Solar Energy – A Good Idea?

Solar Energy – The Pros and Cons of Alternate Materials in Commercial Construction

Image Source: Wikimedia, 2014 – Solar Panel Installation

A Solar Energy incentive program (Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program) for both residential and commercial buildings recently came to our attention. Upon being asked our opinion of the program, a lively discussion ensued in the offices of APPRO and CERRON surrounding the use of environmentally friendly materials and sustainable energy resources.

APPRO & CERRON both work diligently to provide the best product at the best price for each of our customers – whether building new or remodeling existing. We work a lot in our neighborhood here in the Airlake Industrial Park which is comprised of many small businesses focused on the industrial and manufacturing industries.

Over the past few years, APPRO has brought forward energy efficient design ideas and alternate material types and equipment that enhance energy savings in response to public sentiment for more environmentally friendly buildings. We have found the LEED certification process cumbersome and not as cost effective as we may be lead to believe initially. We have strived to find a balance between energy savings that provide payback to you as a building owner and ways that reduce the initial start-up costs of construction.

In our experience, as we competitively bid out new projects, we have found that some “green” or LEED certified materials make a lot of sense to incorporate in to a project to cut costs (e.g. insulation). While the use of other materials might only make sense to fulfill a PR objective or to enhance marketability, the incorporation of those materials may not make sense from a business perspective.

As a Minnesota based design-build general contractor, APPRO is aware of the solar incentives available and are more than happy to discuss the pros and cons of working this into your next building project. We create property solutions for you and with you – how may we help you today?

Wood Framing in Commercial Construction

Curious about wood framing in commercial construction?

Wood Lumber Framing in Commercial Construction article by APPRO Photo Source: Wikepedia, 2013.

Occasionally, changes in wood supply cause a downgrade in the structural properties of wood. You can see an example of this type of activity in the article at this link for the information put forth by at:

The angle this particular news story takes is to focus on the economic impact that may occur to the industry in the area or state. The steel framing industry association presents this info in a different light entirely by promoting the properties that steel framing members include.

I believe it will cause a trickle-down effect to consumers who will have to, in some instances, be required to use larger wood framing members than in the past to get the same job done. This affects us all when it comes to residential or commercial building when wood is the chosen material.

Interestingly enough the wood groups aren’t necessarily arguing the downgrade itself, only how quickly it is being proposed to be put into effect.

Both steel and wood association groups tout the sustainable properties of their products. It will remain to be seen how each product continues to be affected and the impact on residential or commercial construction.

If you’re not sure which material is right for you on your next project, contact our team at APPRO. We have been helping our clients make these types of decisions for more than 25 years, and we would be happy to help you, too!