Everybody’s turning GREEN
turning GREEN. Turning GREEN seems to be on the agenda for almost all industry
sectors. Over the past few months we have witnessed an amazing shift from
business as usual to “look at our new environmentally friendly
whatchamacallit.” Are all these business and manufacturers really going green
or have they just turned the green tinted light on the same old products. The
answer is YES & NO.
companies are making a genuine effort to bring better safer and more
environmentally friendly products to the market, while some companies are doing
the smoke and mirrors act on existing products. Determining which is which is a
challenge. One thing is certain: we must also deal with the consequences of
many years of “ignoring toxic products and hazardous materials”. For more than
40 years, the cable manufacturers have used halogenated products that pose a
substantial risk to public safety and public health. Fluoropolymers, PVC
compounds containing harmful phthalates in the plasticizers and heavy metals
like LEAD in the stabilizers are contained in almost all of the 9 million miles
of cable in the American workplace. Many of today’s current buildings are like
big fishbowls with Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Indoor Environmental Quality
(IEQ) reaching or approaching unhealthy levels for the occupants.
developing bodies (www.nfpa.org) have
virtually ignored the toxicity issues as they set up the Fire Protection Codes
for the USA.
The result is we now have our buildings filled with communications cables that
may be the “asbestos of the future”. Who will pay to clean up the mess? Also,
who will be held responsible for the resultant damages to the health of the
building occupants? While those answers elude us, you may rest assured the
European Council had no problems identifying the hazards and banning them from
acceptance. Low Smoke Zero Halogen cables provide a substantially better set of
communication products for public safety and public health than the plenum
approved products approved, sold and installed in the USA (under a system that
seems to have been manipulated by “the deep pockets of commercial interests
that put profit before safety”).
the REAL GREEN? Don’t get sucked in by the “Associations” that are nothing more
than spin doctors and shills for companies that want to perpetuate their reign
of profits at any prices. Get on the Internet and check out the bonafide
associations, like U S Green Building Council www.usgbc.org and The Environmental Working Group www.ewg.org.
There is still plenty of gold in the REAL GREEN.
just my opinion,
"Heard On The Street" Monthly Column
4949 Sunbeam Rd, Suite 16
Jacksonville, FL 32257
(904) 645-9077 office
(904) 645-9058 fax
2008 Anixter Seminar Series: The IP Connected Enterprise(SM)
Create an environment of control. Anixter, Inc., a world's leading provider of
communications products used to connect voice, video, data and security
systems, will host its ninth annual Seminar Series: The IP Connected
Enterprise. The seminars will explore the emerging trends, technologies and
concepts behind the worldwide movement toward network convergence. Redefine the
way that people and their environment interact by learning how seamlessly
integrated building and user systems provide real-time control and monitoring
of any device, signal or multifunction legacy system. By directly bridging all
of a building's principal systems onto a single network, The IP Connected
Enterprise provides two-way communication sharing between devices, controllers
and systems regardless of location.
cities in U.S. and Canada, the
events will run April 24 through November, and will educate attendees on the
concept of developing a utility-grade building infrastructure using
standards-based UTP and fiber cabling design. The seminars will provide a path
to integrate any computer process-based and building system including video
surveillance, access control, data and voice communications and HVAC. Some of
Anixter's top experts will address the challenges and solutions associated with
the increasing stress placed on today's network infrastructures as well as the
underlying concepts and best practices for implementation and layout of The IP
In addition to the presentation, guests
will have the opportunity to:
Visit one-on-one with some of Anixter's top manufacturer partners in a trade show setting
Qualify to receive BICSI and National Burglar & Fire Alarm
Association continuing education credits
Enter a raffle drawing for a chance to win one of several free prizes.
seminars are open to anyone interested in learning how the latest products,
technologies and standards can merge building and user systems into a single IP
network. Benefiting Chief Information Officers, Chief Security Officers, IS and
telecommunications managers, LAN administrators, security integrators and
directors, network technicians or anyone involved in the design, specification,
acquisition or administration of LAN cabling infrastructures, these seminars
will directly address the challenges facing today's networks.
begins at 11:30 a.m., and the event includes a complimentary lunch buffet.
There is no cost associated with the seminar; however, space is limited. Each
seminar will conclude with a free raffle drawing at 4 p.m.
1:00 p.m. Registration
Presentation: Exploring Issues
Associated with Migration to
Intelligent Information Networks
3:15 p.m. Presentation: Infrastructure
Solutions for the IP
The IP Connected Enterprise is currently
scheduled for the following
April 24 Cleveland,
May 1 Fremont,
May 15 Adelphi, Maryland
June 3 Toronto, Ontario
June 5 Vancouver, British Columbia
June 19 Raleigh,
June 26 Saint
July 10 Minneapolis,
July 24 Louisville,
July 31 Chicago,
August 14 Portland
August 21 Salt
Lake City, Utah
September 4 Dallas,
September 11 Boston (Needham), Massachusetts
September 25 Denver,
October 2 New
York, New York
October 23 Houston
November 6 Tampa,
November 13 Anaheim,
To view the
schedule, register for a seminar, or to simply get more information and
updates, visit Anixter's Web site at anixter.com/events or contact Mary Cathlin
Sullivan at 224-521-4181.
International is a leading global distributor of communication products,
electrical and electronic wire & cable and a leading distributor of
fasteners and other small parts ("C" Class inventory components) to
Original Equipment Manufacturers. The company adds value to the distribution
process by providing its customers access to 1) innovative inventory management
programs, 2) more than 400,000 products and over $1 billion in inventory, 3)
218 warehouses with more than 6 million square feet of space, and 4) locations
in 249 cities in 49 countries. Founded in 1957 and headquartered near Chicago, Anixter trades
on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AXE. www.anixter.com
Belden extends CEO Stroup's employment agreement
and President and CEO John Stroup entered into an employment agreement that
extends Stroup's contract to October 2011 and increases his annual base salary
to $700,000 from $600,000, according to a regulatory filing Monday with the
Securities and Exchange Commission.
agreement also calls for annual extensions after October 2011 and grants him a
retention stock option award of approximately $3 million.
continue to be entitled to participate in the company's annual cash incentive
plan at an annual target cash incentive of at least 130 percent of his base
salary and in the company's long-term incentive plan. www.belden.com
Berk-Tek Demonstrates First Simultaneous 10G and 1G Channels In the Same Pathway
Nexans Company, an innovative leader in copper and fiber optic cable
technology, is demonstrating at Data Center World in Booth #326 (April 1-2), a
continuous live 10GBASE-T network transmission over a 100-meter NetClear GTX
channel consisting of Berk-Tek’s LANmark-10G2 Augmented Category 6 cable. At the same time, a demonstration of 1
Gigabit transmission over a NetClear GT2 channel is being shown utilizing the
Berk-Tek LANmark-1000 Category 6, which is interwoven on the same reel.
“This is the first real-time demonstration of
Category 6 and Category 6a UTP cables intermingled in the same pathway
successfully transmitting simultaneous Gigabit and 10Gigabit Ethernet signals,”
states Todd Harpel, Director of Marketing for Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company. The
live three-minute exhibit visually contrasts a 10GBASE-T network operating on a
NetClear GTX Category 6A channel sending the equivalent of 200 CDs worth of
data with a parallel 1000BASE-T 1 Gigabit Ethernet system operating over a
NetClear GT3, Category 6+ UTP channel, that sends the equivalent of 28 CDs in
the same amount of time.
demonstration is the culmination of previous research conducted by the Nexans Data
Center, located in the
Berk-Tek headquarters in New Holland, PA. Tests performed at the Nexans
in New Holland, PA, had bundled Berk-Tek’s LANmark-10G2 Augmented Category 6
UTP cable in the same raceway as LANmark-1000 Category 6 UTP cable. Swept
frequency measurements showed that both cables were unaffected with the
LANmark-10G2 cable still met all the requirements of the TIA 568B.2-10
Augmented Category 6 specifications. The
test itself included the worst case configuration where a NetClear GTX
(10-Gigabit UTP solution) was inserted into the center of the bundle that
included seven NetClear GT2 (Category 6 UTP) channels around the outside. Even 4-connector NetClear GTX channels tested
in this configuration passed the Augmented Category 6 channel specifications for
both internal parameters, as well as all Alien Crosstalk parameters.
The Competence Center
has been studying the difference between various manufacturers’ Augmented
Category 6 channel performance, as well as the different 10G Network Interface
cards available the market. This becomes important as future bandwidth-hungry
applications emerge, such as graphical medical imaging and streaming video. “By
striving to ensure that our LANmark-10G2 cables offer true 10G performance and
can co-exist in a real world environment alongside other cables, we can provide
the most demanding customers with the peace of mind that they can take
advantage of the state-of-the-art performance by simply installing a higher
grade of cable and connectivity to their existing cable plant,” Harpel added.
www.berktek.com. - www.nexans.com
“CCTV Convergence” Seminar Series
Nexans Company (manufacturer of copper and fiber cable products),
Ortronics/Legrand (manufacturer of structured cabling connectivity and physical
support products), NVT (manufacturer of CCTV video and camera power
transmission equipment (PVD) for convergence to UTP), JVC (manufacturer of
analog and IP cameras and Network Video Recorders (NVRs) and S2 Security (hardware and software
manufacturer for access control and integrated security systems) combined their
expertise in the security market to host a seminar, “CCTV Convergence,” held in
February at the Affinia Manhattan Hotel, New York City, for over 100 security
and I.T. integrators and end users. This
seminar and trade show focused on the physical cabling and component
requirements for network integration as CCTV progresses from legacy analog,
through a hybrid scenario to total IP.
Because of its success, two more seminars have been planned for Anaheim on May 20 and Chicago on June 24.
to the educational presentations by all the aforementioned participating
companies, there was a hands-on demo that included separate analog and IP-based
camera system. Each camera ran through a
real 100-meter UTP NetClear structured cabling channel – Category 5e for the
analog cameras and Category 6 for IP.
The analog demo utilized the NVT video and camera power transmission
equipment (PVD) to convert the analog camera’s coax media to UTP. The IP demo included IP cameras, connected
with RJ-45 jacks and the S2 NetBox access control, all powered by PoE (Power
over Ethernet) midspan injector through the UTP cable. The two demos were
connected with one fiber optic cable, which allowed them to share the same
monitor and reside on the same network, through the JVC hybrid DVR.
“As CCTV is
quickly moving from analog to an IP-based network, we realize there is a lack
of education being provided on the how’s, when’s and why’s of these emerging
trends,” states Geoffrey Anderson, National Marketing Manager for JVC. “By
bringing together experts on cabling, active equipment, components and even
access control, we provided insight on preparing today’s network for tomorrow’s
applications,” he adds.
convergence, previously separate networking functions, including data, video
and power, are now being connected together over one standardized structured
cabling network to allow the sharing of resources, which provides a higher
level of network efficiency, while increasing the network’s return on
investment,” states Carol Everett Oliver, RCDD, Marketing Analyst for Berk-Tek,
a Nexans Company. Together Ortronics/Legrand and Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company,
have expanded their NetClear structured cabling solutions for enterprises to
include security and surveillance applications through the new NetClear ESS
program. “As part of NetClear ESS,
Berk-Tek and Ortronics are teaming up with associated vendors in the CCTV
realm, such as camera manufacturers, such as JVC, and active component
manufacturers, such as NVT and S2, to offer proven integrated solution sets for
both I.T. managers and security integrators,” notes Chris Adams, Marketing
Manager for Ortronics/Legrand.
NVT is in
the business of transmitting CCTV video and supplying camera power over
unshielded twisted pair wire via structured cabling networks. “NVT provides
products, solutions and support to Berk-Tek and Ortronics/Legrand to educate
the market on the transition as analog CCTV moves from a coax-based
infrastructure to UTP-based,” states George Wojtan, Datacom Market Manager,
NVT. “Together our products will allow installers and end-users to benefit from
the performance, cost savings, simplicity, and future proofing of structured
cabling,” he adds.
the right camera for the right installation and environment can be
overwhelming,” states Adrian Parvulescu, Product Manager for Security Cameras
for JVC. “Integrators should be aware of
the differences in camera qualities that can drastically affect performance and
signal integrity – for both analog and IP,” he adds. In addition, JVC offers a line of Network
Video Recorders and storage devices for analog, IP and hybrid (combination of
develops a unique line of open architecture, scalable, IP network-ready
products that integrate access control, alarm monitoring, video surveillance
and temperature monitoring. “Going
beyond CCTV means that eventually all building automation systems can reside on
an IP-based network,” states John Moss, CEO and Founder of S2. “The simplest form of integration is a 100%
Web-based user interface, which is the core of all S2 security systems.”
of future shows may register at www.jvcseminar.com
About the NetClear Alliance
NetClear is a
Technology Alliance between Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company, and Ortronics/Legrand
to provide advanced, end-to-end co-engineered solutions for enhanced Category
5e, Category 6, Augmented Category 6 – 10 Gigabit and optical fiber channels -
all backed by a 25-year warranty.
Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company
than 45 years, Berk-Tek has been a leading manufacturer of more than 100
different network copper and fiber optic cable products designed to transport
high-speed voice, data and video transmissions. For more information, visit www.berktek.com.
Berk-Tek Contact: Carol Everett Oliver
Direct Tel: 717-682-7336
is a global leader in high performance structured cabling solutions, services,
and support. Ortronics offers a complete range of Category 5e, 6 and 10 Gig
copper, fiber optic, wireless and residential/MDU connectivity solutions. In
addition, Ortronics offers Cablofil® wire mesh cable tray and Wiremold®
pathways. For more information, visit www.ortronics.com.
Coleman Technologies, Inc. Renews ATP - Outdoor Wireless Mesh from Cisco Systems
Technologies, Inc (CTI) is pleased to announce that it has renewed
the Outdoor Wireless Mesh specialization from Cisco Systems. The Cisco
Outdoor Wireless Mesh Specialization recognizes a select group of partners for
their knowledge and expertise in selling, designing, installing, and supporting
advanced Wireless solutions. According to Cisco’s official website,
“Outdoor Mesh is a new technology solution that addresses an emerging market,
specifically municipal WiFi. Chosen ATP Outdoor Mesh Partners must have proven
history of successful outdoor RF/Radio deployments. These deployments could be
point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, or mesh. The brand of installed equipment
is not as important as the knowledge and experience of providing outdoor RF
installations. Also the partner must have the ability to provide outdoor
wireless operation and support services.”
Technologies, Inc. has once again followed through in their drive to be the
world’s best systems engineering and integration company. Cisco’s
advanced specializations have rigorous requirements only the most-qualified
partners in terms of technical excellence and customer satisfaction can
achieve, and CTI has exceeded these expectations time and again,” says Randy
Olsson, Director of Network Engineering at Coleman Technologies. “This is
an outstanding accomplishment for Coleman Technologies. Coleman
Technologies continues to excel by following a rigid methodology founded on its
aerospace heritage and employing the most talented team of network engineers,
project management, sales and support personnel in the industry. By
continuing to adopt and develop new technologies in this innovative business,
CTI will continue its tremendous level of success.”
Technologies is among the most highly certified Cisco partners in the world and
has achieved virtually all advanced technology specializations from
Cisco. CTI is also one of the only partners worldwide to attain both
Unified Communications and Security Master Specializations from Cisco
Systems. These and other specializations will continue to be recognized
on the Partner Locator section of Cisco’s website. http://www.colemantechnologies.com
CommScope Enterprise Solutions’ SYSTIMAX® InstaPATCH® Cu Solution gives high-performance networks a fast, reliable answer
Enterprise Solutions, a division of CommScope, Inc. (NYSE:CTV), announces the
release of its SYSTIMAX® InstaPATCH Cu cabling solution for data center
environments in the North America (NAR) and Caribbean and Latin American (CALA)
regions. The SYSTIMAX InstaPATCH Cu Solution is designed to provide a
hassle-free installation in a fraction of the time required by traditional
implementation methods. To better meet the goal of this design as well as
customers’ unique specifications, CommScope conducts pre-terminating,
pre-testing and customizing of the copper cabling solution.
networks utilizing Category 6 and 6A cabling, the SYSTIMAX InstaPATCH Cu
Solution includes pre-measured cable, pre-terminated connecting hardware,
pre-placed source-destination labels, prepared port configuration and
pre-bundled cables – which support quality installations at a rapid speed. These measures help CommScope’s
BusinessPartners provide customers with the intelligent network infrastructure
solutions they need in the shortest time possible.
“At CommScope we understand that network
infrastructures are unique, so our representatives work closely with IT
managers to understand their data center and network needs,” said Mark
Peterson, senior vice president, global marketing, of the CommScope Enterprise
division. “Once an evaluation is complete, together with our BusinessPartners,
we prepare the pre-terminated solution and test every harness and port to
ensure that each component meets our highest standards. From there, our
BusinessPartners are able to perform fast installations.”
SYSTIMAX InstaPATCH Cu Solution is supported by CommScope’s 20-year commitment
to performance, providing its customers with intelligent reliable solutions
backed by a CommScope guarantee – a warranty unique to the industry.
Additionally, CommScope will provide customers factory test reports for each
harness assembly verifying the built-in performance levels of the system.
solution is applicable in the horizontal, backbone, switch applications and
throughout the data center. Source-destination labeling, pre-termination and
plug-to-plug capability dramatically reduce the amount of time needed to
implement a solution. This flexible harness system allows customers to select
assemblies from 1 to 24 ports on each end.
A special device called a SwitchPack combines multiple plug ends (4, 6,
8, 12 or 16) into a single unit which can easily be plugged into a high density
switch or server at one time optimizing connection speed.
“We want to
offer customers a simple, high-security installation—and we believe that the
SYSTIMAX InstaPATCH Cu Solution is another CommScope innovation that provides
peace-of-mind,” said Peterson. “Companies can rest assured that they’re
receiving cutting-edge technology before the installation team even arrives.
And when the installation team does arrive, it won’t be long before the
high-performance network is fully functional and ready to go.”
Enterprise Solutions, a division of CommScope, Inc., offers a complete
portfolio of network infrastructure solutions that enable enterprise customers,
regardless of size, industry or IT budget, to take advantage of business and
technology opportunities. The division’s SYSTIMAX® and Uniprise® product lines
offer voice, data, video and converged solutions ranging from mission-critical,
high-bandwidth and emerging applications to applications that demand
unrelenting reliability and quality for everyday needs. Backed by CommScope
Labs and a 20-year extended warranty, the product lines are delivered through a
global channel network of industry leading BusinessPartners and distributors
ensuring a consistent and high-level of service and support worldwide. http://www.commscope.com
Corning Holds Grand Opening Ceremony for LCD Glass Plant in China
Incorporated (NYSE:GLW - News) today hosted a grand
opening ceremony for the company’s new liquid crystal display (LCD) glass
substrate manufacturing facility in the People’s Republic of China.
The plant, located in the Beijing Economic Technological
Development Area, is the company’s first TFT-LCD glass production facility on
mainland. The opening continues Corning’s
trend of entering an LCD-producing region as local market demand expands.
Corning currently has LCD glass facilities in the U.S.,
Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
“Today marks the latest chapter in Corning’s
history of investment in China,
where our businesses have responded to the varied needs of the region’s many
high-technology industries,” said Wendell P. Weeks, chairman and chief
executive officer, Corning Incorporated. “This plant reflects our commitment to
grow with our customers and to support one of China’s most important industries.”
John P. Bayne, president, Corning Display Technologies China,
hosted the grand opening celebration, together with Weeks and James P. Clappin,
president, Corning Display Technologies.
“As an industry leader in TFT-LCD glass and other advanced display
is committed to providing customers with reliable supply across our global
network,” said Bayne. “This facility demonstrates our commitment to China and the
growing TFT industry. We have added and will continue to add many people to our
organization, including highly skilled technicians and engineers, as we
continue to ramp operations over the coming months.”
stated that it expects global demand for liquid crystal display glass to grow
25% to 30% in 2008, representing an increase of more than 450 million square
feet of glass to about 2.2 billion square feet by year-end. While much of that
growth is driven by the demand for LCD televisions, smaller applications like
LCD monitors, notebooks, and portable devices are also strong factors in overall
glass demand. (www.corning.com)
Corning Receives Verizon’s 2007 Supplier Excellence
Incorporated (NYSE:GLW) today announced that Corning Cable Systems LLC, part of its
Telecommunications segment, has been selected as a recipient of Verizon’s 2007
Supplier Excellence Award in the “Supplier Diversity-Tier 1” category.
Supplier Excellence Awards Program acknowledges companies that support
Verizon’s commitment to continuous improvement of quality and service to its
customers through a passion for excellence. Criteria for winning includes
quality of service, year-over- year growth, a commitment to supplier diversity,
meeting and exceeding performance metrics, providing cost management solutions
and excellent customer service.
focused on delivering the best customer experience, so we expect the highest
quality service from our vendors, which keeps us focused on the business of
serving our customers,” said George Dowell, vice president of Supply Chain
Services, Verizon Services Operations. Corning Cable Systems is among 10
vendors that have received a 2007 Verizon Supplier Excellence Award for
delivering advanced products and services and for consistently demonstrating a
commitment to excellence.
a Supplier Excellence Award from Verizon is a great honor for Corning Cable
Systems,” said Mike Genovese, senior vice president and general manager,
commercial operations for Corning Cable Systems. “We look forward to continuing
to provide a superior level of quality and service to Verizon and its
Corning’s outstanding customer support is
an integral part of Corning Cable Systems Evolant™ Solutions for Evolving
Networks. Evolant Solutions delivers network migration,
design-through-installation expertise and tip-to-tip product and service
offerings for access, data center, intelligent transportation system (ITS),
metropolitan, long-haul and wireless applications.
additional information on Corning Cable Systems products and services, contact
service representative at 1-800-743-2675, toll free in the United States,
or (+1) 828-901-5000, international, or visit the Web site at www.corning.com/cablesystems.
ELECTEC Building Wiring Systems welcomes manufacturer’s
Ltd. (www.electeconline.com), a
Canadian innovator of Manufactured Wiring Systems proudly welcomes new
manufacturer’s representatives to the fold.
Solutions Inc. (www.innotechsolutions.ca)
and WestRep Marketing Inc. (www.westrepmarketing.com)
represent Electec’s Next Generation in
Wiring Systems, introducing EZ-Cabling to networking professionals and
engineering consultants in two of Canada’s largest territories.
“It is with
great pleasure and excitement that we welcome this select group of industry
professionals to our family.” VP
Business Development, Chris Pezoulas continues, “Our relationships are very
important to us and together with our growing network of knowledgeable and
professional sales representatives we endeavor to provide consistently high
levels of innovation, service and value.”
is a pre-terminated copper cabling solution that offers an unprecedented level
of safety, reliability and re-usability through its non-combustible cable
construction, verified performance guarantee and unique modular design
The ease of
installation and maintenance makes EZ-Cabling an intelligent choice for an
environmentally responsible cabling infrastructure that is re-useable and
re-locatable. Using EZ-Cabling as a
horizontal cabling infrastructure prevents troublesome and potentially toxic
abandoned cable from accumulating in air-handling spaces.
New JackRapid Termination Tool Terminates Jacks 8 Times Faster, Making Single-Purpose Tools Obsolete
Fluke Networks, provider of innovative Network SuperVision
Solutions™ for the testing, monitoring and analysis of enterprise and
telecommunications networks, today announced the newly redesigned JackRapid™
termination tool. This groundbreaking tool lets technicians install jacks up to
8 times faster than with traditional punchdown tools. Users can terminate
and trim all eight wires in a jack at once with one easy squeeze, reducing the
time spent on the job and saving labor costs.
JackRapid's new ergonomically designed handle requires less effort
when performing the punchdown process, reducing hand fatigue and allowing more
jacks to be punched down faster. The new handle also includes a built-in
wire jacket stripper. With JackRapid's jacket stripper and the ability to
precisely trim all 8 wires without separate snips, installers need fewer tools
at the job site. The built-in stripper and consistent punchdown action
also combine to improve the overall quality level of the job while time to
completion goes down.
In an installation of 1000 jacks, a standard single-wire punchdown
tool may require 29 labor hours at an average project cost of approximately
$1,445 USD. The same installation job utilizing JackRapid requires 10
hours at an average project cost of approximately $500 USD. Compared to
the traditional single-wire punchdown tools, JackRapid can cut installation
time and cost by 2/3.
JackRapid’s patented design features an interchangeable
termination head that holds the jack in place. Different style heads
accommodate jack styles from most popular manufacturers. The termination
head uses a wall-friendly design to that makes close-to-wall installations far
easier than with other types of tools.
JackRapid increases accuracy and reliability. Fewer reworks are needed,
which increases client confidence and further time savings for the installer.
JackRapid is also safer, reducing the risk that technicians will punch into the
palms of their hands or through drywall when terminating jacks. www.flukenetworks.com
HCM Introduces Category 6 ECOTM Line of Cables<
pleased to announce the launch of its new smaller diameter Category
6 cable, Category 6 ECOTM. Category 6 ECOTM is
manufactured without a center filler and has an outside diameter that is
similar to that of Category 5e cable.
The smaller outside diameter can help reduce installation costs by
permitting the owner to install more Category 6 cables per conduit or tray than
could be installed if using typical Category 6 cables.
construction, which is UL verified for performance and exceeds the requirements
for Category 6, is a result of knowledge gained during the development of HCM’s
Category 6A cable, Supra 10TM, said Steven Kenney, Marketing
Manager for HCM. “We are very excited
about this new product,” he adds. “Not
only does it offer the Category 6 performance that our customers require, but
it does so using substantially less material. This also translates into a
smaller impact on the environment when the product reaches the end of its life
cycle. To reduce the environmental
impact even further, we designed packaging that was made with 100% post
consumer cardboard. We believe this is
the most environmentally friendly Category 6 cable on the market.”
Category 6 ECOTM is manufactured at HCM’s Manchester, NH
facility. It is available for purchase
through authorized distributors.
located in Manchester, NH manufacturers a complete line of copper
and fiber optic cables for the communication industry. Over 3,300 different cable products are
manufactured at this facility. Products
include Category 6A UTP cables, shielded and outdoor Category 5e and 6 cables,
armored plenum-rated fiber optic cables as well as plenum-rated indoor/outdoor
fiber optic cables.
more about HCM products, please contact HCM toll free at 800-772-0116 or visit
the HCM website at www.hcm.hitachi.com.
General Cable Announces Long-Haul Submarine Fiber Optic Award
Cable Corporation (NYSE: BGC - News) reported today that its
subsidiary, Norddeutsche Seekablewerke GmbH (NSW), has been awarded its first
submarine long-haul repeatered fiber optic communications link project.
The communications link
will stretch through the Mediterranean Sea from Marseilles,
France to Port
with additional connections in Italy,
Turkey and Cyprus. The
project will have a length of more than 2,600 miles and will be installed at
depths of up to 11,000 feet. NSW’s portion of this project is valued at
approximately $40 million with cable delivery and installation beginning later
this year. “NSW has been investing heavily to support the expansion of our
product offering to include long-haul submarine fiber optic communications
cables. We believe that this global market, which is coming off nearly a decade
of decline, is positioned to rebound throughout the world as nations increase
their need for reliable communications links,” said Valentin Jug, Chairman of
General Cable acquired
NSW in April 2007 and began an investment program to expand the capability of
the facility to include submarine power cables and repeatered submarine
communications cable. NSW is located on a tributary of the North
Sea, with its own deep-sea pier. The Company believes that once
the expansion of NSW is completed, it will be well positioned to address all
aspects of submarine cable needs for the expanding communications, offshore
wind farm and energy exploration markets.
NSW, headquartered in Nordenham, Germany,
is a leading manufacturer of submarine fiber optic communications and offshore
power cables serving customers all over the world. For more information about
NSW, please visit our website at www.nsw.de.
General Cable is a
global leader in the development, design, manufacture, marketing and
distribution of copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products for
the energy, industrial, and communications markets. Visit our website at www.generalcable.com.
Graybar’s Kathleen Mazzarella Joins Industry Leaders on NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence Board
leading distributor of electrical and communications products and related
supply chain management and logistics services, announced today that Kathleen
M. Mazzarella, senior vice president – sales and marketing, comm/data, was
elected to the board of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
(NAW) Institute for Distribution Excellence
four-year commitment, Mazzarella will work with other board members to enhance
the wholesale distribution industry and drive efficiencies in the distribution
channel. The board’s projects include producing a report on future trends in
wholesale distribution entitled “Facing the Forces of Change” and research on
other strategic issues. The NAW Institute board is a hybrid organization
including 15 additional representatives from companies in the wholesale
distribution industry and associations that serve wholesale distributors.
has been active with NAW for a number of years, and we are pleased about
Kathy’s involvement in the NAW Institute,” said Robert A. Reynolds Jr.,
chairman, president and chief executive officer of Graybar. “At Graybar, we pride ourselves on constantly
looking for ways to improve the distribution industry. Kathy’s commitment to the NAW Institute board
enables Graybar to further collaborate with industry leaders to develop best
practices that bring greater value to our customers.”
Institute board members work to produce industry research and education to
support excellence in distribution. They focus on providing the information
wholesalers and distributors need to continuously improve their
profitability and business processes, including supply chain management and
distribution trends. http://graybar.com/
Graybar Vice President Named to Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Board
Dumas Joins Technology Leaders to Enhance Industry’s Business Environment
leading distributor of electrical and communications products and related
supply chain management and logistics services, announced today that Michael C.
Dumas, vice president comm/data business, recently joined the
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Board of Directors.
his fellow board members provide direction and guidance to the association over
a three-year term. Board members attend triannual meetings, contribute to
various committees, such as legislation and technology, and maintain
communications with TIA leadership. The 34-member board includes CEOs,
presidents and other senior executives from industry-leading technology
“We are proud of our long affiliation with
TIA, and Mike’s role on the board reflects our strong commitment to the
telecommunications industry,” said Kathy Mazzarella, senior vice president,
sales and marketing, comm/data at Graybar. “Mike’s leadership and service will
enable Graybar to make an even greater contribution to the future of the
work to enhance the business environment for thousands of companies focused on
broadband development and deployment, information technology, Internet Protocol
(IP) solutions, and the convergence of voice, data and video applications.
Graybar has been a member of TIA since its inception.
becoming vice president of Graybar’s communications and data business in 2005,
Dumas held a variety of management positions at the company in corporate
accounts, electrical sales and finance.
He holds a B.S. degree in General Business Administration from Tarleton State
University in Stephenville, Texas.
Graybar Surpasses $5.25 Billion in 2007 Sales
one of the nation’s leading distributors of electrical and communications
products and related supply chain management and logistics services, has
announced that it exceeded $5.25 billion in net sales during 2007, an increase
of nearly $250 million, or 5 percent, over 2006. The company also posted net
income of more than $83 million, up $26 million, or 45 percent, from the
operations totaled more than $161 million, nearly $40 million, or 33 percent,
more than in 2006. The company also reported significantly lower debt levels,
which led to reduced interest expense, and finished the year in a strong cash
“We had a banner year in 2007 with record
sales and profitability,” said Robert A. Reynolds Jr., chairman, president and
chief executive officer of Graybar. “Our
investments in technology and commitment to organic growth enabled us to
improve our bottom-line results.”
Enterprise Resource Planning system continues to help the company boost
productivity and rapidly respond to changing market conditions. The information
technology platform provides Graybar’s nationwide locations with valuable
business data in real-time to enable quick and efficient asset and supply chain
year-end results reflect the exceptional customer service our employees and
employee-owners provide. We continue to
raise the bar on performance and value for our customers,” added Reynolds.
looks forward to building on the year’s momentum with continued sales growth
and profitability in 2008. http://graybar.com/
Leviton is First in Industry to Meet TIA Component Requirements for CAT 6A Connector
Independent testing completed and
announced as TIA standard is ratified
Network Solutions announces the industry's first Augmented Category 6 (CAT 6A)
connector independently tested by Intertek/ETL to exceed component performance
as defined in the recently finalized ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.2-10 standard. This new
standard defines performance and testing requirements up to 500 MHz for
Augmented Category 6 (Cat 6A) cabling systems to support the operation of IEEE
802.3an 10GBASE-T applications up to 100 meters. The TIA standard was approved
for publication at the TIA TR42 engineering committee on February 8, 2008 and
is expected to be available to the public from IHS, Inc. (www.ihs.com), TIA's
exclusive document distributor this month.
component CAT 6A performance is extremely significant because it translates
directly into greater performance margins in field testing of permanent links
and channels”, explains Keith Kosanovich, RCDD, Leviton's Sr. Product Manager
for Copper Systems. “With greater margins above the CAT 6A limits, Leviton
customers can be confident they are installing the highest performing CAT 6A
structured cabling system available.” Category 6A components are fully backward
compatible with all previous categories, including Category 6 and Category 5e,
providing a smooth migration path to future high-speed applications such as
In order to
achieve this performance, Leviton developed proprietary internal technologies
that minimize Alien Crosstalk in the connector and in the channel. In addition,
the Leviton CAT6A Connector utilizes a patented Cone of Silence ® which
effectively eliminates Alien Crosstalk between connectors in patching and work
connector is an integral component of their complete CAT 6A cable and
connectivity solution. This advanced solution provides guaranteed channel
margins over the TIA standard in both short distances, typically found in data
center applications, and longer distances common in traditional enterprise applications
to the work area. www.leviton.com
The Light Brigade’s June 2008 Training Schedule
This course focuses on how to design, install, test and
maintain fiber optic communication systems for voice, video and data
applications. The course consists of two days of classroom content and two
optional days of hands-on practices. Course material and techniques taught are
based on ITU, TIA/EIA, IEEE, Telcordia and ANSI standards. Class participants will
learn to understand and effectively use any manufacturer's equipment or product
designed to conform to these widely accepted standards.
St. Louis, MO
Long Beach, CA
These intensive one-day fiber optic training courses were
developed as the next level of training for those who require more advanced
skills and experience with major fiber optic disciplines and equipment. Each of
the five modules focuses on a specific discipline and incorporates concentrated
Module 1: Fiber Optic Cable
Preparation, Patch Panels & Splice Closures
Module 2: Fiber Optic Connectorization
Module 3: Optical Loss Testing, Troubleshooting &
Module 4: OTDR Theory, Operation & Emergency Restoration
Module 5: Fiber Optic Splicing (Fusion & Mechanical)
Installers and Planners
This course focuses on how to design, install, test and
maintain fiber optic communication systems for voice, video and data
applications. The course consists of two days of classroom content and two
optional days of hands-on practices. Course material and techniques taught are
based on ITU, TIA/EIA, IEEE, Telcordia and ANSI standards. Class participants
will learn to understand and effectively use any manufacturer's equipment or
product designed to conform to these widely accepted standards.
Autodesk Subcontractor Partners With McCormick Systems
Systems and Autodesk® Subcontractor
have successfully integrated their systems – thanks in large part to the recent
separate introductions of McCormick’s V9.0 software and Autodesk® Subcontractor
means: Contractors using McCormick to estimate electrical
and/or ABS jobs and Subcontractor 2009 to optimize, standardize and automate
their business processes will now save time, avoid error, and seamlessly
transfer data from the estimating to the project management side.
“We chose McCormick Systems as our partner in this
effort because we feel they go about construction estimating the right
way," said Jeff Burmeister, product manager for Autodesk® Subcontractor.
“Autodesk is the leading software developer in the
construction industry,” said Todd McCormick, president of McCormick Systems. “We’ve
created a solid foundation. We think we can build on this start, together, for
the benefit of our mutual clients.” www.mccormicksys.com
Megladon Solves Bend
Loss Issues With First-In-Class Bend
Insensitive HLC™ Fiber Optic Patch Cords
Megladon Manufacturing Group, LTD.
announces the deployment of its highly regarded Bend Insensitive HLC™ Fiber
Optic Patch Cords for use by network installers. The integration of HLC
connectors and Bend Insensitive Glass have combined to produce one of the most
reliable, long lasting, efficient patch cords that greatly reduces intermittent
failures, which are a nemesis for network managers.
“Ruggedized” Fiber Optic
Patch Cords are a must.
Scott Fairbairn, President of
American Communication Solutions (www.amcomsolutions.com) said these “super
tough patch cords hold up better than anything else on
“Bend loss issues from sub-standard patch
cords that cause network outages have always been a monkey on the back of
network managers.” stated John M. Culbert, President of Megladon.
“This is why we created the first in class Bend Insensitive HLC™ Fiber Optic Patch
Cord.” He continued, “By decreasing network installation time, patch
cord maintenance, and troubleshooting, network installers are now able to deliver a
product that results in value and savings for their clients. We knew this was a
mission critical problem that needed a solution and that is what we have provided.
We pride ourselves on providing tomorrow’s fiber optic technologies today.”
Megladon’s Bend Insensitive HLC™ low
maintenance solution is dust and scratch resistant which provides an
extended life span and lessens the frequency of scheduled replacements saving
network managers time and money. The product also emphasizes its compatibility
with existing connectors, thus making it the only choice for replacement and
newly engineered environments. Megladon’s breakthrough product is soon to
become the ultimate solution for network installers and network applications worldwide. www.megladonmfg.com
PDI Releases the Wavestar™ 500 KVA Mission Critical PDU at AFCOM Las Vegas
Distribution Inc. (PDI), a leading manufacturer of mission critical
distribution equipment for the data center market, today announced the addition
of the Wavestar™ Mission Critical 500 KVA Power Distribution Unit (PDU) to its
PowerPak line. This new design continues to build upon PDI's 30-year tradition
of innovation and represents an industry first with the ability, through the
Wavestar™ monitoring system, to locally display both PDU critical functions and
PDI's patented Branch Circuit Monitoring System (BCMS) in a single device. The
Wavestar™ monitoring system can provide these points to the building management
system remotely via Modbus or SNMP.
Wavestar™ 500 KVA PDU addresses the market need for efficient, intelligent
power solutions to serve the increasing rack power density from blade
servers," stated Keith Schmid, President and CEO of PDI. "In
addition, we have integrated market requested features such as a high-efficiency
low inrush transformer, front access design to allow for easy infrared scans,
compression lugs, plug in style breakers, hinged panels with two point locks,
and bus connections for the transformer and circuit breakers into this industry
Mulholland, VP of Marketing and Service for PDI, adds "PDI's introduction
of the 500 KVA PDU coupled with the industry leading Wavestar™ monitoring
system raises the bar again. Building upon the successful release of the
Wavestar™ static transfer switch, the Wavestar™ 500 KVA PDU is the next step in
expanding the lineup of intelligent monitoring systems for PDI. We expect to
continue to expand with more Wavestar™ products in the near future."
Power Distribution Inc.
Founded in 1978, PDI is a leading provider of power distribution equipment and
services. Principle products include Static Switches, Power Distribution Units,
Remote Power Panels, Redundant Power Systems, Harmonic Cancellation technology,
and Branch Circuit Monitoring Systems. The BCMS product is an option available
with the other distribution products, or it can be provided for retrofit in
equipment already owned by the customer.
information about Power Distribution Incorporated and their complete line of
power distribution and power conditioning equipment, please visit the PDI
website at www.pdicorp.com
Health Forum Web Seminar Alert
you by H&HN, Most Wired Magazine, and Health Facilities Management
Join Health Forum for a LIVE Web
The Emerging, On-Demand IT Network Infrastructure for ROI and Patient
Safety-Driven Hospitals and Health Care Facilities
Wednesday May 14, 2008
Sponsored by Sumitomo Electric
Air-blown Fiber network
infrastructure technology has been adopted by the Pentagon, Fortune 500
companies, the National Institutes of Health, the Mayo Clinic, Sharp
Healthcare, and Penn State Hershey Health System, among others, but the
technology is still largely unfamiliar to health care IT professionals.
Join these industry leaders as they
relate their actual experience with Sumitomo's Air-blown Fiber Infrastructure
- Bill Spooner, CIO of Sharp
Healthcare (9-time recipient of Hospitals & Health Networks' Most Wired
- Dan Lewis, Sharp Healthcare's Director, Technical Services
- Sherry Mettley, IT Director of Infrastructure Engineering at Penn State
Hershey Health System
Learn how this technology impacts
patient safety, provides unprecedented speed and delivery, reduces network
costs and delivers a continuous and dependable ROI.
To register for the live event and
to learn more, visit the registration page below.
The Watermill Group Acquires C&M Technologies Group
Watermill Group announced today that it has acquired C&M Technologies
Group, Inc. d.b.a. C&M Corporation (“C&M”), a leading manufacturer of
custom cable, coil cords and cable assemblies.
With manufacturing capabilities in the United
States and Mexico, C&M is well positioned
as a top supplier of specialized cabling solutions to Fortune 500 companies in
the industrial, medical, defense, multimedia, datacom and data collection
in Wauregan, Connecticut, C&M has transformed from a
wire salvage business in its formative years into a premier manufacturer of
high performance cable products. William
Mueller, Chief Executive Officer of C&M, will continue to lead the
“This transaction marks an important milestone
in the development of the firm,” said Mueller. “Founded in 1964 by my father,
Warren Mueller, C&M has experienced significant growth under our stewardship
and is well positioned in the current marketplace. We are confident that the partnership with
Watermill Group will be a great asset in supporting our management team and
further increasing the level of service and value provided to our customers.”
Eburne, Partner at The Watermill Group, added “C&M has been manufacturing
customized cabling solutions for leading OEM technology companies for four
decades. We look forward to partnering
with management and the employees to further improve operating performance at
C&M and implement a successful growth strategy for the future.”
Karol, Founder and Managing Partner of The Watermill Group, said “We are
excited about the addition of C&M to our investment portfolio. The company’s strength of engineering and
component design in the manufacturing of custom cable and cable assemblies
provide a strong value proposition to its customers.”
About The Watermill Group
three decades, The Watermill Group has been partnering with management teams to
transform and build great companies. By combining customized transaction
structures with the resources and expertise executives need to drive strategic
and operating change, Watermill helps its portfolio management teams thrive, to
generate extraordinary returns for all stakeholders. Watermill partners have over 165 years of
combined experience with extensive expertise in a wide variety of
industries. We focus on investing in
companies where there is the opportunity to enhance performance through
strategic change, operating improvements, or balance sheet realignments.
Corporation is a vertically integrated manufacturer of custom cable, coil cords
and cable assemblies. As a worldwide,
RoHS compliant cable and cable assembly manufacturer of advanced power and
signal transmission cable solutions, C&M employs the most current processes
for lean manufacturing and cycle time reduction to deliver superior
cost-competitive cables and cable assemblies faster than anyone else in the industry.
Tripp Lite Announces New Modular 3-Phase UPS Systems Configurable up to 160kVA and 97% Efficiency
Tripp Lite, a world-leading manufacturer of power protection equipment, has
introduced a new line of SmartOnline™ Modular 3-Phase UPS Systems
for 120/208V applications. Three models are available (SU40K, SU60K and SU80K)
with individual capacities ranging from 40kVA to 80kVA, system capacities up to
160KVA and operational efficiencies up to 97%.
“Tripp Lite’s new Modular 3-Phase UPS Systems offer reliable installation and
economical operation and maintenance,” said Paul Wampach, Tripp Lite’s 3-Phase
UPS System Product Manager. “They maximize availability for mission-critical
systems, lower installation and operational costs, while facilitating efficient
and timely service performance. The modular architecture and 1+1 parallel
capability will fit well in countless organizations, even those pursuing tier 4
Tripp Lite’s new Modular 3-Phase UPS Systems feature self-contained,
hot-swappable 20kVA power modules. SU40K, SU60K and SU80K models feature
multiple modules to provide N+1 redundancy for critical loads. In the
unlikely event that a module fails, the remaining modules seamlessly compensate
to support the load. The new models also feature 1+1 parallel capability,
enabling two units connected in parallel to either provide 2N system redundancy
or increased power capacity. In a parallel redundant configuration, each UPS
supports 50% of the load. If one UPS is subsequently removed or taken off line
for maintenance, the second UPS will support the full load automatically.
Parallel connection can also be employed to double overall capacity. Therefore,
two 80kVA units can be connected in parallel to support a load of 160kVA.
The new SmartOnline Modular 3-Phase UPS Systems also help facility managers to
control installation and operating costs. Producing less than 3% input Total
Harmonic Distortion (THDi), they enable a 1:1 sizing of the UPS system to a
generator set. Low THDi helps generators to run cooler, lengthening generator
service life, and eliminating the need to oversize generators, cables and
breakers. Advanced IGBT inverter technology assures high-efficiency UPS
operation, reducing cooling costs and lengthening UPS service life. An LCD
display provides a real-time event log and stores up to 500 events to help
managers react more quickly to changing conditions.
“The new Modular 3-Phase UPS Systems deliver a superior combination of features,
performance and value,” said Wampach. “Contributing to 100% infrastructure
uptime is essential today, and these systems deliver without straining budgets
or the environment. That’s a formula for success.”
For more information on Tripp Lite’s new SmartOnline 120/208V Modular 3-Phase
UPS Systems and to view the entire 3-Phase UPS line, go to:
ACUTA’s Annual Conference Addresses Challenges of Emerging Technologies on Today’s Campuses
speakers representing 26 different colleges and universities, this year’s
Annual Conference of ACUTA, the Association for Information Communications
Technology Professionals in Higher Education, will once again be an
extravaganza of expertise sharing.
conference, July 13-17 in Las Vegas,
is the 37th for ACUTA, the only international association dedicated to serving
the needs of higher education information communications technology
professionals. Representing nearly 2,000 individuals at some 780 institutions,
ACUTA’s core mission is the sharing of technology and management information,
and its Annual Conference is its largest event of the year.
to the dozens of campus professionals sharing their knowledge, successes, and
challenges in educational sessions, the conference will feature a strong lineup
of industry expert speakers. Topics range from emergency communications to
unified messaging to Voice over IP and financial issues.
speaker for the event is creative visionary and motivational futurist Warren
Arbogast, who will focus on the future of the IT service organization and
explore how colleges and universities can get the most out of their information
communications technology investments.
year’s Annual Conference sessions are tailored to the needs of our members in addressing
the emerging technologies on campus and the effects these technologies have on
students, faculty, and the administration,” said Jeri Semer, executive director
of ACUTA. “But beyond the sessions, there is no better opportunity for our
members to network with their peers. By sharing the best strategies and
techniques, they benefit themselves and their schools.”
Annual Conference is in conjunction with its 12th annual Forum for Strategic
Leadership in Communications Technology, a two-day assembly of senior
attendees, with intensive sessions taught by higher education leaders and
expert consultants. The forum’s focus this year is how to plan for, and fund,
the technologies required to fill the increasing service demands that colleges
and universities of all sizes are seeing, from students, faculty,
administration, and other stakeholders.
Conference will also feature an exhibit hall with companies showcasing the
latest technology products and services. During the event, at Caesars Palace
in Las Vegas,
winners of leadership and institutional excellence awards will be announced.
More information about the Annual Conference and the Strategic Leadership Forum
can be found at www.acuta.org.
ACUTA, the Association for Information Communications
Technology Professionals in Higher Education, is an international
non-profit educational association serving colleges and universities. Its
core purpose is to support higher education information communications
technology professionals in contributing to the achievement of the strategic
mission of their institutions. ACUTA represents nearly 2000 individuals at some
780 institutions of higher education, with members ranging from small schools
and community colleges to the 50 largest U.S. institutions. ACUTA’s
Corporate Affiliate members represent all categories of communications
technology vendors serving the college/university market. For more
information, visit www.acuta.org
BICSI seeks presenters for Fall Conference in Las Vegas
Do you have
an informative presentation for the information transport systems (ITS)
industry? The BICSI Fall Conference will be held September 29-October 2, 2008.
Hotel reservations at the special BICSI group rate for the MGM Grand in Las Vegas can be booked
from now until August 26. For more information or to apply via BICSI’s new
online submission process, visit www.bicsi.org/fall.
CABA Introduces New Daily Newsletter
This is the
last issue of the CABA eBulletin in its current form. We’re excited to offer
you a new, daily newsletter starting Monday, May 12.
SmartBrief is a FREE e-mail news service that summarizes the day’s most
important news as it relates to integrated systems for the automated homes and
buildings industry. Each day, CABA SmartBrief will deliver:
and summaries of research and articles relevant to you, handpicked by our
- Wireless functionality for
- The latest information from
CABA and its diverse membership.
- Opportunities for industry feedback.
words, CABA SmartBrief editors spend hours finding research and news vital to
our industry so you don’t have use your valuable time. This will be an opt-in
Please look out for CABA SmartBrief
in your inbox on Monday, May 12.
CABA's Convergence of Green and
Intelligent Buildings Study
objective through this study is to provide strategic recommendations that will
can demonstrate the positive environmental impact of today's intelligent,
integrated building systems and building technology solutions.
Linux versus Vista
examination of two very different takes on the ‘smart home’ concept produce
widely differing results.
A Ripe Time for Open Innovation
to BusinessWeek magazine, economic recessions present a good opportunity to
collaborate with others on finding, developing, and marketing new ideas. One
such collaboration model identified is CABA's Internet Home Alliance Research
NEW RESEARCH AVAILABLE FROM
for 802.15.4 and ZigBee chipsets is accelerating in several industries,
according to ON World. Last year, seven million 802.15.4 and ZigBee chips were
sold worldwide, an increase of 1,400 per cent from 2004.
Emerging trends include:
hundred 15.4 and ZigBee based products are shipping today
entrants are providing development tools using programming
such as Python and Java
are targeting specific markets versus the generalized
the last few years
bill of materials will drop to $3 in 2011, down from $12 in
CABA CONTRACTS FROST & SULLIVAN
TO STUDY CONVERGENCE OF GREEN AND INTELLIGENT BUILDINGS
contracted Frost & Sullivan to conduct relevant research and produce a
report that addresses the operation and energy savings and long term benefits
i.e., ROI for commercial facilities from implementing intelligent and green
building technologies above and beyond LEED certification. If your company is
interested in participating, please contact Fred Bryson at 888.798.CABA (2222)
x226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
and Cisco Systems to Deliver Enhanced Managed Services to Canadian Business;
Create a Network of Knowledge Centres
and Cisco Systems Canada Co. announced they are partnering to accelerate a
number of strategic initiatives designed to develop and deliver a range of
IP-based managed services to Canadian businesses, including unified
communications, voice, wireless, IP contact centre and security.
Bosch Acquires Extreme CCTV
acquired the Canadian company Extreme CCTV Inc. Extreme CCTV is a
technologically leading manufacturer and supplier of active infrared
illuminators, integrated day/night cameras with active illumination, and
hardened imaging products for use in extreme environments. Furthermore, its
product range includes systems for license-plate capture and recognition.
Roy Kolasa of Honeywell Appointed
Chairman of CABA’s Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council
Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) announced today that Roy
Kolasa, Open System Solutions Manager at Honeywell Building Solutions and CABA
Board member, has been appointed Chairman of CABA’s Intelligent &
Integrated Buildings Council.
CABA Endorsed Successful Green
Intelligent Buildings Conference
Continental Automated Buildings Association was a proud co-host and participant
at the recent Green Intelligent Buildings Conference.
CEA Applauds New ENERGY STAR
Specification For Digital Televisions
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) applauded the Environmental Protection
Agency’s announcement of an updated ENERGY STAR specification for digital
televisions (DTVs), a move CEA says will lead to further reductions in the
amount of energy consumed by digital televisions.
Echelon and Leading Controls
Companies Showcase Energy Saving Applications at Light + Building
Corporation, a leading provider of networking technology that is used to manage
and reduce energy consumption, and over 20 of its customers are showcased
LonWorks-based energy saving and control applications at the 2008 Light +
Building event in Frankfurt, Germany, the world's largest tradeshow dedicated
to the lighting and building industries.
HAI Announces New Access Control
access control product line will consist of a 125 KHz high security, digitally
encrypted, 26-Bit Wiegand proximity card reader that connects to a serial port
on an HAI Home Control System.
Community College Selected for Collaborative Program with Johnson Controls
Controls, Inc., a global, multi-industrial leader in creating smart
environments, has selected Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) in New York to participate
in a national collaborative program dedicated to training the next generation
of heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians.
LonMark International Co-Hosted A
Very Successful Green Intelligent Buildings Conference with CABA
International (LMI), a non-profit trade association recognized as the industry
authority for certification, education, and promotion of interoperability
standards for the benefit of manufacturers, integrators, and end users enjoyed
co-hosting, with CABA, the hugely successful Green Intelligent Buildings
Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, USA,
on April 2-3.
Motorola Launches 802.11n-enabled
Switch and Access Point
Enterprise Mobility has released a new wireless switch and access point that
conform to the 802.11n standard, but they also take a different approach to
NAHB Introduces Certified Green
professional designation program from the National Association of Home Builders
(NAHB) will soon provide home buyers with additional assurance that the builder
or remodeler they’ve chosen is authentically “green.”
Scientific Atlanta Renamed by Cisco Systems
past two years, Cisco Systems and Scientific Atlanta have been transitioning
into one brand. Scientific Atlanta
has now become the Cisco Service Provider Video Technology Group (SPVTG).
Siemens Building Technologies Teams with Quality Attributes Software to Expand
Building Technologies, Inc. has expanded its sustainability product offering to
include the industry leading educational touchscreen kiosk software,
GreenTouchscreen, developed by Quality Attributes Software, Inc. (QAS).
SpeakerCraft Invents iPhone/iPod Touch Compatible
a manufacturer of in-wall speakers is pleased to announce the release of a new
interface for its award winning MODE multi-room A/V control system. It allows
the Apple iPhone or iPod Touch to be used as a wireless remote with control of
all sources and routing accessed on the touch screen through an intuitive GUI.
Spinwave Systems and Abintra Partner
to Make Workplaces More Efficient, Flexible, and Collaborative
Systems has partnered to implement an innovative surveying method that promises
to make tomorrow’s office a better-designed, more energy-efficient, and more
flexible place to work.
Whirlpool Launches EcoCentral Living
interest of making it easier for homeowners to find HVAC products that are
environmentally friendly, Whirlpool Corporation is launching EcoCentral Living
System. The goal is for the EcoCentral Living System name and logo to become
ingrained in homeowners minds as a symbol of environmental friendliness, much
like the well-known ENERGY STAR logo.
Zensys Receives Strategic Investment
from Panasonic's Venture Group
developer of the award-winning Z-Wave wireless home control standard, recently
received an investment from Panasonic. The company will use the funding to
further its push into the global home automation and control marketplace.
ATTEND OR SPONSOR THE
Intelligent Buildings Leadership Forum at InfoComm08
and NXTcomm Co-Locate in 2008
2008 - Las Vegas
Buildings provide owners with improved comfort and productivity while reducing
energy and operating expenses, and they provide system designers, contractors,
and suppliers with a set of promising new products and services to offer.
Furthermore, Intelligent Buildings offer the potential for greater
sustainability. The Intelligent Building Leadership Forum is an educational
seminar that will explain the fundamentals of this emerging opportunity.
day event will provide a chance for attendees to learn from industry leaders
and experts, and it is structured around a theme that aims to provide an
overview of Intelligent Buildings, and illustrate how Intelligent Buildings
deliver on sustainability. The theme, Transitions: From the Conference Room to
the Boiler Room, And Beyond, is intended to take you on a journey through the Intelligent Building. Starting with conferencing,
sessions will branch out to explore key intelligent building systems and
technologies, including building automation and energy management, open and
integrated systems, lighting control, and structured cabling and networking,
all the while drawing a strong connection between Intelligent Buildings
and sustainability. Finally, an industry programs update will provide you with
the latest on critical work being conducted by CABA's Intelligent &
Integrated Buildings Council.
supplier, contractor, builder/developer, or design professional, you will find
this to be a valuable day where you may discover exciting and profitable
opportunities to expand your business into new areas related to sustainability
and integration, and how you can benefit from the movement toward Intelligent Buildings and sustainability.
admission fee for this event includes a Forum Resource book, meals, reception,
and access to the InfoComm08 show floor which includes over 700 exhibitors.
This event is brought to you by CABA in cooperation with Building Intelligence
Group and InfoComm International. For more information, please visit
sponsorship or speaking opportunities contact: Fred Bryson CABA's Business
Development Manager at: email@example.com; 1.888.798.2222 x226; 613.686.1814
to McGraw-Hill Construction's recently released The Green Homeowner SmartMarket
for true green homes is expected to rise for $2 billion to up to 420 billion
over the next five years.
homes are becoming increasing green, with homeowners using green products for
40 per cent of their remodeling work.
Americans find out about green homes through word-of-mouth, followed by
television and the Internet.
to IMS Research, the market for electronic physical access control equipment
will reach $925.1 million in 2011 in the Americas, with a forecast compound
annual growth rate of 8.3 per cent. One of the key trends driving this growth
is the replacement of 125 kHz proximity readers with 13.56MHz smart card
For a detailed listing of industry
conferences and events go to: www.caba.org/events.
Zimmer, CABA President & CEO is the keynote speaker)
Tampa Bay, FL
New Orleans, LA
Santa Clara, CA
Santa Clara, CA
Realcomm San Diego
Tampa Bay, FL
Las Vegas, NV
CABA exhibit at booth #SU5702)
Las Vegas, NV
Buildings Leadership Forum
Las Vegas, NV
New York, NY
Home Ecosystem Forum
Santa Clara, CA
30-October 2, 2008
BUILDING & House (HTB&H)
30-November 1, 2008
30-November 1, 2008
Members are the lifeblood of the Continental
Automated Buildings Association. Listed below are CABA members that have
renewed or joined the organization since March 15, 2008:
Standards Association (CSA) International
Gas Distribution, Inc.
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute (HRAI) - Canada
Mexicano del Edificio Inteligente (IMEI)
Centre for Facilities, Inc.
Middle East Digital Communications
& Automation Systems Inc.
Corporation of North America
Burt Schraga Named Incoming Chair-Elect of NAED Board of Directors
Schraga, a 34-year veteran of the industry, is the new chair-elect of the
National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) Board of Directors. In
this position, Schraga, CEO of the Santa
Clara, Calif. based
Bell Electrical Supply, will prepare to lead the NAED board during 2009-2010.
“I am so
glad to be able to give back to this industry that has been so good to me and
my company,” said Schraga. “I know that we can accomplish great things as an
industry because of the great people we have on board. In this industry and in
my company, it is all about the people. With the right team, you can’t help but
win. I am so proud of our Bell Electrical team, and especially our leadership
team. Because of them, I am able to take on the chairman’s role for NAED.”
started in the industry by turning a college job into a lifetime career. He has
dedicated the last three-plus decades to the same company, which has provided a
wide range of electrical products to manufacturers, end users, and contractors
for over half a century. This month, Bell Electrical is merging with Industrial
Control Components to further expand its offerings.
his career, Schraga has taken on many leadership positions within NAED. He
served two terms on the association’s board of directors from 1985-1987 and
1994-1996, and was also Western Region Vice President. He has also chaired both
the NAED Strategic Focus and Executive Conference Committees.
commitment to electrical distribution has also extended to other organizations
within the channel. Schraga is currently chairman of the Elite Distributors
Insurance Co. (EDIC) and is a member of the Affiliated Distributors (A-D) U.S.
Electrical Board. Under Schraga’s leadership, Bell Electrical was presented
with the A-D 2007-2008 Affiliate of the Year Award.
currently directed by Tammy Miller, CEO of Border States Electric Supply. At
the association’s first National Electrical Leadership Summit, May 17-21,
Richard (Dick) Waterman, senior advisor of International Electric Supply Corp.
(IESCO), will become NAED board chair for the 2008-2009 year.
NAED is the
trade association for the $70+ billion electrical distribution industry.
Through networking, education, research, and benchmarking, NAED helps
electrical distributors increase profitability and improve the channel. NAED’s
membership represents approximately 4,200 locations internationally.
National Electrical Safety Month - May 2008
electrical fires are a major problem in the United States. In many homes,
dangerous electrical situations develop and continue to grow as the home ages.
For this year’s National Electrical Safety Month, ESFI is partnering
with organizations and companies across the United States to help you identify
and fix electrical hazards that are commonly found in many of our homes.
during the month of May ESFI will be highlighting technology that can protect
your family from injury and your home from fire.
Week 1 –
Official National Electrical Safety Month Launch
ESFI will be hosting a media event
with the National Fire Protection Association to officially launch May
as National Electrical Safety Month.
Week 2 –
Electrical Fire Prevention with AFCIs
second week of May, ESFI will focus on Arc Fault Circuit
Interrupters (AFCIs). AFCIs are a new type of circuit breaker that
recognize potential fire hazards and immediately shut off power to the wiring
before a problem can occur.
Week 3 –
Child Safety with Tamper-Resistant Outlets
ESFI will concentrate on educating parents on Tamper-Resistant
Outlets (TROs). TROs are new outlets designed to protect small children
from inserting foreign objects into them.
Week 4 -
Eliminating Electrocutions and Burns with GFCIs
For the last week of the May, ESFI
will re-introduce you to Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs). These
special outlets have saved thousands of people from shocks and burns over the
last three decades, but they must be tested regularly to make sure they are
working properly. www.naed.org
NECA Joins USGBC
Green construction is
everywhere, and the National Electrical Contractors Assn. is making sure that
its member contractors are ready to serve the growing market of owners and
users looking for energy-efficient, innovative alternatives to traditional
To support this initiative,
NECA’s national office recently became a member of the U.S. Green Building
Council. The USGBC is a non-profit organization committed to expanding
sustainable building practices. Together, NECA and the USGBC are currently
finalizing details for a workshop on how electrical contractors can become LEED
Accredited Professionals in the “New Construction” category. The workshop will
be held at NECA’s annual convention in
Chicago, Oct. 4-7.
“Our vision is that NECA
will be a resource to help our member contractors and their customers ‘go
green’ at whatever level they want,” said Rob Colgan, NECA executive director
for marketing. “Sustainable construction can be a part of any building project,
and our goal is to help owners, developers and general contractors find the
right balance in their electrical and communication systems.
“Energy efficient systems
are an important aspect of LEED ratings, but their real attractiveness to
building owners lies in the money they can save over the life of a building,”
Colgan said. “NECA contractors are in a great position to help those
owners achieve their green building goals by creating innovative and fully
integrated energy-efficient systems.”
Colgan also pointed out
that consumers are becoming more educated about alternatives to convention
power generation, like solar, wind, and biomass. “Effectively using these
alternative methods of power generation, however, takes specific skills and
experience with a wide array of new products, and NECA contractors have a
distinct advantage in this area,” he said. “Our training programs are the
acknowledged leader in photovoltaic installation, and our annual trade show
features the most significant gathering of alternative energy technologies
specifically for electrical contractors.”
ABOUT NECA: The National Electrical Contractors
Assn. has provided over a century of service to the $130 billion electrical construction
industry that brings power, light, and communication technology to buildings
and communities across the United States. NECA’s national office and 120 local
chapters advance the industry through advocacy, education, research, and
standards development. For more information, visit www.necanet.org.
Michael Johnston Joins NECA as Executive Director, Standards and Safety
The National Electrical
Contractors Association (NECA) is pleased to announce that Michael Johnston
assumed leadership of NECA’s standards and safety program on Feb. 4. Johnston succeeds Brooke
Stauffer as Executive Director, Standards and Safety. Stauffer, a well-known
electrical codes and standards expert, died in a small plane crash on August
24, 2007, near Mackinaw Island,
Johnston comes to NECA from the
International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) where he served as
Director of Education, Codes and Standards since 1998. A certified master
electrical inspector, Johnston completed his electrician’s apprenticeship and
earned both journeyman and master electrician licenses in Connecticut. He worked as an electrician,
foreman, estimator and project manager on several electrical construction projects
in Connecticut before moving to Phoenix.
Johnston became a field electrical inspector for
the City of Phoenix,
where he rose through the ranks to become the field supervisor for all of the
city’s electrical inspectors. He holds numerous certifications in electrical
inspection with both IAEI and International Code Council. He also became a
popular technical instructor, teaching numerous courses on the National
Electrical Code (NEC).
Johnston was recruited by IAEI in 1998 and
moved to Plano, Tex. At IAEI, he managed the association’s
seminar and certification programs, oversaw the development of IAEI training
materials, and served as a technical editor for numerous publications and the
IAEI News Magazine. He continued to teach NEC courses and other
industry-related training programs, and he is an active participant on the
National Fire Protection Association’s NEC code-making panels, electrical
section, and education section.
Johnston’s code-enforcing and making
experience will benefit NECA’s growing National
Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS) program. NEIS
are the industry’s first performance and workmanship standards for electrical
construction. As an enforceable part of the contract documents, NEIS significantly reduce confusion among
engineers, electrical contractors, owners, and facility managers. NECA began
publishing NEIS in 1999 and
currently has more than 35 standards that range from installing high-voltage
switchgear to fiber optic lighting.
“NEIS have become an
indispensable construction document for many electrical projects, and I’m
excited about the experience that Mike will bring to the program,” said Dan
Walter, NECA Vice President and COO. “Mike will also uphold NECA’s role as a
champion of safe practices in the development process for the National
“I’m looking forward to
joining the NECA staff and continuing to be an active contributor to electrical
codes and safety,” Johnston
said. “This opportunity brings together many aspects of my professional
training and experience to a level where I believe I can truly make a
difference for the best.”
Johnston has numerous professional
affiliations, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers,
International Code Council, and the UL Electrical Council. He is available to
answer media and technical queries regarding electrical installation, safety,
codes and standards by contacting NECA’s public relations director at
NECA Announces 2008 Events
calendar for the National Electrical Contractors Association includes the
electrical construction industry’s premier event, the NECA Convention and Trade
Show in Chicago,
Oct. 4-7, as well as some fresh additions.
NECA will host its
inaugural Legislative Issues Conference, April 28-May 1, in Washington, D.C.
“This conference is an opportunity for NECA contractors to put a constituent’s
face on issues like the unfair 3% withholding tax for their members of
Congress,” said Lake Coulson, NECA executive director for government affairs.
In addition to meetings on Capitol Hill, NECA contractors will discuss policy
with administration officials and hear political prognostications from Stuart
Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the Rothenberg Political Report.
about the NECA Legislative Issues Conference and regional NECA events is
available at www.necanet.org.
2008 NECA Calendar of Events
following events are open to members of the association and invited industry
colleagues. For questions about event press credentials, contact Beth
Sonesta Hotel, New Orleans
from management and labor in the electrical construction industry come together
to discuss successful strategies for workforce development, worksite safety,
and future market developments. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legislative Issues Conference
Regency, Washington, D.C.
first national legislative conference gives member contractors the opportunity to
put constituents’ faces on the issues affecting their businesses and
communities for members of Congress and other legislative leaders. Contact email@example.com.
Annual Convention and Trade Show
McCormick Convention Center,
NECA 2008 Chicago is the premier
event for the electrical construction industry, bringing together the
education, products, services, and networking opportunities that electrical
contractors need to make their companies successful. Information at www.necaconvention.org.
Senate Passes Tax Incentives for Energy Efficiency
U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive piece of housing legislation that included
several critical tax incentives that encourage use of energy-efficient
technologies and renewables. The bill, S. 3221, aimed to assist ailing
homeowners included several provisions that are set to expire. The tax
incentives included in this bill are one-year extensions that will allow
homeowners and businesses to better plan for the future and should have a
stimulative effect in the economy. Due
to these tax incentives, such as the energy-efficient commercial buildings tax
deduction, more energy-efficient products manufactured by NEMA companies will be
used in the marketplace.
This Senate-passed legislation
extension of the energy-efficient commercial buildings tax deduction,
of the renewable energy production tax credit,
of the solar energy and fuel cell investment tax credit, and
of residential energy efficient property tax credit.
commercial building tax deduction will expire on December 31, 2008. The deduction and incentives assist
homeowners and businesses to purchase and install energy-efficient
technologies, which provides economic benefits in lowering energy bills,
contributing to construction and manufacturing jobs, and benefiting the
environment. “While negotiations continue
on a long-term extension of these tax incentives, NEMA calls upon the U.S.
House of Representatives to act swiftly to pass this legislation so it can be
signed into law,” urged NEMA President and CEO Evan Gaddis.
been vigorously lobbying Congress for a long-term extension of the commercial
building tax deduction and other energy efficiency and renewable incentives,
and while this is only a one-year extension, NEMA praises the U.S. Senate for
its action on ensuring this vital incentive is continued,” commented
SCTE Bestows Chapter Awards For 2007
The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) today is
proud to announce the recipients of the SCTE Chapter Awards for 2007, which
were presented at the recent 2008 SCTE Chapter Leadership Conference (CLC) in Atlanta.
The Cascade Range Chapter (northwestern Oregon) achieved the distinction of SCTE
Chapter of the Year, and Amanda Walton of the Cascade Range Chapter was honored
as SCTE Chapter Member of the Year.
SCTE, which has 68 chapters and meeting groups, also presented
awards for second through seventh place in the SCTE Chapter of the Year
category. Those honorees were the New England Chapter (2nd), the Cactus Chapter
(Arizona) (3rd), the Great Lakes Chapter (southeastern Michigan) (4th), the
Lighthouse Chapter (Maine) (5th), the Gateway Chapter (eastern Missouri) (6th),
and the Mount Rainier Chapter (northwestern Washington state) (7th).
Walton, the SCTE Chapter Member of the Year honoree, is the
Cascade Range Chapter’s secretary and has been an SCTE member since 2002. She
is a regional fleet coordinator with Comcast Cable Communications in Vancouver, Wash.
The SCTE Compliance Award recipient was the Cactus Chapter. The
Most Improved Chapter (Compliance) was the Llano Estacado Chapter (western Texas).
The SCTE Recruitment Award recipient was the New England Chapter.
The Most Improved Chapter (Recruitment) was the Desert Chapter (southern California).
The SCTE Striving for Excellence Award recipient was the Cactus
Chapter. The Most Improved Chapter (Striving for Excellence) was the Llano
The SCTE Professional Development Award recipient was the Cascade
Range Chapter. The Most Improved Chapter (Professional Development) was the Red
Rock Chapter (Nevada).
SCTE presented its Most Improved Chapter of the Year Award as
well. The Gateway Chapter garnered that distinction.
The Compliance, Striving for Excellence, Professional Development,
and Recruitment awards are each earned based on an objective points system for
each award. Combining the points earned for those four award categories
determines the Chapter of the Year Award recipients. The Chapter Member of the
Year award is determined by a traditional nomination process.
More information about SCTE Chapters, including their geographical
locations, is available at www.scte.org.
SCTE Announces Board Election 2008 Results
The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) today
announces the results of SCTE Board of Directors Election 2008. The newly
elected directors are:
Region 3 (representing AK, ID, MT, OR, WA)
Randy Love, Comcast Cable Communications
Region 4 (representing OK, TX)
Bob Macioch, Time Warner Cable
Region 5 (representing IA, IL, KS, MO, NE)
Rick Sullivan, Times Fiber Amphenol
Region 7 (representing IN, MI, OH)
Marc Broadnax, Comcast Cable Communications
Region 8 (representing AL, AR, LA, MS, TN)
Harold Kinnel, Ritter Communications
Region 10 (representing DC, KY, NC, VA, WV)
Bob Legg, Suddenlink Communications
Region 12 (representing CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT)
Bob Foote, ARRIS
Director-At-Large Canada (representing SCTE’s Canadian members)
Dermot O’Carroll, Rogers Cable Communications
Director-At-Large (representing all SCTE members)
Dick Amell, Time Warner Cable
Director-At-Large (representing all SCTE members)
Nomi Bergman, Advance/Newhouse Communications
The newly elected directors will begin their
two-year terms at the SCTE Board of Directors meeting set for Tuesday, June 24
at the 25th Anniversary SCTE Cable-Tec Expo® 2008. Expo 2008 will
take place Tuesday through Friday, June 24–27 at the Pennsylvania
Convention Center in Philadelphia. www.scte.org.
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Announces Updated Accessibility Standards
Final Report Released to U.S.
a year and a half spent tackling the complicated process of updating
accessibility standards, the Telecommunications and Electronic and Information
Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC) presented its final report to the U.S.
Access Board on April 3, 2008. The report addresses how federal agencies
and private industry are expected to make electronic and information technology
accessible to people with disabilities.
members include industry, disability groups, standards-setting bodies in the U.S. and
abroad, and government agencies. The Telecommunications Industry
Association (TIA) was represented by Mary Brooner, Motorola, who worked
diligently with TIA member companies to convey industry point of view.
TIA member companies sell telecom products to federal agencies and to
tackled by this report are very complicated but extremely important not only to
TIA member companies, but to the many Americans living with disabilities,” said
TIA President Grant Seiffert, “TIA commends the hard work of the Committee and
is committed to continuing an open dialogue between industry and the disability
formed on July 6, 2006 by the Access Board and was tasked with providing
recommendations for updates of accessibility standards issued under section 508
of the Rehabilitation Act and section 255 of the Telecommunications Act.
The Committee was divided into sub-committees, such as Web and Software,
Telecommunications, Audio Video, etc. Products and services covered by
these committees include everything from Web sites to multimedia to office
products, such as fax machines and telephones.
recommendations issued in the report are advisory, and the Access Board will
initiate a formal rulemaking process before adopting regulations. The
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which regulates privately manufactured
telecommunications, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and
customer premises equipment, likewise has no obligation to implement the TEITAC
report. The FCC will take under advisement the recommended regulations of
the Access Board when it reviews its own Section 508 regulations.
For a full
copy of the report
represents the information and communications technology industry, and its
members represent the entire telecommunications supply chain, from
infrastructure provider to device maker. TIA members include many of the
manufacturers of the equipment needed to offer video services and upgrade
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and BICSI Renew Collaboration Agreement
Architectural Industries to Benefit
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), leader in advocacy, standards
development, business development and intelligence for the information and
communications technology (ICT) industries, has renewed its collaboration
agreement with BICSI, the professional association supporting the information
transport systems (ITS) industry.
from the two groups met at TIA’s headquarters in Arlington, Va.,
March 31, 2008 to discuss strategic direction and joint initiatives. TIA and
BICSI have been engaged in similar activities for a number of years, addressing
their mutual interests in information communications technologies and trends,
including standards, certifications, knowledge transfer and global technology
and TIA are at similar stages in terms of addressing the needs of their
respective membership communities,” said Grant E. Seiffert, President of TIA.
“Our long-time collaboration has proven to be a solid foundation on which to
build new joint initiatives.”
goals, the two associations are involved in establishing resources and
information tools that enable the building and architectural communities to
make better buying decisions and use qualified and competent service and
product providers in the ICT and ITS industries.
“TIA is the
cornerstone of the BICSI Outreach Program—a program specifically designed to
collaborate with industry alliances in concert with the BICSI Strategic plan
and the BICSI NxtGEN business plan,” stated Edward J. Donelan, RCDD/NTS
Specialist, President of BICSI. “The newly crafted twenty-seven points of
mutual reciprocity between TIA and BICSI enhances BICSI and TIA members’
ability to deliver the best products to their customers through education,
training and knowledge assessment.”
have agreed to cross-promote one another’s services, including certification
and market intelligence programs, standards, case studies and white papers.
Marketing activities will include presence at one another’s tradeshows and
outreach through their websites at www.tiaonline.org and www.bicsi.org
and online mail. They will also continue to jointly promote the efforts of
several sub-communities, including the Fiber Optics LAN Section (FOLS).
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Revises
Supports Category 6A, Next Generation Cable Applications
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the leader in advocacy,
standards development, business development and intelligence for the
information and communications technology (ICT) industries, has published TIA
Standard 568-B.2-10: Transmission Performance Specifications for 4-Pair 100
Ohm Augmented Category 6 Cabling. Category 6A cabling supports the
next-generation of Internet applications, including the transfer of larger
amounts of data at higher speeds, up to 10 Gigabit data rates.
network cabling is part of a building’s infrastructure, the installation of new
cabling is expected to serve the needs of the occupants for a minimum of 10
years. Networking demands, technology advances and economics dictate that
10GBASE-T Ethernet standard will be widely deployed by 2013. This means that
the cabling installed today will need to support at least two generations of
Ethernet. Category 6A cabling is specifically designed to support the network
demands of the next generation 10GBASE-T Ethernet standard, providing superior
cabling also supports "bundled cable" implementations for channels up
to 100 meters, as well as for short reach mode (low power) implementations for
distances up to 30 meters.
standard addresses the newer cable designs that are about 0.30 inches in
diameter, compared with 0.25 inches for high end Category 6 and 0.2 inches for
Category 5e. The cable itself is designed with larger conductors (23 AWG
minimum), tighter twists and more airspace in the core. This provides a cable
with much lower losses at high frequencies and significantly better alien
crosstalk isolation between cables.
benefit of the larger conductors and the lower packing density is better heat
dissipation. This is a benefit for the next generation Power over Ethernet Plus
(PoE+) standard, which is intended to deliver between 30 Watts to 60 Watts of
power over two pairs or four pairs respectively.
was formulated under the cognizance of the TIA TR42.7: Telecommunications Copper
Cabling Systems Engineering Committee’s TR-42.7. To obtain copies of the
document, contact Information Handling Services at (800) 854-7179 or visit http://global.ihs.com.
For technical information regarding participating in the TR-42 committee please
contact Marianna Kramarikova at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For media inquiries, please contact Taly Walsh at email@example.com.
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Appoints Patrick Sullivan Director, Technical and Government Affairs
Extensive Spectrum, Public Safety and Technical Regulatory Experience
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the leader in advocacy,
standards development, business development and intelligence for the
information and communications technology (ICT) industry, announced today that
Patrick Sullivan has joined the association as Director of Technical and
Government Affairs, where he will oversee spectrum, public safety and technical
regulatory issues. Sullivan brings over 12 years of legal and legislative
experience with the federal government to his role at TIA, including litigation
involving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and drafting regulatory
filings before the FCC and state telecommunications agencies.
is a valuable addition to our Government Affairs team,” said Danielle Coffey,
TIA Vice President, Government Affairs. “His depth of experience and knowledge
of spectrum and public safety issues will serve our membership well.”
previously served as counsel for Kajeet, Inc., a wireless provider, overseeing
legal affairs and managing litigation matters, directing compliance with
privacy and product liability laws, and conducting contract review. Prior to
that position, Sullivan practiced law as a litigation associate at Willkie Farr
& Gallagher LLP, where he represented clients in federal litigation matters
involving complex securities class action claims, antitrust, malpractice
liability, corporate compliance with federal law and regulations,
telecommunications, and bankruptcy. He has also drafted regulatory filings
before the FCC and state telecommunications agencies on wireless issues.
Sullivan began his legal career as a senior legislative assistant and
legislative director for several members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and French Studies from Syracuse University and a Juris Doctor from the
Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America. He is a member of
the New York and District of Columbia bar associations. www.tiaonline.org
A Changing Job Climate: Green Jobs Grow in D.C.
don't you like about them?" Rachel Gutter, the U.S. Green Building
Council's Schools Sector manager, asks a group of students at Alexandria's
new T.C. Williams High School
about one of the school's eco-friendly, water-saving features.
referring to the waterless urinals in the men's bathrooms, and the kids insist
they're stinky. "I'll talk to the architects - they aren't supposed to
smell," Gutter says.
are a big part of Gutter's job. She also just checked in with the
kindergartners at Germantown's
Great Seneca Creek Elementary to see how they like their dual-flush toilets.
(They love them, especially the labels that explain, in detail, which button to
push based on what's in the bowl.) She's collecting their thoughts to help the
USGBC, the nonprofit that created the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) system, build a model of a green school that will tour the country.
town, Marty Kearns and his five co-workers at Green Media Toolshed are helping
eco-friendly companies interact with journalists, providing consulting services
and training for young organizations. These two companies couldn't be more
different, but they have something in common. That fashionable, ubiquitous,
let's-hope-it's-more-than-a-buzzword, green. Suddenly, having a green job
doesn't have to mean donning hip waders and sampling stream beds for
pesticides, though it can.
jobs," the umbrella term encompassing solar-panel installers,
environmental engineers, lobbyists and horticulturists, seem to be everywhere.
Nonprofits and research groups estimate millions of jobs will be created by
2020. The industry was worth $265 billion in 2005 and is growing, says Kevin
Doyle of eco-consulting firm Green Economy.
how these things start, how these seeds, if you will, get planted. A newspaper
article about polar bears sparks outrage, or maybe pollution hits closer to
home in the form of the Chesapeake.
Or maybe the perfect job happens to combine two passions. Gutter, 26, has been
with USGBC for almost a year. She started her career as a teacher, then worked
for a year at a green architecture firm.
she attended USGBC's Greenbuild conference and learned the organization would
soon create a separate LEED certification for schools. (Previously, schools
could be certified under the council's "New Construction" standards.)
"I remember calling my mom, saying, 'I figured out what I want to
do,'" says Gutter. She learned she'd need experience working in a school
that was already LEED-approved, "so, I called the Montgomery County
school district and said, 'How would you like a free intern?' [They said], 'You
can start in three days.'"
industries, much of the territory is still largely uncharted. While there's
lots of work in traditional fields (like fundraising for the World Wildlife
Fund or stuffing envelopes for the Arbor Day Foundation), someone with a yen
for, say, wind-turbine manufacturing or eco-friendly dry cleaning may
Ugel, 37, a fashion designer and owner of British Columbia's Blue Sky Design Company.
He works with firms that produce his casual women's clothing line, which he
sells wholesale. But "most manufacturers look at you like you've asked
them to manufacture something on Mars" if you ask about organic fabric or
non-toxic dyes, he says. He admits attitudes are changing, though, and he's in
talks with organic cotton makers.
carbon-cutting industries that are gaining critical mass: green roofing, or
planting living vegetation on rooftops to cool buildings and slow water runoff;
sustainability coordination, a relatively new industry gaining traction in
schools and universities; and solar panel installation. Vanessa Deutschmann of
Chesapeake Solar says solar companies traditionally educated workers on the
job. Only recently have programs sprouted to train potential solar workers.
Still, "the market is always changing," she says, "There's job
security and opportunity for growth, but somebody who just wants to come in, do
A, B, C, D and leave at 5 p.m." would probably not thrive in a green
Sarah Murphy, 24, agrees that market forces are shifting. Three years ago, when
she worked at Baltimore
green roofing company Emory Knoll Farms, "the owner was growing more
plants than he could sell. ... We basically were overstocked most of the
owns a green roofing firm, Canopy, and works at D.C. Greenworks, a nonprofit
that trains at-risk youth in horticulture. "It's growing
tremendously," she says of her industry. "Developers are not thinking
twice about getting green roofs."
the green jobs movement point out that the growth of these new industries may
speed slowdowns in older areas; arguing that, for example, creating positions
in wind energy will lead to pink slips for coal plant employees. But a 2004 University of California Berkeley study found that,
even allowing for a loss of 150,000 jobs in coal, oil and natural gas, the
economy will gain more than a million jobs in renewable energy industries by
2020. And Deutschmann says skilled workers in a dirty industry can often
transfer into cleaner careers. "These are folks that are smart, that have
really good skills," she says.
And if you
don't have the skills to pay the bills, hit the books. Annaliesa Guilford,
graduate enrollment specialist for environmental science at George Mason, says
many students in the environmental program are engineers, but schoolteachers,
political scientists and others lacking a degree in environmental science are
signing up in droves, too. Or, for an even faster ticket to green, certificates
in environmental science, public policy and even sustainable landscape design
are available at local universities.
T.C., Gutter is explaining that average green schools save 40,000 gallons of
water per year through low-flow faucets and, yes, waterless urinals. Because
T.C. is much bigger than the average school, its water conservation is closer
to 500,000 gallons yearly. But when she asks, "What about the flush; do
you miss it?" the students respond with a unanimous "yes." www.usgbc.org
Even in the
brave new green world, some things never change.
Building Council – by: Rachel Kaufman
Source - Express from The Washington Post
Newly Released Studies Confirm Energy Savings Significant in LEED, ENERGY STAR Buildings
recently released studies, one by the New Buildings Institute (NBI) and one by
CoStar Group, have validated what the green building community has known all
along: third party certified buildings outperform their conventional
counterparts across a wide variety of metrics, including energy savings,
occupancy rates, sale price and rental rates.
In the NBI study, the results indicate that new buildings certified under the
U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED certification system are, on
average, performing 25-30% better than non-LEED certified buildings in terms of
energy use. The study also demonstrates that there is a correlation
between increasing levels of LEED certification and increased energy
savings. Gold and Platinum LEED certified buildings have average energy
savings approaching 50%.
"The NBI Study confirms that newly constructed LEED certified buildings
use significantly less energy than their conventional counterparts, and that
they perform better overall," said Brendan Owens, Vice President, LEED
Technical Development, U.S. Green Building Council.
"The report also underscores that monitoring a building's ongoing
operations and maintenance, as required in LEED for Existing Buildings:
Operations & Maintenance and ENERGY STAR, is equally important,"
continued Owens. "Buildings are complicated systems and achieving
and maintaining high performance is a process that requires the ongoing
discipline and commitment to green practices. LEED and ENERGY STAR
provide building owners and operators with valuable structure to maintain high
performance and deliver savings over time."
Energy savings under EPA's ENERGY STAR program are equally impressive:
buildings that have earned the ENERGY STAR label use an average of almost 40
percent less energy than average buildings, and emit 35 percent less carbon.
But beyond the obvious implications of reduced energy use and reduced carbon
emissions, the results from both studies strengthen the "business
case" for green buildings as financially sound investments.
According to the CoStar study, LEED buildings command rent premiums of $11.24
per square foot over their non-LEED peers and have 3.8 percent higher
occupancy. Rental rates in ENERGY STAR buildings represent a $2.38 per square
foot premium over comparable non- ENERGY STAR buildings and have 3.6 percent
And, in a trend that could signal greater attention from institutional
investors, ENERGY STAR buildings are selling for an average of $61 per square
foot more than their peers, while LEED buildings command a remarkable $171 more
per square foot.
The group analyzed more than 1,300 LEED Certified and ENERGY STAR buildings
representing about 351 million square feet in CoStar's commercial property
database of roughly 44 billion square feet, and assessed those buildings
against non-green properties with similar size, location, class, tenancy and
year-built characteristics to generate the results.
"ENERGY STAR is a prerequisite in LEED for Existing Buildings, signaling
our strong commitment to the energy savings component of green buildings,"
said Owens. "Add to that the additional performance enhancements in
LEED around intelligent site selection, water conversation, improved indoor air
quality, waste reduction and smarter materials selections, and it's easy to
understand why owners and tenants are placing a premium on green
The NBI study was funded by USGBC with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency and can be accessed at:
View more information on the CoStar Group study: http://www.costar.com/News/Article.aspx?id=D968F1E0DCF73712B03A099E0E99C679&ref=100.
The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit membership organization whose
vision is a sustainable built environment within a generation. Its membership
includes corporations, builders, universities, government agencies, and other
nonprofit organizations. Since UGSBC's founding in 1993, the Council has grown
to more than 14,500 member companies and organizations, a comprehensive family
of LEED® green building rating systems, an expansive educational offering, the
industry's popular Greenbuild International Conference and Expo (www.greenbuildexpo.org), and a network
of 72 local chapters, affiliates, and organizing groups. For more
information, visit www.usgbc.org.
The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating
SystemT is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for
satisfying specified green building criteria. The six major environmental
categories of review include: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy
and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and
Innovation and Design. Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of
LEED green building certification are awarded based on the total number of points
earned within each LEED category. LEED can be applied to all building
types including new construction, commercial interiors, core & shell
developments, existing buildings, homes, neighborhood developments, schools and
retail facilities. LEED for Healthcare is currently under development and
is expected to be released in early 2008.
Incentives for LEED are available at the state and local level and LEED has
also been adopted nationwide by federal agencies, state and local governments,
and interested private companies. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org/LEED.
business owner and father of four, I often mentor and coach my kids and
employees. Sometimes I like to think my attempts make the difference.
of change that leads to success in business or in sports is often defined by a
sudden change of desire, willingness or ability to win against a competitor.
Have you ever noticed a moment that made the difference?
experienced both sides of the win/lose game. I am always willing to search for
new ways to make “the difference” toward achieving my desired outcomes. What
makes the difference for you? Can you recall a specific moment in your career
or personal life that changed everything?
It is much
easier to measure the difference in sports, especially when you consider
absolute desired outcome—winning the game. You may remember that second effort
play or the psychological state change or maybe even the moment the game
changed by the intensity of the fans. Who will ever forget the intensity,
absolute desire and sheer will to win during this year’s Super Bowl game? Did
the New York Giants make the difference during the Manning to Tyree pass in the
All of us
at BICSI, from the staff to the Board of Directors, are your biggest fans. As a
member of the BICSI family, you must know we are here to enable you to make the
difference for your desired outcome in your job and career. You probably know
there are a number of people in the information transport systems (ITS)
industry who are not members of BICSI. These individuals do not enjoy the
benefits and advantages of the training, education and networking that come
with BICSI membership. This leaves you—BICSI design and installation
professionals—ahead of the rest.
your obvious advantages in the marketplace, the Board and staff of BICSI have
plans for the future called BICSI NxtGEN. This plan offers you greater access
and a wider variety of knowledge-based products that will enable you to make
the difference every day you are in the ITS industry game. By achieving a
desired outcome for education and training through BICSI’s credentialing
programs, you make all the difference for your company, as well as yourself in
your career. As a manufacturer, distributor, representative firm, consultant,
design/build company, contractor or end user, you can continue to make the
difference by staying current with the technological demands and the many
opportunities swirling around our industry.
meantime, we encourage you to attend as many educational events and exchange
ideas by networking with fellow members as often as possible. Of course, you
can really make the difference for other people by inspiring others to join
BICSI and by passing on the knowledge you have gained over the years. Having
established a high degree of competence allows you to move forward with
confidence, which very often gives you the edge in business and in your
personal lives. If you mentor, coach and champion others, I guarantee you will
have made “The Ultimate Difference” to succeed.
Reprinted with full permission of
BICSI News – www.bicsi.org
It Is Never Too Late to Realize What Is Important
As I was
struggling to come up with a topic for this month’s BICSI News, three unrelated
events came together in my mind. The first event was while I was watching
Premonition, a movie starring Sandra Bullock. The story line is not important
here, but Sandra’s priest told her, “It’s never too late to realize what’s
important in your life.” I knew it was an important line but didn’t really know
what to do with it.
event occurred while I was watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on TV. It
was about a Marine who had returned from his second tour in the Middle East after his vehicle was hit by a road side
bomb. Because he lost his foot in the explosion, his left leg was amputated
from the knee down. During his helicopter transport to the hospital, he died
twice. In the midst of his rehabilitation, his wife divorced him. Once he
returned home, he was unable to navigate his wheelchair around his Kansas home. The home
was in such need of repair that he worried if his four children would survive
event was closely related to the second, as I recalled the brother of a friend
in high school. Ken was a good-looking all American kind of guy who went to Vietnam in the
1960s. During one mission, Ken stepped on a mine and lost both legs. As the
medics were carrying him to safety, they too stepped on a mine, and Ken lost
the use of his right arm and endured countless surgeries to remove shrapnel in
his back. When he returned home, his wife divorced him. A few years later, Ken
married Lana, a wonderful woman who had been disfigured in a serious automobile
accident. They made the perfect couple, and I hope they are still married
everything that these two men endured, both of them maintained an
extraordinarily positive outlook on life and had reevaluated what was most
important to them. For the Marine, it was his four children who gave him the
will to survive. For Ken, it was the fact that he was alive. He celebrated his
“Alive” day every year on the anniversary of his injury. These men are not
highly paid motivational speakers. They are just everyday people setting the
highest examples of perseverance in the presence of adversity for the rest of
of this story is obvious. Is that project you are working on life threatening
or just a difficult assignment? Is your boss really that bad? Do your daily
struggles really mean that much, or are they just excuses to be unhappy? Take
the time to look at your life and be thankful for all that you have. Decide
what is really important in your life and don’t ever be distracted from it.
Reprinted with full permission of
BICSI News – www.bicsi.org
Effective Firestopping and Good Cabling Practices Can Peacefully Coexist
Anderson, PE, RCDD, CDT
The days of
scrounging around for leftover pieces of electrical metallic tubing (EMT)
conduit to make sleeves for cable penetrations is becoming a thing of the past,
thanks to innovative products specifically designed to optimize cable
penetrations through fire-rated walls. At times, these products seem to
emphasize fire protection over performance, and while reliability and safety
are certainly important considerations, the fact is that first and foremost,
these products must be effective raceways.
transmission technology advances, moves, adds and changes have become an every
day challenge in modernizing the landscape. The need for new cabling systems to
meet growing technological demand has been a driving force in product
innovation over the past five years. While traditional methods using EMT,
putty, bushings and related hardware are still reliable and effective
firestopping methods, these often lack the versatility and ease of installation
required in today’s challenging cabling environment. With so many new products
to choose from, it is important to select the best solution for each
application. Here are some angles to consider when choosing an appropriate
Pulling the Cables
successful installation begins with pulling the cables. How easily cables pull
through the sleeve is just one part of the equation; avoiding damage is
critical. Here is a checklist for averting potential problems:
sharp edges. An obvious point, but worth mentioning. Put a bushing on EMT to
prevent scraping or cutting the cable jacket.
out for notches. Nooks and crannies are great for muffins, but they become
automatic cable strippers on pathways.
mindful of bend radius. Maintain a minimum bend radius when needed and avoid
flexing heavy bundles over blunt sleeve edges.
for a sleeve with smooth interior pathways. A well-designed sleeve will
facilitate cable installation with a smooth, low-friction interior surface.
for durable construction. Look for products specifically designed to withstand
the potential weight and stress of the cable pulling process.
retrofit capabilities. If cables are already in place, use a sleeve that can be
split and reassembled around the cable bundle.
Matching the Sleeve to the
penetration sleeves make for an easier and quicker installation, but a lot
depends on how well the sleeve can adapt to various conditions and locations.
Walls or Floors
products do not easily accommodate both walls and floors. For example, sleeves
that require plates or escutcheons to be mounted at both sides of the barrier
may work fine for walls. When it comes to floors, access to the underside might
be difficult, if not impossible, or a fluted steel deck might provide an uneven
mounting surface. The best solution is a product that is either designed for
floor use or that can be accessorized to make it suitable for the application.
sleeves are designed for standard drywall or masonry walls up to 203 mm (8 in)
thick. However, not all walls will adhere to the standard. Today’s
longer-length sleeves and innovative modular products that can be lengthened
with extensions can fit a variety of barriers and allow you to be prepared for
hollow drywall with numerous round sleeve penetrations in a confined area can
weaken the wall and reduce its fire performance. In this situation, square
sleeves offer the best performance because they can be ganged to accommodate
more cables in a smaller area
firestopping should be a higher priority during cable installation. A fire is a
hypothetical risk; few installers consider the reality of a fire actually
taking place. Traditional putty/sleeve configurations require a fair amount of
maintenance. Each time cables are added or removed, both end seals must be
partially or completely removed and then reinstalled. If too many cables are
installed in one area, it may impact firestopping performance.
important to avoid sacrificing safety for the sake of progress. Fortunately, a
variety of sleeve designs not only make firestopping a great deal easier but
also use improved sealing methods to boost firestopping.
system, a soft foam plug replaces the putty, and the sleeve may also
incorporate liner materials that intumesce, or expand, when exposed to fire.
These products still require the removal and replacement of materials as cable
changes are made but offer ample firestopping performance.
Automatically Adjusting Pad Sleeves
sleeves utilize soft and resilient intumescent pads that conform to the cables.
The material easily displaces as cables are added or removed to automatically
maintain gentle contact with the bundle. No materials are added or removed
during cable changes.
Mechanical Gate or Constrictive
sleeves use either manually adjusted steel gates or a mechanically twisted
inner liner to affect a seal around cables. Both types rely on mechanical force
to either squeeze or constrict the cable bundle and can provide a crushing
seal. Underwriters Laboratories Inc.® (UL®) firestop systems require these
products to be tightly closed in order to achieve low leakage ratings. Network
designers frequently tell cable installers to loosen the cable ties. The user
must determine whether compressive or constrictive methods are suitable for
their cabling systems.
Considering the Situation
A number of
situational factors are worth considering when choosing an appropriate sleeve
Cable Bundle Size
products are a great choice for applications that require engineered features,
some may be overkill in certain situations. When choosing a system, consider
the number of cables in a bundle and the frequency of cable changes. If the
bundle is small, perhaps half a dozen cables or so, it would be wise to use a
flexible system that allows for changes. But when these changes won’t be
numerous or frequent, a traditional putty sleeve kit may be a good and
design engineers or specifiers make the mistake of designing a system to handle
only the initial cable load. It is important to allow for not only the present
needs but also possible future expansion. It is far easier to install
additional spare sleeves or upgrade to a larger size initially than to retrofit
down the road.
situations where accessibility will be limited or difficult, it may be wise to
choose a sleeve that does not require opening or removal/reinstallation of
sealing materials to make changes. With an automatically adjusting pad sleeve,
cables can be pulled remotely, without requiring access to the sleeve itself.
This eliminates the need to reseal the penetration at both sides of a wall
during cable changes.
often make the mistake of including these rated sleeves in the firestop portion
of their specification (MasterFormat™, Division 7–Thermal and Moisture
Protection). When placed in this section, the requirement is often missed by
electricians or cabling installers. The reality is that cable sleeves are a
raceway product, not a firestop product. Always specify penetration sleeves in
the raceway section, with a reference note in the firestop section.
physically inspect any product before specifying or using it. Envision using
the product, pulling cables through it, and ask yourself these questions:
is the quality? Is it rugged enough for the application?
it versatile enough to work throughout this application?
it be easy to use, both in a new installation and when cables have to be added
in the future?
the interior surface of the sleeve ease the installation of cables?
there anything that could snag or damage the cables?
the sleeve mechanism adequately support or protect the cables?
it easily assure continued compliance of the firestop system?
the maintenance requirements suit the capabilities of the staff who will
always a critical need for a reliable firestop system wherever cables penetrate
rated barriers. However, it is possible to take advantage of today’s
technologies that marry firestop protection with raceway performance. With so
much at stake in delivering efficiency and reliability in critical network
systems, today’s new options can help these necessities coexist.
Reprinted with full permission of
BICSI News – www.bicsi.org
Implementing Best Practices is More Than Just Words
“best practice” has been used throughout our industry for several years to
describe methods and processes that are better at delivering quality
information transport systems (ITS). BICSI recommends global best practices in
training courses and details them throughout educational manuals. While
following BICSI best practices is a must for every ITS installer, the term has
unfortunately become an overused cliché that many use to describe their
services but that only the best know how to truly implement.
consider best practices to be those methods that their competition deploys and
should therefore be automatically duplicated. Others attempt to deploy certain
best practices without ensuring that their crews understand the reasons behind
them or that they are consistent and shared among all crews. An ITS provider
that truly understands what it means to implement best practices is the one who
recognizes that knowledge comes from all levels of an organization and that
actual use, evaluation and benchmarking in the field are critical before
adopting any new tool or technique. As the Chinese Philosopher Confucius said
more than 2,000 years ago, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and
defining and implementing best practices starts with three key strategies:
training, consistency and benchmarking. ITS providers would be wise to follow
these three strategies before implementing or mandating any practice among
in the ITS industry should attend BICSI training and become a BICSI certified
ITS Installer 1 or Installer 2. This will help ensure that best practices are
being deployed in the field by everyone that represents your company. It is
also beneficial for technicians to attend manufacturer training for specific
tools and products. When only one or two technicians receive training and
attempt to reiterate what they learned to others in your company, critical
steps and information can be inadvertently omitted.
providers have multiple crews spread out in different regional or national
locations, which can make implementing consistency from crew to crew a
challenging endeavor. However, consistency is imperative to your industry
reputation, installed performance and bottom line. When an ITS provider has 10
different crews using 10 different techniques, installed performance can vary
significantly from job to job, and it ultimately appears as though the
installations were completed by 10 different companies. ITS providers should
therefore bring their crews to one training location or employ a training
provider that travels to each location, allowing all crews to learn the same
ITS technicians who are new to a crew may want to stick with techniques they
have been using for years, which can further impede implementing a new best
practice and maintaining consistency. While change can be difficult for a
technician that has come from a different background, it is important to ensure
that all new technicians receive training and work with peers so they can learn
and adopt your company’s specific best practices. At the same time, it is
important to remember that new technicians may have knowledge of tools or
techniques that could be beneficial to your company as a whole. To take full
advantage of that knowledge, ITS providers must give technicians simple means
to share information on a companywide level so that all crews benefit from the
it’s a new tool or a new technique, ITS providers should consider every
possible innovation that may help them ensure best practices. This is best done
through a comprehensive benchmarking process that uses a structured evaluation
approach. Benchmarking starts with researching new tools and techniques. Attendance
at industry conferences, standards participation and conversations with other
ITS professionals can help you stay on top of the latest and greatest tools and
techniques that can potentially enhance best practices among your crews.
specific tool or technique is deemed viable, lead foremen in the field should
implement the tool or technique and evaluate its impact through careful
analysis and comparison with existing tools and techniques. Those conducting
field evaluations also should be given the means to easily disseminate
information to their peers and to management for further evaluation. Any ITS
provider that is able to calculate the benefits of deploying a certain best
practice, whether in terms of labor hours saved or installed performance achieved,
will realize that the practice is worth investing in and implementing.
benchmarking to be successful, training and consistency still play a critical
role. Anything can be marketed and sound great, but actual hands-on training
with a new tool or technique is critical. If you give a new tool to five
different crews, you may get five different results—unless they are properly
trained on the techniques and actual benefits involved in using that tool.
punch-down tools to bend radius control, there are many tools and techniques in
our industry that ITS providers can identify, evaluate and implement to help
save labor, increase accuracy and improve installed performance—all of which
ultimately impact the bottom line. One example of a tool or technique that
impacts the bottom line is a cabling installation system, which is designed to
systemize and control the various tasks associated with the actual installation
of the cable. These tools conserve time and materials, maintain minimum bend
radius, reduce errors, and ensure consistent installation practices from crew
installers need to remain aware and diligent at all times when pulling cable,
and a cabling installation system can help them do that. For example, a
constant setup technique typically has to be maintained when pulling cable, and
a cabling installation system manages that setup almost as if it were another
technician working with the crew. A cabling installation system also provides
the means for technicians to easily maintain proper tensile pressure, control
bend radius, and keep a natural separation of cables as they are being pulled
into the pathway, which are all critical to achieving installed performance. A
cabling installation system can save labor hours by speeding up the labeling
and sorting tasks of any ITS installation, allowing a technician to apply
legible, color-coded labels and sort cables for termination in a fraction of
the time required by conventional processes.
repetitive training, many ITS crews have learned to reduce cabling waste, but
they need to constantly pay attention to lengths and write down footage
markings. Unfortunately, this task is often omitted or flawed due to human
error. Because a cabling installation system easily tracks and displays cable
lengths, there is now no excuse for crews not to track and manage lengths to
reduce cabling waste.
example of benchmarking, data collected from ITS providers using a cabling
installation system shows a dramatic improvement in the number of cables pulled
per hour and the linear feet of cable wasted as shown in Figures 1 and 2. The
data was collected from several lead foremen using a cabling installation
system with comparisons based on the number of cables pulled and amount of
cable wasted during previous installations without a cabling installation
system. Conservative estimates show that approximately 55 percent more cables
can be pulled in an 8-hour day using a cabling installation system, which can
result in significant labor savings. The use of a cabling installation system
also has shown that the amount of cable wasted on a job can be reduced by more
than half. For example, the 150K feet of cable typically wasted when pulling
800K feet, is reduced to approximately 70K feet. At an average network cable
cost of $0.30 per foot, that’s roughly a $2,400 savings.
ITS providers, it is not just about implementing best practices during
installation and finding the right tool or technique for the job. It also has a
lot to do with your overall corporate culture and how implementing best
practices can have a broader impact that benefits an entire organization.
example, a cabling installation system can affect accounting and cash flow
because jobs are completed and invoiced faster. Estimators can be more
aggressive and flexible on pricing because a cabling installation system can
reduce labor costs. Marketing can now target the fast-growing “green” market
segment because the improved process provided by a cabling installation system
can help divert significant cabling waste from landfills. Accordingly, when a
new innovation is adopted in the field, training does not stop with the
technicians in the field but requires every department to learn about how best
practices impact their jobs and mission.
successful ITS providers know what it means to truly implement best practices
and not just say they do, they also know that every job is different and must
be properly assessed to determine the best practice for the environment.
Because there’s always a right tool or technique for a job, ITS providers must
remain tuned in to all the tools and techniques available in our industry.
While not every tool and technique warrants being adopted as a best practice,
successful ITS providers understand that there’s always going to be something
that comes along that will improve how they do their job. With that attitude,
and the willingness to continually research and evaluate new tools and
techniques, ITS providers can continually enhance and improve their best
practices. When the right tool or technique is discovered, ITS providers can
promote its implementation to customers and use it as an edge against the
Reprinted with full permission of
BICSI News – www.bicsi.org
Environmental Building News Calls for Incorporating “Passive Survivability" into Building Codes
In an age of heightened risk of
natural disasters, terrorism, and future energy shortages, we are more likely
to experience heat waves, blackouts, and fuel supply interruptions. Our houses
and apartment buildings should be designed to maintain livable conditions in
the face of these events.
Environmental Building News (EBN) unveiled this design
strategy, called "passive
survivability," in 2005, and the idea has generated growing interest
throughout the country since. Now, in the most recent issue of EBN, Executive
Editor Alex Wilson proposes that passive survivability is more than just a good
idea; it should be incorporated into building codes like other life-safety
issues (see www.BuildingGreen.com/go/survivability).
"We require that houses resist collapse and the spread of
"Why not also require houses that protect us from the elements when
power or heating fuel is lost?" The same argument applies to schools, and
other municipal buildings or government buildings that could serve as emergency
Passive survivability can be
achieved with such features as a highly insulated building envelope,
passive-solar design, cooling-load avoidance, natural ventilation, and
daylighting _design strategies that are key components of energy-efficient,
green building design today.
Housing built to achieve passive
survivability will almost never drop below 55°F, a temperature adequate for
livability. Occupants may have to bundle up, but they won _t risk dying of
hypothermia. And such housing equipped with a small heat source, such as a
woodstove or kerosene heater, could be kept comfortable during a power outage
or heating fuel interruption because of the insulation and other passive
Similarly, in the summer months, a
passively survivable house or apartment won't get so hot that residents are at
risk of heat stroke or hyperthermia - blamed for over 700 deaths in Chicago in 1995 and 35,000 deaths in Europe
in the summer of 2003. Overhangs will block the hottest sunlight, and windows
will provide natural ventilation _ as our warm-climate vernacular designs did
before the advent of air conditioning.
"We have tremendous
vulnerability in our cities," notes Wilson.
"An extended summertime heat
spell coupled with an accident or terrorist action that interrupts power
delivery, or a drought that causes water levels to drop so low that nuclear and
coal-fired power plants have to shut down due to lack of cooling water, could
spell disaster for hundreds of cities around the U.S." During the winter
months, a shortage of natural gas or heating oil could prove equally tragic especially
if schools and municipal centers identified as emergency shelters were relying
on the same heating fuel. "With
worldwide demand for oil now exceeding available supply, these concerns are not
unrealistic," argues Wilson.
"The good news is that we know
how to design and build housing that won't get too hot during the summer or too
cold in the winter," says Wilson.
Part of the answer is found by combining today's best practices of
energy-efficient, passive-solar, green building practices, and part is found by
looking back at regionally appropriate, vernacular buildings that existed
before air conditioning came along.
"Houses on the Gulf Coast in the late 1800s," according to Wilson, "had deep roof overhangs and wrap-
around porches that kept the summer sun out, and they were designed to benefit
from summertime breezes."
An obvious side benefit of passively
survivable housing is the very small ecological footprint. Under normal
operating conditions, such housing would use little energy for heating and
cooling, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions. "Even while passively survivable housing
will shelter us in the event of power outages or loss of heat," argues Wilson, "it can help prevent catastrophic
Wilson is beginning to examine how passive
survivability could be incorporated into building codes and he's reaching out
to some logical partners in such an effort, such as the insurance
One priority is to determine what
conditions" and how that varies regionally.
Another priority is to identify building performance metrics, such as the Home
Energy Rating System (HERS) scale, to define passive survivability. Code
authorities and government leaders also need to be convinced that interruptions
in electricity and heating fuel supply present a significant enough life-
safety risk that we should incorporate passive survivability into all new
Wilson has been a strong proponent of
voluntary green building programs, especially the LEED Rating System, but he is
not convinced that these programs can be adopted quickly enough to protect the
public. He believes that global climate change and energy shortages on the
horizon are making us more vulnerable.
"We have a responsibility to ensure that houses and apartments keep
their occupants safe and protected from the elements - just as we have a responsibility
to ensure that they won't collapse from snow loads."
Wilson suggests that we take that
responsibility seriously and mandate, through building codes, that our housing
will keep us safe, even without power or supplemental heat. "Let _s not wait for the tragedy of a
major summertime heat wave or wintertime cold spell that coincides with an
extended power outage or fuel shortage before we act."
BuildingGreen, LLC has been
providing the building industry with quality information on sustainable design
and construction since its founding in 1985. Publications include Environmental
Building News, the GreenSpec Directory of green building products, and the
BuildingGreen Suite of online resources. For information, visit www.BuildingGreen.com
or call 802-257-7300. To contribute to an ongoing discussion about passive
survivability, e-mail Policy@BuildingGreen.com.
with full permission of Building Green www.buildinggreen.com
The Financial Collapse and the Myth of Today’s Cheap Labor
Published on 4/9/2008 by www.MidwestBusiness.com where
you always read REAL perspectives
oldest column, runs every Wednesday. Its mission is to offer the common man’s
view on business and technology issues while questioning the leadership and
visions of “pseudo” experts.
CHICAGO – The lack of jobs for American
citizens is reflected with this latest, multibillion-dollar financial collapse
that reaffirms my economic observations. Many financial experts and economists
have yet to connect the dots while analyzing financial indicators and
determining why things are happening in the economy.
is interrelated. That couldn’t have been better expressed in the recent
Congressional hearings where Federal Reserve Chairman Bob Bernanke emphasized
the grave consequences if Bear Stearns wasn’t bailed out. Though he didn’t
explain all the details, he stated that the Fed had to step in and prop up Bear
Stearns so there wasn’t a domino effect on other financial firms.
that, why can’t the experts figure out that allowing too many cheap foreign workers
upsets the equilibrium of that same economy? How much empirical evidence do
of Cheap Labor
In a recent
column under the American dream hierarchy, I noted:
companies bringing in cheaper labor, they are upsetting the complex churning of
the economy from several perspectives.
getting cheaper labor. While this is perceived as good for them, many of those
cost savings haven’t been passed onto the consumers. Instead, they have been
used to create mega bonuses for executives, fund failing initiatives and in
some cases more value for the shareholders.
drawback is that the cheap labor they bring in isn’t cheap and the costs have
become a burden to the consumers. They have put a strain on schools, hospitals
and other institutions that require more funding to handle the increased
If we upset
the balance of alpha, beta and gamma consumers, we damage the economy. The
erosion of alpha consumers has been happening for at least the last eight
years. To me, this clearly fuels the acceleration of credit indebtedness.
on institutions like hospitals could not be better exemplified by the recent
closure of the 410-bed St. Francis Hospital
that had to close its doors due to too many patients not paying their bills.
This is from a Chicago Tribune article
on April 2:
with tens of millions of dollars in losses from uninsured patients who could
not pay their medical bills, St. Francis would be abandoning its core mission
of caring “for the people of its communities regardless of their ability to
of declining economic contributors keeps pulling down economic viability both
locally and regionally. The hospital closure impacts the health care situation
for the Blue Island
important, scratch another 1,400 good jobs that contribute to the tax revenues
of not only that city but also Cook
County. Those jobs are
not replaced by opening up a corner Starbucks.
remarkable note is that no health care association would even consider picking
up the hospital (even for free!). Out of 28 potential buyers, all said no. That
speaks volumes that a concentration of people with no health care are a real
drag on regional viability and a clear negative economic indicator that red
flags any health care-related economic development.
So much for
the false premise of cheap labor. Cheap labor costs everyone else millions of
dollars, and in this particular instance, no health care association wants to
pick up the pieces. It’s bad for their bottom line.
say we must compete in a global economy are missing the point if they think
eroding the standard of living to a third-world status is progress.
hospital with an economic viability that’s so bad it can’t even be given away
to any of 28 potential buyers is a clear proof of concept that putting the
burden of providing health care benefits onto the Alpha consumers for Beta and
Gamma consumers just doesn’t work. More Alpha consumers need to be made. They
have good jobs that include health care benefits.
Student Loan Tsunami, Are Cars Next?
Nelson sent in a Bloomberg article
by Steven Church and Jody Shenn. Here is an excerpt:
Education Resources Institute (the U.S. lender that says it’s the
largest non-profit, private guarantor of student loans) blamed its bankruptcy
filing on bond-market turmoil.
filed … for bankruptcy protection in Boston
while it reorganizes [and listed] debt of as much as $1 billion and assets of
more than $1 billion in its Ch. 11 petition. The company helps students fill
the funding gap left when government-backed loans aren’t enough to cover the
costs of college.
Reading between the lines, Nelson observes:
reason why the student loan holders defaulted is that there are very few jobs
for recent American college graduates as a consequence of employer preference
for specialty work visa holders since they are cheaper and are essentially
admissions over all of the work visa programs shows that more than 1 million
visas are granted annually. See the 1.757 million admissions in 2005 in the
table “American citizens can’t apply for these jobs” in the author’s Jan.
those who counted on repaying student loans are left in a quandary. Are we
relegating college graduate job seekers into a Beta consumer class before they
even get into their careers? This reaffirms my earlier economic insights:
Why do we
still have a skyrocketing rate for foreclosures, huge underemployment of highly
skilled workers and billion-dollar deficits in local and state government
people get pushed out of good-paying jobs and those jobs get filled by cheap
labor, the economy slides down another notch. Beta consumers can’t buy into the
full American dream hierarchy.
defaults are also rising
dramatically. This is another perspective on car loans
payment defaults doubled [in 2007] and are expected to get worse. [It’s] a
situation similar to the crisis in the home mortgage industry. A CBS 5 …
investigation found actions made by consumers, dealerships and lenders are contributing
to the auto loan crisis.
to Power Information Network, 1.85 [million] of the 9.6 million customers in
2006 who leased or financed a new car were sub-prime borrowers or consumers
with weak credit.
economic experts who said the sub-prime crisis would be contained to only the
sub-prime mortgages forgot about the 2 million car loans on which those same
people got approval. The economy is interrelated.
Carlinism: Cheap labor is not cheap. Their
benefits have to be picked up by others.
James Carlini interviewed by the Strassman Report out of California.
video discusses the need for planning gigabit network
infrastructure today in order to be globally competitive tomorrow.
out Carlini’s blog at CarlinisComments.com.
Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University.
He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Click here for
Carlini’s full biography.
2008 Jim Carlini
Building Intelligence: What’s the IQ of Chicago’s UBS Tower?
Published on 4/2/2008 at www.MidwestBusiness.com where you
always read REAL perspectives
oldest column, runs every Wednesday. Its mission is to offer the common man’s
view on business and technology issues while questioning the leadership and
visions of “pseudo” experts.
CHICAGO – Within the commercial real estate
markets, those commercial buildings that lack IQ will lose tenants and overall
value over the next five years.
Houston-based Hines real estate firm do proper due diligence when it purchased
the UBS Tower
in Chicago? If
they did, they would have looked at the building’s IQ. They would have asked:
“How smart is the building we’re buying? How good is the network infrastructure
of the building?” Did they even evaluate the network infrastructure of the
building? I don’t know.
the IQ of UBS Tower?
to Crain’s: “A fund managed by Hines Interests closed on the $540 million
purchase of UBS Tower in what could be the largest sale
of a downtown office building in 2008.” With this big a purchase, if Hines
didn’t look at the technology and network infrastructure that supported the
building they may have overspent for a building that scores a low IQ. That
would translate into buying a potential maintenance nightmare.
sinking into a commercial real estate slump as an aftershock from the financial
missteps in the residential markets, the need for intelligent amenities to prop
up leases and core building values becomes more important than it has been in
the last 20 years. There have been some discussions on what attracts and
maintains first-class tenants within commercial space and one of those
intelligent amenities is bandwidth connectivity.
talking about DSL or T-1 lines. I’m talking about multi-gigabit capabilities
that aren’t readily available everywhere. Network infrastructure is a critical
need today. I stated this in my recently published white paper “Intelligent
Business Campuses: Keys to Future Economic Development,” which is featured in
the newly released International Engineering Consortium’s 60th annual review of
white paper states: “Economic development equals broadband connectivity and
broadband connectivity equal jobs.” Broadband connectivity – with network
speeds of 1 gigabit or more – should be viewed as another layer of critical
infrastructure that’s required in planning and developing commercial real
estate and regional economic centers. This applies to existing buildings
already leased up as well.
wasn’t even on the list 10 years ago, broadband connectivity is considered to
be one of the top three site selection criteria today. Those buildings that
don’t provide this capability will simply be passed over by corporate site
selection committees that already use broadband connectivity as a criteria
that’s expected in order to locate new corporate facilities.
applies to residential developments. If you have a new development that doesn’t
have broadband capabilities built in from the get go, you have just created an
obsolete development. That sounds harsh, but in today’s residential market,
projects that were on the books to be initiated have already been halted. Until
the dust clears in the residential markets, these projects have been put on
hold or in some cases totally abandoned.
projects didn’t include high-speed connectivity as a featured amenity, those
developers taking up the planning again will have a rare second chance to get
it right. If they don’t plan for broadband connectivity, they will be stuck
with houses that will be considered lacking in a wanted feature.
You Calculate Building IQ?
How do you
compare commercial buildings to find out which is a better fit for your
company? You compare the systems and capabilities of one building to another
within a geographic area. The need for available intelligent amenities like
broadband connectivity is becoming more common as tenant companies get more
selective on commercial space.
concept isn’t new. It has been around for more than two decades and was
pioneered in Chicago as a way to help a property
management firms market office space in Seattle.
pioneering yardstick to measure differences in commercial building amenities
has been the “Carlini building intelligence test,” which originated more than
22 years ago as a way to compare downtown office buildings. The focus was that
simple yardsticks must be used as they tend to take out the mysticism of
technology, network design and infrastructure implementation for people looking
at leasing space.
should be easy rules of thumb and simple formulas to take out the mysticism of
planning, design and development of building and campus network infrastructure.
This has always been a coveted secret of the telecoms like Col. Sanders’ 11
purchasing a commercial building, the need to understand what’s actually
supporting the tenants from a technology perspective is imperative. In another
case with a developer buying an older headquarters building in Kansas City
years ago, by doing an assessment of the network infrastructure of the building
we uncovered many problems and hidden damages to the infrastructure.
Far Has the Market Really Come?
estate “traditionalists” in both commercial and residential who still think
having broadband connectivity isn’t an intelligent amenity to worry about are
those whose strategies consist of lowering the price until a building sells or
leases up in the markets they think they control. Their approach to due
diligence is also flawed.
To those, I
pose this question: “Would you sell a building or commercial space without air
conditioning?” While eventually someone might buy or lease, you definitely
won’t be targeting the majority of the market let alone the premium-paying
candidates of the market.
the following in several building IQ articles in 1985 and 1986 including one in
the fall edition of Real Estate Review: “As more of the real estate
industry becomes more comfortable with the idea, sophisticated marketing
approaches will be created and refined. The question of ‘how smart a building
do you need?’ will become as common as ‘how much space do you want to lease?’”
many in the real estate industry have to catch up to what has been evolving for
more than two decades.
building’s IQ and then marketing the building’s IQ in competitive markets is
critical. I hope the purchase of the UBS Tower in Chicago included a full due
diligence of reviewing the technology and network infrastructure within the
building, but knowing how most firms buy commercial buildings today, that part
of the due diligence might not have been done.
note: The text proverb-like “Carlinism” that would normally follow and end this
has now been transformed into a video segment from Carlini, which you can watch
James Carlini interviewed by the Strassman Report out of California.
video discusses the need for planning gigabit network
infrastructure today in order to be globally competitive tomorrow.
out Carlini’s blog at CarlinisComments.com.
Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University.
He is also president of Carlini & Associates. Carlini can be
reached at email@example.com or
Click here for
Carlini’s full biography.
2008 Jim Carlini
Cabling Installation & Maintenance
Updated bonding standard on shaky ground
TR-42.3.1 Working Group embarks on a rewrite of the 607 bonding and grounding
standard, controversy and differences of opinion surround a number of key
BETSY ZIOBRON is a freelance writer and regular
contributor to Cabling Installation &
Maintenance. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
telecommunications bonding and grounding has been a controversial topic, with
differences in expert opinion and a variety of methods from vendors causing
plenty of confusion among those who design and install bonding and grounding
infrastructures. Driven by today’s high-performance copper cabling systems,
there is now an outpouring from the industry asking for guidance and
combined with TIA’s (www.tiaonline.org) five-year revision cycle, has prompted
the revision of the ANSI/EIA/TIA 607 Commercial Building Grounding and Bonding
Requirements standard (J-STD-607-A), and the TIA 42.3.1 Working Group has the
arduous task ahead of reaching consensus on a number of key bonding issues.
written in 1994, ANSI/EIA/TIA 607 was the first United States standard to address
bonding and grounding for the telecommunications industry. Revised and
republished as a joint standard in October 2002, the current version of
J-STD-607-A was recently approved for another revision, and now TIA’s TR-42.3.1
Premises Telecommunications Bonding and Grounding Working Group has begun the
process of accepting contributions and updating the standard for what will
ultimately be TIA 607-B.
Details to add
biggest driver for the rewrite of 607 is the need to provide more detail and
direction on how to bond from the equipment in the rack or cabinet to the TMG
[telecommunications grounding busbar] and TMGB [telecommunications main
grounding busbar],” says Mark Harger, chair of the TR-42.3.1 Working Group and
president and owner of Harger Lightning and Grounding (www.harger.com).
many opinions on bonding equipment and racks,” Harger continues. “Some will use
a vertical rack busbar that runs the length of the rack. Others will use a
horizontal busbar across the top and run longer bonding conductors from the
equipment. From a cable-management standpoint, the vertical busbar enables the
use of shorter conductors, but it also depends on the rack and equipment
manufacturer, and the size and amount of the equipment.”
607 standard states that equipment and racks need to be bonded, but does not
specify how. Nonetheless, much of the confusion comes more from equipment
on which manufacturer you talk to, there can be completely different bonding
and grounding schemes specified,” says Rich Jones, director of global standards
with Chatsworth Products Inc. (CPI; www.chatsworth.com). “We are encouraging
equipment manufacturers to participate in the rewrite of the 607 standard so we
can understand how bonding and grounding impacts the performance of their
equipment and why they’ve specified some of the methods they have.”
Some in the
industry are also calling for additional information on specific applications,
such as towers and antennas, data centers, wireless systems, industrial
applications, and residential installations. “It’s too early to tell if
specific applications will be addressed in the standard or as addenda, but
there are some specific bonding and grounding methods that you might do in a
data center or other application that are above and beyond what’s required for
a generic commercial system,” says Harger.
TR-42.3.1 group, Harger says, has also discussed the possibility of addressing
surge protection--something that is not in the current 607 standard.
of surge protection was not originally included because it was not part of the
primary intent to establish a grounding and bonding infrastructure for
telecommunications,” he explains. “Installers know they need to meet the NEC [National Electrical Code] for surge
protection, and it remains to be seen if that topic will make its way into the
rewrite of 607.”
Up for debate
of bonding to the building steel is one of the controversial topics up for
debate. The current 607 standard states that each TGB and the TMGB should
include a supplemental bonding connection to the metal frame of a building in
addition to the telecommunications bonding backbone (TBB) that bonds all TGBs
with the TMGB as part of the telecommunications pathways and spaces
(independent of cable).
international and military standards allow the use of the building steel in
lieu of the TBB, not in addition to it,” says Harger. “Many in the industry
don’t believe that the building steel can be easily verified for continuity,
but there are methods available for testing that. It’s definitely one of the
more controversial topics that we’ll be dealing with, and we will look to the
experts as well as other standards for reference.”
One of the
biggest bonding and grounding arguments among experts is whether a single- or
multi-point system is better. With single-point grounding, all electrical and
telecommunications systems are grounded at a single point, which has long been
recommended in industrial applications for its ability to reduce noise
generation. In multi-point grounding, systems are grounded at multiple points.
advances, more and more equipment manufacturers are specifying a combination of
performance and safety bonding and grounding,” says Jones. “The current 607
standard allows for both single-point or multi-point, and some equipment
vendors recommend one and some recommend the other. That’s just another reason
why we need these vendors to participate in our effort to rewrite 607.”
continues, “There is confusion surrounding the difference between safety and
performance grounds. 607 is primarily about performance of high-bandwidth
applications, while the NEC is
concerned with safety. One is not a substitute for the other. You can’t assume
that a good telecommunications performance grounding system is all you need for
safety, and you can’t assume that a good electrical safety ground is all you
need for today’s IT performance. Both are needed, and they must be installed
properly to work in harmony with one another.”
screened and shielded cabling systems receiving more attention as a viable
option for avoiding alien crosstalk in 10-Gigabit Ethernet over copper
applications, many in the industry are asking for clarification on the proper
method for bonding shielded cabling systems. Much of the confusion surrounding
bonding of shielded cabling systems has been caused by much misunderstanding as
well as myths that have permeated the industry.
disappointment that so many installers have believed the myth that screened and
shielded systems are difficult to bond and ground,” says Valerie Maguire,
global sales engineer with Siemon (www.siemon.com). “These systems require just
one additional step: A 6-AWG bonding conductor from the shielded patch panel to
the TMG in the same way that other equipment is bonded. The screen of the cable
is bonded to the patch panel during termination, and the 6-AWG bonding
conductor from the patch panel to the TMG simply maintains the continuity of
that screen to ground. This is not required for UTP because there is no screen
question is whether a shielded system needs to be bonded at both ends—at the
workstation and at the telecommunications room—or at one end. For a channel,
the ground at the workstation is achieved through whatever piece of equipment
is installed there; however, many still believe that bonding shielded systems
only at the telecommunications room will create an antenna effect.
performance, you only need one ground connection,” Maguire explains. “Most
screened and shielded cabling systems have three: one through the computer at
the workstation, one at the patch panel, and one through the network equipment.
There is absolutely no reason to provide a fourth ground connection at the
workstation outlet. Even if someone uses a UTP cord at the workstation or
removes the ground by using a battery-powered laptop, there is no degradation
in performance because you still have a connection to ground in the closet.”
adds, “The idea that the screen of shielded cable can create an antenna is absurd.
It’s ridiculous to think that a long length of aluminum foil is more likely to
pick up a signal than a low-impedance, 24-AWG copper conductor. We’ve tested
both UTP and shielded for the antenna effect, and the degree to which they can
pick up noise in the commercial environment is so minuscule that you really
can’t call either one an antenna. In fact, a shielded system is 100 to 1,000
times less likely pick up noise in the environment. The antenna myth has been
completely dispelled every which way you look at it. “
also points out that shielded systems provide the ability to measure for ground
loops, which don’t necessarily affect data transmission but could affect
equipment performance: “With UTP, there’s no way to see if there’s a difference
in ground potential between the telecommunications and electrical systems,
because there’s no shield to access the ground connection on the cable.
Shielded offers the advantage of being able to easily make that verification.”
TR-42.3.1 is discussing just what the 607-B standard will include when it comes
to shielded systems, Maguire says it’s as simple as stating that in addition to
all the requirements that apply--regardless of media--for a shielded system,
you shall also provide a low-impedance ground from the patch panel to the TMG.
think the standards need to address the myths of bonding at both ends and the
antenna effect, but it would make a great informative bulletin,” Maguire says.
“Siemon, among others, has gone through great efforts to make this information
available through white papers and other means, and users have been very
appreciative of the information. I’m sure they would value the same information
coming from the TIA.”
Collaboration is key
many different opinions and uncertainties even among the experts, the TR-42.3.1
Working Group has the daunting task of coming to an agreement on many bonding
and grounding issues, and as chair of the committee, Harger doesn’t think that
the standard will be ratified this year. “We have no idea when it will be
completed,” he says, “but contributions will be coming in over the next few
months followed by monthly conference calls to discuss and vote on issues.”
however, some agreement when it comes to emphasizing bonding or grounding. The
name of the standard will change from “grounding and bonding” to “bonding and
grounding” because the TIA recognizes that the telecommunications system is
technically bonded to the electrical ground, and installers are not really
grounding at all. “We all agree that we need to put more emphasis on bonding,”
says CPI’s Jones. “We also all agree that the industry is clamoring for
guidance, and there is room for improvement.”
concludes, “Through the TIA update process, we can bring together the best
minds in a collaborative consensus environment to work through these issues,
reach agreement, and move the industry forward. We are looking forward to
providing clarity to many of the bonding issues facing designers and installers
with full permission of Cabling Installation & Maintenance www.cablinginstall.com
Real work is more than pushing papers around
that begins on page 17 relays one man’s/one firm’s philosophy of how to manage
certain types of projects that can be particularly complex and
challenging—nationwide rollouts. To oversimplify it some, that’s when an
end-user organization with multiple, geographically dispersed sites is
installing or upgrading technology across many or all of those sites.
for the article literally has been years in the making, and I hope the words in
this month’s issue are the beginning, not the end, of discussion on the topic.
It began a
few years ago when I received a call from a C-level executive at a well-known
home-improvement-warehouse type organization. He called me because he figured
that being the editor of a nationwide cabling magazine, I’d be familiar with
the business landscape and might be a resource to him (which only proves how
much he had to learn, if you ask me). Specifically, he wanted to know where he
could find a cabling-contracting company that was truly nationwide. He was
responsible for the information technology in retail stores across the country,
and was confounded at the amount of time and energy it took him to find cabling
labor to work in the individual stores. The only suggestions I had for him were
organizations that he already knew about—those with operations in many large
cities and other parts of the country. But, we both agreed, no contracting firm
was truly nationwide.
recently, I received a call from a rather unhappy cabling contractor who was on
the other end of a similar scenario, yet was no less confounded. He had been
hired to conduct work for the local office of a non-profit organization that
had sites in several parts of the United States. The organization did
not directly hire him; rather, the organization hired a project-management firm,
which in turn hired him to do the work at this particular site. When he began
the job, he had no idea that he’d end up like the end-user in one precarious
way: It turned out this was a non-profit undertaking for him. That wasn’t the
intention, of course; but when the project-management firm collected payment
from the end user then failed to pay the installer who did the work, the
installer was out of luck and out several thousand dollars.
surprisingly, the contractor was bitter about the experience. He referred to
the now-defunct, out-of-state, impossible-to-reach project-management firm as a
“paper pusher” because they didn’t do any actual field work. My assessment is
that the company was pushing something other than paper.
that there are no true nationwide cabling-installation companies has given rise
to frustrations such as these. Firms of all stripes, from the nameless one
discussed on this page to the one detailed beginning on page 17, have emerged
in light of this clear business need.
business dynamics in the information-technology industry change briskly, one
characteristic that has not changed is the necessity of knowing the company
with which you are entering a business relationship. The better you know the
company, the better your chances of making it through the relationship
with full permission of Cabling Installation & Maintenance www.cablinginstall.com
Experience and structure keys to multiple-site rollout
PATRICK McLAUGHLIN is chief editor of Cabling Installation & Maintenance.
information age of today, it is quite common for an end-user organization to
comprise multiple sites that may be geographically dispersed yet have to be
able to communicate flawlessly with each other. In the case of Fortune 500-type
organizations, the multiple-site setup is a virtual certainty.
organizations such as these face complex challenges if they try to manage their
technology—including of course networking and cabling—from a single point, such
as corporate headquarters. Consequently, these companies typically hire
solution providers to manage the installation and maintenance of their
technology needs across many sites. In turn, those solution providers typically
hire subcontractors to handle different aspects of the deployments. Often those
subcontractors sub out some aspects of their work; and so it goes to the point
where in a great many cases, the actual technicians on a jobsite are several
degrees removed from the end-user organization on whose premises those
technicians are working.
commonly used to describe the servicing of end-user organizations’
geographically dispersed needs is the technology field rollout. “By definition,
a technology field rollout is a minimum of two individual sites requiring
technology services implemented by on-site field technicians,” says Dennis
Mazaris, president of Concert Technologies (www.concerttech.com), which
specializes in technology field rollouts. In the rollout field since 1995,
Mazaris approaches his profession and his projects with a sense of organization
that indicates managing these projects is a science rather than an art.
A structured approach
example, he uses the terms “technology,” “solution,” and “system” to define and
explain the dynamics of end-user needs and how they get met. Technology may be
described as users’ capability needs and may include voice, video, data, and
security applications. As such, technology drives the need for a solution,
which in simple terms is the response to the users’ requirements. The system is
the means by which that solution is delivered, including processes and
methodologies. The system—the actual delivery of solutions—is at the heart of
the field rollout.
rollouts can be classified or categorized based on their complexity and
duration. While all rollouts are similar in that they involve multiple sites,
they vary in other characteristics. A Category 1 rollout takes one day or less
and the work is typically confined to a specific area at the given site. A
Category 2 rollout, meanwhile, takes between two and six days, and may involve
work on an entire floor of a building. A Category 3 rollout, the most complex,
is seven or more days in duration and often includes work performed throughout
this organized approach to managing rollouts, Mazaris cautions there are no
universal answers to general questions about these projects. “The
classification of the rollout—Category 1, 2, or 3—will affect how you tend to
and manage them,” he says. “It also is an indication of what to expect from
them. For example, if the end user has a remote site, will the project at this
site be a one-day job, or will a crew be there for weeks or months? Also, what
happens if a crew doesn’t make it to the remote site? Are we talking about a
one-day job that was missed, or is it a new install of 400 cabling runs that
just got put off schedule?”
the elevator pitch that includes the terms “single point of contact,”
“installation contractors everywhere,” and “software applications” often falls
far short of addressing the complexities of a nationwide rollout.
doesn’t fly when you’re managing hundreds of sites per week,” Mazaris says.
Some of Concert’s customers have credited the firm with having people in many
geographic areas, he says, but the real value comes from three elements: the
process management structure, internal resources, and relationships.
process structure is described as centralized single-tier, in which a
customer—typically, a solution provider—enlists a technology field rollout
company. That rollout company uses local field technicians at the rollout
sites. Contrast that with the centralized multi-tier structure, in which there
are several tiers of subcontractors between the rollout company and the local
structures include tech-for-hire, in which a project manager within the
solution-provider company hires what is essentially temporary labor in the form
of field technicians at local sites. In the internal employee process
structure, the customer’s internal project manager oversees internal local
technicians at some sites and hires a technology field rollout company for
other sites. Additional, hybrid structures exist that may involve internal
project managers as well as tech-for-hires, and multi-tier structures that
deploy different rollout companies in different geographical areas.
authored a whitepaper entitled Lower
project costs and time: A guide to selecting the right field option for your
rollout, which details these structures and their practical implementations
in the field.
responsible for projects carried out across the country, Concert Technologies
is constantly dealing with regulations and codes at municipal, state, and
federal levels. The issues go beyond appropriate contractor licensing to
include wage-determination scales and bonding issues. But in this election
year, a quote from former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill is prescient: All
politics is local. In this case, all technology field rollouts are local also.
That is where the element of relationships can make a tremendous difference as
to whether a technology field rollout company succeeds or fails.
to have relationships with local contractors and profiles on them to make sure
they meet your standards,” Mazaris says. He credits his previous work with the
ETL Independent Verification Program (see sidebar), in part, with establishing
working relationships with contractors in locales nationwide. At times, those
relationships enable Concert to send one local contractor, with which it has a
relationship, on site to ensure a project is progressing as expected.
there are few, if any, blanket answers or responses in the realm of nationwide
technology rollouts. As Concert Technologies’ approach over the past 13 years
indicates, the constancy of a solid process structure combined with internal
management and relationships across the nation are enablers of success in this
elevator pitch that includes the terms ‘single point of contact,’ ‘installation
contractors everywhere,’ and ‘software applications’ often falls far short of
addressing the complexities of a nationwide rollout.
Concert puts decades of experience
readers of Cabling Installation &
Maintenance may recognize the name Dennis Mazaris, president of Concert
Technologies. His name has appeared on the pages of this publication and on our
web site over the course of several years.
owned a structured-cabling company for approximately 10 years, after working
for an interconnect and then a cabling contractor that had worked for the
interconnect. In 1995, after a decade of cabling-company ownership, he saw an
opportunity in the business of extending telecommunications services for
end-user organizations, primarily in the form of demarcation extensions on a
nationwide basis. Concert Technologies was born. The next year, The
Telecommunications Act of 1996 paved the way for growth in his business, and in
addition to extending demarcations, Concert began installing customer-premises
fact that technology rollouts encompass more than structured cabling, Mazaris
credits his cabling background with enabling today’s success. “Owning a
structured cabling company for 10 years was a good foundation,” he says.
“Anyone who does it knows it’s the best foundation you can have for installing
the function of a technology-rollout company to a delivery service such as
FedEx or UPS, and then some. “Like a FedEx, we deliver what the customer
needs—we bring it there,” he says. “But we also set it up once we get it
with full permission of Cabling Installation & Maintenance www.cablinginstall.com
More ‘boom’ ahead for security markets
PATRICK McLAUGHLIN is chief editor of Cabling Installation & Maintenance.
researchers scattered across the globe appear to agree that various segments
making up the overall security marketplace are in bull mode—and those market
segments are predicted to continue steady growth in coming years, with several
providing opportunities for communications-cabling deployment.
year, U.K.-based RNCOS (www.rncos.com) released a report entitled “Global
Electronic Surveillance Market Outlook” that covers a range of surveillance
technologies from closed-circuit television (CCTV) to biometrics and
radio-frequency identification (RFID). The report tracks mostly historical data
on these technologies, from the year 2005 to current, and also estimates the
year these markets will have in 2008.
late-2007 release from RNCOS, entitled “Global CCTV Market Analysis,” focuses
specifically on IP-based and analog closed-circuit television systems from 2007
through 2011. The report predicts 13% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over
the review period for the combined technologies, saying the total worldwide
market in 2011 will be a staggering $17.2 trillion.
IP and CCTV
world is seeing the retail revolution, this sector has emerged as the chief
area that offers huge prospects for the global CCTV market,” the research firm
said in a December statement announcing the study’s availability. “Retailers
would get the advantage of examining the loss of cash or inventory, general
pilfering, and prevention of crime. Other opportunity areas lie in industries
like health care and transportation.”
Much of the
future demand will come from the Asia-Pacific market, the study predicts,
specifically mentioning India,
China, Singapore, Japan,
and Hong Kong. The report also comments on
challenges the CCTV market faces, including insufficient coverage, privacy
concerns, and restricted capability in terms of storage and retention.
subset of the CCTV marketplace, IMS Research (www.imsresearch.com), with
offices in the U.K., U.S., and China, recently issued a report on
the megapixel security-camera market. The researcher predicts greater than 100%
CAGR over the next three years for these products, stating that more than
500,000 units will be shipped by next year.
has overcome a number of hurdles to get to this position,” the company says.
“Perhaps the biggest issue that megapixel cameras have faced to date is how to
cope with the volume of data produced, which demands more bandwidth and storage
volume; however, improved compression algorithms, more widespread Gigabit
Ethernet deployments, and reductions in storage prices mean that these issues
are being addressed.”
Alastair Hayfield says, “This market has been held back while a range of
technical problems has been overcome. The market is now poised for a period of
technical problems have included low-light performance, which is being
addressed by sensor manufacturers. Business hurdles have included the high cost
of megapixel cameras compared to standard cameras. IMS notes that megapixel
cameras are overcoming this objection because often, a one megapixel camera
provides the coverage of multiple standard cameras. Additionally—and no less
importantly—the prices of megapixel cameras are falling. Finally, IMS sees more
manufacturers offering megapixel cameras in the near future, further boosting
its market potential.
Small but growing niche
IMS study examines an entirely different security application--fire detection.
In this case, the firm looks at the emerging market of video smoke detection
(VSD). Described by IMS as a market niche, VSD should grow at 38.8% CAGR to $36
million by 2011.
traditional point-based detectors, VSD does not rely on the smoke’s proximity
to the detector, which enables the device to detect a fire earlier than its
conventional counterparts. VSD incorporates standard video surveillance cameras
with sophisticated image recognition and processing software to identify the
distinctive characteristics of smoke and flame patterns, differentiating among
smoke, dust and haze, IMS explains.
recently, most VSD technology has been server-based, but the software is
increasingly being embedded into video surveillance devices, such as network
cameras. This convergence is expected to bring the cost of the solution down,
making it more affordable. Newer systems are combining flame detection and
remote monitoring capability, enabling 24/7 response.
IMS cites a
general lack of awareness of VSD as the primary hindrance to the technology’s
growth; the researcher says suppliers will gain further legislative approval
along with market experience, and spur the technology’s growth. VSD is
currently being deployed regularly in the power-generation sector, while other
prime sectors include tunnels, rail depots, shopping malls, aircraft hangars,
and other large non-residential structures.
researcher Frost & Sullivan (www.frost.com) bestowed one of its
best-practices awards upon VSD equipment provider axonX (www.axonx.com). In
summarizing the merits of axonX’s offerings, Frost & Sullivan analyst G.G.
Hariharan discussed VSD’s enabling technologies: “The manufacturers of fire and
smoke detectors and video surveillance systems are moving toward the use of
information technology standards to facilitate convergence and interoperability
among separate subsystems. The concept of interoperability is fundamentally
based on the ability to efficiently and cost-effectively bring together
information technology and physical security. Building engineers and vendor
technicians are able to use information-technology infrastructure to monitor
performance and receive other diagnostic information on the facility. The
interest level among end-users for remote monitoring and control is already
high and is still likely to continue to grow with advancing technological
adds, “From the video-detection standpoint, convergence is aimed at replacing
existing standard cameras with highly equipped IP cameras for better detection
Proplan and BSRIA
similar vein, Proplan recently completed a study on intelligent building
controls that puts significant emphasis on fire detection and alarm systems
(IBCf). The 712-page report is not international, covering the “EU7” nations of
Belgium, France, Germany,
Italy, Netherlands, Spain,
and the United Kingdom.
But that seven-country market is the world’s largest, Proplan says, having
surpassed the U.S.
market for fire detection and safety systems five years ago.
the geographical area covered, figures are reported in euros. The overall
market for these seven countries was €2.744 billion last year. An example of
the report’s bullish nature is that while penetration in some of the countries
studies represents the highest levels anywhere in the world, Proplan says each
of the seven countries exhibits good potential for further growth. The study
says new IBCf deployments have been growing at 5% in recent years—far
surpassing the overall pace of new construction in general—and the growth rate
increases when maintenance revenues are considered.
market research and analyst firms predict or evaluate mergers and acquisitions
in the industries they cover. Last month, the research industry had an
acquisition of its own when BSRIA (www.bsria.co.uk) acquired Proplan. In
addition to the report on IBCf, five other recent BSRIA/Proplan studies are
Of the acquisition,
BSRIA’s chief executive Andrew Eastwell commented, “This business complements
BSRIA’s own activities well, and supports our ambitions to grow our market
share in worldwide construction market research. Proplan has an excellent image
in the very important sector of controls.”
(Editor’s note: Cabling Installation
& Maintenance is currently in
conversation with BSRIA about a new report on the United States security market and
expects to have detailed information in future issues.)
with full permission of Cabling Installation & Maintenance www.cablinginstall.com
Cabling Networking Systems
A bold move by BICSI
before John Bakowski began his two-year term as president of BICSI in January
2006 I sat down with him to discuss his various plans and aspirations.
point he was asked about the cost benefit side of the equation and whether he
was satisfied with what the organization provided.
not entirely," he replied. Bakowski went on to say that internally,
"we are doing a good job of developing training modules, but I'm not sure
that the people outside this particular business recognize the type of
expertise we bring to the table. We need to reach out to other professions. We
have not reached out enough. We have to do more and we need to do more quickly.
The success of BICSI will depend on the quality of programs we provide to the
internal soul searching began in earnest about a year ago when Bakowski,
president-elect Ed Donelan and the rest of the board members launched what
would end up being an intensive review of an association that has been in
operation since 1977 following the formation and incorporation of the Building
Industry Consulting Service International, Inc.
Bowman, U. S. North-Central Region Director, aptly stated at the recent 2008
BICSI Winter Conference in Orlando,
"we began asking questions that we had never asked before."
As he notes
on p. 6 of this issue, both the industry and stakeholders have changed. For
example, he and other board members found that some employers were no longer
willing to spend the two or three years on the investment it takes to put a
person through the Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD)
such as those and others lead to the formation of the Inverted Funnel Project
or IFP, following the review, which was conducted by a group of BICSI staff and
volunteers. It has since morphed into an initiative called NxtGEN.
is no denying that many changes have occurred in the ITS industry since the
inception of the RCDD program," said Bakowski in a release issued in
mid-November to announce its launch. "Shifts in the needs of BICSI
members, customers and other stakeholders have left gaps in the publications,
training and credentialing that we offer."
to Bowman in some cases, the RCDD has become a barrier to those people who
wanted the knowledge and credentials that BICSI offers in a specialty program.
In the November/December issue of BICSI News, Bakowski wrote that now is the
time to get focused on the "future of the industry and the future of
BICSI. The IFP is an important first step in doing something.
have observed that we should do more to reach out to other industry
organizations and other credentialing organizations to begin opening doors of
the new generation of BICSI credential holders, including those in the IT, AV,
security and other lines of business."
Donelan, his goal is to see the technicians become RCDDs and the installers
step in the technician's role.
are now in the implementation phase," he told delegates at the annual
general meeting of BICSI in January. "This is where we take the rocks that
we looked under and put the new foundation together to help this organization
grow on a worldwide basis."
the organization should certainly look into is getting more women involved in
the ITS sector. That this is still very much a male-dominated industry was
evident when the all-male BICSI board of directors was introduced at the AGM in
which Bakowski passed the baton over to his successor.
with full permission of Cabling Networking Systems www.cnsmmagazine.com
BICSI transformation begins
changes to include launch of a 10-step program designed to 'enhance' education
and credentialing efforts.
organizational change now underway at BICSI was inevitable given the changing
conditions of the information transportation systems (ITS) market, says Jerry
Bowman, one of the driving forces behind an initiative called the NxtGEN
here at the 2008 BICSI Winter Conference in January, Bowman, U. S.
North-Central Region Director and a member of the board, outlined what prompted
the reorganization and why it was necessary.
ago, the board asked a group of members and volunteers to conduct a review of
the RCDD program and come back with a series of recommendations. Their efforts
resulted in the launch last June of the NxtGEN.
president John Bakowski wrote in a recent issue of BICSI News that there is no
denying that many changes have occurred in the ITS industry since the inception
of the RCDD program. Shifts in the needs of members, customers and other
stakeholders, he added, have left gaps in the publications, training and
credentialing that the organization offers.
BICSI press release noted that currently, BICSI credentialing has a linear path
where a person can enter the organization as an installer or technician and
then must become a RCDD prior to being able to obtain one of three specialty
programs -- Network Transport Systems, Wireless Design and Outside Plant.
NxtGen program will drive (our) strategic plan in building our credentialing
and outreach programs," said Bakowski, whose term as president ended in
meanwhile, said three fundamental drivers forced the move including the fact
that in some cases, the RCDD was becoming a barrier to those people who wanted
the knowledge and credentials that "we offer in a specialty program: We
found that employers had changed. Some were no longer willing to spend the two or
three years in the investment to put a person through the program. We will
address that issue this year.
second driver was that the experience and structure of the credentialing
program within BICSI sometimes excluded people we wanted to include. It
excluded in some cases, the technicians and installers who work very hard to
develop their knowledge and skills. It excluded external stakeholders such as
professional engineers, network professionals and sales and management
third was that our industry and stakeholders have changed. We cannot deny this.
How we work, where we work, what is expected of us, the design industry itself,
has changed considerably. In addition, the way we learn, the way we study, the
way we work and the influence of the convergent space environment, the IP
driven systems, all our changing what we do and how we work."
On Dec. 8,
the founding NxtGEN committee presented a business plan to the board that
contained a series of recommendations designed to address any issues identified
in their review.
offering specialty exams sometime this year that will not require a RCDD
being put in place to market credentialing program to employers and consumers
in order to drive demand.
• The RCDD
designation becoming more inclusive. "We feel there are a lot of
professionals and emerging industries that need what we have," Bowman
said. "These include security, industrial and building automation
more educational and sales management professionals into the BICSI fold.
out to high schools, trade schools, high schools and colleges and universities.
"We believe the next generation of BICSI members and credential holders
will come from these places," Bowman said. "Look for us to do a
better job in the future."
that BICSI publications, training and curriculum are up to date and in synch
with what's happening today in the marketplace.
is exciting and scary at the same time," said Bowman. "As part of the
strategic plan, we have determined that we need to create an elevated
credential that might be more inclusive of global standards and build upon what
we have in the RCDD technician specialty programs.
for us in the next three to five years to introduce an elevated credential
above the RCDD. It will provide evidence that you have enhanced capabilities
above even what is required from the gold standard right now. It's in early
stages. In fact, I am not even sure what it will be called at this point."
A Conversation With: John Siemon
Executive VP of Engineering buoyed by the fact enterprises are 'outgrowing
their cabling plants, their data centres and their IT infrastructure in
Let's start with the economy. How bad is it out there and do you see any silver
linings for Siemon and the structured cabling industry as a whole over the next
Siemon: Obviously, there is quite a bit of
uncertainty in the global economy as a whole and it would be a bit foolish to
think that the cabling industry is completely immune. That said, we see growth
projections for the enterprise cabling industry that outpace overall economic
growth. There is good upside potential for 2008.
concerns of the larger economy are tempered by the fact that enterprises are
outgrowing their cabling plants, their data centres and their IT infrastructure
in general. Many of the build-outs that were completed in anticipation of Y2K
are overdue for replacement or a major overhaul. From our perspective, the
demand for cabling is still strong and growing.
attended the recent BICSI Winter Conference in Orlando. What impressions did you come away
Siemon: Although there were no show-stopping
product announcements, the sessions showed that technological advances and the
innovation drive have not slowed. The presentations I saw point to evolving
needs in the industry and networking in general. For example, there was an
interesting parallel drawn between IT networking and centralization of the
power grid in the early 1900s. If that analogy holds, the importance of IT
infrastructure will only increase. While requirements for increased storage and
transmission capacity will continue, the opportunity for innovation will more
likely come from other challenges.
can tell you what's coming from a product standpoint, but you can better judge
the mood of the industry by talking to the attendees. If I were going to play
Alan Greenspan, I would define the BICSI mood as "cautious optimism"
with a good deal more optimism than caution.
specifically, I noted a continuation of a trend towards the acceptance of
screened and shielded systems. If you went to the 2004 BICSI and predicted this
level of interest in screened and shielded cabling in North
America you would have received some skepticism.
just that and, yes, there were skeptics. But with each year, acceptance has
grown. This year, I would characterize the acceptance of screened and shielded
cabling as the best 10GBASE-T option as all but universal.
too much evidence on the potential benefits of F/UTP and S/FTP cabling for
people to ignore it anymore. I would credit the few screened and shielded
"pioneer" companies for that shift.
cover story this issue focuses on the data centre. How important are standards
and what impact would you say TIA-942 has had in this space since it was first
introduced in 2005?
Siemon: Standards provide minimum
requirements for an infrastructure that can accommodate diverse needs and
ongoing changes to the networking environment.
One of the
most significant aspects of TIA-942 is the direction to use a structured
cabling system and build on the '568 series of standards.
In the past,
directly connected equipment has lead to a significant increase in abandoned
cable, which is an issue in a majority of older data centres today. There are
still examples of equipment rooms and data centres that are lacking in even the
most fundamental principles of infrastructure management. While these images
help to liven up a presentation or article, the IT facilities they depict are
real. If those types of issues are not addressed, the risks associated with
erosion of data centre infrastructure to both up-time and operating costs
centre standard assists IT professionals in the design and installation of
cabling that will support multiple generations of equipment without the need to
re-cable. Realistically, it is far less disruptive to support network upgrades
that are minimally invasive to the data center environment and do not require
new cabling or cabinets.
also progressing on ISO/IEC 24764, the draft international standard entitled
"Generic cabling systems for Data Centres." It uses ISO/IEC 11801 as
the foundation for specifying a modified structure and configuration for
generic cabling within data centres used to support existing and emerging
applications. The implementation options cover connection schemes that reflect
a wide range of operating environments. The votes on the second and hopefully
final committee draft ballot are due in April.
Siemon recently introduced a 10G 6A F/UTP version of its MapIT intelligent
infrastructure management system. Is it safe to say that 10G's time has
Siemon: Absolutely. My answer would have
been the same in 1999, but I would have been referring to a different phase in
the 10Gb/s lifecycle. Back then, the time had come to start developing a 10Gb/s
pre-standard Category 6A solutions hit the market, the commercial availability
of 10Gb/s product signified that the time had come. More recently, ratification
of the 10GBASET standard had the same kind of effect.
approval of Category 6A/Class EA standards, the installed base will continue to
grow, which will lead to future generations of 10Gb/s electronics that are more
readily available and affordable.
phase of the 10Gb/s life cycle is significant in that the "early
adopter" phase is behind us. In our experience, the vast majority of mid
to large enterprise projects include 10Gb/s capability in their initial
specifications, and the number installing these systems is growing rapidly.
that this trend is aided by the variety of 10Gb/s options and the resulting
ability to choose a best-fit solution. North America
in particular is beyond the limited de facto options of UTP and fiber. The
market acceptance and manufacturer support of screened and shielded systems has
changed the landscape considerably.
the CNS 10th anniversary panel held in November you suggested that standards
for the cabling infrastructure should get out in front of the applications and
user needs. How easy or difficult is it going to be to get to that point?
Siemon: I do not believe it will ever be
easy to gain consensus within standards groups made up primarily of
served on these bodies for so long, I can tell you that most participants truly
want what is best for the users and the industry as a whole. Agreeing on what
is best is a different story.
know it can be done. Category 7/class F standards were published by ISO/IEC in
2002, four years before the ratification of the IEEE 802.3an 10Gb/s application
standard. It was used to prove technical feasibility before formation of the
task force and was the first and only standard-based cabling to support full
100m implementations of 10GBASE-T until 2008.
recently, an amendment to ISO/IEC 11801 created the pending class FA, which is
targeted to support the next generation of data applications beyond 10GBASE-T.
interface standard has already published in support of class FA in the form of
the second edition IEC 61076-3-104 standard. We know we can get out ahead of the
other hand, we did not have approved TIA or ISO standard for Category 6A/Class
EA channels until February 2008 -- two months after IEEE moved ahead with
projects to develop standards for 40Mb/a and 100Mb/s transmission.
we can attribute this timing to the challenges faced pushing 10Gb/s through UTP
cable and the RJ45-style interface rather than an inherent deficiency in the
cabling standards process. Regardless of the underlying cause, the fact remains
that this delay has put mainstream twisted-pair cabling behind the
applications. What's more troubling is the uncertainty surrounding what will
come after Category 6A. Fiber on the other hand is already well positioned to
support 100Gb/s transmission.
also talked of a technological shift that could soon see the "killer
apps" being replaced by "app killers." What is an app killer in
Siemon: By app killer, I mean the type of
change that forces us to rethink fundamental aspects of network performance.
It is clear
to me that trends in network utilization, operating cost and environmental
considerations will take us in new directions that bring latency and power to
the front of the line as the primary drivers for future networking
10GBASE-T standard enables availability of transceivers that are commercially
viable and will work with "generic" cabling, but it came with
tradeoffs to cost, power and latency.
those limitations are effectively resolved by 2nd and 3rd generation
transceivers, commercial acceptance will never reach the levels of 1000BASE-T.
Until then, other media options like fiber and other networking protocols like
Infiniband will be called upon when power or latency are considered to be
news is that technical feasibility of copper-based solutions for 40G and 100G
data rates has been proven although it remains to be seen what form those
solutions will take.
confident that there will be at least one standards-based copper cabling
solution that will support transmission rates in excess of 10G with less power,
lower latency than today's 10GBASE-T. To do so, other tradeoffs may be
necessary regarding interface type, cabling implementations and the ability to
auto-negotiate to lower transmission rates.
What is the best way for an organization to maximize its cabling investment?
Siemon: Plan ahead and future proof.
Provided that you intend to be in the facility for longer than five years,
install the highest performing cabling available to maximize it's lifecycle.
The longer the cabling plant can support the network, the lower the total cost
example, the initial installed cost of a Category 5e system is about a third
the cost of a Category 7A installation. But, the Category 5e system can only
expected to last 5 years. Category 7A, with performance beyond 10Gb/s can be
conservatively predicted to last 15 years.
annualize the Category 5e and Category 7A (class FA) installation costs by
their respective 5 and 15-year lifecycles, they are roughly equivalent. Add in
costs associated with migration to Gigabit and 10Gb/s speeds, such as testing,
remediation, removal and associated downtime, and the costs are reversed.
annualized net costs are projected to be about one third the cost of a Category
5e solution without even factoring the cost of the new cabling to replace it.
Siemon certainly has an international presence. How important are your non-U.
Siemon: Our ability to participate as a
global market provider is absolutely critical. Siemon has invested heavily in
regionalizing our global operations and support infrastructure.
major regional operations and support headquarters in North America, EMEA, APAC
and CASA as well as regional Siemon sales offices in about 30 countries, and of
What are your plans for Canada
Siemon: Although Canada was our first international
market and we have been doing business here for nearly 50 years, our approach
is consistent with the rest of the world. We continue to build an
infrastructure and business relationships that deliver excellent service and
the same high quality and performance of our installed cabling systems anywhere
in the world.
major global region, we view Canada
as a unique market with specific needs and conditions. We want to continually
learn and address those needs with in-country resources and infrastructure.
It is about
establishing a market presence that is supported by strong channel
relationships with distributors, installers, consultants and system integrators
that are experts and positioned to provide service, innovation and value to our
customers in Canada.
Finally, the IEEE 802.3 High Speed Study Group has been in operation since July
2006, ostensibly to bring 100 Gb/s Ethernet into the mainstream. When can we
expect that to occur and what will drive the need?
Siemon: The project was approved by IEEE
last December with a plan calls for standard approval by mid 2010. Beyond that,
I hesitate to make predictions on when we will see 40Gb/s or 100Gb/s products
hit the market.
that 100Gb/s will be driven initially by the need for faster data center links
to support continued increases in network traffic, particularly as it becomes
more content-rich and bandwidth-hungry.
with full permission of Cabling Networking Systems www.cnsmmagazine.com
Learning the CAT 6A ROPES
witness increasing interest in 10 gigabit (10 GBASE-T)-speed networks, all eyes
are upon Category 6 and Augmented Category 6 (known as 6A) as the cabling
systems of choice.
emergence of 10 gigabit is the latest challenge facing cabling and networking
developers when it comes to installation and testing procedures. It only stands
to reason that these higher speeds come with additional specification
purpose of Category 6A cabling is to support the IEEE 802.3an specifications
for 10 gigabit per second transmission over twisted pair copper to channel
lengths up to 100 metres.
totally new cabling, Category 6A comes with specific design and performance
criteria, and does have significant differences from Category 6 cabling in
the challenge for installers is that this new set of specifications have yet to
be clearly defined.
802.3an was completed and approved by the IEEE standards board in June 2006,
making 10GBASE-T a completed and released standard.
addition, Telecommunications Industry Association specifications for Category
6A have been approved.
have worked extensively with Category 6 and have become familiar with its
properties already have a practical working knowledge of testing and
installation requirements. When working with 6A, however, experience has shown
that there are some essential points to consider.
the crosstalk: Every
cabling technician has had to deal with the issue of controlling signal
coupling between cabling links. It is something that must be considered in
everything from cable and connecting hardware selection, to design and
choices, will in turn, ensure that the transmission quality of the installed
cabling system will meet certification requirements during testing.
requirement for 10 GBASE-T installations is testing for Alien Crosstalk, a
phenomenon unique to these types of installations.
to the signal coupling between cables within a bundle of twisted-pair cabling
links that can result in a noise disturbance.
in its most common forms -- Near End Crosstalk (NEXT) and Far End Crosstalk
(FEXT) -- is not an unfamiliar issue for experienced cabling technicians.
Digital signaling processors used in 10 GBASE-T installations are designed to
assist the Network Interface Card (NIC) in mitigating problems such as
this process can lead to extra latency as the NIC performs the job of
"cleaning up" the signal from the transmitter on the other end of the
additional point to consider is that the10 GBASE-T interface card has no way of
mitigating Alien Crosstalk. Alien Crosstalk is an additional concern that can
further attenuate an intended signal and put extra work on the NIC when
cleaning up the signal. Therefore, technicians must rely on testing the cable
itself in order to understand how different transmission activities will have
an impact on the NIC's performance.
other types of cabling technologies, Category 6A requires a bandwidth of 500
MHz to support 10 GBASE-T. With a bandwidth frequency this high, signals are
emitted both within the cable as well as to adjacent cables; hence the need for
additional testing requirements.
addition, while crosstalk can normally be mitigated by twisting wire pairs at
different twist ratios this is not the case with Category 6A cabling. In most
scenarios, the cabling bundles are installed from the same box and could contain
pairs with the same twist ratios.
As with all
cabling, in channel testing will help to first determine if transmission
impairments (e. g. NEXT) meet Category 6A standards. However, Alien Crosstalk
testing demands more.
for Alien Crosstalk:
The challenge for technicians is that current standards do not outline any
fixed rules on Alien Crosstalk testing. However, the IEEE and TIA do recognize
that Alien Crosstalk is an impair-ment that will affect transmission, and as
such, describe field-testing procedures under Annex E Field measurements
to the standards debate, there is also considerable discussion over testing
procedures. In particular, when it comes to 10 GBASET, does one need to test an
answer is not clearly defined, there are some well-established and proven
guidelines one can follow. At this point in time, it is best to adopt the
guidelines published in the IEC 61935-1 standard document. This advises that
Alien Crosstalk performance be tested in the field for a limited sample of
sampling, technicians select the longest cables or the cables with the most
insertion loss. The premise is that if the worst performing cables pass Alien
Crosstalk testing, it can be assumed that the others will.
guidelines suggest sampling a sampling rate of 1% or 5 links, whichever is
greater. Therefore if a system has 500 links, then 5 can be selected as the
disturbed or victim links. All links in the same bundle as the victim link should
be included in the testing. In addition, all adjacent links to the victim link
terminating in the patch panel should also be included in the test.
considerations for 10 G BASE-T: As with testing, guidelines on proper
installation procedures for 10 G BASET are in short supply. Adjustments must be
made to address the specific properties of the cabling and its performance.
cases, following standard procedures used for other cabling can potentially
have a negative impact on network performance. Even something as basic as
organization and bundling must be reconsidered. Any kind of poor workmanship
will have more impact on 10 Gig cabling than on cable designed for slower
with high frequencies and signaling systems means that installers must pay more
attention to their cable handling and layout practices.
they may have typically bundled cables as tightly as possible to optimize
space, this works against cabling for 10 GBASE-T installations since it increases
the risk of Alien Crosstalk. More space is needed between cables, both in terms
of panel density and the size and routing of the bundles.
where installers are using existing patch panels, they must run fewer links in
a bundle to allow for added space. New Category 6A patch panels have been
designed to offer the appropriate separation between jacks.
option to reduce potential problems is to switch from a cross-connect wiring
scheme (i. e. using two separate patch panels for incoming and outgoing
connections) to an interconnect scheme. This eliminates one connection and
reduces crowding in wiring racks.
should also be well organized, documented and loosely bundled to allow for free
space between them. Otherwise the installation will not meet testing
requirements. Suggestions include tying bundles every 61 centimetres (versus
every few millimetres) or laying them in trays without ties. Avoid using wraps,
staples, tacks or fasteners where possible.
cabling for 10 G BASE-T installations can be heavier and have a larger outside
diameter than standard cabling.
taking care that there are sufficient routing pathways and ladders. In
addition, cable lengths should be kept to a 60-metre maximum length; and should
not be run in parallel with nor adjacent to electrical cabling. Installers
should also avoid using J-hooks or other like devices for hanging cabling
because of its added weight.
the ropes: Even the most experienced installers will find that working with
Category 6A will present some challenges at the outset. While basic practices
will remain, there are a number of considerations from additional testing
requirements to handling and installation that must be addressed in order to
ensure optimum results.
transmission speeds increase, there is far less margin for error. Any shoddy
workmanship or oversights can have significant repercussions on network
bandwidth, throughput and capacity demands have fuelled global interest in migration
to 10 GBASE-T.
publication of new standards is expected to accelerate this migration even more
in the months to come. Installers would be well advised to take the time to get
up to speed on guidelines and best practices for 6A testing and installation
Pawelko is Canadian Channel Product Manager with Fluke Networks Canada. He has
18 years industry experience in data communications, networks and cabling.
with full permission of Cabling Networking Systems www.cnsmmagazine.com
View From The Board - You need to think green
There is no
getting away from it and there is now way to ignore it, environmental
sustainability is a top concern to the public.
scientific community has reached a consensus that there could be a catastrophic
change in our climate within the next century as a result of human
contributions to greenhouse gas emissions if we do not significantly reduce
these emissions in the near future.
To meet the
challenges that lie ahead it is paramount that we drastically reduce greenhouse
gas emissions within the building industry.
In order to
achieve this, we must implement the technical advancements available to us
today including integrated systems and building automation to create a more
most buildings have been designed in a fragmented nature, which has allowed
them to fall well behind in meeting the achievable goals for improved energy
and environmental performance.
It has been
estimated that if we were to apply the existing energy saving principles
available to us today to all existing buildings from an integrated system
perspective and efficiency performance, we would be able to sustain the
expected growth in new building construction over the next 50 years.
allow us to bridge the gap, until alternative low carbon fuel source technology
has been developed, thus reducing the requirement for new power generation until
has been little emphasis put on energy performance by building owners during
the design and construction phases of a project (in the past), we have yet to
see the required dedication to the integrated design and energy performance
criteria required to meet greenhouse gas emission for today's buildings.
costs historically have been viewed as a relatively small factor in the overall
economics of a building, there is a lack of accountability for integrating
energy performance on the day-to-day operations of today's buildings.
building owner is the one person who has the control to impact the design and
construction of a building and must accept the responsibility if we are to meet
greenhouse gas emission targets required for a sustainable future.
It is up to
him or her to influence the design and construction team to ensure the building
follows an intelligent building roadmap such as outlined by the Continental
Automated Building Association. The CABA Standards Committees monitor and
interact with protocol standards groups that are involved with the home and
building automation industry and the development and understanding of
integrated systems automation.
accept that the building owner has the ability to do this, we need to make sure
that the design and constructions teams (architects, consultants and
contractors) are knowledgeable enough and up to the challenge.
automated systems have been around for some time and the technology is proven
to integrate legacy automations systems and open HVAC and electrical protocols
on a Web-based control system.
anytime/anywhere access to the network while providing secure access via the
WAN from a standard Web browser.
It is also
possible to have a highly secure network to manage mission critical data
centres, which should address any security concerns. The benefits include
energy and operational savings as a result of anytime/anywhere access and real
time alarming, resulting in fewer resources to manage the system.
integrated building system you are able to program sequences between systems
that optimize the building schedule and its efficiency.
important to utilize the improvements in technology and the integrated approach
to automated systems that are available to us today.
is just as important to change the way we think and look at the construction of
a building and its long-term operation.
planning for the construction of a new building we must take into account the
long term cost to operate the building and the global impact that our decisions
today will have in the future.
Fortune, C. E. T., is an independent consultant and member of CNS Magazine's
Editorial Advisory Board. He can be reached at email@example.com.
with full permission of Cabling Networking Systems www.cnsmmagazine.com
The new friend
Anderberg, Publisher/Editor, Communications News
long-time friend is difficult. You spend time together almost daily, learning
strengths and weaknesses, tendencies and possibilities. You call them by a pet
name, give them some friendly ribbing on occasion when their flaws are exposed.
all those trade shows we’d attend together, although you were always on the
other side of the booth discussing benefits and features. There were all those
articles we collaborated on over the years, helping readers understand what
made you tick and why they should listen to you.
you could pontificate on occasion, bombastic about your capabilities. You had
that gift of gab. But sometimes it was just plain blarney, the rantings of a
carnival barker intent on verbally bamboozling those who did not understand
your loquaciousness. Despite your occasional bombastic sermons, however, you
usually came through when it mattered, delivering on your promises, saving me a
dollar or two, and making our conversations enjoyable.
have been replaced. Not that you are gone, just that your place in my world has
been minimized since we first met. There is someone else who now has my
attention, and you are just part of the conversation. So, while I do not say
goodbye, for you are still in my life, I do recognize that a friend with more
possibilities has usurped your importance.
of eight years–voice over IP (aka, VoIP)–is now taking a back seat to the next
big thing in voice communications–unified communications. Two years ago,
Cisco’s John Chambers touted the coming of unified communications as the next
great enterprise communications revolution. Today, finally, unified
communications (UC) has replaced voice over IP in the jargon of telephony
VoIP has become just one function within the unified communications universe,
alongside other messaging options–instant messaging, video, e-mail, voice
mail, short message services and presence. And judging by the recent VoiceCon
show in Orlando,
UC is about to take off, as Chambers predicted, in enterprise networks.
But do not despair just yet, VoIP, because research shows
that most enterprises have yet to embrace you fully but intend to do so over
the next few years. You still have friends out there, and those who would like
to get to know you better. That UC trend might be real, but there are miles to
go before even your presence is fully intertwined in enterprise voice networks.
Surely, you will have to share the attention with UC with
many of your future friends, but I understand UC works well with others, so the
partnership should not be too much of a strain. It’s just that the
conversations may start referring to you as one of their other acquantainces.
From my standpoint, though, you will always hold a place
dear to my heart–and to my ears.
with full permission of Communications News Magazine www.comnews.com
Go green: the new IT mandate
Green Tech “Going Green” seems to be the new
mantra of technology manufacturers, with organizations like The Green Grid
becoming popular as companies try to position themselves to customers as being
environmentally friendly. The problems, however, are global and huge.
report from Greenpeace says much e-waste is being disposed of with mixed waste
in landfills and incinerators, or exported–often illegally–for dumping in
Africa or for rudimentary recycling in Asia,
where it has a high toll on health, safety and the environment. Even in regions
such as the European Union that are subject to tighter regulation, there is no
precise information on what happens to as much as 75 percent of e-waste
generated. In the United
States, this figure is higher.
In newly industrialized countries,
estimating the amount of e-waste escaping any form of treatment or management
is nearly impossible, although in India, an estimated 99 percent of
domestic and imported e-waste, 143,000 tons per year, ends up in the informal
recycling sector or is simply dumped.
“It is the scrap yard workers in Asia who are bearing the toxic burden of e-waste. They
are exposed to a cocktail of toxic chemicals when the products are broken
apart, polluting the water, air and soil of not only the scrap yards but the
surrounding neighborhood,” says Martin Hojsik, Greenpeace International. “The
mountain of obsolete electronic products is expanding at a huge rate as our
consumption of electronic devices continues to grow rapidly.”
Figures provided by four PC
manufacturers who have already developed take-back and recycling activities
suggest that only around 10 percent of own-branded end-of-life products are
recycled. The figures for mobile phones are even lower, with only 2 percent to
3 percent being recycled. This means that, even for those companies reporting
their own brands, the hidden flow of e-waste branded products currently amounts
to an average of 91 percent of past sales.
“The reality is that we cannot say
with any certainty what happens to e-waste once it has escaped responsible
recycling,” says Hojsik. “This is why manufacturers of electronic goods need to
increase their efforts to collect and responsibly treat e-waste, introduce
voluntary take-back schemes and remove hazardous substances from their products
so they can be more safely and easily recycled.
In another report, OnRelay, a United Kingdom
telecommunications software company, calls for businesses to reconsider their
investment in redundant IP telephony hardware like desk phones. Calculating the
real cost and waste implications of IP telephony, Marie Wold, president and CFO
of OnRelay (a company that sells alternatives to IP phones), notes that the
e-waste organizations, globally, will ultimately be held accountable for from
2008 IP telephony investments is: 103 million pounds of solid waste (the weight
of a WWII battleship) and 3.3 million pounds of cabling, enough to stretch to
the moon and back.
Communications News debuts a monthly column, written by Associate Editor
Denise DiRamio that will delve into the issues revolving around the green IT
movement. Found on the last page of the magazine, she will provide insight into
what technology companies are doing from a pro-environment perspective, as well
as what they are not doing.
with full permission of Communications News Magazine www.comnews.com
10 GbE and the data center
standards are on the way for both data centers and computing applications.
D’Ambrosia focuses on components technology at Force10 Networks, San Jose, Calif.
He has been a participant in the development of Ethernet-related technologies
since 1999, and is the chairman of the IEEE 802.3 higher-speed study group,
which is driving the standards development process for 100-Gigabit Ethernet. He
has also served as a director and secretary for the Ethernet Alliance.
to its inception as a task force, the IEEE 802.3
higher-speed study group received input that service provider networks,
Internet exchange networks, consumer broadband access networks, content
provider networks, enterprise networks, data center networks, research and
development networks, and high-performance computing networks all needed
100-Gigabit Ethernet (100 GbE)–and many expressed the need for thinking even
beyond 100 GbE. At the same time, these
organizations were calling for 40-Gigabit Ethernet development for computing
study group transitioned into the IEEE P802.3ba task force and began
development of the next generation of Ethernet, targeting two rates of
operation: 40 gigabits per second (Gps) for computing and server applications
and 100 Gbps for network-aggregation applications. The physical-layer
specifications selected for each rate target the distance requirements for the
computing and server applications at 40 Gbps, there are three distance
objectives: at least one meter over a backplane, at least 10 meters over a
copper cable assembly and at least 100 meters on optical multimode 3 (OM3)
multimode fiber (MMF). For core networking and aggregation applications at 100
Gbps, there are four distance objectives: at least 10 meters over a copper
cable assembly, at least 100 meters on OM3 MMF, at least 10 kilometers on
single-mode fiber (SMF) and at least 40 kilometers on SMF.
array of rates and physical-layer specifications will offer network architects
the solutions needed for upgrading existing legacy networks or creating new
green field networks to meet their future bandwidth requirements. Ultimately, the bandwidth capacity of these
network cores impacts the ability of the network to scale and, therefore, the
number of end stations that may be connected in a given network.
and discussions within the study group illustrated that data centers are
finding 10-gigabit access difficult to acquire, as the increasing customer
demand for 10-gigabit access service is challenging the scalability of service
provider networks to support such requests. Network architects for data centers
are being challenged with the same basic problem by their own internal
consolidation and convergence on Ethernet, combined with the deployment of
horizontal server architectures, based on commodity Gigabit Ethernet (GE)
servers, is driving the need for 100-Gigabit Ethernet (100 GbE) for data center
fabrics. With these architectures, data centers also contend with
other issues, such as cable management, rack space, and power and cooling.
Server virtualization, which drives up the utilization rate of servers, is being
introduced in order to permit data centers to do the same job with fewer
introduction of 10-GbE and 40-GbE servers would help provide relief, but this
would only further drive up the bandwidth requirements of the data center
infrastructures. Therefore, the study group evaluated if the infrastructure of
data centers is already being challenged to support the bandwidth requirements
of architectures based on GE servers, and how these same architectures would be
able to support the wide-scale deployment of servers based on 10 GbE and 40
40 GbE is still in the development stage, the wide-scale deployment of 10-GbE
servers would be the driving force behind 10 GbE meeting the expectations of
those in the industry, who are judging the success of 10 GbE on the number of
ports shipped. Others, however, argue that the success of 10
GbE needs to be judged on the value that it has brought to the networking
industry and not just in terms of ports shipped. Therefore, while 10 GbE has
not yet met the expectations of many in terms of ports shipped, it did evidently
bring value to the industry via its influence on deployment of Gigabit
with full permission of Communications News Magazine www.comnews.com
Green IT is in style
By Denise DiRamio, associate editor,
focus on global warming seems to have sparked a renewed interest in the
environment, and, in the process, has focused a great deal of attention to the
IT industry. Instead of saving trees by producing the long-sought-after
paperless office, the production, use and disposal of technology is
damaging the environment.
In order to
manage today’s increasing volumes of data, servers are growing larger, denser,
hotter and using massive amounts of power. According to the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency’s August 2007 report to Congress, the amount of electricity
consumed by U.S.
data centers doubled between 2000 and 2006, and is expected to double again by
2011. The EPA reports that data centers consumed 61 billion kilowatt-hours of
electricity in 2006, an estimated 1.5 percent of the nation’s energy, which
cost $4.5 billion, and is expected to grow to $7.4 billion by 2011.
According the the EPA, Americans generated approximately 2.6 million tons of electronic waste
(e-waste) in 2005. Research firm Gartner estimates that more than 800 million
PCs will be swapped out between now and 2012, with nearly 500 million tossed
into landfills. Recycling efforts are increasing, but there is growing concern
that some e-waste recycling is nothing more that exporting discarded
electronics to developing countries, where e-waste is improperly treated,
leading to health and environmental issues.
components in today’s electronics are toxic and non-biodegradable, producing
pollutants–lead, cadmium, mercury and other hazardous waste–in the
manufacturing process and leaching hazardous waste after disposal.
The IT industry, however, seems to be responding. Data from
Forrester Research shows a rapid growth in the interest in green IT. As of
October 2007, 38 percent of IT professionals said their companies use
environmental criteria in their evaluation and selection of IT equipment. Just
six months ago, however, it was only 25 percent. In the fall of 2006, 78
percent indicated that green IT was not even in their evaluation and selection
criteria for IT systems and devices.
manufacturers and vendors are beginning to see green. Many are accepting–even
embracing–environmental protection as a corporate social responsibility.
Many companies are forming green initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint,
promising to eliminate the use of hazardous materials in production, developing
eco-friendly and energy-saving products, and establishing reuse and recycling programs.
High-tech heavy hitters like Apple, Dell, Sony, Motorola, NEC and HP
have initiated environmentally friendly take back and recycling programs to
reduce e-waste. Dell reports that it recycled more than 78 million pounds of
computer equipment last year, and plans to recover 275 million pounds of
computer equipment by 2009 through its asset recovery program. Globally, HP
recycles more than 6.5 million pounds of e-waste each month. HP met its goal of
recycling 1 billion cumulative pounds of hardware and printer supplies last
year and now plans to recycle an additional billion pounds by the end of 2010.
such as APC, Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and VMware have
united in a vendor-led consortium, The Green Grid, which seeks to improve data
center and business computing energy efficiency and promote the adoption of
energy-efficient standards, processes, measurements and technologies. The
Climate Savers Computing Initiative, which brings together big names like
Intel, Google, Dell, HP, IBM, Lenovo and Microsoft, promotes the use of
energy-efficient computers and power-management tools to save energy and reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.
that reduce energy consumption and waste hold great promise for organizations
that are seeking to improve their green reputation and, ultimately, their
competitive advantage. In a Tandberg/Ipsos MORI survey of 16,823 people in 15
countries, 53 percent of the respondents said they would prefer to purchase
products and services from a company with a good environmental reputation. “We
hope this will mobilize more organizations to seek solutions to become more
environmentally responsible,” says Fredrik Halvorsen, CEO of Tandberg.
green can highlight a company’s corporate social responsibility, but, ultimately, also
benefit its bottom line. “As much as it is an environmental issue, or policy or
government issue, it is also a business issue,” says Alan Cohen, vice president
of enterprise solutions at Cisco Systems. “People want to do business with
companies that are green.”
course, is good news for the environment and companies who understand the value
with full permission of Communications News Magazine www.comnews.com
Electrical Contractor Magazine
The Rules of the Road - Ten steps to keeping your drivers safe
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently published some
startling statistics. Every 12 minutes, someone dies in a motor vehicle crash.
An injury occurs every 10 seconds, and every five seconds, a crash occurs.
Certainly, not all crashes are work
related, but many of them occur during the workday or during the commute to and
from work. All crashes have far-reaching financial and psychological effects on
a company’s employees and their families. An employer can help reduce the risk factors
to their employees by implementing a driver-safety program in the workplace.
The benefits of an on-the-job,
driver-safety course are many. The course can be viewed as a cost-saving
measure: Fewer accidents cost a company less money in health expenses, worker’s
compensation and fleet insurance. These types of programs also are seen as a
good employee- relations tool, showing that the employer cares about its
The Network of Employers for Traffic
Safety (NETS) has created a 10-step program for building a new driver-safety
program or improving an existing one. It includes everything needed to get a
driver-safety program up and running.
Step 1: Commitment and involvement
The safety of a company’s employees must be the first
priority. The management must be behind the program 100 percent, or the program
will fail. Management must provide leadership, set policies and allocate
resources (both staff and monetary). Employees also should be active in the
planning phase of the program.
Step 2: Policies and procedures
As the nuts and bolts of the program, the written
statement must emphasize the employer’s commitment to reducing traffic-related
deaths and injuries. It should include a clear, comprehensible and, most
importantly, enforceable set of traffic safety policies. These policies need to
be communicated to all employees and posted throughout the workplace as a
constant reminder of the safety program.
Step 3: Driver agreements
contract should be drawn with all employees who drive as part of their job,
whether they drive company or private vehicles. The employee, by signing the
agreement, acknowledges awareness and understanding of the program and the
expectations regarding the employee’s responsibilities to safe driving.
Step 4: MVR crashes
The driving records of employees who drive on the job
must be checked. Drivers with poor driving records must be screened out. The
Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) also should be reviewed regularly to ensure drivers
maintain good driving records. The number of violations an employee driver can
have before losing the privilege of driving for work must be clearly stated in
Step 5: Crash details
All crashes, regardless of severity, must be reported to
the employee’s supervisor as soon as possible after the incident. There should
be a clear process for reporting and investigating such an incident. All
crashes should be reviewed to determine their cause and whether they were
preventable. Understanding the cause of an accident, regardless of fault, will
form the basis for eliminating accidnets from happening again.
Step 6: Vehicles
An important part of preventing crashes and related
costs is selecting, maintaining and routinely inspecting company vehicles. The
purchase of vehicles that have a strong safety rating can help minimize vehicle
damage and employee injury.
Step 7: Disciplinary action system
strategy must be in place to determine the course of action after a moving
violation or preventable crash. Most programs in use are based on a system that
assigns points for moving violations. If a driver begins to develop a pattern
of repeated traffic violations or preventable crashes, the program should
include progressive discipline for the driver. The consequences for the
accumulation of driving incidents should be clearly defined.
Step 8: Reward/incentive program
with a system of punishment, there also should be rewards or incentives built
into the driver-safety program. The rewards or incentives can involve company
recognition, monetary rewards, special privileges, etc.
Step 9: Driver training/communication
program is in place, continued training and communication must be provided.
Even experienced drivers can benefit from further training and reminders of
safe driving skills.
Step 10: Regulatory compliance
putting the driver-safety program together, it is important to be aware of and
include any highway safety regulation that applies to your specific company or
industry. Many industries have regulations specific to their equipment,
chemicals being transported or vehicle size, and they must be included in the
These steps are quite similar to those that would be used to
establish and implement any safety program. They are designed to be familiar to
those in the various fields of construction, so they will be more easily
adapted and used by companies to begin or improve their driver-safety programs.
KELLY is a safety and health specialist with Intec, a safety
consulting, training and publishing firm that offers on-site assistance and
produces manuals, training videos and software for contractors. She can be
reached at 800.745.4818 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This article
was edited by Joe O’Connor.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com
New Initiative Focuses on Management Development
I devote many of these columns to praising the National Electrical
Contractors -Association because, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, NECA has
much to be immodest about. This magazine reaches more than 85,000 readers every
month, not all of them NECA-member contractors, so I talk most often about how
NECA advances the entire industry through advocacy, education, research and
So it is with this month’s column. I was inspired by the
reporting in the NECA Notes section on page 167 on some recent activities
pursued by our association’s research affiliate, ELECTRI International—The
Foundation for Electrical Construction Inc. (EI).
One article lists the projects selected for active research
in 2008. Obviously, much of the foundation’s work has broad, industry-wide
appeal. This certainly applies to the upcoming studies on “Effectively
Recruiting and Retaining the Supervisory Workforce of Electrical Contractors,”
“Achieving Performance Improvement Through an Effective Project Management
Strategy” and “The Role of Electrical Contractors on LEED Projects with Focus
on Commissioning and Innovation and Design Credits.”
And another article—on the launch of the Talent
Initiative—should interest all electrical contracting industry participants.
Greg Thomas, executive vice president and general counsel for Houston-based
Fisk Electric, which has been involved with EI for more than a decade,
explained why during an interview for the foundation’s newsletter.
“I believe there are three major issues for the future:
talent, talent and talent,” he said. “Changes in technology have really changed
our work force. As things get even more complex technologically, we need to
have top talent. For the past 20 years, management thinking has been to work as
lean as possible. That does not allow us the luxury of having a lot of young
people working for us at the same time while managers see who rises to the top
as most talented and best qualified. If we don’t have them in-house to start,
then they have to be very ready to be productive from the day we hire them.”
Fostering long-term interest in our industry among young
people and cultivating their management and supervisory skills so they’ll be
productive from day one of their future employment in electrical contracting is
what the Talent Initiative is all about.
The Emerson Hamilton Scholarship Fund is an important
element of the initiative. As I noted in a previous column, the late Emerson
Hamilton worked tirelessly throughout his long and active career in electrical
construction to promote academic excellence, leadership and innovation within
NECA and ELECTRI International have found that effective
ways to attract capable young people to the management side of electrical
contracting include encouraging and facilitating development of construction
management degree programs and establishing NECA student chapters at colleges
and universities. Thus, the Emerson Hamilton Scholarship will provide funds to
promising young people pursuing university construction management programs
affiliated with a NECA Student Chapter and academic stipends to select
electrical construction management faculty.
Along with offering internships that introduce students to
the real-life, day-by-day issues involved in managing a successful EC firm,
“offering meaningful scholarship dollars and involving the academic community
in the selection of award recipients sends a strong message about the serious
intent of this industry to attract quality talent,” according to that article
in NECA Notes. And, indeed, attracting future management talent is a serious
consideration for all of us—one in which we all can play a seriously important
role. Milner Irvin, President, Neca
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com
How TO INTEGRATE systems
For those electrical contractors
incorporating systems integration into their skill sets, many questions and
strategies for doing so may appear. Consider this as a general guide to the
basic elements of integrating a system. It is intended to help people who are
unfamiliar with systems integration to ask the right questions. Hopefully, it
will remind those who are actively engaged in it of some of the general
First question: What is a system?
According to Merriam-Webster, it is, among other things, “a group of devices or
artificial objects … forming a network especially for distributing something or
serving a common purpose.” This definition sits well with my preconceived ideas
about a system.
Second question: What is
Merriam-Webster’s definition of “integrate”? It is “to form, coordinate, or
blend into a functioning or unified whole… .”
Therefore, I think a useful working definition for
integrating a system is coordinating the function of a group of devices that
form a network, especially for distributing something or serving a common
Since it is safe to assume we are talking about integrating
building systems in this magazine, we must explore how that would work in some
of the most basic forms of systems:
• Climate control (heating and
• Safety (fire, security, etc.)
Communication (telephone, audio, video, computer, etc.)
In order to integrate systems, for example lighting and
HVAC, the following steps are necessary:
1 You first decide upon the device(s) that are the basic units
of the system. For example, for lighting, one could choose a floodlight. For
HVAC, one could choose a blower.
2 These devices need to be remotely controllable. For example,
in a lighting system, one could use a solid-state switch, or for HVAC, one
could use a variable frequency motor drive.
3 There needs to be a controller with at
least one input and one output. The controller must have an input that accepts
a command calling for a desired state of the system. For example, one could use
the command “Turn on all lights” or “Heat the room to 70°F.” The output sends a
signal to adjust the controlled device according to the command. For example,
the output could be a 10-volt signal to energize the solid-state light switch
or a 4- to 20-mA analog signal to control the blower speed in the heating
4 Performance can be greatly improved by adding a feedback
input, which informs the controller of the actual state of the system. For
example, “The lights are on,” or “The room temperature at this moment is 67°F.”
5 Integration can be carried to an even higher level by means
of a building management system (BMS), which communicates with all of the
different system controllers, in order to coordinate them. For example, with
lighting and HVAC, you might want to bring an office up to a comfortable
temperature an hour before the first worker is due to arrive and turn up the
lighting to normal as soon as the first worker walks through the door.
What are the devices used for lighting? Sounds like a
simple question, but it may not be so simple. One of my favorite sources for
definitions of electrical building devices is the National Electrical Code
(NEC), Article 100: “Luminaire. A complete lighting unit consisting of a
light source such as a lamp or lamps, together with the parts designed to
position the light source and connect it to the power supply. It may also
include parts to protect the light source or the ballast or to distribute the
light. A lampholder itself is not a luminaire.” I think that “luminaire” should
be considered the basic unit of a lighting system.
The simplest device for controlling a luminaire is an on/off
switch. Therefore, as I see it, the simplest lighting system consists of a
switch controlling a luminaire. To remotely control a switch, you can use a
relay, either electromechanical or solid-state, or a dimmer, which varies the
A lighting controller can be a
touchscreen, where the input is someone’s finger selecting a “scene,” which
energizes a predetermined combination of luminaires to different light levels.
The controller also can be a computerized device capable of being programmed to
accept a variety of inputs, such as time of day, ambient light level or whether
an area is occupied. The controller then can be programmed to use the input
information to produce a lighting scheme that fits the needs of a particular
Most manufacturers of solid state light
switches and dimmers also make master lighting control panels and switch units.
basic units of a climate control system can be ceiling fans, air conditioners,
electric baseboard heaters, hot water-based boiler systems, or blower-driven
hot and cold air circulation systems. For example, these can be controlled by
simple on/off switches, electrically activated valves, air blowers or
electrically actuated dampers.
The type of controller depends on the kind of devices being
controlled and the size and type of building. Homes use thermostats, which
sense room temperature and generally send on/off signals to the heating or
cooling devices. A thermostat can be a simple device whose input might be a
slide-switch to select a desired temperature. The input also can have a variety
of programmable “scenes” that call for a range of temperatures based on time of
day, day of the week, etc.
Large commercial and industrial buildings
and institutional structures, such as schools and hospitals, typically use
blower-driven air systems. Modern HVAC systems use a technique called variable
air volume (VAV), which involves a double control loop. The temperature in each
room is controlled by changing the rate of flow of heated or cooled air by
means of electrically actuated dampers. Changing of the damper position has the
effect of changing the load on the blowers that move the air. The second loop,
therefore, uses a pressure sensor in the air ducts to control the blower speed.
Variable frequency drives (VFDs), which are similar to lighting dimmers but are
more complicated, can electronically control motor speed over a wide range in
response to the input from the duct-pressure sensor.
Safety and security
basic controlled devices for fire alarm systems are audible and visual alarms,
for example horns and strobes. The simplest fire alarm is an individual smoke
detector with a built-in alarm; however, in the fire protection industry, these
are not considered part of a fire alarm system. In a system, the alarm is
activated by a fire alarm control panel (FACP) in response to an input. The
inputs might be smoke detectors,
flame detectors, heat detectors, manual call points or manual pull stations.
The outputs not only activate warning devices but also might notify a monitoring
service and/or the local fire department.
The basic controlled devices for
automatic sprinkler systems are water sprinkler heads. The sprinkler is
activated by a heat-sensitive release mechanism, which is built into the
sprinkler head. When a high enough temperature is reached, the sprinkler head
opens and allows water from the building’s water supply system to spray out.
Flow and pressure switches with electrical outputs can be input to the FACP to
activate the alarm system.
Physical security systems include access control, intrusion
detection and video monitoring.
In access control for physical systems, the basic units are
locks. In order to enable the integration of locks, they must be electronically
controllable. There are a variety of locks operated by magnetic card readers or
keypads. The information from these individual devices is connected to an
access control panel, which authenticates the input and, if correct, sends an
output that releases the lock.
Intrusion detection is based on a variety of devices that
can sense the opening of a window or door or whether a room is occupied (e.g.,
a photoelectric beam; or ultrasonic, infrared or microwave-based sensors). The
signals from these sensors are transmitted to a control unit, which will output
an alarm to a warning device, such as a siren, strobe light or remote
The basic device in video monitoring is
a camera, which can either continually monitor sensitive areas or be directed
by an alarm panel to focus on a location where the system has detected an
intrusion. The output of the camera is sent to a monitor for real-time viewing,
or it can be recorded for future analysis.
of systems can be fairly rudimentary. For example, some panels combine fire
alarm and intrusion alarm controls. The trend, however, is for the controllers
in the various building systems to have the ability to transmit inputs and
outputs over common wired lines or use wireless transmission. This often is
called building automation or a building management system (BMS). The
controllers for the various systems generally have communication ports, which
can transmit inputs and outputs. These are generally compatible with each
other, so a single set of wires or fiber optic cables can carry information
among all the controllers.
The ability to enable all these systems to interact with
each other has come as the result of the development over the past several
decades of standards for transmitting data using digital codes. The standards
governing these codes fall into two general categories:
defining the details of how the data is transmitted. An example is the voltage
level of the coded digital bits called the physical layer.
• Rules concerning
how information is coded and how transmitters and receivers are identified, called the protocol.
Building systems connected to each other by copper wires or
fiber optic cables are said to be part of a local area network (LAN). Systems
also can communicate using radio frequency transmission through the air, called
The various specifications and
protocols have been focused on improving the ability for systems to pass
information from one to the other. Earlier systems tended to use proprietary
standards designed by the various manufacturers for their own equipment. More
recently, various industry sectors have developed open standards that many
manufacturers would agree to in order to provide interoperability. For example,
BACnet was originally developed primarily for HVAC, but some also use it for
lighting controls. Another approach manufacturers are taking is providing
gateways modules, which allow two different LAN systems to communicate with
each other. Another development is the use of Ethernet as the standard for the
physical layer and for assigning unique addresses to each device. This standard
is used for transmitting information between various end systems and computers.
Therefore, computers equipped with the proper software can program and monitor
the controllers for each of the building systems.
ability to integrate and interconnect these systems will open up many
possibilities for the future. It’s exciting to try to envision the
possibilities. One could control lighting levels to adjust for using sunlight
and to coordinate with HVAC cooling to minimize heating from the lights during
hot weather. One could have special lighting patterns to coordinate with fire
or other emergencies or fire alarms to trigger emergency control for elevators.
Intrusion detection could trigger voice alarms.
Building systems are rapidly evolving
from a series of niche specialties to a widely interconnected and coordinated
group of functions. It will continue to become increasingly less possible for
technicians and contractors to specialize in one particular area.
BROWN is an electrical engineer,
technical writer and editor. He serves as managing editor for Security + Life Safety Systems magazine. For many years, he designed high-power
electronics systems for industry, research laboratories and government. Reach
him at email@example.com.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com
Choose Wisely - Network design for fiber optics, part 2
Before you can begin to design a fiber
optic cable plant, you need to establish with the end-user or network owner
where the network will be built and which communications signals it will carry.
Most contractors are more familiar with premises networks, where computer
networks, local area networks (LANs) and security systems use structured
cabling systems built around well-defined industry standards. Once the cabling
exits a building, even for short links—for example, in a campus or metropolitan
network—requirements for fiber and cable types change. Long-distance links for
telecommunications, CATV or utility networks have other, more stringent
requirements, necessary to support longer high-speed links, which must be
while the contractor generally considers the cabling requirements first, the
real design starts with the communications system requirements established by
the end-user. Start by looking at the types of equipment required for the
communications systems, the speed of the network and the distances to be
covered before considering anything related to the cable plant. The
communications equipment will determine if fiber is necessary or preferable and
which type of fiber is required.
cable systems are designed to carry computer networks based on Ethernet, which
currently may operate at speeds from 10 megabits per second to 10 gigabits per
second. Other systems may carry security systems with digital or analog video,
perimeter alarms or entry systems, which are usually low speeds, at least as
far as fiber is concerned. Telephone systems can be carried on traditional
twisted-pair cables or, as is becoming more common, use LAN cabling with voice
over Internet protocol (VoIP) networks. Premises networks usually are short,
often less than the 100 meters (about 330 feet) used as the limit for
standardized structured cabling systems that allow twisted-pair copper or fiber
networks generally operate over multimode fiber. Multimode systems are less
expensive than single-mode systems, not because the fiber is cheaper (it isn’t)
or because cable is cheaper (the same), but because the large core of multimode
fiber allows the use of cheaper LED or VCSEL sources in transmitters, making
the electronics much cheaper. Astute designers and end-users often include both
multimode and single-mode fibers in their backbone cables (called hybrid
cables), since single-mode fibers are very inexpensive, and they provide a
virtually unlimited ability to expand the systems.
networks are mainly outside plant (OSP) systems, connecting buildings over
distances as short as a few hundred meters to hundreds or thousands of
kilometers. Data rates for telecom are typically 2.5 to 10 gigabits per second,
using very high power lasers that operate exclusively over single-mode fibers.
The big push for telecom is now taking fiber directly to a commercial building
or the home, since the signals have become too fast for traditional
also uses single-mode fibers with systems that are either hybrid fiber-coax
(HFC) or digital where the backbone is fiber and the connection to the home is
on coax. Coax still works for CATV since it has very high bandwidth. Some CATV
providers have discussed or even tried some fiber to the home, but have not
seen the economics become attractive yet.
telecom and CATV, there are many other OSP applications of fiber. Intelligent
highways are dotted with security cameras and signs and/or signals connected on
fiber. Security monitoring systems in large buildings, such as airports,
government and commercial buildings, casinos, etc., generally are connected on
fiber due to the long distances involved. Like other networks, premises
applications usually are multimode, while OSP is single-mode to support longer
networks owned and operated by cities can carry a variety of traffic, including
telephone, LAN, security, traffic monitoring and control and sometimes even
traffic for commercial interests using leased bandwidth or fibers. However,
since most are designed to support longer links than premises or campus
applications, single-mode is the fiber of choice.
all except premises applications, fiber is the communications medium of choice,
since its greater distance and bandwidth capabilities make it either the only
choice or considerably less expensive than copper or wireless. Only inside
buildings is there a choice to be made, and that choice is affected by
economics, network architecture and the tradition of using copper inside
buildings. Next time, we’ll look at the fiber/copper/wireless choices in more
HAYES is a VDV writer and trainer and the
president of The Fiber Optic Association. Find him at www.JimHayes.com.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com
Understanding Design/Build - Existing research helps contractors prioritize
Within the next year or so, design/build in electrical
construction is expected to reach a tipping point where more than 50 percent of
all projects (by revenue) will be completed using the design/build delivery
method. Given this, it is important for electrical contractors to ensure they
are developing strategic plans for their companies around enhancing their
design/build capabilities. With this increasing use of the concept, electrical
contractors must learn about the opportunities and risks the design/build
News-Record reported that, domestically, design/build revenue increased 22.8
percent in 2006. Much of this dramatic increase also is attributed to the
blossoming of building information modeling (BIM) use.
What the research shows
According to “Design Build Methods for the Electrical
Contracting Industry,” a research project conducted for Electri
International—The Foundation for Electrical Construction Inc., on behalf of the
electrical contracting industry, the vast majority of electrical contractors
(more than 75 percent) increased profitability when working with design/build.
Design/build allowed the electrical contractor to move away from price being
the main criteria for selection.
is clear that the marketing and sales efforts of the electrical contractor
shift when moving from bidding work in a traditional mode to design/build.
Developing the sales and marketing expertise that target owners and
governmental agencies with a focus on selling design/build services is a
necessary ingredient for a successful move into these markets. Likely to be
required are additional resources and a deep competency in BIM (perhaps as an
owner expectation). The electrical contractor may have to help both the owner
and general contractor understand the benefits and cost savings resulting from
incorporating BIM into their preconstruction and construction efforts.
another area of focus, contractors should ensure they have adequate
professional liability insurance coverage. Additionally, contractors report
that when using design/build, greater project management skills are required of
their staff—primarily based on the increased decision-making responsibilities.
Other surveys say
Renaissance Research & Consulting Inc.-, on behalf of
-Electrical Contractor, found 83
percent of respondents had performed design/build work (results are from 2003),
with design/build representing 46 percent of the revenue generated by these
firms. An additional 13 percent of revenue was reported on projects where the
electrical contractors made substantive changes to the design documents, in
effect offering up substitutions that would mimic (at least to a degree) what
would be expected from a design/build contractor.
the survey, the types of completed design/build work varied widely. Among the
most common were the following:
• All aspects of traditional power
• Many aspects of power quality and
• Communications/data systems
• A number of different types of
• Maintenance, modernization and new
Another area that provided great opportunity to the
electrical contractor was substitutions.
• Contractors successfully made brand
substitutions more than 50 percent of the time when the specification was for a
“single or proprietary” brand.
• Contractors successfully made brand
substitutions more than 75 percent of the time when the specification was for
“multiple,” “equal” or was “performance” based.
is a strong indicator that owners need to let the electrical contractor
identify best value products, and one could suppose these products allow
employees to have greater familiarity and, therefore, will lend to a higher
productivity during the construction process.
Experiences with design/build
University conducted an additional study for
EI with the goal of summarizing what electrical contractors have experienced
with design/build. Of those responding to the Penn State
survey, 75 percent said using design/build provided better opportunities for
success than the traditional design/bid/build system. Some benefits of using
design/build identified in the survey follow:
• Contractors could specify locally available
• Contractors could create a more -consistent
• By using the whole team’s knowledge, the best
value could be obtained for the client.
A significant amount of information is available for
electrical contractors looking for information that would allow them to more
fully develop their design/build capabilities. Simply focusing in on the design
efforts ignores the impacts on other parts of their organization. The
contractor must focus on its project-management skills and risk-management
policies. It also must ensure sales and marketing efforts match the needs of
its design/build clients.
Federle is the McShane chair of
construction engineering at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com
Treat Me in St. Louis Kaiser Electric wires new healthcare center
BJC Healthcare awarded Kaiser Electric responsibility for all power
distribution and backup power systems, lighting, security, voice/data, infant
abduction, nurse call, patient monitoring and fire alarm systems for its new St. Louis healthcare
center. Kaiser Electric was involved in the design/assist phase of the project
for six months before any work started.
A new hospital, built from the ground up, made its debut in
February 2007 in O’Fallon, Mo.
It has been almost two decades since a new hospital has been built in the St. Louis metropolitan
area and the first such healthcare facility since Barnes-Jewish and Christian
hospitals merged to become BJC HealthCare in the early 1990s. The $76 million,
180,000-square-foot, 72-bed acute care facility and medical office building complex
named BJC Progress West HealthCare Center has five levels, sits on 48 acres and
was created to serve the growing population in the southern part of the county.
The facility includes parking for 365 vehicles; an emergency department; labs;
a pharmacy; diagnostic and treatment rooms; private inpatient rooms; imaging
units; labor, delivery and surgery departments; and support services. Designed
to accommodate future expansion, the goal was to create a facility that
generates improved workflow and cost efficiencies in an optimal healing
Paric Corp. of O’Fallon, and Barton Malow Co., Southfield, Mich.,
created a joint venture for the project. The owner chose the two companies as
the general contractors. Together, they issued a competitive design/assist
request for proposal in late 2004 to seven prequalified electrical contractors.
On the list of bidders was Kaiser Electric Inc., headquartered in Fenton, Mo.
“We were on the short list because of
our extensive healthcare and design/assist experience, along with our previous
working relationship with Paric Corp.,” said George Azzanni, president, Kaiser
Electric Inc. The two companies have partnered for close to 15 years on at
least 25 projects in the commercial market.
“We’d never worked with Paric on a
healthcare project, but they knew of our long-standing involvement in that
market,” Azzanni said.
As part of the contract award process, Kaiser Electric had
to provide an extensive demonstration of its capabilities, knowledge of the
scope of work, value engineering, an understanding of the requirements of
constructing a new hospital and the ability to complete the drawings and
engineer the required systems.
“The contract was awarded to Kaiser in
early 2005 based on its competitive and complete proposal, its design/assist
experience and because the company had the healthcare market expertise the
owner required,” said Carl Eisenhauer, senior project manager for Paric Corp.
The design/assist phase of the project began soon after the contract award.
Together, Kaiser Electric and KJWW
Engineering Consultants, Rock Island,
Ill., determined which changes
could be made to the original drawings to improve the project’s construction
“Within the first week of being
awarded the contract, we were working closely with KJWW’s representative, Rich
Larson, to review the entire project, from utility service to lighting
fixtures,” said Mike Compton, manager of preconstruction.
In addition, Kaiser Electric determined
which suppliers from the preapproved list had the products that would best fit
the owner’s requirements and provide the necessary levels of quality and
service. KJWW incorporated Kaiser Electric’s suggestions and the team spent the
next six months completing the entire set of documents and finalizing most of
the design, although some of the systems required further refinement during
Work began in April 2005 on the $6.9 million electrical and low-voltage
installation and was finished on time by January 2007.
The utility’s overhead lines brought power into exterior,
15,000-volt switchgear that Kaiser Electric installed. From the pad-mounted
transformer and unit substation, power was routed through distribution
transformers to 80 subpanels within the hospital and central plant and then to
outlets, receptacles, lighting fixtures and to the mechanical and medical
equipment. Backup power consists of one 850-kW emergency, diesel-powered
generator and associated transfer switches and equipment.
“The system is designed to handle Code-required life
safety and emergency systems within the hospital to ensure power in case of an
outage,” said Dennis Thompson, general foreman for the electrical installation.
Lighting for the project required close
to 100 different types and styles of energy-efficient fixtures, ranging from
recessed, indirect and fluorescent to decorative pendants and wall sconces. The
architect, Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum Inc. (HOK), St. Louis; Kaiser Electric;
and KJWW worked together to determine the most efficient lighting fixtures and
lamp sources for the project to reduce energy consumption and cost.
Security and life safety systems were
an integral part of the hospital project. For BJC, Kaiser installed about a
dozen card access readers for entry doors and for secured, nonpublic areas, as
well as 20 closed-circuit television surveillance cameras for building
entrances, lobbies and hallways.
“The devices were wired with standard
copper cabling and terminated at the main security control room,” said Bruce
Bellinger, the project’s low-voltage general foreman. Also, part of the
security system is the hospital’s radio frequency identification infant
abduction system, which consists of a series of antennas mounted on the ceiling
of the maternity ward that pick up the RF signal emitted from the infant’s
“Any signal picked up by an antenna
within several feet of the door sets off alarms and locks the doors,” Bellinger
The fire alarm system installed by
Kaiser Electric is fully addressable and consists of a number of devices, which
were terminated at the main fire alarm control panel, including pull stations,
smoke and duct detectors, loudspeakers and strobes. The system was complicated
by the need to comply with the 2003 edition of the International Building Code,
which had been adopted by the local inspection authorities and requires
multiple fire and smoke dampers to be integrated within the fire alarm system.
“It required extensive engineering to ensure that the
dampers were programmed to operate as required by the local fire marshal,” said
Steve Giacin, project manager.
In addition, Kaiser Electric was
responsible for installing the voice/data system.
“In partnership with KJWW, Category 6
data cabling was used to wire more than 400 outlets for telephone service and
the integrated computer network,” Bellinger said.
From the main distribution frame, fiber
optic backbone cabling was run to four intermediate distribution frames and
horizontal copper cabling to the individual outlets.
Because the project was design/assist and entailed new construction on a
fast-track schedule, the specification was constantly being refined to ensure
the hospital would have the best possible product.
“To ensure the design and subsequent
construction were proceeding on schedule, weekly design meetings were held by
the entire team, including the architect, engineer and owner’s representatives,
and operational meetings with field staff and supervisors ensured all changes
were incorporated efficiently and correctly,” said Roger Messmer, project
Staying on schedule is particularly
important on a hospital project as large and complex as this one. BJC was
hiring staff for the facility up to four months ahead of the scheduled opening,
so it had to meet construction deadlines to coincide with staff training.
However, with responsibility for all of the systems, Kaiser Electric was in an
excellent position to control the design, installation, testing and integration
to ensure the completion before important deadlines.
“Kaiser was constantly examining
construction issues or concerns and looking for resolutions. The company was
dedicated to meeting scheduled commitments and ensuring a successful completion
for the owner,” Eisenhauer said.
BREMER, a freelance writer based in
Solomons, Md., contributes frequently to ELECTRICAL
CONTRACTOR and Security + Life Safety Systems. She can be reached at 410.394.6966 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com<
Planning for Safety - New requirements for healthcare security
By: wayne d. moore
Any contractor who has worked in healthcare environments knows the systems
installation—whether electrical, fire alarm or security—poses many unique
challenges. As an electrical contractor, you deal with the National
Electrical Code (NEC) and National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72) on a fairly
You may have learned of the recently
adopted NFPA 730, Guide for Premises Security and NFPA 731, Standard for the
Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems. But do you know about
NFPA 99, Standard for Healthcare Facilities?
A proposed revision to this document
will include requirements specifically relating to those responsible for
security in healthcare facilities. Such individuals may use the criteria
outlined in the new chapter to develop a security management program.
While the electrical contractor has no
direct responsibility for developing the security management program, such a
plan may well direct that a contractor install additional systems. The security
management plan will need to include processes and procedures for controlling
access to the healthcare facility.
Fortunately, the foundations found in
NFPA 730 provide a basis for security management in healthcare facilities. The
security plan must begin with a security vulnerability assessment (SVA). This
assessment will clearly identify all potential issues that might negatively
impact the security of the facility. In response to the SVA, the security
management program will need to define and implement mitigating procedures to
address issues, such as a security incident, hostage situation, bomb threat,
criminal threat, labor action, disorderly conduct, workplace violence,
restraining order enforcement, prevention and response to infant or pediatric
abduction, control of situations involving VIPs or the media, and ensuring
unimpaired access to and unimpaired egress from emergency areas. Each of these
issues will require assistance from a professional electrical contractor to
install systems used to implement the procedures.
The security management program will
determine the extent of the electronic systems needed to ensure the maintenance
of an appropriate level of security throughout the facility.
Protecting the facility assets,
including property and equipment, will integrate with other important security
systems. For example, the security management program must protect
communications, data infrastructure and medical records storage areas from the
unauthorized release of confidential information or the admittance of
unauthorized personnel to critical areas. Physical access control and
surveillance equipment (such as CCTV) or other security measures can accomplish
Video surveillance will provide an
important component of both perimeter and interior security systems. Access control
systems will help manage access in and out of security--sensitive areas. In
addition to general building access control and parking control systems, many
healthcare facilities will need specialty systems for the protection of
pediatric and infant care areas. These special systems will control and limit
access by the general public and monitor and track the location of pediatric
and infant patients. In addition, to prevent infant abduction, the security
management plan will call for the use of electronic monitoring, tracking and
access control equipment. These systems also will provide an automated and
standardized facility-wide alerting system to announce pediatric or infant
abduction as well as provide for remote exit locking or alarming.
Additional protection for medication
storage rooms and work areas often requires specialized video surveillance and
The program also provides access
control into and out of dementia or behavioral health units. Control of the
movement of people through appropriate protection systems, such as physical
access control and video surveillance for these areas, will provide protection
for the patients and staff members.
NFPA 99 requires that the installation
of electronic premises security systems meet the requirements of NFPA 731,
Standard for the Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems, and all
security controls, systems and procedures also must comply with life safety
requirements for egress. For example, NFPA 101 requires integration of the
security systems with the security locking systems to ensure release during a
fire. Integrating the security and fire alarm systems generally provides an
accepted method of accomplishing this requirement.
NFPA 101 permits access-controlled
egress doors provided the remote control of the locks allows for the rapid
removal of occupants. It also permits an automatic release device to hold open
any door in an exit passageway, stairway enclosure, horizontal exit, smoke
barrier or hazardous area enclosure (except boiler rooms, heater rooms and
mechanical equipment rooms). Generally these releasing devices connect directly
to the fire alarm system. But they also may become a component of a security
system that integrates with the fire alarm system. The automatic sprinkler
system, fire alarm system and security system must initiate the closing action
of all such doors throughout the smoke compartment or throughout the facility.
Doors in the means of egress may have an approved entrance
and egress access control system, provided that such a system meets all the
1. A sensor, called a request-to-exit
device (RTE), must be provided on the egress side, arranged to detect an
occupant approaching doors that are designed to unlock in the direction of egress
upon detection of an approaching occupant or loss of power to the sensor.
2. Loss of power to the
part of the access control system that locks the doors must automatically
unlock the doors in the direction of egress.
3. The doors must be arranged to unlock
in the direction of egress from a manual release device located 40 to 48 inches
vertically above the floor and within 60 inches (1,525 mm) of the secured
4. Any manual release device must be
readily accessible and clearly identified by a sign that reads, “Push to Exit.”
5. When operated, the manual release
device must result in direct interruption of power to the lock—independent of
the access control system electronics—and the doors must remain unlocked for
not less than 30 seconds.
6. Activation of the
building fire alarm system, if provided, must automatically unlock the doors in
the direction of egress, and the doors must remain unlocked until the fire
alarm system has been manually reset.
7. The activation of manual fire alarm
boxes that activate the building fire alarm system is not required to unlock
8. Activation of the building automatic
sprinkler or fire detection system, if provided, must automatically unlock the
doors in the direction of egress, and the doors must remain unlocked until the
fire alarm system has been manually reset.
In addition to the increased security
required by NFPA 99, each facility now must have clear and instant
communications throughout the facility. New mass notification systems or expanded
fire voice/alarm communications systems will need to integrate with the
security systems, and they will have to be an integral part of the overall
All of these systems need to operate reliably and can become
a part of the electrical contract if the professional contractor has learned
the installation requirements for these systems. The professional contractor
realizes that developing specialty areas with trained technicians will set him
or her apart from the competition, as well as help to mitigate the impact of
slow construction periods.
MOORE, a licensed fire protection
engineer, frequent speaker and an expert in the life safety field, is a
co-editor of the current National Fire Alarm Code Handbook. Moore
is a principal with Hughes Associates Inc. at the Warwick, R.I.,
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com
Get It Together
a great time to be an electrical contractor. You may look at that statement
skeptically because of worries about the
economy, but hear me out. Several things have happened in the industry
that either are having or soon will have a huge effect on your electrical construction
businesses, bringing you further influence and success. However, there’s a
catch: You must be willing to take the necessary steps.
first thing that has occurred, which this magazine addresses at length, is
design/build, which is just about at its tipping point. In the next year or so,
design/build is expected to push past traditional design/bid/build, giving your
businesses more influence and interaction with the owner. After a short
absence, the design/build column is back this month, which you can find on page
second influence is the perfect confluence of manufacturing, government and
some organizations, making building systems easier to integrate and more
necessary to meet new energy regulations or desired energy standards, such as LEED.
Communications and control systems, such as lighting, HVAC, fire alarms,
networks, etc., all depend on clean and uninterruptible electric power and will
increasingly need to be tied together due to the aforementioned energy codes
and standards. This month, we’re focusing on these topics. Edward Brown’s
story, “Step by Step,” is a how-to of sorts, looking at different types of
integrated systems and how they can be set up and controlled. John Paul Quinn
talked to several industry experts and contractors to determine the exact power
demands for integrated systems in his story, “Meeting IBS Power Demands,” page
72. For a more specific focus on security and life safety in the healthcare
field, please check out this month’s S+LSS,
which starts on page 85.
we have building information modeling (BIM), which is expected to revolutionize
construction, and for some of you, it already may be doing so. Darlene Bremer
takes on the topic in the first of a two-part series, this one with a focus on
how BIM can help contractors working in integrated building systems (“Building
Information Modeling,” page 78).
you may wonder how to capitalize on all these industry changes to make your
business as successful as possible. One way is influencing people to promote
your business. For help, read Jeff Gavin’s “Creating Ambassadors for Your
Business,” page 58.
this may not overcome your objections to my earlier statement, I’ve done what I
can to make my case. It’s up to you to make it the truth.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com
By Ed Brown
One thing I love about
being editor is that I’m forced to read through the magazine with a great deal
of care, so I learn a lot. The importance of low-voltage systems in the
healthcare market caught my attention. They’re not just nice peripheral
features. They play an increasingly vital role in the function of institutions.
The point is made well in the opening of Russ Munyan’s profile of the brand new
hospital, Dublin Methodist: “This is not just a few extra products to reduce
paperwork but a full digital infrastructure.” All of the articles in this issue
illustrate instances of that comment.
For example, at Dublin
Methodist, “Tracking boards in the Emergency Department advise caregivers of
patient status, leading to greater efficiency and shorter wait times. A
computerized physician order entry system supports doctors as they make
decisions, place patient orders and write e-prescriptions. Caregivers digitally
chart patient care at the bedside, and nurses accurately administer medications
using bar-code scanning.”
Another theme that
struck me as having applications in many markets, but which is particularly
important in healthcare facilities, is paging and call systems—see, for
example, Allan Colombo’s Connectivity column about nurse-call systems. Colombo’s Tech Notes
article gives us an overview of how wired and wireless call systems and RFID
are increasingly being used in novel ways for security functions in hospitals
and other healthcare facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living
In healthcare settings,
security is a matter of huge importance, especially in facilities that serve
either mental patients or older patients who might be suffering from
Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. See, for example, Claire
Swedberg’s focus article on security in assisted living facilities and Darlene Bremer’s
profile of the new BJC health center in O’Fallon, Mo., which describes using RFID to prevent
infants from being abducted.
Don’t forget to also
read Wayne Moore’s article on healthcare security, which discusses a proposed
revision to NFPA 99, Standard for Health Care Facilities, to include
requirements specifically relating to those responsible for security in
One more very important
item I want to mention is Jennifer Leah Stong-Michas’ Management column about
the special privacy requirements that govern working in a healthcare facility.
These are just some of the highlights. I think reading
through the entire magazine, as I did, will give you a lot to think about if
you work in, or are considering working in, the healthcare market.
with full permission of Electrical Contractor Magazine www.ecmag.com
Network & Cabling Magazine
Simplifying OTDRs spells profitability for business
By David Green, P.Eng.
networks never get any slower or simpler, or stay the same. The same is true of
certification testing for fiber optic (FO) cabling.
ago, the state-of-the-art for FO cabling was the IEEE 100Base-FX standard,
which supported a bit rate of 100 Mbps over a channel with an attenuation of
11dB. Today, the transmission channel must attenuate the light by no more than
2.6dB to support a transmission rate 100 times higher for IEEE 10GBase-S. This
tightening of requirements for the physical media represents a challenge for
all the components used to build and test a transmission path.
past, some FO testers were difficult to use because they were designed for
legacy telecom networks, but the latest generation of testers is designed to
help you easily certify fiber to the latest standards.
installers are probably familiar with Optical Loss Test Sets (OLTSs);
performing a loss length test with an OLTS is an essential part of fiber
installations, since every link needs to be tested to ensure it’s within the
loss limits. But an OLTS will only show when a link has passed or failed. When
it fails, the OLTS does not show you why or where.
an OTDR, or optical time domain reflectometer, comes into play. Many installers
react badly when they hear the term “OTDR”, but rather than think of it as
complicated and expensive, try to see it as being similar to your copper
today’s OTDRs, you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy their benefits. An OTDR
will offer you expert diagnostics that make doing this kind of work similar to
working with your familiar copper certification tool, giving you the
opportunity to bid on more jobs, expand your business and increase profits.
updated standards that focus on test methods for installed fiber links (such as
ISO 14763-3 and TIA TSB-140) recommend the complementary use of an OTDR to
verify that the link has passed and ensure the quality of each installed
component on the link. These updated standards include two levels of testing:
Basic (Tier 1) involves an OLTS whereas Extended (Tier 2) involves the use of
an OTDR in addition to the OLTS.
strength of an OTDR lies in its ability to identify bottlenecks. It does this
by sending a pulse of light into the fiber and measuring the light reflected
back at each component as the light lost at that component. An OTDR can produce
accurate, highly detailed measurements when properly configured. (Recent
versions of standards like ISO 14763-3 make an attempt to specify all the
necessary elements for a correct measurement with an OTDR, which can help
eliminate common sources of measurement error.)
installers/contractors view these setup requirements as overly complex, which
might explain why they believe an OTDR is a tool only for experts. As a result,
they may choose not to bid on projects requiring an OTDR, or simply subcontract
this work to a company specializing in fiber.
use of an OTDR is not as challenging as it may appear. Granted, ensuring that
test leads and Launch/Receive fibers are clean and correctly connected will
always be the user’s responsibility, but the OTDR takes care of the rest after
that. Newer OTDRs will draw a picture of the proper setup configuration, and the
user simply makes the connections; in essence, the instrument is able to
“learn” the Launch and Receive fibers.
the tester is ready to certify links and all included components for
compliance. (A project-specific standard from the manufacturer’s data sheet or
a reference implementation is often used to set these limits.) When there’s a
Pass on the summary screen, you know the tester has evaluated all elements of a
link, showing the total overall loss. The results are then stored for later reporting.
When properly configured, the tests are as simple as a common copper
certification test, which means anyone can become fiber proficient.
David Green, P.Eng., is director of
marketing for Fluke Networks Canada, and has been involved in technical support,
sales and marketing of various technologies for communications, automation,
testing and troubleshooting of industrial and commercial systems for over 30
years. A member of Network & Cabling’s editorial advisory board, he is also
the education program manager for Fluke, working with educational institutions
globally to develop industry-education partnerships.
with full permission of Network & Cabling www.networkcablingmag.ca
The Plug-n-play paradigm... just how easy is it?
By David Wietecki
This is the
phrase data centre managers mutter as they work to cope with the constant
change inherent in their environment. Add to this the ever-present requirements
for reliability and uptime, and you have a data centre that places extremely
high demands on connectivity infrastructure. While the fundamentals of basic
fiber cable management have never been more important, significant changes in
fiber connectivity have altered the data centre landscape, allowing for quicker
reconfiguration. The ‘plug-n-play’ architecture has appeared on the scene, and
is here to stay.
is no set definition for plug-n-play, it can generally be considered a design
in data centre environments that focuses on the use of multi-fiber connectors
for connectivity rather than individual connectors (or even a fiber splice).
Multi-fiber connectors can be used on the end of multi-fiber patch cords as
well as IFC/trunk cables. These connectors are generally referred to as MPO
connectors and accommodate 12, 24 or even 72 fibers—with even higher fiber
counts in the future.
forces are driving the proliferation of this connector type in the field. The
first, and likely most important, is the interfaces found on active equipment
in the data centre. The number of cables running through a typical data centre
has exploded from a few hundred to a few thousand, and the number of fibers
that serve individual pieces of active equipment has grown as well. Standard
connectors—even small form factor connectors—just aren’t dense enough to
adequately serve the equipment.
driver is cost. The savings on installation cost are pretty straightforward; it
is more economical and quicker to install one 6-fiber MPO than it is to install
six individual connectors. Likewise, routing a single multi-fiber patch cord is
simpler than routing several individual cords.
benefits in operational costs can also be achieved in the form of more
efficient reconfiguration, scalability and airflow/temperature control.
Specifically, operational cost savings result from having fewer individual
fiber cables in the system (thereby simplifying fiber management), increasing
airflow an allowing for quicker turn-up or turn-down of signal pathways.
The Four Principles of fiber
savings—as well as uptime—all hinge on a tight adherence to the ‘Four
Principles’ of fiber management, which are worth revisiting in light of new
Connector and fiber access
Bend radius protection
savings achieved by installing an MPO connector can be quickly negated by
violating a fiber’s bend radius, and a very likely place for this to occur is
near the multi-fiber connector itself. When using line cards, for example,
there is often a total absence of radius protection to guide fibers as they
connect to the card. This can put stress on the cable at the MPO boot, jeopardizing
not just one fiber but many in each multi-fiber patch cord.
because of the amount of reconfiguration occurring at this point, it is
important to relieve stress in existing traffic-carrying cables. By introducing
bend radius protection, you define exactly how much stress a technician can put
on fiber as he manipulates cables during reconfiguration.
Defined routing pathways
routing of multi-fiber assemblies is essential for reducing operational costs
in plug-n-play environments. By following a clear and planned method that
employs cable management features in racks/panels (either built-in or add-on
modules) adjacent to active equipment and in fiber raceway allows one to
capture the efficiencies of multi-fiber deployments. Plug-n-play multi-fiber
cables save a lot of space; a 6-fiber patch cord, for example, with a 3-mm
diameter is available now. This provides more space for airflow and fiber
access during reconfiguration, as well as room for additional fibers. Increased
airflow will provide a constant payback over the life of a data centre.
should data centre managers keep multi-fibers routed cleanly in the rack, it is
important to try to move these fibers up, out of the floor and above the
equipment for routing between zones to allow for improved airflow in a
raised-floor environment. Moving an entire rack using plug-n-play architecture
(and with a well-defined fiber pathway) can accelerate uptime by allowing for
turn-up at a single MPO point (‘parking lot’). Again, this involves clear
routing to the parking lot in the rack in addition to a deliberate routing plan
between zones in the fiber raceway.
Connector and fiber access
of plug-n-play is the ability to quickly turn-up new paths while
monitoring/modifying existing ones. It stands to reason that you need access to
connector points and fiber, but how do you access an individual fiber in a
multi-fiber plug-n-play environment? After all, data centre managers need to
plan for breakout points that allow for individual fiber access, which is
critical to monitoring and troubleshooting.
can occur in the equipment, zone or horizontal distribution areas of a data
centre, and should be compact so as not to lose the advantages inherent in a
multi-fiber plug-n-play environment. This breakout, therefore, must have the
highest degree of built-in fiber and connector management to ensure the
integrity of adjacent live fibers as technicians troubleshoot problem
connections. A standard, high-density bulkhead panel simply will not do.
this is the culmination of the cable management principles discussed above. By
protecting bend radius (not only in the rack, but near the active equipment)
and providing neat and organized routing, as well as non-disruptive individual
fiber access, we’re essentially protecting fiber and the data we transmit
through this medium.
Plug-n-play demands management
architecture is a great technology that provides for cost savings at both the
installation and operational lines on a manager’s expense sheet. However, it
highlights the need for exceptional fiber management. Using multi-fiber
connectors and cords raises the stakes by increasing the number of fibers
affected when something goes wrong. The great news is that, with a little
planning and investment upfront in cable management, you can expect dividends
for the life of the data centre.
David Wietecki is product manager,
fiber panels with ADC. He got his BA from the University
of Iowa and MBA from the University of St. Thomas.
with full permission of Network & Cabling www.networkcablingmag.ca
BICSI’s true movers and shakers: the committee volunteers
By Richard S. Smith, RCDD/NTS/OSP
largest volunteer-driven efforts are BICSI’s committee meetings, conducted by
subject-matter experts from the information transport systems (ITS) industry.
While the sessions vary in focus, they all work to help BICSI do more for its
members. And they’re inclusive, meaning you can join any of these meetings and
proactively help shape BICSI’s future.
these committees—the aptly named Membership and Marketing (M&M)
Committee—focuses on membership and marketing activities within BICSI and,
within the past year, was given increased responsibilities by BICSI’s Board of
Directors. Here are some of the important things they’re working on:
Stakeholders Ranking Tool
the purview of the Stakeholders Working Group of the BICSI NxtGEN Project,
BICSI’s board approved the transfer of the Stakeholders Ranking Tool’s
ownership to the M&M Committee, which will continually update the tool with
special regard toward targeted lines of business. So why is this important, and
what is the Stakeholders Ranking Tool? First, a little background...
changes in the ITS marketplace, BICSI is modernizing its credentialing
processes with the launch of the BICSI NxtGEN Program (formerly known as the
‘Inverted Funnel Project’), which will elevate the importance and recognition
of existing Registered Communications Distribution Designers (RCDDs); make the
RCDD and Specialty programs more available to IT, engineering and other
professionals; and make BICSI’s credentialing programs more consistent with the
way in which professionals are credentialed today.
credentialing currently has a linear path: a person first enters the
organization as an Installer or Technician then must work to become an RCDD
prior to being able to enter one of the three Specialty credential programs
(Network Transport Systems [NTS], Wireless Design (WD] and Outside Plant
[OSP]). BICSI NxtGEN evaluates the path of becoming an RCDD then reconfigures
it to match the needs of today’s ITS professionals.
Stakeholders Working Group of the NxtGEN Program Committee was charged with
identifying current and future BICSI stakeholders. The tool it developed (the
aforementioned Stakeholders Ranking Tool) helps identify, quantify and validate
those stakeholders by providing a quantitative analysis of each line of
result is that the NxtGEN Business Plan identified six major industry
categories—construction, design, supply chain, ITS consumers,
education/training providers and industry associations—from which BICSI could
attract new professional members/customers. Now, armed and empowered with the
Stakeholders Ranking Tool, the M&M Committee will lead the charge in
promoting the NxtGEN project to both current—and future—BICSI members.
Marketing and member benefits
major development is a draft of recommendations from the M&M Committee that
will be used to help staff provide more benefits to BICSI’s ITS professionals.
From over 170 recommendations, 48 were identified as major priorities, such as:
integrating credentialing programs and BICSI manuals into college degree
programs; recognition of BICSI Continuing Education Credits (CECs) by large
colleges and universities; and regularly updating BICSI’s website with current
news and technology tips.
the M&M Committee has existed for a long time in an advisory capacity, it
now has new and increased responsibilities, and a renewed and rejuvenated focus
to provide BICSI members and credential holders a return on investment. Hats
off to the M&M Committee’s chair, Edward Boychuk, and vice-chair, Cathy
Dunn, for their efforts!
many other important committees that are always looking for fresh ideas—your
ideas—in addition to the M&M Committee, such as the Exhibitor or Education
advisory committees. Take advantage of the opportunity to actively participate
in BICSI; your own return on investment will increase while benefiting the
entire BICSI membership.
To find out
more about BICSI committees and how to join, visit www.bicsi.org and click on
Committees on the left-hand navigation menu.
Richard S. Smith—the manager of Bell
Aliant Cabling Solutions—is the Canadian Region Director for BICSI, a
professional association supporting the information transport systems (ITS)
industry, including designers, installers and technicians, with information and
education. Visit BICSI online at www.bicsi.org.
with full permission of Network & Cabling www.networkcablingmag.ca
REMEMBER TO RECYCLE, REDUCE AND REUSE