Tag Archives: Summer


Lightning Protection Systems

“Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky” 1816 Benjamin West

Seasonal extreme weather patterns in the United States, resulting in damages to education facilities and delays in outdoor athletic events — track meets; lacrosse games, swimming pool closures and the like — inspire a revisit of the relevant standards for the systems that contribute to safety from injury and physical damage to buildings: NFPA 780 Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems


To paraphrase the NFPA 780 prospectus:

  • This document shall cover traditional lightning protection system installation requirements for the following:
       (1) Ordinary structures

       (2) Miscellaneous structures and special occupancies
       (3) Heavy-duty stacks
       (4) Structures containing flammable vapors, flammable gases, or liquids with flammable vapors
       (5) Structures housing explosive materials
       (6) Wind turbines
       (7) Watercraft
       (8) Airfield lighting circuits
       (9) Solar arrays
  • This document shall address lightning protection of the structure but not the equipment or installation requirements for electric generating, transmission, and distribution systems except as given in Chapter 9 and Chapter 12.

(Electric generating facilities whose primary purpose is to generate electric power are excluded from this standard with regard to generation, transmission, and distribution of power.  Most electrical utilities have standards covering the protection of their facilities and equipment. Installations not directly related to those areas and structures housing such installations can be protected against lightning by the provisions of this standard.)

  • This document shall not cover lightning protection system installation requirements for early streamer emission systems or charge dissipation systems.

Related grounding and bonding  requirements appears in Chapters 2 and Chapter 3 of NFPA 70 National Electrical Code.  This standard does not establish evacuation criteria.  

The current edition is dated 2023 and, from the transcripts, you can observe concern about solar power and early emission streamer technologies tracking through the committee decision making.  Education communities have significant activity in wide-open spaces; hence our attention to technical specifics.

2023 Public Input Report

2023 Public Comment Report

Public input on the 2026 revision is receivable until 1 June 2023.

We always encourage our colleagues to key in their own ideas into the NFPA public input facility (CLICK HERE).   We maintain NFPA 780 on our Power colloquia which collaborates with IEEE four times monthly in European and American time zones.  See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting; open to everyone.

Lightning flash density – 12 hourly averages over the year (NASA OTD/LIS) This shows that lightning is much more frequent in summer than in winter, and from noon to midnight compared to midnight to noon.

Issue: [14-105]

Category: Electrical, Telecommunication, Public Safety, Risk Management

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Jim Harvey, Kane Howard


Installing lightning protection system for your facility in 3 Steps (Surge Protection)

IEEE Education & Healthcare Facility Electrotechnology


“On Holiday (Girl resting on the grass)” 1879 Kuznetsov Nikolai Dmitrievich

University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens

St. John’s University

University of Florida

Harvard University

Lunds universitet Scania

Swarthmore College Pennsylvania

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Anglo-americká vysoká škola, z.ú. Czech Republic

Michigan State University

University of the Ozarks


Freie Universität Berlin

Kent State University

Uniwersytet Warszawski

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


Bard College / New York

Michigan State University Healing Garden

Japanese Garden | Normandale Community College Minnesota

东北师范大学 | Northeast Normal University | Changchun, Jilin, China

University of Michigan | Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Shenandoah University | Winchester, Virginia

Princeton University Secret Garden | Photo by Sarah Ly

King’s College | London, United Kingdom


École Normale Supérieure | Paris, France

Arizona Cactus Garden | Stanford University

Duke University / North Carolina

Oxford University

University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

University of Helsinki Botanical Garden

University of Notre Dame / South Bend, Indiana

University of Tromsø the Arctic University of Norway

Florida Tech Botanical Garden

University of Nottingham

Smith University Botanical Garden

Aarhus University | Denmark


High Point University | North Carolina

Universiteit Stellenbosch | Western Cape, South Africa

Louisiana State University

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Rutgers University

Great Court University of Queensland Australia

University of Oklahoma

Wageningen University | The Netherlands


Bucolia 200


Nursery Stock


Storm Shelters

“Landscape between Storms” 1841 Auguste Renoir


When is it ever NOT storm season somewhere in the United States; with several hundred schools, colleges and universities in the path of them? Hurricanes also spawn tornadoes. This title sets the standard of care for safety, resilience and recovery when education community structures are used for shelter and recovery.  The most recently published edition of the joint work results of the International Code Council and the ASCE Structural Engineering Institute SEI-7 is linked below:

2020 ICC/NSSA 500 Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters.

Given the historic tornados in the American Midwest this weekend, its relevance is plain.  From the project prospectus:

The objective of this Standard is to provide technical design and performance criteria that will facilitate and promote the design, construction, and installation of safe, reliable, and economical storm shelters to protect the public. It is intended that this Standard be used by design professionals; storm shelter designers, manufacturers, and constructors; building officials; and emergency management personnel and government officials to ensure that storm shelters provide a consistently high level of protection to the sheltered public.

This project runs roughly in tandem with the ASCE Structural Engineering Institute SEI-17 which has recently updated its content management system and presented challenges to anyone who attempts to find the content where it used to be before the website overhaul.    In the intervening time, we direct stakeholders to the link to actual text (above) and remind education facility managers and their architectural/engineering consultants that the ICC Code Development process is open to everyone.

The ICC receives public response to proposed changes to its products at the link below:

Standards Public Forms

You are encouraged to communicate with Kimberly Paarlberg (kpaarlberg@iccsafe.org) for detailed, up to the moment information.  When the content is curated by ICC staff it is made available at the link below:


We maintain this title on the agenda of our periodic Disaster colloquia which approach this title from the point of view of education community facility managers who collaborate with structual engineers, architects and emergency management functionaries..   See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting, open to everyone.


FEMA: Highlights of ICC 500-2020

ICC 500-2020 Standard and Commentary: ICC/NSSA Design and Construction of Storm Shelters

IEEE: City Geospatial Dashboard: IoT and Big Data Analytics for Geospatial Solutions Provider in Disaster Management



Beef Teaching Farm

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Air Conditioning

Ancient Air Conditioning | CLICK ON IMAGE

The Air Conditioning Contractors Association of America is an accredited consensus product developer for the design, maintenance, installation, testing, and performance of indoor environment systems.   We find several ACCA best practice titles referenced as in education facility design guidelines and construction contracts.  Some of its documents form the foundation for the technical curricula in trade schools.  Its consensus product library is linked below:


It welcomes original public input and public comment on titles in its standards catalog at the link below:

ACCA Standards Development Home Page

As of this posting the ACCA has not released any titles for public comment.  We encourage our colleagues to interact directly with the ACCA standards team: Air Conditioning Contractors Association, 2800 Shirlington Rd, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22206, (703) 575-4477, membership@acca.org.

We maintain the ACCA suite on the standing agenda of our Mechanical teleconferences.  See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting; open to everyone.

University of Rochester Central Utilities Plant Absorption Chiller

Issues: [11-67, 15-124, 15-135, 15-165]

Category: Energy, Mechanical

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Larry Spielvogel, Richard Robben



Exploration of the Theory of Electric Shock Drowning

Exploration of the Theory of Electric Shock Drowning

Jesse Kotsch – Brandon Prussak – Michael Morse – James Kohl

University of San Diego

Abstract:  Drowning due to electric shock is theorized to occur when a current that is greater than the “let go” current passes through a body of water and conducts with the human body. Drowning would occur when the skeletal muscles contract and the victim can no longer swim. It is theorized that the likelihood of receiving a deadly shock in a freshwater environment (such as a lake) is higher than the likelihood in a saltwater environment (such as a marina). It is possible that due to the high conductivity of salt water, the current shunts around the individual, while in freshwater, where the conductivity of the water is lower than that of the human; a majority of the current will travel through the individual. The purpose of this research is to either validate or disprove these claims. To address this, we used Finite Element analysis in order to simulate a human swimming in a large body of water in which electric current has leaked from a 120V source. The conductivity of the water was varied from .005 S/m (pure water) up to 4.8 S/m (salt water) and the current density through a cross sectional area of the human was measured. With this research, we hope to educate swimmers on the best action to take if caught in such a situation.

CLICK HERE to order complete paper.

Marina & Boatyard Electrical Safety

Facilities Management


“Temple, Fountain and Cave in Sezincote Park” | Thomas Daniell (1819) | Yale Center for British Art

From time to time we break from our interest in lowering the cost of our “cities-within-cities” to enjoy the work of our colleagues responsible for seasonal ambience and public art.  We have a dedicated post that celebrates the accomplishments of our gardeners and horticultural staff.   Today we dedicate a post to campus fountains–a focal point for gathering and a place for personal reflection for which there is no price.

Alas, we find a quickening of standards developing organizations growing their footprint in the spaces around buildings now.  They used to confine the scopes of their standardization enterprises to the building envelope.  That day will soon be behind us as an energized cadre of water rights social justice workers, public safety, sustainability and energy conservation professionals descend upon campus fountains with prescriptive requirements for evaporation rates, bromine concentrations, training, certification and inspections.  In other words regulators and conformity functionaries will outnumber benefactors and fountain designers 1 million to 1.

We will deal with all that when the day comes.  For the moment, let’s just enjoy them.

We are happy to walk you through the relevant structural, water safety, plumbing and electrical issues any day at 11 AM EST during our daily standing online teleconferences.   Click on any image for author attribution, photo credit or other information.

Purdue University

The Great Court at Trinity College, Cambridge

Regent University

University of Washington

Hauptgebäude der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Bayern, Deutschland

College of the Desert / Palm Desert, California

California Institute of Technology

Berry College

Utah Valley University

Universitat d’Alacant / Sant Vicent del Raspeig, Spain

Collin County Community College / Plano, Texas

University of Toledo

University of Michigan College of Engineering

Harvard University

Florida State University

University of North Texas


Plan de estudios de verano Semana 27 | 4 de julio – 10 de julio

Universidad de San Andrés | Área Metropolitana de Buenos Aires

lunes | julio 4

martes | julio 5 | Colloquium 15:00 UTC


miércoles | julio 6 | Colloquium 15:00 UTC



jueves | julio 7 | Colloquium 15:00 UTC

Hello World!

viernes | julio 8 | Colloquium 15:00 UTC


sábado |  julio 9

domingo | julio 10

Looking Ahead: Weeks 2022

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List of multinational festivals and holidays


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