Health and Safey Regulations 2013

May 8th, 2013

The Health and Safey

 (miscellaneous repeals, revocations and amendments) Regulations 2013 came into force on 6th April 2013.

These regulations repeal one act and revoke twelve Instruments plus a related provision in the Factories Act 1961.

These changes do not compromise essential health and safety protections but aim to make the legislative framework simpler and clearer.

This work is part of wider reforms to help employers understand quickly and easily what they need to do to manage workplace risks.

These measures are being removed because they have either been overtaken by more up to date regualtions, are redundant or do not deliver the intended benefits.

The construction related measures being removed are:

Gasholders (record of examinations) Order 1938

Gasholders and steam boilers (metrication) Regualtions 1981

Notification of installations handling hazardous substances Regulations 1962

Construction (head protection) Regulations 1989

Notification of installations handling hazardous substances (amendment) Regulations 2002

Notification of conventional tower cranes Regualtions 2010

Notification of conventional tower cranes (amendment) Regualtions 2010

HSE is taking action to raise awareness of the changes. This includes working with the construction industry to ensure that it understands the continuing need for employers to provide hard hats and ensure they are worn on construction sites. Hard hats remain vital in protecting construction workers from head injuries. Employers will still need to comply with the requirements of the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992 which have been amended so that they cover the provision and use of head protection on construction sites thus maintaining the level of protection when the Construction (head protection) Regulations 1989 are revoked.

Google Glass: How will users who wear spectacles use Google Glass?

April 30th, 2013

A question that I asked myself,  Google Glass: How will users who wear spectacles use Google Glass?


Users who wear spectacles will need to purchase custom designer frames that mount the corrective optics to the glass hardware. Example:

Google has publicly stated that the factory-standard aluminum band is easily detachable from the core electronics. This implies that the core electronics can be attached to any number of third-party OEM frames. It is highly likely that upon public launch, several designer eye-wear brands will release “Glass-compatible” frames.

A similar approach is implemented by Recon Instruments for their I/O Recon heads-up-display for skiers and snowboarders.

Isabelle Olssen, chief industrial designer on the project, is quoted as saying:

We ideally want Project Glass to work for everyone, and we’re  experimenting with designs that are meant to be extendable to different  types of frames. Many of our team members wear glasses, too, so it’s  definitely something we’re thinking about.


EPBD changes affecting Part L in 2013

April 15th, 2013

Approved Document L – Conservation of fuel and power

The current version of ‘Approved Document L: Conservation of fuel and power’ is split into four parts, click the links below to access the individual parts or the archived versions:

EPBD changes affecting Part L in 2013

DCLG has published the 2013 Amendments to Approved Documents for use with a number of current Approved Documents.

common sociology assignment types

The changes listed in this document for Approved Documents L1a, L1B, L2A, L2B are made to take account of a recast of the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (Directive 2010/31/EU) with amended guidance for:

  • Energy Performance Certificates that comes into force on 9 January 2013; (all 4 ADLs)
  • the analysis of high efficiency alternative systems for new buildings occupied by public authorities on 9 January 2013 and for all other new buildings on 9 July 2013; (ADL1A and ADL2A)
  • the major renovation of existing buildings that comes into force for buildings occupied by public authorities on 9 January 2013 and for all buildings on 9 July 2013. (ADL1B and ADL2B)

The changes also take account of the introduction of a new Approved Document 7 that comes into effect on 1 July 2013, this has been updated to reflect the European Construction Products Regulation which will come fully into force on 1 July 2013. (common to all ADLs and other ADs)

Say goodbye to RIBA Plan of Work stages (A-L)

March 10th, 2013

RIBA Plan of Work stages are to be consigned to history.

The RIBA Outline Plan of Work 2007 consisted of 11 work stages defined by the letters A-L, a description of key tasks, and reference to former OGC (Office of Government Commerce) Gateways.

The new RIBA Plan of Work 2013 has eight work stages defined by the numbers 0-7, and eight task bars.

These eight stages are derived as follows:

Stage 0 is new. In it a project is strategically appraised and defined before a detailed brief is created. This is particularly relevant in the context of sustainability when an extension, refurbishment or rationalised space plan may be more appropriate than a new building.  Some activities in stage 0 are derived from the former (RIBA Outline Plan of Work 2007) stage A.
Stage 1 merges the residual tasks from the former stage A with the stage B tasks that relate to carrying out preparation activities and briefing in tandem.
Stage 2 maps exactly to the former stage C.
Stage 3 maps broadly to the former stage D. The strategic difference is that in the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 the developed design will be co-ordinated and aligned with cost information by the end of the stage.  This may not increase the amount of design work required, but extra time will be needed to review information and for making any changes arising from the comments made, until all the outputs are
co-ordinated before the Information Exchange.
Stage 4 comprises the residual technical work of the core design team members. At the end of stage 4, their design work will be completed, although they may have obligations to check fabrication design information during stage 5 or respond to design queries that arise from work undertaken on site during stage 6.
Stage 5 recognises the importance of design work undertaken by specialist subcontractors and/or suppliers employed by the contractor (Performance Specified Design in JCT contracts). The need to define this work early in the process, in a design responsibility matrix, is a core recommendation of RIBA PoW 2013.
Stage 6 maps to the former stage K – but also includes stage J.
Stage 7 maps to stage L but is likely to embrace further duties arising from post-completion and post occupancy evaluation activities.

While the tendering stages have been deleted RIBA Plan of Work 2013 replaces them with a procurement task bar.

When it is launched there will be a free online version enabling users to customise a practice or project RIBA PoW 2013 to meet their specific needs.  In a customised Plan of Work the selected procurement route will be inserted with specific activities included at each stage.  The new programme and planning task bars will allow a number of options to be included in the custom plans. The remaining five task bars contain activities specific to each stage.

RIBA anticipate that both the old and new versions of the Plan of Work will remain in parallel use for quite some time. But RIBA believe that the advantages of the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 will quickly become apparent and that many people in the construction industry will start to make the switch sooner rather than later.

Key changes:

Work stages
RIBA work stages are reduced from 11 to 7, and aligned with the CIC Schedule of Services. Stages A and B have been incorporated into one initial ‘preparation’ stage, and stages F – L have been simplified and renumbered.

Task bars
Task bars offering job specific flexibility will replace the single description of tasks used in the RIBA Plan of Work 2007.

Revision of other key documents
The Architect’s Job Book, Standard Form of Agreement and other key documents will also be revised in line with the updated 2013 Plan of Work.

Planning is made more flexible within this plan of work, acknowledging that planning is often happening earlier in the design process.

Sustainability and BIM
BIM and the Green Overlay have been incorporated into the new Plan of Work 2013.

RIBA Plan of Work 2013 will be formally launched on 21 May 2013.

If You Can’t Go Agile (Time-charge) for a Project, Fixed-Price Can Work

January 10th, 2013

The problems of going fixed-price to set-up an intelligent building, Vs Agile (time-charge) fee engagement.




When you’re trying to optimize a design commissioned system, you’re not getting a pre-existing commodity. You’re developing a customized system that helps you achieve your specific business goals. It should leverage (or provide the foundation for) organizational change. In other words, you’re not buying a product: you’re buying into a process.

I’ll even argue that if all do is buy “an implementation,” then you’re missing half the point of original design intent. If all you get is “automation,” then you’ll just be doing the same old thing at lower cost, instead of growing the top line.

Lets explore this in more detail….

When the client Says, ‘Forget Time-charge; It’s Fixed Price!’

For many, the biggest issue with intelligent design projects is the client not knowing what you’re going to get for their money. If the client doesn’t trust the project team and the vendor (System Integrator Contractor) SIC; time-charge arrangements can indeed look like a license to steal.

The best answer to your clients concerns: Don’t even think about starting a project until you find a project team and a SIC that you trust. But that’s probably just crazy talk. In my experience, fixed-price intelligent building design projects are more likely to be complete in name only, with unhappy users, than they are to be satisfactory to users, with unhappy budget-holders. With the client spending more time and money later to get the system working correctly – wondering why the this could not of been done by the professional project team employed – originally!


For traditional building services projects, clients tend to demand fixed-price projects without actually preparing for them. In response, vendors often use three strategies for “fixed pricing”—providing only a “cut & paste” implementations, selling just a bucket of hours (that is, not signing up to completing the deliverables), or starting engineering change order (ECO) negotiations almost from the outset.

To prevent this from happening, there are a few things to look for in the consultant/system integrator designer, as well as a few behaviours you need to follow along the way. Here’s a quick run-down of how things ought to work.

Step 1: Before Any Project, Do Your Homework

The RFI, RFP and RFQ drill works well if your team really knows the details of the business and technical requirements. Unfortunately, spec-writing teams tend to make three classic errors:

  • They simultaneously under-specify (with too many silent assumptions and incomplete information) and over-specify (with too many product-specific stipulations).

  • They’re vague (or even silent) about acceptance criteria for features. A spec without a test or a clear go/no-go threshold is a wish-list, not a spec.

  • They oscillate between the technical features, the business rules, and the overall goals.


Everything needs to be translated into pure system attributes and features. It’s pretty rare for a traditional building services consultant internal staff to really succeed with writing the specs on their own. Instead, bring in a specialist consultant who will be excluded from the bidding to help you set-up the design performance requirements and write an iron-clad spec of what you’ll need—and only what you really need.

Step 2: When Short-Listing

As vendors (System Integrator Contractors) SIC respond to your RFI, RFP or RFQ, look for more than just good answers. Does the SIC include rules of engagement for the project? If there’s no guidance and dialogue during the bidding process about the how the project will be managed, then friction is likely to develop later on. There are just too many places for mismatched assumptions.

At some point, you’ll eliminate some SIC / vendors.

During your short-listing cycle, modify your specs and contract to avoid the problems that the out-of-the-running vendor has spotted. Even if you pay the vendor £180 an hour for this task, you’ll still save a bundle overall.

Step 3: Pay Attention During the Design Implementation

If the winning SIC is smart, they will precisely specify what it will (and won’t) deliver in the Statement of Work (SOW). Any change to the SOW will probably require an ECO—each with its own price tag. This will be true even if the following happens:

  • You didn’t understand the consequences of the specified deliverable. For example, the SOW might say “180 devices within 25 zones,” but you may have no idea whether that functionality will be satisfactory to your users.

  • You discover bad assumptions, additional requirements, or plot complications—or you simply change your mind—at any time after the contract is signed.

  • All the itemized deliverables do not solve your system problem, make your users happy or achieve your business objective.

Also note that the SOW may contain a line item for an explicit number of hours of project meetings, as well as another item for project management. If meetings or your decisions/approvals take longer than the allotted time, the vendor is within its right to issue a change order.

During serious fixed-price projects, meetings and the sequence of tasks will not be under your control. At times, it may feel like you’re working for the SIC: You’ll receive action items, decision deadlines and resource requests. In particular, you’ll need to complete your testing before features can be fully deployed. The SIC has to be running the show if it’s going to deliver on time and on budget with quality.

In other words, be prepared for the SIC to say “No” fairly often. If this all sounds a bit adversarial, it is. The SIC’s fixed price commitment is to delivering only the items you put in the spec, not to making you happy!

This won’t happen, though, if you prepare your team to the real requirements of fixed-price engagements. It may not be easy, but the short-term pain will result in long-term gains that make the project team and the client happy.

WIFI – Hotspots

October 21st, 2012

Ease of Use is a Feature
Hotspots use the custom paper writing service 802.11 open authentication method, meaning no authentication process at Layer 2 – at all. The customer’s client device (laptop, iPad, smartphone, etc.) joins the hotspot’s SSID, and is forwarded to the DHCP service, and the client device receives an IP address, default gateway and DNS. This, in its purest form, is hotspot connectivity.

At this point the client is now ready to access the Internet. One option is to just allow direct access. This is the easiest of all systems. It causes no difficulty with devices, because there is no user interaction.

However, most hotspot providers opt for a captive portal solution – whereby any attempt by the client device to either load a browser-based Internet session, check e-mail, etc., will all be redirected to an HTTP web page. By capturing all possible outbound ports, the customer’s experience is changed from what they would get at home.

On this captive portal page, the customer can choose to accept the terms of service, and/or pay for Internet usage. The use of a captive portal makes accessing the Internet via a hotspot quite difficult for devices that do not have native web browsing capabilities. The more “hoops” a customer has to go through, the lower their valuation of the hotspot service.

The next feature that is on the top of customer’s mind is the actual throughput of the connection. If Internet access is slow or inconsistent, customer complaints rise.  Gone are the days when a 100-bed hotel could utilize a single T-1 line (1.5MBs) being shared between all the guests.

With the advent of streaming audio and video services – like Spotify, Pandora, Hulu and Netflix – users expectations of throughput have increased faster than most hotspot providers have increased bandwidth. A business can have the best Wi-Fi system available, with fantastic data-rates going over the RF medium, but without an adequately sized backhaul, end users will still complain.

The Doppler Effect

July 18th, 2012

So you thought “The Doppler Effect “was only a throwaway term used in The Big bang TV series

 The Big Bang

High frequency occupancy sensors uses ultrahigh-frequency radio waves, also known as “microwaves” and the principle of the Doppler Effect to detect motion. 

The sensor sends out radio waves that bounce off of nearby surfaces and return to the sensor. Motion in the area changes the speed of the waves returning to the sensor. The sensor detects the change and interprets it as occupancy. This causes the sensor to turn ON the load.

Multi detection methods meet different applications

July 18th, 2012

Passive Infrared (PIR):

Senses occupancy by detecting the difference between the heat emitted from the human body in motion and the background space. Best for use in areas with (1) an unobstructed view, (2) high air flow, and (3) ceiling mounts.


Detects motion by bouncing ultrasonic waves off of objects and analyzing the frequency shift between the emitted and reflected sound waves. Best for use in areas with (1) low air flow, (2) partitions and dividers, and (3) high levels of minor activity (e.g., an office space).


Detects motion by bouncing ultra-high frequency electromagnetic waves off of objects and calculating the frequency shift between the emitted and reflected waves. Best for use behind a fixture lens because it can detect motion through dense non-metallic materials.

Dual Tech:

Uses both passive infrared and ultrasonic detection methods in order to maximize reliability and minimize “FALSE ON”. Best overall performance for most applications.


Monitor-IT/Find-It/Fix-It: Isolating and Correcting Underperforming devices & controllers

July 18th, 2012

Monitoring & tuning can be difficult. Any control system that is not tuned for maximum performance can be costly.

By using intelligent led solutions you can monitor the system performance by accessing real-time and/or historical process data for analysis and tuning.

The use and supports the automation functions alarming, scheduling, and trending (AST™). This includes a local scheduling service as well as the possibility to configure several local and remote 24 hour schedulers through the Web interface.

Alarming includes functionality to generate, deliver, acknowledge, and display alarm conditions, regardless of whether alarms occur in the device or arouse the control network. The trending capability includes a periodical or event-driven logging of values with time stamps. Logged events and trend data are stored by the controllere and can be exported with CSV files from the device via an FTP connection.

Controllers that include event-driven e-mail notification as a result of a predefined action triggered by a specific status or an exceeded high limit.

E-mail notification can also be set-up as well be used to forwarded event and trend data as e-mail attachments (CSV files) for long term storage to a central SQL database.

Lighting and HVAC in one controller = One system integrator!

July 18th, 2012

The convergence of IP and building automation networks is undeniable and enables the integration of diverse applications and systems. Just to name a few, IP can connect energy metering & management, building automation, video surveillance, access control, and even fire & alarm systems. Managing several, or all of the above, from a single interface can offer unprecedented levels of reactivity and cohesion between systems.  It can also reduce overlapping software, labour and training costs. This is why IP enabled controllers and building management systems will win.

For system integrators, to manage HVAC and lighting simultaneously with a single controller means reduced hardware, installation and logistics costs. For end-users, it means better return on investments and shorter payback periods.

So, if someone is proposing to use a specialist BMS control contractor and a lighting control system integrator contractor on the same project – STOP and ask why?

The same specialist system integrator could undertake both roles!

FTP Response Codes

July 17th, 2012

Following are links to the detailed articles for the FTP response codes.

FTP Software – Using XCRC to Verify Data Integrity

July 17th, 2012

So FTP software support XCRC error checking, a feature that has been added to many FTP Servers, such as Serv-U. The XCRC command uses a CRC (cyclic redundancy check) to verify the data was transferred correctly. The algorithm used is CRC-32, a very well known standard algorithm that ensures the data sent is the same as the data received.When FTP softwware is connected to a server that supports XCRC, it automatically checks the XCRC value with the server to ensure the content of the data is correct. If the XCRC check fails, FTP  automatically retries the file transfer.

Latency versus Bandwidth – What is it?

July 17th, 2012

Asbestos Regulations – UK

March 30th, 2012

New Asbestos Regulations Come into Force  

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 [1] will come into force on 6 April 2012, updating previous asbestos regulations to take account of the European Commission’s view that the UK had not fully implemented the EU Directive on exposure to asbestos (Directive 2009/148/EC). 

In practice, the changes are fairly limited and mean that some types of non-licensed work with asbestos now have additional requirements, i.e. notification of work, medical surveillance and record keeping. All other requirements remain unchanged, e.g. relating to licensed work with asbestos, duty to manage, risk assessment, the asbestos control limit, control measures and training requirements. 

Further information will be available from 6 April on HSE’s Asbestos website –

Distributed Smart data centres – working sun set to sun rise!

November 10th, 2011

Cooling is one of the most pressing concerns for data center managers currently, as the equipment required to cool a data center consumes power, and thus impacts on both operational (CAPEX) costs and (OPEX) efficiencies. Usually sites of this nature would have chillers in place to act as backup cooling for warm days.

For internet backbone providers and international data centre operators with cloud storage technology can now consider shifting computing workloads from data center to data centre, where this will result in “follow the moon” energy management strategies, whereby organisations take advantage of lower power and cooling costs by only using data centers at night time, rather than during the day.

order online levitra

When the weather get hots, they will effectively switch off equipment at the ‘hot’ center and instead transfer computing workloads to other data centers, relying totally on fresh air cooling. But the free air cooling concept within a data center does have its design weakness. Most regional only data centre businesses would not be prepared to accept the inherent risks in this approach, as this becomes a N+1 resilience issue of available data centres that are within the various time zones following the moon. N+1 redundancy is a form of resilience that ensures system availability in the event of component failure. Components (N) have at least one independent backup component (+1).

Microsoft’s next-gen OS – Windows 8

June 21st, 2011

It’s been confirmed that Microsoft’s next-gen OS will behave much like a browser, with Windows 8 incorporating an app-friendly interface. The OS’ new programming foundation will let developers build native apps with the same techniques they use for Web applications, and that has sparked some heated comment discussion.

Google – Chrome

June 21st, 2011

Google also gave us a browser bump this past week, as Google pushed Chrome 14 to Google’s dev channel stage. It comes with improved secure HTTP support thanks to an updated V8 JavaScript engine, and tightened security when installing Web apps from the Chrome Web Store.

Mozilla – Firefox 5

June 21st, 2011

Don’t get too comfortable with Firefox 4, because Mozilla recently upgraded its eventual successor, Firefox 5, from beta to “release candidate” status. Memory management, JavaScript rendering, canvas, and networking performance have all been enhanced, and background tabs will load faster.

Samsung to invest in IBM chip research for mobile, other devices

January 13th, 2011

Samsung will join IBM and other companies that are investing in research and development of semiconductor technology for mobile devices and other electronics. Samsung, which has an existing partnership with IBM, has “been a little bit behind in the past in the logic side” of the business, noted Ana Hunter, a Samsung vice president. The Wall Street Journal/Digits blog (1/12) ,

Online shoppers don’t like “dynamic” pricing, report says

January 4th, 2011

Consumers want more from ecommerce

by Kristina Knight

In a year that saw more consumers than ever head online to purchase gifts, gift cards and other products, etailers may be surprised to find that not all consumers are happy. And that means not all etailers can be happy, either. According to ForeSee Results’ new E-Retail Satisfaction Index online hubs such as Amazon, QVC and LLBean are doing a good job at making consumers happy.

These hubs scored 82 on a scale of 100 or more with many other online retailers averaging at least a 78 on the scale. This is good, but is also a decrease from 2009 levels when the average scores were 1% higher. Still, consumers turned out in droves to shop online in 2010.

This can be seen in the number of consumers who shopping online in 2010. The 2010 holiday season ended with large increases for online retailers across the board. Nearly $31 billion was spent online and three new highest-ever spending days were brought on record – including one day with consumers spent more than $1 billion online. Still, the holidays weren’t enough to make all consumers or etailers happy.


Pricing is leading the way in the dissatisfaction category according to the report. According to the report consumers are increasingly aware of the dynamic pricing trend – and they don’t like it. Dynamic pricing is the practice of retailers In monitoring consumers’ online purchases and adjusting their website pricing according to what they believe the consumer will spend with them. Most times these etailers are ‘found out’ when consumers open separate browser windows to comparison shop.

Instead, etailers need to engage in fair pricing practices just as their offline counterparts do. They need to have competitive pricing, their website need to operate smoothly and the quality of merchandise needs to be high.