Steam Tables by Christine McKinley

This week I dove into a bit of work that allowed me to flip through my 1969 hardback copy of Keenan and Keyes Steam Tables. I love this book. It smells like an old library and has a poster-sized pullout Mollier diagram.

It's okay if you don't get as geeked up about enthalpy and specific volume as we do. That's why we are engineers. We love boilers, chillers, and heat exchangers enough for all of us.

Specification Love by Christine McKinley

Could your organization use template specifications for commissioning, training, and closeout? They are a great way to make sure projects are delivered in the same way every time - complete and ready for occupancy.

We love to write smart specifications. Let us help!

The Permit Touch by Christine McKinley

Getting a project's building permit quickly and painlessly involves more than just knowing code and design package contents. It involves a bit of negotiation and personal touch. We have that. We can be your permit people.

If you like the freedom of choosing different design teams for multiple projects, you'll still have the same contact with your jurisdiction for all of those projects. That can make life so much easier. And that's what we want.

 

Heating Season by Christine McKinley

Normal people consider this simply the holiday season. To HVAC engineers, it's much more than that. It's that magical time of the year when we discover if the heating systems we designed or commissioned are operating as planned. It's like opening presents -- will enough warm air be delivered to all the zones? Is all the heat trace working to prevent freezing? I am giddy with anticipation!

BFFs - Best Friends in Facilities by Christine McKinley

I spoke at Oregon Society of Healthcare Engineers a couple weeks ago. I wasn't the only speaker determined to have an honest discussion about how design engineers and facilities engineers can do a much better job of making each others' lives easier. The questions from the facilities engineers there were fair, mostly: Why should I stick my neck out during the design phase when I know I will be ignored, and possibly punished for speaking up?

So, design engineers, architects, construction PMs, and department directors can we make an early 2016 resolution? Let's stick together and make the case for the most maintainable and energy-efficient designs. Let's listen intently to each other. We all have to live within the budget and schedule realities, but we can combine forces so much better.

Construction PMs, hold your right hand up and say, "I (your name) swear to include my BFFs as early as possible in the scoping phase, listen to their maintenance needs for the new space I'm building, and incorporate their ideas into the business case and design for new and renovated spaces."

Also, let's drink more beer together. That always helps.

Summer Reading - Energy and Mechanical Code by Christine McKinley

Some people enjoy a light novel in the summer. I like to revisit energy and mechanical code. With its random hyphenated words, tables of efficiency requirements, and declarative statements about what shall and shall not be, it's an acquired taste....like Shakespeare. Personally, I think there's no better summer reading.

To LEED or not to LEED by Christine McKinley

We can help you navigate the pros and cons of setting a LEED goal for your project. We'll start with questions. What's most important to you? Energy savings for the next ten years? Showing your customers a commitment to sustainability? We can write a clear Owner's Project Requirement document with your answers. A well-written OPR is a powerful tool for the life of your project. Let's create yours.

Make it fun! by Christine McKinley

It's not enough to finish a project on time and within budget. A project is only a true success if your customer enjoyed the design and construction process. Right? Can I get an amen?

Design meetings are work sessions, but they are also a place to educate user groups. I like to get doctors geeked up about air changes. I'll explain sound control measures to teachers. Also, there's no reason cupcakes shouldn't be served. Everyone should leave the meeting feeling smarter and a little jacked up on chocolate frosting.