Edward Brown

IBS Columnist and Freelance Writer

Edward Brown is an electrical engineer, freelance writer and editor who draws on his years of practical experience designing industrial processing and high-power electronics systems. In addition to writing the Integrated Building Systems column for Electrical Contractor as The Writing Engineer, he covers the world of cutting-edge technology, automation, alternate energy, energy conservation and fire alarm and security systems. He was Managing Editor of Security and Life Safety Systems and NEC Digest Magazines. Reach him at ebeditor@gmail.com.

Articles by Edward Brown

March 2010
A recently released book may be of interest to electrical contractors (ECs), especially in times like these when capital investments in new construction are so low. In “Reinvent Your Electrical Contracting Business With Sustainable Service,” Frederic B. Sargent makes a convincing case for adding service and maintenance facets to your electrical contracting business. What is sustainable service? READ MORE
March 2010
Building management systems are the wave of the future—especially for large commercial and institutional buildings and campuses. Building management systems enable centralized control and monitoring of electrical and mechanical systems and, at the same time, simplify the infrastructure for managing these systems. READ MORE
February 2010
Fire protection and security, including mass notification, access control and surveillance, are natural candidates for systems that should be converged. For instance, when a fire alarm goes off, a number of security functions exist that are mandated by code, and in addition, there are functions that are not mandated but would enhance life safety. READ MORE
December 2009
The November Integrated Building Systems column covered the basic business and planning requirements for systems integration. Now, let’s kick it up a notch and review connectivity infrastructure. (Note: part 1 is here.) READ MORE
November 2009
At this moment, it seems there are many more opportunities available in upgrades and retrofits instead of new construction. For the purpose of a discussion, let’s assume that I own an office building and I would like to integrate the various systems that control the infrastructure. READ MORE
October 2009
Programmable logic controllers (PLCS) have been with us for some time—the first PLCs with architecture and functionality like the ones in use now were built in the mid-1970s. They provide practical means for applying logic to automate almost any function that can be electrically controlled. READ MORE
September 2009
During tough economic times, it’s important to maximize productivity: spend less money to accomplish more work. Manufacturers are betting that supplying prewired components and modular assemblies will do just that for contractors. There are a number of different approaches; the first thing to look at is whether we’re talking about power, control, data or communications work. READ MORE
August 2009
Daylight is one of our most abundant natural resources. Farmers have timed their waking hours to daylight’s availability. However, most of us are usually indoors and dependent on artificial lighting, even in daytime. The need to reduce energy consumption is fueling interest in using daylight as a somewhat free resource. READ MORE
August 2009
The various forms alternative energy generation share a number of problems. Cost tops the list, when compared to traditional fossil-fuel-based systems. It is assumed the price of basic equipment, such as solar panels and wind turbines, will drop once the market grows large enough so competition—promoted by expanded government subsidies—will stimulate research and economies of scale. READ MORE