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CII Completes Study on Best Practices for Project Security

The Construction Industry Institute has recently completed a report entitled Best Practices for Project Security. The study, sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, was funded as part of the Building and Fire Research Laboratory’s Demonstration and Technology Assistance Program. DTAP is an integral part of BFRL’s homeland security effort to develop and implement the standards, technology, and practices needed for cost-effective improvements to the safety and security of constructed facilities and their occupants. The report, released as NIST GCR 04-865, provides guidance for implementing security-related practices during the delivery process of chemical manufacturing and energy production and distribution projects. By focusing on all phases of the project delivery process, planning through start-up, this research increases the likelihood that cost-effective protective measures will be implemented. CII’s research indicates that implementing the security-related practices described in this report will enhance facility security throughout its life cycle. The findings of this report will encourage management to fully integrate security into the project delivery process.

Steel on the Job

The Steel Framing Alliance has made on-the-job guides available free to its members via download from its Web site. The new “How To” series’ first available guide is “How to Get Started with Steel: Tools,” which explains the five critical steps to working with steel for the first time, and provides illustrations and descriptions of necessary tools.

NIST’s Bement Named to National Science Foundation

U.S. President George W. Bush has announced his intention to nominate Arden L. Bement, Jr., to be director of the National Science Foundation for the remainder of a six-year term ending in August 2010. Bement has been serving as acting director of NSF since February 2004, and is currently the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He will continue to serve as NIST director pending confirmation of the nomination by the U.S. Senate. The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5.58 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions.

See-Through Concrete

Concrete Monthly recently reported on translucent concrete — its use in artwork and the development of it as a viable infrastructure material. Hungarian Aron Losonczi first saw translucent concrete, made of glass and ordinary concrete, in a work of art in Budapest. He then developed the material in post-graduate work in Stockholm. A demonstration sidewalk in that city permits light to shine through it from below after dark, making nighttime walking easier. Concrete Monthly reports that LiTraCon, a German company, will bring translucent blocks to market this year, anticipating use for lighting subway and rail stations and for speed bumps in the road. (From Concrete Monthly, August 2004).

Protecting Buildings from Airborne Threats

A building’s ventilation and air distribution system can play a critical role in protecting occupants from airborne chemical, biological and radiological — or CBR — agents, according to National Institute of Standards and Technology researcher and ASTM International member Andy Persily. In an article in the September issue of ASHRAE Journal, Persily, group leader in NIST’s indoor air quality and ventilation program, says that a building’s ventilation system can be used to actively protect occupants by diluting CBR agents with outside air, driving contaminants to filters or other air-cleaning equipment, or by selectively depressurizing vulnerable parts of the building. Lower pressures in mail rooms, loading docks and lobbies, for instance, could inhibit CBR movement to the rest of the building. Before considering ventilation changes to address airborne threats, Persily stressed that building owners and managers should understand fully the capabilities of their existing building systems. Otherwise, some changes could make the situation worse. //

Copyright 2004, ASTM International