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    September 22, 2023

    Futureproofing Buildings is Our Present

    It’s electric! Well, it’s actually energy. Energy is becoming one of the fast-growing sectors in our industry right now and how to utilize it is becoming a common conversation we are having with our partners daily. 


    Energy-related system demands are increasing exponentially because these systems are now becoming a necessity, not a nice to have, and driven by the buildings’ end users and the code requirements from local and state entities. According to Bloomberg Green, in the past year alone we’ve seen almost 1 million new electric vehicles hit the road. To put it into perspective – it took the United States 10 years to sell its first million of fully electric vehicles and two years to sell the next million, now it only took 12 months to sell another million.  


    With the energy sector growing and becoming an integral part of our industry, our Energy Manager Mike Kuhn explains some of the trends we are seeing that are influencing how we strategically approach energy-related integration into projects. Check out how Power Design is futureproofing job sites from coast-to-coast ⬇️

    Futureproofing with Smart Chargers

    When Power Design is brought to the table, we always focus on future-proofing our clients’ projects because who wants to waste millions of dollars on service upgrades a few years down the road? Part of that futureproofing is finding the best equipment fit for the building and its ultimate use – that is where smart chargers come into play.  

    Smart chargers utilize load management that can move power around the building where it’s needed but also able to prevent overloads. These chargers can also assist with making the building more energy efficient by optimizing charging times based on electricity rates and reduce overall energy consumption. But what is most relevant to our clients when it comes to smart chargers is that they can accommodate future needs. In a 2022 National Multifamily Housing Council survey, 27% of renters said they were interested in EV charging stations. Think about it with a 350-unit complex – 27% of that is close to 95 units that would want access to charging. Smart chargers are designed to allow the addition of 50, 100, 200 chargers as markets continue to grow, but without costly future upgrades. Because it’s not a matter of if, but when you’re going to have to add more chargers. 

    Deferring Cost with Charging as a Service

    Developers are being compelled to meet people’s expectations of readily available EV charging stations where they live, work, and play. With those expectations comes the cost of providing the infrastructure to not only meet the current expectations, but the future ones as well. We know developers don’t want to spend millions of dollars upfront to install a system that they won’t need until further down the project lifecycle.  

    To mitigate some of those upfront costs, we have been seeing developers work with outside companies to help with the financial burden. We are now seeing companies step in to provide the charging infrastructure for the developers so there aren’t upfront costs to them – making it more accessible for projects with longer ownership timelines. While end users may face slightly higher charges, it offers a quick and seamless way to meet a building’s requirements. 

    Limitless in Luxury with Building Integrated Solar

    Renewable energy is another part of the ever-growing energy sector in construction. But it is also one that will continue to see more and more stringent mandates enforced by local, state, and possibly federal entities as it becomes a pivotal need in the future. We already have 27 states across the country and the District of Columbia who have 100% clean electricity targets, deep greenhouse gas targets, or municipal mandates. One of the most innovative construction practices to harness renewable energy currently is building integrated solar. This remarkable advancement in solar technology goes beyond the traditional rooftop panels straight to where solar can seamlessly blend with architectural aesthetics while meeting rigorous requirements. Building integrated solar can mimic a myriad of building materials like brick, windows, and even marble. And with the high-end high rises that are taking over our skylines, building integrated solar will be instrumental in ensuring the aesthetics are kept luxurious while still being able to harvest energy seamlessly. 

    Creating a Custom Microgrid

    With electricity pricing soaring all over the country, many are looking to tap into more cutting-edge energy solutions; and microgrids are starting to become one of those solutions. This is where you would have enough solar and battery power stored to operate your building without relying on the grid. The building would be self-reliant and the microgrid would be the backbone of the energy infrastructure. Though at this time, the upfront cost of batteries and solar is substantial, there are various tax credits that could offset those costs the Inflation Reduction Act solar tax credit is worth 30% of the total project costs. But take into consideration that energy costs currently will be miniscule compared to the trajectory of energy costs in the next 10 years and the tax credits will begin to phase down next year so the time is to act now.  


    The industry is growing fast, and futureproofing is needed now. Our partners are realizing that energy-related systems are a huge part of their projects and can no longer be an afterthought and must be included during the preconstruction process. With Power Design being a multi-trade contractor, we have the unique ability to offer comprehensive, all-in-one solutions for our clients’ needs. From integrating a future-proofed electrical infrastructure and EV chargers to providing cutting edge solar hardware and battery storage solutions, Power Design can help our clients welcome in the new era of construction focused on sustainable energy solutions. 

    Power Design

    Our mission is to be the most trusted partner. With passion and accountability, we will deliver unmatched performance and a PlusONE experience. At Power Design we build more than just buildings - we build relationships that last.