Direct: 614-610-1200 | Toll Free: 888-888-9917 | info@edumind.com

Friday, 28 February 2020


Part 1 of Building Orientation and Energy Efficiency examined the role of building siting and passive strategies according to the major climatic regions. As a recap, those four major climatic regions are: cold, temperate, hot-arid and hot-humid. 

We covered the orientation in plan regarding sun exposure and internal heat gains for the benefit (or detriment) of the building. In addition to location in plan on the site, the vertical orientation of a building—especially on a hill—is also as important. 

Air moves with temperature and terrain. Different terrains channel the wind in varying paths. These—along with the climate regions—create microclimates, which are essentially the climates of the immediate site based on a very local set of conditions. Besides the terrain channeling or dispersing/moving wind in unique ways, we must also recognize how temperature affects air movement. 

Hot air rises because it is less dense than cold air. During the day, air moves over land and through valleys and rises as the sun warms it. Because of this, air moves uphill in valleys throughout the day. As that air cools during the evening and night, the direction reverses as the land cools. This is due to the loss of heat in the air resulting in the air flowing down the valley walls and settling in the valley floor, only to start the process again once when the sun comes up. 

Building Orientation and Energy Efficiency

The temperature changes in the air and land can create different effects throughout the day and in different seasons. For example, in a cold climatic region, buildings placed on the tops of hills (especially within narrow valleys) should be avoided, especially without a windbreak. This is because of the cold winds to which the building would be exposed in those locations. Assuming conventional construction (not air-tight or similar), cold air can infiltrate a building and introduce cold air into a warm interior, making it inefficient to heat the building on the interior (cold climates need higher internal heat gains as they are heat dominated). Additionally, buildings should not be located at the bottom of a hill, where cold air can pool in valleys, etc. for the same reasons. 

Buildings in hot-humid climates are often lifted off the ground to promote air movement around and through them for natural ventilation and to keep them away from the humid ground covered in vegetation. 

Buildings in hot-arid climates benefit from being located at the bottom of a hill/valley because of the pooling of cooler air and the potential of shadows from the valley walls that may block harsh sun. 

Often, when siting buildings for construction, the solar path takes the dominant priority. However, siting in regard to the environment, is complex. Sun and shading are two factors. Wind movement and terrain profile are equally as important in considering the factors that can affect a building’s performance.

EduMind Inc at 06:30

Tuesday, 25 February 2020


Mechanical systems consume a lot of energy in buildings—approximately 35% of a building’s total energy use. While HVAC equipment is becoming more efficient, the main strategies that can reduce building energy consumption start at building planning and siting. 

There are four major categories for climatic regions: hot-arid, cold, temperate, and hot-humid. Each of these regions offers a unique set of climate conditions when designing a building. Regarding the design of mechanical systems, these regions determine if the building needs more heating, more cooling, more or less humidification, or a balanced system. Not understanding this and designing a building without considering its integration with the climate could potentially create an environment that is inefficient and more taxing on the environment and resources. 

Designing an efficient building begins with the building site. One of the first steps that the designer should consider is the climatic region of the project, as it can affect the building form depending on the particular region. 

In cold regions, the concern for building design is the loss of heat as well as infiltration through the building envelope. Building form should be compact to minimize the surface area and should be oriented to allow for the maximum exposure to solar radiation. 

Temperate regions favor a building that is elongated in the east-west axis allowing for maximum solar exposure in the cooler season while employing shading devices to keep out the hot summer sun. This introduces the natural heat of the sun during the times of the year when it is needed and keeping it out when it is not needed—designed using the solar angles of the sun determined by the solar path. The building orientation for this region minimizes exposure on the east and west facades, which are harder to control with shading, and gains are far greater in summer months. 

Building Orientation and Energy Efficiency

Hot-arid regions suffer from exposure to hot air and harsh sun. In these climates, the building should be well-shaded (not only through shading devices but vegetation, if possible). Inner courtyards are an effective design feature that may employ water features to promote evaporative cooling as the wind travels over them creating cooler air that enters adjacent building spaces. As an aside, what I find particularly interesting about this methodology is that it can be found back in ancient times. Windcatchers were prominent in desert regions, and this passive strategy is still relevant today. 

Lastly, there are hot and humid regions. For these regions, like temperate regions, buildings are elongated in the east-west axis reducing the east and west facade exposure. Shading devices are used to reduce solar heat gain. Additionally, the incorporation of inner courtyards promotes the movement of air through spaces providing cooling through evaporation and making the hot air more comfortable with air movement. A schematic of this orientation is given in the above figure. 

While there are other passive strategies that can also reduce the need for mechanical systems, these focus on integrating the building with the climate for determining site strategies. Part 2 on this topic covers the location of a building vertically regarding climatic regions.

EduMind Inc at 07:02

Friday, 21 February 2020


What makes the human body thermally comfortable? It’s not just temperature alone. A common misconception is that thermal comfort—the state in which the mind is comfortable with the thermal environment—is strictly due to air temperature. However, our bodies are complex organisms and as such, it takes a lot more to make us comfortable or uncomfortable. 

In addition to air temperature—that is just one puzzle piece—factors such as relative humidity, activity, mean radiant temperature, and air motion all play into comfort. Air temperature is the temperature of the air measured as the dry-bulb temperature—the temperature of the air without humidity or moisture. Relative humidity accounts for the moisture, or humidity, in the air. The mean radiant temperature measures the temperature radiating off of surfaces. Then there is the movement of air. Oftentimes, the weather seems a lot cooler due to increased wind speeds (wind chill) on a cool or cold day (or vice versa). In addition to the above factors is our individual bodies’ metabolism, which may make some people feel warmer or cooler than others. 

Because everyone is different and has their own thresholds of thermal comfort, it is nearly impossible to assign a thermal comfort level to all people. A classic example is air conditioning within an office environment. When it is turned on, some people may still be too warm, others may be just right, and others may resort to wearing a sweater (another factor considered for thermal comfort)! 

In fact, the standards for setting thermal comfort only account for most of the occupants of a particular space. ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) sets the thermal comfort standards for office spaces and other programs. This is outlined in the ASHRAE 55 standard, which is based on the predicted mean vote (PMV) and predicted percentage of dissatisfied (PPD)—a method devised from a percentage of people who are thermally dissatisfied. From this, the thermal comfort of a space is essentially geared toward about 80% of the population of a certain space. The range of thermal comfort in temperature is about 68° to 72°F but can be shifted due to the other factors noted above. 

With thermal comfort, however, physical comfort is not the only consideration in the design of spaces and integration of building systems, such as mechanical systems. The body’s thermal comfort can play a substantial role in the physical and mental well-being of a person, especially in promoting a healthy indoor environment and experience. A hot or stuffy indoor environment due to poor air circulation or high humidity can have adverse effects, making the indoor air quality poor and subsequently affecting the performance of those occupying that space. It is because of this that many healthy building standards promote a high-quality indoor environment. Thermal comfort and a person’s well-being are intertwined and, therefore, involves a lot more than simply air temperature.

EduMind Inc at 13:00

Tuesday, 18 February 2020


When it comes to sound, there are multiple ways to determine the movement of noise through assemblies. Sound travels in many different ways and as waves. Different ratings depend on the medium through which the sound waves travel. The emphasis tends to be placed on STC (sound transmission class) ratings, but others are just as important—or maybe more applicable—depending on the situation. This post will focus on the difference between IIC and STC—both very common ways to measure the transmission of sound through assemblies but approaching the source of sound differently. 

The STC rating is concerned with the travel of sound or noise (sound above a certain threshold for which it is considered unwanted) through the air. The STC measures how well an assembly of materials absorbs the transmission of airborne sound/noise. Assemblies not only include interior partition walls, ceilings/floors, and exterior walls, but also include windows, doors, and so on. 

However, sound waves do not just travel through the air, but are also transmitted through waves moving through materials. In this case, it may be more appropriate to focus on the IIC (impact insulation class) rating, which is more concerned with the travel of sound through materials and measures how well an assembly blocks impact noise. The IIC rating—although applied to assemblies—is more appropriate for floor/ceiling assemblies because that is where the impact noise will most likely occur. 

Depending on a variety of factors—but most likely which assembly (such as the wall, floor, or ceiling) is being rated and for which program—the employment of one rating over another may be better suited for measuring the impact of noise in a space and the design of assemblies. For example, in a dense, urban area, while there is a lot of noise traveling between walls, there may be more concern for the sound that is traveling through floors and ceilings within a building. In this case, it may be more appropriate to review IIC because that noise not only comes from side to side but also from above and below as well. In the case of offices, the clicking of high heels (always a common example when discussing sound) travels through structural members and flooring (typically wood in older construction), which may affect the space more so than airborne sounds. In this case, it would be more appropriate to be concerned with the IIC since it focuses on the sound transferred via materials through floors and ceilings. Conversely, STC may be more appropriate in isolating spaces from each other due to program—such as a wall between a quiet office and adjoining loud conference room, when the noise will most likely travel through the air. 

Not all sound is created equal, and when addressing acoustics, knowing the source is just as important as the rating because the sound comes from all over. Recognizing that and applying the ratings appropriately will allow for more successful strategies in alleviating the transfer of noise.

EduMind Inc at 13:00

Friday, 14 February 2020


There are some instances when gross and net square footage are calculated. Gross square footage generally refers to all of the square feet, whereas the net square footage accounts for some subtractions. An example for this could pertain to cost estimating, where gross square feet would include the interior floor space as well as interior and exterior walls. It would account for “all” of it, with the exception of open courts within a building, walls that extend outside of the footprint of the building/roof overhang at ground level, and so on. 

With net square footage, there is typically an accounting of some loss. Again, considering cost estimating, net square footage accounts for floor space but does not account for exterior walls and other elements such as corridors, toilets, mechanical rooms. 

With gross square footage and how it pertains to code... Well, this is where it gets a little tricky because it does not follow that typical definition and tends to trip up a lot of people in application. 

For measuring gross square feet per the code—and, again, this pertains to this particular instance— the gross square footage does not include the exterior walls. The gross square footage regarding code is measured to the interior face of the exterior walls. 

Don’t believe it? Let’s reference it. 

The International Building Code (IBC) gives definitions to certain terminology that can be found in Chapter 2—the chapter designated for definitions. If a term is not found in this chapter, it is assumed that the definition of that term is consistent with practice and the industry and is well understood making further and/or specific definition unnecessary. The terminology for these definitions is italicized throughout the code indicating that there is a specific meaning for each italicized term. Per the definition in Chapter 2 of the IBC, the gross floor area is listed as “Floor Area, Gross”. This definition states that the gross floor area, per code, is, “The floor area within the inside perimeter of the exterior walls of the building…” 

This is tricky, but again, it’s a matter of definition and can be especially tricky compared with all the ways to measure space. What is important to know is that this definition differs and that the code defines it in a way that it does not include the exterior walls. So, when determining occupancy, for example, the code allots a certain area for certain occupancies. Some are measured in net square feet and others in gross square feet. For the latter, that measurement would be the gross square feet; the entirety—excluding vent shafts and courts but including corridors, closets, ramps, stairways, and so on—to the interior perimeter of the exterior walls. It may not be consistent in the way that it is measured with other instances and with other tasks, but concerning code, gross square feet is to the interior of the exterior walls.

EduMind Inc at 13:30

Tuesday, 11 February 2020


One of the most frustrating parts of a construction project can be change orders. They have given a building project a bad reputation but oftentimes, they are inevitable. Things change. This can be due to field conditions and uncovering something unexpected, or it can be due to a design change per to a client or the architect. Rather than not accept any changes whatsoever (which is, more often than not, unrealistic), changes are accounted for and built into the process. In architects’ contracts, contingencies are often included to cover design changes should they arise. Contingencies may also be included in construction contracts to cover construction costs associated with changes. In documentation, changes are handled using three different methods to formally change the contract for construction/contract documents: 

1.An architect’s supplemental instruction (ASI) 
2.(Formal) change orders 
3.Construction change directive 

Any change will have a connection to cost, schedule, and scope. 

If there is no change in cost, schedule, or scope, then an ASI is issued (AIA document G710-2017 or a version thereof). It is only to be used for minor changes and oftentimes serves to provide clarification. 

If there is a change in cost, schedule, or scope, a change can be handled in two ways: through a formal change order or a construction change directive. Despite being treated as two separate entities, they are essentially two different ways of getting to the same place—authorizing a change through a formal change order. To clarify that point, the end goal is to have the change approved and work performed and compensated. A formal change order (AIA document G701-2017) is straightforward. It lists the change in scope and the time and/or costs associated with the change. It is an agreement between the owner, architect, and contractor that is signed by all parties. When it has been signed, the work is done and compensated to cover the extra costs (and may be covered by the contingencies added to contracts). 

However, sometimes this process does not run so smoothly. Sometimes a contractor may issue a change order for approval, but the owner does not agree with the cost or time. Any disagreement could delay the project further. The contractor could be liable for any change in schedule or projection completion could be delayed. This is the role of the construction change directive (G714-2017), which directs the changes to be made while the terms (cost and time) are being hammered out. This is an efficient way of performing the work and keeping the project on schedule, even in a time of conflict and discord. It is recommended that the construction change directive, when approved, is superseded by a formal change order, which is why they are two ways of getting to the ultimate goal: an approved change order. 

These documents not only track the changes in the work (possibly with an accompanying log) but are the three ways to formally change the contract for construction.

EduMind Inc at 13:00

Friday, 07 February 2020


The roles of the parties involved in a construction project are of critical importance. Clear responsibilities contribute to a process that runs more smoothly, promotes better communication, and hopefully makes the process less contentious. The roles of the owner, architect, and contractor are outlined in the AIA contracts. In general, the architect is responsible for the design intent, the contractor for the work and construction site, and the owner for the site. 

The owner’s responsibilities to the site include possessing the information necessary to understand site conditions. This includes (but may not be exclusive to) geotechnical reports and surveys. The reason why the owner is responsible for the site is essentially tied to risk. The Owner, in regard to the existing site conditions, is the party to whom it is most appropriate to assign that risk. 

There is not one but multiple surveys to consider. The most common surveys are metes and bounds, plat of survey, and American Land Title Association (ALTA) surveys. 

Metes and bounds surveys measure off of benchmarks. Between the benchmarks are distances/ dimensions and angles noted from the cardinal points. What benchmarks are chosen depends on the site. Common benchmarks include trees, water features, rock piles, etc. 

A plat of survey, also called a plat survey or boundary survey, is a much more accurate survey and serves in an official capacity. Plats of the survey are connected to property deeds and are compared against the deed when created. For instance, iron bars are installed at different corners to set up points of reference. What I find interesting about these (and ALTA) surveys is that because they are used in an official capacity, the procedures and requirements are outlined in standards of practice issued by the responsible jurisdiction and/or organization. These standards include the size and type of iron bar to use, the depth to which they are to be installed, soil conditions for installation, and so on. These plats of the survey are performed by a licensed, professional land surveyor and require a seal and signature on the survey. 

An ALTA survey is much more detailed than a plat of survey and is recommended particularly for commercial properties where risk is higher. Due to a higher level of detail, they are also more expensive but offer more protection in case of disputes. ALTA surveys follow standards per ALTA and American Congress of Surveying and Mapping (ACSM). 

The types of surveys needed for a project depend on the project type, location, if it is on vacant land or in a dense urban area, insurance requirements, acquisition, etc. Although it is the responsibility of the owner to provide the survey, the architect absolutely must know about the different types and the level of detail, as they often make recommendations. Often, the owner will ask the architect to order the survey, but that should be discouraged because in doing so, the architect assumes the risk that should be allocated to the owner and could be held liable.

EduMind Inc at 18:00

Tuesday, 04 February 2020


A membership in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in any capacity brings with it an expectation for the highest standards in competency, professionalism, and integrity. The AIA lays out what is expected of its members through the AIA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (“the Code of Ethics”). It is important for both candidates taking the Architectural Registration Examination (ARE) and those with an AIA professional affiliation to understand this Code of Ethics because noncompliance can lead to disciplinary action. To understand compliance, the Code of Ethics must be understood. You can access this code for free on the AIA’s website (aia.org). 

Code of Ethics

The AIA’s Code of Ethics begins with a preamble which, among other information, includes descriptions of its three tiers. I am not going to elaborate on the rest of the information beyond the three tiers, with a little explanation, but what is interesting is the history of the AIA and antitrust. Due to this, they cannot control setting service fees, etc. I think it is a fascinating part of the AIA’s history and recommend learning about it to any candidate or AIA member. 

The AIA’s Code of Ethics is separated into three tiers: 

1.Canons
2.Ethical standards
3.Rules of conduct

There are six canons, which essentially note the larger topic with a bit of an explanation. They are listed in order of precedence. Beyond the general obligations, the obligations are to the public, client, profession, colleagues, and the environment. This means that the obligations to the public are listed first after general obligations, and that is the first order of obligation according to this Code of Ethics. It may seem odd that the public is considered before a paying client, but the AIA member is obliged to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public first and foremost. Often, in doing so, you are protecting the client as well, but the first order of responsibility is to the public. 

The ethical standards, or goals, follow the canons. They list the goals in short and then follow up with a short expectation of the member. 

The rules of conduct are what make the AIA Code of Ethics enforceable. To underscore that point, they are in bright red in the Code of Ethics—you can’t miss them. The rules of conduct (“Rule(s)”) note what is expected of the member. Sometimes a Rule includes a commentary, which is not always included, nor is it considered a tier. The commentary elaborates on a Rule giving more specificity/clarification to a point/term. 

Knowing and understanding the Code of Ethics is essential, in my opinion, not only in preparing for the ARE but in understanding what could be disciplined by the AIA.

EduMind Inc at 19:00

Blog Archive



Categories

Agile Methodologies
are5
Benefits of PMP Certification
CAPM Course
CAPM Review Course
Colocation
Conflict Management
Construction Project Management
Construction Project Management Certification
Construction Project Manager
Corporate PMP Online Training Course
Corporate PMPTraining
Eco-Friendly Project Management
Frank and Lillian Gilberth
Goal Theory
grad-admissions
Green Project Management
HR Management
Lao Tzu
Leadership
Leadership Theories
Lewin Leadership
Make or Buy Analysis
management
medical
Motivation
On Demand PMP
On Demand PMP Course
On Demand PMP Exam Prep Classes
On Demand PMP Exam Prep Course
On Demand PMP Training
Ondemand PMP Certification
Ondemand PMP Prep Course
Ondemand pmp training
One on One PMP Classes
One on One PMP Training Course
One on One PMP Tutoring
Online PMP
Online PMP Training
Online PMP Training Classes
Onsite PMP
Onsite PMP Boot Camp Classes
PMBOK
PMI
PMI Certification
PMO
PMP
PMP Application
PMP Aspirants
PMP Boot Camp
PMP Boot Camp Classes
PMP Bootcamp Course
PMP Certification
PMP Certification Training
PMP Class
PMP Course
PMP Exam
PMP Exam Prep
PMP Exam Prep Course
PMP Exam Prep Course Review
PMP Exam Prep Online
PMP Exam Prep Training
PMP Exam Preparation
PMP Exam Review
PMP Exam Review Course
PMP Exam Training Online
PMP Online
PMP Online Exam Prep
PMP Online Training
PMP Onsite
PMP Onsite Training
PMP Onsite Training Classes
PMP Prep Classes
PMP Preparation
PMP Review
PMP Test
PMP Training
PMP Training Course
PMP Training Online
PMP®
Procurement Management
Procurement Managers
Project Human Resource Management
Project Management
Project Management Certification
Project Management Course
Project Management Institute
Project Management Methodologies
Project Management Office
Project Management Professional
Project Management Professional Certification
Project Management Professional Skillset
Project Management Skills
Project Management Skillsets
Project Management Training
Project Manager
Project Manager Certification
Project Manager Conflict
Project Managers
Project Managers Efficiency
Project Plan
Project Planning
Project Procurement Management
Project Team
Project Team Members
Review Course
Risk Management Professional
RMP
RMP Exam Course
Salary for PMP
Software Project Management
Team Building
Time and Motion Study
Waterfall Project Management