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April 15, 2008 A Penton Media Publication Vol. VII, No. 7


CONTENTS
Architecture Billings Index Drops to Record Low

Overall Construction Spending Falls for Fifth Straight Month

Solar Loans Available in New Jersey

Vermont Law Focuses on Home Energy Efficiency

Police Station Expansion in California

Electrical Services in Connecticut

Business Brief

Wisconsin Builders Association Partners with OSHA

PowerTest 2009

Arc Flash Hazard Live Webinar

West Coast EMC

2008 Lightfair International


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    Around the Circuit
    Architecture Billings Index Drops to
    Record Low

    The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) from Washington, D.C.-based American Institute of Architects (AIA) fell almost nine points -- from 50.7 in January to 41.8 in February. This marks the index's lowest level since October 2001. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings.

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


    ADVERTISEMENT
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    AEMC's PowerPad® Model 3945-B power quality analyzer measures true RMS single and three-phase parameters at 256 samples/cycle. The meter is menu-driven with direct access functions that are activated at the push of a button. It has a large, easy-to-read color graphical display and includes DataView® software FREE for data storage, real-time display, analysis, and report generation. www.aemc.com/products/html/minfindex.asp?id=110101&dbname=products


    Overall Construction Spending Falls for
    Fifth Straight Month

    Construction spending declined 0.3% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.12 billion, according to the Census Bureau. Year-to-date (YTD) spending in the first two months of 2008 was 2.6% lower than in January-February 2007. Leading the decline, residential construction fell 0.9% for the month and 20% YTD. Private non-residential spending decreased 0.1% in February, but was up 16% YTD. Public non-residential spending rose 0.5% and 6.6% YTD.

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


    Solar Loans Available in New Jersey
    The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities recently approved a plan for Newark, N.J.-based Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G) to provide approximately $105 million toward the financing of solar installations in New Jersey over the next two years through its Solar Loan program. The loans could pay for 40% to 60% of the cost of the installation of solar systems, with the rest being paid off by the electricity the panels produce. PSE&G wants to generate 30MW of power through the pilot program.

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


    Vermont Law Focuses on
    Home Energy Efficiency

    Vermont Governor Jim Douglas recently signed into law the Energy Efficiency and Affordability Act of 2008, which establishes an efficiency program to help homeowners and businesses reduce fuel consumption. Supporters of the bill hope the new fuels efficiency program will coordinate expertise, technical assistance, and resources to help Vermont citizens make their homes and businesses more energy efficient.

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


    ADVERTISEMENT
    ILSCO Has Reinvented the Compression Category With a New ClearChoice® Solution
    SureCrimp copper compression connectors reduce inventory requirements by accepting multiple conductor classes including fine stranded and building wire. UL-listed, CSA-certified, and range-taking when installed with approved tools and dies. Circumferential dies produce strong, long-lasting crimps with a tight crimp profile for greater pull-out strength. The increased contact area reduces resistance and eliminates the potential for flash. www.ilsco.com


    Project Watch
    Police Station Expansion in California
    The City of San Jacinto, Calif., is soliciting proposals from qualified firms for architectural design of the expansion of the existing San Jacinto Police Department building. The project scope of work generally entails development of construction drawings for an approximately 2,000 square-foot expansion of the police station.

    These plans are anticipated to include, but are not necessarily limited to electrical, HVAC, plumbing, structural, floor plans, and elevations. The City of San Jacinto has scheduled a meeting on April 16 from 11:00 to 12:00 PST at the San Jacinto Police Department to respond to any questions. Proposals are due no later than 2 p.m. on April 30. For more information, visit the city's Web site.


    Electrical Services in Connecticut
    The Amity Regional School District, Woodbridge, Conn., is seeking a contractor to perform electrical services beginning July 1, 2008 and ending June 30, 2009 at the Amity Regional School District #5 facilities in Bethany, Orange, and Woodbridge. Scope of work includes maintenance of all electrical equipment; installation and replacement of contacts and motor starters, switches, receptacles, and circuit breakers; installation and replacement of lights, ballasts, and fixtures; installation of Amity School District-supplied electrical equipment; troubleshooting electrical circuits; sizing and pulling wire; bending pipe; and installing conduit. Bids are due at 2 p.m. on April 28. For more information, visit the State of Connecticut's Web site.


    ADVERTISEMENT
    Great Prices on Split Bolts
    Starting from only $1.29, elecDirect Copper Alloy Split Bolt Connectors are highly resistant to corrosion and season cracking. UL- and CSA-listed for grounding/bonding and suitable for direct burial.
    elecDirect stocks more than 13,000 electrical products and tools. Use Coupon Code EZONE408 at checkout to receive 10% off your next order. www.elecDirect.com www.elecDirect.com -- or call toll free (800) 701-0975.


    Web Exclusives
    Business Brief
    Las Vegas-based Finnegan Erickson & Associates (FEA) Consulting Engineers recently launched a full-service creative lighting department, FEA Illumination Design Studio. The studio's mission is to provide comprehensive architectural lighting design services that create visually appealing and cost-effective lighting for building interiors, exteriors, and landscaping, as well as choreographed theatrical treatments for live events and static displays.

    For more Business Briefs, visit the EC&M Web site.


    ADVERTISEMENT
    Check More, Fix More, Spend Less!
    The new Agilent U1240A series enables you to check more with all the DMM features you would expect to see and more. Maintenance tasks are greatly simplified with frequency and capacitance and dual temperature functions. And new features, like a switch counter, harmonic ratio, and differential temperature, further extend your capabilities with just a push of the button. Click to learn more.


    Eye on Safety
    Wisconsin Builders Association Partners with OSHA
    The Wisconsin Builders Association, Madison, Wis., representing more than 9,000 member companies, recently formed a safety and health alliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Washington, D.C., to reduce injuries, illnesses, and fatalities among employees in the state's residential construction industry. Participants in this alliance will work to reduce serious injuries and illnesses of all employees at worksites throughout Wisconsin, particularly by reducing and preventing exposure to fall, electrical, trenching, and excavation hazards associated with the residential construction industry. Special emphasis will be placed on awareness and monitoring of the safety needs of non-English-speaking employees.

    "This agreement provides an opportunity for OSHA and the association to come together and demonstrate that we all benefit when management, labor, and government dedicate themselves to providing a safe and healthful work environment," says Mark Hysell, area director of OSHA's Eau Claire, Wis., office, which developed the alliance. "We want every employee to go home healthy and uninjured at the end of the day."


    Call for Papers
    PowerTest 2009
    PowerTest 2009 Electrical Maintenance and Safety Conference, hosted by the International Electrical Testing Association (NETA), will be held March 9-12, 2009, in San Antonio. NETA is now accepting non-commercial technical submissions for PowerTest 2009 Paper Tracks and Seminars with a focus on safety, reliability, or equipment. All papers will be published in NETA's conference proceedings. The deadline for abstracts is May 28. For more information, visit the PowerTest Web site.


    Shows & Events
    Arc Flash Hazard Live Webinar
    On April 24 at 2 p.m. ET, Sergio Panetta, vice president of engineering at I-Gard, will explore the root causes of arc flash hazards and then explore the following statement from the IEEE Std 141-1993 (Red Book), "Recommended Practice for Electric Power Distribution for Industrial Plants." In 7.2.2, it states: "There is no arc flash hazard, as there is with solidly grounded systems, since the fault current is limited to approximately 5A."

    Attendees will be provided a short summary of grounding systems with particular emphasis on the prevalence of the solidly grounded system and the inherent arc flash hazard associated with this option. They will also learn the rationale and technical understanding of how HRG technology can mitigate and reduce the arc flash hazard as well as design considerations to remember when specifying and installing an HRG system.

    For more information and to register, visit the Webinar's Web site.


    West Coast EMC
    The West Coast Energy Management Congress (EMC), the largest energy conference and technology expo held on the U.S. West Coast specifically for business, industrial and institutional energy users, will be held in Seattle from May 14-15. The full EMC 2008 agenda includes the two-day conference and expo, as well as several optional intensive seminars on topics such as renewable energy technologies, building commissioning, and power quality. For more information and to register, visit the congress' Web site.


    2008 Lightfair International
    The 19th annual Lightfair International, the annual lighting industry event for architectural and commercial lighting products and services, is scheduled for May 28-30 in Las Vegas. Seminar tracks for this year's event include business, inspiration, lighting and well-being, lighting design, sustainability, and technology. For more information and to register, visit Lightfair's Web site.

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