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December 14, 2007 A Penton Media Publication Vol. 6, No. 23

Send Us Your Projects!

Year-Over-Year Construction Spending Increases for October 2007

Commercial and Public Construction Up in Most Districts

Underwriters Laboratories Finds
Faulty GFCIs

Report Predicts $7.2 Billion Thin-Film
PV Market by 2015

Airport Lighting Project in Florida

Electrical Construction in Kentucky

Business Brief

Florida Horizontal Immunity Law Tested in Court

IEC National 2008 Leadership Conference

International Consumer Electronics Show

2008 BICSI Winter Conference

Electric West

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About this Newsletter
This twice-a-month
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ElectricalZone will:

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    To find out how to advertise in this newsletter, e-mail David Miller or call him at (312) 840-8487.

    Editor's Note
    Send Us Your Projects!
    Are you an engineer, designer, or contractor with a unique new project that deserves some press? In 2008, EC&M is launching a new department in its print version that will feature the best and brightest projects that highlight extraordinary feats of electrical design and construction. If you would like us to consider one of your projects for publication in this department, send a short description to

    AEMC's Power Quality Analyzer
    AEMC's Model 8230 PowerPad® Jr. is a single-phase power quality analyzer that is easy-to-use and shock-resistant. Users are able to obtain instant waveforms of the electrical network's characteristics, and monitor their variation over time. All Power Quality parameters, including volts, amps, watts, and harmonics out to the 50th, can be recorded. Click here for more information.

    Around the Circuit
    Year-Over-Year Construction Spending Increases for October 2007
    Construction spending in October, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.158 trillion, fell 0.8% from September and 0.6% from October 2006, according to the Census Bureau. Private residential construction decreased 2.0% and 16.0%, respectively; private non-residential was down 0.5% and up 17.0%; and public construction rose 0.8% and 15.0%. The four biggest non-residential components (combining private and public construction) rose. Education was up by 2.0% and 19.0%; commercial, including retail, warehouse, and farm, rose 0.1% and 10.0%; highway jumped 0.8% and 9.2%; and office rose 1.6% and 19.0%.

    To read more on this story, visit EC&M's Web site.

    Commercial and Public Construction Up in Most Districts
    The national economy continued to expand during the survey period from October through mid-November but at a slower rate compared with the previous survey period, according to results from the Federal Reserve Bank's Beige Book, an informal survey of businesses in the 12 federal districts, referred to by their headquarters cities. Among districts, seven reported a slower pace of economic activity while the rest revealed a modest increase or mixed conditions. A few districts reported emerging signs of declining demand for commercial space. However, construction of commercial and public buildings and infrastructure projects remained high in most districts, partly offsetting low residential building activity and helping to limit losses in overall construction employment.

    To read the rest of this story, visit the EC&M Web site.

    Underwriters Laboratories Finds Faulty GFCIs
    Recent testing by Northbrook, Ill.-based Underwriters Laboratories (UL) of samples obtained from both the marketplace and several manufacturers indicates that some GFCI units do not meet all current UL requirements and, under rare conditions, may not trip when a fault is present, resulting in a loss of protection from electric shock. There have been no reported incidences of these products causing injury in the field, and under normal circumstances UL expects these products will perform their intended function. While GFCIs provide an effective means for protecting against electric shock, UL recommends that they be tested regularly to verify they are operating properly, using the self-test feature that is built into these devices.

    To read more on this topic, visit the EC&M Web site.

    Report Predicts $7.2 Billion Thin-Film PV Market by 2015
    Projections estimate the world thin-film photovoltaics (TFPV) market will reach $7.2 billion by 2015, compared to just more than $1 billion currently, according to a report from NanoMarkets LC, Glen Allen, Va. The market is being driven by the inherent advantages of TFPV, including low cost, low weight, and the ability to manufacture them on flexible substrates that can be embedded in walls, roofs, and even windows. TFPV can also operate under low-light conditions. To accommodate the growing demand, says the report, most manufacturers are ramping up production capacity, and several are building plants with more than 100MW in capacity.

    To read more on this topic, visit the EC&M Web site.

    New Flip Clip from Cooper B-Line
    The fastest, most inexpensive way to securely hang and level wire basket tray, saving installers time and money. The Flip Clip can be used with 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch threaded rods, eliminating the need for multiple hanger sizes. The Flip Clip requires only one nut and one tool for installation.

    Project Watch
    Airport Lighting Project in Florida
    The Gainesville-Alachua County Regional Airport Authority (GACRAA), Gainesville, Fla., is soliciting statements of qualifications (SOQs) for the purpose of obtaining an airport engineering services consultant for design, engineering, and construction oversight of a Taxiway B rehabilitation and lighting project at the Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV). The selected consultant will scope, negotiate, and enter into an individual agreement for services with the airport authority for completion of the Taxiway B Rehabilitation project. SOQs received after 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 20 will not be considered. For additional information, contact Lynn Noffsinger at (352) 378-8797,, or visit the airport's Web site.

    Electrical Construction in Kentucky
    The City of Bowling Green, Ky., is accepting bids for the fire protection and electrical work in the construction of the Greenwood fire station. Proposals are due at 2 p.m. CST on Jan. 15. For more information, visit the city's Web site.

    Hardhat, Tool Belt,
    Work Boots

    You rely on a lot of things to get the job done. And now, you can add NES Rentals to that list. From scissor lifts to articulated booms, we've got the reliable aerial equipment you need. Call 800-NES-RENT or visit our site to learn more.

    Web Exclusives
    Business Brief
    Seattle-based Glumac, a mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) consulting engineering firm, recently received a Revit BIM Experience Award for its exemplary use of building information modeling (BIM) and dedication to sustainable design. To efficiently collaborate with multi-discipline teams working on large-scale projects, Glumac's engineers use San Rafael, Calif.-based Autodesk's Revit MEP software to share Revit models with project partners, fostering tighter integration and communication.

    For more business briefs, visit EC&M's Web site.

    Mountable Nimbus
    The NIMBUS offering from ILSCO contains a mountable version of the dual-sided configuration for use in troughs, wire ways, or panels. NIMBUS mountable connectors are available in up to 12 ports with a wire range of 750kcmil -- 6. Dual rated for copper or aluminum conductors. UL Listed through 500kcmil. NIMBUS features removable plugs for entry port closure that display both the ILSCO and NIMBUS names along with the largest conductor size each port will accept.

    Eye on Safety
    Florida Horizontal Immunity Law Tested in Court
    In the first horizontal immunity case to go to trial in Florida, concrete worker Gregory Aikens was denied compensation from Miller Electric Co. In January 2004, just four days after the horizontal immunity law went into effect, a field supervisor working for Miller Electric dropped a 2,000-pound load of PVC pipe on Aikens' lift basket, throwing Aikens off the lift and leaving him dangling from his safety harness 35 feet in the air. Before he was brought to safety, Aikens tore ligaments in his left knee, lacerated nerves in his arm, and injured a disc in his back.

    In the court case, the jury determined that the electrical worker was indeed negligent, but under the horizontal immunity law, the jury must find gross negligence before holding a subcontractor liable for injuries to another subcontractor's employee. Gross negligence means knowingly undertaking a dangerous act likely to result in injury. Supporters of the law claim it will prevent frivolous lawsuits designed to skirt limitations on workers' compensation. Aikens, who turned down the firm's $200,000 settlement proposal, could be forced to pay the company's court costs, up to $36,000. Aikens' lawyer is appealing the law's constitutionality.

    Shows and Events
    IEC National 2008 Leadership Conference
    Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) will hold its 2008 Leadership Conference from January 4-6 in Scottsdale, Ariz. The event provides a forum for IEC members and staff to gather for educational, planning, and motivational sessions such as "Seven Steps to Fiscal Fitness" and "Strategic Planning: 2008 Objectives." For more information and to register, visit IEC's Web site.

    International Consumer Electronics Show
    The 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is scheduled for January 7-10 in Las Vegas. Knowledge track sessions for this year's show include seminars on emerging technology, energy efficiency and recycling, sales and marketing, and wireless technology. For more information and to register, visit the conference's Web site.

    2008 BICSI Winter Conference
    The 2008 BICSI Winter Conference will take place in Orlando, Fla., from Jan. 14-17. Topics for seminars at this year's event include structured cabling, an overview of TIA-TR42, a complete review of all the articles in the 2005 NEC that affect the RCDD when designing voice/data, security/safety, and audio/visual systems in commercial and public buildings, and security. For more information and to register, visit the conference's Web site.

    Electric West
    Year after year, electrical contractors, consultants, engineers, plant managers, and other electrical professionals make it their business to stay on top of the latest industry developments by attending the Electric West Conference, scheduled to be held in Las Vegas from Feb. 27-29. It provides the tools you need to become more efficient, work faster, more profitably and stay ahead of the competition. Categories include:

    • Code changes & standards

    • Safety

    • Lighting

    • Residential applications

    • Industrial applications

    • Business practices

    • Home automation

    For 2008, the Power Quality segment will be expanded into its own separate conference. For more information and to register, visit the Electric West Web site.

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