Renovation used to be the domain of carpenters, painters and interior designers. Now, more than ever, electrical contractors are renovating spaces with high-tech systems and the increased power that goes along with them.
That’s a message Electrical Contractor has been delivering for years. This time, however, we take a more focused approach: in the wake of ruin, rebuilding provides the opportunity to modernize. Why remake a building the way it was when you can renovate it to be more flexible, technologically sound and energy-efficient as well as future-proofed to ensure it operates effectively for years to come?
That is the spirit of this issue’s cover, which you no doubt noticed features a phoenix rising from the ashes of a destroyed building. Sure, the fire looks cool, but we wanted to highlight the work that electrical contractors do in restoring people’s lives by remaking their homes or businesses.
No part of this issue embodies that message more than our project profile, “Rising From Ashes,” by Claire Swedberg. After a massive electrical fire in 2016 shut down critical components of a casting foundry in Champaign, Ill., Remco Electrical Corp. quickly re-established temporary power so the company could get back on its feet and then worked with other trades on a full rebuild. Not only that, but while Remco was in there, it performed some upgrades. They were in the neighborhood anyway.
What if the building is perfectly safe and Mother Nature decides it’s time to go? For all of our best efforts, we can’t control the weather or other natural disasters. Susan Bloom’s “Bouncing Back” covers the record-breaking disasters of 2017 during which ECs in many regions were affected by and recovered from hurricanes and fires.
And what if tragedy strikes the economy? Jeff Gavin’s “Weathering the Next Recession” offers insight into how to prepare so that, when the rebound comes, your company can rise with no ashes necessary.
Also worth a mention here, “Leapfrogging over Poles and Wires,” by Chuck Ross, looks at the role microgrids and distributed generation are playing around the world. This one focuses on some developing countries, but it’s not hard to see how such technologies and infrastructure could benefit rural and remote portions of the United States.
Finally, this print issue is a little bittersweet for us because, like the theme that pervades this issue, this magazine will return as something new next month. In July, you will see a new look for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR as we present a print edition redesign. Don’t worry. We aren’t making any structural changes, and all of your favorite columns and features will still be here. However, we’re updating the aesthetic to make it more readable and modern.
Also next month: a little thing we like to call The 2018 Profile of the Electrical Contractor. July is kind of going to be a big deal. But first, we hope you enjoy this one.