Vote with an engineer's heart

What are the political topics of key importance to professionals in the building industry in the 2012 presidential elections?

09/25/2012


With all the political debate swirling around the 2012 presidential campaign, there is a lot to discuss. Hot topics have included abortion and health care, religion and marriage, and foreign affairs and national security.

 

But what about the topics of key importance to professionals in the building industry? Some seemingly remote topics are important; health care comes to mind because it's the engineers and architects who will be tasked with designing new buildings or retrofitting existing buildings. And while foreign affairs seems like a detached topic, it's quite attached to the buildings industry in that we (Americans) invest a lot in other countries, from manufacturing facilities to military bases.

 

In no particular order, here are three topics you should watch closely in the presidential debates. The candidates may not talk about these at length in a debate-some stuff just isn't sexy. But the outcome of the election could change the way you and your clients do business.

 

Energy: This topic has received a lot of airplay recently, and in light of recent hurricanes and soaring gas prices, the topic is important to the general public as well. Republican candidate Mitt Romney offers a three-pronged approach: significant regulatory reform, increased production, and research and development. President Barack Obama suggests and "all-of-the-above strategy," which includes various forms of energy-oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels, and more.

 

Environment: This topic goes hand-in-hand with energy. In this case, President Obama is mostly forward-looking, and according to online information on the topic of the environment, he "has taken unprecedented action to build the foundation for a clean energy economy, tackle the issue of climate change, and protect our environment." Romney's campaign website doesn't address the topic of the environment directly; it's mostly wrapped into the three-pronged energy approach. He is focused on supporting growth while facing environmental challenges.

 

Education: This area seems like a stretch for engineers and professionals allied with the nonresidential construction industry, but consider this: If our education system does not produce the quality and quantity of qualified professionals to fill jobs being vacated by baby boomers, it will be more difficult (read: more expensive and time-consuming) to complete engineering projects. This includes professionals at all levels of building design: architects and engineers, contractors and skilled labor, and building owners and operators. Both presidential candidates have strong feelings about education, and each has his own idea of how to address America's failing education grade. Romney's long-term strategy for getting American's economy back on track is ensuring a world-class education for American students. President Obama's stance on education is nearly the same.

 

Before voting with an engineer's heart, be sure to read up on each candidate's plan before you make your choice. I will definitely be listening closely to both candidates.

 

And just for fun: The Pew Research Center has an interesting quiz that will help you determine where you fit into the political typology. This might help you when making a decision on Nov. 6, 2012.



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
High-performance buildings; Building envelope and integration; Electrical, HVAC system integration; Smoke control systems; Using BAS for M&V
Pressure piping systems: Designing with ASME; Lab ventilation; Lighting controls; Reduce energy use with VFDs
Smoke control: Designing for proper ventilation; Smart Grid Standard 201P; Commissioning HVAC systems; Boilers and boiler systems
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software
Integrating BAS, electrical systems; Electrical system flexibility; Hospital electrical distribution; Electrical system grounding
Cannon Design’s blog is a place for the many voices of the firm to share thoughts and news related to current projects...
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.