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AFE Silicon Valley Chapter presents
Upcoming Changes to the Building, Electrical, Fire
and Mechanical Codes
by Reinhard Hanselka, PE, REA of MW Group
November 17, 2011 San Jose, California
(27 min)



According to Reinhard Hanselka, “We have enough regulations! Now the challenge is to streamline the regulations so that we can do business correctly, safely, and competitively.” At his recent presentation to AFE members and guests, Reinhard communicated the logic behind the regulations along with strategies for mitigation.

On November 17th Reinhard presented "Upcoming Changes to the Building, Electrical, Fire, and Mechanical Codes" to an interested group of facility professionals who posed many questions. Click here to download a copy of the slides used in this presentation.

The presentation provided valuable information useful to facilities managers, architects, and their vendors. Reinhard emphasized that although many of the upcoming regulations have been reduced and streamlined, some have become more stringent. He emphasized how the new “L” Occupancy rules provide architects with greater flexibility when designing high rise buildings that contain laboratories that use hazardous chemicals. He also presented numerous case histories of emergencies resulting from mistakes and/or non-compliance, and emphasized how the proper selection of construction materials is critical to cost-effective operations, safety, and compliance.

Topics discussed in the November 17th presentation included changes in:

* Local amendments to international codes
* Regulations that allow the dilution of toxic gases via ventilation as an acceptable mitigation method
* Fire hazards of chromatography instruments commonly used in laboratories
* Requirements for standby, emergency, and continuous backup power supplies
* Laboratory Toxic Gas Ordinance guidelines
* Maximum allowable quantities of hazardous chemicals, and containment requirements, for different levels of high rise buildings
* Regulations affecting egress
* Fire safety during construction
* Compressed gas regulations
* Biosafety in microbiological and biomedical laboratories
* Less stringent laboratory occupancy requirements

Reinhard mentioned that an excellent resource is the http://unidocs.org website for inventory reporting and for finding information about classification of chemicals. If you are concerned or confused about how current and upcoming Code regulations may affect your business, Reinhard encourages you to submit your questions to:

Reinhard Hanselka, PE, REA of MW Group, PO Box 361656, Milpitas, CA 95036, or rhanselka@aol.com.
He receives about two thousand questions a year and answers all of them. Some of these are published in the "Reinhard's Code Corner" of AFE Silicon Valley Chapter of the Association for Facilities Engineering newsletter.

This activity was sponsored by the Silicon Valley Chapter of the AFE. In addition to being a lot of fun, these gatherings provide excellent networking opportunities. We bring together professionals who ensure the optimal operation of plants, grounds and offices at Fortune 500 manufacturers, universities, medical centers, government agencies and innovative small firms from around the world. And, they all look to AFE as the leading technical resource on engineering issues. AFE's mission is to provide education, certification, technical information and other relevant resources to plant and facility engineering, operation and maintenance.

Click to see additional videos of recent AFE tours.

For additional information on joining the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Association for Facilities Engineering contact Jim Elder at 408-855-1105 or go to http://afe39.org/.

Michael Bukay is New Media Chair for the AFE Silicon Valley Chapter and owner of Michael Bukay & Associates which produces educational and marketing videos for the web. He can be reached at 510-232-9830 or http://bukaymedia.com/. Download a brochure on how web-based informational and marketing videos can help your organization to better reach its goals.

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