Your browser is currently set to block JavaScript.

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are the instructions how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.

After enabling javascript, please refresh the page to go back to experts.com site with full functionality

Would you turn off/on JavaScript?

It's a widely used language that makes the web what it is today, allowing for websites to be more responsive, dynamic, and interactive. Disabling JavaScript takes websites back to a time when they were simple documents without any other features.

What are the advantages of using JavaScript?

Speed. Since JavaScript is an 'interpreted' language, it reduces the time required by other programming languages like Java for compilation. JavaScript is also a client-side script, speeding up the execution of the program as it saves the time required to connect to the server.

banner ad
Experts Logo

articles

Share |

Why Building Envelopes Matter During Blackouts

By: The Falcon Group - David Schaub
Tel: (908) 595-0050
Email The Falcon Group


View Profile on Experts.com.


Image

"Where were YOU when the lights went out?" was a famous slogan from the 1965 Northeast Blackout, but a better slogan in light of the more recent Superstorm Sandy Blackout of 2012 might be "How did YOUR building perform when the lights went out?"

The blackout of 1965 occurred during a typical bitter cold stretch of weather in November of that year, affecting parts of Ontario, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, and New Jersey. Over 30 million people and 80,000 square miles were left without electricity for up to 13 hours. The famous New York City Blackout of 1977 lasted from July 13-14, during a massive summer heat wave, and while it was confined to New York City and its surroundings, over nine million people were affected. And of course we all can recall the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy which hit landfall on October 29-30 in 2012, leaving an estimated 8 million people in the northeast without power, some for weeks after the storm clouds blew away.

History has indicated that the vast majority of people remain in their homes, if possible, during extended blackouts. When the power goes out, buildings are "dependent on whatever protection is provided by their walls, windows, and roof." (1) So how did YOUR building perform during Superstorm Sandy? Temperatures during the blackout following the aftermath of Sandy typically (and thankfully) stayed above freezing during the night and rose to the 40's and 50's during the day, compared to the winter and summer blackouts of 1965 and 1977 which occurred during much more temperature extremes. A study by the Urban Green Council recently showed "that during an extended winter blackout, the temperature inside a typical single-family house would be 35°F after three days. A typical high-rise apartment would drop to 45°F after three days, and then keep falling....In a summer blackout, temperatures in a typical all-glass apartment building would jump to almost 90°F, eventually rising to above 100°F."(1)

The study further details the vast difference in indoor temperatures during a blackout for "high-performing" glass high-rise buildings, which would stay well above 50°F for more than a week after a power outage in winter, with brick high-performance high-rise buildings below 85°F for more than a week in summer. (1)

These findings further exemplify the need to make your building more "high-performing" and better able to withstand an inevitable power outage, whether it is for just a few hours during a summer thunderstorm or for days or more during a serious weather occurrence like Sandy. The Falcon Group can diagnostically assist in taking your building to the next level of performance. Thorough building investigations can be performed to uncover common maladies such as missing insulation in wall and attic cavities. More heat is lost through walls than any other route - approximately 33% in an uninsulated home. (2)

Image

Missing insulation in 2nd floor bedroom wall cavities uncovered during a siding upgrade project.

Using infrared cameras, the Falcon Group can pinpoint leaks in the building envelope, as well as determine poorly performing windows and doors. Leak testing on windows and exterior doors can then be compared to properly performing windows and doors for a thorough analysis of the entire exterior façade.

Image

Infrared cameras demonstrating heat loss in neighboring buildings compared to a 'high performance' building shown in dark blue (Photo courtesy of The Urban Green Council)

Mechanical deficiencies in your building such as improper ducting and improperly working HVAC equipment can also compromise the performance of your building. The Falcon Group can recommend improvements to the existing systems such as retro-commissioning existing mechanical equipment for optimized performance, and installing remote dataloggers to verify the ongoing performance and collect data quantifying the results of the improvements.

Cost analyses of typical building performance improvements can range in these applications from low cost improvements (retro-commissioning) to higher cost improvements (window and door replacement). Once building performance improvements are initiated, energy savings can be predicted which will help building owners find incentives and financing to reduce or even eliminate out-of-pocket expenses for these improvements.

So how will your building perform the next time the lights go out? With recommendations from the Falcon Group for improving building performance, you'll be much better prepared to 'weather' the next storm.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the issues discussed in this article please feel free to contact The Falcon Group.

References:

(1) Urban Green Council, New York Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, February 2014
(2) Statistic from the National Insulation Association

Share |


The Falcon Group a team of highly-skilled professionals, was established to offer consulting in the fields of Professional Engineering and Architecture. Our project management and financial control processes allow us to consistently deliver projects on schedule and within budget. Our reputation is built on our attention to detail and relentless commitment to client satisfaction and our principals maintain a visible role in our assignments to ensure that relevant issues will be anticipated and resolved satisfactorily, in a timely fashion.

©Copyright - All Rights Reserved

DO NOT REPRODUCE WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION BY AUTHOR.

Related articles

michael-panish-logo.gif

7/21/2015· Construction

Elder Abuse - It Isn't Always About Physical Abuse

By: Michael Panish

Having recently testified as the door hardware, lock and security expert witness on a very serious elder abuse case involving the rape of a 93 year old resident of a retirement home, I am intimately aware of the potential for physical violence and neglect aimed directly at senior citizens. The following is about a completely different kind of abuse involving our senior population.

Vincent-Ettari-Design-Engineer-Expert-Photo.jpg

12/28/2006· Construction

Does Your Site Have Excessive Slopes? What to Consider When Developing Land With Steep Slopes

By: Vincent A. Ettari, PE

In developing a vacant piece of land, steep slopes are often an issue. And, the more prevalent the steep slopes are on a site, the greater the likelihood that retaining walls will be part of the Approved Site Plan. Let us consider three municipalities which regulate the final allowable slopes for land which is filled, cut, or graded

long-international-logo.jpg

3/12/2018· Construction

Proving the Cause-Effect Linkage

By: Long International

Contractor’s claim submittals and expert reports are often deficient in proving causation, i.e., the cause-effect linkage. These claims generally outline the owner-caused impacts and separately calculate quantum; however, the two are often not linked in any meaningful way. Most claims are settled prior to a decision by a panel, court, or board, and therefore these deficiencies are not made apparent. Yet, a well-prepared claim document which includes a persuasive and accurate causeeffect analysis can greatly improve the contractor’s chances of a successful recovery, either through negotiations or in arbitration/litigation. This analysis is difficult and often costly to prepare, and is therefore not performed in many disputes, which may be the reason why the claims fail.

;
Experts.com-No broker Movie Ad

Follow us

linkedin logo youtube logo rss feed logo
;