thinking outside the box on sustainability
The EPA reports that servers and data centers are responsible for around 1.5 percent of the electricity consumption in the U.S. With the rise of cloud computing, that number is likely to climb in the future. A research paper from Microsoft Research suggests distributing some of these servers to offices and homes where they would function as heating systems under the term “data furnaces.” The temperature of the exhaust air generated by a computer server is over 100 degrees F, which would be perfect for heating a building space. The data furnaces would be managed remotely, and the research paper suggests that the owners of the computer servers (most likely cloud computing service operators) could provide free heat to host families. This arrangement would provide for a more sustainable IT industry; the industry could continue to grow without increasing its carbon footprint or its electricity consumption, and with significant cost savings.
We’ve written about the challenges of managing green design project risks (subheading “Green Design/Sustainability”), particularly in using written contracts to manage professional liability and client expectations. Managing client expectations is only the first step in navigating the risks that green designs pose.
When working on sustainable projects, design professionals often make projections on levels of performance or fixed reductions of operating costs based off a predictive model that is intended to replicate actual facility performance. One of the concerns design professionals have is that the facility’s actual performance could diverge significantly from the predictive model due to the end user’s behavior. Another concern is that complex systems are difficult to model accurately.
a guide to professional liability insurance for your clients
Does your client want to be named as an additional insured on your professional liability insurance policy? Does their agreement contain a broad indemnity provision that is not limited to damages caused by your firm’s negligence? Are the insurance requirements unreasonable?
and wins other huge contracts around the world
The new Bay Bridge is being built in China. As the huge pieces of the bridge are created, they are transported via ship all the way to Oakland where they are assembled to fit the bridge. It is expected to be open for traffic in 2013. While the assembly work in the U.S. will be performed by Americans, construction of the materials and bridge decks is being done by a Chinese company, in China.