December 8, 2010
by Murrye Bernard Assoc. AIA LEED AP

Event: New Tools for Builders
Location: Center for Architecture, 11.29.10
Speakers: Onalee Finio — Director of Technical Services, The Hilti Group; Larry DeGennaro — Strategic Business Director, The Hilti Group; Rick Pulling — Director, Worldwide New Equipment, Otis Elevator Company; Saulius Toleikis — Director of Sales, Festool
Introduction: Anthony Schirripa, FAIA, IIDA — AIANY 2010 President
Organizer: Center for Architecture as part of the “Innovate:Integrate” exhibition
Sponsors: Lead Sponsors: ABC Imaging; Competition Architectural Metals; Coreslab Structures; Ductal by Lafarge; F. J. Sciame Construction Co.; Gensler; Georgia Institute of Technology, Digital Fabrication Laboratory; kammetal; Lutron; Mancini·Duffy; MechoShade Systems; Oldcastle Building Envelope; Peter Arbour / RFR Consulting Engineers; Permasteelisa North America; Plaza Construction; Structure Tone; Syska Hennessy Group; Turner; Zetlin & De Chiara; Sponsors: Aerotech Manufacturing; Francis Cauffman; Polytek; HeliOptix; STUDIOS Architecture; and Trespa North America
Supporters: AKF Group; db3; Forest City Ratner Companies; Hugo S. Subotovsky Architects; Levien & Company; National Institute of Building Sciences; Pennoni Engineering and Surveying of New York; Peter Pennoyer Architects; SMART; Steelcase; Stephan Jaklitsch Architects; Thornton Tomasetti; WB Wood; Friends: Benjamin Moore; Brenda Levin; Matthews Coatings; New York Building Congress; Presentation Products; Theo. David Architects TDA/KAL; Weidlinger Associates

Speed Sleeve by The Hilti Group.

The Hilti Group, Festool, and Otis are known for innovation in the areas of job-site safety and productivity, as well as for the energy efficiency of their tools. As part of the exhibition “Innovate:Integrate” (on view through 01.15.11), representatives from these manufacturers gathered at the Center for Architecture to exhibit and demonstrate their latest products.

Hilti is a manufacturer of low-velocity, powder-actuated tools. They produce a high-speed fastening system that allows workers to lay steel deck in one-third of the time compared to traditional methods, according to Onalee Finio, director of technical services. The company now also manufactures the Speed Sleeve, a cable management fire-stop device that “takes all of the guesswork out of the contractor’s hands,” explained Finio. It does this with “spin on” flanges that allow for quick installation and the flexibility for cables to be inserted at any height. In addition, Hilti has developed software programs that perform calculations and aid in specifications for decking, fire protection, and anchor systems.

Festool produces woodworking and cabinet-making tools, including cordless drills, jigsaws, and routers, as well as dust extractors, which improve air quality on the job site. With a focus on efficiency, Festool’s motto is “Faster. Easier. Smarter.” For example, they claim their dual-mode sander achieves results up to three times faster than traditional sanders.

Otis Elevator Company’s two new models have proven popular with architects because of their reduced footprints and energy efficiency. The Gen2 System operates with polyurethane coated-steel belts instead of the traditional metal cable. No gears or lubrication are required. According to Rick Pulling, director of worldwide new equipment, the model uses half the energy of a typical elevator. The ReGen system takes energy conservation a step further by working with gravity and capturing energy that otherwise would be lost in braking. This energy can then be fed back into the building’s grid.

Murrye Bernard, LEED AP, is a freelance architectural writer and a contributing editor to e-Oculus.