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
WHILE SPRING IS USUALLY THE SEASON associated with renewal and
rebirth, fall and winter may be a good time for electrical contractors, like yourselves,
to take a hard look at your companies. If you typically work outside, this could be a
slower period. As such, it just may be an opportunity for a renewal of your service
offerings. Are you happy with the types of work your company does? Are there any
specialties or areas that you’d like to branch out into? What about emerging markets?
Are you prepared and nimble enough to expand into those areas? Are there other
things you can do now, while business is slower, to prepare for the busy times ahead?
For instance, the emerging energy-storage market will shortly be getting a shot in
the arm when Tesla Energy’s Gigafactory comes online. Soon, this U.S.-based industrial behemoth will begin churning out tons of batteries for energy storage, which will
likely spur major growth in that market. If you want to learn more about this factory
and all of the potential for you as an energy contractor, check out Chuck Ross’ “
Giga-Sized Dreams,” page 36.
If you use One-Call when searching out those underground utilities and find it
to be lacking, you will soon have another option: augmented reality. The idea is that
you’d look at an area using an app or device, and the screen would display what you’re
seeing but augment, or overlay it, with the utilities running underground that you
can’t see with the naked eye. The technology behind it should be well known to you:
It’s the same concept behind those yellow first-down lines you see on TV football
broadcasts. Augment your reality through Jeff Griffin’s article on page 58.
Going indoors now, to the office of the future. Or is it the present? In “Lighting the
Future,” Jeff Gavin examines the state of the office lighting industry, which has been
poised for major overhaul for many years. With concepts and technologies finally
making those shifts possible, you’ll need to be prepared for what’s coming your way.
Do that by reading from page 30.
Jeff Gavin’s second feature this month on regenerative design may be a little out
there for most of you; it certainly was for me. But the concept behind it, as addressed
in “Starting from Scratch,” page 44, is solid. It builds on trends already happening in
construction, from collaboration as a means to getting a future-proof design in place
to thinking of a building holistically. Some readers may be turned off by regenerative
design’s altruistic or environmentalist intention for the betterment of society, but you
can still learn how integrating your knowledge with those of the other construction-industry players makes a better building overall. You each have knowledge to add,
and that collaboration overcomes many of the pitfalls of doing each component in a
vacuum. Moreover, while creating a building, if you think of the lifecycle of the structure, you can scope out areas for future work. The building owner, who appreciates
this future-proof concept, may just call on you when it’s time to evolve.
One area of potential growth continues to be low-voltage, integrated systems area,
which we serve six times a year with our INTEGRATED SYSTEMS CONTRACTOR supplement. In this edition, you’ll find a couple articles on the smart home (pages 80 and
96), a quiz on emergency communications systems (page 98), and a look at how one
of your peers branched out into sprinkler systems. Yes, you can do that! Check out
the whole section, which begins on page 80.
After all this company self-reflection, you may decide you’re happy with what you
have. That’s great. But maybe the next market to emerge will call on you. It’s always
good to think constructively about what else you could be doing.
Fall Back to Spring Forward