Energy saving tips you should know

Some people believe that going green is a complicated process. However, the truth is there are simple home improvement projects that almost anyone can do to make your home “greener” without spending much time or money. In fact, these projects will save you money while making your home more energy efficient and helping you conserve natural resources.

Posted in Newsletter |
How disruptive innovation could push fire alarm into the future

Around three decades ago, the fire alarm industry made its last great technological leap forward with the introduction of the signaling line circuit (SLC). The possibilities of addressable devices and an “intelligent” panel seemed to augur a technological revolution in fire protection.

Posted in Newsletter |
Why Gen Z prefers shopping in stores

Members of Generation Z were raised with digital technology but prefer to do their shopping in stores, according to NPD Group data. Consumers age 22 and under are less likely to have credit cards and they’re also more likely to see in-store shopping as entertainment. Read the CNBC story here

Posted in News |
How TGI Friday’s plans to refresh the brand as a public company

A deal to take TGI Friday’s public will bring changes for the casual dining chain, starting with a plan to reinvest in the bar and happy hour business. Global growth is also a top goal, as are expansion of branded offerings for retail and improvements to the chain’s loyalty program. Read the Nation’s Restaurant News story here

Posted in News |
Dunkin’, Baskin-Robbins to expand in Houston area

A new franchisee is bringing over two dozen outposts of Canton, Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ Brands restaurants to the greater Houston area. Read The Business Journals story here

Posted in News |
Malls are morphing into community spaces

US malls are in the midst of an evolution amid changing consumer shopping habits, as retailers move to smaller stores that act as showrooms and developers add experiences and services to drive traffic. At Burlington Mall outside of Boston, developers are turning a former Sears store into a streetscape with shops, restaurants and a park. Read the Fortune story here

Posted in News |
Focal Point Enhances Popular Architectural Troffer Offering

Focal Point® expands its architectural troffer offering to support diverse environments, including those with high ceilings or requiring high foot-candles on working surfaces. The latest additions include higher lumen output options and 90 CRI for Facetta and Zephyr®.

“We continue to evolve our products to meet the needs of various applications. Facetta and Zephyr offer a differentiated look that designers really appreciate, and we want to make them as versatile as possible,” remarked Mike Thornton, Chief Marketing Officer for Chicago-based Focal Point. “The expanded lumen output options of these unique architectural luminaires respond to the market’s demand for higher lumen outputs that still deliver visual comfort.”

The iconic Facetta, with its playful design, inspired by the facets of a prism, is unmatched in delivering a soft and balanced illumination. The addition of 4500L, 5000L, 5500L, 6000L, and 65000L for the 2’x2’architectural troffer increases the lumen output offering to meet the needs of varied interior spaces.

Zephyr, a non-directional luminaire with a unique design, creates the impression of a floating bottom lens that delivers a uniform, diffuse illumination. Adding 4500L, 5000L, 5500L, 6000L, 6500L, and 7000L to Zephyr 1×4, and 4500L, 5000L, 5500L, 6000L, and 6500L to Zephyr 2×2 allows the smaller luminaires to deliver illumination levels often only available with larger architectural troffers. Because of its soft, yet powerful illumination and ease of maintenance, Zephyr is especially popular in healthcare and educational settings.

Both Facetta and Zephyr meet the stringent energy efficiency standards of the DesignLights Consortium® (DLC) with select lumen output options.

Learn more by visiting 

About Focal Point, LLC

Focal Point is a Chicago-based family owned and operated architectural lighting manufacturer like no other. Believing great lighting isn’t just about meeting technical design requirements – it’s about people – our focus is on creating great luminaire designs that stand the test of time, with beautifully simple forms to complete an architectural statement and with optimal illumination to comfortably define the space and its purpose. Learn more about our people, approach, and why we value trusted partnerships by visiting our web site at


Posted in New Products |
Viking Electronics Boost Talk Battery to Analog Devices

“It’s getting more common that FXS ports and analog extensions don’t produce enough talk battery. The TBB-1B solves this problem and it is simple to use.” – Paul Speltz, Sr. Engineer, Viking Electronics

 Use the TBB-1B to boost talk battery from a VoIP phone system ATA with an FXS port, an analog PABX extension, a VoIP cable modem, a POTS line and more. The incoming under powered line is connected to the TBB-1B where talk battery voltage is boosted to 48V DC. The line with boosted talk battery now travels from the TBB-1B to the analog device.

Analog devices that can benefit from the use of the TBB-1B include elevator phones, emergency and area of refuge phones, alarm panels, door entry phones, and traditional analog telephones.

For more information on the TBB-1B, visit:

Viking Electronics engineers and manufactures over 500 security and communication products in the USA. Products include Emergency Phones, Entry Systems, Paging Interfaces, Mass Notification Systems, Hotline Phones, Autodialers, Enclosures and more. In addition to their extensive analog line, Viking offers a large selection of IP products that are SIP compliant. Based in Hudson, Wisconsin, Viking’s legacy of reliability and electronic innovation spans 50+ years. Viking builds products that are designed to last and they also offer many of their products with Enhanced Weather Protection. Offering free lifetime product support they also back their products with a two-year limited warranty. For more information, please visit:




Posted in New Products |
HoloBuilder Partnership with Boston Dynamics

HoloBuilder announced today their partnership with Boston Dynamics and released SpotWalk, a new product integration with Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot. The new partnership brings autonomous 360° reality capture to construction projects, addressing core productivity inefficiencies that continue hampering the construction industry.

Controlled by HoloBuilder’s SpotWalk app, the Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot can walk job sites autonomously, capturing 360° images that record the progress of a construction project over time. The process, allows for quality and accuracy control, giving contractors, trade partners, and owners a living digital record of the project. The integration creates repeatable, actionable data, addresses all phases of a construction project, and improves productivity.

HoloBuilder’s machine learning engine, SiteAI, analyzes images captured by SpotWalk to get unprecedented insight into the jobsite. The project site data combined with the quantifiable analysis enables contractors and owners to report on progress ongoingly.

“Time and accuracy are two things that are very important to a jobsite. Traditionally, you would have to sacrifice time out of a busy day to harvest jobsite pictures and organize them,” says Andrew Cameron, Project Manager at Hensel Phelps. “This partnership between HoloBuilder and Boston Dynamics removes a time-consuming step while providing accurate construction photos with a high degree of fidelity.”

Hensel Phelps conducted early pilot tests of the SpotWalk app at their $1.2 Billion San Francisco Harvey Milk Terminal 1 Airport project. The pilot showed that with minimal training on-site the project team can get SpotWalk functioning.

The SpotWalk app has two general modes. The first enables project teams to teach Spot the capture route simply by driving the robot via an intuitive smartphone interface. The second mode drives Spot autonomously on its trained path, taking pictures along the way at defined capture locations, delivering immediate value to the construction project and workforce.

“The SpotWalk app is a first of its kind integration for Boston Dynamics’ robots,” said Michael Perry, Vice President of Business Development of Boston Dynamics. “Our efforts have been to create a highly mobile robotics platform that can easily navigate unstructured or unknown environments. HoloBuilder’s SpotWalk app takes this a step further by creating an easy-to-use interface that fits seamlessly into construction workflows. We’re excited to see this integration start rolling out to early customers soon.”

Boston Dynamics and HoloBuilder announced that they will partner with innovative companies willing to provide feedback and continue advancing Spot and SpotWalk together. Beginning today, SpotWalk will be available through a six-month early adopter program in which customers will receive two Spot robots, the full HoloBuilder technology suite, and on-site training.

Since announcing the integration to HoloBuilder’s Innovators Club members (an exclusive club of feedback providing customers) interest in getting SpotWalk has been overwhelming.

“With SpotWalk, we can now enable our customers to capture data much more frequently and more precisely to get an even clearer picture of what the site’s progress is. We are very excited to release SpotWalk and to continue our very positive collaboration with Boston Dynamics to not only support the industry but to also drive digitization and automation forward,” said Christian Claus, CMO and Head of Partnerships at HoloBuilder.

About HoloBuilder
HoloBuilder, Inc. is a San Francisco-based construction technology company that designs, develops, and sells enterprise SaaS software. HoloBuilder offers reality capturing solutions for progress documentation and construction project management. Making use of 360° imagery data, computer vision, and artificial intelligence, HoloBuilder is the fastest and most insightful solution to document construction projects. HoloBuilder is being used by the majority of the top 100 general contractors in the United States. Its investors include Brick and Mortar Ventures, Tandem Capital, E.ON, Foundamental, and NRW.BANK.

For more information, please visit

About Boston Dynamics
Boston Dynamics is a world leader in mobile robots, tackling some of the toughest robotics challenges. We combine the principles of dynamic control and balance with sophisticated mechanical designs, cutting-edge electronics, and next-generation software for high-performance robots equipped with perception, navigation, and intelligence. Boston Dynamics has an extraordinary and fast-growing technical team of engineers and scientists who seamlessly combine advanced analytical thinking with bold engineering and boots-in-the-mud practicality.

For more information, please visit

About Hensel Phelps
Founded in 1937, Hensel Phelps is a nationwide leader in the development, construction and management of landmark buildings. Our disciplined approach to construction incorporates the latest technology to strengthen our processes and deliver dependable results for both public and private clients, in a variety of technical core markets. Hensel Phelps office locations include Phoenix, Arizona; San Jose, California; Irvine, California; Greeley, Colorado; Orlando, Florida; Honolulu, Hawaii; Austin, Texas; and Tysons Corner, Virginia.

For more information, please visit

Posted in Vendor News |
Newforma Appoints New VP of UK Sales & Ops

Newforma, a leader in Project Information Management (PIM) software for architects, engineers, contractors, and owners (AECO) worldwide, appoints Rob Stephen to Vice President, UK Sales and Operations.

Rob joined Newforma in March 2010 and has been an integral figure in managing the experience of United Kingdom customers and supporting the growth of operations across the region. Rob has more than thirty years of experience working in the AEC industry. In his new role, Rob will oversee business development and operational efforts for the United Kingdom. Currently, 9 of the top 10 AJ100 Firms in the United Kingdom, 186 of the ENR Top 500 Design Firms worldwide, and 71 of the Top 100 Architecture Firms worldwide use Newforma Project Center.

“Rob has proven to be a leader with a steady hand with well-thought-out plans of execution,” said Brock Philp, CEO, Newforma. “His commitment to customer success will enable further growth in the region.”

Before working at Newforma, Rob held positions as a 3D Modeler and CAD Manager for architectural practices in London. This experience set the stage for subsequent roles at Newforma to advise leading architectural, engineering, and construction companies on how to work more efficiently through the strategic application of project information management (PIM) systems and processes.

About Newforma
Newforma’s Project Information Management (PIM) software enables architects, engineers, contractors, and owners to reduce time spent on administrative tasks, streamline project workflows, and power real-time collaboration for project teams. Newforma software has more than 122,000 users in more than 1,200 firms worldwide. For more information,

Posted in Vendor News |