SC Engineers' Principals Frank Shadpour, PE, and Stefanie Johnson share recommendations and lessons learned in conjunction with the California Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) to set-up makeshift negative pressure patient rooms in two major hospitals located in San Diego, CA in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The article received the title of "Best Article of 2020" by the ASHRAE Journal.

Everyone knows that installing new HVAC systems and equipment within an existing hospital requires extensive research, design, regulatory permits and, most importantly, time. But when you must create a large number of negative pressure hospital patient rooms in response to a pandemic, you don’t have much time. Instead, you can create these rooms using appliances such as portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) exhaust fan units, with guidance from relevant codes and standards and by following hospital licensing requirements.


SC Engineers' design of the Miramar College Police Substation and Parking Garage was awarded an ASHRAE Technology Award in 2016. The ASHRAE Technology Awards program recognizes outstanding achievement in the design and operation of energy-efficient buildings. The project was featured in the October 2016 issue of the ASHRAE Journal.

Christopher Manis, LEED AP BD+C, Vice Chancellor, Facilities Management, San Diego County Community College District had the following to say regarding our performance:  "The Miramar College Police Substation and Parking Structure is a shining example of the San Diego Community College District's commitment to sustainable design and construction. As the first LEED Platinum Certified Community College District project in San Diego County, the facility serves as a benchmark for the educational community. Since its occupancy in 2011, the facility has performed exceptionally well, meeting and exceeding the energy goals set forth in the design process. SC Engineers' guidance throughout the design and construction process enabled our staff to make informed decisions on critical energy efficiency issues. The solutions provided by the SC Team for this project have resulted in improved efficiency, cost savings and reliability."



For the first time, SC Engineers' Principals Frank Shadpour and Joseph Kilcoyne categorize building automation dashboards in this Technical Feature published in the ASHRAE Journal May 2015 Addition. The article expresses the need for dashboard classification as well as lists the attributes and benefits of each of the dashboard levels, Level 0 through Level 3.

Can you imagine driving a car without a dashboard? The thought seems inconceivable today, yet in 1914, the Ford Model T series was introduced to the world without a dashboard. In the early days of the automobile industry, system reliability and functionality were the primary concern. Speed, fuel economy, and alarms were secondary priorities, if considered at all. As time progressed, so did the needs of the average driver. Cars manufactured today often come standard with dashboards that provide real-time monitoring of fuel economy, and serve as the main interface for auxiliary services such as GPS directions, phone calls, and car audio.

Building operations share similar principles with the operation of a motor vehicle: both run on “fuel,” both require continuous maintenance for proper operation and longevity, and both can be optimized to operate at greater efficiencies. However, while the automobile dashboard has become a universal industry standard, the majority of buildings still operate without the convenience and effectiveness of this valuable feature. It is time for the building industry to catch up. This article proposes a rational basis for evaluating the performance criteria of building automation dashboards.