Thursday, February 11, 2010

Beware snowy roof collapse!


Here's my engineering public service announcement for this week:  mind your roof!

There's over three feet of snow on the ground here in Baltimore, and at least that much on any flat-roof structures in the area.  Remember that the B+O Railroad museum roof collapsed several years ago under even less snow.  Check the guidelines below for advice about avoiding roof collapse from snow and ice loads.

Snow loading roof collapse

Snow ice accumulation on roofs

Disclaimer:  this post should not be used as a substitute for professional engineering advice. This blogger assumes no liability for any damages or loss of any kind that might arise from the use of, misuse of, or the inability to use this information.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Smart Grid and energy news

The Smart Grid is all over energy news these days, and it's going to affect YOU:  rate caps expiring, increasing energy use overloading an antiquated electrical grid, developments in renewable energy technology... if you use energy, pay attention.

Recently I watched a webinar sponsored by (view slides/video here):  this group provides webinars, events calendar, and an e-newsletter at their website. Whitepapers like this one co-produced by Accenture and the World Economic Forum discuss how smart grids can be the backbone infrastructure for future energy solutions and green economy.

The US Department of Energy also has a website devoted to smart grid developments:  read news, research, and articles, including a paper titled "Smart Grid:  an introduction," here.

Read even more about the smart grid from a facility management standpoint here:  pricing, demand response concerns, energy efficiency & management.

image credit: 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

EPA's mandatory reporting rule for GHGs

If you run a facility that's required to report its GHG emissions this year under the new EPA mandatory reporting rule (MRR), you probably already know it.  But in case you missed it, here's the skinny:
The reporting threshold is 25,000 metric tons CO2 e per year for most sources.
MRR overview:
General info and links to webinars (ending in late February):
Applicability tool (check if your facility is required to report GHGs):