Signal to Noise: What Engineers See and You Miss in Products Specs

03/08/2018 - 10:30 to 12:00
10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Spec sheets can be dense with data, graphs, acronyms, and units of measure, all put there to describe just how that material or equipment will perform. Engineers zero in on what is most important and use it to make smart choices. Their experience equips them to distinguish what is signal and what is noise. For those of us without that experience, a spec sheet can be baffling. We want to make smart choices too, but have trouble discerning what matters and what doesn’t. In this session two experienced engineers will walk us through their day-to-day experience finding and reading spec sheet data. We’ll learn what they look for and why. They’ll show us which measures matter and which may confuse. There’ll be stories about how specs equip us to evaluate a substitute for what was specified. We’ll look at mechanical equipment and building enclosures. Then we’ll go live and chase down a challenge from the audience.


1 (no prior experience/knowledge needed)

CEU Information: 

BOS18-107 - AIA 1.5 LU/HSW, MA CSL 1.5


BuildingEnergy Boston

Session Chair(s): 

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