ENR Award of Excellence winner Jeffrey Baker’s pet project—the ultra-green, ultra-affordable Research Support Facility (RSF) at the Dept. of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo.—is but a tiny example of the work funded through DOE’s Office of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. For Baker, the completion of the RSF last year signaled a second mission: to spread the word about the new model for affordable, energy-efficient buildings so that others might adapt it to their projects. Related Links: 2011 Award of Excellence Winner: Jeffrey M. Baker Closely Watched Building Lives Up to Expectations Risky ‘Golden’ Job Proves
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.