H2M Blog

Chris Falzarano

Industry Insight: A Look at Legionella

By Chris Falzarano on 8/17/2015
With 12 reported deaths and over 100 illnesses, New York City’s recent Legionnaires’ disease outbreak has many building owners and operators wondering what they can do to prevent it. H2M’s own Paul Ponturo has offered up his expertise in handling legionella-related concerns to help answer some of the common questions you may have. How did Legionnaires’ disease gets its name? Legionnaires’ disease, also called legionellosis, was originally uncovered in an outbreak that occurred at a Bicentennial American Legion celebration in Philadelphia in 1976. Approximately 221 attendees fell ill and 34 died. Legionella bacteria was discovered in the lung tissue of a victim and in the cooling tower of the hotel hosting the convention. What is Legionnaires’ disease? It is a form of pneumonia caused by legionella bacteria. Legionella are widespread in natural water, and also found and distributed in man-made environments. About 48 legionella species have been identi ...

10 Keys to Landing a Job at H2M

By Chris Falzarano on 7/21/2015
As a human resources professional, one of my major responsibilities is recruiting. I’m part of a team that reviews applications and resumes before we decide to bring someone in for an interview, making us the company’s first line of defense. Once a resume gets through the review process, we bring that candidate in for an interview. I’ve looked at more resumes than I can count and have had the pleasure of interviewing many interesting people. Between resumes, applications and interviews, slip-ups are bound to happen. Below are some tips to help you correct some common (and not-so-common) job search and interviewing mistakes.  Proofread your resume and cover letter. The last things either of those should have are typos and incorrect grammar. Have someone else proofread them to be safe, but if you do and they use track changes to comment, make sure you delete the comments before submitting them. Look it up. Candidates make mistakes that could easily be avoided just ...

An Architect's Alphabet

By Chris Falzarano on 7/1/2015

In 2013, architect Erik Heuler had his first children’s book published. The book, titled “A is for Architecture,” is an alphabet book with illustrations to accompany each letter, and an index that identifies each building and its architect. It was featured by the American Institute of Architects at their 2014 Emerging Professionals Exhibition. What inspired you to write a children’s book? At the time, I felt that I needed a creative outlet. I was inspired by Edward Gorey, who I’ve always loved for his adult-appropriate children’s books. It just ended up manifesting itself from there. What do you hope this book will accomplish? I am hoping that parents—architects or otherwise—will read it with their children and then look further into the buildings and places they find interesting. They will hopefully find out more about the place, the designers, the technologies used, and the function of the building. Ultimately, it will create educationa ...

Putting Ourselves to Work With Habitat for Humanity of Nassau County

By Chris Falzarano on 6/11/2015

With the sun shining and nothing but blue skies in the forecast, our group of volunteers put themselves to work with Habitat for Humanity of Nassau County. The group worked on the the single-story home's roof framing and sheathing. Thanks to our everyone who took the time out of their weekend to volunteer for a great cause: Andrew Silverman, Andrew Manfredi, Mauricio Salas, Guy Page, John Koziatek, Brendan Grayson-Wallace, Saverio Belfiore, Jenny Mullholland, Dana Nally, Gary Loesch, Kelly Kuplicki, Gersain Calderon, Kevin Medler and Maggie Caberto.

Three R's of Sustainability

By Chris Falzarano on 6/3/2015
At some point during our education, everyone has likely heard the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. While the concept taught to us in school revolves around helping the community and the environment, they are also a main principle in sustainable design. Reduce In a previous blog, I talked about the upward tick in people passing up on their McMansions to live in smaller spaces. That trend ties into the first R: Reduce. A smaller building means a smaller impact on our environment, and leads to a smaller carbon footprint. It reduces how much heating, cooling and electricity is needed for the space, and reduces the amount of material used to construct the building.  Reuse The next ‘R’, Reuse, heavily involves reducing the amount of material we extract from the earth to build our buildings. By reusing existing structures, materials and products, we’re taking the next step to lowering our impact on our resources. Part of sustainability is looking at how our reso ...

Giving Back To Our Community with Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk

By Chris Falzarano on 5/18/2015

It was a rainy start to the day on Saturday, but that didn't deter our group of volunteers from helping Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk. The skies eventually cleared for our group, who worked on a new Mastic Beach home's sheathing and framing. Thanks to our volunteers for taking the time out of their weekend to help a family in need: Allison White, Bill Brenan, Chris Weiss, Joyce Cuggino , Charles Armstrong, James Williamson, Karlene Beale, Todd Zabbia, Carmine Urciuoli, Michael Yehdego, Arthur Eschete, Kevin Medler, Danny Tanzi, Josh Klimaszewski, and Amanda Seidel. Check out our photos from the day below!

Can Wastewater Reuse Solve Water Scarcity?

By Chris Falzarano on 4/30/2015
From what we use to build and power our homes to how we cultivate food, people globally are searching for a sustainable response to rapid social and economic growth. But what if I told you there’s a less discussed sustainable solution picking up steam? Be warned that this one might have a bit of a “yuck factor,” but, if overcome, could revolutionize our daily lives and resolve water scarcity.  I’m talking about wastewater reuse. Sounds gross, right? Except it isn’t, and we have the ability to treat wastewater effluent to the same high-quality standards we use for our everyday water. In fact, wastewater can be so clean that it can be used to brew beer. While it may not be at the forefront of discussion in the northeastern region of the country, when talking on a larger scale—like nationally or globally—it has the potential to solve the threat of water scarcity. Beyond the most basic form, which is its indirect potable application, wastewate ...

Investigating a Fire

By Chris Falzarano on 4/6/2015
When I first joined my local volunteer fire department in high school, little did I know that my entire life would go on to revolve around dealing with fire. I eventually became chief of the department and, through the years, saw too many needless fires burn. People lost their homes, businesses, family heirlooms, important documents, and in the most severe cases, they lost their lives. After spending a majority of my career putting out fires, I went on to join the New York City Police Department as a fire and arson detective. For eight years, I was able to use my experience as a firefighter to investigate the origin of hundreds of fires and explosions.  It may sound daunting, but when we fire investigators are staring at a pile of ashes and rubble, we are still able to determine the origin of the damage. Let’s take a look at the most common process for investigating fire and arson damage. The Call Fire investigations begin as soon as we receive the assignment. Relevant infor ...

A different kind of spring cleaning: Repainting elevated water storage tanks for longevity and performance

By Chris Falzarano on 3/25/2015
Now that spring has sprung, many of us will begin our spring cleaning activities, and one big project a homeowner might decide to tackle is repainting their home’s exterior. Many of our public water suppliers will be taking on their own repainting projects, except while we’re on ladders with a paintbrush and roller, their projects will take repainting to another level.  Water storage tanks come in an array of shapes and sizes, and the elevated water storage tanks we typically see throughout our communities are constructed of steel. They are 500,000 to 1 million gallons in size, maintain water pressure, and provide an immediate supply of water for fire protection and routine water use. Elevated water storage tank before rehabilitation[/caption] Does it surprise you that these water storage tanks are constructed of a corrosive material like steel?  Well, fear not about rust, because each tank is painted with durable interior and exterior coating systems to protect t ...
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