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Category Archives: Newsletters

Code Matters

Codes do matter in the building and industrial plant world…A lot.

by Karen Griffin, Staff Architect


Is it a requirement to provide accessible toilet rooms and elements within the industrial plant?

Reference Code:
The International Building Code (IBC), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA 2010)

The following will hopefully clear up many misunderstandings about accessibility design which we often lump into one word – handicap.

Fact #1: The ADA (a law) is written as civil rights
legislation and not as a building code.

Fact #2: Enforcement of ADA is the responsibility of the
Department of Justice, not the fire marshal or
building code official.

Fact #3: Everything is required to be accessible by the
IBC (buildings and site) unless it is specifically

Fact #4: Physical disabilities can be permanent or
temporary, can involve all levels of abilities and
can range from persons with minor visual,
hearing or mobility impairments to persons who
are blind, deaf or confined to a wheelchair.
So the designers’ job is at first a scoping job – to determine what and where accessibility is required or how many accessible elements are required and then determine the technical requirements needed. An industrial plant is usually classified as a commercial facility, so accessibility is required. Most plants have office type areas, separate from the factory, where a person with a disability may very well work or arrive as a visitor. This is pretty clear we must provide the required accessibility elements.

Continue reading this in the Barn Raiser.


Who’s Your Civil Engineer?

By: Monte Moreschi, P.E., LEED


Today’s Civil Engineer does more than just the grading, and erosion and sediment control plans. They take care of rezoning, overall site layout, local ordinance compliance, driveway permits, storm water management, underground utilities, potable water permits, sanitary sewer permits, site traffic patterns, and raw material and finished goods logistics. The Civil Engineer also provides coordination between building plumbing, building foundations, equipment foundations, electrical duct banks, surveyors, vendors, etc. They even provide coordination between other Civil Engineers hired to assist with local ordinances and contractor selection!

This is why more and more clients are hiring the Civil Engineers directly outside of EPC contracts or requesting their presence early in the process. Continue reading this in the Barn Raiser.


To Profile or Not to Profile?

By: Monte Moreschi, P.E., LEED

J:Current60xx60405.0 Drawings5.1 M-RIPP15055P03 Layout1 (

We get questioned all the time about why we spend time creating utility profile drawings. In the world of underground utilities, we feel that is like asking why did you spend time creating elevation drawings for buildings? We however understand that profile drawings might seem unnecessary to our clients.

We have heard on numerous occasions that a good set of plans showing utility locations and a typical depth for each type of utility is all we need! We agree that underground utilities can be installed this way; however, it does cost more and does not account for gravity systems.

Why would it cost more?

Continue reading this in the Barn Raiser.


Mid-South Engineering In the News

Articles and Photos provided to Mid-South Engineering by Steve Brawner, Editor, Arkansas Professional Engineers Magazine, Little Rock, AR

Mid-South Engineering is proud to announce Larry Stephens and Bruce Westerman have been featured in the July 2015 issue of the Arkansas Professional Engineers Magazine. Mid-South Engineering would like to congratulate them on this recent accomplishment and acknowledgment.

Larry Stephens, P.E., former President, Vice-President, and Treasurer, now a current Chairman for Mid-South Engineering, has been selected as the ASPE Engineer of the Year. After starting Mid-South Engineering in 1969 alongside Roy Murphy, Larry’s intelligence, people skills, and knowledge of the sawmill industry have assisted in the expansion into other various wood industries. Larry said it best,

I think our key is the fact that our mission statement says
that we serve the client and always work for the client’s best interests.”

To read more about Larry Stephens’ wonderful achievement, click here.

Larry Stephens APE story Cover-Resized for Web

Rep. Bruce Westerman not only has become R-Arkansas’ current State Representative, he has brought his engineering problem solving skills to Congress.

I still get to do problem-solving, and really that’s what engineering is: problem solving. I’ve heard more than one engineer describe themselves as ‘glorified problem solvers,’ that engineering school taught you the problem-solving method and it gave you the tools to solve complex problems, and the experience that you get after you get out of school is where you really learn what engineering’s about.”

To read more about Rep. Bruce Westerman and his feature: “An Engineer in Washington”, click here.

Bruce Westerman July APE story

Mid-South Engineering would also like to thank Arkansas Professional Engineer Magazine for recognizing our employees and their hard work. To get more information about Larry Stephens & Rep. Bruce Westermans’ articles, please visit their website: Arkansas Professional Engineers Magazine.


Back to the Basics | Fasteners: Torque vs. Tension

by Kyle Manzer, Staff Engineer

Back To the Basics Newsletter

Bolts, Capscrews, and Studs are used as fasteners for many applications in mechanical devices. On our rotating machinery, we have critical fasteners for couplings and anchor bolts, etc. and also non-critical fasteners for holding side covers, etc. In these cases, the fasteners work using the same principle, by providing a clamping force to hold two or more pieces together in compression.

Continue reading this in the Barn Raiser.


2015 Forest Product Machinery and Equipment Expo

2015 Forest Product Machinery and Equipment Expo
The Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) is hosting the 2015 Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition conference on June 10-12, 2015 at the World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Forest Product Professionals will have exhibits of the latest machinery, equipment, technology and services on display. We will be located at Booth 311. Stop by and see us!

For complete information, visit the conference website at

We look forward to seeing you there!


New Staff Members

We are pleased to announce two new staff members who have joined the Mid-South Engineering Team.

John Gamble joined the group on March 17, 2015, as a Structural Designer. John’s role will be working on multiple structural projects with other Designers and Engineers. John comes from an architectural background with bachelor’s in Architectural Technology from New York Institute of Technology. His most recent position working as an architectural/structural designer was with a local architectural/structural engineering firm.

Morgan Price joined the group on April 13, 2015, as a Project Administrator. Morgan’s role will be primarily working closely with the project managers on various project tasks. Morgan comes from a program and project coordinating background. Her most recent positions were with Duke University and Coldwell Banker as well as working with a local civil engineering firm for 2 years.

Please join us in welcoming John and Morgan to Mid-South Engineering.


2015 Northeast Biomass Heating Expo


Join us on April 16-18, for the 2015 Northeast Biomass Heating Expo. The region’s largest biomass heating conference will be held at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, Maine. The 7th annual event will unite a diverse audience from the biomass fuel, supply chain, developer, manufacturer, and government sectors to break barriers and ground for biomass thermal and combined heat and power (CHP) systems. We will be located at booth 34.

For complete information, visit the conference website at

We look forward to seeing you there!


2015 International Biomass Conference and Expo

BiomassExpo2014 Photo by: MAGNFOTO

The conference will be held on April 20-22, 2015 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, MN. This event unites industry professionals from all sectors of the world’s biomass industries. We will be located at Booth 721. Stop by and see us!

For complete information, visit the conference website at

We look forward to seeing you there!


Code Matters | What is required for an Emergency Action Plan?

by Karen Griffin, Staff Architect


What is required for an Emergency Action Plan?

Referenced Codes:
The International Building Code (IBC), Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA standards 29 CFR 1910.38), NFPA 101 Life Safety Code

The short OSHA Answer:
If there are more than 10 employees at a facility, a written Emergency Action Plan (EAP) will be required. If there are fewer than 10, the plan may be communicated orally. EVERY building or facility with an EAP saves lives. Nothing in the following list should be a surprise to any employer, but the question is, do any of these items need updating at your facility?

Elements of a good Emergency Action Plan are:

  • Procedure for reporting fires and emergencies
  • Procedure for emergency evacuation with posted maps of exit routes
  • Procedure for employees who stay behind to continue critical plant operations
  • Procedure to account for all employees after evacuation
  • Procedure for performing rescue duties
  • Listed type and coverage of building fire protection systems including alarm system
  • Review of plan with: new employees, all employees if plan changes, or change of duties for emergency plans
  • Drills held at both unexpected and expected times and under varying conditions, with sufficient frequency to familiarize occupants with the drill procedure as a matter of routine.

Did you know?

  1. A written record of each drill shall be completed by the person responsible for conducting the drill and maintained in an approved manner (NFPA 101).
  2. Required Emergency Plans shall be submitted, reviewed, and updated by the authority having jurisdiction (NFPA 101).
  3. When conducting drills, emphasis shall be placed on orderly evacuation rather than on speed (NFPA 101).
  4. In some buildings, the International Building Code requires a schematic floor plan detailing the building core, means of egress, fire protection systems, firefighting equipment, and fire department access. This plan shall be located at the fire command center, a room designated for fire department operations. Smaller buildings will locate the fire command center in a convenient location with 24 hour monitoring.
  5. Your architect/engineer can make code compliant exit route maps with exiting paths shown, to be posted throughout your plant buildings or facilities.
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