Designing for Technology Seminar at Heinz Field

Over thirty architects, engineers, spec writers, facility directors and project managers gathered in the Press Box Dining Room in Heinz Field for a Continuing Education morning.
Nov 4, 2021

Over thirty architects, engineers, spec writers, facility directors and project managers gathered in the Press Box Dining Room in Heinz Field for a Continuing Education morning. With magnificent views over the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, guests sampled a continental breakfast while watching the wintery mist billow over the glittering waves.


The first presenter was Dave Priest from Assa Abloy, the global leader in access solutions. His seminar was a detailed overview of the continuum of door opening solutions. Mechanical locks – those with a cylinder and a metal key – were invented in the 1800’s and haven’t changed significantly since. While cost-effective to spec, the ongoing costs in terms of security risks or change-outs are huge. Weighing the cost with the benefit, Dave showcased the variety of electronic options on the market today – ranging from wired or wireless electronic access control to Intelligent keys, where the data is on the key rather than relayed to the network via the lock. Of note was the cost savings of digital electricity – or Power over Ethernet. These power sources use a fraction of the energy, which benefits both the environment and the bottom line.


After an early lunch of wraps, fresh salad and chef’s choice of desserts, guests took to their seats for the second presentation – Advanced Lighting for Smart Indoor Environments. Shaquinta Morgan of Signify (formally Philips Lighting) explained the network requirements for a smart lighting system and described the various applications of networked lighting. Lighting can be programmed to regulate with ambient lighting conditions and the circadian rhythm of building occupants. People counting, occupancy data and asset tracking are other interoperable capabilities.


Wrapping up the learning portion, Bob Dagostino, president of DES, facilitated a thought-provoking discussion about lighting as the next frontier of telecommunications. Li-Fi is the transmission of data through light waves. Already deployed in military applications, Li-Fi is steadily being developed for commercial utilization. Applications could soon include commercial airliners providing internet access to passenger devices through seat lighting, healthcare environments customizing lights to optimize healthcare outcomes and, of course, office environments taking advantage of lighting to promote sustainability and a competitive environment. For architects and engineers, understanding lighting beyond illumination enhances and broadens the possibilities for design.


The highlight of the morning was the thoroughly engaging tour of Heinz Field! Starting out from the Press Box with its bird’s eye view over the field, Bob Dagostino pointed out the technology that impacts the gameday experience – the cameras, the Wi-Fi access points, the point-of-sale connectivity and the sound system. Moving on to the field itself, guests were treated to the sight of the DES logo emblazoned on the jumbo scoreboards. Back in stadium, the tour treaded carefully around the Steelers locker room, circling the giant Steelers logo on the center floor. Tradition has it that no one – not even the players – treads on the logo. After a walk around the Hall of Fame, the morning was over.


DES plans to arrange more quality continuing education events. Technology keeps challenging us to boost our facilities, business process and connectivity infrastructure to be on pace with innovation. As a technology integrator, DES has a passion to share these ideas with likeminded professionals in the Pittsburgh community. As one participant noted in a review, “This was a fantastic event with great, knowledgeable speakers. Looking forward to the next one!”

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