For an organization that uses the word “technolectrical” quite a bit (see, for instance, our social media pages), we have a confession to make: it’s not a totally defined word—not yet, at least. We arrived at the use of “technolectrical” as part of an organic process, by listening to our clients over twenty-plus years and recognizing that a new paradigm must emerge to meet modern challenges.
Imagine any commercial or residential build or project and consider the various independent, yet interdependent, trades required: architects, lighting designers and specifiers, plumbers, mechanical engineers, electricians, technology firms, et al. Some of those partners are involved with pricing; others provide programming or installation. Some build, some plan. All of them are entrusted with developing the client’s vision, but who has the responsibility for that singular purpose? When gaps in the deliverable form, delays occur, or for any multitude of reasons, the intent of the project begins to drift, who answers the call? Historically, when other trades departed from a project, RMS remained to handle these unanswered questions due to the client-intimacy based on the types of solutions provided. Ongoing conversations with clients revealed the need for a better, more holistic process. We’re no stranger to challenging the status quo, and we recognized the need to square up to the responsibility.
The advancement of the built environment is changing rapidly and becoming more complex for a multitude of reasons, not least among them environmental impact, health and well-being, and performance. Therefore, the supporting sub-systems needs to change to support and supplement these built environments. These changes have become more dramatic and noticeable over the past ten to twenty years.
Take, for example, the vast changes in electrical services. For the past hundred years or so, homes have been electrified, but only recently have they required innovative electrical services to support more complex mechanical systems and user needs as well as an intense array of IoT-enabled devices. IoT is an industry term for “Internet of Things,” which describes the notion that once relatively simple devices, such as a thermostat or refrigerator, now connect to the internet.
Globally, we’re required to move away from the dominance of incandescent lightbulbs toward LED. LED lighting is more “tech” than “electrical” in nature due to its complex driver system as well the very nature in which the light is emitted, requiring specific knowledge of the quality of light and how it affects the human condition. Electrical contractors will soon be required to provide cybersecurity plans to receive integral permits, which only increases their responsibilities to the client. One can quickly see how complex built environments have become in the past decade.
On a macro level, we understand that the client’s vision must be preserved, enhanced, or even defended wherever possible. On a granular level, we use our knowledge with respect to the previously aforementioned electrical services, lighting, and IoT, to define that vision. We take pride in knowing our clients appreciate (and need) us owning each step in an efficient, seamless manner. You’ll never find us shifting the blame or attention to another trade or partner. All the cool technology in the world, from WiFi antennas to light switches, won’t cover up an incomplete or inadequate process. This standard of reliability creates the frictionless experience that clients deserve and appreciate. Ultimately, our responsibility to their vision directly corresponds to the lack of turbulence they experience throughout the process.
In that vein, we argue that the known architectural standard of Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing (MEP) should be reconsidered as Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing-Technology. Better yet, let us imagine one step further where the convergence of electrical and technology has a name: technolectrical. (We dream of a day where Mechanical-Technolectrical-Plumbing is the accepted standard.)
Technolectrical services answer the question of how a building performs for humans in a given built environment. Architects have forever needed to respond to that prompt, and we feel obligated to drive the conversation forward to a more client-centric approach where the trades welcome the responsibility of a project’s intent.
We’ll defend every client’s position in an environment that can often be confusing and overwhelming. We always have our clients’ interests at the forefront since we intrinsically respect that they demand and deserve the best value, not simply the least-expensive products based on an incomplete scope of work. As the leading provider of the technolectrical experience, we at RMS are excited to share this revolutionary new way of thinking with each client we serve.
Technolectrical noun/adj. The convergence of technology and electrical services essential to the rapid advancement of electrical, power, automation, connectivity, and illumination systems within a modern built environment.