Welcome to C&S’s new Southeast regional newsletter! As a valued client to our Southeast practice, you are receiving this newsletter to give you a quarterly update on what we’ve been up to locally and nationally. Our aim is to provide some helpful knowledge and allow you to get to know our firm better with each issue.
In this issue:
- Historic Grand Avenue Elementary School Project Brief
- Kai Marion Joins C&S’s Southeast Practice
- Engineer Spotlight – Matt McQuinn, P.E., CEM, LEED AP
- Insights – The Feasibility of Onsite Power Generation
- Insights – The Transition to Teal
- Rules of Thumb – Shared Coordinates
Historic Grand Avenue Elementary School
The City of Orlando has begun the task of rehabilitating and preserving the Historic Grand Avenue Elementary School as a part of their overall Neighborhood Infrastructure Improvement Plan. The school was constructed in 1926 and will be preserved along with a complete expansion of the facility. The new Youth and Family Center will provide after-school and summer programs, a pottery studio, recreation and sports programs, Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ) youth and mentoring program, and a number of other community services. A full-sized 900-seat gymnasium is also a part of the redevelopment project that will provide a new venue for the current programs at the Downtown Recreation Complex.
C&S is proud to have provided structural engineering services as a part of a much larger design-build team led by Gilbane Construction Company. The overall project will double the size of the currently abandoned school building from almost 30,000 square feet to just under 60,000 square feet of new renovated space. The team has been diligently working for upwards of 10 months on design and are currently beginning the construction process. The design included combining numerous materials throughout, focusing on restoration of the historic timber facility, steel framing, and providing decorative insulated tilt-panels as the super structure to give the outside a fresh, modern feel. The architect and MEP teams have upgraded systems and brought in elements of the historic building throughout the new portions, combining them with modern sustainable solutions. The overall result has been designed with very specific goals by the City of Orlando to achieve LEED certification for sustainability. The rehabilitation will cost approximately $21 million to complete and is slated to be open to the community in the summer of 2022.
Kai Marion Joins C&S’s Southeast Practice
C&S’s Tampa office is excited to welcome Kai Marion as she relocates from our Albany, NY office. Kai joined C&S in 2019 and serves as Senior M/WBE Diversity Coordinator for our business development department, providing strategic leadership and M/W/DBE program management for the company. With over 20 years of experience implementing supplier diversity programs in the engineering and construction fields, her responsibilities include program development, compliance monitoring, outreach, engagement and reporting. She is a seasoned diversity professional who has provided testimony to the House Committee on Small Business. Her efforts have been recognized by the National Association of Minority Contractors SC Chapter and the Surety and Fidelity Association of America.
Kai holds a Master Compliance Administrator certification from Morgan State University and received her BA from SUNY-Albany. She previously held roles at The Lane Construction Corporation, State University Construction Fund and New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation.
Engineer Spotlight – Matt McQuinn, P.E., CEM, LEED AP
Matt McQuinn is a mechanical engineer who studied at UCF and has been performing HVAC design for 14 years, spending 8 of them with C&S. During that time he has acquired his LEED certification and his Certified Energy Manager (CEM) credential. Since mechanical engineers tend to be tasked with generating energy code compliance for projects he has an affinity for designing energy efficiency into facilities, specifically through smart design for renovations and buildings that don’t actively pursue particular green standards.
While playing a role in project management, in addition to design, he has grown to appreciate the overall design process and is passionate about contributing ideas on how to integrate good energy-use designs.
Outside of engineering, Matt enjoys playing the piano and clarinet and trying to figure out vegetable gardening. He appreciates the opportunity to put his musical interests to use at the church he attends. On many Saturday mornings, you’ll find him at the local soccer park watching his children compete in youth soccer, or out with the family on Central Florida’s hiking trails.
Question & Answer with Matt McQuinn
Q: What inspired you to study and ultimately have a career in mechanical engineering?
A: I gravitated toward mathematics from a very early age and considered heading into high school teaching. During high school, our guidance counselor provided interest inventories which all pointed to engineering based on my answers. It made sense as engineering involves applied mathematics and logic. Engineering also drew my interest as a good opportunity to be able to provide for my future family. I ultimately landed on mechanical engineering since I’m a very visual person and found an artistic appreciation in the motion of mechanical systems, though I did ultimately end up in HVAC design which focuses more on energy flow and less on visible moving systems.
Q:What could more people understand about mechanical engineering as part of building design?
A: Mechanical engineers focus on the following things during building design: indoor air quality, air temperature, humidity levels, energy consumption, pressurization, and noise generation. A common trait between all of these aspects of a building are they cannot be seen, but are instead felt by our other senses. In a way, the ability to apply mathematics to control these unseen aspects of a building is so very satisfying, but can also be difficult. Mechanical engineers for building design also can be considered systems integrators. We do not specifically design the air conditioning systems, but instead balance trying to find the best system, at the right price, that’s commercially available, with good leadtimes, and meets the owner’s controllability needs; all while making this system function for the specific, and most times, unique project. It can be a balancing act of trade-offs and compromises to provide a design that ticks off all of the boxes.
Q: Being a Managing Engineer, how would you describe your management style?
A: Inquisitive…if that’s a style. I like to stay in my lane and let my team of experts do their thing, but I also like to understand the thinking behind decisions made. Then I can apply that thinking to similar future problems when my fellow experts aren’t available to participate in a last minute meeting.
Q:What is the most rewarding aspect of being a consulting engineer?
A: The answer has to be helping building owners or facility operators fix nagging HVAC issues they assumed they would just have to live with. Without knowing the cause of the symptoms, how can someone develop a plan to move forward? Helping them understand the cause and, if they’re interested, learning a bit about how I found the cause and the clues and knowledge I used to get there, is very rewarding.
Q: What up-and-coming building technologies are you passionate about implementing into your design?
A: The refrigeration cycle hasn’t changed much since its original inception, but engineers keep tweaking and perfecting that process. We continue to seek new refrigerants that balance harm to the environment if leaked with being as energy efficient as possible. Variable speed operation of HVAC systems is becoming more and more available and affordable for all aspects of the system. Finally, I’m looking forward to more intelligent controls that can provide feedback for more components of the system and for predicting issues and proactive automated actions.
Q: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at the beginning of your career?
A: Consulting engineering is as much a people business as it is about engineering. Especially when you consider the construction industry—buildings are built for people, by people, with the goal of being efficient engineering-wise, but also aesthetically pleasing and functionally useful for those occupants.
Q: Give us your best engineering joke(s)…we all know you have one!
A: In the spirit of the election season: “After suffering weak gain at the poles, the National Transistor Party has been trying to energize their base.”
In the spirit of condensate water in cooling towers: “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.”
Finally: “Did you hear about the man who got cooled to absolute zero? He’s ØK now.”
The Feasibility of On-Site Power Generation
Recently, C&S’s Southeast team has performed a variety of renewable energy feasibility studies for a diverse set of project types. Not only can it have a positive impact on your community, but long-term it can serve your bottom line.
The Transition to Teal
A fundamental shift has been taking place at C&S. This article highlights how our team is evolving to a higher level of interaction and performance by focusing less on hierarchy and more on purpose and personal passion.
Our President & CEO John Trimble shares his insights on the topic.
When working on a large project with multiple trades involved, it’s critical that the models are aligned in the same location. A common way to ensure this is to use shared coordinates. Shared coordinates is the method of using geo-located coordinates (obtained from a physical survey or Civil3D model) and publishing them across all models so that they use the same system and move together.
Shared coordinates involve having the survey point and the project base point located at the correct spot. The survey point is the component that drives the models into the correct geo-located position and the project base point acts as the origin for all modeled elements. While using shared coordinates affects mainly the survey point, it’s critical to have both points consistent across all models.
Identify a base model.
The base model will be the model that the coordinates are published/acquired from. It’s critical that the survey point/project base point are located in the correct spot.
Publish the shared coordinates from the base model prior to beginning work.
Link in all trade models into the base model at the beginning of the project. At the outset, it doesn’t matter how they’re loaded (center to center, origin to origin, etc.). Then “Publish” the coordinates of the base model to the linked models.
Note: If you are using BIM360, this must be done before publishing the models to the cloud. You cannot publish coordinates on BIM360. You can, however, acquire coordinates. If the coordinates need to be fixed in any fashion, the models need to be removed from BIM360 and replaced following publishing the coordinates.
Link the base model into the other models “By Shared Coordinates”.
After publishing the coordinates the base model, all of the models should now be on the same coordinate system and load in at the same geo-located spot. If the models don’t come into the correct spot, you may have to “Acquire Coordinates” from the base model. Revit sometimes gets fussy with this (call it a Revitism), so you may need to publish AND acquire the coordinates.
Pin the Survey Point & Project Base Point
Once the models are lined up, make sure both points are pinned. This will prevent them from erroneously moving. Keep in mind that using the “Transfer Project Standards- Project Info” function may cause the coordinates to shift.