Playing it safe
A school district takes preventive steps toward indoor flood control
Taft Engineering LLC.
The Denver Public School System (DPS) is no stranger to the perils of indoor flooding, whether the reason is a failed backflow preventer, broken water main or power failure. Every year, the district experiences a break of some kind that devastates a boiler room, says Sam Ellis, DPS plumbing supervisor.
In 1982, a water main break in the equipment room at one of the district's schools caused more than $250,000 in damage, including loss of boilers, controls and school calendar days.
A team of engineers, DPS plumbers, and a local manufacturer designed and developed a flood-control system that cuts off the water supply if there is any discharge beyond what the building's sanitary drainage can handle. Originally named the Geo2000, and now known as the Flood Sentry, the control system has float sensors that detect a flood condition and send a signal to shut off a solenoid valve located in the water supply. Another contact activates a signal through data/phone lines to alert DPS central security of the problem. The system is vandalproof and contains a universal power supply that keeps it operating up to three hours if there is a power shortage.
Ellis says that standardizing on the Geo2000 flood controller served two purposes: it addressed the increased flood risk of the backflow preventers and provided protection against floods from other sources.
At Phillips Elementary School in 2002, the flood controller, which had been installed just a few months prior, detected a water level in the boiler room and automatically shut the system down. A 3-inch water main had broken in the boiler room at about 8 p.m. Without a system in place to detect the flood, shut off the water supply, and notify security via modem, the incident would have devastated the school before anyone arrived the next morning. Instead, the problem was detected before any significant damage occurred.
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The Aero Bench Series is a clean alternative to public seating with its refined, extruded aluminum construction. Each piece interlocks into the next, forming one stable unit. Side profiles of stainless steel close off each end. The bench is offered in three models: all aluminum (AE-8000 Series), polyurethane back and seat (AE-8010 Series), and upholstered insert (AE-8020 Series). All models can be specified in units with two to seven seats.
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ArmorFlex roof restoration compound is designed for restoring existing asphalt and coal tar roof membrane systems. It is manufactured from an exclusive combination of ingredients and provides a monolithic elastomeric membrane. It can be applied to built-up or modified bitumen membrane systems to prolong a roof's life by resisting ponded water, chemical attack and the typical forces of nature.
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The 24-page, four-color daylighting idea book offers designers a wide range of translucent fiberglass insulated sandwich panel system ideas. The book features skylights, wall panels, curved systems and unique applications.
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Aluminum door and window systems have custom-extruded and filled aluminum framing combined with a clean, wire-free glass laminate. They are easy to install, and available in various sizes and finishes. The systems have been approved for national and international fire codes.
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The i3 series consists of both two-wire and four-wire photoelectric detectors available with or without a fixed thermal sensor. The detectors feature a plug-in design that permits pre-wiring; a maintenance protocol that visually signals when a detector requires cleaning; drift compensation; and green and red LED status indicators. A two-wire loop test/maintenance module, infrared sensitivity reader, removal tool and retrofit adapter bracket also are part of the i3 series.
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The Flex 400 Series of Conventional Panels can be configured easily for new installations, retrofits or combination installations. Flex 402 and Flex 404 are ideal for small installations, and Flex 405 (five zones) and Flex 410 (10 zones) are best for medium to large installations. The series was designed for ease of installation, programming and reliability, and is compatible with a wide range of two and four wire-initiating devices.
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The CV line of single-motor upright vacuums has enclosed, lightweight, ergonomically designed handles and brushes, and assisted-forward-movement to reduce strain and increase labor efficiency. Vacuums are available in both 12- (CV-30) and 15- (CV-38) inch widths. All CVs have a three-stage filtration system, with an HEPA filter designed to improve air quality and reduce the redistribution of harmful particles and allergens.
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Lifting equipment allows library to replace flooring without disrupting study
The University of Texas — El Paso (UTEP) library offers resources to its 17,000 students as well as the general public. The six-story, 275,000-square-foot building is designed to provide university and community users with an efficient facility for study and research.
The library's interior aesthetics had declined since its opening in 1984. Worn, dull, outdated carpet made it necessary to replace the flooring in order to maintain the facility's image and productivity. The university's project coordinator feared that, aside from issues of time and money, traditional renovation services would disrupt students and deny access to library materials.
A flooring franchise for The Invironmentalists, formerly DuPont Flooring Systems, replaced the carpet using its Liftman Library Service, which kept the library's resources available to users throughout the carpet replacement process. With the Liftman Library Service, not a single item was moved from the shelf, eliminating the chance of misplacing titles or damaging inventory. Stacked shelves of heavy books were moved aside easily. The crew worked Monday through Friday during regular library hours to replace about 22,000 square yards of carpet on all six floors.
This approach to total project management ensured that students could continue using the facility for study and research, with minimal disruption from the installation crew.
The new carpet gave the library a fresh look and added an attractive design element to the space while meeting the library's requirements for sound absorption and ease of maintenance.
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Shock Track for Birds is an electric track system that is low-profile, almost invisible and is effective on all species of birds. It prevents water from “damming” or building up behind it, which can create a habitat for mosquitoes and eventually short out the system. The track system is flexible and does not require separate hardware or labor for cornering. It is easy to install and attaches easily on any surface including concrete, brick and wood. Installation hardware, clips and chargers also are available.
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The FreeHand series of electronic faucets is ADA-compliant and available in four models. Equipped with two automatic, adjustable shutoff sensors, the faucets control water flow for water and energy savings. A slow-closing solenoid valve ensures smooth operation. Standard features include vandal-resistant brass construction, water-resistant and low-profile electronic enclosures, an adjustable infrared sensor eye with a 3.5- to 24-inch range and a 1- to 8-second adjustable turnoff delay when hands or objects are out of the sensor's range.
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Online work orders
The TotalTrac web-based work order tracking and asset management system can unite all of an organization's in-house service, maintenance and asset inventory needs under a single interface suited for anyone from custodial to technical staff. It automates the handling of trouble tickets, routine maintenance and cataloging functions for computer and office equipment, furniture, vehicle fleets and assets of any kind.
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All-inclusive supplier contract helps district free money for students
Boise Office Solutions
To cut costs while providing time-saving, standardized services to its schools, San Diego City Schools (SDCS) has signed a contract that provides the district with significant cost savings.
Office products supplier Boise Office Solutions will help the district achieve its goal of improving student achievement through business modernization. By providing direct-to-school, next-day delivery of a wide range of school supplies, the new contract saves time for staff and teachers. It also reduces inventory costs and frees more money to be used on school initiatives.
By partnering with a few other suppliers, Boise Office Solutions will provide SDCS with more than 600 line items to choose from when placing an order, which is four times more than were available previously. District employees were part of the team that created the list and were able to tailor the items to meet their needs.
“This contract is helping us make great strides in meeting our district's goal of business modernization while still providing the supplies that employees need to get their jobs done,” says superintendent Alan Bersin. “With this contract in place, we'll be able to focus more resources on our students.”
In addition to next-day delivery, SDCS is receiving volume discount pricing on all purchases. The district currently is in the process of sharing the contract details with other school districts within California. Districts that join will receive the same pricing, as well as all other services provided to the San Diego City Schools.
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Portable sound system
Anchor Audio, Inc.
The LIB-6000 sound system delivers 117 decibels of intelligible speech from one self-contained portable unit that accommodates non-technical users. It is flexible and is AC/DC. The system has a 110/220 power supply, along with a 220 plug adapter, and a larger capacity battery increases the overall battery life by 20 percent, or 10 hours of talk time. An active distortion limiter allows the user to achieve maximum volume without distortion.
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ClearWater Enviro Technologies, Inc.
The UL-approved ScaleBlaster eliminates the formulation of lime-scale deposits in water pipes, faucets, cooling towers, boilers, washing machines and dishwashers without the need for water-softening equipment, salts, chemicals or maintenance. The integrated circuitry system produces a complex modulating frequency waveform that hits the resonant frequency of the calcium carbonate molecules, causing them to lose their adhesive properties. Existing scale is removed and never forms again.
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Lyon Workspace Products
Visible Storage Cabinets feature stylish double doors with Plexiglas inserts, permitting visual access to contents without opening the doors. Clear, flush fronts and sides, and rounded front corners enhance the design. Other features include a three-point locking device, two stock sizes, and a 180-pound shelf capacity with reinforcements available to boost capacity to 230 pounds.
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Software helps university allocate space and generate savings
FAMIS Software, Inc.
A commercial software package has helped Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, substantially increase the efficiency of its space allocation efforts, saving the potential maintenance and energy costs associated with 150,000 square feet.
When the university manually hatched space plans, document accuracy and timeliness were not high enough to rely on them as a primary planning tool.
“By automating the hatching process, the new software saves us two to three hours per building,” says Patrick Gorenchan, the university's space utilization manager.
FAMIS Software provides a database that WMU staff regularly accesses to maintain an updated record of space usage. The database not only tracks the department that is using each room, but also maintains additional information such as the person occupying each office.
Since the new software has been used, delays and errors associated with manual hatching have been eliminated. The university's plans now are 98 percent accurate, making it possible to track space utilization more efficiently in various facilities, says Gorenchan. As a result, the university expects to be able to maximize its utilization on a considerable portion of the campus in the near future, he says. This will allow the university to better use existing space for research, office space for faculty and staff, and new teaching space.
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