Only as Strong as the Weakest Link

E. Mitchell Swann, P.E., of MDCSystems® & James W. Haile Jr., C.P.M., of JWH & Associates

Over the past 9 – 12 months or so many parts of the world have been rocked by unforeseen events – “black swans” – which have called into question some of the ideas or principals we’ve centered much of our business planning around. Most notable of these in my mind is the Tohoku Japan earthquake and tsunami and the resulting Fukushima Nuclear Plant meltdown. One of the things that Tohoku did was take out a significant swath of Japan’s specialty automotive parts industry as the earthquake and tsunami affected regions were noted for being a hub for auto parts manufacturing for both Japanese and global car companies and those parts manufacturers were off line.

Developing Sustainability Strategies – Writing Your Future History

E. Mitchell Swann
Consulting Engineer
May 2011

Yup, yet another “sustainability” article. It seems that this subject just won’t die. No, it won’t. But organizations that don’t deal with the subject just might experience that result.

If you haven’t been keeping up on it, sustainability is about a lot more than eating nuts and berries, wearing wool sweaters and wearing sensible shoes. It’s about survival. That may sound rather stark – harsh even. But sustainability doesn’t have to be and if you think through it, it shouldn’t be. You can survive at many levels – from “just barely” to “high on the hog”. One is undesirable; the other is, well…unsustainable. So if you want your ‘going concern’ to continue going you need to consider how best to position and prepare yourself for a changing world.

What’s That Smell?? Mold – The New ‘Asbestos’

E. Mitchell Swann, P.E.
Consulting Engineer

Mold cases have become almost as prolific in the legal world as the little fuzzy devils themselves in the real world. Mold is a hot topic and claims associated with mold, mildew and related IAQ issues including EIFS leaks and failures have multiplied at an exponential rate. When faced with a mold claim, there are some basic steps that should be taken before dispatching the chlorine bleach strike force. You must keep in mind that mold is ubiquitous in the environment – it is the types and concentration levels that are key. The extent to which any given person will react negatively to a mold is extremely variable as well.

A Big Foot Treads Lightly

October 2007

The World’s First “Green” Semiconductor Manufacturing Facility

The construction world has been abuzz with green homes, green condos and green cars aplenty this year, but little attention has been paid to some of the more esoteric projects whose impact per square foot can be enormous. Texas Instruments (TI) recently completed the first LEED certified semiconductor manufacturing facility (wafer fab) in the world.