Recently, a few of us went to George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate for a symposium about the energy efficiency of historic sites. It was hosted by the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Association for Preservation Technology. We wondered what George Washington would think if he got a glimpse of the visitors to his painstakingly preserved home today. Constructed by his father in 1735, Mount Vernon was our first president’s own design/build project.

After listening to the engineers, architects and preservationists discuss the migration of moisture in porous materials, ASHRAE guidelines and spray foam, all we could think was, “It would be so much easier to start from scratch.”

However, we know from the 2016 Profile of the Electrical Contractor (profile.ecmag.com) that 27 percent of electrical contractors’ work is in renovation and remodeling (modernization and retrofits). So this month in the magazine, we bring you several features to help get that job done.

Jeff Gavin keeps us up-to-date on the latest in hotel, office and residential remodeling and repurposing in “The Renovation Engine.” Chuck Ross writes about how standards developers are providing building owners and operators the necessary information to ensure building systems live up to expectations in “Submetering Goes Mainstream.”

Claire Swedberg has two articles this month. “3-D Printing: Fiction to Fact” explains additive manufacturing and the possible ways ECs could deploy it on the job. Claire’s other story is about the renovation and expansion of the American Line Builders Apprenticeship Training Center in Medway, Ohio. We think anyone who does linework and anyone who has seen those guys up there agrees that proper training is crucial.

In our Integrated Systems Contractor supplement, Deborah O’Mara brings us advancements in biometrics in “Breaking Down Barriers.” And Wayne Moore explains the logic behind fire alarm installation in “Location, Location, Location.”

We also bring you our usual array of expert knowledge of the National Electrical Code, new products and trade news. If you’re in town to visit Mount Vernon, stop by and see us in Bethesda. Our door is open.