November, 2001
News in Brief
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Know your digital format options


Technology continues to impact the way we think of storing information. New formats have been developed to store videos and audio files, as well as documents. Sorting through the available formats and understanding what will work best for your business can be a big undertaking.

A free White Paper entitled “Through the Digital Rabbit Hole: The Big and Small of It” is being offered by VMS (Video Monitoring Services of America, L.P.) The paper addresses the digital formats now available. In addition, the paper reviews some of the benefits and complications of digital delivery and some things to consider when undertaking a project.

To receive a free copy of the White Paper, fax a letter to VMS at 312-649-0125. Include your name and address and request
“Through the Digital Rabbit Hole”.

Earthquake data available

The Applied Technology Council (ATC) has released a report, “ATC-38 Report: Database on the Performance of Structures Near Strong-Motion Recordings: 1994 Northridge, California, Earthquake”. It documents the results from a detailed survey of 530 buildings in the vicinity of strong-motion recording sites following the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

The survey was conducted by teams of licensed civil and structural engineers. Key structural characteristics of the buildings, such as design date, structural framing type and number of stories were observed and correlated with recorded ground shaking. The report also includes descriptions of the data collection and archival processes, data summaries and some simple analyses of the correlations between observed performance and recorded strong ground motion for post-1939 wood frame construction.

The table of contents of the 260 page report is available online at Copies of the ATC-38 report, including a CD-ROM are available for $75 from Applied Technology Council, 555 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 550, Redwood City, California 94065.

Guidelines on Legionellosis

Legionellosis is an infection caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. According to the Center for Disease Control, an estimated 8,000 to 18,000 people get Legionnaires’ disease in the United States each year. Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease receive significant media attention. However, this disease usually occurs as a single, isolated case not associated with any recognized outbreak. When outbreaks do occur, they are usually recognized in the summer and early fall, but cases may occur year-round. About 5  to 30 percent of people who have Legionnaires’ disease die.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has published “Guideline 12-2000: Minimizing the Risk of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems”. The guideline specifies environmental and operation guidelines for the safe operation of building water systems to minimize the risk of Legionellosis.

The guideline provides design/control measures for sources where Legionella can breed, including potable water systems, heated spas and architectural fountains. Control measures are provided for centralized systems in multifamily residential buildings, as well hotels, office buildings, hospitals, schools and commercial and industrial buildings.

ASHRAE Guideline 12 is intended for use by designers, installers, owners, operators, maintenance personnel and equipment manufacturers.

The cost of ASHRAE Guideline 12-2000, “Minimizing the Risk of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems”, is $37. To order, contact ASHRAE Customer Service at 800-5-ASHRAE (in the U.S. and Canada) or 404-636-8400 (worldwide); fax: 404-321-5478; e-mail:; ASHRAE Online at; or by mail: 1791 Tullie Circle, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30329.