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How nVent ERICO Parts Protect Architect Frank Gehry’s Unique 320,000 Brick Building From Lightning Strikes

Posted by Philip Jones on Aug 21, 2018 8:51:00 AM

Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated to be more comprehensive.

Famed architect Frank Gehry is known worldwide for his unique, contemporary style across a variety of building types. He is best known for designing the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; and the Experience Music Project in Seattle, among other famous works.

In 2009, Gehry embarked on his next project: the Dr. Chau Chak Wing Building at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in Australia. The building was part of a $1 billion campus renovation project and Gehry’s first time designing a building in Australia.

The building was completed in November 2012 and came in on budget at $180 million. The structure stands tall at 12 stories high, yet has only one straight column supporting the entire building. Furthermore, the longest unbroken column is only 13.98 meters (45.87 feet).

Built with approximately 320,000 bricks, builders claimed the structure to be a challenge to construct. But another challenge arose even after construction was complete: installing a functional lightning protection system to adequately safeguard such a uniquely designed building. 

Read below to learn how nVent ERICO parts were used in the installation.

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Topics: Lightning Protection

The Grounding Mistakes You Need to Avoid to Meet Code [Plus More From the Industry]

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Jul 31, 2018 8:03:00 AM

The concept of grounding is well known, but details in the code are allowing installers to make preventable mistakes. After a review of those grounding mistakes, we’ll overview what the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) emphasized to the public this summer. 

Then, from an inspector’s point-of-view, what was New Orleans like after Hurricane Katrina?

Keep reading below for this month’s roundup of top industry news.

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Topics: Grounding & Bonding, Industry Trends

The Need for Coordinated Surge Protection to Protect Against Electrical Transient Events

Posted by Chris Barcey on Jul 17, 2018 8:07:00 AM


Grounding, bonding and lightning protection systems protect against electrical events that have potential for significant damage or downtime. These events are hopefully few and far between in the lifetime of a facility. However, lower energy transient events can occur more frequently that may go unnoticed, until one day a piece of electronic equipment stops working.

Significant damage can occur to the more robust systems as a result of lightning-induced surges resulting within a radius of several kilometers, or from repetitive switching-induced surges. Costs can range from degradation of electrical or electronic systems, to data loss and equipment destruction. Some of these costs can appear relatively minor, but the loss of an essential service or revenue associated with a facility or plant shut down can be enormous.

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Topics: Surge Protection

How Grounding and Bonding Upgrades Prevented Disasters for a Florida Radio Group [Plus More Industry News]

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Jul 3, 2018 8:02:00 AM

In this iteration of curated industry news, we highlight the work of a contractor in Florida who cost effectively solved a Florida Radio Group’s failing grounding and bonding system.

Then, we overview how to classify a room according to the National Electrical Code’s (NEC) hazardous locations article, and lastly present how three emerging technologies present safety issues for customers.

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Topics: Industry Trends, Facility Electrical Protection

What’s What: Grounding, Bonding and Earthing

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Jun 19, 2018 1:33:46 PM

Grounding and bonding are an integral part of any modern electrical protection system design. An effective, low-imped­ance ground system is the foundation of an electrical system, regardless of structure type. It is crucial to help provide personnel safety, as well as reliable protection for vital equipment, as well as to minimize inter­ruptions of service and costly downtime. Knowing the difference between grounding, bonding and earthing is imperative to properly design and install an electrical grounding system.

But first, let’s define the terms.

  • Ground: A conducting connection, whether intentional or accidental, between an electrical circuit or equipment and the earth, or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth.
  • Earth: The conductive mass of the earth, whose electric potential at any point is conventionally taken as equal to zero. In some countries the term "ground" is used instead of "earth."
  • Bond: The permanent joining of metallic parts to form an electrically conductive path that will ensure electrical continuity and the capacity to conduct any current likely to be imposed.
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Topics: Grounding & Bonding

Finally, an Explanation of Earthing vs. Grounding [Plus More Industry News]

Posted by The nVent ERICO Team on Jun 5, 2018 8:02:00 AM

The nVent ERICO team is committed to keeping up with the latest developments involving facility electrical protection. To provide you with the most relevant and interesting industry news and information, we’ll curate our favorites and recap them in posts like these.

This week, we recap three articles for subscribers and those in the industry.

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Topics: Grounding & Bonding, Industry Trends

The Science of a Lightning Strike and How to Safeguard Your Facility with a Lightning Protection System

Posted by Martin Havelka on May 22, 2018 8:02:00 AM

Lightning is a random, yet devastating phenomena. Across the U.S., a lightning strikes on average 25 million times per year and occurs at a rate of 100 flashes per second worldwide. And according to the National Weather Service, the average strike has an average magnitude of nearly 30,000 Amps.

While lightning strikes are unpredictable and no location or facility is immune from the threat of a lightning strike, there are ways to reduce the risk or damage. Reducing the risk of damage from a lightning strike, direct or nearby, with the installation of a lightning protection system is not always a part of new construction projects. However, shouldn’t it be?

With modern urban and provincial development, commercial and residential facilities contain valuable digital electronic equipment used for day-to-day work and entertainment functions, meaning large investments are at risk during thunderstorms. A direct lightning strike delivers damaging energy, which even the most robust electrical devices and systems cannot withstand if protection measures are not correctly taken.

Lightning strikes are unpredictable and random events. There is no technology available that can prevent lightning from striking a structure or guarantee 100% protection. Lightning protection is based on statistical probabilities and the risk tolerance of the property owner.

Continue reading below as we uncover the science of a lightning strike, and how you can reduce the likelihood of damage to your facility from lightning.

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Topics: Lightning Protection

What is Facility Electrical Protection?

Posted by Chris Barcey on May 8, 2018 8:02:00 AM

Electrical systems are all around us— at work, home, grocery stores, manufacturing plants and more. Our everyday lives depend on these electrical systems performing at their best without interruptions. If the power goes out during a thunderstorm, it can be a nuisance at home without Wi-Fi or power to the refrigerator. However, at a facility that relies on mission-critical equipment, like a hospital or manufacturing plant, even short-term power interruptions can carry large financial costs. Despite electrical designers’ best efforts, electrical ground faults, electrical transients and other disturbances can, and often do, occur in building electrical distribution systems.

The good news is there are ways to reduce the likelihood of this costly damage and operational downtime.

Facility Electrical Protection is an nVent ERICO engineered systems approach to protecting property from lightning damage and other electrical transient events by providing the most innovative system that meets best engineering practices. Electrical problems caused by lightning strikes, ground faults or power surges pose serious threats to buildings and sensitive electronics. It serves three primary functions:

  • Building protection
  • Equipment protection
  • Electrical noise reduction

The cost of property damage resulting from lightning and surge events can be very substantial. Costs include equipment repair/replacement in process material, operational downtime and opportunity costs. Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) estimates that the cost of structural damage due to lightning exceeds one billion dollars annually, not including the cost of downtime, repairs and loss of business.

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Topics: Facility Electrical Protection

Introducing nVent ERICO: A Leader in Facility Electrical Protection for a Safer, More Connected World

Posted by The ERICO Team on May 1, 2018 8:02:00 AM


Introduced in 1903, the Electric Railway Improvement Company (ERICO) was created to supply power bonds, signal bonds and related welding equipment to railroads and railway industries.

Over the next 100+ years, we discovered how our product innovation and engineering experience could support customers in all types of markets— telecommunications, renewable energy, utility, rail, commercial, infrastructure and more. Today, we offer reliable, innovative solutions designed to protect a full range of facilities from the devastating impacts of lightning, surges and other electrical transient events.

Today, we affirm our commitment to our customers, partners and distributors with the announcement of nVent ERICO. 

“At nVent, we believe that safer systems ensure a more secure worldWe connect and protect our customers with inventive electrical solutions.”

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Topics: Facility Electrical Protection

3 Products to Consider for Railway Lightning Protection

Posted by Brian Liederbach on Apr 24, 2018 8:06:00 AM

As a result of changing technology, railways are more likely to feel the devastations of a lightning strike than ever. Microprocessor-based equipment has increasingly replaced solid state technology and is highly susceptible to surges. 

Many complications can arise from railway lightning strikes, including: 

  • Safety risks to personnel
  • Damage to critical equipment
  • Data corruption
  • Operational downtime

As the railway industry continues to move toward more advanced products, effective lightning protection mitigation plans are a must to keep trains up and running and reduce lightning-induced transients.

Continue reading to learn three product lines that help minimize the risk of lightning damage to railways.

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Topics: Railway Protection