Book explores the changing world of design
Autodesk Inc. introduced the new book, “Imagine, Design, Create: How Designers, Engineers and Architects Are Changing Our World,” at the TED2011 Conference in Long Beach, Calif. Edited by Autodesk Fellow Tom Wujec, “Imagine, Design, Create” explores the innovative thinking behind the work of a wide range of companies and designers, ranging from the world’s largest and most established companies to new and emerging designers. The book includes hundreds of images and illustrations, as well as interviews with industry leaders and innovators using fresh design approaches and new design capabilities to create buildings, products, and entertainment experiences. It will be available this spring through popular distribution channels.
Sustainable licensing through portfolio balancing
Bentley Systems Inc. introduced an innovative new “sustainable licensing” business model based on annual portfolio balancing. Through portfolio balancing, new purchasers of Bentley product licenses, along with existing Bentley SELECT subscribers, can annually exchange underutilized Bentley software for software of equal value (based on current list price) that meets existing or upcoming needs. “With portfolio balancing, [users] get a perpetually sustainable license that never depreciates,” said Bentley COO Malcolm Walter. “As far as we know, no other software vendor offers anything remotely similar.”
Bentley Systems Inc.,
SmartWorks Pro wide-format scanner software
Colortrac released a new version of its SmartWorks Pro large-format scanner software allowing customers to select from one of 10 new fully nationalized versions to suit their local needs. The fully translated graphical user interface (GUI) and embedded Contextual User Guide allow SmartWorks Pro customers to further refine their scanning workflow of large-format documents. By using a touch screen-enabled GUI, users have quick access to key productivity features of the SmartLF wide-format scanner family. SmartWorks Pro and SmartLF wide-format scanners benefit from Scan Once technology allowing adjustments to the scanned image to be done on screen prior to file save or printing, eliminating the need for re-scanning the documents many times. Using the Scan Once and the 2D Intelligent Adaptive Thresholding (IAT) features in SmartWorks Pro, a more advanced thresholding algorithm is used while scanning to separate black from white and is continually altered in response to the background darkness. The threshold level can be altered without re-scanning by adjusting the on-screen threshold slider and monitoring its effect on the screen instantly. By using standard Windows printer drivers, users can couple the scanner to any compatible large-format printer.
Hurricane-proof roof hatches
The Bilco Company now offers roof hatches that have received Miami-Dade County’s Notice of Acceptance (NOA). The NOA certifies that Bilco’s standard Type S and NB steel and aluminum roof hatches conform to high-velocity hurricane zone standards in Miami-Dade County in Florida. Type S and NB hatches feature heavy-gauge construction for overall strength as well as fully welded corners on both the curb and cover and full perimeter gasketing for complete weather-tightness. Hatches are equipped with heavy-duty slam latches to ensure that the covers remain closed under these extreme conditions. Bilco’s NOA signifies full compliance with the Florida Building Code. In addition, Bilco’s hurricane-resistant roof hatches can be used in other areas exposed to hurricanes, typhoons, and high winds around the world.
The Bilco Company,
Strongwell Corp. upgrades testing capabilities
Strongwell’s onsite 10,000-square-foot laboratory now is equipped with a new Instron 5984 materials testing machine with an environmental chamber. The Instron 5984 Materials Testing Machine validates the mechanical material properties that must meet or exceed internal and customer specifications. The testing machine provides precise and accurate measurements of material properties needed for material certifications, design analysis, product development, and materials research. The Instron 5984 materials testing machine is a dual-column floor-mounted electromechanical testing system with a load capacity of 33,750 lbf. It has an extra-wide load frame and T-slot table with a horizontal test space of 36.8 inches for custom and full-section test applications. The integrated closed-loop control and data acquisition system ensures accuracy and reliability. Extensometers or strain gages can be used in conjunction with the load cell channel for a variety of output formats. According to the company, a notable improvement to Strongwell’s new load cell is the fact that it can be calibrated down to 1/500th of the rated load. This results in better accuracy for tests that require very low loads. The environmental chamber allows for material testing at temperatures as high as 350 degrees Celsius and as low as -70 degrees Celsius. An optical window in the environmental chamber allows for visual observation of the test and the potential to utilize optical extensometers.
Vegetative Roof Assembly brochure
Henry Company’s brochure for its Vegetative Roof Assembly system highlights its 790-11 hot rubberized asphalt roofing membrane. The combination of 790-11 and a diverse selection of accessory products allows for a highly flexible system that will meet the needs of today’s design professionals when specifying a vegetative roofing project. The brochure also explains the environmental sustainability of vegetative roofs, as well as their economic benefits, and provides information about other Henry sustainable roofing products, including energy-saving, reflective cool-roof coating systems and spray-foam roofing. The single-source warranty that Henry Company offers for all Vegetative Roof Assembly installations enables the building owner to contact only one source for all matters pertaining to the Vegetative Roof Assembly, from the waterproofing membrane to the vegetation.
CertainTeed launches new website
CertainTeed Corp. enhanced its website with a new CertainTeed Building Science sitelet that provides information, educational tools, technical resources, and animations of heat, air, and moisture flow within buildings. This resource is available on the Certain-Teed website at www.certainteed.com/buildingscience and was developed specifically for building and design professionals interested in building forensics and building physics. The Building Science sitelet provides building and design solutions that are based in science, including problem diagnosis, integrated solutions, and best practices. While the concepts presented are intended for an audience of building and design professionals, they are offered in a manner that is understandable to all visitors. Building science topics covered on the site include: acoustics, fire performance, indoor environmental quality, moisture management, sustainability, and energy efficiency. Visitors to the site can access frequently asked questions, videos, and literature on specific topics, as well as practical building and design strategies. Over time, CertainTeed will continue to add more building science information to the site, including white papers published by its Building Science team members, as well as other valuable building science content.
Tsunami and flood shelter system
A U.S. inventor unveiled a shelter concept that could become the first line of defense for governments against two of the most devastating natural events on the planet: tsunamis and major floods. According to the inventor, this shelter, capable of floating, could prove to be an invaluable contribution toward emergency preparedness worldwide, and simultaneously creates a new civil infrastructure industry category. This new system, for which a U.S. patent has been allowed and 14 international patents are pending, is called the Storm, Tornado And Tsunami Interconnected Modules (STATIM) Shelter System. In essence, it is an enclosable hull comprised of a series of precast concrete modules, similar to large-diameter concrete drainage pipes. Once assembled via gasketed joints and post-tensioned cables, it provides a water-tight environment with positive buoyancy and self-righting capability. Inside, the shelters are equipped with secure seating arrangements for as many as 50 occupants, ventilation, and various options of survival gear and supplies capable of sustaining the occupants during and after the actual event, until available rescue resources can assist.
ARCOM acquires SPECTEXT
ARCOM acquired SPECTEXT from The Construction Sciences Research Foundation Inc. (CSRF). SPECTEXT is a master guide specification writing system designed to provide a method of preparing accurate construction specifications for projects. Its content is designed for medium-sized construction projects, particularly environmental and utility engineering, with additional provisions for multiple contract and construction management work. SPECTEXT II, an abridged version of SPECTEXT, is designed for less complex facilities, such as light commercial, multi-family residential, and low-rise buildings. ARCOM will assume the operation of SPECTEXT immediately. The existing SPECTEXT Support Center will continue to respond to and serve both existing and new clients. ARCOM and CSRF also jointly announced the establishment of a strategic alliance, and the endorsement of SPECTEXT by CSRF. As part of this alliance, ARCOM will be the exclusive marketing, sales, and distribution partner for all new products and services that CSRF develops.
MAGE SOLAR, part of the globally operating MAGE GROUP, announced that its high-performance Powertec Plus 185/5 MJ and Powertec Plus 190/5 MI modules were chosen by the Texas Renewable Energy Education Consortium (TREEC) as the primary training modules for its Construction Technology with a Specialty in Solar Power program in El Paso, Texas. During a rigorous testing phase on nearly every module on the market, MAGE SOLAR panels were selected as the number one module of choice by the TREEC based on output performance and durability.
MAGE SOLAR, LLC,