March 30th, 2017

Maintaining school facilities is a challenge in nearly every school district. Most districts don’t have the funds to adequately resource regular capital improvements, and maintenance is sometimes deferred and systems and equipment are repaired long after they should have been replaced.


It’s no different for Jefferson County Public Schools, which has 155 school buildings, shifting population and a $1.3 billion list of maintenance and new construction projects.
Addressing the maintenance and construction issues is a complex challenge, but the payoffs are considerable, including improved energy efficiency and better utilization of resources, among other things.
But the most important payback of all might be improved student performance. How?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, schools without a major maintenance backlog have a higher average daily attendance of 4 to 5 students per 1,000 and a lower annual dropout rate by 10 to 13 students per 1,000 compared to schools with backlogs.
Check out these other benefits and impacts the EPA cites:

  • Studies that measure school conditions consistently show improved scores on standardized tests as school conditions improve.
  • Controlled studies show that children perform school work with greater speed as air ventilation rates increase, and performance of teachers and staff also improves.
  • Higher ventilation rates have been shown to reduce the transmission of infectious agents in the building, which leads to a drop in sickness and absenteeism.
  • Moderate changes in room temperature affect children’s abilities to perform mental tasks requiring concentration, such as addition, multiplication and sentence comprehension. Poor temperature and humidity regulation can lead to problems with focus.

Well-maintained systems are key to building maintenance, and important for the development, health and safety of students and staff.
We’re always happy to discuss how our solutions can help. Connect with us at the Kentucky School Plant Management Association conference and workshops Oct. 18-19 at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 1801 Newtown Pike in Lexington or call us at (502) 632-4322 to discuss your needs.

November 10th, 2016

 

Unemployment is continuing to fall, and the market is becoming increasingly competitive for employers. Hiring managers seeking candidates with leadership skills, security experience and mechanical or technical training should cast an eye toward veterans.

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Veterans bring solid skills to the table. In addition to leadership and technical training, veterans have strong experience working on diverse teams; developing, understanding and working with health, safety and property procedures; and the ability to problem-solve under pressure.

A wealth of resources are available for managers seeking qualified, talented veterans. The US Department of Labor’s website includes a number of resources, including an employer toolkit.
The toolkit walks hiring managers through:
Designing a strategy for a veterans hiring program. Where does your organization’s mission and goals intersect with veterans’ skills and abilities?
Creating a welcoming workplace for veterans. While welcoming veterans doesn’t take much additional effort, some insights about military culture and experiences will help maximize success.
Connecting with veterans, wounded warriors and military spouses. From websites to service centers to personal contacts, a virtual army is ready to connect veterans to hiring managers.
Hiring and accommodating veterans. Just as with welcoming veterans, onboarding veterans won’t typically be much different than onboarding any other new hire. But some insights and accommodations will help maximize success.
Retaining veterans. Recognizing and valuing military service, offering strong employee assistance programs and promoting mentoring relationships will go a long way towards retaining veterans.
Additional resources. The Department of Labor has assembled a go-to directory of resources for hiring managers seeking veterans.

August 25th, 2016

ECT Services snagged the Innovation & Creativity Award at the 16th annual Inc.credible Awards sponsored by Greater Louisville Inc., the metro chamber of commerce.

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“The Inc.credible Awards are a chance for Greater Louisville to really celebrate all the small businesses that make our region unique and vibrant,” said Kent Oyler, president and CEO of GLI, according to the Courier-Journal. “We are always excited to see the innovative business solutions that are being pioneered by the smaller players in our community.”

The award recognizes a small business that executes business initiatives which demonstrate innovative solutions for new and existing business needs.

“I’m so proud to be part of this team who takes every project we work on to the next level. They consistently listen to the real pain points of our customers, so we can be sure our services hit the mark and eliminate those pain points. Of course, we have fun while we’re doing it and are very honored to be recognized by GLI,” says Jeff Murphy, CEO.

Among our most innovative recent offerings is the Guardian gunshot detection system developed by Shooter Detection Systems, which works by using acoustic and infrared sensors to instantly identify gunshots. The precise location of the gunshots is noted, and authorities are alerted immediately. Warnings are also instantly sent out to people in the facility and vicinity advising them to evacuate or take cover. Guardian can also be integrated with other building systems like door locks and video surveillance. This video demonstrates the basics of the system.

ECT Services is also proud to provide integrated temperature control systems for the newly-renovated Speed Art Museum. The interior of the entire museum must be maintained at a constant temperature of 72 degrees to protect the collection, which includes paintings, sculpture, furniture, textiles and other objects, some of which are thousands of years old. Glass walls, integrated old and new construction and other factors are also challenges.

According to a report by the Courier-Journal, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and regional business leaders were among the more than 300 people who attended the event, which was held at the Galt House on Aug. 19.

Thanks to all who voted!

ECT Services has been providing innovative solutions to make Louisville-area buildings sustainable, maintainable, energy efficient and safe since 1981.

July 21st, 2016

We’re pleased to announce that ECT Services is a finalist for GLI’s 2016 Innovation & Creativity Award presented by Middleton Reutlinger. Vote for us now through August 18, 2016.

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This award recognizes a small business that executes business initiatives which demonstrate innovative solutions for new and existing business needs.

Among our most innovative recent offerings is the Guardian gunshot detection system developed by Shooter Detection Systems.

The Guardian system works by using acoustic and infrared sensors to instantly identify gunshots. The precise location of the gunshots is noted, and warnings are instantly sent out to people in the facility and vicinity advising them to evacuate or take cover. Authorities are also alerted immediately. Guardian can also be integrated with other building systems like door locks and video surveillance. This video demonstrates the basics of the system.

The technology driving the Guardian system was born on the battlefield, where acoustic gunshot detection was used to pinpoint enemy positions. Shooter Detection Services then developed the system primarily for use in schools, where the threat of active shooter attacks has been on the rise. But recent attacks in Paris; San Bernadino, Calif.; and Orlando, Fla. highlight the vulnerability of all public venues, from nightclubs and sports venues to office buildings and shopping malls.

ECT Services is also proud to provide integrated temperature control systems for the newly-renovated Speed Art Museum. The interior of the entire museum must be maintained at a constant temperature of 72 degrees to protect the collection, which includes paintings, sculpture, furniture, textiles and other objects, some of which are thousands of years old. Glass walls, integrated old and new construction and other factors could make temperature control a challenge in such a facility.

ECT Services has been providing innovative solutions to make Louisville-area buildings sustainable, maintainable, energy efficient and safe since 1981.

July 15th, 2016

Join our team as we grow! To apply or for more information, please contact Dave Stumler, dstumler @ ectservices . com or 502-636-2402 ext 120.

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Role and Responsibilities

The candidate is expected to be proficient in providing project leadership, subcontractor & installation coordination, technical & commissioning guidance while ensuring excellent project communication and closeout for all assigned control and security system projects.  Essentially, the Project Manager is to manage all aspects of any and all Control and Security system projects assigned to them.  The Project Manager is expected to meet performance standards as set by the Vice President of Operations and to be a professional self-starter able to develop a dependable track record in project management.  Communication being key, the Project Manager is responsible for maintaining regular contact with various Team Members.  The position is also responsible for all financial aspects of all phases and activities for his/her projects.

Summary of Responsibilities

  1. Responsible for financial success of all assigned projects.
  2. Establish and maintain project schedules
  3. Attend all required project meetings
  4. Understand, review and monitor project estimates, scope of work, budgets, and plans & specs
  5. Read and understand contracts issued to us by our customers, sign and execute to the terms and conditions
  6. Acquire pricing from subcontractors as required. Additionally, develop and implement all subcontractor contracts & requirements.
  7. Communication with all project related teams (i.e Internal team, customers, end user, subcontractors, etc.) on all aspects of project related issues
  8. Accountable for monitoring and managing all aspects of project execution for quality, correctness and efficiency
  9. Provide all drawings, scope of work and related documentation to appropriate team members
  10. Review and release all material orders for projects
  11. Monitor and manage all project associated Change Orders
  12. Schedule your team of direct and shared resources
  13. Track, document, and communicate all aspects and issues of project progress to appropriate team members
  14. Maintain updated wiring diagrams and cable paths for assigned projects
  15. Develop relationships with Team Members and customers and subcontractors.
  16. Troubleshoot programs and graphics associated with control system(s)
  17. Provide start-up, commissioning and training support
  18. Coordinate all close out documentation and requirements such as as-builts, warranty letters, etc.
  19. Provide technical assistance to customers and team members
  20. Review and approve timesheets, accounts payable items and other project related documentation that may be required.
  21. Perform team member evaluations for your direct reports

Physical Requirements

  1. Ability to climb and work from ladders and scaffolding at elevations in excess of 6 feet
  2. Ability to lift objects and equipment up to 50 lbs.
  3. Ability to see and hear well (naturally or with correction) and speak clearly
  4. Coordinate the movement of eyes, hands and fingers
  5. Stand, bend, and sit
  6. Must be capable of working extended hours when job/business needs demand
  7. Some travel may be required

Qualifications and Education Requirements

  1. This position requires a minimum of 5 year project management experience and the ability to demonstrate practical understanding of electrical, electronic, control and mechanical drawings and schematics, to include reading, analyzing and interpretation of such drawings.
  2. Strong history and experience with HVAC controls, Building Automation Controls & Integration projects is a requirement (Security and Fire systems is a plus).
  3. Any experience specifically with Alerton, Johnson Controls, Distech, Siemens Control Systems is a HUGE PLUS!
  4. A proven ability to operate electrical, electronic and mechanical test and installation equipment including power tools.
  5. The candidate must be able to understand, troubleshoot and repair electrical, electronic, and electro-mechanical control systems.
  6. Candidate should possess the mental and mechanical aptitude and ability to design and visualize complex objects in 3 dimensional form, while interrupting the same on design documents.
  7. Must be very detailed oriented in his/her work ethics.
  8. Possess excellent written and verbal communication, listening and interpersonal skills along with the ability to accurately and calmly handle multiple priorities with interruptions and still meet deadlines.
  9. Candidate should be proficient in Microsoft Office, MS Project and Accounting Software.
  10. Candidate should also have the ability to work both independently with minimal supervision or in a team atmosphere, take pride in their work and accepts responsibility.
  11. This individual should project a friendly, professional attitude towards both internal and external customers and co-workers while building constructive and effective relationships.
  12. A history of excellent employment attendance, valid drivers license and clean driving record required.


Additional Notes

Overtime and occasional out of town travel (and stays) may be required.  Training classes may be up to one week at a time.  Other opportunities to travel exist for seminars.  There may be a few evening functions to attend to enhance your professional career (requiring 2-year contract agreement).   A history of excellent employment attendance, valid driver’s license and clean driving record required.   We empower Team Members to make decisions that correspond with our vision, mission and core values.  Random drug testing is a policy for All ECT team members ECT Services is a small business, so our motto is “whatever it takes”.

 

May 4th, 2016

The fastest two minutes in sports is preceded by weeks of concerts, festivals, fireworks and more. Derby season is also prime time for company parties.

 

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As with any activity, Derby parties carry risks for hosts. Here’s how you can reduce exposure maximize the fun:

Encourage responsible drinking. You could be on the hook for medical bills and property damage if a guest knocks back one too many mint juleps at your party and then gets behind the wheel. Have a plan in place ahead of time to ferry tipsy guests safely home. Holding your event at a restaurant or bar may also limit your liability.

Adjust security accordingly. Opening your facility after hours for a special event, hosting a larger than normal amount of guests, or opening access to little-used areas might make it necessary to revisit your security plan. You might need to add extra cameras or security staff. You should also review any automated access controls to make sure alarms and door locks are set properly to reduce disruption while still offering adequate protection.

If you are hosting an event off-site, work with the venue to identify and mitigate risks for your guests. Make sure the venue and parking areas are well-maintained, and be sure that guests are escorted to their vehicles if necessary.

Review emergency plans. In the event of a medical emergency, inclement weather, fire or other threat, have a plan in place to keep guests safe. Walk through your currently emergency management plans with an eye towards any special circumstances created by the party. Will your event take place after normal operating hours? Will it be held in a part of your facility that is rarely used? Will an atypical number of people be in your facility? Consider these factors, and revise your plan accordingly. You should also take this opportunity to inspect your fire protection and other systems to make sure they are ready to perform.

If your event will take place at another venue, ask to review their emergency plans. Don’t hesitate to ask for additional provisions to ensure the safety and security of your guests.

March 16th, 2016

After a three-year, $60 million renovation and expansion project, the Speed Art Museum reopened last week.

Check out time-lapse video of the project posted by the Courier-Journal:

The 30-hour opening celebration included music, dance and more, with partner organizations from across the community joining in.

The museum’s new glass façade buildings, which wrap around the original structure, are designed to maximize natural light and showcase the museum’s collection. Too much, light, however, could be damaging to the collection, so the glass walls are embedded with metallic rectangles that filter the light and deflect the harsher rays of the sun. The metallic rectangles are more dense at the top of the building, and graduate as they cascade down the wall.

Most of the interior lighting has also been switched to more energy-efficient, less harsh LED lighting, too.

The interior of the entire museum must be maintained at a constant temperature of 72 degrees to protect the collection, which includes paintings, sculpture, furniture, textiles and other objects, some of which are thousands of years old.

Glass walls, integrated old and new construction and other factors could make temperature control a challenge in such a facility. The Speed is overcoming that challenge with an integrated control system designed by ECTServices.

The Speed is also pursuing LEED building certification.

For more information about the Speed, visit their website.

March 9th, 2016

Just a few short years ago, a tornado outbreak cut a wide swath through the Ohio Valley. The outbreak – the second deadliest March outbreak on record – left a path of destruction across Kentucky, Indiana and much of the southeastern United States.

The tornado leveled homes, businesses, churches and schools. The outbreak began early and picked up steam throughout the day, slamming into Henryville, Ind. just as schools were dismissing for the day.

Is your facility prepared for a tornado? Tornado season is at its peak from March to May, so now is the time to review plans. Check out these preparation steps, courtesy of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration:

Identify a safe shelter. Basements are best, but if no underground shelter area is available, identify an interior room on the lowest level of your facility. Avoid large, open spaces such as auditoriums or cafeterias.

Equip the shelter area. Secure a first aid kit in the designated shelter area. Consider adding a weather radio to the kit, too.

Establish an alarm system. Test the system regularly, and be sure staff members recognize the alarm.

Prepare to get an accurate headcount. How will you account for all the people in your facility? Keep updated lists and logs of staff, visitors and anyone else that might be in your facility on any given day. Designate a staff person to take charge of those lists in an emergency. Know who is in your shelter area, and who is not accounted for in an emergency.

Practice, practice, practice. Hold training drills throughout the year, and identify areas for improvement.

For more information, check out this preparedness guide developed by NOAA, FEMA and the American Red Cross.

January 26th, 2016

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The first real snow of the season hit Louisville last week. Businesses and schools can’t afford to ignore snow until it melts. Untreated or poorly treated parking lots, drives and walkways are a hazard to customers and staff, and a slip and fall accident can result in a significant lawsuit. Here are some tips for handling heavy snow:

Prepare equipment and supplies. Inspect, service and fuel up trucks and tractors in advance. Check over plow blades and chemical spreaders and make sure they are up to the task. Stock up on the proper chemicals and snow shovels, preferably before storms are in the forecast. And don’t forget the safety gear: eye protection, non-slip footwear, gloves suitable for handling chemicals.

Identify and prepare priority areas. Before the snow hits, mark vulnerable landscaping areas with stakes or flags. The stakes or flags should be high enough to be visible above the snow, so you’ll know to avoid those areas when shoveling or plowing.

Treat surfaces before the first flakes hit. As snow falls, it bonds to surfaces, creating a heavy, slippery sheet that’s hazardous and hard to remove. Your goal here is to prevent that bonding. Wondering which chemicals to use? Salt is effective for melting ice in temps as low as 15 degrees, while calcium chloride and magnesium chloride are effective at lower temperatures.

Remove snow early and often. Don’t wait until the storm is over before you tackle shoveling. Plan to shovel surfaces as soon as they are covered, and plan to shovel again if they are covered again. Keeping surfaces clear reduces the chance of snow bonding to the surface, and moving an inch or two of snow is a lot easier than moving several inches.

Watch where you are putting that stuff. Don’t pile up snow where it can cause damage when it melts, or create another hazard. Be aware that salt and chemicals might be mixed in with the snow, and could damage landscaping beds and grass.

August 25th, 2015

School is back in full swing! Many of you may have teen drivers who drive themselves to school this year, and it is essential that they understand how to stay safe on the road. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S., and teens are involved in fatal accidents at three times the rate of adult drivers. Make sure your teens know basic road, car, and passenger safety while they’re commuting to school this year.

Photo credit: Keith Bell

Photo credit: Keith Bell

 

Set the rules of the road with your child before they even get behind the wheel. Aside from the existing laws governing teen driving habits, establish personal safety standards that your child must adhere to in order to maintain driving privileges. For example, set a curfew after school or work by which time your child must be home or at least call to check in to let you know where they are, what they’re doing, and who they’re with. Many states have laws that prevent teens from driving with underage passengers in their car without a licensed adult; make sure your child follows this to reduce the chance of distracted driving (and the temptation to show off). It seems strict, but you may even consider setting a weekly mileage limit for your teen to discourage cruising and other distracting behaviors behind the wheel.

 

Make sure your teen has the basics of car safety down: they should always wear their seat belts (and require any passengers to do so, as well), make sure their mirrors are properly positioned, and put away cell phones before they even start the car. Cell phones pose a particular danger on the road, as texting and driving can have catastrophic consequences. Consider installing an app on your teen’s phone that prevents texting while driving. AT&T’s DriveMode, Textecution, and DriveScribe all either detect your car’s speed and disable texting, or read text message out loud as they come in to discourage distraction.

 

Finally, work with your teen on a regular basis to review and reinforce the state and federal laws regarding teen driving. Make sure they know the consequences of breaking these laws, and have a plan in place to deal with speeding tickets and other citations they may receive. Establish parameters under which they may lose their driving privileges if they break these laws, and enforce them consistently.

 

Watching your teen child drive away is never easy on the heart or nerves, but following these basic driving safety tips can help put your mind at ease and keep your teen safe on the road. Even if they think it’s strict now, someday they will be thankful that you insisted they stay safe and helped them develop into conscientious and mindful drivers.