LAN Associates is a full service, engineering, planning, architecture, and surveying firm founded in 1965. We service a variety of federal, state, county, and municipal governments, housing authorities, boards of education, Fortune 500 companies, foreign companies, religious facilities, and private clients. LAN’s main office is located in Midland Park, Bergen County, New Jersey; with satellite offices in Goshen, New York and Trumbull, Connecticut.

Recent News

From the Desk of Ron Panicucci

When I first began to think about writing my next officer’s letter, Memorial Day was upon us and so was the unofficial beginning of the summer. Now, by the time I finalized the letter for distribution, schools have closed, the 4th of July is here and summer is officially in full swing. In the blink of an eye, the month of June disappeared, just like the first half of 2014 disappeared, and just like the last several years have disappeared. It’s funny how this disappearance of time and what we do with the time we have is exactly what I intended to “preach” about in my letter for this issue.

For the past several years, I’ve been serving as a chairperson for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Glen Rock. The relationships I’ve developed with cancer survivors and caregivers, as well as my experiences with those who have lost the battle coupled with the loss of a friend on 9/11 that had 5 young children have really changed my perspective on the time we have. I’ve come to realize it does disappear on us, and many times, prematurely. Each day Is a gift, and that is why the moment will live in now is the “present”.

Based on the deep thought expressed in the above paragraph, I’ve been spreading the word of my lifestyle concept call “take the milk”. Quite a number of years ago, I was picking up milk from the local supermarket on my way home from work. After ringing up the milk and scanning my store club card, the cashier asked “would you like to use your points to get the milk for free?” I replied, “Absolutely! Why would I hang onto these points? I have no idea where I’m going to be tomorrow.” After she laughed at the comment, I let her know of the sad reality of my reply and have been telling this story to many ever since.

Ever since that trip to the store with the free milk, I’ve been trying to live the “take the milk” lifestyle and encourage you to do the same. I’ve described my bucket as one with a hole in it because as fast as I add desired experiences to my bucket list, many experiences are achieved. I’ve become known as someone who arranges that trip, sees that show, goes to that concert, etc. I’ve tried to avoid saying “when…. or after….., I will do ……”. There’s no guarantee we’ll reach that “when” of “after”. Do it now.

So with summer upon us, what are your plans? Find a way to make them happen. Don’t put them off. Make them part of the “present” rather than a future hope. Not that this thought needed to be reinforced in my mind, but it really sunk in when a 14 year old cancer-surviving young man who has been helping me with the Relay for Life event the past several years suggested a song to be played while recognizing survivors at the event. The song was “I Lived” by OneRepublic. I had never heard of it before, so I immediately went to YouTube, of course. WOW, what a powerful lyric. I know that when I hear that typical Jersey question, “How you doin’?”, I can answer in the word of OneRepublic:

Hope when the moment comes,
You’ll say

I, I, I
I did it all
I, I, I
I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
Yeah with every broken bone
I swear I lived

This newsletter features a wide variety of stories involving the achievements of our staff, our company, our clients and best of all, by the students of our client school districts. On a staff level, Steven J. Ramiza, P.E. and Vice President has been named to the Board of Directors of Build with Purpose, Inc. and Lauri A. Taylor, has become a Certified Safety Professional. On a company level, LAN has been selected by the State of New Jersey to assist with the Blue Acres Program with its purchases of residential properties severely or repetitively damaged by storms and flooding. LAN has helped iFotress, a provider of modular datacenter solutions, achieve their goal of becoming a world-wide company by providing engineering support services. Lastly, for students of our client school districts, LAN has been playing a key role supporting the North Jersey Spelling Bee which draws participants from schools in Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, and Rockland Counties. LAN is also pleased to announce that our office assistant, Stefanie Hauser, was recently inducted into both the National Honor Society, as well as the Italian National Honor Society (Societa’ Onoraria Italica) at Hawthorne High School this spring. Read on for additional details on each of these achievements.

Ronald M. Panicucci, PE, LEED AP


LAN Assists iFortress in Pursuit of Modular Datacenter Market

For the past 10 years, LAN has been supporting iFortress, a provider of modular, secure Mission Critical Facilities worldwide. LAN’s support has been threefold, on a modular panel level with product engineering, on a component level with manufacturing engineering and on an operating system level with installation engineering. The installation engineering has included design of the enclosures themselves, design of the mechanical and electrical infrastructure for turnkey datacenter and telcom installations. Lastly, LAN has provided interface engineering by providing the services needed to install an iFortress modular solution within a facility including structural considerations, foundation designs, and a variety of utility connections such as sources of power, cooling, water, etc.

With iFortress being a global company, LAN’s services have extended to the four corners of the globe, literally. Not only has LAN provided services for projects located throughout the continental US, but LAN has provided engineering services for installations in Hawaii, South Korea, Brazil and Norway, and is currently pursuing opportunities in the Middle East and Africa. Also, because LAN has designed the iFortress modular system in conformance with the International Building Code exterior building standards, it can be installed in a variety of locations ranging from standalone exterior installations and installations in mines to installations in parking garages, warehouses and upper floors or roofs of buildings.

LAN has also assisted iFortress with obtaining certification of their enclosure as a SCIF, a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility. The United States military and government requires that classified information be handled, communicated or processed within a SCIF which provides unique protections from sound transmission, access, TEMPEST (spying on information systems through leaking emanations, including unintentional radio or electrical signals, sounds, and vibrations), EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) and HEMP (high altitude nuclear explosion). Having such certifications has led to projects on US military bases and for the State Department.

As interesting as all of the above may be, LAN and iFortress have recently been most excited about iFortress’ entry into the modular datacenter market. iFortress is tackling the modular market with a panel system that is infinitely configurable, built with panels that can be dropped anywhere the customer desires, and in a manner that increases speed of delivery and flexibility of the solution.

“We wanted something nimble and came up with the panel system,” said Jerry Lyons, iFortress CEO. “Risk mitigation is extremely important, so we spent over 10 years in research and development. Everything is tested and rated as an assembly to U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) standards.”

The iFortress modular solution addresses one of the biggest problems in the datacenter industry:  How much do you build? Typically, datacenters are built large enough to grow into over several years, but this is capital intensive. The iFortress panelized system allows owners to only build based on their needs today. When it’s time to expand or subtract, the initial datacenter is kept intact, panels are attached to the exterior, and when the expansion space is ready, the dividing wall can be removed.

“We started 14 years ago, designing solutions around what we heard, unlike most of the industry that responded around containerized,” said Lyons. “The reason that failed is because the market was asking for one thing, and the industry gave them something else. We went down to something extremely nimble.”

The iFortress modular enclosure is based around a panel system, using panels 2 feet wide and 4 inches thick. The panels and sizes are infinitely configurable. “By virtue of this panel system and its inherent properties, every assembly is airtight, watertight, green, energy efficient and prevents environmental threats,” said Lyons. “It enhances the market’s ability to have a pre-configured pre-engineered data center that can be put together in advance of site selection.  While a parking lot is very different than a warehouse – it doesn’t matter where we go.”

iFortress’ two main products include the xSiteTM MCF which is a server ready solution, and iShelterTM MCF, in which iFortress can build the environment in a sequence of decks. “Instead of two containers together, we build each deck so that when two elements are joined, it’s all continuous,” said Lyons.

Examples of recently completed projects include 1600 SF for Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, 1300 SF for ConEdison, 2800 SF for Johnson & Johnson, several underground facilities for Iron Mountain and a SCIF for the US Army at Fort Dix. Projects currently in fabrication include an 840 SF facility for the Hawaiian Department of Education and a 2300 SF facility for Bluefjords, a colocation company in Norway. Designs are currently in progress for AT&T, the Yongsan US Army base in Seoul, South Korea, the government of Dubai and a telcom installation for the Republic of Congo.

Steven Ramiza named to Build With Purpose Board of Directors

LAN is pleased to announce that Steven J. Ramiza, P.E. and Vice President was recently named to the Board of Directors at Build with Purpose, Inc.  (formerly known as READS).  Build with Purpose is a Metuchen-based, non-profit real estate development and consulting firm with a focus on community and economic development.  LAN and Mr. Ramiza have worked closely with Build with Purpose since 2007, and have provided assistance with environmental due diligence, engineering and architectural design, asbestos abatement, and feasibility studies.  Projects have included numerous charter school facilities throughout New Jersey, an affordable supportive housing project for seniors, a manufactured home community, and supportive housing for homeless Veterans.

Brian Keenan, Founder and President at Build with Purpose stated “Steve has been a long and committed friend to Build with Purpose.  His entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to addressing the social ills of our communities makes him an outstanding addition to our board, we at Build with Purpose are most fortunate for this willingness to serve.”

“I’m looking forward to continuing my relationship with Build with Purpose and furthering the efforts they have made to our community” – Steven Ramiza