Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A perfect storm of treacherous atmospheric effluviulescence

...Special festive holiday post...❄

    ONE OF THE MORE controversial buildings at Irvine Valley College is "BSTIC," the "Business Sciences Technology and Innovation Center," which was completed about two years ago. Think of "business," and then think of a tick. That's BSTIC.
Mr. tick
     Curiously, some of the programs BSTIC was built for went into serious decline just before or during BSTIC's opening. (I won't even get into the lab tracking issue and its impact!) Consequently, BSTIC is a bit like the "DoDo Bird Center." Meanwhile, Schools that are larger and more productive than the DoDo Schools remain housed in shitty digs—or nowhere in particular, scattered among the various buildings and centers and grassy knolls at IVC. 

    BSTIC is a weird looking or attractive building, depending on where you're standing. It's got a pointy "bow" end (see above). It's got lots of fake brick on another end (it seems to have several ends). Don't know what it looks like on top. Flat, probably.

    Some of the interior spaces are pretty cool, I guess. Fancy schmancy, high tech, whizz-bangery. People have mostly grown accustomed to the endless echoes in those vast, empty rooms and halls. (See above.)

     OK, we'll get back to that. Now, some physics:
     You wouldn't believe the physical processes that can mess up or enhance a building: you've got convection effects and moisture effects and wind effects, etc.

    Illustrated above is the "Venturi effect," which involves wind (or just air) suddenly being funneled through a narrow space, causing the air to speed up and the pressure to go down. When that happens on a side of a building, it can cause unwanted wind or suction, etc. 
     It's a big issue for tall apartment buildings that are close together by the beach. Sometimes, a guy will poke his head out of his window and the wind can be so fierce that the guy's head gets torn off his body and sent bouncing down the goddam street!
     The Venturi effect can be nasty.

     Ain't physics wonderful? You can get severe blowage and you can get severe suckage. You gotta know about these phenomena before you spend millions of dollars on a building to house your dying programs.

     Let's take suckage. If you get too much suckage, you'll find things stuck to the wall that aren't supposed to be there.

     OK, LET'S GET SEMI-SERIOUS. Now, suppose you've got a nice, big building—like BSTIC—with some kind of heating unit up in the attic or on the roof. The unit burns natural gas, but it also gives off substantial afterfume spewage (that's the technical term, in my mind), which normally escapes to the outside through roof vents and such. 
     That's OK, cuz almost never do students hang out on the roof sucking on these vents. They do other things up there.

     Now, what if you build your fancy new building (like BSTIC) and then something unexpected happens? For instance, on the top floor of BSTIC, you've got lots of Fine Arts types, plus a special room for forensic speechifiers. That, or maybe something else, can create extraordinary volumes of vituperative hot gas that naturally floats up through the vents into the HVAC. Now, that's not good. The system wasn't designed for massive volumes of gratuitous hot air, no sir.

     And suppose that, somehow, there arises some kind of vent restriction up where all that afterfume spewage is supposed to belch forth, harmlessly. Could happen. Or maybe it's something else, dunno. [OK, I'm speculating.] Well, now, you've got a perfect storm of treacherous atmospheric effluviulescence! That hot air, mixed with afterfume spewage, has gotta go somewhere! 
     And so it does.

     Could be you'll get all that miasmic funk going straight back into the building, causing unpleasant stinkage and worse. (See above.)
     It can get so dicey in the building that you've got to shut off the HVAC! If it's summer, that means it gets hot and stinky and toxic inside. If it's winter, it gets dank and frigid and noxious, like the southern realms of an Eskimo's shithouse.
     Well, it's winter. In fact, it's the "holiday season." And shit happens.
     What to do?
     Since it's IVC, there's only one thing to do: move the boiler, and when that doesn't fix the problem, simply advise all building denizens to bring sweaters.
     But that's when things get really ugly:

Forgive them for they know not what they do.

Yikes! Es past nit!

Santa at the veritable wooly Hellmouth

Crickey, threads from a marmite motorway!

OK, this is kinda pleasant. Hey Antler Girl!


Anonymous said...

I think if you sent this presentation to CAL OSHA, they'd say you've been smoking something.

Distance Learning said...

On a lighter note, they look like celebrating something though. They look happy and it's like they have learned something new.

Anonymous said...

I think OSHA might be a good audience.

Anonymous said...

I think OSHA would say that he's been sitting in the BSTIC building too long and the fumes got to him.

Anonymous said...

A building that blows and sucks? Perfect, move admin in there.

Anonymous said...

The administration didn't build the building -the architects did. They need to be held responsible for this and be made to address the problem.

Anonymous said...

wasn't there a toxic building at Saddleback?

(Do those people in those sweaters really work at IVC?)

Anonymous said...

It only affects one room in the BSTIC building.

Anonymous said...

Any people in that room?

Anonymous said...

I looked and there is no posted signage about this gas. Shouldn't there be a sign?

Anonymous said...

They don't have to post anything because they have turned the offending boiler OFF.

Put on your holiday sweater and shut up.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if turning the offending boiler OFF is a good long-term solution. It's pretty chilly these days - have you noticed?

Anonymous said...

I think they should still post it. It is a potential health hazard and they know about.

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