Month: August 2011

Decline in Nonresidential Construction Spending Expected in 2011 with Modest Growth Projected for 2012

A multitude of factors are preventing a recovery for the beleaguered design and construction industry. Lenders that have been extremely reticent to finance construction projects, budget shortfalls at all levels…

A multitude of factors are preventing a recovery for the beleaguered design and construction industry. Lenders that have been extremely reticent to finance construction projects, budget shortfalls at all levels of government, the ripple effect of overbuilding, a depressed housing market and rising costs of key construction commodities are all contributing to what projects to be a decline of 5.6% in spending this year for nonresidential construction projects. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast, a survey of the nation’s leading construction forecasters, also projects a 6.4% increase of spending in 2012.

“Consumer and business confidence is poor and the overall economy has yet to pull out of the downturn that began in 2008, which both add to the general sense of anxiety and uncertainty in the real estate market” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Spending on renovations of existing buildings has remained strong, but the depressed demand for new construction isn’t likely to improve until next year, led by the commercial sector: offices, retail and hotels.”

Baker added, “Steel, copper and aluminum have all increased 10% or more in the past year, offsetting declines for lumber and concrete products. Rising energy costs have also been central to the unusual volatility in building material prices.”

Though the AIA does not provide regional construction forecasts, there is evidence that some areas of the country are recovering faster than others. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s payroll surveys:

* Michigan leads the country with a 5.2% increase in construction payrolls in the last year
* Hawaii, Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Dakota, Illinois and Washington, DC have had gains of 3% or more
* Nevada and Rhode Island have each lost 10% or more of their construction pay rolls

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2011 Lumen Awards Winners Announced

The New York City Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IESNYC) recently announced the winners of the 2011 Lumen Awards, which recognizes the industry’s most innovative lighting projects. Eleven awards…

The New York City Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IESNYC) recently announced the winners of the 2011 Lumen Awards, which recognizes the industry’s most innovative lighting projects.

Eleven awards in three categories were bestowed, including the Lumen Award of Excellence, the highest level of recognition for permanent architectural application, the Lumen Award of Merit, meritorious recognition in permanent architectural application, and the Lumen Citation, special recognition awards for an art installation, technical detail, portion of a single project, temporary installation or other work.

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Science Storms at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL
Lighting Design Firm: Focus Lighting, Inc. – Paul Gregory, JR Krauza, Joshua Spitzig, Dan Henry, and Kenneth Schutz
Architect: Evidence Design – Jack Pascarosa and Shari Berman
Photography: Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago – J.B Spector

How can light inspire young minds? That was one of the driving questions behind Science Storms at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. It is a dramatic and interactive environment where guests of all ages can explore the physics of light and the science behind powerful natural phenomena. It is a 26,000-square-foot permanent exhibition showcasing 50 large-scale exhibits and experiments. These interactive experiments include a 40-foot tall tornado of swirling vapor and light, a 20ft diameter spinning avalanche disk, an automated heliostat, and suspended ripple tanks that are illuminated from the ceiling to project wave patterns onto guests below.

“Lighting plays a tremendous part in creating the museum’s dramatic interactive environment,” says Paul Gregory, principal of Focus Lighting, Inc. “The positive outcome of joining the creative team early on in the process is irreplaceable. Unifying the team in the beginning stages ensures the best possible design. Without an initial understanding, it is impossible to integrate ideas for the lighting design into the structure.”

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Arthouse, Austin, TX
Lighting Design Firm: Lumen Architecture, PLLC – Nelson Jenkins, AIA, LC, IES, LEED
and Alejandro Bulaevsky
Photography: Lumen Architecture – Nelson Jenkins and Michael Moran Studio, Michael Moran

Both a theater and department store in previous incarnations, Arthouse blurs any distinction between art and architecture. Its lighting both dazzles and embraces modernity through light and form. Despite a tight budget and strict energy allowances, the team focused on creating functionality and strong visual elements. The walls of the building ‘speak’, as palimpsest retains the building’s history and is now artistically punctured by LED illuminated green glass blocks that have become a signature of the building both during the day and at night. Every detail of the building has been carefully designed and often hand-crafted to support the creative community it represents and serves.

“I never thought a project could require so many puzzle pieces,” says Nelson Jenkins, principal, Lumen Architecture, PLLC. “The hard work, dedication and both ‘good and bad luck’ played heavily in the ultimate success of this project.”

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Art Collector’s Loft, New York, NY
Lighting Design Firm: Renfro Design Group, Inc. – Richard Renfro, Sarah Randall, Fabio Tuchiya, and Andrew Thompson
Photography: Iwan Baan Photography ¬– Iwan Baan

Designing the lighting for the loft of an avid art collector necessitated a lighting strategy that was both comfortable for a permanent residence and responsive to the presentation of art. The sweeping curvilinear aspect of the architecture combined with the owner’s request to never see a light fixture provided a challenging task for discretely embedding the lighting into the architecture. Working within the shell of a formerly industrial space, we were given the added challenge of making the large central gallery appear to float under a soaring ceiling that was actually just under 9’ tall.

“Our goal was to conceal the lighting systems in order to reveal the exceptional architecture and provide a luminous environment for the art,” says Richard Renfro, principal, Renfro Design Group, Inc.

AWARD OF MERIT
Lincoln Center, New York, NY
Lighting Design Firm: Tillotson Design Associates – Suzan Tillotson and David Burya
Photography: Iwan Baan Photography – Iwan Baan

The lighting of the exterior plazas at Lincoln Center brings about a glamorous evening experience sympathetic to the surrounding iconic buildings. The lighting intensifies the patrons’ anticipation of the dramatic arts they have come to celebrate. Drama is fashioned through the careful and precise illumination of new architectural elements. Translucent glass canopies appear to glow from within, dramatic fountain and under-bench lighting entices, subtle tree Bosque uplighting creates alluring intimate settings and the simulation of peaceful moonlighting at the roof lawn adds to the inviting nature of the urban site as a place for public gathering.

AWARD OF MERIT
Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, New York, NY
Lighting Design Firm: Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design, Inc.– Francesca Bettridge, Michael Hennes, and Mitul Parekh
Project Owner: The Durst Organization, Inc. – Louis Esposito
Photography: Esto Photographics, Inc. – David Sundberg and Cook + Fox Architects – Ryan Browne

Cline Bettridge Bernstein’s innovative lighting design solution for this first-ever LEED Platinum skyscraper creates a dramatic nighttime presence for its crystalline structure. Horizontal bands of white LEDs illuminate a clear glass façade facet that extends from the 21st floor up to the crown. Rising above the crown, a 300-ft. tall spire incorporates RGB LED floodlights with DMX controls, producing an array of color-changing and dynamic effects. After dark, the tower’s lighting transforms it into a feature on the City skyline, demonstrating that iconic lighting is achievable within the framework of sustainable design.

AWARD OF MERIT
155 North Wacker, Chicago, IL
Lighting Design Firm: One Lux Studio, LLC – Stephen Margulies
Photgraphy: Tom Rossiter Photography

The new 1.4 million square foot office tower at 155 N. Wacker in Chicago boasts a brand new lobby and arcade that activates the streetscape and creates a dynamic public space entry into this innovative corporate center. The lobby and arcade are contiguous to each other and a powerful diagonal grid is overlayed to both spaces. The ceiling lighting was designed to seamlessly connect the interior lobby and exterior arcade. Concealed LED strip lights mounted within an architecturally constructed cove create the strong diagonal lines and perform unaffected by changes in ambient temperature in interior as well as exterior environments.

LUMEN CITATION FOR LIBRARY RESTORATION
The Morgan Library & Museum – McKim Library Restoration, New York, NY
Lighting Design Firm: Renfro Design Group, Inc. – Richard Renfro, Eileen M.E. Pierce, and Azusa Yabe
Project Owner: The Morgan Library & Museum
Phototgraphy: The Morgan Library & Museum – Graham Haber and Renfro Design Group, Inc.

This interior landmarked space employed technological lighting upgrades to discretely reinforce the architecture with concealed fixtures, refurbished historical fittings, and newly incorporated exhibits and cases. In the library, mock-ups juxtaposed with the existing conditions affirmed the design solutions. Visible track fixtures and poor-color rendering fluorescents were replaced with LED strips. Additionally, the 2nd and 3rd tiers were lit from the glass floor to shield the upward gaze. Finally, the original pendant was reinstalled and high-color rendering lamps revitalized the priceless tapestry and art objects. With the restoration and preservation complete, this space has been renewed to the grandeur of decades past.

LUMEN CITATION FOR LIGHTING TRANSFORMATION
Mall of America, South Avenue Renovation, Bloomington, MN
Lighting Designer: Cooley Monato Studio – Renée Cooley and Jenny Ivansson
Architects: DLR|KKE – Natina James and Gabellini Sheppard Associates, LLP – Michael Gabellini, FAIA, Kimberly Sheppard, AIA, and Dan Garbowit, AIA
Project Owner: Mall of America
Photography: Paul Warchol Photography – Paul Warchol

The renovation of “South Avenue” sought to unify the space by resolving the existing installation’s lack of cohesion and strove to give the space a strong sense of place. Lighting was integrated within the architecture to achieve spatial clarity and to create a comfortably luminous surround with intermittent sparkle. Ambient light emanates from fluorescent coves and from the ceiling and pedestrian bridges which incorporate backlit translucent fabric panels. Architect-designed crystal sculptures glisten from fiber optic points above. The juxtaposition of polished and matte finishes is enhanced by direct lighting. In combination, a more relaxed and defined space was created.

LUMEN CITATION FOR RESIDENTIAL LIGHTING
Flavor Paper, Brooklyn, NY
Lighting Design Firm: Lighting Workshop – Doug Russell and Steven Espinoza
Project Owner: Flavor Paper
Photography: Boone Speed

Flavor Paper’s repurposing of a former beer warehouse in Cobble Hill Brooklyn into a design studio, apartments, and owner’s penthouse, was imagined as an architectural statement as bold as their eccentric designs. A neon installation reveals itself in a vault beneath the sidewalk and climbs through the glass-front stair tower. Inside the penthouse, wall and ceiling planes clad in crocodile skin float below a layer of honey-colored indirect illumination, while custom chandeliers and illuminated tables conjure the owner’s fascination with reflective pattern. On the owner’s rooftop oasis, illuminated skylights give a nod to the neighboring church steeples.

LUMEN CITATION FOR FAÇADE LIGHTING
Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Lighting Design Firm: Fisher Marantz Stone, Inc.
Paul Marantz and Hank Forrest
Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Adrian Smith
Owner: EMAAR Properties
Photography: Photo © Tim Griffith and Fisher Marantz Stone, Inc.

A tower, so tall and slender that it dwarfs everything around it, does not need a spectacle of light to ensure its visibility. Floodlighting this tower, the world’s tallest, from site perimeter was not an option, as the sweeping desert sands and high humidity from the Arabian Gulf would tent the structure in a perennial cloud. The narrow, almost vertical solution is an exposition of restrained and minimalist design. Raking uplight from atop the terraced prows of the building’s three legs saves energy and ensures minimal light trespass for the residential tenants and little skylight pollution.

LUMEN CITATION FOR SIMPLE AND PLAYFUL USE OF LIGHT
ABKCO Music and Records, New York, NY
Lighting Design Firm: RS Lighting Design – Randy Sabedra
Architect: Highland Associates – Glenn Leitch, Elizabeth Demello, Eric Scott, and Deborah Lorenzo
Photography: Highland Associates – Beata Kowalczyk-Wolosz and Mick Rock

Maximizing daylight, expanding spatial boundaries, and a unique illumination scheme were the lighting goals for this music company’s work place; filled with iconic rock and roll history and celebrated achievements. “Art as light and light as music” was the lighting inspiration – playful, fluid and gradient, contrasted with crisp luminous shapes: a microphone chandelier adds sparkle, ceiling domes are laid out to resemble a “drum kit,” a curved cove mimics layered sheet music, a continuous cove illuminates the space, and hovering above a back lit ceiling spills light into the offices as an architectural cloud. The project meets ASHRAE 90.1-2007.

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Product Monday: SQ-LED Series By Mule Lighting

The SQ-LED thermoplastic emergency light is touted by Mule Lighting as “the most economical LED emergency light available today.” Compared to typical “bug-eye” units, the use of LED lamps instead…

The SQ-LED thermoplastic emergency light is touted by Mule Lighting as “the most economical LED emergency light available today.” Compared to typical “bug-eye” units, the use of LED lamps instead of traditional incandescent lamps reduces the size of the unit by 50%. The SQ-LED is suitable for all types of applications, from commercial to retail. According to Mule, the SQ-LED is favored for its sturdy construction and long-lasting nickel cadmium battery backup system.

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Lighting Research Center Announces LED Lighting Institute For September 13-15, 2011

The Lighting Research Center recently announced that it will host another LED Lighting Institute, a three-day hands-on seminar where participants learn the basics of LED technology and gain an understanding…

The Lighting Research Center recently announced that it will host another LED Lighting Institute, a three-day hands-on seminar where participants learn the basics of LED technology and gain an understanding of LED system integration issues involving electrical, optical, and thermal characteristics of LEDs. Participants will learn how to measure and evaluate LEDs and LED systems, compare LED technologies from a variety of manufacturers, and design, build, and evaluate their own LED fixtures. Attendees receive 3 CEUs and a continuing education certificate in LED Lighting.

Dates: September 13-15, 2011
Location: Lighting Research Center, 21 Union Street, Troy, NY
Contact: Dan Frering, LRC manager of education, 518-687-7100

Click here to learn more.

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LIGHTFAIR Announces Call For Speakers For 2012 Event

LIGHTFAIR has announced a call for speakers for next year’s conference in Las Vegas May 7-11, 2012. The deadline to submit a proposal is September 12, 2011. Click here for…

LIGHTFAIR has announced a call for speakers for next year’s conference in Las Vegas May 7-11, 2012.

The deadline to submit a proposal is September 12, 2011. Click here for more.

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Studies Published On Minimizing Flicker From SSL Systems

Flicker and stroboscopic effects have been a concern with solid-state lighting (SSL), and industry and the ENERGY STAR program have debated recently the effects of frequency and other driving modes…

Flicker and stroboscopic effects have been a concern with solid-state lighting (SSL), and industry and the ENERGY STAR program have debated recently the effects of frequency and other driving modes on the perception and acceptability of flicker. To provide further data and guidance in this area, the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has conducted human factors studies of flicker that were recently published in the Lighting Research and Technology journal. The studies, funded by the Alliance for Solid-State Illumination Systems and Technologies (ASSIST), will become the basis for future ASSIST recommends guidelines on flicker from SSL systems.

All electric light sources flicker, but the numerous ways in which LEDs can be driven creates the potential for a wide variety of flicker characteristics in SSL systems. These can be perceived directly if the flicker itself is visible, or indirectly through stroboscopic effects similar to the “wagon-wheel effect” where a spinning wheel appears to be moving slowly or be stationary under intermittent light. In early 2010, industry leaders from ASSIST asked the LRC to update the available research literature on perception of light source flicker through human factors studies. Previous research has shown at what frequencies direct flicker is perceptible, but ASSIST leaders expressed interest in identifying thresholds and acceptance levels for indirect perception of flicker and a means of predicting these levels for SSL and conventional light sources.

The studies, led by John Bullough, Ph.D., LRC senior research scientist, were designed to assess responses to flicker, specifically detection, acceptance and comfort. In the first published study, “Effects of flicker characteristics from solid-state lighting on detection, acceptability and comfort,” a table lamp in a laboratory was fitted with LED sources to produce different flicker frequencies, modulation depths, duty cycles (duty cycle is defined as the percentage of time a modulating light source is “on”), waveform shapes and correlated color temperatures. Study participants reported whether they detected flicker effects and if so, how acceptable they were. They also rated their visual comfort under each condition.

Dr. Bullough and colleagues found that although flicker was not directly visible at frequencies of 100 Hz or higher, indirect stroboscopic effects of flicker were perceptible even at 300 Hz. Lower modulation depths substantially reduced the perception of stroboscopic effects, and a higher duty cycle resulted in somewhat higher rated comfort than a lower duty cycle. Neither the shape of the flicker waveform nor the correlated color temperature of the light affected responses to flicker under the conditions studied.

“The results suggest that there is a tradeoff between the frequency and the modulation depth in the detection and acceptability of indirect flicker effects,” said Dr. Bullough. Building on these results, ASSIST and the LRC performed a follow-up study to systematically evaluate this tradeoff and look more closely at the relationship between frequency and percent flicker. A second paper describing this study has been accepted recently for publication.

With the published findings, ASSIST is developing a set of recommendations for manufacturers under its ASSIST recommends publication series, noted Nadarajah Narendran, Ph.D., LRC director of research and ASSIST organizer. “Since 2002, ASSIST’s leading industry stakeholders from both LED and traditional lighting have taken an active role in working with the LRC to solve technical and market problems through studies such as this,” said Dr. Narendran. “The results of this research by ASSIST can be used to help LED lighting manufacturers in developing systems that minimize the effects of flicker.” The recommendations will be made available for download later this year on the ASSIST website.

The first paper, “Effects of flicker characteristics from solid-state lighting on detection, acceptability and comfort,” is published in the online early access section of Lighting Research and Technology here. The second paper, “Detection and acceptability of stroboscopic effects from flicker,” is forthcoming in the same journal. A project summary for both studies can be viewed here.

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DOE Proposes a National Commercial Building Asset Rating Program

The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking your feedback on a proposed voluntary national Asset Rating Program for Commercial Buildings (AR Program). DOE has issued a Request for Information (RFI)…

The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking your feedback on a proposed voluntary national Asset Rating Program for Commercial Buildings (AR Program). DOE has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to gather public feedback by September 22, 2011 on key issues associated with the development of an AR Program.

Through the AR Program, DOE intends to establish a building Asset Rating system that can be broadly applied to both new and existing commercial buildings, and provide affordable and reliable information to building stakeholders. The AR Program will inform building owners about the energy efficiency of their building systems, enabling comparison of the energy performance between buildings while controlling for differences in building operations and occupant behavior. The AR Program will also help building owners identify opportunities for energy efficiency improvements.

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Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against U.S. Green Building Council

The United States District Court in New York City has dismissed in its entirety the lawsuit brought against the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) by Henry Gifford and others, holding…

The United States District Court in New York City has dismissed in its entirety the lawsuit brought against the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) by Henry Gifford and others, holding that none of the plaintiffs in the action had alleged or could allege any legal interest to be protected by their lawsuit, according to an announcement made by USGBC.

The Court dismissed the federal false advertising claims “with prejudice,” meaning that the Court’s dismissal of those claims is final and that plaintiffs are barred from filing a new suit based on those claims. The Court’s ruling simultaneously dismissed plaintiffs’ state law false advertising claims.

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Jim Brodrick On Publication Of IES TM21 Method For Extrapolating LED Lumen Maintenance

Guest post by Jim Brodrick, Department of Energy Because solid-state lighting has the potential to last longer than traditional lighting technologies, addressing product reliability or lifetime has been a key…

Guest post by Jim Brodrick, Department of Energy

Because solid-state lighting has the potential to last longer than traditional lighting technologies, addressing product reliability or lifetime has been a key issue for SSL. So it’s not surprising that lifetime was one of the topics under discussion at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) sixth annual SSL Market Introduction Workshop, which was held last month in Seattle. Figuring prominently in several discussions was IES TM-21, a much-anticipated method for extrapolating the lumen maintenance of LED products, which a technical committee of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) has been working on for some time. But TM-21 was mentioned in Seattle with the caveat that it was not yet approved, which made its inclusion in any sustainability or lifetime equation somewhat premature.

That status has changed, however, with the final IES board approval last week of TM-21. To understand why that’s big news for the industry, it’s helpful to take a step back and look at two related IES standards: LM-79 and LM-80.

LM-79 is an approved method for taking electrical and photometric measurements of SSL products. It covers total flux, electrical power, efficacy, chromaticity, and intensity distribution – and applies to LED-based products that incorporate control electronics and heat sinks (including integrated LED products and complete luminaires), but not to bare LED packages and modules, nor to fixtures designed for LED products but sold without a light source. Unlike traditional photometric evaluation, which involves separate testing of lamps and luminaires, LM-79 tests the complete LED luminaire because of the critical interactive thermal effects. While LM-79 doesn’t address product reliability or life, it does provide for the important calculation of complete luminaire initial efficacy.

LM-80 is an approved method for measuring the lumen maintenance of LED packages, arrays, and modules at various temperatures. It specifies a minimum testing period of 6,000 hours, although 10,000 hours is preferred, and it requires testing at a minimum of 1,000-hour increments. But LM-80 provides no determination or estimation of expected life or lumen output beyond the test data – which, even with 10,000 hours of testing, falls far short of the claimed lifetimes of most SSL products on the market today.

That’s where TM-21 comes in. Whereas LM-80 only defines how to collect LED lumen maintenance data, TM-21 spells out a way to use that data to estimate the lumen output beyond the LM-80 test period. So the two methods are designed to work hand-in-hand, with TM-21 providing a way to project the lumen maintenance of an LED and help estimate the potential useful life of an LED luminaire.

However, it’s important to note that TM-21 focuses on a specific light source component (package, module, array), not on an entire luminaire. A complete luminaire is a complex system, with many other components that can affect lifetime – such as the driver, optics, thermal management, and housing. The failure of any one of these can mean the end of the luminaire’s useful life, even if the LEDs are still going strong. So any meaningful projection of lifetime has to take all of these components into account, and not just focus on the LEDs.

This means that, in helping to project the expected lumen output of the light source as part of a total system, TM-21 is just the first step. But it’s an important first step, and it means that the journey to nailing down the issue of useful SSL lifetime has finally begun.

A dedicated group of professionals has worked long and hard under the IES’s Technical Procedures Committee to produce TM-21. Recognizing the difficulty and importance of their work, DOE lent a hand to their efforts when and wherever it could, providing ideas to help resolve problems, and data analysis to answer questions. The members of this committee, and the whole of IES, deserve recognition for the hard work and long hours they’ve put in to make this document possible.

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Product Monday: Octron 800 XV Lamps With Optimized Phosphors By OSRAM SYLVANIA

Recently, LightNOW covered the rare earth phosphor shortage created by export restrictions by China, the world’s main supplier. As lamp manufacturers are forced to raise prices, OSRAM SYLVANIA says it…

Recently, LightNOW covered the rare earth phosphor shortage created by export restrictions by China, the world’s main supplier. As lamp manufacturers are forced to raise prices, OSRAM SYLVANIA says it is also responding with a new line of 4- and 8-ft. T8 lamps that feature “optimized phosphor formulation,” making them more resistant to material cost increases. The product, Octron 800 XV (for “eXtended Value”), which will become available next month, will include both 32W and reduced-wattage (25W, 28W, 30W) 4-ft. types as well as 50W and 54W 8-ft. types. All products are rated at 42,000 hours and a CRI of 83. Made in the USA, TCLP and RoHS compliant, lead-free glass.

Update: Sylvania has also announced a halophosphor ECOLOGIC T8 lamp for applications where color is not critical.

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