The implementation of our new software platform NextGen (containing already the software to ASME Section VIII division 1 and 2) with the software according to EN 13445.3, 2014 Edition has almost been completed: the few still missing modules are always contained in the “classic” version of EN 13445.3. We thank all our licensees that have extensively used the Beta version of the new software for their contributions to its improvement and debugging. As already explained in the past newsletters, having a licence of both the ASME programs and EN 13445.3 gives now the possibility, in a vessel which was graphically created and calculated in accordance with ASME, to change the design code from ASME VIII division 1 or division 2 to EN 13445.3 and vice versa. We are now working to complete the package with wind and seismic calculations, considering the most important building codes, like ASCE, IBC, the Eurocodes (EN 1990 to 1998) and the Italian rules NTC 2008. In order to provide a quick support to the licensees of the Classic Edition of EN 13445.3, we have now completed this version with the new Clause 22 of EN 13445.3 (Calculation of Tall Vertical Vessels).
Everywhere around us, construction technology is exploding. Drone usage surged 239% in just one year. Modular and prefab construction could be a $135 billion industry by 2023. There are now a staggering 378 different construction software options in our directory, as of September 2019.
As the construction labor shortage continues to vex the industry, construction managers are turning to technology to get things done in the absence of experienced workers, as well as to gain an edge on their competitors.
But technology can be intimidating. If you’re used to the old-fashioned ways of construction and you wonder if adding a drone to your operation is really going to make your crew more efficient or just cause you headaches, you may balk at totally changing the way you’ve done things.
It’s not unreasonable to be wary—some technology may not be right for your job site. But these tips from successful construction managers will help if you’re interested in introducing new tech at your next project.
1. Do your research before you commit
Ron Humes, vice president of operations for the southeast region for Post Modern Marketing, said there’s no substitute for doing the legwork to research a type of tech and how it would fit into your project before committing to it or even starting a pilot program.
“Focus on what you will use and what will expand your services or make your tasks easier,” Humes says.
His company does interior and exterior construction and remodeling of residential and commercial properties, which includes providing design concepts, project specifications, work estimates, cost tracking, and accounting. As a result, he has very specific needs when it comes to technology.
His company likes to use drones to help with performing assessments and creating progress reports. By doing research before he acquired the technology, Humes could be confident that it wouldn’t be a big waste of time and money.
“Read reviews from similar businesses and see if there is a way to test the product or service before you invest your hard-earned dollars. If the technology is too complicated, too time-consuming, or does not add services or value, it will be a waste of precious company capital,” he says.
2. Don’t force it
Alex Berezowski, owner and general manager of The Foundation Experts Inc., says that you shouldn’t try to force a square peg into a round hole when it comes to technology.
Berezowski’s company focuses on foundation repair and home waterproofing, and he finds that he often doesn’t need the latest gadgets. Spending a lot of money on expensive technology for simple projects doesn’t make sense for him.
The number one tip he has for construction managers is to only use technology when and where it’s needed.
“If things are running smoothly just fine without it, don’t over complicate things by bringing in the latest tech product,” Berzowski says. “If you find something is slowing you and your team down, and someone’s recommended a tech product that might help with it—that’s when it’s time to try it out.”
Every industry faces its own unique challenges when it comes to regulatory compliance, based on the types of activities, products, and materials used on site. Those industries using more heavily regulated types of materials or equipment face more strenuous reporting requirements.
The Oil & Gas and Chemical industries are definitely among those industries that face
a higher degree of regulatory complexity based on the type of equipment used on site for a number of processes: tanks of all types create a significant regulatory burden.
Tanks are particularly difficult to manage from a compliance standpoint – the emission calculations for standing and working losses can be difficult enough, but there are also a large number of factors that need to be accounted for, ranging from the type of roof on the tank all the way down to what color the tank is. Tank owners and operators even need to know what the temperature was on any given period, making recordkeeping and data collection a top concern.
For these reasons, EH&S Software for tanks, also known simply as Tanks Software, has become an essential tool for anyone who owns, operates, or manages a facility that uses any type and number of tanks – even if it’s just a single tank.
So what makes Tanks Emissions Software a must-have tool in your toolbox instead of a nice perk? If you’re considering Tanks Software or are simply apprehensive about your emissions reporting this year, consider the following:
EPA TANKS Falling Behind
The EPA developed an online reporting platform for tank operators called TANKS which was meant to be able to closely estimate air emissions from different types of basic tanks. Unfortunately, as the industry’s knowledge of environmental management advanced, it was found that TANKS is unable to calculate emissions from certain common scenarios – including nearly any calculation requiring temperature data.
Currently, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) does not accept many estimates from TANKS and requires reporters to use a proven alternate software or to do the emission calculations by hand. Even the EPA has included a disclaimer that TANKS should not be used for precise estimates for some operating scenarios.
With TANKS losing ground as a top reporting tool, tank operators – particularly those in the state of Texas – should be seeking out a more viable, permanent option.
Manual Calculations for Tanks Not Efficient or Effective
There are some emission source calculations you can do manually, but tanks are not among that group. A single tank can require many different variables, meaning that estimating emissions from one tank containing one type of material over the reporting period can take a great deal of time and cross referencing against industry literature and emission factors.
At a recent conference, an Environmental Manager utilizing spreadsheets mentioned his exasperation with trying to do generate the Emission Inventories based on multiple operating scenarios — Alternate Operating Sceanrios & Maintenance Startup Shutdown. The manager expressed a common sentiment: “These Spreadsheets are Killing Me!”
You’ve probably thought this yourself on numerous occasions. And the alternative isn’t a lot better if you are instead paying a Consultant to generate the emissions calculations. If you’re paying someone to spend hours and hours each quarter to do emission calculations by hand for each of your tanks and research emission factors, temperature data, and chemical compositions you’re throwing away your money.
With Tanks Emissions Software, you should be able to determine emissions from an entire battery of tanks for a desired reporting period within a few minutes, because the program will reference all emission factors, chemical data, temperature data, and tank type-related factors automatically within seconds. You should be able to automatically take credits to the Emission Inventory for all of the control technologies you utilize onsite.