Once upon a time, in the early days of the 20th century, man built things to last. Commercial and residential buildings were constructed with stone or brick and roofed in slate. Until fairly recently, nobody thought of them as being "green." Now, there is talk circulating among architects and builders who praise such old buildings with regard to the envionmental benefits of working with them.
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Smart Grid is an international phenomenon that is mostly about upgrading the energy infrastructure—from how energy is produced, transmitted, and distributed to how it's used. The "smart" part is the use of intelligent devices that allow utilities to manage the grid more efficiently.
From Manhattan to San Francisco, the commercial building infrastructure is aging and many building owners wrestle with how they will maintain them. They’re trying to spend dollars carefully in an effort to balance profits with tenant retention and property value.
Excellence in engineering—a concept that isn't new, not by a long shot, but something that rarely is recognized outside of academic and association/society circles. And though many engineers remain tied to societies and universities, the work they do every day for clients rarely is recognized in a national forum.
I suppose the key to all of this is the energy plan. In a nutshell, isn’t that exactly what we do in the commercial marketplace everyday? And the minute we, as an industry, think we have it all figured out, something changes: the law, the economy, the technology, the tools, the processes we use, everything.
Happy New Year, everyone. The doors have closed on 2010, and by all accounts, we've ended in a somewhat up mode. Economic pundits say that the economy is recovering slowly, the world financial markets are beginning to stabilize, and manufacturers in the HVAC industry have seen shipment improvements over the previous two years.
The energy-conservation movement revolves around everything from carbon footprint to the energy efficiency of comfort systems for the home and workplace. It isn't only product-focused, but process-focused—from the types of raw materials used to build buildings, equipment, and tools to how waste is recycled and reused. And it includes the concept of a "smart grid" electrical-delivery system.
As I write this, the polls are closed and the Republicans managed to stage a political comeback. But here's the question: Was it just me, or did anyone else feel like this was the ugliest election year in memory? I'm certainly old enough to know that every election year has negative campaigning, but to me, this probably was one of the worst.