Tag Archives: December


Designing Lighting for People and Buildings

“Electrical Building World’s Columbian Exposition Chicago 1892

Today we feature the catalog of the Illumination Engineering Society — one of the first names in standards-setting in illumination technology, globally* with particular interest in its leading title IES LP-1 | LIGHT + DESIGN Lighting Practice: Designing Quality Lighting for People and Buildings.

From its prospectus:

“…LIGHT + DESIGN was developed to introduce architects, lighting designers, design engineers, interior designers, and other lighting professionals to the principles of quality lighting design. These principles; related to visual performance, energy, and economics; and aesthetics; can be applied to a wide range of interior and exterior spaces to aid designers in providing high-quality lighting to their projects.

Stakeholders: Architects, interior designers, lighting practitioners, building owners/operators, engineers, the general public, luminaire manufacturers.  This standard focuses on design principles and defines key technical terms and includes technical background to aid understanding for the designer as well as the client about the quality of the lighted environment. Quality lighting enhances our ability to see and interpret the world around us, supporting our sense of well-being, and improving our capability to communicate with each other….”

The entire catalog is linked below:

IES Lighting Library

Illumination technologies run about 30 percent of the energy load in a building and require significant human resources at the workpoint — facility managers, shop foremen, front-line operations and maintenance personnel, design engineers and sustainability specialists.  The IES has one of the easier platforms for user-interest participation:

IES Standards Open for Public Review

Because the number of electrotechnology standards run in the thousands and are in continual motion* we need an estimate of user-interest in any title before we formally request a redline because the cost of obtaining one in time to make meaningful contributions will run into hundreds of US dollars; apart from the cost of obtaining a current copy.

We maintain the IES catalog on the standing agendas of our Electrical, Illumination and Energy colloquia.   Additionally, we collaborate with experts active in the IEEE Education & Healthcare Facilities Committee which meets online 4 times monthly in European and American time zones; all colloquia online and open to everyone.   Use the login credentials at the upper right of our home page to join us.

Issue: [Various}

Category: Electrical, Energy, Illumination, Facility Asset Management

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Gary Fox, Jim Harvey, Kane Howard, Glenn Keates, Daleep Mohla, Giuseppe Parise, Georges Zissis

Brownian Motion” comes to mind because of the speed and interdependencies.

Season of Light Illumination Standards




Time & Frequency Services

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is responsible for maintaining and disseminating official time in the United States. While NIST does not have a direct role in implementing clock changes for daylight saving time, it does play an important role in ensuring that timekeeping systems across the country are accurate and consistent.

Prior to the implementation of daylight saving time, NIST issues public announcements reminding individuals and organizations to adjust their clocks accordingly. NIST also provides resources to help people synchronize their clocks, such as the time.gov website and the NIST radio station WWV.

In addition, NIST is responsible for developing and maintaining the atomic clocks that are used to define Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the international standard for timekeeping. UTC is used as the basis for all civil time in the United States, and it is the reference time used by many systems, including the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the internet.

Overall, while NIST does not have a direct role in implementing clock changes for daylight saving time, it plays an important role in ensuring that timekeeping systems across the country are accurate and consistent, which is essential for the smooth implementation of any changes to the system.

CLICK IMAGE to access complete document


Time Realization and Distribution


Du froid

“Road to Versailles at Louveciennes” 1869 Camille Pissarro

Heat tracing is a process used to maintain or raise the temperature of pipes and vessels in order to prevent freezing, maintain process temperature, or ensure that products remain fluid and flow through the system properly.

Heat tracing works by using an electric heating cable or tape that is wrapped around the pipe or vessel, and then insulated to help retain the heat. The heating cable is connected to a power source and temperature control system that maintains the desired temperature by regulating the amount of heat output from the cable. Heat tracing is commonly used in industrial applications where temperature control is critical, such as in chemical plants, refineries, and oil and gas facilities.

There are several types of heat tracing, including electric heat tracing, steam tracing, and hot water tracing, each of which have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. The selection of the appropriate type of heat tracing depends on the specific application and the required temperature range, as well as factors such as cost, maintenance, and safety considerations.

Today we review the literature for snow and ice management (and enjoyment) produced by these standards-setting organizations:

Accredited Snow Contractors Association

American Society of Mechanical Engineers

ASTM International

FM Global

Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers

Electrical Heat Tracing: International Harmonization — Now and in the Future

International Code Council

National Electrical Contractors Association

National Fire Protection Association

Winter is Coming: Is Your Facility Protected? (Holly Burgess, November 2022)

National Electrical Code: Articles 426-427

National Floor Safety Institute

Snow and Ice Management Association

Underwriters Laboratories

It is a surprisingly large domain with market-makers in every dimension of safety and sustainability; all of whom are bound by state and federal regulations.  Join us at 16:00 UTC with the login credentials at the upper right of our home page.

There have been several recent innovations that have made it possible for construction activity to continue through cold winter months. Some of the most notable ones include:

  1. Heated Job Site Trailers: These trailers are equipped with heating systems that keep workers warm and comfortable while they take breaks or work on plans. This helps to keep morale up and prevent cold-related health issues.
  2. Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs): ICFs are prefabricated blocks made of foam insulation that are stacked together to form the walls of a building. The foam insulation provides an extra layer of insulation to keep the building warm during cold winter months.
  3. Warm-Mix Asphalt (WMA): WMA is a type of asphalt that is designed to be used in colder temperatures than traditional hot-mix asphalt. This allows road construction crews to work through the winter months without having to worry about the asphalt cooling and becoming unusable.
  4. Pneumatic Heaters: These heaters are used to warm up the ground before concrete is poured. This helps to prevent the concrete from freezing and becoming damaged during the winter months.
  5. Electrically Heated Mats: These mats are placed on the ground to prevent snow and ice from accumulating. This helps to make the job site safer and easier to work on during the winter months.

Overall, these innovations have made it possible for construction crews to work through the winter months more comfortably and safely, which has helped to keep projects on schedule and minimize delays.

Electrical heat tracing: international harmonization-now and in the future


Electrical heat tracing: international harmonization-now and in the future

C. Sandberg

Tyco Thermal Controls

N.R. Rafferty – M. Kleinehanding – J.J. Hernandez

E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company, Inc 


Abstract:  In the past, electrical heat tracing has been thought of as a minor addition to plant utilities. Today, it is recognized as a critical subsystem to be monitored and controlled. A marriage between process, mechanical, and electrical engineers must take place to ensure that optimum economic results are produced. The Internet, expert systems, and falling costs of instrumentation will all contribute to more reliable control systems and improved monitoring systems. There is a harmonization between Europe and North America that should facilitate design and installation using common components. The future holds many opportunities to optimize the design.

CLICK HERE to order complete paper


Industrial electroheating and electromagnetic processing

Pipe Heating

Heat Tracing

Heat Tracing

“Street in Røros in Winter” 1903 Harald Sohlberg

The National Electrical Contractors Association best practice catalog features a suite of titles (National Electrical Installation Standards to meet the intent of the National Electrical Code (NEC); particularly where the NEC asserts that an installation be constructed in a “neat and workmanlike manner”.   As anyone who has had to reckon with the subjectivity of the local electrical inspector knows, the determination of “neat and workmanlike” can be mighty subjective.   The NECA documents are used by construction owners, specifiers, contractors and electricians to clearly illustrate the performance and workmanship standards essential for different types of electrical construction.  Because the NEC is intended to be primarily a wiring safety standard, the NEIS suite is referenced throughout the National Electrical Code.  Electrical shop foremen and front line electricians take note.

NECA Standards and Publication Development Home Page

One of the NECA products that may be of interest to facility managers and risk management units in the education industry this time of year is NECA 202-2013 Standard for Installing and Maintaining Industrial Heat Tracing Systems.   About half of the United States deals with snow and ice half the year.

NECA 202 details procedures for the installation, testing, and documentation of electrical freeze protection and process heat tracing systems. Heat tracing cable types covered by this publication include: self-regulating, constant wattage, and zone heating cables and mineral insulated heating cables. 2 is approved as an American National Standard.   The 2013 edition is the current edition and will likely need revisiting/revision/reaffirmation as an American national standard soon.

The technical literature that keeps pipes breaking and roofs failing is complicated space. A common conundrum in the construction industry is which discipline (architectural, mechanical or electrical) should specify application of this technology; especially in value-engineering negotiations when each discipline is trying to reduce its unit costs. Control and communication system add another layer of complexity.  Several consensus standards occupy this technology; cross referencing one another and leaving gaps

ASCE 7-10 Snow Load Provisions

IEEE 515 Standard for the Testing, Design, Installation, and Maintenance of Electrical Resistance Trace Heating for Industrial Applications

UL 515 Standard for Electrical Resistance Trace Heating for Commercial Applications

IEC 62395 Electrical resistance trace heating systems for industrial and commercial applications

National Electrical Code Article 427

There are codes and standards developed by ASTM International, the International Code Council and ASHRAE International that set the standard of care for pipe insulation for energy conservation purposes but we will deal with the interdependence of standard of care set by those documents in a separate post.   Organizations such as FM Global typically derive their customer recommendations from consensus standards developers.

Because heat tracing is a cross-disciplinary technology we maintain it on the standing agenda of several colloquia: Power, Water, Bucolia, Snow & Ice and Mechanical   See our CALENDAR for the next meeting; open to everyone.  You may obtain an electronic copy of this standard from neis@necanet.org.  Communicate directly with Aga Golriz, (301) 215-4549, Aga.golriz@necanet.org.

Participation by the public in reviewing other titles in the NEIS bibliography is welcomed and begins at the page linked below:

Call for Public Review

Issue: [19-24]

Category: Architectural, Electrical, Facility Management, Mechanical, Risk Management,

Colleagues: Eric Albert, Mike Anthony, Jack Janveja, Richard Robben, Larry Spielvogel




With some 36 million square feet under management — and one of the largest campuses in the United States exposed to extreme low temperatures — building industry professionals at the University of Michigan have some experience managing the competing requirements of safety and economy in heat tracing technology.

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