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VISTAtsi awarded for its GIS-based emergency planning solution for buildings

Herndon, Virginia , December 29, 2008 — VISTA Technology Services, Inc. (VISTAtsi) has been recognized with an award for its participation in BIMStorm; a formal collaboration of architecture, engineering, construction and facility planning professionals for the purpose of brainstorming scenarios for redeveloping existing buildings and property. VISTAtsi employee Gary Siorek received the jury award for “Collaboration” for his work on GIS-based emergency preparedness planning for several sites in Alexandria, Virginia.

The BIMStorm Alexandria event on September 9-11, 2008 challenged participants to utilize Building Information Modeling (BIM) standards and internet-based planning tools to run scenarios for areas affected by Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) activities. Among the objectives–which ranged from creating Federal Friendly Zones (FFZ), redeveloping existing buildings and reducing the carbon footprint–was security planning.

“As a result of my exercise, we learned that two of the proposed sites for redevelopment fell outside of the recommended response zone of Alexandria Fire Department stations,” explained VISTAtsi Senior Solutions Engineer and GIS Analyst Gary Siorek. “The city of Alexandria may need to re-examine its access roads, fire station locations and/or emergency equipment placement to stay within National guidelines.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA Code 1710), the minimum requirement for fire suppression operations is a four-minute response time. The standard for emergency medical operations is eight-minutes. Failing to meet these guidelines could be a financial blow to the buildings’ owners.

“These recommendations may ultimately impact the availability of these sites for new federal civilian agency tenants, as well as raise insurance rates,” Siorek commented. “I’m glad I could use my background in geospatial information systems to contribute to the economic development of the area, and highlight aspects of security response, planning and zoning that will affect Alexandria’s BRAC redevelopment plans.”

“Our company co-sponsored the BIMStorm Alexandria, Federal Friendly Zones™ event because BIM is transforming the industry,” remarked VISTAtsi President and CEO David Baxa. “Many Federal organizations already endorse BIM, and more BIM-compliant buildings in the Federal inventory will reduce the cost of implementing portfolio management and sustainability programs.”