The most immediate thing you'll notice is that the website has gotten better looking. (If only we all could get better looking with age, right? The best some of us can come up with is not to update our little photograph.) You should also find it easier to navigate, and you will find new offerings and bells and whistles to take advantage of, too.
For technical reasons, your old bookmarks won't go to the new site, but they will transfer you over within a few seconds. Even better, hop over to the new site manually and update your bookmark.
INSIDE INSIGHTSOur facility engineering readers, for example, might want to visit and bookmark Lindsay Audin's "Current Af-fairs" column this month. We're usually going on about upgrading, retrofitting, and rethinking in the name of sav-ing money and energy efficiency. However, as Audin points out, if you don't rethink far enough through the retro-fit, you can conceivably find yourself with newer equipment and a higher utility bill. If that just seems wrong, that's because it is, and yet quite possible. Anyone considering an upgrade or replacement project would be wise to consider Audin's points and share with other project staff.
UP ON THE ROOFTOPSometimes, we plan a couple of articles to look at a topic from different angles, and other times, trends just pre-sent themselves in the course of doing other business as usual. Green roofs fall into the latter category. This may sound like a somewhat esoteric kind of thing for us to consider. However, in two months, two buildings scheduled for coverage have turned out to have effective green roofs as well.
Given that these (Chicago City Hall and a Manhattan high-rise) aren't exactly off-the-chart experimental pro-jects, you have to think we might see more of this in the future from mainstream design teams. (The Chicago green roof is highlighted in an online-exclusive sidebar, by the way.)
SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITIONAs we put this issue to bed, I also have a late report about our upcoming debut 2006 Building Automation Con-ference, set for next month in Baltimore (see box, right column).
Just as intelligent buildings are moving to the forefront of the building discussion, the realm of wireless controls is earning a lot of attention at the tip of that leading edge. Our speaker roster illustrates this point, with four new names from the wireless domain: Dan Burns (Johnson Controls), Jay Hendrix (Siemens), Rob Conant (Dust Networks), and wireless consultant Mark Pacelle. This is representative of the formidable knowledge coming together in just one of the conference's several topics. Register today, see what they have to say, and share your own thoughts as we begin a new tradition of delivering expert insights and exchanging ideas in person with our readers.
While we're on the topic, don't overlook this month's Intelligent Buildings Today supplement. It fea-tures column by familiar names like Sinclair and Ehrlich, teamed with longer articles about Ethernet cable switches and the overall market trends for intelligent buildings in U.S. as compared to Europe. IBT is online, too, at www.intelligentbuildingstoday.com.
We're throwing a lot of "extra" options at you these days, just in the electronic realm - separate e-newsletters for designers and for facility engineers, the cool new digital issue, a revamped website, and coming up, even a blog. It's not about doing each thing all the time, but our hope is that if you check out these new avenues as they become available, you will find a couple that are a good long-term fit for helping you do a better, smarter job. If you, in turn, see how we might do a better, smarter job at that, do let us know.