California’s ambitious green initiatives that emphasize both energy-efficient building design and increased use of renewable energy sources have created an opportunity for firms such as BEI that specialize in technology and energy, says DiMare. “There is a growing need for infrastructure for power,” he says.
Among the opportunities he sees are work on renewable energy facilities as well as increased emphasis on energy-efficient building automation systems such as smart lighting and temperature controls.
Still, firms continue to face significant obstacles. “The supply chain is very tough right now,” he says. “The commodity market has made it difficult to get key materials such as aluminum, steel and copper, and the costs continue to rise.”
The crunch has resulted in longer lead times on projects and more detailed pretask planning, creating an additional drag on projects in development. As a result, the hoped-for construction revival in the San Francisco area seems to be taking its time to arrive. “We’ve still got quite a bit of slowdown in the Bay area,” DiMare says.