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Taking the Show on the Road

September 26, 2016 · By Admin · No Comments

This year RDK is lucky enough to have the opportunity to present at three major conferences across the northeast, NCHEA, WEEC and ABX. 

The NCHEA 64th Annual Conference took place August 9th-12th in Wilmington, NC. This conference hosts approximately 400 healthcare engineers and healthcare supply/service vendors. RDK's Dale Norwood, Project Manager in the Charlotte office, presented with Carolinas Healthcare System on Responding and Rebuilding: A Healthcare Facility's Evaluation to Restoration in 58 Days. 

The presentation focused on a small fire that occurred in MedWest Haywood’s main normal switchgear and the events that happened next. The fire virtually destroyed two of the six sections of the switchgear with collateral damage to the adjacent sections. There was a significant concern with regard to long term loss of power. This was especially problematic because of the lack of power to the 500-ton chiller (not on emergency power), coupled with the forecast of increasing temperatures. Not only would this lack of temperature regulation affect immediate patient safety, equipment function, and medication quality, it could also cause long-term damage to patient care equipment. Considering these factors, the decision to evacuate the facility was made.

Over the course of the following 58 days, MedWest Haywood, working closely with authorities, engineering, and the community, to return the hospital to full normal operation. The final testing was completed and the hospital normal and emergency power systems were back to 100% functionality. The emergency response by MedWest Haywood illustrates effective collaboration between all parties and provides important lessons that can help other hospitals as they establish their own emergency response plans.

The 39th World Energy Engineering Congress, the largest energy conference and technology expo held in the U.S. specifically for business, industrial and institutional energy users, took place September 21st-23rd in Washington DC.

RDK's, Dana Etherington, Senior Energy Engineer/Energy Department Head, presented on driving energy efficient design through project team integration.
 
The presentation focused on a case study of a new construction project for MathWorks, comprised of three buildings of approximately 550,000 SF with typical mixed-use/office programming. The owner, architect, engineer, energy consultant, contractor and local utility worked together as an integrated team from conceptual design through building occupancy to meet the projects specific energy goals. Many high performance building design components were evaluated in order to reach these goals, including, but not limited to; chilled beams, energy recovery, demand control ventilation, central plant optimization, glazing and passive solar strategies, data center free cooling, and server optimization. EUI, annual costs and carbon emissions were benchmarked through continuous whole building energy modeling and utilized throughout design to provide an understanding of the impacts related to design decisions. The presentation included introductions of the team members, explanation of how the team focused the process and design around the goal of energy conservation and how they kept energy at the forefront from the project beginning, through design, and into the operations of the buildings, wrapping up an open discussion between the team and audience.

This year's ABX conference will be taking place November 15-17 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

RDK's Robert Persechini, Karl Gebhardt and Keith Giguere will be presenting on MEP/FP Systems Basics - Understanding the Systems and Designing for Success.

This presentation contains everything non-engineers (such as architects) need to know about the basic function and operation of HVAC, plumbing, fire protection, and electrical (MEP/FP) building systems in an easy-to-understand way.  Included in the subject matter is the difference between certain systems, what they are, how they operate, and samples of what buildings they are in.  The presentation will also cover how to incorporate the systems into the design of a building based on function, performance, clearances, etc., and why certain systems are used within different buildings.  The presentation will also include examples of building systems in actual buildings in Boston that currently have the system in place.

If you attended one of our presentations already this year we thank you. For those of you attending ABX, sign up for our session. You may learn something new about MEP/FP systems!

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IIDA New England Interior Design Awards

February 23, 2016 · By Admin · No Comments

On February 11th, RDK sponsored and attended the 9th IIDA New England Interior Design Awards, which was held at Royale in Boston, Massachusetts.

We were fortunate enough to be the MEP/FP engineer for three winning projects.

Best Office Design under 10,000 SF
Kensington Capital Holdings
Project team included Visnick & Caulfield Associates; RDK Engineers; Bernhardt Furniture/Kerwin Group; Corderman & Company; Wright Architectural Millwork; Peabody Office Furniture; Union Office; and Luminoso

Best Office Design between 10,000 SF and 30,000 SF
Confidential Financial Services Client
Project team included Tecton Architects; RDK Engineers; Structure Tone; CR3 Landscape Architects; Bentley Price Street; Envel Design; 3form; Wasau; and Legere Woodworking

Best Office Design over 80,000 SF
Bit9 + Carbon Black
Project team included Unispace; RDK Engineers; J. Calnan & Associates; Total Office; Boston Properties; Facilities PM; and Allsteel

Congrats to the teams and clients that made these award winning projects possible!

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Optimizing Performance in Video Conferencing Systems

May 21, 2015 · By Admin · 1 Comment

Video conferencing technology is gaining widespread acceptance as a communications medium for meetings, training and special events.  The advantage of face-to-face, real-time communication and the availability of lower-cost solutions have combined to make video and audio conferencing a requirement in today's corporate environment.  But users, eager to take advantage of the technology, are often confronted with a plethora of problems that are by no means inherent in the technology. They are the result of equipment configuration, infrastructure limitations and operational issues, all of which can negatively affect the experience of the users. 

In this Tech Tip we will explore the most commonly encountered problems and offer suggestions on how to fix them. 

Common Problems

Problem 1:  Frozen or Choppy Video or Dark Blocks (Video Dropout)
What's Going On?
These are symptoms of network packet loss or a low frame rate.
What's the Fix?
• Check that the network connection is dedicated to video or has QoS.
• Codec may have a bad connection with the router and may need to be re-booted.
• Check that router ports are set to Auto instead of hard set to full duplex/100MB.
• Check that network settings and the Codec settings match in network values.
• The Firewall may need a software update or bug fix for H.323 awareness.

Problem 2:  Out of Sync Video and Audio
What's Going On?
This is a symptom of latency; video and audio packets are being processed differently by the network.
What's the Fix?
• Check network QoS configurations to make sure that video and audio packets are given the same priority.

Problem 3: The remote site cannot hear your audio
What's Going On?
Either your microphones are not set correctly (or are turned off), or the remote site has not turned on their audio.
What's the Fix?
• Check that your microphones are turned on.
• Check that the system volume is set to a normal level at both end points.
• Check the placement of your microphones and make sure everyone who speaks is within range.
• Make sure objects such as books and briefcases are not blocking your microphones.

Problem 4:  Participants hear echoes or feedback.
What's Going On?
One or more of the remote sites volume may be turned up too high.
What's the Fix?
• Have all the other sites mute their microphones.
• Ask each site to turn their microphones on one at a time. As each site comes back, check for the presence of echo by speaking.
• When you hear echoes, have that site turn down its volume.
• Continue until all sites are back on, and the echo is eliminated.

 

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RDK Employees "Taking Steps" to Healthier Lifestyles

September 12, 2014 · By Admin · No Comments

For years, RDK has been utilizing work place wellness strategies in order to boost the health of employees. This summer was no exception! RDK's Human Resources department came up with the idea to have a six week companywide step challenge to get employees moving and engaged in a little friendly competition.

All employees were given an opportunity to complete a personal health assessment and receive a Fitbit, a fitness tracker that records steps, active minutes and calories burned, from RDK. After getting their Fitbits, employees formed nine teams of 6 to 12 members from all different offices. The teams came up with team names such as Your Pace or Mine?, Walk this Way and the Walking Peds. 

During the six week competition, steps taken were recorded with the Fitbit and synced to the steps log on the ahealthyme.com website. Teams were able to use the website to track their progress and view their team's ranking.

To successfully complete the challenge, each team member needed to complete 294,000 steps within six weeks—an average of 7,000 steps a day. Teams were ranked by averaging the total steps from all team members. The team with the highest total step average across all teammates at the end of the challenge was announced as the winner. Weekly raffles were held and prizes were given out to those with the most steps taken on a particular day and those averaging at least 49,000 steps in a week.

The winning team took an average of 542,493 steps per person and the runner up took an average of 520,859 steps per person during the competition. RDK employees enjoyed some healthy competition and pushed themselves to try and achieve a new level of fitness! A total of 35,046,172 steps were taken during the competition!

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RDK's Lean Journey Continues...

May 21, 2014 · By Admin · 1 Comment

Over the past few years, RDK Engineers has made great strides incorporating Lean practices into our operations and general processes.

At its core, Lean is a philosophy that seeks to increase client value through the elimination of non-value added activities, in short, waste. By thinking in terms of Lean, organizations are able to see the entire value stream of their operations and find ways to use less material, effort, energy, and equipment to deliver increased value to clients, all while providing meaningful work for their staff. Historically, Lean has most notably been associated with the manufacturing world, but is fast being applied to healthcare operations as well.
 
RDK's Lean journey began with a half-day workshop in our Andover, MA office in 2011, where we tackled our internal RFI (Request for Information) process. In this class, we laid out every single step, and quickly identified all of the waste in this process. By the end of the class, we were able to walk away with a Value Stream Map which outlined our non-value added steps and potential improvements that could be made to this process.
 
A year later, ten RDK employees completed an eight- week course on Lean geared towards the Healthcare industry. Many of our healthcare clients apply Lean to their projects, so improving our understanding and application of Lean allowed us to align ourselves with how they approach their projects.
 
RDK will continue on its Lean journey by holding internal workshops, applying improvements to processes, minimizing waste, and adapting these principles companywide. In fact, the next improvement we plan to make is at each employee's work area! On May 30th, RDK will be conducting a '5S Your Workplace' hour. The goal will be to get all employees to invest in cleaning and organizing their work areas. This process has been proven to increase productivity and it is an important step on the path to becoming a Lean company.

Lean through the Eyes of One RDK Employee
The following account describes how Daniel Villeneuve, RDK's BIM Manager, has personally experienced our Lean journey, and taken an active role in applying Lean principles to his work.

"I think the Lean efforts RDK has been implementing are great and I'm amazed at how they improve our processes and general awareness of everyday tasks. In my position as the BIM Manager, constant and continual assessment of my department's activities is critical. Time is important, and using our time as efficiently as possible through really looking at what we do on a daily basis, has really been an eye-opener.

I am currently working on many initiatives that I feel will trim excess waste in terms of both time and material. Right now, I am testing an idea related to an improved process to see if it can become an adopted and accepted practice with the efforts of our Stamping Engineers and Chiefs. This originally started with the incorporation of our new PDF software which increases the efficiency of our PDF processes. In addition, it allows us to digitize our stamping and signing process which completely cuts out the following waste, from a procedural and material perspective: 

• paper consumption
• staff billing time related to retrieving the plots
• staff billing time in laying the plots out for stamping
• Engineering Chiefs' billing time in having to sign each page
• The most time consuming task: scanning each page to record the stamped set
 
Furthermore, I am working on digitizing our markup procedure through the use of a large pressure-sensitive tablet. This effort could minimize the time associated with marking up project documents and reduce the amount of material currently consumed.
 
Currently, our paper consumption expense from our large format plotters exceeds more than six figures per year. I am hoping to recapture up to 33% of this cost through these two combined efforts once fully accepted and rolled out.
 
In addition, Greg Titterington (RDK Principal/President) and I have been working on allowing our data to be accessed from anywhere, at any time, without the requirement of being logged onto our network. This is being achieved by leveraging Newforma to build a cloud of our required content and is currently being rolled out to groups who will be trained on these methods. Again, it is our intent to get this process to be accepted resulting in a huge decrease in plotter consumption.
 
In my experience, I think our Group LEAN meetings capture a very specific process of improving efficiency, but as an overall organization, I acknowledge that  there is more that can be done "behind the scenes" that could improve the corporate backbone relative to our data, templates, project information and user data.

These are just a few of the ways that I have begun to streamline our processes to make us more efficient. This is an ongoing process, and the journey starts with each of us taking these small steps toward become a world-class Lean organization."

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RDK Ranks No. 314 on ENR Top 500 List

April 17, 2014 · By Admin · No Comments

RDK Engineers ranked number 314 on the Engineering News-Record's Top 500 Design Firms list. RDK moved up the list from number 333 for year 2012 to 314 for year 2013! Even though growth was modest, almost 70% of firms said revenue increased between 2012 and 2013 and the reported design revenue for all firms increased by 2.7% over the year. To see the entire Top 500 list go to http://enr.construction.com/toplists/Top-Design-Firms/001-100.asp.

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All Category 6 Cables Are Not Created Equal!

January 31, 2014 · By Admin · 1 Comment

All Category 6 Cables Are Not Created Equal!

RDK Technology Design Group

Tech Tip January 2014

Knowing the type of cabling infrastructure being implemented on your next project is very important. It can be critical to the success of the coordination between other disciplines and cost impacts for the overall budget of the project. The type and quantity of cabling infrastructure can impact the project by creating inadequate pathways that have to be revised during or worse after installation having a huge impact on the schedule and budget of the project. A solid understanding of questions to ask during the early stages of the design project can aid in success of the project.

For many years now, the telecommunications industry has created and used the classification of Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) copper cable in terms of "Categories". The term Category was developed by standards organizations EIA/TIA to assist in design and implementation of structured cabling systems that meet or exceed the transmission characteristics of the ever increasing speed and bandwidth compression of Ethernet switch manufacturers to send high speed signals over unshielded copper cables. 

cables 
As cable manufacturers continued to develop and push their cables beyond the testing parameters of the standards organizations of ANSI/EIA/TIA, the manufacturers began to promote their newest version of the category 6 cable as better than the competition due to the boundaries or "headroom" in which they tested their cable above and beyond the standards requirement. This forced the standards organizations into reviewing, testing, validating and accepting the new levels of performance of the higher levels from cable manufacturers. However, instead of classifying the next level of cable as Category 7, 8, etc. the standards organizations labeled them as levels within the category 6 standard. This has created great confusion for end users, design Specifiers and integrators trying to review competitive proposals.

There are currently four levels of category 6 cable. They are category 6 minimum compliance, category 6 mid compliance, category 6 maximum compliance, category 6a augmented. As you can see this has created a source of frustration for design engineers and contractors both on specifying and RFP responses since signal quality, cost and size of each cable can have an impact on the project. Let's review each of these and discuss the potential impact on the next project.

As a general rule of thumb, signal quality goes up as category level goes up, but so does the cost of the cable. The reason is that more bits per second can be sent over the same length of the cable. For instance jumping from 1 gigabit per second Gb/s to 10 Gb/s will be limited to approximately 100 feet on the mid compliant as opposed to 300 feet on the augmented level. This can have an impact on the client's IT staff that may be rolling out Ethernet switches and network interface cards with higher transmission rates than the cabling cannot support. This will only manifest itself in transmission failures after the cabling infrastructure is in installed.

The cost of each level also varies and can have a huge impact on the project budget and bidder responses. The delta between Category 6 maximum compliance to Category 6 minimum compliance cable is approximately $100 per 1000 feet of cable. In addition to cost, Category 6A cable has almost a three times larger cable outside diameter size than category 6 which can have a huge impact on conduit pathways and boxes usually specified under the electrical design.

In conclusion, it is best to know exactly what type of cabling infrastructure is being specified, proposed and installed to ensure a smooth coordination and expectation of the structured cabling system solution.

To learn more about telecommunications rooms or discuss one for your company, contact Barry Poitras at 978-296-6365 or email him at bpoitras@rdkengineers.com.

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Meet RDK's Newest Principals, Senior Associates and Associates!

December 16, 2013 · By Admin · No Comments

RDK is pleased to announce twelve new principals. These leaders are key to the RDK success story. Please join us in congratulating them and other new leaders on their new positions within the company.

 

 

 


         
David                            Abigail               Deborah                  Scott 
Courtemanche          Day                      DeMaso                  Guertin

     
Bill                                Jason                  Kevin                       Bruce
Leuci                            Lund                   McNamara             Ott

     
Barry                            Bill                          Bob                       Rick
Poitras                         Punch                    Reale                    Seiden

Jason Lund, Principal and Group Leader
Jason is the leader of the Raleigh-Durham, NC office providing enthusiastic leadership and management of all Durham staff. Jason is experienced in medium and low-voltage electrical distribution systems, lighting, telecommunication, fire alarm, standby and emergency power systems for healthcare, educational, industrial, and commercial facilities.  Jason enjoys golf, shooting sports, fishing and routing for the Carolina Hurricanes hockey and Panthers football!

Deborah DeMaso, Principal
Deborah's areas of expertise include management of commissioning projects (including LEED NC, CI & EB) within nearly all vertical construction sectors. As a project manager, Deborah is responsible for contracts, schedules, cost control, reports, presentation of deliverables, and client relations.  Deborah is a very active member of the Friends of the Special Olympics in the Northeast and helps to host many fundraising events.

Barry Poitras, Principal and Co-group Leader
Barry focuses on managing and designing all aspects of telecommunications engineering at RDK. Barry confirms that the design/build of structured cabling systems, including voice, data video, security and CCTV systems are accurate and complete.  Among his areas of expertise are needs analysis, design and configuration of network infrastructure for various building types. Barry enjoys teaching the intense martial art of Japanese fencing called Kendo.

Bill Leuci, Principal and Co-group Leader
Bill specializes in design for laboratories, pharmaceutical facilities and data centers. His experience ranges from the design of the nation's largest rotary UPS system to the integrated testing and commissioning of classified supercomputing facilities. His areas of specialty include business continuity, critical infrastructure design, alternative energy systems, cogeneration and power distribution. A fisherman at heart, Bill enjoys spending time on his boat with family and friends when not in the office!

Scott Guertin, Principal and Co-group Leader
Scott's background includes HVAC design and project management for a variety of building types. His area of expertise includes the design of HVAC systems within hospital and healthcare facilities, as well as colleges and universities. Scott has provided flexible and energy efficient design on a number of renovation and new construction projects. In his free time, Scott enjoys golfing, skiing and teaching his son how to skate & play hockey. He’s also an avid Patriots Football fan and attends many games with his brother.

Dave Courtemanche, Principal
David is responsible for providing leadership and technical guidance to the electrical team in RDK’s Boston office. With a focus on electrical systems engineering and field supervision, his experience covers a wide range of new construction and renovation projects including laboratories, computer facilities, academic institutions, central utility plants and electrical distribution systems. Dave's hobby is working on old cars…he even has a lift in his garage!

Abigail Day, Principal
Abigail's responsibilities include design, project management, and technical reviews for projects in the commercial and residential sectors.  She facilitates smooth communication among all members of the team. She enjoys working closely with clients throughout each project, and ensures that everyone's goals remain her key focus throughout the job. In her spare time, Abigail enjoys photography, yoga, and cooking.

Kevin McNamara, Principal
Kevin's professional engineering experience includes HVAC design work in the commercial, retail, and academic market sectors.  Kevin leads engineering design teams on numerous complex projects. Kevin has provided flexible and energy efficient design on a number of renovation and new construction projects. Kevin likes to spend time with his wife and two sons, and also cheering on Providence College sports teams.

Bruce Ott, Principal
Bruce specializes in the design of postal facilities, transportation facilities, commercial and industrial facilities, and educational facilities. He is involved in a project from the beginning, coordinating the study, design and construction support services related to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems within a building. In his free time, Bruce enjoys boating and fishing on Long Island Sound and spending time with his family.

Bill Punch, Principal
Bill has devoted his career to electrical engineering. He has been responsible for electrical design and construction administration services for commercial, public sector, and higher educational clients. As a senior project manager, Bill has led RDK teams in the master planning of childcare facilities, hospitality and LEED projects, and new construction and renovation master plans. Bill also likes to spend time golfing, fishing and cooking.

Bob Reale, Principal
Bob is experienced in designing and managing projects for a variety of facility types, including commercial, residential, retail, academic, and laboratory facilities.  His engineering experience includes power systems, overhead and underground distribution, interior distribution, lighting and controls, communications, fire alarm and security systems, and photovoltaic systems. Bob enjoys boating and playing softball with his sons.

Rick Seiden, Principal
Rick is experienced in engineering, design, analysis and construction support of building and facility heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other mechanical systems. He specializes in the design of building systems for commercial, industrial and mission critical facilities. His responsibilities include managing, planning, scheduling and organizing projects. Rick enjoys spending time with his family and golden retrievers back home in Maine where he still lives.

We are also happy to announce our newest round of Senior Associates and Associates at RDK. Please take a moment to help us congratulate the following:

Senior Associates:
Maria McDonnell
Wade Wright
Keith Giguere, PE
Jeffrey Faucon, PE
Dale Norwood, PE
Mark Ridenour, PE, LEED AP
Philip Clendaniel

Associates:
Brenda Phinney
Brian Johnson, PE, LEED AP
Daniel Villeneuve
David Elliott
James Montalbano, LEED BD+C
James Shannon, PE, LEED AP
Jason Peterson
Joseph Wallace
Kimberly DiGiovanni
Linda Schmakel
Mark Grant
Melissa Persechini-Soares
Michael Howell, PE
Michael Papagni, PE
Ron Hayduk
Ryan LaFalam
Stephanie Lafontaine, PE, LEED AP

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Beat the Heat

August 21, 2013 · By Admin · No Comments

All AV systems, whether comprised of a single cable TV box or a number of components mounted in an equipment rack, have one thing in common: they generate heat.  In this edition of RDK's Tech Tip we're going to look at strategies for managing the heat generated by AV equipment, and we're going to offer some rules-of-thumb that will help you beat the heat in your next project design.

Thermal Management
Regardless of the source, heat produced in an unventilated space will cause the temperature in that space to rise.  In general, the smaller the space, the greater the rise in temperature will be.  The rise in temperature can be counteracted, however, by the introduction of air which flows through the space.  The introduction of airflow with the intent of removing heat and reducing temperature is called thermal management.

The degree of thermal management that is required is dependent on the maximum operating temperature of the electronic equipment that is housed in the space.  For example, a common maximum operating temperature for AV equipment is 85 degrees.  If the temperature goes much higher than this, performance may decline or components may fail.  Even in the absence of an equipment failure, if the excessively high temperature is constant, the life of the equipment will be reduced.

Thermal management, then, is an important consideration when designing a space that will contain AV equipment.  Whether the equipment will be in the corner of a room, in an adjacent closet, or in a piece of furniture or millwork, thermal management should be considered as part of the initial design.

 

Ventilation

The introduction of airflow – or ventilation – can happen in two ways.  While active ventilation depends on a fan (or fans) to move air through a space, passive ventilation relies on convection – the tendency of hot air to rise – to produce airflow.  Because it is silent, and doesn't rely on a mechanical device that can fail over time, passive ventilation is an attractive concept, especially in instances where a relatively small amount of equipment is located in furniture or millwork.  The thinking, typically, is that as long as there is a way for air to get in, and a way for air to get out, convection will take care of the rest.  The problem, however, is that the amount of airflow that can be produced by convection is limited, and it is often insufficient for effective thermal management.

There are a number of things you can do to increase the probability that passive ventilation will work in your furniture or millwork:

1) Passive ventilation works like a chimney.  To maximize the chimney effect, place heat producing components in the bottom of the equipment rack, or if on shelves, near the bottom of the cabinet.

2) Provide unobstructed pathways for air, with intake near the bottom, and outflow near the top.

3) Try to make the area of the intake and the area of the outflow match, in total square inches.  Providing a big intake slot in the front of a cabinet won't help much if the only way for air to get out is via a 2-inch grommet in the top of the cabinet.

4) If the heat load is large, consider venting the outflow into a wall cavity.  This will increase the chimney effect.

But how can you tell for sure if passive ventilation will be adequate?  Please read on, and check out the Rules of Thumb section, below.

If calculations reveal that passive ventilation can't produce enough airflow, then one must consider active (or forced-air) ventilation.  To design an effective active ventilation system, you'll need to know three things:

1) The total amount of heat produced by the equipment.  Known as heat load, this is expressed in BTU's per Hour.

2) The ambient temperature in the room.

3) The maximum operating temperature of the equipment.  [Note:  if the published operating temperatures of the various components differ, use the lowest figure].

As you'll see below, the amount of required airflow is usually expressed in CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute).

Rules of Thumb
Passive Ventilation 
 

To determine whether convection will provide the amount of air flow you'll need in a closed piece of furniture or millwork, use the following steps.  [Note:   This rule-of-thumb assumes equally sized inlet and outlet openings of approximately 48 square inches.  If the size of either the intake or outflow opening is reduced, the allowable number of components will also be reduced].

Step 1:  Determine how many components will there be.

Step 2:  Of these, determine how many components will be ON all the time.

Step 3:  If there are more than eight (8)* of these components, active ventilation will be required.
*Assumes, on average, 200 BTU's per hour (BTU/hr) of heat produced per each component.

If desired, a more precise formula may be used:
BTU/hr  =  Area of inlet in square feet  X  (1.08 x 85 – ambient temperature)
[Note:  Rule of thumb equipment temperature / ambient temperature differential is 10 degrees]

Active Ventilation
 
To determine the amount of air flow you'll need in the event that passive ventilation is not sufficient:

Step 1:  Determine how many components will there be.

Step 2:  To estimate total BTU's per hour (BTU/hr), multiply the total number of components by 200.

Step 3:  To calculate required CFM, divide total BTU/hr by 10 [Example:  2000 BTU/hr / 10 = 200 CFM].

Step 4:  To arrive at the number of fans you'll need, divide the total required CFM by the capacity of the fan you want to use.  [Note:  "Muffin fans" are commonly rated at either 95 or 50 CFM capacity].

If desired, a more precise formula may be used:
CFM  =  BTU/hr / (1.08 x 85 – ambient temperature)
[Note:  Rule of thumb equipment temperature / ambient temperature differential is 10 degrees]

Conclusion
As AV systems become commonplace, thermal management of the heat produced by AV equipment is becoming more of a factor in the design of rooms, large and small.  Using the Rules-of-Thumb outlined here, however, you can be proactive.  You can quickly determine whether passive or fan-driven active ventilation is required, and you can avoid situations where heat-producing components fail due to lack of adequate ventilation.  In other words, you can Beat the Heat.

To learn more, contact Philip Clendaniel at 857-221-5911 or email him at pclendaniel@rdkengineers.com.

 

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A Step in the Right Direction

July 12, 2013 · By Admin · No Comments

More and more companies are utilizing work place wellness strategies in order to boost the health of employees while alleviating the rising cost of healthcare. Workplace wellness is an up and coming system that allows employers to reward employees who take pride in their personal health with lower healthcare premiums.

Five years ago, fitness enthusiast and RDK Engineers CFO, Laura J. DePalma, started the firm's health crusade by suggesting RDK work towards bettering the general health of its employees – she believes that emphasizing education and providing easy and convenient health programs at work is vital for maintaining happy and health savvy employees.

She's right, too. A study conducted at Harvard suggests that healthy employees have higher morale, are more productive, and have a lower absentee rate. Think about it; since such a large portion of our everyday lives are spent at work, it's helpful to have easy access to daily healthy snack options and incentives for getting up and moving around.

The positive and preemptive steps have led RDK to swap candy bowls for fruit baskets, implementation of an in office biggest loser challenge, and charitable incentives for hitting the pavement at lunch. Super swamped and can't get outside to walk? That's okay; Laura opted for a treadmill with a computer attached so employees can get their work done without having to nix physical activity.

In honor of National Walk at Lunch Day, RDK donated $5.00 for every person who wore sneakers to work to the AVON Walk for Breast Cancer. In 2012, RDK transformed a vacant office into a wellness room and teamed up with Sargent Associates to provide biometric screenings, vaccines, one-on-one health coach visits, and healthy lunch and learns which cover an array of topics from heart health to healthy holiday eating.

In order to encourage health conscious extracurricular activities, RDK provided discounted lift tickets to various ski mountains during the winter season, sponsored a pickup basketball and softball team, and developed an amazing new wellness benefit to encourage employees to "move for a cause." Each year, every employee is sponsored up to $150.00 to cover registration fees for road races, walks, hikes, or any physical activity where proceeds are used for an altruistic cause; philanthropic physical activity at no cost to me? I’ll take it!

The kitchens are plastered with flyers to raise funds and awareness for upcoming events like the PanMASS challenge, Seek the Peak Mount Washington hike challenge, and posters that provide quick and informative health tips like what constitutes a healthy protein, or why phytochemicals are important for turbo charging your body’s immune system. 

During an interview, Laura J. DePalma stated that, "we're not where I want to be yet, but we're taking a step in the right direction. I feel a responsibility in the overall wellness of our employees, and want them to equate the way they spend their time and money with health."

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