One of the hottest trends in renewable energy is building solar arrays over open air parking lots. Transforming open spaces into clean energy sources, offseting electricity bills while providing the amenities of shade, cooler vehicles, and protection from inclement weather to the people who park their cars underneath.
The construction industry is beginning to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. After seeing project starts and bidding activity drop significantly in 2020, Autodesk’s 2021 Construction Outlook report sees a positive near-term future. New starts, project restarts, and starting backlogs are rising in all sectors; residential, commercial, and non-building infrastructure.
It’s a simple truth: Projects that are better designed in the beginning have better outcomes in the end. The reason is less changes on the job site. Fewer change orders mean lower costs through proper material estimating, less surprise charges, reduced overtime expenses, and fewer delays, allowing contractors to hit construction windows for timely project completion. The result is more profitable projects and happier clients.
The U.S. economy is picking up steam, eclipsing quarterly GDP growth forecasts as America gets back to work after a difficult 2020. The construction industry is seeing upticks in activity for new project starts, resuming construction at paused sites, and rescheduling projects that were put on hold during the pandemic.
I am the founder of a company that gets deeply involved in construction projects of all shapes and sizes. The types of products my company provides are part of the data, communications and electrical infrastructure of most any building under construction or renovation today. We manufacture products that are installed in interstitial spaces; under raised floors or above dropped ceilings. But we could be talking about any building sub-system here.
What is ASHRAE Standard 90.1?
In 1975 the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE) first published a set of standards that provided minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design of most buildings, excluding low-rise residential buildings. Initially focused on the HVAC elements of construction, it has evolved to include the majority of mechanical (escalators, elevators, pumps, etc.) and electrical/lighting systems of a structure, intelligent building management systems (BMS), and even the building envelope itself to maximize energy conservation.
Are you suspending tiers of cable trays from ceiling-mounted threaded rods? Have you thought about installation cost? Not the cost of the rods. Not the cost of the trays. Not even the cost of the hex nuts and washers. Just the labor to properly position the hex nut(s) on every rod for a level cable tray installation. Snake Tray has, and here’s what we found: Snake Nut™ can reduce the cycle time and cost of cable tray fastener installation by a factor of up to 30:1.
Snake Tray’s cable management systems are typically wire basket tray sections that, by design, nest inside each other to pack a lot of product into very little space. This one simple characteristic provides a number of benefits, all while helping builders achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification by minimizing costs and waste even as they improve building aesthetics by keeping cables organized and out of sight:
Architects and engineers have known for years about the advantages of raised access floors. In addition to creating an interstitial space for easy access to power lines and data cables, raised flooring eliminates the need for HVAC ductwork. Rather, climate-controlled air is pumped under the entire floor and rises up through diffusers.
Besides eliminating the labor and expense of fabricating sheet metal air ducts and vents reaching every floor and room of a building – in itself a major cost justifier – the removal of these obstacles allows for greater flexibility when running power lines and data cables, and contributes to increased airflow for better heat dissipation.
The California Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards require builders to meet ever-evolving criteria for energy conservation and to use green construction practices whenever possible in order to protect our environment. What started in California is rapidly proliferating across the country as other states model Title 24 energy efficiency standards for large-scale commercial structures as well as residential homes. This has given rise to an entire industry focused on eco-friendly building design initiatives and innovations that make buildings smarter.