Thursday, January 26, 2017

New Construction Projects at University of Massachusetts

Construction at the University of Massachusetts shows no sign of slowing. Several new buildings are on the horizon, including the $52 million, 87,500 square foot Integrated Design Building, and the $85 million, 104,000 square foot Physical Sciences Building. With the amount of bulldozers and blocked walkways already around UMass, students are wary of further construction projects making it difficult to get around the campus. However, three new buildings are already in the design phase with construction at the Amherst campus expected to continue through 2018.

Another new campus building is planned to begin construction this year – the Integrated Design Building, which will house the department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning department as well as the Architecture and Design and Building Construction Technology programs.

On approximately 87,500 square feet, this building will house classrooms and studios, computer labs, lounges, meeting and teleconferencing rooms, materials-testing lab, green-building lab, wood shop, digital fabrication lab and outdoor work area.

The building will also feature a cafe, exhibit space, a library, multifunction spaces, a covered indoor courtyard on the first floor and an outdoor courtyard complete with green roof on the third floor.

The $52 million project is scheduled to begin this summer and is expected to take two years to complete, with a 2017 opening projected.

Already in process is the Physical Sciences Building, located near North Pleasant Street and West Experiment Station. This building will be used for research laboratories for chemistry and physics.

The project is being funded by the state with about $85 million. It is part of a campus master plan that was initiated several years ago in order to fulfill the campus’ mission to upgrade its science facilities and be more competitive with scientific research.

Work includes construction of a new 3-level Physical Sciences Building, housing laboratory and office space.

The building will have a basement, accommodating physics laboratories with high bay capacity sitting on foundations that will telegraph very low levels of vibration.

The 104,000 square foot project will provide labs, lab support, and offices for 20 faculty and approximately 130 students. The interior labs will be designed to provide the greatest possible degree of flexibility.

Construction of the Physical Sciences Building is expected to be complete in early 2018.
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Sunday, January 22, 2017

NorthEast Electrical Distributors Buys Boston’s Beacon

NorthEast Electrical Distributors, Brockton, Massachusetts, part of the Sonepar USA group of distributors, announced its purchase of Beacon Electrical Sales & Supply a two-location electrical distributor based in Massachusetts. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Beacon Electrical, founded in 1979, is a family-owned business that serves its customers from locations in Peabody and Haverhill, Massachusetts. Beacon Electrical provides its customers with all their electrical product requirements, and has a long history of providing superior customer service.

Beacon owners Jack Pedra and John Wilson and the existing Beacon staff will join the NorthEast Electrical Distributors organization.

The acquisition reinforces NorthEast’s strategy to operate branch locations in areas that best serve the needs of its customers, said the press release announcing the deal.

“We are excited that both owners Jack Pedra and John Wilson, plus all of Beacon’s associates will be joining the NorthEast team” said Don Block, New England/Mid-Atlantic regional president of Sonepar USA.

NorthEast Electrical Distributors now serves electrical contractors, industrial, OEM, utility, and institutional customers through 32 branch locations in six New England states.

Sonepar established Northeast Electrical Distributors from seven locations it acquired from Branch Electric in 1999.

Sonepar is the largest electrical distributor in the U.S. market.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Baynes Electric Supply Opens New Offices and Central Distribution Center

Baynes Electric Supply recently opened their new offices and CDC at 321 Manley Street, West Bridgewater, Massachusetts.

The new 60,000-square-foot facility provides expanded office space and a state-of-the art warehousing and logistics operation to service its contractor customers throughout New England and national account customers throughout North America.

The Baynes family is committed to being an independent, family-owned organization with plans for prudent growth in the coming years.

“Our family is committed to growth and the necessary investments in inventory, physical plant, technology and team members to continue our progress,” said Chris Baynes, CFO.

Baynes Electric Supply is ranked #153 on the Electrical Wholesaling 2016 Top 200 listing with $32 million in 2015 sales, 51 employees and seven locations.

The company was founded in 1956 by Harold Baynes and remains a family owned business, proud of its local roots and strong dedication and commitment to our customers’ success.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Copper Prices Jump 28% Since November; Wire Prices to Follow...

Copper prices rose by more than 28% since the end of October, regaining price levels metals investors haven’t seen since July 2015. The red metal had been lagging behind growth in other metals prices through most of this year then jumped by more than it has since 2011

After seeing $2.08 per pound during the last week of October, copper prices began a gradual rise and then really took off Nov. 8, the day of the U.S. general elections, hitting $2.66 per pound this month.

The reasons for the jump appear to go beyond enthusiasm for an expected boost in demand since Donald Trump took office as U.S. President on January 20th.

John Gross, publisher of The Copper Journal, likewise sees the recent move as speculative. "There is no quick—and easy answer to address the near 60-cent move up over the past two months," he said.

“The best we can say is that after copper initially broke through resistance, more buying came in, and the buying accelerated as each previous high point was surpassed. The fundamentals have not changed in any meaningful way, and don’t warrant the move. This level of volatility is no good for anyone, except for speculators who got it right."

What does this all mean for the electrical contractor? 
It means that next purchase of 500MCM is going to cost you a lot more than it did last year... 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Orbit Industries Opens New Distribution Center & Factory on East Coast

Orbit Industries has opened a 450,000-square-foot regional distribution center (RDC) and factory in Morristown, Tennessee, The facility is the first location Orbit has established outside of its main Los Angeles headquarters.

Between Orbit’s Morristown facility and Los Angeles warehouse, Orbit can deliver products anywhere within the continental United States in three days or less.

The Morristown RDC will stock all Orbit products, shipping all 6,000-plus catalog items to the East Coast out of the Tennessee facility.

“We are always looking for ways to better service our customers,” said Marcus Bannerman, Orbit’s national sales manager.

“Delivery time on the East Coast has always been a complication for us. Our new Tennessee facility will help provide a solution to our East Coast customers and get material to them faster than ever before.”

In addition to warehousing, Orbit will soon begin manufacturing at the plant to meet “Made in America” standards. Currently Orbit’s BCHS and RAP Plates are already manufactured in the United States. The introduction of this manufacturing plant will allow other products to soon begin following suit.

The manufacturing plant is expected to be fully operational before the end of 2017. Other future plans include a state-of-the-art training center, which will allow customers, visitors and representatives to test out Orbit’s more innovative prefab products.

Orbit’s product line is UL- or ETL-listed and includes steel junction boxes and accessories; NEMA enclosures; weatherproof products; electrical fittings and elbows; emergency/exit lighting; photoelectric controls; and LED lighting.

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