Tag Archives: Evergreen


The link between a college education and a lasting marriage

Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics estimate that 78% of college-educated women who married for the first time between 2006 and 2010 could expect their marriages to last at least 20 years. But among women who have a high school education or less, the share is only 40%.

The link between a college education and a lasting marriage


Design Standard Readability

Fry readability formula

How Consistent Are the Best-Known Readability Equations in Estimating the Readability of Design Standards?

Shixiang Zhou & Heejin Jeong
Industrial and Operations Engineering Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Transportation Research Institute Driver Interface Group
Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA


Abstract.  Research problem: Readability equations are widely used to compute how well readers will be able to understand written materials. Those equations were usually developed for nontechnical materials, namely, textbooks for elementary, middle, and high schools. This study examines to what extent computerized readability predictions are consistent for highly technical material – selected Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and International Standards Organization (ISO) Recommended Practices and Standards relating to driver interfaces. Literature review: A review of original sources of readability equations revealed a lack of specific criteria in counting various punctuation and text elements, leading to inconsistent readability scores. Few studies on the reliability of readability equations have identified this problem, and even fewer have systematically investigated the extent of the problem and the reasons why it occurs.  Research questions:

(1) Do the most commonly used equations give identical readability scores?
(2) How do the scores for each readability equation vary with readability tools?
(3) If there are differences between readability tools, why do they occur?
(4) How does the score vary with the length of passage examined?

Method: Passages of varying lengths from 12 selected SAE and ISO Recommended Practices and Standards were examined using five readability equations (Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, Gunning Fog Index, SMOG Index, Coleman-Liau Index, and Automated Readability Index) implemented five ways (four online readability tools and Microsoft Word 2013 for Windows). In addition, short test passages of text were used to understand how different readability tools counted text elements, such as words and sentences. Results and conclusions: The mean readability scores of the passages from those 12 SAE and ISO Recommended Practices and Standards ranged from the 10th grade reading level to about 15th. The mean grade reading levels computed across the websites were: Flesch-Kincaid 12.8, Gunning Fog 15.1 SMOG 12.6, Coleman-Liau 13.7, and Automated Readability Index 12.3. Readability score estimates became more consistent as the length of the passage examined increased, with no noteworthy improvements beyond 900 words. Among the five readability tools, scores typically differed by two grade levels, but the scores should have been the same. These differences were due to how compound and hyphenated words, slashes, numbers, abbreviations and acronyms, and URLs were counted, as well other punctuation and text elements. These differences occurred because the sources for these equations often did not specify how to score various punctuation and text elements. Of the tools examined, the authors recommend Microsoft Word 2013 for Windows if the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level is required.



Gallery: Favorite Buildings

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Beaux-Art on Campus

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Electrical Code Administration

Electrical Building | World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1892

How much of a legacy electrical system should be replaced and/or modified when the building (or groups of buildings) that it supplies is renovated architecturally or mechanically?   What should be the criteria to establish the boundaries of the power chain to be modified and who should have authority to make this decision?

A proposal to enlighten the debate on this question was presented to National Electrical Code Code-Making Panel 1 with the following substantiation:

“The education facilities industry is the largest non-residential building construction market in the United States; building and renovating campus square footage at a clip of about $80 billion per year. Construction activity at the University of Michigan alone (with 36 million square feet under management and the largest campus in the US in terms of building square-footage) runs at an annual rate of $600 million to $ 1.2 billion annually so the evolution of electrical systems is in plain sight on a daily basis.

This proposal is intended to generate discussion about the degree to which the scope of electrical renovation/rehabilitation shall be permitted to be scaled according the site specific conditions that govern safety and economy. For example, many building codes may require that a 50% change in the square footage affected by a rehabilitation/renovation project may require a corresponding change in the electrical system. That change may or may not be justified on the basis of safety considerations alone. Conversely, the 50% criterion may not be a sufficient threshold to guarantee safety. While this model language for electrical administration may always be subordinate to the building codes, some model language that has been vetted through ANSI processes; that makes scalability a possibility would be welcomed from the standpoint of both both safety and economy.”

The transcript of the proposal — and the committee response — is linked below.

2020 NEC Public Input No. 3884-NFPA 70-2017 [ Section No. 80.21(C) ]

Note that the committee in the 2020 revision cycle appears to be of “mixed mind” with the use of the term –  “shall be permitted” — a term that challenges many technical committees — and regulatory document administration professionals — operating under ANSI-accredited standards developers.  Some consensus documents avoid the term “shall be permitted” altogether.   Nevertheless, NEC Article 80 — an optional legislative article developed for use by state and local governments —  is the only “sample legislation” document that receives periodic review by an accessible, balanced and transparent set of stakeholders administered by the National Fire Protection Association.

A modification of this concept was submitted to Code Making Panel 1 writing the 2023 NEC.  A transcript of the Proposal are linked below:

2023 National Electrical Code Public Input Proposals to CMP-1  

The proposal drew a pro-forma response, deferential to the International Code Council catalog.

The 2023 National Electrical Code has been released and available for public use.   Work on the 2026 National Electrical Code begins November 1, 2022.

We maintain model building code issues on the standing agenda of our twice-monthly Power teleconferences and collaborate closely with the IEEE Education & Healthcare Facilities Committee on the same day.  See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting.

Issue: [15-277]*

Category: Electrical, Administration & Management, Facility Asset Management

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Jack Janveja, Jim Harvey, Kane Howard, Richard Robben

*The original University of Michigan standards advocacy enterprise was involved in reviewing the original Article 80 when it was first released as an Annex in 2002. 


Methods of Building Measurement

“The Ideal City” 1480 Giuliano da Sangallo

Inspired by Lord Kelvin’s “If you can not measure it, you can not improve it” and Peter Drucker’s adage “If you can’t measure it, You can’t improve it” and  W. Edwards Deming’s counter-argument — “It is wrong to suppose that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – a costly myth.” we present the standards catalog of the Building Owner’s Management Association:

BOMA Standards

BOMA Area Measurement Standards Timeline 1915-2021

At the moment all titles in this catalog seem to be stabilized although a great deal of economic activity in the commercial real estate market involves adjustment to the circumstances of the pandemic.  Largely because a sizeable portion of square footage in every school district, college, university and university-affiliated healthcare research and clinical delivery system derives at least part of its funding from governments at all levels there are workgroups devoted to measuring square footage and documenting its use.   For example:

Space Management: University of Oklahoma

Space Management: Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Space Management Policy: University at Buffalo

Getting square-footage right is essential for securing an organization’s sustainability and “green” claims for example.  The links in previous posts provide for information about future public consultations.

We maintain the BOMA catalog on the agenda of our Space Planning, Hammurabi and Architectural colloquia, hosted 6 to 8 times annually.   See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting, open to everyone.

€ 492 Million: Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien

Posted March 20,  2021

We drill into the specifics commonly found in education communities: sub-lease of space to private industry in publicly-owned facilities.  The Building Owners and Managers Association International is an ANSI-accredited consensus standard developer and revised its standard — BOMA Z65.5 Retail Properties: Standard Method of Measurement.  Measuring the area of a retail building can quickly become complex when variables must be considered such as ancillary space, mezzanines and storefront lease lines.  Many large research universities have long since leased space within many of their building envelopes for private industry to service their communities — student unions, hospitals, dormitories and athletic venues, for example.  From the project prospectus:

Z65.5 is intended exclusively for retail properties and their associated structures and may be applied to single-tenant, multi-tenant or multi-building configurations. It features a single method of measurement, with two levels of measurement data, known as Partial Measurement and Overall Measurement for retail properties. It does not measure sidewalks, surface parking, drainage structures, or  other ancillary site improvements.  This standard is chiefly designed to generate Gross Leasable Area figures, a key metric in retail leasing; however, it also produces area figures which may be of interest to those examining space utilization, valuation, benchmarking, and the allocation of building expenses to various cost centers. The scope of this standard is not intended to be submitted for consideration as an ISO, IEC, or ISO/IEC JTC-1 standard.

Public consultation is open until February 8th.  

You may obtain an electronic copy from: floorstandards@boma.org.   Send comments (with optional copy to psa@ansi.org) to: floorstandards@boma.org.  We encourage user-interest subject matter experts in education facility management to participate directly in the BOMA standards development process by communicating directly with Tanner Johnson at BOMA (tjohnston@boma.org) or 202-326-6357 for more information.

We keep the BOMA catalog on the standing agenda of our colloquia devoted to building construction best practice.  See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting; open to everyone.

Issue: [14-117]

Category: Architectural, Facility Asset Management

Colleagues: Jack Janveja, Richard Robben


National Center for Education Statistics: Postsecondary Education Facilities Inventory and Classification Manual

Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education

Posted February, 20  2020

The Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA) is an ANSI-accredited consensus standard developer.  BOMA has initiated the process of revising its real property measurement standard —  BOMA Z65.2 For Industrial Buildings: Standard Methods of Measurement.  The primary objectives of this standard are:

– To promote an unambiguous framework for determining the areas of Industrial Buildings with a strong focus on Rentable Area calculations;
– To facilitate transparency and clear communication of building measurement concepts among all participants in the commercial real estate
– To allow a comparison of values on the basis of a clearly understood and generally agreed upon method of measurement; and
– To align concepts and measurement methodologies with the International Property Measurement Standards: Industrial Buildings (January 2018)

Comments due March 15th

Click here to view these changes in full (Page 2) 

Send comments (with optional copy to psa@ansi.org) to: tjohnston@boma.org

Standards Michigan follows, but d0es not advocate in most of the BOMA standards suite for the following reasons:

  • Educational facility occupancies are fairly well accounted for in existing federal and state regulations
  • Advocacy in energy-related best practice titles are a better use of resources at the moment.

We encourage user-interest subject matter experts in education facility management to participate directly in the BOMA standards development process by communicating directly with Tanner Johnson at BOMA (tjohnston@boma.org) or 202-326-6357 for more information.

We maintain the entire BOMA suite on our periodic Model Building Code colloquia.  See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting; open to everyone.

Issue: [15-200]

Category: Architectural, Space Plaaning, Facility Asset Management

Colleagues: Jack Janveja, Richard Robben


Facilities Information Management

Guideline for Square Footage Requirements for Educational Facilities

Guide to School Site Analysis and Development

Mixed Use Standard




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