You Can Grow Your Own Way

By Julie Mazur and Timothy Johnson | Jul 15, 2017
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There are too many metaphors to choose from, so we will refrain, but the point is green building isn’t going away anytime soon. In all likelihood, we will simply refer to it as “building” in the future. That isn’t an uncontested idea. In fact, we can already hear the Outlook notification chimes as we receive the polite feedback saying we dedicate too many pages to this topic.

While we like to have fun at the electrical contractor offices, in these pages and on our digital platforms, it’s our primary goal to arm you with the knowledge and industry insights you need to make your business a success. It’s up to you whether you’d like to listen.

One of those avenues you can choose to explore is green building, an industry that has grown in part due to legislative action and now seems to keep going despite what happens in the political world, propped up by market forces.

The electrical contractor is an integral part of green building. Like so many markets we’ve tried to acquaint our readers with over the years, electrical contractors have access to the part of the building that no other trade can touch: electricity. Today, and even more so in the future, electricity feeds everything.

Jeff Gavin kicks us off with a look at the state of sustainable buildings. “Here to Stay” makes the case for sustainability by presenting results of research from the construction industry’s most respected analytics firms. Chief trends contributing to sustainability’s acceptance are energy efficiency, energy storage and battery storage.

With the expansion of intermittent renewables, such as solar, which comes with the caveat of being useless if, say, there’s a solar eclipse that passes over California, batteries are more important than ever. But who’s going to make them all?

Chuck Ross updates us on Tesla’s Gigafactory in “Giga-Expectations.” Tesla, which is leading the charge in mobile and stationary lithium-ion batteries, is betting big on the capacity of its new manufacturing plant, which will reduce battery costs by increasing production scale, among other methods.

Of course, once a building has stored energy, what if it doesn’t need all of it? Not too long ago, we marveled at net-zero buildings. Now, we’re looking at net-positive buildings in Jeff Gavin’s “Buildings as Power Plants."

Maybe you prefer to live in the here and now. We haven’t forgotten you. We would be remiss if we didn’t note our two profiles this month. Susan Bloom’s “Wrapped Up” investigates the green building work Hardt Electric has done at Macy’s 12-acre, 860,000-square-foot distribution center in Minooka, Ill.

If you’re just not into the green building thing, check out “Serving Those Who Have Served." Claire Swedberg discovers a unique project by Commercial Electric to help wounded veterans in their pursuit of college degrees. And you can pick up some pointers on making presentations from Jim Phillips, who leads about 100 programs a year, in his Arc Flash Safety column.

All things considered, we’re here to help you find the best ways for your business to grow and succeed. Whether that does or doesn’t include boarding the green building freight train (Oops! There’s that metaphor!) is up to you.

About The Author

A woman, Julie Mazur, smiles at the camera. Image by Julie Mazur.

Julie Mazur

Managing Editor, Electrical Contractor magazine

Julie Mazur is the editor of Electrical Contractor magazine. Contact her at [email protected]

Timothy Johnson is the former digital editor for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine.

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