When was the last time you were truly awe-inspired? I may be a little biased, but as this issue of retrofit came together, I was awe-inspired daily. I’ve been an editor in the construction industry my entire career, and the last four years have been beyond difficult. I’ve seen industry friends lose jobs, funding for projects and morale. I’ll admit I lost a bit of my enthusiasm along the way, too.
However, people are always creative when times are grim, and the retrofit market is a shining example of creativity in construction. As Vuk Vujovic and Douglas Ogurek point out in their “Business” article, a lack of funding for new construction has created a fresh interest in retrofitting the current building stock to meet today’s needs. Vujovic and Ogurek share many examples of buildings across our nation that are getting second chances at life while benefitting our environment and the owners’ bottom lines.
retrofit magazine is all about the beauty of second chances. In each issue, we’ll highlight buildings and systems that have been upgraded in a unique way or have gone through a total transformation. For example, Robert Scichili and Scott Kriner take us inside the high-tech reroofing of a Security Forces building at Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, Texas. The roof features five technologies in one and is being monitored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn. In Muncie, Ind., Ball State University’s district heating and cooling plant is being converted to closed-loop geothermal, which is expected to save the university $2 million per year. Read a conversation with Jim Lowe, Ball State’s director of engineering, construction and operations. The feature project is about what once was a fortress-like traditional-style building in Gilbert, Ariz., that now houses a wine café, featuring garage doors and other large openings to invite in the neighborhood the café’s owners have embraced.
Like the projects within these pages, retrofit’s staff is getting a second chance to work together after three years apart. We are truly thrilled to be able to collaborate once again and share the best of the commercial construction industry with you. Please reach out to any of us at any time and share your ideas and projects. We look forward to being awe-inspired by your second chances.