Sunday, September 23, 2007

35 Years Ago: Puget Sound Chapter 1972

Beginning in September 1972, the normal Puget Sound Chapter meeting location was changed to the AGC Building on Westlake Ave. The price of dinner was increased to $5.50, but free parking and 8-oz. top sirloin steaks on the menu kept complaints to a minimum.

A Lively Crowd Gathers During the Social Hour at a 1972 Puget Sound Chapter ASHRAE Meeting

1972-73 Meeting Topics
  • Trends & Developments in Construction Manager Contracts
  • Sizing Control Valves for Hydronic Systems
  • Total Building Automation
  • Contractor Use of Computers (see below)
  • Navy Surface Effect Ship
  • Rod Chandler, KOMO Television
  • Northwest & National Energy Problems
  • Variable Air Volume Systems
  • Computerized Building Automation

Before the Internet and Chapter Blogs…

For rapid communication, a telephone committee was established to contact one member from each page of the 1972-73 Roster & Directory who would then call all remaining members listed on his page. The Punch List article announcing this plan asked “when will ‘Ma Bell’ come up with a computerized call system for this sort of thing?”

To reduce cost overruns, dinner meeting reservations were started in 1972 with a postage-paid reply card included in the Punch List. Those who waited too late to mail the reservation could phone in a reservation by calling AT 4-1424.

Reception Committee members Dick Phalen (later to become Chapter President, 1981-82) and Joe Schauff put away dinner receipts for safe keeping after a precise prediction of meeting attendance from the new meeting reservation system.

Contractors' Early Use of Computers
The December 1972 meeting topic was "Contractor Use of Computers". Bob Bowlin (a recent panelist at the September 2007 Puget Sound Chapter meeting on commissioning) and Dwight Specker discussed advantages of using computers on the job.

It was noted “the vast unknown and lack of faith” make many contractors and engineers wary of computer use. However, both presenters discussed the tremendous time savings from using their computer for administrative tasks such as client billing and pay-roll as well as for engineering load calculations.

The presenters highly recommended the WANG computer, at a cost of $5,000 to $20,000 depending on selected add-on features.

An early-70s era WANG computer system

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