February 15, 2005 A PRIMEDIA Property Vol. IV No. 3




CONTENTS
Total Construction Starts Increase 10% in 2004

National Engineers Week Recruits Future Workforce

FERC Supports Interconnection of Wind Facilities with Nation's Grid

EC&M Announces 2005 Product of the Year Category Winners

California Middle School Seeks Subcontractors for Modernization Project

University of Kentucky Invites Firms to Bid on Stadium Locker Room Expansion

Eye on Safety

CON Expo-CON/AGG

ASA Business Forum and Convention

EGSA Spring Convention


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    Around the Circuit
    Total Construction Starts Increase 10% in 2004
    The continued strength of single-family housing and a rebound in the commercial market led to a 10% increase in total construction for 2004, which is the largest annual increase in five years. The value of new construction starts reached $582.9 billion. A combination of low mortgage rates and robust homebuyer demand fueled the residential market, which increased 16% to $328.5 billion last year. Nonresidential building starts fell flat in 2003, but they increased 3% to $160 billion in 2004.


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    National Engineers Week Recruits Future Workforce
    The 2005 National Engineers Week will try to motivate young people to pursue careers as engineers and raise public awareness of the importance of engineering. More than 70 engineering, education, and cultural societies, as well as more than 50 companies and government agencies will be involved in the week's activities from Feb. 20-26 nationwide. A New York chapter of IEEE will bring about 500 students to a college campus to meet local engineers and participate in hands-on activities such as building an electrical circuit. For more information on how you can get involved, visit the Web page for National Engineers Week.

    FERC Supports Interconnection of Wind Facilities with Nation's Grid
    A growing number of wind turbines are generating electricity across the United States, yet the industry faces many barriers to interconnection with the grid. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has recently proposed regulations to remove these obstacles and ensure the reliability of the national power grid. The FERC's proposal would require wind farms to demonstrate the ability to continue to operate even under low-voltage conditions on the grid in order to stabilize voltage levels. To ensure real-time communication with transmission providers, the wind-powered facilities would also need to have supervisory control and data acquisition capability.

    EC&M Announces 2005 Product of the Year Category Winners
    EC&M's Product of the Year competition has honored innovation and excellence in product development in the electrical industry for the past five years. On Feb. 8 at the Electric West show in Anaheim, Calif., EC&M announced the 25 category winners for the 2005 competition. The magazine received a record number of entries, which increased from 111 last year to 136 in 2005. A panel of eight judges, including electrical engineers and electricians, recently gathered for a day to evaluate each of the products, review all of the manufacturers' literature, and determine a winner in each of the product categories. The 25 finalists will go on to compete for the 2005 Product of the Year Platinum Award. This winner will be selected by EC&M readers, who can vote online for their favorite product on the EC&M Web site from Feb. 23 to March 24 and enter a contest to win $100. Photos and descriptions of the finalists will also be published in the February issue of EC&M.



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    Project Watch
    California Middle School Seeks Subcontractors for Modernization Project
    The Sacramento City Unified School District is looking for subcontractors to modernize C.M. Goethe Middle School in Sacramento, Calif. The bids are due at 10 a.m. on Feb. 28 and must be sent to C.C. Young Construction, Inc., 2224-A Sierra Meadows Dr., Rocklin, CA 95677. The scope of work includes electrical upgrades, an automatic fire alarm system, and light fixtures. For more information, view the bid notice.

    University of Kentucky Invites Firms to Bid on Stadium Locker Room Expansion
    The University of Kentucky is renovating the existing football locker rooms at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky., and is accepting bids until 3 p.m. on March 3. Bids must be sent to the University of Kentucky, Capital Construction Procurement Section, Room #373 Peterson Service Building, Lexington, KY 40506. The new electrical work will include new receptacles and lights as well as new disconnects for rooftop equipment. For more information, view the bid notice.


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    Zone Exclusives
    Eye on Safety
    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the IEEE launched a research and testing program to strengthen electrical safety standards and code processes for arc-flash protection. A steering committee will develop a research and testing plan that will include test protocols, specifications for test instruments, and instrument placement relative to an arc. Bruce McClung, co-chair of the IEEE 1584 working group, says the program will be based on real-world data and will provide guidance for reengineering safer electrical equipment and systems that reduce the potential for arc flash. For more information, e-mail Karen McCabe.


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    Shows and Events
    CON Expo-CON/AGG
    More than 100,000 construction industry professionals from 120 countries will attend the
    CON Expo-CON/AGG from March 15-19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas. The event, which will be colocated with the International Exposition for Power Transmission, will showcase the latest construction equipment, services, and technologies. View the show's Web site for more information.


    ASA Business Forum and Convention
    The American Subcontractors Association invites subcontractors, suppliers, and service providers to attend its business forum and convention March 17-19 at the Omni Orlando Resort in Orlando, Fla. Attendees can select from 20 workshops on such topics as contract negotiations, payment, scheduling and scope changes and claims, hold harmless terms, and performance bond requirements. If you register by Feb. 18, you can receive $100 off regular rates. Visit the ASA Web site for more information.

    EGSA Spring Convention
    The Electrical Generating System Association (EGSA) will offer educational sessions covering a wide range of issues affecting the on-site power industry at its spring convention. The event will take place from March 20-22 at the Hilton San Diego Resort in San Diego. Representatives from utility companies, government agencies, and research firms will give presentations on managing rental fleets, understanding home standby generators, and preventive maintenance in critical facilities. Download the brochure, register online, or visit the EGSA Web site for more information.
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