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Virtually all commercial buildings have areas with elevated AC (60 Hz – power frequency) magnetic fields which can cause interference problems with sensitive electronic equipment, and may be of possible health concern when continuously occupied. These are unavoidable; they are caused by electrical distribution equipment such as transformers, distribution switchboards, distribution service panels, and distribution electrical feeders/conduits. Most commercial buildings have background fields in the range of 2-4 milliGauss, but also have areas containing “hotspots” with much higher readings near these current sources. With today’s increasingly sensitive electronic technology, even relatively low background fields may be sufficient to cause equipment interference.
Problems with AC (60 Hz – power frequency) magnetic fields frequently emerge immediately after a new tenant moves in or after a build out or renovation. Space that was either previously unused or not used for sensitive electronic equipment operations may suddenly develop a problem. For example, a previous “low tech” tenant may not have used computers extensively, but a new high-tech tenant has sensitive data communications and processing equipment that is sensitive to interference from AC (60 Hz – power frequency) magnetic fields as low as 2 to 3 mG.
New EMI problems are also common when there is a change in the building’s power structure. Proper planning during a renovation or lease negotiation can save considerable time and money if there is a potential EMF problem.
FMS as the EMF/EMI Consultant designed and installed the passive and active mitigation systems for this newly established interdisciplinary organization under the Office of Research of the University of California Irvine (UCI) to house state of the art electron-microscope labs (4 imaging cells). The project required analysis of interference potential of all internal and external emission sources, which included vehicle and facility elevators (DC), broadband electrical system (AC) sources, etc.
FMS was engaged as the project’s EMI Consultant by the project architect (Wilson Architects) to conduct an electromagnetic field (EMF) analysis in an existing laboratory (shell space) located in the basement level of the Harvard CNS facility.
Seattle Children’s Research Institute is currently in the construction phase of ”Building Cure”, a 540,000 square foot research building, which will be dedicated to developing therapies for children with diseases such as Cancer, Type 1 Diabetes and Sickle Cell Anemia.
FMS was engaged to conduct a thorough assessment of the building’s design for EMI interference threat concerns to sensitive research equipment. A document review and extensive 3-Dimension computer simulation studies were conducted to evaluate EMF emissions from the building’s electrical distribution, mechanical and other systems.
Over its 20 years, FMS has successfully completed hundreds of EMI projects which included a diverse range of consulting and mitigation services.