Photo Courtesy of ASHRAE An Oberlin College building, designed for net-zero energy use, has not performed as well as hoped. Green does not necessarily mean energy-efficient. "A lot of people think it does," said consulting engineer Lawrence G. Spielvogel at the ASHRAE winter conference last month. The veteran mechanical engineer then charged that the long-used energy standard for commercial building systems, ASHRAE 90.1, "provides and requires a variety of means to waste energy efficiently, which is why so many 'green' buildings have high energy use."Among many things, Spielvogel—a known gadfly—blames code-required control systems for waste. "Good mechanical engineers do not
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.