Surveillance, Security System Installed at Beau Rivage

When Beau Rivage Resort & Casino reopened in Biloxi, MS, more than a new surveillance and security system came online-the area’s economy also got a boost.

 

The reopened Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, MI, boasts 1,200 video surveillance cameras; an audio playback messaging system; and an emergency, call-station system.

Rebuilding lives after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina encompasses many aspects. Toward the top of the list is restoring the economy that was a victim of the disaster. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, now relocated in Biloxi, MS, is the largest gaming resort in the city. With its doors now reopened, it provides many jobs for the area’s residents.

Part of the reopening project was a video surveillance and security system supplied by North American Video (NAV), Brick, NJ. “Restoring the gaming industry to its pre-Katrina state is crucial to the economy of the city of Biloxi. The Beau Rivage will help stimulate the economy, put people back to work, and re-establish tourism in the area,” said Cynthia Freschi, president, NAV.

The video surveillance and security system includes more than 1,200 video-surveillance cameras integrated in an enterprise solution along with a new two new matrix-switching systems. NAV has also furnished and installed all alarms on the grounds; an audio playback messaging system; and a new emergency, call-station system for the parking garage. Also new to the system is a state-of-the-art, point-of-sale interface to the closed-circuit television system.

“NAV was an integral part of the team rebuilding Beau Rivage,” said Anne Mockler, director of surveillance, Beau Rivage. “It was a remarkable installation given the time frame. It took a tremendous amount of manpower from both NAV and Honeywell, Morristown, NJ, to get us where we needed to be to open. The support has been incredible.”…

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How to Build an Eco House

Building an eco-house does not mean to renounce comfort or to take a step back in the past. A house made with respect for the environment means health, wellbeing, financial independence and durability. A natural home means protecting nature, health and future.

Advantages of eco houses

Currently, more and more people are looking to move in a home that is friendly with the environment, because of the obvious advantages compared with classical houses. An eco-house is partially or integrally made from recyclable or natural materials, from the structure to walls and finishing. Even since the project phase, you have to consider the land type where you are building, the position of the sun throughout the day or the wind direction.

The most common material used is wood, but just because you are building a wooden house does not mean you are building an eco-home. In the last centuries, people preferred the ‘modern materials’ such as concrete, glass and iron. In the past years, building concepts tend to go back to origins, people preferring original and energy-efficient houses. Moreover, these are sometimes more resistant than traditional buildings.

Principles to consider when building an eco-house

An eco-house should improve the quality of interior air by its design. It is an important aspect, as it comes with effects on our health and mood. A green home must ensure a humidity of 30%-50% throughout the year, enough for the air not to feel dry, but also to avoid extreme humidity that helps the creation of molds.

Materials for building can even be found around the house. It is possible to use straws, bamboo or special type of argyle bricks, reducing the costs. As we are talking about natural materials, you can be sure you are preserving the health of everyone living in the house.

  1. Efficiency and ergonomic

The walls made of natural materials come with a high coefficient of thermal insulation. Such a house is warm during the winter and cold during the summer. Temperature is constant for a longer period, meaning you can save up to 75% of the costs to heat or cool the house.

  1. Resistant

Natural materials, contrary to the beliefs of some ‘specialists’, are more resistant to earthquakes and fire. The majority of materials used are flexible, or they simply don’t burn. If you are able to choose an optimal combination of such materials (like walls made of straws and covered with argyle), we can have a house resistant to all the common known disasters and accidents.

  1. Eco-friendly appliances

A green house isn’t complete without putting thought into the home and kitchen appliances that it will house. What’s the point in building a eco-friendly home and then using energy inefficient appliances or appliances that have a high carbon footprint? This footprint could be during use or in the manufacturing process. Carefully review energy ratings and manuals to ensure you buy only certified low energy use appliances like microwaves, fridge, etc.

  1. Cheap

As a green house is made of durable materials, the costs of building are covered in the long term. If we are able to find construction materials in nature, those will be cheaper and easier to build. Using solar or wind energy will save more money on the long term. Plus, considering the interest of more and more families for these types of constructions, it will be a lot easier to sell your home for a good price after a while.

 

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Update Automated Power Systems On The Fly

Many facilities require reliable power-control systems to keep HVAC, lighting, and critical equipment running at all times. Replacing outdated control systems is not always the most effective approach.

 

Douglas H. Sandberg

 

Prime, emergency, and standby on-site power systems that are more than 10 years old may be outdated and even incapable of providing adequate power to automated systems and conventional power loads that must operate around the clock. Why is that, considering that engine-generator sets and power-transfer switching mechanisms are so durable? There are a number of reasons.

Foremost is that equipment controls become obsolete comparatively quickly. While engine-generator technology has remained fairly consistent, controls have evolved from bulky electromechanical relays to basic transistors and now to programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

Today’s controllers offer tremendous flexibility for designers, owners, and those who maintain them. The control logic remains pretty much the same as with relays, but changes and updates are made within a software program. There’s no need to add relays, timers, or to re-wire components. PLCs are faster, offer greater functionality, and are more precise and reliable than previous control technologies.

Exponential advances in control technology are the primary reason controls become obsolete relatively quickly. The result is an on-site power system that uses a mix of durable machinery (engine-generators, fuel systems, ventilation systems, and load banks) and controls that are subject to premature obsolescence.

This situation creates real problems for building managers, hospital engineers, consultants, and anyone else charged with maintaining life-sustaining infrastructures. It’s a dichotomy and raises a serious question: What can you do?

The first step is to understand the three basic control groups of an on-site power system:

  • Sensory inputs. These are sensors that monitor oil pressure, coolant and exhaust temperature, and fuel supply.
  • The brain. This is a central controller, such as a PLC, that acts on sensory inputs.
  • Active and passive outputs. An active output shuts down an engine when oil pressure drops below a pre-set limit. A passive output turns on an indicator light or sends an alert.

Besides engine-generators, two other systems are required for on-site, power-transfer switches and monitoring and control capabilities.

Automatic transfer switches
Automatic transfer switches also have experienced some of the same issues as engine generators. The switching mechanism has remained durable over many years, while advances in technology have greatly improved control technology. The transfer switch is the system that makes it possible to transfer loads from one power source to another. Without it, on-site power systems as we know them today would not exist.

There are four types of workhorse transfer switches: open transition, closed transition, delayed transition, and soft load.

The open-transition transfer switch breaks from one power source before it connects with another.

The closed-transition transfer switch also breaks from the utility, or normal, source when power fails before connecting to on-site power. When utility power returns, however, this transfer switch transfers loads back to utility power before it breaks the connection with on-site power. This ensures continuous power to critical loads.

The delayed-transition transfer switch delays load transfers to allow large electrical fields, associated with large inductive loads, to collapse before connecting with another power source. This limits potentially damaging in-rush current.

The soft-load transfer switch enables both normal and on-site active power sources to be simultaneously connected to loads. By paralleling the normal, or utility, source and the on-site power source, loads can be “walked” from one source to the other by increasing or decreasing engine-generator loading.

These transfer switches also are available with bypass isolation capability. A manual transfer switch is integrated with the automatic transfer switch, which allows the automatic transfer switch to be taken off line for maintenance while still protecting critical loads.

Monitoring and control capabilities
Advances in technology and computers, and the advent of the Internet, make it possible to be thousands of miles away, yet still monitor the operation of your critical system and, in some cases, control it as well. Controls may be managed with a PC, laptop, or PDA-type device.

Today, real-time monitoring, trending, and management of critical systems are realities from just about anywhere in the world. The ease of operation, flexibility, and functionality offered by current monitoring and control …

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Closers Are Key to Effective Entry Systems

Door closers/controllers are the “heart of the opening” because they protect the people and assets on the other side, while playing a major role in energy conservation.

 

Ryan Rouse

 

Protecting the facility opening is one of a door closer’s main functions, especially in high use/abuse situations. High-cycle doors, including those at malls, hospitals, stadiums, auditoriums, schools, and universities, encounter abuse from more forceful opening and backchecking. They are some of the most highly used and abused components within any facility, yet they must enable smooth traffic flow while maintaining safety, security, and the overall facility experience.

The overhead stop is visible with the door open. Used here with a concealed closer, it protects the door, hinges, and closer from abuse or misuse.

High winds or pressure differentials require greater closer force to protect exterior doors from severe damage. Heavy-duty, concealed, or surface-mounted closers offer an extra measure of protection, but their use must be balanced with the need to avoid making doors too difficult to open. Proper closer adjustment plays an important role in achieving the balance needed in these situations. A backcheck selector valve, delay function, or other adjustments make it possible to tailor different stages of closer operation to the needs of a specific opening.

Some closers use a pressure-relief valve to prevent damage to the closer under overload conditions that may be severe enough to cause cracks in the closer cylinder. Closers with cast-iron cylinders generally will not require pressure-relief valves because the material’s innate strength resists cracking, ensuring smooth opening and closing.

Adding an overhead stop helps protect the closer and the rest of the opening against excessive force. Also important is proper installation and adjustment of the closer itself.

Protecting people from the door can include preventing accident or injury from a door that closes too quickly, minimizing difficulties that children or frail adults may have in opening the door, and meeting accessibility guidelines for those with disabilities.

Closers adjusted too strong to meet ADA guidelines will also be difficult for other people to open. If conditions permit, it may be possible to accommodate ADA compliance by adjusting the closer force to Size 1, but in most cases, power door operators are the best option to meet these needs. Typically, one powered door in a bank of doors may be all that is required. In addition to serving people with disabilities, it can add convenience for parents with strollers or people with armloads of packages.

Properly adjusted conventional closers on all other doors ensure that they close and latch. Seasonal adjustments used to be a common attempt to meet these problems, including those on exterior doors exposed to temperature extremes. Today, the availability of closers with all-weather fluid has made this ritual unnecessary.

In addition to ease of use and proper closure, ensuring security is a critical closer function. No matter how sophisticated or expensive the locks, latches, exit devices, card readers, and electronic security systems, if the door does not close properly, latching will be inconsistent and security compromised. This puts people and assets within the building at risk. A facility director can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on electronic access control, magnetic locking, and proprietary keying systems, only to find these measures wasted because the doors do not close so they can latch and lock.

Security problems may arise from improper installation of closer mounting and adjustment, or with related hardware. If latch bolt guards are not aligned properly, friction may be created to prevent the door from latching. To prevent closer adjustment tampering and to enhance security, closers can be equipped with metal covers mounted with Torx machine screws.

Manufacturers are working constantly to improve performance and enhance closer functions to provide greater security. New designs now being developed will self-adjust as environments or operating conditions change.

Door closers provide environmental control as they keep doors closed to maintain internal environments inside. It makes little sense to waste money and compromise comfort levels because heated or conditioned air leaks outside when a door doesn’t securely close. Temperature or weather extremes that enter a building through a partially open door can cause damage, as well as discomfort. Strong winds can …

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