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I’m Dominic Giarratano, and you’ve tuned into an feature story powered by the National Electrical Contractors Association and their partners in labor, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Our mission is to prove that the NECA-IBEW team is the right choice for your next construction project, and here’s yet another reason why.

Major universities, global insurance firms and national labs are relying on the NECA-IBEW team to find ways to cut consumption in small or medium-sized buildings up to 50% by 2030.

In a prior ETV story, we took you to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, to the GridSTAR Center, where research and best practices are the results of energy experimentation, giving building owners real-world results in ways to cut consumption through retrofitting.

Yeah, yeah, I know. We’d all be millionaires if we had a nickel for every time we heard somebody sell the notion of ‘retrofitting your building and save money!’

But it looks as if it’s actually happening at a second building at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, the Center for Building Energy Science.

According to research done by the CBEI, or the Consortium for Building Energy Innovation, headquarted at the Navy Yard, 95% of commercial buildings in the US are small or medium-sized.

If you live, work or own in this heavy majority, then listen up.

In 2014, total worldwide revenue for energy management systems in buildings of this size should be in the neighborhood of $275 million, but is expected to explode to more than $1.3 billion by 2022.
If you’re wondering how in the next 8 years, energy management is supposed to expand by nearly 500 percent, that’s where the CBEI comes in.

Kat Hinkel – Marketing & Communications Specialist, CBEI
“For building owners, if you look at integrated systems, so rather than just changing the HVAC, or just changing the windows, or just changing the lighting, actually taking all these systems and making sure that they’re all working together to create the greatest energy efficiency for the building.”

Following the “seeing is believing” proverb, the CBEI will soon open this new facility, the Center for Building Energy Science, and in one fell swoop prove that retrofitting your building can save real, cold-hard, cash.

Kat Hinkel – Marketing & Communications Specialist, CBEI
“When we move in, we’re going to have a lot of these technologies that are state of the shelf, and we’re also going to have a lot of sensors so that we can be measuring the occupancy and how we, as tenants, are using the building. We’ll get that data and roll it together to really demonstrate how these technologies work together in an integrated way.”

At 38,000 square feet, it’s a complete advanced energy retrofit. From lighting to mechanical, from controls on the inside to controls on the outside, it’s projected to save nearly 43 percent on energy and nearly 38 percent on cost when completed.

And while they’re useful, renderings and projections aren’t enough to get an integrated energy management system like this up and running.

That’s where the NECA-IBEW team comes in.

Kat Hinkel – Marketing & Communications Specialist, CBEI
“It’s very important to have skilled contractors who really know what they’re doing. So, partnering with the NECA-IBEW team is allowing CBEI to make sure that we’re getting the best possible data, and that we’re able to get that out to our stakeholders.”

Ken MacDougall – Director of Business Development & Labor Relations, Penn-Del-Jersey NECA
“This actually allows us to put our contractors in the position to be ahead of the curve as technology evolves. To drive the bus, not just follow it.”

Chris Casperro – Foreman, IBEW Local 98
“This building over here, the renovation, was an existing building from 1942. It was actually an indoor pool, a bowling alley and a basketball court. That’s going to become offices and workrooms now. The entire floor slab was removed, and all new pathways were put in through the floors and stepping up into the walls. This building over here is an entirely brand new building that was just a grass field. Little bit different of a structure, it’s all steel, no concrete, more ceilings, less exposed work. Even the electric is slightly different, the lighting control systems in both buildings being slightly different. This building over here will have photovoltaic on the roof with a grass roof, whereas this one doesn’t have either of those.”

Jeff Scarpello – Executive Director, Penn-Del-Jersey NECA
“As an organization, what we strive to do is put our members in a place to succeed. We are thrilled to have the relationship we do with the Navy Yard. And what we’re been able to do, frankly, is put out our message, which is that we like to believe that we are the best electrical contractors. Now we call ourselves energy contractors. But we also happen to employ the best electricians.”

Bob Burns – Electrician, IBEW Local 98
“They both have their challenges, new construction and renovations. Renovations can sometimes be a little more challenging because you have to work around existing structures and things like that, whereas in a new building you can pretty much do what you’ve got to do and get in the walls and stuff like that. With a n existing structure, it becomes a little more complicated. We have to kind of use our ingenuity and try to make it work so that they get what they’re looking for, and we do it the right way and the safe way.”

Ken MacDougall – Director of Business Development & Labor Relations, Penn-Del-Jersey NECA
“We’re going to make sure that the energy is used properly and that the building owner not only makes money on the savings, but he’s going to work and integrate all of these technologies together so that he will be able to buy, develop, distribute and generate power as he sees fit.”

Unlike some things in life, this area of Philadelphia – being built out in large part due to the NECA-IBEW team – is as good as advertised.

For more information about the CBEI, head on over to

And if you happened to miss part one of this mini-series on the GridSTAR Center and the Philadelphia Navy Yard, search our archives at, or head on over to our YouTube channel.