Tag

Codes & Standards

Lighting the Way to Energy Savings

Last year Pennsylvania adopted a comprehensive statewide Building Code. Like many states, Pennsylvania opted to adopt the family of ‘International Codes’ written by the International Code Council. As part of this family of codes, which includes the International Building Code, International Mechanical Code, and International Plumbing Code, Pennsylvania also adopted the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Energy Conservation Codes are relatively new codes, when compared to traditional building codes, and design professionals are still adapting to their requirements. The goal of this article is to review some of the requirements of the electrical portions of the 2003 IECC. While the... Read More

Lighting Our Skies

Over the past decade, the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) has become a significant participant in the field of residential and commercial lighting design. Originally founded in 1988 by a group of concerned astronomers, the IDA was created in response to the growing amount of lighting pollution in and around major metropolitan areas. This lighting pollution, which brightens the overhead sky, is called sky glow. The increase in urban sky glow has adverse effects on our ability to view the night sky. It is believed that about two-thirds of Americans can no longer discern our own galaxy, the Milky Way,... Read More

Whose Fault is it? Understanding Arc Faults

Most people realize that a building’s electrical system can cause a fire if misused or wired improperly. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has determined that annually more than 10% of all household fires are related to electrical systems. Nationwide, this is over 40,000 fires a year. The CPSC estimates that of electrical system related fires, half are caused by “arcs” within a building’s wiring. As defined by General Electric, an arc is an unintentional electrical discharge, characterized by low and erratic current, that may ignite combustible materials. The heat and/or sparks that are associated with this discharge are often... Read More