Swedish home-furnishings giant IKEA officially powered up its Brooklyn, N.Y., store’s rooftop solar system this spring after several delays, including a mid-construction switch of its main contractor. Photo: By Esther D'amico Store-top installation enables four different types of photovoltaic panels to be evaluated. The store is one of four worldwide participating in a $11.7-million pilot program IKEA established in 2009 with Loughborough University, Leicestershire, U.K., and the now-defunct contractor Perpetual Energy Ltd., Knutsford, U.K., to monitor and evaluate performance of photovoltaic systems. While the systems at each of the four sites are operational, their monitoring capabilities are as yet limited
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.