Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes for our January meeting last week are here.

If anyone is interested in the following project tasks, let the leader know:
  • Concrete (Kyle Steuck): Write a paper about concrete specifications with the goal of enabling more engineers to specify some or more SCMs in concrete, reducing the amount of cement specified.
  • Solar-Ready Roofs (Adam Slivers): Research available resources on loading of solar roof arrays and respond to Seattle DPD on proposal for 5 psf roof array allowance.
  • European Design Standards and Practices (Blake Doepker and Jack Wiggins): Find and share European practices that can educate local engineers about sustainability.
Next month's meeting will be February 27th at CPL.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Seattle Proposes Solar-Ready Roofs Amendment to Energy Code

The City of Seattle is holding a number of meetings in January to discuss proposed amendments to the 2012 Seattle Energy Code, which is based on the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code. The proposed amendments are for commercial buildings.

On January 4, 2013 the city held one of the meetings that included a proposal for solar-ready roofs.  Below is a summary of the proposal from the Seattle DPD:
The rule requires an unobstructed “solar zone” for most non‐residential buildings of five stories or less, either 40 percent of the building’s roof area, or an area large enough to generate 20% of the building’s electricity. The solar zone requires a dedicated pathway for future connection to the electrical or hot water system, and may also be located above carports, canopies, or elsewhere on the building or site. Exemptions are provided for roofs that are extensively shaded or congested with equipment.
For structural engineers, we immediatly ask, "how much will one of these future solar arrays weigh?" A section of the proposed code language addresses the additional load requirements on the roof:
C410.2.7 Structural Integrity. If the solar zone is on the roof of the building or another structure on the site, the as-designed dead load and live load for the solar zone shall be clearly marked on the record drawings, and shall accommodate future PV or SHW arrays at an assumed weight of 5 pounds per square foot in addition to other required live and dead loads.
Is 5 pounds per square foot enough?  Should the roof be designed to resist potential wind and seismic load from the arrays as well?  Since the meeting has passed, if anyone has any comments they should e-mail EnergyCode@Seattle.gov.  Please let the SEAW Sustainability Committee Chair know your opinion too!

The 2012 Seattle Energy Code is scheduled to become mandatory for building permit applications filed after September 1, 2013.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2013 Structures Congress, Part 2

In addition to the sustainability seminars in the main Congress proceedings, there are is a special pre-conference session of seminars being presented by members of the Structural Engineering Institute's Sustainability Committee.

The lineup is:
  • Life Cycle Assessment - How to Decipher and Use LCA on a Project
    Speaker: Frances Yang, P.E., LEED AP, Arup
  • Disaster Resilience - How to Avoid Unsustainable Rebuilding, Before and After Failures Due to Natural Disasters
    Speakers: Matthew Comber, P.E., LEED AP BD+C, Degenkolb Engineers; Lionel Lemay, P.E., S.E., LEED AP, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
  • Thermal Bridging - How to Recognize and Design Around Thermal Bridges
    Speakers: Jim D'Aloisio, P.E., SECB, LEED AP BD+D, Klepper, Hahn & Hyatt; Russ Miller-Johnson, P.E., Engineering Ventures
  • Infrastructure - What Green Infrastructure Means, and Understanding the Resources Available to Lower the Environmental impact of Infrastructure Projects
    Speaker: Marty Chorkey, P.E., ENV PV, St. Louis Mayor's Office

Monday, January 7, 2013

EERI Annual Meeting - Sustainability Track

Sustainability committee,

You are probably already aware of the 2013 EERI annual meeting being held next month, Feb 13-15 here in Seattle, but I wanted to make a special note of the sessions on “Linking Performance-Based Seismic Design with Sustainability” that are being held on Friday, as well as other sessions on resilience more generally. As a committee, we’ve identified these topics as one area where structural engineers have a direct impact on sustainability. I’ll be attending and can give a report back to the committee, but wanted to alert you all as well so that you can consider attending.

More information at http://2013am.eeri.org/ and https://www.eeri.org/2012/12/2013-annual-meeting-registration-now-open/  Early registration ends January 15, when prices increase.

Kyle Steuck, P.E.
Design Engineer

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 Structures Congress, Part 1

The 2013 Structural Engineering Institute convention, Structures Congress, will take place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 2-4, 2013.

Two tracks of seminars will feature sustainability, and currently both are scheduled for Saturday morning.
Sustainable Building Systems has two series with the following presentations:

Green Giants: Tall and Sustainable

  • Informed Tall Building Design: Considering Embodied Environmental Impacts
  • Achieving Enhanced Seismic Design Using Viscous Damping Device Technologies
  • Innovation in Sustainable Engineering: 350 Mission
  • Sustainability Impact of Tall Buildings  

Aesthetics of Sustainable Structures

  • Sustainable Structures through Morphogenetic Design
    Comparing Adaptability - A Case Study of Three Historic Buildings
  • Structure as Aesthetic in Sustainable Design Case Study
  • In the Looking Glass of Sustainable Architecture
  • Structure as Aesthetic in Sustainable Design 
At the same time, Sustainability in Structures has two series with the following presentations:

Sustainable Systems and Materials

  • Specifying Sustainable Concrete: The Role of Performance Based Specifications
  • Long-term Service-Level Deflection Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Beams with Recycled Concrete Aggregates
  • Sorting Out the LCA Rhetoric: A Comparison of Life-Cycle Assessment Studies of Structural Systems and Materials
  • Challenges and Solutions in Design of Sustainable Building Structural Systems
  • Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Design: Quantifying the Benefits of a Holistic Design Approach   

Taking Measure of Structural Thermal Breaks

  • A study of the thermal performance of structural details using THERM
  • Use of Infrared Imaging to Identify Thermal Energy Losses Due To Structural Thermal Bridging
  • Design and Performance of Constructed Thermal Break Connections
  • Experimental investigation of insulated concrete sandwich panels reinforced with GFRP shear connector 
Click the series titles above to see the presentation authors and abstracts. The full technical program is here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Upcoming January SEAW Sustainability Meeting

When: Wednesday, January 23, 2012 12:00 PM-1:00 PM (GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada).
Where: Degenkolb, 600 University Street (One Union Square), Suite 720, Seattle

Hi Everybody,

Happy New Year! This month's meeting is this Wednesday at Degenkolb. We will have general announcements and selection of our 2013 work project(s) from our list of ideas from our last meeting.

Let me,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

DJC Feature on the Buillitt Center

The Daily Journal of Commerce published a special feature on the Bullitt Center.  This six story office building being constructed on Capitol Hill in Seattle is being built to the standards of the Living Building Challenge, which requires the building to generate all of its energy on site, collect and reuse all of its water on site, be built of nontoxic building materials, and be designed to last at least 100 years, among other things.

The feature includes a series of articles authored by the developers, designers, and builders.

The building is topped out and the finishes are starting to go in. It's planned to open in April 2013. The SEAW Sustainable Design Committee hopes to get a tour arranged for us very soon.  When the tour date is set, we will let committee members know by e-mail.