Controlling Temperature and Dewpoint: A Guide to Preventing Mold in Your School

mechanical room

Winter is coming, so who is thinking about next summer? But summer will come soon enough. Will your school building be unoccupied for the summer? If so, how can you prevent a mold outbreak? The answer lies in temperature and dewpoint settings. First, A Review of Terms An important factor in setting temperature and dewpoint is relative humidity. Relative humidity is dependent on the air temperature and the amount of moisture in the air. On hot days, when air temperature is higher, the capacity for air to hold more moisture is higher than at lower air temperatures. Warmer air is more of a “sponge” than colder air. Another important factor is dewpoint temperature. Dewpoint temperature is the temperature at which water will condense out of the air for a given relative humidity and air temperature. When you see water droplets on the outside of your cool water glass in the summer, you’re seeing high dewpoint temperature in action. Why Colder Isn’t Always Better What do relative humidity, dewpoint, and mold growth have to do with each other? Many of us think that if we lower the space temperature, we will dry out a building, thereby prohibiting mold growth. This is a […]

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Enhancing the Learning Environment at Eastern Lebanon County School District

Eastern Lebanon County High School

While a robust curriculum, modern textbooks and a dedicated teaching staff are critical to a positive learning environment for students of all ages, other factors such as indoor air quality and lighting quality can influence a child’s ability to learn. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air quality (IAQ) has been shown to have a direct correlation to student success, and educational improvement has been attributed to better lighting quality by many studies. IAQ is the air quality within and around buildings such as schools. IAQ is linked to productivity and learning, and affects the health, comfort and well-being of students, teachers and administrators. Poor IAQ can be attributed to a variety of factors, most notably underperforming heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. Addressing poor ventilation, filtration and related issues in systems are a good first step at improving IAQ for facilities. Often, replacement of HVAC systems presents an opportunity to replace ceilings and lighting in classrooms and corridors within the building. This specific situation presented itself to the administrators at the Eastern Lebanon County School District (ELCO). Eastern Lebanon High School, home to nearly 1,000 students in grades 9-12, had not had a major HVAC renovation […]

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Employee Spotlight: John Hayden

John Hayden in Palmyra mechanical room

Get to Know John Hayden, PE, CEM, CSDP, Reynolds’ Senior Project Development Manager Describe what you do for Reynolds. I’m a Senior Project Development Manager, which means I help our clients identify maintenance and operational needs and bring solutions for discussion and possible inclusion in a project. The solutions invariably focus on high-efficiency, low-maintenance solutions that make economic sense for the clients. In this effort, we build relationships with our clients and understand much more than just the facility needs. Our relationships, over time, can provide ongoing support as our clients both plan for the future and work through immediate issues they face. What is your favorite part of your job? I enjoy working with people in teams. Sometimes a team is composed of co-workers. At other times, a team forms around developing and implementing a project. The input and creativity from clients, co-workers, the contractor community, and vendors brings energy to the solutions we help implement. Including a variety of views and approaches creates a superior result. How does what you do impact the quality of your clients’ facilities? Everything we do increases the resiliency of a facility and increases its asset value. For a commercial property, the asset […]

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Employee Spotlight: Don Holstein

Donald Holstein

Employee Spotlight: Don Holstein Describe what you do at Reynolds Restoration Services. As the branch manager at the King of Prussia office, I guide quality control of the office’s work, from initial emergency response to project closeout. How long have you worked in the restoration services industry? For more than 20 years. October is Fire Prevention Month. What are some of your favorite fire prevention tips? Fire safety starts with you. Get out, stay out, and know two ways out. What is an accomplishment at RRS that you’re most proud of and why? Handling being emergency services manager and branch manager at the same time while moving our branch in a positive, forward direction. What is your favorite thing about working for RRS? I appreciate the family atmosphere and the people I work with. What is the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had? In the restoration industry, there are so many challenges that it always keeps us on our toes and keeps things interesting. What is something that people would be surprised to know about you? I have been a volunteer fireman since I was 14 years old. What are some side projects or hobbies you have outside […]

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Five Steps to Do After a House Fire

Navigating the Road to Recovery Fire can be one of the most devasting and traumatic experiences for homeowners. In a matter of minutes – or even seconds – property and belongings can be damaged, and oftentimes homeowners are at a loss for how to start the daunting task of clean up and restoration. At Reynold Restoration Services, we have more than a decade of experience helping homeowners recover after a fire. From working with insurance adjusters to delicately restoring family heirlooms, our team of restoration specialists is ready to help, providing comfort along the way. Five Steps to Do After a House Fire If you’ve experienced a fire in your home, it’s important to take these five steps as you and your family begin the rebuilding process: Call a professional restoration company. Once the fire is extinguished, call a restoration company like Reynolds Restoration Services. Restoration professionals can help you through the recovery process and can suggest next steps based on the severity of the fire. Reynolds Restoration Services is available 24/7 to respond. For safety reasons, only enter the home with the Fire Marshall or Reynolds Restoration Services until the property is cleared for entrance. Get in touch with […]

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The Future Looks Bright: Three Reasons to Choose Solar Energy

solar panel installation

There are many reasons, both economic and environmental, businesses and organizations may choose to convert to solar powered energy. Whether the goal is to reduce utility expenses, or to help the environment, now is an opportune time to explore solar energy for Pennsylvania businesses and organizations. Federal and state regulations, as well as the reduction in up-front investment costs, have created a clear path to move to solar more easily than in years past. At Reynolds, our team of energy engineers offers three economic reasons for businesses to move to solar energy: 1. Solar Panel Costs Have Decreased Significantly While solar power was discovered in 1839 by physicist Edmond Becquerel, it wasn’t until 1954 the first practical solar cell was invented by Bell Labs. Even then, the cells were not very efficient, operating at just 2% efficiency and costing $1,785/watt (of rated capacity). Over the next several decades, technology improved, creating a means for businesses to convert to solar energy. Today, commercially produced solar cells can be produced and installed for under $3/watt and operate between 19% and 23% efficiency. Solar technology has improved exponentially in the last decade, and according to the U.S. Department of Energy, costs for solar […]

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The Hybrid Construction Solution

Pennsylvania public K-12 districts are tasked with delivering programs that fulfill the goals set forth in their mission statements, such as educational excellence, student success, and community involvement. At Reynolds, we understand the opportunities but also the challenges created when undertaking such critical and important missions. Districts are faced with constraints of reduced state aid (such as PlanCon funding) and increased public sensitivity to local taxation. This fiscal environment can present revenue challenges, even for the best administrators and school boards, who are tasked with managing the delicate balance between operational and capital needs. As schools’ opportunities and challenges have evolved, so has the Pennsylvania public school construction industry’s responsibility to deliver the high-quality experience and demanding expectations of students and communities. The Evolution of Public School Construction In 1994, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling allowed the delivery of agency construction management services on public school construction projects that are required by statute to utilize a multi-separate prime design/bid/build model, where the agency is the general contractor. While there are aspects of the current statute framework that are beneficial (e.g., competitive bidding), it often puts school districts in an unenviable position of legal liability management, change order exposure, and project […]

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Employee Spotlight: Garrett Lewis

Garrett Lewis promoted to vice president of hybrid construction

Get to know Garrett Lewis, Reynolds’ Vice President of Hybrid Construction Describe your roles at Reynolds, culminating in your current role as Vice President of Hybrid Construction. My roles at Reynolds have been primarily sales and client management related and managing legislative and government affairs. I joined Reynolds in 2015 in a business development role and during that time was influential in the development and refinement of hybrid construction methodology. In 2017, I transitioned to an account/project executive role, working to develop and support project delivery for more than $100 million of public K-23 school design and construction projects. Today, as VP of Hybrid Construction, my responsibility is rolling out deliverables, such as the Enhanced District Options Study (EDOS) and Long-Term Facilities Maintenance (LTFM) plan, which has provided me with the opportunity to work more closely with our operations staff. What do you want educators to know about hybrid construction? Hybrid construction is where districts can best minimize risk exposure, ensure project quality, and deliver best value. What is an accomplishment at Reynolds you’re most proud of and why? The successful rollout of the EDOS deliverable. The EDOS has changed how we develop projects from beginning to end. It’s also […]

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Building the Future: Inspiring the Next Generation of Construction Professionals through Education

The construction industry is booming now, and with it there is a shortage of workers in the construction trades as well construction professional positions. This shortage can have a negative impact on the quality, cost, and duration of building projects. One way to combat this situation is to engage the generation that will greatly influence the industry’s success: high school students on the cusp of making career decisions. That was the impetus behind the development of Reynolds’ student education program, which uses active school construction projects as the centerpiece of its educational component. Last year, Reynolds introduced the program to three Pennsylvania school districts where Reynolds is managing new construction or addition/renovation projects: Altoona Area (new high school), Peters Township (new high school), and Cornwall-Lebanon (elementary school addition/renovation). Sessions at several other districts with active projects are planned in upcoming months. The sessions consist of a presentation followed by a tour of the project in construction. Some of the elements included in the sessions are: Introduction to the Design/Construction Industry – Although building construction is a large sector of the construction industry, there are many other sectors to consider, such as bridge and highway, industrial, and residential. Students review the […]

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Friday Night Brights – Lighting Your Stadium to Improve Efficiency and the Spectator Experience

Mt. Pleasant football stadium lighting project

The smell of leaves. The sound of the referee’s whistle. The sight of your school’s football team…cast in shadows and uneven lighting. Don’t let a low-quality lighting system ruin the fun fall tradition of Friday night lights! If your school district’s Friday night football games are being played under the same lighting system that was there when the stadium was installed 10 or more years ago, it’s time to consider a system replacement. An old and inefficient lighting system may not just be robbing spectators of a nicely lit game experience; it could also be robbing your budget of unnecessarily high utility and maintenance monies. Mt. Pleasant Area School District offers an example of a lighting replacement project that quickly provided a healthy return on investment. The district kicked off its project in June 2018 with the goal of lighting the first home football game on August 31. The work included replacing the high mast lights and running new power and control wiring from the stadium’s main distribution panel to the new poles. The new Musco Lighting system included glare-free LED lights and digital lighting controls with smart phone application usability. Most importantly, energy use has been reduced by 48 […]

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