Insight Articles

When is Commissioning Required?

With construction costs rising across the board, every dollar counts when planning for a project. Lately, many owners are getting surprised by a substantial cost that presents itself late in the project. Commissioning. Did you know that your project may require commissioning even though it is not a LEED or other green initiative project?  Starting … Read more

New Construction Codes Effective 2022: Plumbing Code Changes

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will adopt the 2018 International Plumbing Code for construction projects, except for two municipalities (the City of Philadelphia and Allegheny County), on February 14, 2022.  There will be a six-month grace period during which some may be reviewed under the 2015 IPC.  Construction projects, regardless of circumstances, will be designed in … Read more

New Construction Codes Effective 2022: Mechanical Code Changes

As Pennsylvania begins enforcement of 2018 International Mechanical Code, it’s important to understand what, if any changes could affect your project.  This is particularly important if you’ve had a project shelved due to the pandemic and are planning to dust it off this year.  Whether it was a funding issue, price of materials, or just … Read more

New Construction Codes Effective 2022: Electrical Code Changes

The building code in Pennsylvania is known as the Uniform Construction Code (UCC). Enforcement of this code is handled either locally (by municipalities, townships, or contracted third-party reviewers) or by the state’s Department of Labor and Industry. Prior to 2018, the Pennsylvania UCC referenced the 2009 International Codes (I-Codes). In 2018, the UCC was updated … Read more

New Construction Codes Effective 2022: The Overview

The current pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our personal and professional lives.  In the case of the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Codes (UCC), it has significantly delayed the legally required update to the 2018 edition of the International Construction Codes.  Among the many requirements and procedures outlined in the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act Omnibus Amendments (Act … Read more

Electrical Design Challenges in High-Rise Buildings

There are many unique challenges in the design and construction of high-rise buildings. The electrical design in these facilities is no exception, particularly regarding the emergency systems required to allow people to safely exit the building during a fire or emergency event. A ‘high-rise building” is defined in the International Building Code (IBC) as “a … Read more

Germicidal lighting eliminating COVID-19 virus

Germicidal Lighting: Less Hype, More Facts

Armed with the knowledge that germicidal lighting, such as Germicidal Ultraviolet-C (GUV-C) Light, possesses the proven ‘superpower’ of eradicating harmful viruses including COVID-19, many people have begun searching for ways to safely incorporate it into their everyday lives. But, with new products hitting the market daily, consumers can easily become overwhelmed and confused given the … Read more

COVID-19 text with medical gas equipment in the background

Medical Gas Systems for COVID-19 Ventilated Patients — Planning & Response, Part Two

The scope and influence of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow. Cases are on the rise again. The number of hospitalizations and ventilated patients is growing. Hospitals located in critical, high population centers overrun with COVID-19 patients used medical gases and mechanical ventilators in record numbers this past spring. In fact, some facilities did not … Read more

Doctor filling out COVID-19 medical gas form

Medical Gas Systems for Ventilated Patients — Planning & Response, Part One

When the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) became a reality for this country and the quarantine began, we did not know what to expect. Pandemic updates from Washington, DC by the President of the United States and his lead physicians became a daily routine. Just a few hours away, COVID-19 cases in New York City were overwhelming … Read more

Creating Dialysis Units in Senior Living Facilities

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced assisted living, skilled care and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) to redefine their daily operations and facilities alike to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread throughout their facilities both from internal and external risks. Residents living in these facilities who require renal dialysis can be a significant risk to themselves, … Read more

Ultraviolet HVAC Components

A search for “ultraviolet light” on Google will yield no less than 91 million search results. UV light sanitizers, industrial UV sanitizers, and thousands of other products show up. These results are an impressive show of our society’s ability to provide millions of pieces of information, all in our living room or office, in just … Read more

Enhanced Filtration

Our next installment in this series on reducing airborne contaminants is focused on increasing the effectiveness of new and existing filtration systems. Some of the concepts in this article are long-proven items, and some are on the forefront of innovation. This article is to provide information for available products, not to recommend a specific approach, … Read more

Airborne Contaminant Mitigation

Since early 2020, it seems just about everyone has an opinion on viruses, disease transmission and what should be done as a society, as a business owner, and as a private citizen. We here at Barton Associates are not healthcare workers, epidemiologists, or even medical students. We are a group of engineers who believe in … Read more

Operation and Maintenance Considerations Before Re-Occupancy

A large portion of commercial, educational, and healthcare facilities have been either partially occupied or unoccupied for several weeks, even months. With extended periods of unoccupancy, building systems can become stagnant, potentially resulting in adverse effects on air systems, domestic water systems and building materials. Most of us know the smell of dust burning off … Read more

Preparing for the New Normal?

Everyone is probably tired of hearing how unprecedented these times are and how the picture of what the “new normal” will look like seems to change on a daily basis. Beyond all of that, we will get back to some sense of normalcy and, when we do, we need to be ready. So what does … Read more

Optimizing Effectiveness of COVID-19 Temporary Isolation Rooms

The recent COVID-19 pandemic events have forced healthcare providers around the globe to find creative ways to isolate infected patients from other patients and healthcare providers, often relying on temporary modifications to their facilities heating, ventilation and air conditioning system to create negative pressure spaces. Often facility managers are forced to work within the confines … Read more

Power Quality in Healthcare Facilities

Power quality can have a significant impact on a building’s electrical distribution system and the associated loads. The results of poor power quality can range from operational issues and premature failure of equipment to additional charges on your utility bill that can negatively affect an organization’s bottom line. One of the load types proven to … Read more

Emergency Responder Radio Coverage Systems

In an emergency, firefighters rely on good communication to coordinate their efforts and keep each other safe. They may approach a fire area deep within a building and realize they need additional personnel or equipment. If your building is especially large, has thick concrete walls, or has a lot of equipment that creates interference, the … Read more

Changes to PA UCC Code: Lighting Code Changes 2009 vs 2015 IECC

“Hearing can be deceiving, seeing is believing, but feeling – that’s the naked truth” is a phrase which can be applied to many highly anticipated events in life. For the building industry, Pennsylvania’s long-awaited jump to the 2015 (2018 in Philadelphia) ICC International Codes last October was one of these greatly anticipated events. Historically, anticipation … Read more