PUBLISHER John W. Maisel
EDI TOR Andrea E. Klee
SENIOR EDI TOR Julie H. Mazur
SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDI TOR Timothy E. Johnson
EDI TORIAL/MULTIMEDIA ASSIS TAN T Matt Kraus
BUSINESS/PRODUC TION MANAGER Dominique M. Minor
CIRCULATION MANAGER Astra J. Hudson
ART DIREC TION: Paul Philpott/Bono Tom Studio Inc.
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY & U TILI T Y BUSINESS Chuck Ross
ARC FLASH SAFE T Y Jim Phillips
BUSINESS William Atkinson
CODE Jim Dollard
CODE Michael Johnston
CODE Charles R. Miller
CODE Mark C. Ode
ESTIMATING Stephen Carr
ENERGY MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY Darlene Bremer
FIBER OPTICS & CABLING Jim Hayes
FINANCIAL Denise R. Norberg-Johnson
FIRE/LIFE SAFE T Y S YS TEMS Wayne D. Moore
LIFE SAFETY SYSTEMS Thomas P. Hammerberg
LEGAL Gerard W. Ittig
LIGHTING Craig DiLouie
POWER QUALIT Y Richard P. Bingham
RESIDENTIAL David E. Shapiro
SAFETY Joe O’Connor & Tom O’Connor
SECURITY Deborah L. O’Mara
SERVICE/MAINTENANCE Andrew McCoy & Fred Sargent
TOOLS Jeff Griffin
ADDRESS 3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 1100
Bethesda, MD 20814-5372
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CHIEF EXECU TIVE OFFICER John M. Grau
SECRETARY-TREASURER Traci Pickus
VICE PRESIDEN T AND COO Daniel G. Walter
EDITOR’S EYE BY ANDREA E. KLEE
MY FAVORITE YEAR OF BASEBALL WAS 2001, when the Seattle
Mariners bludgeoned the American League, winning 116 games—which is tied
for the most ever in a season—and led the majors in runs scored and fewest runs
allowed. What’s incredible about that team is that, in the two seasons prior, the
Mariners lost Ken Griffey, Jr., Randy Johnson and Alex Rodriguez (who signed for
$252 million with the Rangers). There’s no reason that this team, devoid of big-name stars save for Edgar Martinez, should have been so successful. Left-handed
pitcher Jamie Moyer, who was 39 at the time, won 20 games, the most on the team.
My other favorite baseball year, and team, was the 2012 Washington Nationals.
Another surprise, another team doing big things with not many big names (except
for Bryce Harper’s rookie campaign and Stephen Strasburg’s shutdown saga). Like
the 2001 Mariners, the 2012 Nationals ended the season with the best record in the
major leagues, and, while they weren’t ultimately successful in the playoffs, they
were truly the best throughout the six months prior.
What’s interesting to me is that these teams really showcase the importance of
everyone working together and pushing toward the same goals. In both cases, it
took everybody’s contribution to churn out those wins.
So, if you’re not good at deciphering sports analogies, you may not understand
how this applies to you. We know from our research studies, including the biennial
Profile of the Electrical Contractor, that construction has moved in the direction of
collaborative, team-oriented building. These approaches come in many forms with
different names, including design/build, design/assist, integrated project delivery,
lean construction, etc.
Whatever it’s called, the goal is the same: for all of the various contributors to a
construction project to work together on development. It’s a great strategy for the
building owner because everyone getting together at the start of the project lessens
the drama of having an architect design something that the contractors down the
chain have to figure out how to bid and build. By getting everyone together at the
beginning and using the same technological tools (such as building information
modeling), everyone can add their two cents, using their own unique knowledge
and experience to create, and then deliver on, a plan.
I remember a speaker years ago at a Design-Build Institute of America
conference highlighted how much quicker and less expensive it is to deliver a
building using the design/build framework. That makes sense. When everyone is
working together, you can accomplish great things.
Many of you are already familiar with these strategies, but we like to revisit
them at least once a year to focus on the benefits of collaboration. Before the Great
Recession, almost half of all projects were being done on a design/build basis.
Those numbers have dropped a bit recently, but I suspect it’s going to pick up again.
It is sensible for electrical contractors to get involved in collaborative building,
because it makes your prior experience and knowledge more valuable. You know
your business and what’s required for the electrical system, so you should be able
to voice that to the building owner, architect and engineers.
As you read this issue, you’ll find several articles that highlight your important,
growing role and how best to work in those team environments. And, when you’re
known as a great team player among your construction industry peers, it just may
lead to more work in the future.
The M’s Have It