One night in early March as well as the next day before dawn, the Dept. of Energy’s Jeffrey M. Baker wasn’t pleased when he noticed lights still burning on two floors of his pet project: the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s new, ultra-green office building in Golden, Colo. “The cleaning staff probably left them on,” said Baker, who oversees the lab. Photo: Dennis Schroeder/NREL Monitors Pless (left) and a colleague track the building’s energy use to see if it aligns with the energy model used for design. Related Links: 2011 Award of Excellence Winner: Jeffrey M. Baker 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.