An electrical contractor won a $40 million contract to wire the first Opryland outside of Nashville.

Tri-City Electrical Contractors Inc., an Encompass Company, is handling the electrical work for the 2,056,000-square foot Opryland Hotel and Convention Center. The contractor began work in August 1999 when it installed temporary power for the offices of project owner Opryland Hospitality Group and general contractor Perini/Suitt JV. Electrical work for the convention center is scheduled for completion in April 2001, with completion and opening of the Opryland Hotel scheduled for February 2002.

Hard construction costs for the high-rise mega-resort total about $300 million. Tri-City's scope of work encompasses all areas of the resort hotel consisting of 1,406 guest rooms and suites, the 735,000-square-foot convention center, 400,000-square-feet of meeting and pre-function space, a 178,000-square-foot exhibition hall, two ballrooms and a fully-equipped stage. The contractor will also be working on a 20,000-square-foot state-of-the-art spa and fitness center, a central energy plant, two swimming pools, parking lot and site lighting. Themed areas will include three specialty restaurants, a lobby and piano lounge, more than 135,000-square-feet of glazed atriums and 15,000-square-feet of retail space. The facility is powered by a 2,000A/12.47 kV power distribution system with three 1,500 kW/5 kV diesel engine generators for standby emergency distribution.

Tri-City has served as the electrical contractor on numerous central Florida landmark hotels including the Omni Rosen Hotel, Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Studios Florida and the Walt Disney World Yacht Club.

SMALLER METROS LEAD HOUSING MARKET Construction of new housing appears to have cooled in major metropolitan areas while making substantial gains in smaller metropolitan areas in the third quarter, according to a report on housing markets, published by U.S. Housing Markets.

With about 921,500 permits pulled so far this year, the single-family housing market is running 4% behind last year's record pace, according to the report. And the slowdown is accelerating - third quarter permits were 7% behind the prior-year period.

Despite the change of direction, single-family housing construction in the United States is still on pace for the third best year in the last 20 years.

The slowdown is relatively uniform across the country, with eight of the 15 largest housing states down 5-10% compared with last year.

Texas, up 5% with slightly more than 83,000 single-family permits, and Florida, up 1% with more than 81,500 single-family permits, are the only two major states with single-family permit increases so far this year.

Tennessee, down 16%, is the only major state with a decline of more than 10%.

Single-family construction remains flat in California compared with last year, while Colorado, Illinois and Michigan are running slightly behind last year.

Atlanta remains the largest metro market in the country for single-family construction. With about 36,400 single-family permits pulled this year, the city maintains a 33% lead over Phoenix, the second largest housing market, and a 63% lead over third-place Washington D.C. Fifth-ranked Dallas and sixth-ranked Houston have built 7% and 5% more housing than last year, respectively.

The largest slowdown in single-family construction occurred in the Midwest, which slowed 11% in the third quarter compared with the prior-year third quarter. The Northeast and South declined 9% and 7%, respectively. Substantial declines occurred in Cleveland, down 21%, Milwaukee, down 20% and New York, down 19%.

Single-family permits declined only 2% in the West, where increases in Sacramento, up 15%, and many smaller California and Colorado markets offset declines in other Western markets and in San Diego, down 4%, Salt Lake City, down 14% and Phoenix, down 13%.

PALO ALTO, Calif. - The Caterpillar Uninterruptible Power Supply 250 (Cat UPS), an integrated flywheel-based power supply system, has been named a winner in the 2000 R&D 100 Awards program sponsored by R&D magazine. EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) collaborated with developers Active Power Inc. Austin, Texas and Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Ill., to help produce, evaluate and commercialize this system.

The Cat UPS, a 250kW 480V system, protects sensitive electrical loads from power disturbances. The flywheel energy storage technology uses no batteries, which frees the user from frequent system maintenance and battery replacement.

"The Cat UPS is a breakthrough solution for voltage sag and momentary power interruptions," said Ben Banerjee, EPRI's manager of customer power condition solutions. "It's one of the most cost-effective ways to protect critical loads against temporary power outages."

When a voltage disturbance occurs, the flywheel within the system generates power and the static switch opens to insure back-feed protection. Clean power is supplied to the protected load along with an uninterrupted transition to a standby generator set. At full 250kW load conditions, the flywheel can support the entire load for 12.5 seconds. Instantly, stored energy is available to help utilities and their customers during power outages and surges.

See more about the Caterpillar Flywheel UPS line in the product section on page 20. The line has been expanded to include models up to 900kVA.

E-J Electric Installation Co., the country's oldest independent electrical contractor, opened its doors in 1899. While many of its counterparts have either been bought out by consolidators or gone out of business, Long Island City, N.Y.-based E-J has continued to take on complex projects and remain one of the country's largest contractors. Chairman and CEO Bob Mann attributes his company's longevity to hard work and stick-to-it-iveness.

"When I came to the business in the 1950s, we were a middle-sized business fighting to get jobs from the biggies and now we're one of the biggies," Mann said. "Things evolve. Most of our competition today wasn't in business then."

Bob Mann said his company has a tradition of giving good quality to its clients.

"We developed and kept clients over the years," Mann said. "Our philosophy has always been to do a $1,000 or a $10,000 job for a client today and tomorrow you'll have a million dollar job or a $10-million job. You try to stick with the people that you have confidence in, give them good service and quality and hope that that's what you will be paid for in the future."

Tony Mann, the third generation to run the company, took over as president in June 2000, after his father, Robert Mann, stepped down to serve as chairman and CEO. Bob Mann said his company has worked on a variety of electrical construction projects including beefing up the security, installing fire alarm systems and setting emergency generators on the roof at the World Trade Center.

For more information on E-J's work on the World Trade Center, flip to page 14.

TAMPA, Fla. - BICSI, an international telecommunications association, has completed a 25,000-square-foot addition to its existing world headquarters in Tampa, Fla.

The new addition provides additional administrative space and expands existing training facilities to accommodate more than 2,500 students annually.

For design and management of the combined technology infrastructure of the existing and new construction, BICSI used a new organizational model called Division 17 - Telecommunications. Division 17 organizes the requirements of a technology infrastructure installation in a model compatible with the Construction Specifications Institute's (CSI) MasterFormat, the most widely used format in the non-residential construction industry.

Architects, engineers and consultants regularly use the MasterFormat, but the most recent edition mentions telecommunications in only two of its more than 3,000 pages. In October 1999, BICSI submitted a proposal to the CSI Technical Committee concerning Division 17 implementation in the 2002 edition of the MasterFormat.

At the beginning of its own building project, BICSI turned to corporate member Archi-Technology, LLC, who developed the Division 17 model, for assistance. Archi-Technology donated its consulting, design and site documentation services for the BICSI project. Detailed telecommunications (T) series drawings and three-part formatted specifications common to the MasterFormat were created to provide better communication between contractors and suppliers.

The donated drawings now serve as a baseline to manage the installed infrastructure over the total life cycle of the building. The management process is simple and easily accessible since drawings and other important documentation can be viewed on a Web browser. As part of its educational mission, BICSI has made these drawings available to its members and others in the telecommunications and construction industry. To view the Division 17 schematics for the BICSI headquarters, visit the BICSI Web site or go directly to www.division17.net/demo/main.htm.

Other BICSI corporate members also donated products and services for BICSI's addition. ADC Telecommunications Inc. contributed patch panels, patch cords, fiber distribution cabinets, fiber-optic cable raceway system, wall faceplates and workstation outlets. Helix/Hi Temp Cables Inc. provided all of the fiber-optic and copper cabling for the horizontal and backbone portion of the project. Erico Inc. donated the overhead horizontal copper cabling support system. Nexus Cabling Inc. donated the necessary labor to install the cabling infrastructure.

In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Cooper Lighting, Elk Grove Village, Ill., is recalling about 34,000 Halo recessed lights.

The glass ring exterior portion or trim of these lights can fall from the fixture, posing a risk of lacerations and impact injuries. Cooper Lighting has received four reports of glass rings falling from these light fixtures. In two incidents, consumers were hit on the head causing lacerations and bumps.

These recessed lights were sold from catalogs under Halo Brand Metropolitan Ice Series #945 and #1945. They have blue, rose and frosted clear glass rings that are about 5 inches in diameter. The glass ring assembly snaps into an installed ceiling fixture recessed light housing. Only model numbers 945, 945H, 945BLUE, 945BLH, 945ROSE, 945ROH, 1945, 1945H, 1945BLUE, 1945BLH, 1945ROSE and 1945ROH are involved in this recall. The model number appears on a white stick-on label on the black trim ring.

Home Depot catalogs, electricians and electrical supply companies sold these lights nationwide from September 1996 through October 2000 for about $40. Consumers with the recalled lights will receive free replacement trims. The firm will send consumers free shipping labels to return the trims. For more information, call Cooper Lighting at (800) 954-7145.