Rene Basulto, P.E., MSEM, CGC, C.F.E.I. Mechanical Engineer & Building Systems Expert

Rene Basulto, Mechanical Engineer & Building Systems Expert

Rene is a mechanical engineer with 40 years of experience in the design, construction and maintenance of building systems, including HVAC, plumbing, industrial systems, and fire protection systems. He provides investigations, reports, and testimony in matters involving personal injury or economic loss as they relate to building systems.

Rene has managed his own engineering firm in the Miami area since 1993. His experience extends to a broad variety of building types including education, healthcare, supermarkets, gas stations, pharmaceutical and food processing facilities, and a range of commercial and residential properties. He has also worked for a number of nationally recognized engineering firms including The Trane Company, where he provided technical and educational support to HVAC Contractors and Engineers and was responsible for coordinating training programs for Trane personnel and dealers.

Rene is a Licensed Professional Engineer in over 10 states, a Licensed General Contractor, and Certified Plans Examiner in Florida. He is also an adjunct professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Miami, teaching graduate and undergraduate level courses in building systems.

Professional Experience

Robson Forensic, Inc.

Associate

2010 to present

Provide technical investigations, analysis, reports, and testimony toward the resolution of commercial and personal injury litigation involving all aspects of mechanical systems for buildings, construction practices, safety, and construction management. Areas of expertise include:

HVAC:

  • Load calculations and system design, installation, service and maintenance.
  • Central chilled water plants, DX, closed circuit fluid coolers, chillers, cooling towers, variable refrigerant flow, process cooling systems.
  • Controls: temperature and humidity control, safety, energy management, DDC.
  • Distribution: air handlers and ductwork, pumps and piping, noise control, fire safety, variable air volume.
  • Ventilation: outdoor air, sick building syndrome, indoor air quality, energy recovery, grease laden air systems, restaurant ventilation systems, smoke control, clean room environment systems.
  • Legionellosis risk assessment and reduction.

Plumbing, Water and Sewage:

  • Domestic cold and hot water: temperature controls, water hammer and surge suppression, washdown systems, waste water treatment, domestic water treatment and disinfection, flooding, scalding.
  • Sewage systems: gravity and pumped, grease interceptors, sludge dewatering, sludge pumping station, odor control, overflows.
  • Storm drainage: gravity and pumped oil sand interceptors, overflows.
  • Gas systems: natural and propane gas, gas piping, regulators, appliances.
  • Swimming pools: design, filtering, drainage, and safety.
  • Legionellosis risk assessment and reduction through design of domestic water systems.

Industrial Systems:

  • Process: high pressure air and steam, hydraulic systems, ammonia refrigeration, flash mixing, pumps and controls, flare systems, digester gas systems, engines, generators. Medical gas systems. Explosion-proof equipment.
  • Air quality and ventilation: fans, ductwork, exhaust hoods, fans, blowers. Clean air systems, wet scrubbers, carbon absorbers, cyclone separators, dust collection, biofilters, activated carbon filtration, odor control, clean room production areas.
  • Compressed air system, factory preassembled and custom built.

Electrical:

  • The National Electric Code
  • Electrocutions, shock & lightning activity: Evaluation of Causation of Shocks originating from electrical faults due to electrical explosions, arc flashes, lightning damage.
  • Illumination/Lighting: field measurement of lighting levels, analysis of adequacy of illumination levels for compliance with codes, standards and practices for egress and work place safety.
  • Safety of electrical systems with include controls, lock-out/tag-out procedures, personal protection equipment (PPE) • Underground and overhead transmission and distribution cables, transformers, circuit breakers, contactors, relays, fuses, short circuit analysis and grounding.
  • Swimming pool electrical systems and grounding to prevent electric-shock or electrocution.

Fire Science and Fire Protection Engineering:

Thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, combustion, fire safety, smoke movement.

  • Wet, dry, and double interlock preaction sprinkler systems, in-rack systems, stand pipe, ESFR systems, Halon/FM200 suppression systems, fire pump systems, jockey pumps, vertical turbine fire pumps, water storage tanks and ponds, hydraulic analysis.
  • Fire alarm systems, heat detectors, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors. • Fire & Explosion Investigation, determine cause and origin.
  • Commercial cooking operation fire extinguishing systems.

Sound/Acoustics:

  • Sound absorption and control analysis to determine compliance with prevailing codes, standards and practices.
  • Field measurement and analysis of sound levels caused by equipment, construction, or other sources.

Construction and Construction Management:

  • Network critical physical infrastructure, industrial, institutional, residential and commercial construction.
  • Experience as construction manager, general contractor, subcontractor, and material supplier.
  • Construction claims analysis
  • Critical Path Method (CPM) scheduling & analysis
  • Construction safety
  • Construction defect analysis
  • OSHA-30-hour Construction Industry Card
  • Construction cost estimates.
  • Natural Disaster damage assessment
  • Building construction including:
    • Site work (earthwork, paving, landscaping)
    • Concrete (precast, cast-in-place)
    • Masonry
    • Metals (structural steel, joists, decking, ornamental metals)
    • Wood (rough carpentry, finish carpentry, framing)
    • Thermal and moisture protection
    • Doors and windows
    • Finishes (gypsum drywall, tile, ceilings, flooring, paint, wall covering)
    • Fire proofing, fire separation, and fire & life safety
    • Industrial process and production equipment installation
    • Equipment and Specialties (data centers, telecom, CCTV)
    • Emergency Back-up Power Generation
    • Large scale data and telecommunication centers

Types of Facilities:

  • Educational, bio-pharmaceutical, healthcare, food and beverage processing and packaging, bio-labs, R&D labs, clean room environments, vehicle maintenance, commercial, retail supermarkets, data centers, hospitality, residential, fueling stations, natatoriums, swimming pools, and spas.

University of Miami – School of Architecture

Part-time Faculty - Professor

2007 to 2014

Teaching Graduate and Undergraduate level courses in Building Systems with concentration on renewable and sustainable design. Subjects include but not limited to:

  • Environmental systems, heating, air conditioning and ventilation.
  • Plumbing waste systems
  • Storm water systems
  • Water distribution systems
  • Waste water treatment
  • Portable water treatment and purification
  • Building management systems
  • Building egress and safety
  • Illumination
  • Acoustics
  • Electrical systems
  • Fire and Life Safety systems and construction
  • Fire protection & suppression systems

Basulto Construction, Inc. – General Contractor, Design Builder

President and Qualifier

2002 to present

General Contractor and Builder providing services for several industrial, pharmaceutical, data centers, commercial, and residential projects. Certified APC Gold Partner.

Projects include:

  • Production Cleanrooms, and Laboratories
  • Large Compressed Air Systems
  • Swimming pools
  • Spas
  • Residential
  • Network Critical Physical Infrastructure
  • Emergency Back-up Power Generation
  • Large scale data and telecommunication centers

Basulto & Associates, Inc. Consulting Engineers

Principal

1993 to present

Professional engineering firm providing mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection consulting design services. The firm specializes in the design, construction management, plan review, and code compliance inspections of commercial, industrial, educational, recreational, swimming facilities, medical, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and governmental projects in the public as well as the private sector.

Pinera-Basulto, Inc. Consulting Engineers

Principal, Director of Engineering

1989 to 1993

Principal, Director of Engineering Designed and managed construction for HVAC, plumbing, fire protection and process systems in a variety of commercial, industrial and educational buildings.

Wolfberg, Alvarez and Associates

Mechanical Engineer

1988 to 1989

Designed HVAC and other mechanical systems. Projects include: 10 story VA Medical Center in Palm Beach, Miami Mac Arthur North High School, and several projects for the US Corps of Engineers, GSA and Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

The Trane Company

Instructor/Training Coordinator – Field Service Administrator

1987 to 1988

Trane is a manufacturer of HVAC equipment which includes compressors, chillers, air moving equipment, heaters, etc.

Responsibilities included:

  • Providing technical and educational support on special applications and service to HVAC Contractors and Engineers.
  • Coordinating training programs for Trane’s personnel and dealers service.
  • Troubleshooting equipment and coordinating factory investigation of failed components, sending components back to factory to determine causation of failure.
  • Field implementation and testing of new technologies, variable speed equipment, high efficiency compressor/condensing units, multispeed compressors/systems.

Llorens-Pinera, Inc. Consulting Engineers

Mechanical Engineer
Associate Director Mechanical Engineering

1980 to 1987

Designed mechanical systems for a wide variety of commercial and industrial projects FP&L, Publix Supermarkets, B&B Markets, and Walgreens among others.

Insta-Service Air Conditioning Contractor

Installer, Service Technician

1978 to 1980

Installed and serviced air conditioning systems for residential and commercial properties

Professional Credentials

  • Professional Engineer: Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, US Virgin Islands
  • Registered Mechanical Inspector, International Code Council
  • Registered Mechanical Plans Examiner, International Code Council #476
  • Certified General Contractor, Florida
  • Certified Plans Examiner, Florida
  • Certified Inspector, Florida
  • Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI), National Association of Fire Investigators
  • Certified Plant Engineer (CPE), Association for Facilities Engineering
  • Certified in Plumbing Design (CIPE / CPD), American Society of Plumbing Engineers
  • Network Critical Physical Infrastructure (NCPI) - Certified
  • Environmental Mold Inspection & Remediation Certified
  • U.S. Green Building Council: LEED AP
  • OSHA 30-hour Construction Card

Education

  • Master of Science in Engineering Management (MSEM), Florida International University, College of Engineering and Computing
  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME), Florida International University, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Professional Certification, Florida International University, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Associates in Arts, Engineering Degree, Miami-Dade College

Continuing Education

  • Worksite Safety 06: OSHA Scaffolds, 4/08/18
  • Ethics for Florida Building Inspectors, 12/4/17
  • Florida: Building Inspector's Laws & Rules, 11/29/17
  • Building Systems for Designers - Electrical Appliances and Communications Equipment Bath Planning: Accessibility in Practice, 11/27/17
  • 2014 Florida Building Code® Advanced 5th Edition: Significant Changes to the Building Code – Internet, 11/27/17
  • Ethics for Professionals, 05/17/17
  • Florida Engineering Laws and Rules, 05/17/17
  • CxEnergy 2017 Conference, April 2017
    • Courses include:
      • Maintaining Temperature and Humidity in Critical Zones
      • Optimizing Chilled Water Systems for Energy Efficiency and Occupant Load
      • Building Enclosure Commissioning: Growing Trends in Higher Energy Performance & Operational Excellence
      • Discover How Much Water You’re Using and Use that Information to Optimize Your Facility
      • AABC Test & Balance Seminar for CxA’s, Engineers & TAB Professionals
      • Measurement Verification of Heat for Thermal Energy Credits
      • Performance Testing for the Enclosure
      • Commissioning of cGMP and Laboratory Systems
  • International Association of Arson Investigators, August 2017
    • Courses include:
      • Arc Mapping Basics
      • Basic Electricity
      • Digital Photography and the Fire Investigator
      • Documenting the Event
      • Explosion Dynamics
      • Introduction to Evidence
      • Physical Evidence at the Fire Scene
      • Residential Electrical Systems
      • Electrical Safety
      • Investigating Natural Gas Systems
      • Thermometry, Heat, and Heat Transfer
  • Electrical and Arc Flash Hazards, 11/2016
  • Arc Flash Hazard Analysis, 11/2016
  • Wind Mitigation: Roof Decking, Secondary Water Barriers & Gable End Bracing, 8/2016
  • 2014 Florida Building Code Advanced 5th Edition: Plumbing Summary of Significant Changes, 8/2016
  • Florida Workers’ Compensation Law (V15), 8/2016
  • FL Statutes, Chapter 489, Section 101-114: Construction Contracting, 8/2016
  • Safety Management, 8/2016
  • OSHA 30-hour Construction Industry Health & Safety Certification, 11/2015
    • Courses include:
      • Managing Safety & Health
      • Fall Hazards
      • Electrocution
      • Materials Handling
      • Caught By or Between Hazards
      • Scaffolding
      • Personal Protective Equipment
      • Concrete and Masonry
      • Construction Health Hazards
      • Hand & Paper Towels
      • Stairways and Ladders
      • Fire Prevention
      • Crane Safety
      • Steel Erection
      • Excavation Safety
      • Motor Vehicles, et al.
      • Welding and Cutting
      • Supervisor SHE Responsibilities
      • Confined Spaces
      • Observing/Correcting Unsafe Behaviors
      • Ergonomics
      • Preventing Injuries & Incidents
      • Safety & Health Programs
      • Introduction to NFPA 70E
      • Leading Cultural Change
  • Florida Building Inspector’s Laws and Rules, 11/2015
  • Ethics for Florida Building Inspectors, 11/2015
  • Hospital Filtration Systems & Airborne Contaminant Control, 10/2015
  • Methods of Air Distribution in Hospitals, 10/2015
  • Hydronics and the Effects of Variable Speed Screw Chillers, 10/2015
  • Building Pathology: An Introduction, 5/2015
  • Building Pathology: Utilities, Environmental & Protection Systems, 5/2015
  • Building Pathology: Materials Pathology, 5/2015
  • Building Pathology: Site Drainage Problems, 5/2015
  • Building Systems for Designers Water Supply, Distribution, and Waste Systems, 5/2015
  • Building Systems for Designers Heating and Cooling Systems, 5/2015
  • Green Building Envelope Design Webcast, 5/2015
  • Green Design: Sustainable Water Systems in Buildings, 5/2015
  • Cost Estimating: Fundamentals, 5/2015
  • Ethical Decision Making for Engineers #2, 5/2015
  • Ethical Decision Making for Engineers #3, 5/2015
  • Florida Engineers' Laws and Rules V.13, 2/2015
  • Safety: Developing an Employee Safety Orientation Program, 9/2014
  • Leak Detection for Roofs, 9/2014
  • Understanding Workers' Compensation for Employers V14, 9/2014
  • Plumbing: Tips, Tricks and Tools, 9/2014
  • Concrete Fundamentals II Concrete - Slab on Grade, 9/2014
  • Storm Safe Homes: Building a Safe Room, 9/2014
  • Professional Painting, 9/2014
  • Florida Construction Lien Law, Chapter 713, 9/2014
  • Florida Building Code Advanced 2010: Residential Floors, 9/2014
  • FL Statutes, Chapter 489, Sections 101-114:
  • Construction Contracting [V.02], 9/2014
  • ADA Guidelines 2010: General Site and Building Elements, 9/2014
  • Florida Wind Mitigation Retrofit Requirements for Existing Buildings [V2], 9/2014
  • Business Management: Brief Overview, 9/2014
  • ADA Guidelines 2010: Accessible Routes, 10/2013
  • Ethics for Florida Building Inspectors, 10/2013, 10/2015
  • Florida: Building Inspector's Laws & Rules V.13, 2011, 10/2013, 10/2015 2011
  • NEC Code Change Articles 90-110, 10/2013
  • Florida Building Code Advanced 2010: Fixtures, Faucets and Fixture Fittings, 6/2012
  • Wind Mitigation: Roof Decking, Secondary Water Barriers & Gable End Bracing, 5/2012
  • Pricing as a Professional, 5/2012

Professional Affiliations

  • American Society of Heating, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning (ASHRAE)
  • American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE)
    • Chapter VP-Technical 1996-1999
  • Association for Facilities Engineering (AFE)
    • Chapter Secretary 2001-2003
  • Association of Cuban Engineers
    • President 1992-1993
  • Building Commissioning Association
  • Engineering Management Honor Society, Epsilon Mu Eta – Beta Delta Chapter
  • International Code Council (ICC)
  • National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA
  • National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI)
  • Induction into Order of the Engineer, 2014

&Nbsp;publications and Presentations

  • "Water Quality & Minimizing Microbial Growth through Design,” (Presenter) Puerto Rico College of Engineers Continuing Education Seminar, San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 16, 2015.
  • Basulto, R. (8/18/2015) “Legionnaires Disease- Expert Article on Recent Outbreak and Changing Standards.
  • Basulto, R. (2015) “Legionellosis Standard of Care on the Horizon,” Georgia Defense Lawyers Association, Publication May 2015.
  • "Water Quality & Minimizing Microbial Growth through Design,” (Presenter), Bavaro Group Hotels and Municipal Infrastructures, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, February 2015
  • Basulto, R. (2012) “Domestic Water Pipe Sizing Considerations Using Cross-linked Polyethylene (PEX)” white paper for Viega Group, (English and Spanish versions).
  • "Understanding the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), Implementation, Design and Practice Issues,” (Presenter) American Institute of Architects (AIA) Florida Convention, Tampa, Nov, 2012.

Sport & Recreation Experience

Boy Scouts of America

  • Scoutmaster, Troop 660, South Florida Council 2017-current
  • Assistant Cubmaster/Den Leader, Pack 660, South Florida Council, 2015-2017
  • Merit Badge Counselor
  • First Aid Certified • CPR/AED Certified
  • Event planning and coordinating
  • Youth Protection Trained
  • Program Safety Trained
    • Hazardous Weather Training
    • Safe Swim Defense
    • Safety Afloat
    • Climb On Safely
    • Drive Safely

v. 12/19/19

Related Resources

See All of Rene's Published Content

Legionellosis, New Standard of Care

By Rene Basulto
Expert Article

In this article, Rene Basulto, P.E. provides an engineer’s introduction to Legionnaires Disease. He discusses the way that Legionella bacteria propagates in water systems and how developing…

Legionnaires Disease

By Rene Basulto
Expert Article

In this article, mechanical engineer Rene Basulto discusses the 2015 outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease in New York City, the suspected role that mechanical building systems play in the outbreak of…

Preventing Disease Transmission Through HVAC Systems

By Rene Basulto
Expert Article

What is the standard of care for minimizing the risk of disease transmission through building HVAC systems? Prior to 2020 this was an esoteric question largely reserved for academics, but it has since…

HVAC Assisted Disease Transmission

Thursday, October 01, 2020
2:00 - 3:00 pm
Featuring Rene Basulto
Video Webinar

The transmission of infectious airborne diseases such as influenza, the common cold, and COVID-19 can be accelerated or mitigated by a building’s HVAC equipment and systems. In this webinar video,…