Unity Electric Blog


 

Bringing in 2015 with our new President!

It’s my pleasure to announce Wayne Warner as the new President of Unity Electric!  As you all know Wayne has been with Unity Electric for over 21 years and has earned this position through his commitment, dedication and exemplary service to the company and customers.  Wayne leads his team by example with an incredible work ethic, commitment to safety, employee mentorship and a customer first philosophy that has built a very successful Washington operation. 

As we celebrate the completion of a successful 2014 and look forward to a very exciting 2015, please take a moment to congratulate Wayne on his success and welcome him into his new role.

John Graham, CEO

Unity Electric

 

 

Purple Stride Puget Sound

October 23rd, 2014

On November 2nd 2014, Unity Electric will be joining in the cause to raise awareness and support for the fight against Pancreatic Cancer with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Following the lead of GM Nameplate and Graham Capital Group, Unity is excited to participate in the Purple Stride Puget Sound 5k Run & Walk, joining the force to create hope and strive for a cure of this deadly and heart breaking disease.

All are welcome to join us, please contact our office @ (206)575-0837 for information on how to participate!

 

 

Harris Family Fundraiser 

March 18th, 2014

Please join Unity Electric on April 3rd from 4-7PM as we gather to continue the support of McKenzie Harris! Doug Harris, McKenzie's father, has been a valued team member with Unity Electric for 6 years. 7 year old McKenzie remains in the hospital since January 1st after a head on collision injured each member of thier family. 100% of the fundraiser proceeds will go directly to the Harris family to aid in the construction of making their home acccessible for McKenzie. We look forward to seeing you there! 

 

 

Stack House Apartments

February 13th, 2014

We are excited to announce the completion of another LEED project that was awarded the highly coveted Platinum level LEED certification. The Stack House Apartments project was split into two buildings, West and South, both of which received a LEED Platinum level on the Homes Mid-Rise Pilot Rating System. Unity was proud to partner with Vulcan Real Estate, Exxel Pacific General Contractors and Runberg Architects on this truly unique project.

The project spans an entire city block, both buildings combine to total 278 units.  The project also includes a City of Seattle historic landmark, The Supply Laundry Building, which was in use from 1906-2000, and is now restored to new retail and business space. Portions of the historical site have been salvaged and reused throughout the Stack House project.  A prime example is the reconditioning of original tin from the laundry building beautifully accenting fireplaces with its proud history.  Unity was also involved in the “Swale on Yale” storm water treatment portion of the project which benefits the South Lake Union basin and contributes to a healthier watershed.  The project layout promotes walking, biking and socializing with its open, spacious and beautifully designed courtyard and well thought out recreation areas. 

At Unity Electric we greatly appreciate the opportunity to work on a project of this stature and partnering with the progressive, environmentally conscience Stack House team! 

 

 

Help Support McKenzie & The Harris Family. 

February 11th, 2014

As one of our team members begins the road to recovery after a life altering event, we ask that you keep the Harris Family in your thoughts and prayers and offer any kind of support as you are able to. 

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Eatonville-Family-recovering-after-New-Years-Day-crash-243828871.html

https://paytrace.com/cart/donate.pay?ID=1528&MID=27250021602801&PID=Donation

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/the-harris-family/130765

 

 

How Many Contractors Do You Need?

August 9th, 2013

As a Facility Manager or Administrator you need all of your systems running properly and efficiently.  It can be overwhelming to keep all of the required sub-contractors and service professionals straight when one of your systems fails.  At Unity Electric we combine many of these necessary contacts into one convenient service company for you.  With our ability to understand how your multiple electrical and special systems integrate together we save you valuable time and money in maintaining your facility.

We offer expert installation and service with your power systems, fire alarm, phone, data, access control, security, surveillance etc.  You name it, if it requires wires and power, we can service it.  We have built our company on the successes of long term relationships and appreciation for each opportunity we are given to provide exceptional customer service.  

 

Alto Apartments 

June 14th, 2013

ALTO received the AGC2013 Build Washington Award in the Private Building $25 Million - $50 Million category.  Unity Electric was a proud partner with Exxel Pacific General Contractors on the project.  The entire team worked efficiently and creatively on the design build project to not only provide a cutting edge product, but delivered the project 2 months ahead of schedule offering the owner an earlier than expected revenue stream.  ALTO is a prime example of the benefits created using the design build process that Exxel Pacific and Unity Electric thrive in. 

 

Stop Replacing Ballasts

June 4th,2013

With 15 plus years in the electrical industry I have ordered and replaced countless ballasts in HID fixtures.  It’s a reliable consistent service call for an electrical contractor to depend on and a pain for a facility manager with consistent maintenance costs affecting their yearly budgets.  The most common fixtures containing these are parking lot lights, exterior Wal-Paks and parking garages.  Typically the fixture will either quit working all together or begin cycling on and off to signal it’s time to make the change.  A good electrician will replace the ballast and lamp, clean the lenses and return the fixture to a near new working condition, but at a significant cost range from around $100 to as much as $500 or more depending on the type and location.

With the emergence of high quality long lasting LED alternatives the industry has reached a tipping point where it no longer makes sense to replace these antiquated systems.  Ask your electrical contractor for recommendations on an LED replacement.  Options range from keeping the existing fixture and using a new LED lamp with an integral driver to the removal of the old fixture and providing the installation of a new LED luminaire.  A good electrical contractor will also be able to provide you resources and estimates for you to take advantage of potential rebate programs from your utility provider or other organizations.   

The new LED option will reduce your annual maintenance cost while providing high quality long lasting lights at significantly reduced energy consumption that dramatically reduces energy costs.    

 

Blood Drive Follow Up

May 22nd,2013

 

On Thursday May 16th Unity Electric partnered with Exxel Pacific General Contractors and the Puget Sound Blood Center to host the first annual blood drive which was held on the Vulcan Block 10 jobsite. From 10am when the blood mobile arrived until 4:30pm when the event was finished, employees of Unity and Exxel shuffled in and out of the blood mobile donating their blood and time to help save lives and contribute to their community.

The event brought thirty one donors who gave enough blood to save up to sixty six lives. Volunteer blood donors are the only supply for this resource in our communities and the PSBC must have an average of 900 donors a day to meet the current need. Each donation can save up to three lives and last year alone 70,000 individuals were helped by people who donated.  The entire donation process takes about an hour but the outcome is priceless and makes the difference for both individuals and the masses when critical medical need arises.

Unity is proud of our employees who donated and would like to thank them and the donors of Exxel Pacific for helping us work towards our philanthropic goals. A blood drive will be held again in the spring of next year and we hope that you will partner with us again. 

 

Unity Electric Blood Drive

May 7th, 2013

 

Unity Electric is very excited to announce that we have organized a blood drive through a partnership with Exxel Pacific General Contractors at the Vulcan Block 10 Job Site in South Lake Union.  We will have a blood mobile arrive on site the day of May 16th and volunteers will be giving blood throughout the day. 

Puget Sound Blood Center is a recognized leader in transfusion medicine; the Blood Center serves patients in more than 70 hospitals and clinics in 14 Western Washington counties. Patients with leukemia, cancer, burns, hemophilia and traumatic injuries depend on Blood Center research.

We’re proud of the commitment our team has shown for this worthy cause and want to thank Exxel Pacific for their volunteers and arranging a space for the donations to take place.

 

Electrical Work=Smarts

April 12th,2013

 

The first time I was introduced to the electrical trade I was struck by how much of the math I learned in my education from trigonometry to advanced algebra was needed on a daily basis by an electrician.  The vast wealth of knowledge required to pass a Master Electrician exam would surprise most engineers, and designing and installing a large concentric conduit run requires a thorough understanding of trigonometry.    

It’s no surprise the electrical industry is known as the smart person’s trade.  There is a constant need for continuing education to stay apprised of code changes not to mention the technological advancements in the industry as a whole.  With a labor shortage quickly arising I would encourage young people to strongly consider the electrical trade for a career filled with smart people that’s never complete, there will always be something new or more advance to learn.  

 

Head in the Cloud

April 2nd, 2013

We are always looking for ways to improve our efficiency, responsiveness, service and lesson our environmental impact.  We have found cloud computing and data storage makes us better in all of these areas. 

Our technicians can share and transfer paperwork instantly while out in the field using hand held electronic devices eliminating the need for printing paperwork and speeding up the processing of our customers’ accounts.  Cloud computing assists our dispatch and customer response time by sharing continuingly changing and updated information instantly with an entire team all at the same time.

Cloud computing is a tremendous asset in transferring large data files like construction design drawings and as-built drawings in a flash between an office and field technicians for faster responses and problem solving while reducing overall costs for us and ultimately our customers.  This feature also cuts down the tremendous amount of printing that was previously required to update drawings with new design or changes, we now have the ability to share and save this information digitally, along with a few trees.

Cloud computing is here to stay and we’ve embraced many aspects of the technology already, we’re excited about what the future will bring and passionate about the continual improvement of the company.   

 

SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY!

March 29th, 2013

How many times do you need to say it?  Until it becomes a culture within your company, but not so often that people don’t even notice it anymore.  There is simply nothing more valuable to the company’s success then its people.  Keep people happy, highly productive and most importantly safe is the number one priority at Unity Electric. 

A good safety program has many layers to it including:  communication, education, equipment and possibly most important empowerment.  From the President of the company down to an apprentice on their first day on the job, our goal is to ensure equal empowerment amongst all of those individuals to not just spot safety hazards but enforce the use of safe practices.

We believe safety needs to be a culture and the best way to institute that is to make everyone responsible and accountable for a safe jobsite.  We’re a family at Unity Electric and want to make sure our electricians get home to their loving families at the end of each highly productive day.

 

Campus Wide WIFI Installations 

March 24th,2013

Have you ever considered what goes into a campus wide Wi-Fi system and the cost to benefit relationship?  Unity Electric has installed several of these systems for very satisfied customers.  From the fiber back bone to the installation of the WAP’s (wireless access points) we have the expertise and experience to provide you with the proper design and cost saving techniques to bring your campus or facility into the modern technology era.  Your residents and guests can roam freely throughout the space with a continuous, high speed and secure connection to the entire world. 

We Love Design-Build!

March 12th, 2013

One of the great strengths of Unity Electric is our ability to offer design build services for not just the standard electrical contractor line voltage work, but all of the systems a modern facility needs today.  Over the 50 years we’ve been in business, we have taken many projects of both design-build and plans and specs.  We have a clear preference towards the design-build approach, and here is a brief list of why and things to consider as a developer planning your next project:

·         The design-build team works under one contract with one unified flow of work from initial concept through completion.

·         A streamlined process closes the gap in the relationship between designers and builders.

·         Design-build approach fosters collaboration and teamwork allowing for quick integration of any changes.  Allowing for increased use of new and   innovative   technologies and construction trends.

·         There is a decreased administrative burden providing an overall cost savings to the customer. 

In general we have found that using the design-build approach will deliver a project faster with better quality and overall reduced costs.   What’s not to love about that result?
  
  

LED Lighting-Finally Changing the Game!

February 28th, 2013

If you have been in the construction industry and specifically on the development and design side of things, you have been hearing the claims of how LED lighting is going to revolutionize the industry for the last 10 years or so.  And over those 10 years you have seen some pretty cool options for LED, but the price point has always been so high that cost conscious developers and responsible contractors could never get these options to pencil for them to be incorporated into a project.   The advantages of the technology were obvious:  long life cycles, easily dimmable and switched, low energy consumption and reduced maintenance costs.

Well, I couldn’t be happier to announce that the wait is over and LED as a game changer is finally here!  Unity Electric is excited to announce that we have found some very innovative LED options and through the creative use of design and installation techniques, we have made LED our standard on current large mixed use projects.

For an example of what we have achieved as a design build electrical contractor, we recently completed preconstruction on a mixed use property in Seattle that had a base lighting allowance of $100K.  The package was about 90% fluorescent with some halogen lighting making up the remainder.  We were able to VE the project to 90% LED with fluorescent making up the remainder.  We lowered the allowance to $85K and achieved a rebate value of nearly $40K with a bottom line price to the developer of $45K!  In addition, we were able to add some perks not in the original design like dimming in units and LED under cabinet lights.  Now that is something to light up about!

 

Lighting Retrofit Success

April 20, 2012

Unity Electric recently completed a lighting retrofit for Pacific American Commercial Co.  We replaced their antiquated lights of 1000 watt and 400 watt metal halide and high pressure sodium high intensity discharge lighting with new highly reflective fluorescent high bay lighting.  The project provided equal or improved lumens throughout the work areas helping to boost production and employee attitudes while providing reduced maintenance of these modern fixtures.  The project was a financial success also.  Seattle City Light provided a rebate just short of $17,000 giving the customer a return on investment of less than 18 months!  In addition PACO will save an estimated $4,698 a year by reducing energy consumption by 74,568 kWh per year and green house gasses by 44.74 tons per year!  Unity Electric was proud to partner with PACO on this project because it matched perfectly with our “Going Green” philosophy to provide fiscally responsible installations paired with environmentally beneficial results.  Contact us today to see how we can help with your facility. 

Partners in Giving Back!

April 16, 2012

Boys & Girls Clubs of King County

Unity Electric recently partnered with Andersen Construction to assist with a small remodel project by donating our labor, material and technical expertise.  Unity Electric is proud to maintain an active presence in our community by participating in local events and charitable opportunities.  We here at Unity Electric understand the value of the safe, fun, inclusive and inspiring places the Boys and Girls Clubs offers and feel privileged to be able to support that effort.  If you would like to forward community relation opportunities for our consideration please send them to troyw@unityelectirc.comand we would be happy to respond.        

 

KOMO Radio with Tami Michaels

January 7, 2012

Unity Electric would like to thank the lovely Tami Micahels today for having us on her fantastic radio show "Tami Micahels Inside Out".  We discussed a multitude of topics including:  home security systems, monitoring, cameras, wireless light switching controls, electric floor heat and smart grid technology.  For more information about these topics you can email me at troyw@unityelectric.com or to schedule service and installation of any of these systems click our "request for service" tab on the home page or give us a call.  

 

Benefits of Lighting and Control Upgrades

January 6, 2012

The most obvious benefit for choosing to invest in a lighting upgrade is immediate savings on energy.  The energy savings can be huge and depending on your current condition up to 60% or more can be expected.  It's also easy to quantify how much your savings will be so the customer gets a clear expectation on their return on investment.  Every contractor or lighting representative will bring this information to the table when pitching you on a lighting upgrade, but it's important to consider the other benefits you can expect from your lighting upgrade investment.

The first thing you should consider is the ling term reduction in maintenance costs.  Even if you are just retrofitting an existing fixture you will get a new lamp and ballast or better yet eliminate the ballast all together with and LED type fixture.  Led lamps are rated from 20,000 to 50,000 hours for years of maintenance free performance.

The other intangible benefits that are commonly overlooked are an improved lighting environment and the ability to market your company for prioritizing the environment and the ability to market your company for prioritizing the environment.  A good lighting design will improve your luminous environment with better color spectrums and daylight harvesting allowing for a more natural feel.  A better environment will increase the production of your team and enhance your customer's experience.

 

 

Partners in Giving Back

November 15, 2011

Unity Electric Partnered with the Panther Lake Elementary School Girl Scouts last week at the Northwest Harvest food distribution warehouse in Kent, WA.  Unity Electric and the Girls Scouts worked in several different areas of the warehouse that night that included preparing and packaging enough food for 600 meals!  It was a great experience for the Unity team and the Girl Scouts to help those less fortunate.  Unity Electric understands the value and enrichment gained by taking pride in our community and is always looking for new ways to support and volunteer to good causes.  If you have an event that you believe we may be interested in please send an email to troyw@untiyelectric.com with the details and I will be happy to get back to you.

Nurse Call for Tomorrow

November 10, 2011

Unity Electric is a proud distributor of Jeron nurse call equipment and services.  Whether you're looking to build or expand a hospital or assisted living facility or it's finally time for an upgrade, Jeron has a system to fit your needs.

If you are considering upgrading your current system but you're not sure if it's the right time to pull the trigger, there are several factors you should be considering.

  • http://unityelectric.com/sites/default/files/color/garland-0d868948/menu...);">Costs to maintain your current system.  If your current system is experiencing troubles that require you to call for service, it's important to factor in your associated staff time also.  It's easy to factor the cost of the repair, but the soft costs can really add up.  You will typically have a nurse, maintenance person, and facility decision maker all involved in the reporting and coordination of the repair.
  • http://unityelectric.com/sites/default/files/color/garland-0d868948/menu...);">Efficiency gained within the new system.  The new Jeron nurse call systems have many updated features that allow your staff to cover more ground effectively and efficiently.  Pocket page, nurse tracking and reporting are just a few of the options available that will help you achieve what all operations managers are looking for....doing more with fewer people!
  • http://unityelectric.com/sites/default/files/color/garland-0d868948/menu...);">Reporting and Tracking.  The ability to offer comprehensive reports to family members and staff is a necessity in the health care field today.  Your facility can have the system programmed for a single point location for viewing and printing reports to many users and locations customizable to your based on your needs.  The Jeron systems can also be used for tracking nurse productivity and efficiency for optimal performance.

Unity Electric and Jeron would be happy to come to your facility and offer you a demo of the latest products and equipment on the market today.  Click on our request for service button or give us a call to get your health care facility on the fast track to the best valued nurse call system on the market today.

Fire Alarm Monitoring and Confidence Testing

September 29, 2011

Fire alarm monitoring and annual confidence testing is part of almost every Facilities Manager’s budget.  Yet, many will go years without looking at improving technologies and techniques that can improve performance and reduce costs.  Unity Electric is a unique electrical contractor in that we offer these services at very competitive prices.  If you’re like many Facility Managers that hasn’t received a competitive quote or looked at upgrading your current fire alarm system you should give Unity Electric a call for a free estimate for these services.  We can offer the technical support you need and deserve along with the latest in monitoring technologies including wireless transmitters to eliminate the high cost of dedicated phone lines.  It’s your responsibility to protect your valuable people and critical equipment.  Unity Electric will ensure you are doing it in the most affective and cost efficient way possible.

Lighting Controls

September 1, 2011

There continue to be more options all the time for lighting controls, and maybe it's time you took another look at them for you home or business.  Some of the latest technology that we have been seeing hitting the market is utilizing wireless technology between ceiling or wall sensors and switching devices.  In addition to motion and infrared technologies the new ceiling sensors are incorporating daylight harvesting to automatically dim or turn off lights entirely if appropriate natural lighting is available.

The wireless aspect of these controls significantly reduces upfront labor costs typically associated with adding lighting controls to your home or business.  Consumers gain multiple benefits from using occupancy and light harvesting controls including:  extended lamp life, fatigue due to lighting glare, improved ballast life, and most importantly energy use reduction which saves you money!

If you're interested in learning more about these technologies or would like a free estimate for an installation simply click our request for service button and we will contact you with additional information.

Surge  Protection

July 30, 2011

Many people if asked know in general terms what surge protection is and why it’s important to protect their computers, flat screen televisions and other electronics.  Many facility managers and homeowners however neglect to think of how many if not most of their equipment that uses electricity has electronic components to it.  From microwave ovens and clock radios to highly critical life safety systems like fire alarm panels to security systems. 

We recently responded to several large high-rise facilities in Bellevue who experienced large surges due to a utility failure.  One of the facilities had a building wide surge protection system that worked very well and protected and saved thousands of dollars of critical equipment.  The other facility had only minor to no surge protection and will be spending the next week dealing with expensive repairs and inconveniences due to destroyed electronics.    

Unity Electric has a full line of surge protection products that can protect individual equipment to your entire facility or home.  Contact us today for more information or to schedule a service technician to be sure your sensitive critical equipment is protected.

 

Electric Car Chargers

July 30, 2011

The evolution of the automobile market from internal combustion to hybrid and all electric vehicles continues to expand with more models and options by all the big manufactures.  As with many emerging markets there is a desire for standardization that hasn’t been fully realized yet.   There are several charging options for electric vehicle owners and deciding which one is right for you will depend on your level of expectations and budget.  Unity Electric can provide any of the options listed below for you to have the peace of mind that your electric vehicle will be ready for you when you need it.

  • http://unityelectric.com/sites/default/files/color/garland-0d868948/menu...);">Standard 120 volt receptacle already found commonly in garages.  

The advantages for using this power source is almost all vehicles come with a standard conversion cord for you to use.   And depending on the age of your home and how it was wired you may not need anything additionally installed, you’re good to go the day you bring your new car home.

The disadvantages are long charging times (8-10 hours for a full charge should be expected) and the potential to overload the circuit creating a tripping breaker or blown fusses and possible fire hazard.

  • http://unityelectric.com/sites/default/files/color/garland-0d868948/menu...);">208/240 volt single phase car charging station.

The advantages of this type of system is increased amperage and voltage of your standard receptacle which reduces your charging times (2-4 hours for a full charge can be expected)  For many electric vehicle owners charging times and creating the ability for a quick charge and turnaround time is a top priority.

The disadvantage is the cost of the charger and expense of installation.  You should have a well qualified, licensed and bonded electrician handle this installation.  Many aspects come into play for a proper and correct installation.

  • http://unityelectric.com/sites/default/files/color/garland-0d868948/menu...);">480 volt 3 phase car charging station.

The advantages to this system is a rapid charge capability for your vehicle (20-40 minutes can be expected)

The disadvantage of this option is the cost of the charger and price for installation.  In addition homes and many commercial businesses are not equipped with the proper power supply to install them.

Regardless of your choice of charging options Unity Electric is a terrific source to be sure your equipped with the proper circuits and power supply to charge your electric vehicle safely and correctly.  Contact us today for pricing or questions regarding electric vehicle car chargers.