The Engineering Behind Demolition

demolition engineering

 

In the construction world, it is often necessary to demolish old buildings, either because they are no longer in good condition, an accident has occurred that has endangered the building’s stability, or because space is needed to carry out the construction of a new building.

The demolitions can be both total and partial, depending on whether part of the existing infrastructure is to be reused or conserved or if the structure is to be completely eliminated. In any case, different methods can be used to demolish a building. Among the most common are the following:

  • Excavators
  • Traditional methods
  • Bulldozers
  • Wrecking balls
  • Cranes
  • Hydraulic shears
  • Controlled explosions and implosions.

Usually, these demolition activities are regulated. Only highly qualified personnel can carry out these tasks, not only because of the danger that the fact of demolishing an infrastructure represents but also because methodologies are used that require specialized knowledge in this area.

What types of demolitions exist?

There are different types of methods by which infrastructure can be demolished or demolished, and the choice of one or the other will depend on the conditions of the infrastructure, its location, its size, and the reasons why it is being demolished.

The process of demolishing a building can be very complex or straightforward, depending mainly on the size of the demolished building. This is why not all demolitions are done in the same way.

Demolition is something specific to each building, its situation, and its materials. Demolitions require specific planning of the works to be carried out for each case. It will be necessary to make cuts in the facilities, fences of the work, and disassembly of certain parts.

We will also have to foresee the fall of debris and the classification of the waste that will be generated. All of this is collected in a demolition project where the commercial demolition contractors will choose the most suitable for each case from among the types of demolition.

When we talk about types of demolitions, we understand that there are several different ways to carry out a demolition process.

We can divide the demolitions into different types, which we will see below.

Shock demolitions

They are the least controlled but the fastest and cheapest. Naturally, they are used when there is no danger of damaging the surrounding area, either in the entire building to be demolished or in part of it. Usually, suspended masses of cables are used as pendulums that hit the factory.

This requires great dexterity from the operator, not only to hit properly but also to control roll. Heavier cylinders are sometimes dropped to demolish floors and pavements with their shock. It is an efficient but not very controllable system with which you generate a lot of noise.

Mechanical demolitions

Mechanical demolitions are currently the most common. They are carried out mainly for total demolitions or partial demolitions of large areas. They are those that use machinery to effect breaks. They can be placed on tracks, allowing greater mobility around the work and access to difficult areas.

This type of demolition involves the use of heavy machinery and supporting equipment such as robots or backhoes to which specific elements and tools for demolition have been implemented.

Percussion hammers with steel heads of different sizes are usually used, allowing you to better adapt to each area. Tweezers are also used that can even incorporate shears to cut the steel bars from the concrete.

The pliers are handy for working at heights from which falling debris can cause problems as they are capable of holding the cut pieces.

Mechanical demolitions dramatically increase the speed of demolition and, provided they are carried out correctly, and following the safety regulations, it is an almost entirely risk-free type of demolition.

To carry out a mechanical demolition, a large workspace is usually necessary, as well as specific pre and post preparations. In general, these systems are much more controllable, and with adequate specialization, they achieve demolition of particular areas without hardly affecting other buildings.

Traditional demolitions

This type of demolition is mainly used in smaller projects or partial demolitions. Since the objective is to preserve part of the structural elements, such as walls or dividing walls, it does not work with heavy machinery but rather employs qualified labor and uses traditional techniques and tools.

Although this type of demolition requires more work time, it also allows a more specific process. These processes will enable differentiating the elements that will be demolished from those that must be maintained.

Two phases usually take place. In the first, hydraulic hammers, pliers and shears are used to carry out the demolitions. In the second, the smallest debris is removed using agile machines and tools.

Demolitions in case of sinister or emergencies

This type of demolition takes place when there is an accident such as floods, fires, tornadoes, or any other phenomenon that can cause structural damage to buildings. They require a rapid response to emergencies and a highly specialized team.

In a disaster situation, the objective is to minimize the damage as much as possible and promote the affected area’s speedy recovery.

Cases that require specific systems

For the most massive concrete structures, perforations are used to introduce hydraulic jacks or expanding mortars. This makes it possible to ensure the fracture that will occur and then move on to other demolition systems.

When you have to demolish a large, isolated building, you can use explosives that, through proper study, ensure complete demolition and that the debris will be well stacked. In minor cases, the commercial demolition contractors may use cables to pull or shovels to push to cause the building’s general instability. Still, the fall of debris will be less controlled.

Whatever the type of demolition used, it must pay attention to both waste management with special attention to asbestos and the impact it will have on the surrounding areas, so it must be carefully studied.

demolition engineering equipment

What kind of specialized machinery is used in a demolition?

When we are going to carry out the demolition, we must bear in mind that we also have to deal with specific demolition machinery as well as specialized demolition machines.

However, there are different works with specialized machinery that must be taken into account before:

Reinforced concrete

On the one hand, there is the demolition of reinforced concrete. You will need really heavy machinery to move all this debris. Here we highlight the excavators and waste handling machines to throw the cement and transport it to clean the demolishing area.

Industrial demolition

On the other hand, in industrial demolition, you will also need heavy machinery while you will be moving heavy items, especially iron and steel. Therefore, the machinery must also be heavy and resistant to carry these elements.

Technical demolition

As for technical demolition, it is a process that is carried out in different constructions and always looking for a minimum acoustic and dirt impact. It is carried out with specialized and modern machines.

Mechanical demolition

Mechanical demolition is the most common and is carried out for total or partial demolition of large areas. These demolitions involve the use of heavy machinery and different load-bearing equipment such as robots or backhoes with elements included and specific tools for demolition.

These demolitions increase the process’s speed, provided they are carried out correctly under the relevant safety regulations, being demolitions that hardly present risks. Of course, you will need large workspaces and previous and subsequent forecasts.

Manual demolition

On the other hand, a manual demolition is one that is carried out in smaller projects or partial demolitions. Its purpose is to preserve part of the structural elements, so heavy machinery is not used. Instead, it is a skilled workforce with different techniques and traditional tools.

And it is true that these demolitions are more durable, but they also determine a more specific process where it is possible to differentiate the elements that must be demolished and those that must be maintained.

Indoor demolitions

Regarding the demolitions of floors, walls, and stairs indoors, the machinery is more specific and less heavy since the force used is not so demanding.

Demolitions with explosives

The opposite occurs with blasting, where you need elements such as explosives for the demolition to be efficient. And finally, the scrapping of metal structures is also carried out with resistant machines to finish off these pieces.

In short, depending on the type of demolition you are carrying out, you will need some demolition tools or others. It is important to remember that these demolitions must be carried out by properly trained and specialized personnel. This will reduce the risks to the maximum (accidents, environmental damage, incorrect demolitions). The best way to ensure this is by hiring a team of commercial demolition contractors.

What steps must you take to carry out a demolition?

Demolition can be defined as a “reverse process to Construction” To be taken into account; There are several types of demolition with different aspects and classifications.

Ultimately, it consists of the demolition of Constructions and Constructive Elements until the complete elimination, buildings, and pavements, roads, sidewalks, factories, or any other necessary.

In general, Demolition works include the following phases:

  1. Preliminary work: Cuts of facilities and connections, Preparation, fencing, signaling, and protection of the entire work area.
  2. Disassembly or Fragmentation: of the factories that make up the work.
  3. Classification and Removal of Materials: To approved centers for their Management.

There are no two equal Demolitions since each work may have different peculiarities that must be taken into account in each phase; these peculiarities will mark the limitations and conditions and take into account both in the works before starting the work, during and at the finish the Demolition process.

Before starting any Demolition work, the commercial demolition contractors must carefully study its correct execution and the system to be used. The essential aspects to analyze before starting the work are:

  • The Demolition Method to be used.
  • The Stages that we will have in its execution.
  • The stability of the building to be demolished as it is going to ban is which will define the shoring and formwork that we will need to make to ensure the safety of the work operators.
  • The stability of the construction elements that are not going to be demolished, in the case of a Partial Demolition. As well as the security elements that must be placed, so that everything is secured, not only the building that we are demolishing but also the buildings around or adjoining.
  • It may be necessary to maintain or replace the services or facilities that are affected by the demolition work.
  • Have well indicated the Means of evacuation and the areas for dumping debris or materials from the demolition.
  • Planning and Organization of the work to be done.
  • The control that we must carry out as the demolition works progress.
  • Plan and Management of the waste generated during the building demolition works.
  • Most importantly, the Health and Safety measures to be carried out throughout the work.

By hiring a team of commercial demolition contractors, you can rest assured that the entire process will be carried out correctly. This is because you will have adequately trained personnel and have all the necessary equipment to carry out the infrastructure’s demolition without any inconvenience.

In addition, commercial demolition contractors usually keep up-to-date on all current laws, which will save you from headaches later.

what to do with demolition waste

What do you do with demolition waste?

As you can assume, when infrastructure is demolished, regardless of the type of demolition that is carried out, a large amount of waste will be generated. These wastes must be transported and deposited in the corresponding landfills.

These landfills must be approved to fulfill this purpose; if not, it is possible to face environmental damage fines. Likewise, several of these residuals can be recycled and depending on current legislation. All of the residuals that can be reused must be taken to recycling centers for proper processing.

When starting the industrial cleaning process and the subsequent decontamination of floors, in general, we must adhere to the following general guidelines:

  1. The first step we have to take is to request a permit from the corresponding administration to place a rubble container on the public highway and pay the relevant municipal fees.
  2. Once the bag or said container is full, the team of operators has to come with the necessary machinery to move it to the authorized point of storage and waste collection in the town where the demolition took place.
  3. Once these wastes have been eliminated, the next step is to clean and disinfect the area of ​​possible contaminating remains that could have come off as a result of our work. For this, as we tell you, it seems very necessary to put industrial cleaning in commercial demolition contractors’ hands.
  4. In these authorized points, debris and waste are classified for subsequent treatment and recycling. According to what the legislation dictates in each case. It is vitally important that we follow the indicated procedure responsibly, as we will be contributing to the protection of the environment and our natural spaces.

Many cities are faced with the problem of illegally dumping rubble in public spaces. This causes dirt and contamination and is harmful to nature, turning these spaces into unhealthy spots, with its serious risk.

Hence the importance of removing debris responsibly. It is vital to follow each of the steps set by the corresponding regulations. In any case, the best way to be sure of complying with all regulations and carrying out an adequate partial or total demolition process is to hire commercial demolition contractors. These professional teams will do everything necessary to carry out these tasks in the most suitable way, reducing the risks to the life of the population and the environment to a minimum.

The Engineering Behind Building a Skyscraper

skyscraper engineering

 

Skyscrapers are products of civil engineering. Experts are predicting that buildings will go over 3200 feet high. And there could be a one-mile skyscraper by 2050. Planners are also predicting over 6 billion people will be living in the city.

In fact, California and Stanislaus County Project Management is coming up with plans to accommodate more people in the cities thanks to brilliant skyscraper engineering.

One classic skyscraper is the New York Empire State Building. The slender 96-story building was built in the 20th century and overlooks Central Park. But what is impressive is the footprints at the ground level.

Another iconic landmark is the Skidmore, Owings & Merril. According to the structural engineer (Bill Baker), this building will stand the test of time.

So, how do engineers make more for less?

The design and construction of skyscrapers

One concept about skyscraper engineering is that a building must support its weight. In addition to that, it must protect the occupants from fire and should resist winds. Yet, the skyscraper should provide a comfortable climate, and all floors must be accessible.

The basic design

Given the high cost of construction, skyscraper engineering ensures there is no single chance of failure. The building should be in a position to resist all loadings. But if it fails, there’s a question of lack of foresight.

One aspect of skyscraper engineering is the special substructure. The pit that holds the substructure must go all the way to bedrock. But first, the topsoil must be removed to build a foundation.

Loading and vibration

One fascinating fact about skyscraper engineering is that the weight of the building comes from the material itself. From a technical perspective, the weight of the structure should be greater than the weight of the furniture, people, etc. The vertical tubes can come in different categories like:

  • Sheer walls
  • A tube design
  • Steel frames
  • Concrete cores

Another important aspect of engineering is the wind loading speed. Since the wind pressure increases with weight, tall buildings come with live or dead loads. Other factors that affect the vertical and horizontal load come from unpredictable sources like an earthquake.

Steel frame

This is a classic concept in skyscraper engineering. It entails a large steel box with a few boxes inside. Because steel is a strong material, the skyscraper can be built with vertical and horizontal support throughout. While this may look like a simple method, it has drawbacks.

More material is needed to reduce the distance between the support members. And this is quite uneconomic for tall buildings that go beyond 40 stories. Of course, the unused floor spaces can be reduced using more steel.

Steel offers superior strength because it’s an alloy of iron and carbon. And it’s no wonder it’s used in large scale construction. Steel is resilient, strong, and durable. In the late 1960s, a renowned engineer of Bengali descent came up with a formula that allows skyscrapers to reach a new height.

Tubular design

Fazlur Khan is believed to be the father of the tubular design of skyscrapers. He first introduced the concept while working at Merrill’s Chicago Office and Skidmore Owings. And any skyscraper that was introduced after 1960 used the same skyscraper engineering principles.

According to Khan, a framed tube is a simple design that can be adapted to circular, square, rectangular, and freeform shapes. His construction engineering principles further categorized the design into two:

  • Braced tube / Trussed tube design
  • Bundled tube

The braced tube features spaced exterior columns while the bundled tube was tied together to resist lateral forces. For example, the Willis Tower in Chicago used the bundled tube design by using tubes of different heights. Keep in mind that the tube units can have different shapes and can be bundled into different units.

But the beauty of Khan’s engineering is that it used concrete or steel to reach lofty heights. More interestingly, the composite of concrete or steel could reach a height of 828 meters. According to Khan, the amount of steel used to create the tubular design is half that of the steel frame.

Shear walls

Shear walls are strong and have high stiffness. They can support gravity loads and can resist horizontal loads. And that’s why they are unique in skyscraper engineering applications. So, what’s a sheer wall?

From a skyscraper engineering perspective, sheer walls can resist the axial load and any movement induced by the lateral load. In simple terms, a sheer wall increases the rigidity for load resistance.

In the construction of skyscrapers, the shear walls can be seen as vertical elements for resisting loads introduced by earthquakes and wind. This explains why the walls come in different shapes like irregular cores or rectangular shapes.

Over the last few years, the use of shear walls in skyscraper engineering has gained popularity – for good reasons. They are common in the construction of a service apartment or office blocks. And this system is effective as it allows for the construction of a 35-story building.

From a statistical standpoint, no building with shear walls has ever collapsed due to elements like an earthquake or strong winds.

Reinforced concrete (RC) Shear Walls

Reinforced concrete walls start from the foundation and go all the way to the height of the building. In one statement made by structural engineer Mark Fintel – you cannot have a strong building that can withstand earthquakes without RC sheer walls. Another important thing to note is that sheer walls must be symmetrical to reduce the ill-effects of twists in buildings.

Confusing the wind

In the real world, you may be wondering what prevents the skyscrapers from swaying. It’s all about taming the wind. If you happen to check a building like the Grand Hyatt on a windy day, you may notice the skyscraper creaks a bit when the wind moves back and forth. But this is not a structural problem.

In any skyscraper engineering, the wind has been an important factor to consider. Since the first skyscraper was opened in the late 1880s, engineers have to think about wind loading.

So, how does a tall building like Burj Khalifa withstand the wind? It rises 2717 feet into the sky and has remained the world’s tallest building. As the altitude increases, the building should be designed in a manner that it can conquer the wind.

The first thing you’ll note is that the building rises high in stalks. It brings somewhat an odd-looking design that prevents the air from being organized into whirlpools. This also prevents the formation of vortices that stop the tower from moving side to side. But even with such a unique skyscraping engineering design, the building will still sway about two meters at the top.

Another landmark that confuses the wind is the Taipei Tower. It stands a second distant of 1667 feet. Between the 88 and 92nd stories, you’ll find a giant pendulum. It’s designed to battle typhoons and windstorms. It swings gently to balance the tower and ensures the comfort of the occupants.

The New York Citi Group has also employed a unique mechanism to combat the wind. It has a tuned mass damper that is designed to reduce the impact of the wind on the scraper. As the wind pushes the building in one direction, the damper will swing to the other side. What this skyscraper engineering means is, you’re adding a component to deal with the wind rather than the building itself.

The wind specialists and structural engineers work meticulously to alleviate stress and ensure the comfort of occupants.

And just like a guitar string, buildings are inclined to vibrate, so you should ensure the frequency lines out just right. A key goal of skyscraper engineering is to disrupt an organized flow of wind.

If not addressed, strong winds can cause serious structural damage. Another key aspect of skyscraper engineering is that buildings follow the 100-year return rule. This means that the speed of the wind is expected to change once in a century. After the time lapses, designers should increase the strength by 60%.

But despite these measures, strong winds can still cause damage to windowpanes or a myriad of other issues. For instance, a light breeze may feel like a hurricane on the top floors. But if a skyscraper is engineered properly, you don’t expect excessive motions. An occasional creaking is normal.

Shock absorbers for supertalls

A great aspect of skyscraper engineering is the use of dampers. They work like counterweights that help to stabilize the structures. The engineers attach about 300-800 tons of steel to interfere with the local wind patterns. There are two types of dampers:

Generally speaking, a damper consists of a piston and head filled with silicon oil. When the building moves in a horizontal motion, the damper transforms mechanical energy into heat.

With skyscraper engineering, architects use cleaver technologies to mitigate the effect of earthquakes. And as a result, the occupants can come out unharmed. Other tactics include:

Use of pendulum power

This is another unique aspect of engineering that allows you to spend enormous mass at the top of the structure. Each pendulum is tuned to match the vibrational frequency of the building.

For example, the Taipei 101 building uses a pendulum power to mitigate the effects of strong winds and earthquakes. At the heart of the system, there are eight suspended steel cables.

Rocking Core-wall

In many high-rise buildings, you’ll find a core wall construction. The rocking core wall refers to reinforced concrete that runs through the heart of the structure. This kind of construction can withstand earthquakes and strong winds. For extremely tall buildings, the rocking core wall should be 30 feet and can be between 18-30 inches thick.

Carbon fiber wrap

Another aspect of skyscraper engineering is adding base isolation systems. The reinforced fiber plastic wrap mixes carbon fibers with other materials to create a lightweight but incredibly strong structure.

When using this method, the engineers wrap the material on concrete to create an epoxy gap between the material and concrete. You can also create a mummy-wrapped beam that has incredible strength.

The levitating foundation

For many years, engineers have been using base isolation to protect buildings from the effects of an earthquake. This involves floating the building above the foundation.

How concrete is poured

Let’s face it: we haven’t moved beyond steel and concrete in technological advancement. Generally, skyscraper engineering allows a building to support much weight with less material. The truth is, concrete continues to gain massive power due to the unique chemical composition.

Skyscraper engineering ensures that you combine concrete and high-strength steel in different ways. But the most technological advancement is the use of unique designs.

Unlike ordinary concrete, the concrete used in skyscrapers has to be reinforced. For example, the Burj Khalifa building had to take more than 300,000 cubic meters of concrete. A mixture with high comprehensive strength had to be made.

Building a high-rise building requires that you rethink the materials you use. Concrete that is reinforced with microfibers can have massive strength to withstand strong winds.

The elevator conundrum

The traditional elevator can run for a limited 1600 feet because the wire can’t reach higher than that. What this means is that super-tall buildings can take valuable floor space.

Given that many people cannot climb more than a few stairs, the elevator conundrum is an invention of the skyscraper. A key aspect of skyscraper engineering is that the building requires more elevators. This means that there has to be a dedicated area for shaft ways. And this is where a conundrum comes in.

Many tall buildings like the John Hancock Center and the World Trade Center Tower use express elevators. So, engineers can place conundrums on top of each other to save space.

Some buildings like the Petronas Towers have double elevators that allow more people to reach the top. The only downside with double elevators is that all people have to stop when a few want to get to a specific floor.

Without cables being confined in an elevator cabin, you can have a bus system with multiple cabins. And just like airplane cabins, an elevator can be pressurized to help in the transition of higher altitudes. They can also move faster to reduce the waiting time.

Skyscraper engineering continues to be one is one of the greatest achievements in the world.

The Engineering Behind Dielectric Testing

Dielectric Testing on bucket trucks

 

Dielectric testing refers to the process of assessing electrical insulation. When it comes to checking the insulation in mobile homes, you have to test the insulation at a slightly higher voltage compared to the normal voltage. This method of approach makes sure that insulation does not start at a marginal level. With an accurate voltage setting, dielectric testing using direct current (DC) offers the same results as utilizing alternating current (AC). However, DC testing provides better information on performance and safety enhancements.

The objective of dielectric testing

 

Dielectric testing is not a complex process. It does not cause any damage to the materials tested. This simple method corroborates the sufficiency of electrical insulation to withstand temporary power surges. Lightning strikes and short circuits are the major reasons for voltage spikes on power lines. These types of power surges last only for a small duration. That is to say, transient spikes last only under 20 microseconds.

Dielectric testing can also be used to verify whether particular insulation has sufficient performance headroom. This type of verification is needed to make sure that the insulation does not fail due to aging, vibration wear, moisture, and other types of reasons. Depending on the environmental conditions, you need to make the necessary changes to the voltage level used in the dielectric testing. In severe conditions, an increased amount of higher dielectric test voltage needs to be used.

Dielectric testing method

This type of testing is done by applying a high voltage between two conductors that are believed to be electrically insulated from each other. Under normal circumstances, the voltage is kept below 1000V. If there is complete isolation between two conductors, the application of a large voltage variation between two conductors would prevent the current flow between them. So, the insulation is capable of surviving or withstanding the application of a large voltage potential between the conductors. That is exactly why it is known as the dielectric withstand testing. .

Here are the two results that suggest an insulation failure:

1. Excessive flow of current

2. A sudden electric breakdown

Reduced insulation resistance is what causes excessive current flow during the dielectric test. If the insulating material that divides the two conductors has low insulation resistance; you can expect an increased flow of current.

An instant dielectric breakdown also suggests insulation failure. It may occur due to electrical discharge or arcing through the air or through insulation material or its surface.

Learn about the test voltage

You cannot expect proper stressing of the insulation material with reduced dielectric testing voltage. This situation permits insufficient insulation that is unacceptable to pass the test. On the contrary, a very high voltage could damage the insulation material that would have been otherwise sufficient for the application.

For 120 – 240 V alternating current mains wiring, you can use 1000 V and also double the operating voltage. That is to say, if you have 120-V wiring, you can test it with a voltage of 1240 V ac. You need to add 1000 V and two times of 120 V. So, the total is 1240.

What about the duration of dielectric test?

 

For creating the right amount of stress on insulation, one minute has been kept as the standard duration for applying test voltage. The duration of application can be lowered by increasing the test voltage. To accommodate large volume needs, test duration can even be lowered to 1 second by increasing the test voltage by 20%.

Alternating current and direct current

120 Vac is considered as the minimal voltage in the USA. The frequency of voltage is 60 Hz. The waveform of voltage is sinusoidal. 120 Volts is the RMS (Root-Mean-Square) value of the voltage. The RMS value of an AC voltage offers an equivalent to the DC voltage heating value. For example; applying an AC voltage of 120 RMS to a resistor and applying 120 V DC would deliver the same heat output.

An overview of test voltages

What is the ultimate purpose of dielectric testing? A dielectric test exerts stress on the insulation for a small period to find out that it doesn’t fail. A 60-Hz ac voltage testing is done basically because of the convenience. To get the dielectric testing done, you can use a transformer with a high-voltage secondary winding. It produces an increased voltage required to perform this type of test.

It is hard for a 60-Hz ac test voltage to simulate real events better than a dc test voltage. You may find increased voltage spikes on the 120-V ac mains. These surges are not alternating current, but momentary voltage transients with a particular duration that is gauged in milliseconds or microseconds.

When it comes to choosing between AC and DC voltage for testing, you have to assess the goal of the test. As the voltage gets higher, you need to apply an increased amount of stress to the insulation.

The voltage peak of an AC test voltage of 1000 V RMS is 1414 V. Hence, if you use a dc test voltage, you must elevate the test voltage to 1414 V DC to create a similar amount of stress on the insulation.

Several national and international testing and standards writing organizations approve the difference in test voltage for DC compared to test voltage for AC. Some of these organizations and agencies are:

 

The American National Standards Institute

Underwriters Laboratories

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Factory Mutual Corp.

International Electrotechnical Commission.

Dielectric Breakdown Evaluation

At the peak of the AC waveform, the electrical stress on the insulation stays at the highest levels. So, dielectric breakdown takes place at the peak of an AC test voltage. The pace at which electric breakdown occurs is incredibly fast. Since this type of abrupt breakdown takes place at the peak voltage of the AC waveform, you can find both AC and DC voltages precisely the same. Further, the durability of the AC waveform peak voltage is higher than the breakdown process.

Pros and cons of dielectric testing

In the past, it has been hard to generate DC test voltages. This situation has led to the need for more efficient, expensive, and advanced test equipment. This disadvantage has been resolved to a great extent by the performance enhancements and safety improvements achieved from utilizing DC test voltages.

Let us throw light on some extra background information to explain the benefits of dielectric testing better. When you apply a voltage difference between two conductors that are divided by an insulator, an electric charge is created. The electric charge produced stays proportional to the capacitance between the conductors and applied voltage. We can put this theory into a formula. Let us use Q to represent charge and V to denote voltage. C can be used for capacitance. Then, you can represent the mathematical relationship between charge, voltage, and capacitance as Q = C x V.

When it comes to practical applications, the capacitance can subsist because of discrete capacitors. However, the capacitance is formed unintentionally when two conductors with a difference in voltages are kept together closely. You can come across this type of capacitance in multi-conductor electrical wiring, transformers, and electric motors. The charge changes with the variations in the voltage. For example; if the voltage oscillates between positive and negative directions, the charge will repeat the same movements.

Another basic concept you need to be aware of is that whenever voltage changes take place, electric current flows through a capacitor. The logic is simple. When there is a voltage increase across a capacitor, the quantity of charge also goes up. Electric current is basically a measurement of the number of changes in charge that occur over a while. The letter I’ is used to represent current. Ampere is the unit to measure current. Coulombs is the unit used to measure the quantity of charge Q. What is 1 ampere of current? It refers to a charge flow of 1 coulomb per second.

When you blend the concept of current and capacitance, you can arrive at the following conclusions:

A changing charge is generated by a changing voltage. Changing charge refers to electric current flow. Thus, whenever voltage changes occur, the current starts to flow between two conductors. Due to the capacitance between the conductors, the current flow can take place even when they are divided by an insulator. As the capacitance between the two conductors increases, the current flow also increases.

When dielectric testing is done using AC voltage, there will be an electric current flow between the two points being examined. You cannot expect this current to represent a failing test result due to a reduced insulation resistance. So an AC dielectric tester should make up for this permissible current flow.

How to achieve this task? The easiest way to do this is to permit the tester to discover a considerable quantity of current without showing an additional current failure. If you use the same dielectric tester device to test multiple products, you have to set the current limit set point to accommodate the equipment with increased capacitance. That is to say, you should desensitize the dielectric testing device to help it ignore current levels.

This method of approach can generate two dangerous issues. A desensitized AC dielectric tester cannot identify the difference between 5 and 15 mA. What would happen if a testing circuit has a capacitance between two conductors that generate 5 mA to flow in standard conditions while performing the test? If you check a device with faulty insulation that permits 300% of the standard quantity of current flow (15 mA), the desensitized dielectric testing device would find it as an acceptable test result.

A desensitized AC dielectric tester may send down a dangerous level of current to the human body without shutting down. This situation can seriously injure or kill the operator. When you do dielectric tests with a dc test voltage, the electric current flow occurs only when the voltage shoots up from 0 V to the highest test voltage. In this situation, the voltage shoots up within 1 or 2 seconds and the current flow stays at minimal levels. On the other hand, an AC test voltage oscillates between positive peaks to negative peaks 60 times per second.

Remember that the sudden increase in a DC test voltage occurs over a timeframe of 2 seconds. So, it creates only 1/120 or less than 1% of the current flow of an AC test voltage. When the DC voltage goes up to the final test level, the current inevitably stops completely. The quantity of current flowing during a DC dielectric test is trivial irrespective of the capacitance amount that exists in the device under test.

When you make a comparison between AC and DC dielectric testing, you can associate several benefits with the latter. The major benefits can be summarized as follows:

– The maximum permissible test current can be adjusted to a very convenient low level such as 1 mA.

– The DC dielectric testing device activates a shutoff mode when it finds that more than 1 mA of current flowing during the test.

– With a highly sensitive test method, A DC dielectric tester helps the operator detect even marginal constructions that an AC tester would often fail to notice.

– Since DC tester offers the best protection for the operator with lower test-current levels.

A few nanoseconds are enough for a dielectric breakdown. An altering 60-Hz AC voltage becomes an un-altering DC voltage instantly. Both AC and DC dielectric testing is good enough to verify the insulation suitability if the peak voltages of these two withstand tests remain the same. To keep the peak voltages at the same levels, the DC voltage utilized in dielectric testing should be 1.414 times higher than the AC RMS voltage used.

If you compare these two dialectical testing methods, you can find the DC testing method more advantageous. Because of the total insulation failure, both these testing methods offer an equivalent level of breakdown identification. Nevertheless, the improved precision of DC leakage-current detection identifies even marginal insulation systems. You can also expect enhanced safety of the operator with DC dielectric testing.

 

The Biggest Engineering Projects of Palm Beach, FL in the last Decade

Open Shore Palm Beach Engineering

Overview

Palm Beach, Florida has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. It has become an ideal destination for students, business people, retirees, and tourists. As a matter of fact, the City of Palm Beach is investing in big projects, not just in business, but also in leisure. The main aim is to address the business and resident needs of the people of Palm Beach and to prepare for the future growth of the area.

This article identifies the major engineering milestones in Palm Beach, Florida.

The Biggest Engineering Projects of Palm Beach, FL in the last decade

The Clematis Streetscape project is a major engineering project in Palm Beach which aims at Clematis Street, one of the most iconic streets in the city. In order to start and complete this project, the city has engaged the visionary leadership of Dover, Kohl & Partners, an urban planning company. Clematis Street has been the hub of business district, West Palm Beach.

Members of the public have been given an opportunity to air their opinion of how the project should look like, and these opinions will be considered as much. It is an ideal choice for business, leisure, and relaxation. It is a street which has appreciated other cultures including Mexican, Italian, and Sushi cultures.

The South Ocean project was completed in 2019. Led by Joseph A. McMillan and Jay Phillip Parker, the project was one of the most ambitious in West Palm Beach boasting a beach residential front. The project was executed by DDG which has shown expertise and experience in carrying out similar projects over the years.

DDG is an intellectual and economic capital company which has developed unique designs in the construction industry. With offices in New York, California, and Florida, DDG boasts a highly competent team of professionals derived from multiple disciplines including asset management, the hospitality industry, development, and design.

The 3550 project contains 30 condominium residences which are facing the oceanfront. The property offers a perfect combination of privacy, amenities, location, and space. The classic property aims at appreciate the unique beauty of the surrounding. Due to the popularity of the homes, it did not take long for the company to look for buyers.

The Open Shore Project

The Open Shore project was conceived as a response to the many challenges faced by the people of West Palm Beach. The project aimed at triggering the much-needed change, celebrating the public space, and appreciating West Palm Beach and the potential that the city has. It also aimed at maximizing the potential of the city for optimal city performance based on metrics such as livability.

The Open Shore Project made an ambitious effort to re-imagine the downturn and its immense opportunities. As a young city, the city is experiencing a large retirement community, a young population as well as a high population of blacks and Hispanics. In short, there is a need to develop social amenities which serve the emerging population, and this is where the Open Shore Project comes in. There had to be a balance in managing the resources of the city in order to retain, and indeed, improve the quality of life among the residents.

The Open Shore Project goes beyond meeting the residential needs of the community and encourages social inclusion and social interaction. It is a project that has collected data and information that is going to respond to future growth as well as adaption. Indeed, the residential factors play a critical role in enhancing physical and mental health.

Open Shore looks at the future of West Palm Beach and sees an optimistic and bright future. The vision sees a city which is going to be open and accessible to all visitors. In addition to that, Open Shore envisions a city which will be bustling with diverse people as well as activities any time of the year. Moreover, the city is going to be healthy and comfortable for everyone who wants to visit, both the young people and the elderly people alike.

Open Shore project could as well have been a research project. It analyzed six local factors which determine the quality of life in West Palm Beach and these include the following: mobility, health, society, climate, activity, and sites.

Open Shore Project has identified the waterfront as having a major engineering potential. However, if it is to be utilized in an optimal way, then there ought to be major and professional engineering projects.

The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach Engineering

Society of the Four Arts

Located in Palm Beach, the Society of the Four Arts offers a high quality and unique cultural exploration of Palm Beach. The campus boasts of unique engineering innovation and features including the following:

-Beautiful sculptures

-A library

-Botanical gardens

-State of the art education facility

In the course of the history of the Society of Four Arts, there was a major problem about parking which inconvenienced the residents in a big way. What the management did was to seek the expert advice of WGI, a highly reputable engineering company. What WGI did was to carry out a comprehensive and comprehensive modification of the site in order to eliminate the persisting parking problems. The engineering used the space in the green mall area in order to offer parking, and at the same time retain the beauty of the area.

WGI carried out the final plans of the site, do site data calculations, and liaise with the conversation commission as well as site council. The engineering company noted that there were existing site constrains, and going around such challenges required being creative. Of particular concern was how to solve the parking problems of the area, and at the same time retain its aesthetics for many years to come.

Spanish River Tunnels

The Spanish River Tunnels is another project by WGI IN Palm Beach, Florida. WGI was called upon in order to inspect the damage that was done on the tunnels. Consequently, WGI came up with plans and specifications on how to carry out a major repair. The engineering company acted on behalf of the city in order to repair the tunnels, offer a repair methodology, and estimate the quantities that are required.

La Follia, West Palm Beach

La Follia is one of the most expensive homes in Florida and in escrow with a top Palm Beach Accountant. The home is a unique engineering project boasting an Italian resistance style. The home includes the following: cabana, a pool, fruit orchards, a fitness center, lush gardens, and a private boat dock.

SFWMD engineering

The SFWMD project

The SFWMD project was carried out by ARCADIS, an international consulting and engineering company. The company has been recognized as an expert when it comes to issues of water management, and it was not surprising that the engineering company was able to secure the contract.

The main roles and responsibilities in this project included and not limited to the following:

-Carrying out the appropriate inspections

-Environmental permitting

-Water supply

-Enhancing the quality of the water

-Protection from natural disasters

-Visiting the site every day

It is the same company, ARCADIS, which was entrusted with in the protection as well as the restoration of the Florida Everglades ecosystem. This multi-million contract had a number of core mandates including construction of other storm water treatment areas as well as construction of other follow equalization basins.

Everglades, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to a number of endangered species, and over the years, the ecosystem has reduced to almost half due to human encroachment, population growth, agricultural expansion, and commercial and residential development.

Why Concentrate on Best Practices in Engineering

There are several advantages with concentrating on best practices in best practices that will lead to a big engineering project. To start with, such a design carries a strong aesthetic effect as well as an aura of authority and pride. To the investors, they have to stand out in the market by offering something unique. By investing in a big engineering project, they get buyers and tenants fast. To the business owners, they attract clients easily because customers like visiting attractive places for purchasing or window shopping.

Best engineering projects concentrate on smart growth as well as sustainability in their endeavours. In connection to this, environmental concerns that residents and business have are addressed.

In the US, land is becoming more and more expensive as the years go by. This is not just a phenomenon in the US, in places such as Seoul and Hong Kong, buying a piece of land or a building is too expensive. Engineers try to solve this problem by building unique designs which take less space.

Another significance with investing in a big engineering project is that old buildings can be demolished. Old buildings are generally unsightly, and can be dangerous to the residents. Mostly, children can be at risk from old buildings.

Investing in a big engineering project is part and parcel of improving the living standards of a country. It is about improving the quality of life and the experiences that people have von a certain country. The future generation greatly benefits from the decisions that the current generation makes.

In some cases, though a few of them, carrying out a big engineering project could be a matter of law. The government looks at the potential growth of a certain area and recommends that small engineering projects should be discouraged due to poor scalability rate. It is therefore important that such considerations are put in place in order to follow the government regulations and recommendations.

The modern trend in engineering is to go green and to help in the mitigation of climate change. In other words, the best engineering projects appreciate innovation, going green, and investing in product and services which do not contribute to the degradation of the environment. This is not just the right thing to do, but rather, it is a noble thing to do too.

The advantage with Florida is its favorable weather all the year round. This means that the construction projects can be under-taken and executed without getting worried over harsh climatic conditions which can make it difficult to provide a safe environment for construction.

Some states in the US face big challenges when it comes to weather and the construction industry. For example, carrying out any construction when it is snowing comes with challenges such as visibility. It is therefore important that such factors are put into consideration before embarking on any major engineering project.

Challenges

Whereas big engineering projects have positive and optimal outcomes, they are not without their fair share of challenges. The biggest challenge that big engineering projects face is the pressure that comes from environmentalists. Some environmentalists view constant development as a challenge to the status quo and a threat to the environment. In some cases, they can initiate social activism against development.

Residents cry foul over the disruption that is created by big construction projects. For example, residents cry foul over the traffic jam that is created by mega engineering projects. Big engineering projects can be unsafe more so to school-going and young children.

Therefore, engineers should start planning early when they have a project that is going to be carried out. Planning early means that the engineering company can solve any problem with the residents. As an engineer, you cannot force the locals to accept development. Rather, you can concentrate on winning their hearts and minds.

As you try to convince the locals to accept the changes, show what you are doing with action. For example, you could state the safety measures that you are going to put in place. This will make your case more acceptable to the residents and make your work easier.

Conclusion

In the near future, West Palm Beach will have more major engineering projects as the needs of the city continue to grow. As a strategic business owner and investor, you need to position yourself to take advantage of such up-coming opportunities. Overall, West Palm Beach will continue benefiting from major engineering projects.

The Engineering of Home Construction

construction engineer

Overview

A home takes a central place in the life of Americans. It is an objective that takes many years to realize more so if one is seeking an ideal home. Upon getting a home, one gets a feeling of achievement and pride. Many Americans try to have a home by all means. The competition for getting a home is stiff.

If you have decided to construct a home, then you have made a good decision. However, there are various factors that you are going to consider and these include the following:

-Where you are likely to stay (this is determined by various factors. The place of work or business is one of the determining factors on where one is likely to stay)

-The budget of home construction

-The size of the family

-Purpose of building the home (eg to stay or rent it out)

-The geographical factors

-Whether any materials are already available

-The expected life expectancy of the home

-Whether one will seek the services of an engineer

In some cases, it is not compulsory to hire an engineer for your home construction. However, due to the benefits that come with hiring one, this is an option that you could seriously consider. Again, there are some situations which will warrant that you seek the services of an engineer. In short, it is recommendable that you hire an engineer for your home construction.

This article will guide you on the engineering of home construction.

framing of a house engineering

The and Responsibilities of an Engineer in Home Construction

The building of a home is a peculiar under-taking, and a number of professionals offer their services from the design of the building all the way to post-occupancy. The professionals who are most critical in a home construction include the following:

-Architect

-Quantity surveyor

-Structural engineer

-Mechanical engineer

-Electrical engineer

As you can see from the above, the engineer of a home construction project has a wide scope, and different professionals are going to carry out different functions. It should be noted that each professional is important for the overall project. The safety of the building will be realized if all the professionals work together in harmony.

The structural reengineer is significant in ensuring that the structural system of the home is strong and stable. A home needs to withstand artificial and natural forces. In addition to that, one must be careful to ensure that the building is safe.

The mechanical engineer ensures that the plumbing system of the home is strong, stable, and efficient. In addition to that, if you need an elevator in your home, then this is the professional that you are going to call.

Engineering of a home constriction is a highly regulated industry. The engineers have to prepare answers for the authorities. The decisions that the engineers make could be a matter of life and death. For example, the collapse of the roof could lead to serious injuries and death.

There are various ways through which engineers ensure the safety of the home. These include the following:

-Reinforced concrete columns

-The making of a strong foundation

-The use of floor beams

-The use of high quality materials

Dynamics Shaping Home Construction

Cost

The cost of a home is a big factor in the engineering of home construction. You need to understand that engineers will need a financial commitment from you because your home is going to be a work in progress.

In the US, the cost of building a home is a complex issue and cannot be pre-determined easily. However, with the right professionals, you might be able to have the rough estimate of the project.

The cost of home construction can either be higher or lower than average depending on the main conditions of the area in question. Parameters which can lead to a higher cost of building a home include the following: endangered species habitat, conflicting utilities, buried storage tanks, and ground water.

Reliable and experienced architects do not concentrate on cutting down on the cost of home construction. Rather, they concentrate on the quality of the home construction and the need to meet, and indeed exceed, the expectations of the clients.

However, there has been a situation where a home construction engineer tried to lower the cost of home construction. In such cases, the outcomes were worrying. For example, if the inspectors notice that a home has not been constructed in a professional and safe way, then they can order that the home be demolished.

Again, if the tenants find that your home is not safe and healthy, you could be sued. A court case can be time consuming, and is an expensive process. Such a process is going to drain you. In addition to that, a court case could erode the reputation of your company. Rather than waiting for such a thing to happen, why not concentrate on the best engineering possible for your home construction?

Whatever choice you make in the engineering of home construction, never compromise on the quality of the home construction materials. Such a choice is going to be counter-productive to the home construction plans and will make it difficult to have long-term plans of the home.

The Time Factor

When it comes to the successful construction of a home, time brings an issue of a delicate balance, and it is a sensitive issue. On one hand, a fast project could mean a poor quality and poor quality outcomes. On the other hand, a slow home construction project is going to translate to a high cost of construction.

What is important is to create a healthy balance between high quality and speed. As far as possible, it is important to ensure that the home construction project follows a pre-determined schedule in order to try and complete the building in time. However, one should ensure that the project is not in any way rushed.

home construction engineer

Benefits of Hiring an Engineer

There are several reasons why you should hire an engineer for your home. To start with, any construction project could require certain permits. Authorities will require that you seek certain permits. Look at the following situations which will require the intervention and the approval of the authorities:

-A home that is constructed near a school or school-going children

-A home built on a shaky ground

-A home located in an area that is prone to natural disasters

-A mammoth home construction project

In such cases, authorities might hesitate to approve a construction project due to the issue of safety. The process of seeking the permits can over-whelm you. Again, there is no shortcut whatsoever to this process. Rather than looking for such permits on your own, seek the services of an engineer. Such professionals are in the industry already and they have the right network. Again, the engineer can represent you in a critical meeting and answer pertinent questions for you.

One of the most critical stages of home construction is the foundation. The engineering course is a long and difficult course. It requires courses at university, internship, and experience. Therefore, when you hire an engineer, be assured that you are seeking the services of a qualified, competent, and experienced professional.

There are some areas in the US where the construction process could have foundational problems. For example, in Sacramento, CA, most homes are built upon clay soil and this poses a big construction challenge. The people of California may be fascinated by red dirt, but this poses a big construction problem for a general contractor Sacramento. This is because it contains a lot of clay and moisture. In addition to that, Sacramento fluctuates between drought and heavy rains, and this makes it difficult to build a home or expand a home.

Similarly, Florida has its fair share of foundational problems. This is because of the poor conditions of the soils. The people of Florida should understand that a cracked building is possible. Therefore, there should be concrete prevention measures early enough. A prospective home owner in Florida should understand the surface. The surface of some places in Florida could be unsteady due to limestone.

In such a case, an engineer is best placed to manage the problem early before it occurs. It is better to hire an engineer who understands the local environment and the local factors that influence home construction. Hire a structural engineer early, than waiting to do cosmetic repair later in the life of the home.

If you have an engineer, you are going to follow the recommended building codes. These codes are described at the local level, state level, federal level, and even at the international level. Individual jurisdictions are going to have a set of codes which should be followed. Following building codes shows that one is making an effort to follow best practices. Jurisdictions use building codes in order to ensure safety and quality of the construction process.

Hiring an engineer can help you build a home bearing in mind the importance of land conservation, sustainability, and environmental protection. Such engineers have the appropriate knowledge on such endeavors and they will not hesitate to assist you.

Factors to Consider When Looking for an Engineer for Your Home Construction

There are several factors that you should consider when choosing an engineer for your home. To start with, check out the official qualification of your engineering candidate. It is possible for one to acquire engineering skills through hands-on, but this is an area you should not consider due to the risks that it carries. It is important that you look for a degree holder, and if possible, someone with a post-graduate degree.

Look for construction skills which are specific to the building or home in question. Look at the type of home you want, and ensure that you source engineering skills which are in tandem to the desired project outcomes. A general structural engineer may not suitable for your construction needs.

An engineer cannot rely on textbook knowledge in order to solve construction problems. There are other sets of skills which play a critical role in achieving optimal outcomes in engineering for home construction. Other important attributes that can help an engineer in the construction industry include the following:

-Out-of-the box thinking

-Creativity and innovation

-The use of wisdom and discretion

-Social skills such as conflict resolution

When it comes to the construction sector, be sure to check other projects by the same engineer. For example, if the engineer says he operates in Palm Beach, ask for a portfolio and evidence of past construction work. In other words, you are going to follow the principle of, do not tell me, show me. Such projects will help you evaluate the credibility of the professional in question and thereafter make a prudent decision.

Evaluate the credibility of what the engineer is promising to do and see if there is a possibility that he could be truthful and professional. The engineer should give answers that carry a time-frame. Vague answers are a red flag.

At the same time, ensure that you clearly ask about the cost of the project. This is an issue that both of you should consider as the payment modality varies. Generally, the structural engineers are paid based on the following three main options:

-Pay per hour

-Percentage of the total cost

-Payment per square foot

-A price based on the entire project

Be warned that some of the engineering firms could carry hidden fees. Therefore, make sure that you clarify on this. If you are not able to, ask your lawyer or accountant to help you on understanding the fees.

Conclusion

The engineering of home construction plays a critical role in ensuring that there are optimal quality outcomes in the process of home construction. This has to be done and you have to ensure that you have the right engineer. It could be said that an engineer is indispensable in the construction of a safe and a high quality home that is going to stand the test of time.

The Engineering Behind Restaurant Design

restaurant design engineering

 

The United States has around 925,000 restaurants, and there are new ones opening every day. In 2015, for the first time Americans spent more on dining out than groceries. For the 12 months to March 2016, a total of $157.5 billion was spent at restaurants and bars, and $151.8 billion at grocery stores. This illustrates the change in emphasis in malls from retail to dining. Malls are becoming lifestyle centers and not merely places to shop. Technology is playing a greater role than ever in the restaurant Design Engineering of new restaurants, with both audio engineering and lighting technology becoming crucial to the success of restaurant ventures. People expect a greater level of design from restaurants today.

Opening a Restaurant

Cornell University has looked into the restaurant business and has concluded that 26.16% of restaurants fail inside the first year of trading. The second year is not much better with 19.23% failing. Even the third year is risky with 14.35% closing. One way of increasing the chances of survival is to assemble the best possible team at the design stage.

Restaurant Design Engineering factors to consider include the following:

· Electricity supply

· Water supply

· Sanitary and grease waste

· Gas supply

· HVAC

· Cooker hoods, ducting design, and venting

· Fire alarm and sprinkler design

When thinking of opening a restaurant it is essential to establish whether all the services required are available or possible to install.

Building Codes

Attempting to subvert or ignore building codes is very unwise and a suitably qualified engineer should ensure compliance, especially egress codes which define how many exit routes there are from the building.

Accessibility Issues

Likewise, taking short cuts on meeting accessibility requirements, to save space, can ultimately result in a lot of extra expenditure.

The Restaurant Type

The type of restaurant envisaged has consequences for the Restaurant Design Engineering required for construction.

Fast casual restaurants

The design of this type of restaurant should facilitate the correct customer traffic flow. Which would be door > service counter > payment > beverages > seating.

Quick service restaurants

These restaurants operate in smaller spaces which reduces the initial cost of opening. Key to this will be the kitchen design, which will compress the maximum amount of kitchen equipment into the smallest possible space. The seating follows that same pattern. The maximum amount of seating that can be fitted into the smallest space.

Full-Service Restaurants

These restaurants do not have a service counter, instead will feature server stations located close to the seating area. Most space is devoted to customer seating and it should feature wide aisles, including paths to the kitchen.

engineering for restaurant design

Common Restaurant Design Engineering Problems with Commercial Spaces Used for Restaurants

The foodservice industry is notorious for the complexity of regulations and these regulations are taken very seriously. Legal consequences of non-compliance or inadequate compliance can be harsh. It is therefore essential to consult with a qualified restaurant engineer before progressing in a new restaurant opening.

Commercial spaces are rarely in a condition that makes them suitable for restaurant use unless that was what they were originally designed for. They will usually be lacking essential; features that a dedicated restaurant require. Regulations are different from state to state, so for this article, we will use New York City codes. For restaurants located elsewhere, business owners should check with a local expert.

No Kitchen Exhaust

All commercial kitchens should be fitted with exhausts that direct the fumes to the roof, or any other area that the building codes allow. They must be fitted with an oxidizer or precipitator to control emissions.

Water Supply is not Adequate

Perhaps you were unaware that commercial kitchens require water that is hotter than other commercial premises. This means that the premises will need a dedicated system to provide hot water.

No Grease Traps

If the commercial space was not originally built as a restaurant space, then it will not have grease traps. This will require the floor to be dug to provide the required grease traps.

Inadequate Electricity Supply

Refrigeration and cooking, in a commercial kitchen, takes a substantial electricity supply. Most general commercial spaces will not be fitted with adequate power to meet these needs. The power supply will probably need upgrading.

Insufficient or non-existing Gas Supply

Large cooking appliances require a lot of gas to function correctly. A general commercial space is unlikely to have an adequate supply, if indeed it has any gas supply.

Cooling Facilities May Not be Adequate

The heat generated in any commercial kitchen may require any existing cooling system to need upgrading.

Limited Height

A general commercial space may not currently have enough headroom to incorporate hoods, ducting, and other kitchen equipment.

 

restaurant engineering planning

Restaurant Design Engineering in the Age of the Pandemic

We are entering a new age where the current pandemic has put many restaurants out of business. Some of the closures have been directly due to lockdowns, where the restaurant is forced to close, but other closures are simply because people no longer feel safe in restaurants and consequently are eating at home more, be it takeaway food or home cooked.

This has forced those that design restaurants to take into account the possibility that the current pandemic will not quickly go away, or that future pandemics may occur. Having seen the devastating effects of this pandemic a prudent restaurateur is quite likely to want to have a restaurant engineered in such a way that it is more resistant to this scenario.

According to the Zagat Future of Dining Study, 84% of customers say they are far less likely to visit a restaurant if it is operating at full capacity. At the beginning of the pandemic, many restaurant brands started to build a lot of plexiglass cubes to protect their customers. The problem is that nobody wants to eat in a fishbowl.

One definition of engineering is: “the action of working artfully to bring something about.” This is how Engineers are involved with Restaurant design.

Foyers are always somewhere that become congested, with people waiting for their tables. We are approaching a time when there will be no need for the foyer as technology will allow diners to wait in their cars until they are notified through their phone that their table is ready. They can then walk straight in and take their seats.

When we look at seating, the design of the seating area needs to be revisited. When creating new seating areas, designers will look at solutions that are not fixed. The current pandemic may or may not come to an end soon. Creating internal architecture that is optimized for a pandemic situation may result in a costly redesign in the future to take away the barriers. Far better to hang discrete partitions that separate diners while necessary, but may be removed in minutes if the situation alters and public perception changes.

Subtle changes to everyday features of a restaurant are part of this Restaurant Design Engineering. Replacing door handles and push pads with foot operated pads that open doors, allows what is often a hot spot for bacteria to be done away with. A rotary door frequently disrupts entry and exit and causes congestion. It will be preferable to have an alternative to the main entry point for egress, resulting in less congestion.

The choice of interior construction materials can also play an important role in reducing the spread of a virus. For example, copper tiles provide a naturally antibacterial surface.

There was a piece on National public Radio a while ago that if you are in a loud restaurant it is a bad sign because aerosols spread, through projecting the voice, to compensate for the noise, will increase the number of droplets of any virus expelled from the lungs. Now we know that a loud environment makes people anxious we need audio engineers to explore ways of reducing sound levels.

There are so many ways that an engineering approach can be used in the design of restaurants that can cope with this new world. Yes, this pandemic may end soon, but who knows if there will be more appearing. A prudent restaurant owner when planning new outlets will be wise to have restaurants that are designed to handle these problems, environments that can change in minutes to suit the current climate of opinion.

So, while I put a sub-heading of Restaurant Engineering in the Age of the Pandemic, I should really have left out the reference to the pandemic, because engineers can learn from current events and incorporate the lessons into the regular design.

Restaurant Design Engineering

In previous generations, people opened restaurants and paid very little heed to any idea of a theme, or concept. They just opened a restaurant and served food. Maybe a restaurant would acknowledge some local delicacy and feature it on the menu, but that would probably be it.

Then a generation ago the idea of the “Themed Restaurant” became the big thing and restaurants were opened where you dined in something resembling a railway carriage, a Roman ruin, or a Polynesian village. A lot of attention was paid to the environment, and the costumed serving staff, but unfortunately, they did not invest the same care and attention into the food and in producing good food.

Today we have moved on from those days. Most of the themed restaurants failed as people realized how bad the food really was. Now restaurateurs have learned and plan all aspects of a restaurant in great detail to ensure that it serves the needs of the customer.

Earlier we discussed how some companies are learning from the current pandemic in planning future restaurants. They learned, and the people doing this learning are the engineers who bring technology, interior design, and psychology together to build restaurants that work and still meet the food standards regulations, whilst remaining profitable.

If there is a theme today it has to be adaptability. Today restaurateurs exude confidence and offer, seemingly with ease, a very appealing experience. It seems so natural and the public does not have the slightest idea that it is all the result of putting into practice concepts that have been devised to provide a given response. Once a concept is selected, equipment designed specifically for that concept is installed, and the décor is carefully thought out to provide the optimum look for that theme.

Behind the scenes, professionals are ensuring that the technical equipment, the regulations, the building, and staff all come together in just the right way.

Much of this is brought under the umbrella title of “Branding.” Branding is the combination of advertising and design elements that people begin to associate with the concept. On a very simple level, what colour do you associate with Coca-Cola? Red of course. Take Pepsi Cola and they have blue. It is no mere accident. Someone has put together a whole plan that lists concepts, colors, and features that must be associated with the brand. These days every restaurant is branded and every element of the restaurant is pulled together to portray exactly what the designer wanted to achieve.

So, to finalise, we can say that every element of a new restaurant opening, down from the empty shell where the restaurant will be constructed, through the connection of appropriate utilities, ensuring building codes and food regulations are complied with, these are all engineered to get optimum results. The branding and the interior design are all part of this process, which is built around the type of cuisine that the outlet offers.

It is an all-encompassing process that requires expert knowledge to implement, and will typically involve a team of professionals working together to make it all happen.

Just one final example. Think about Starbucks. The coffee machines are located on the counter so that the staff can converse face to face with the customers while they brew the coffee. This was a revolutionary move in Restaurant Design Engineering, brought in as part of what Starbucks was engineered to be. Before that coffee machines would be on the back wall and staff would face away to make the coffee. Something so simple made Starbucks so very different.