educate students throughout their academic careers. A comprehensive approach to match housing options with developing trends is a critical component both now and

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Enriching the Student Experience

As institutions strive to attract and retain the best and brightest students they are facing ever increasing competition from not only “bricks and mortar” institutions, but also from new online options. Perhaps the single greatest difference a bricks and mortar institution can offer is the collegiate experience. Campus life facilities promote this experience by serving

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Sometimes It’s What You Don’t See and Hear That Makes the Show

Performing arts centers (PAC’s) present unique opportunities and challenges for owners, operators, designers and contractors alike. They are a unique mix of specialized systems with very specific performance requirements that need to meet the needs of a wide constituency. Whether the PAC serves a sole purpose such as a concert hall or multiple purposes with

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Big Changes in The Pennsylvania Department of Education PlanCon Instructions

The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently released changes to PlanCon instructions that will have a significant impact on project reimbursement and feasibility studies.  The updated instructions can be downloaded at  www.education.state.pa.us from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Website. These changes are to take effect for all forms submitted after January 31, 2011 and now allow

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Important Changes to the PA Construction Code Act (Act 45) of 1999 | Vol. 4: The 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (ECC)

The following are some key energy conservation code changes that engineers, architects and owners should know about in order to minimize negative impacts to your facility.  Section 502.2:  Increased insulation requirements and details for opaque building elements including specific requirements for Group R occupancies.  Section 502.4:  Limitation of hot gas bypass based upon unit size.  The

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Vol. 5: Navigating Today’s Complex Energy Landscape

Show Me The Money Along with new legislation surrounding the energy conservation movement comes a number of funding streams available to businesses and organizations like yours to implement energy improvement projects. Both energy conservation and alternative energy projects may be eligible for the following funding opportunities: Stimulus Programs Federal and State Grant Opportunities Low Interest

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