October 2004

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Greg McFarland, P.E., Mechanical Engineer, Davis DesignEMAIL INTERVIEW -  Greg McFarland & Ken Sinclair

Greg McFarland, P.E., Mechanical Engineer, Davis Design

Greg is responsible for the selection and design of the mechanical systems and the preparation of contract documents. He reviews all mechanical drawings for compliance with state and local code regulations. He has experience designing mechanical systems for a wide range of applications. Professional Status - Registered Professional Mechanical Engineer, Nebraska 2003, California 2003

Using ControlSpecBuilder

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Sinclair:  How long have you been using and on what types of projects do you use ControlSpecBuilder?

McFarland:  I have been using ControlSpecBuilder nearly since its introduction last year. I use it on any project that needs more than just a standard programmable thermostat, though I do use it occasionally on those types of systems when the system might be networked in the future and I want the current system to be ready for the connection. I have also used it on some rather complex systems. One was a building that had a limited electrical service and needed demand limiting to keep from tripping main breakers. Another is a school that shares a dedicated outdoor air system between the school and the gym since occupancies occur at different times.

Sinclair:  What are the benefits of using ControlSpecBuilder to the designer?

McFarland:  ControlSpecBuilder saves a tremendous amount of time for me compared to writing out operational sequences. It also creates an open spec which eliminates the need to edit proprietary specs that you can get from some manufacturers. ControlSpecBuilder includes a very large range of equipment and equipment options that cover most situations that a designer can encounter.

Sinclair:  Are there any improvements that you think should be made?

McFarland:  Not really. They have been fairly proactive in increasing the equipment and options that a designer can choose from. They also allow the user to add or create custom points, sequences, etc. though I haven't had to use that option yet.

Sinclair:  Would you recommend ControlSpecBuilder to others?

McFarland:  Absolutely! This is such a useful item that everyone should be using it. To me it's like comparing CAD to hand drafting. It's easy to make changes to systems and it produces excellent schematics and specs.

The website, www.ctrlspecbuilder.com, is a free tool that prepares non-proprietary, custom specifications and follows ASHRAE Guideline 13-2000, Specifying Direct Digital Control Systems, as well as CSI MasterFormat for section 15900. 



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