Is Geothermal Energy Actually Effective, and Is It Here to Stay?


Here at Lamp, we believe in the power of building green. Healthier buildings can lead to happier people and a healthier environment. On top of that, green building practices provide our clients with surprising (and lasting) financial savings.

We’ve noticed that geothermal energy has been heating up lately. Is it for real? And is it a flash in the pan, or is it a cornerstone energy source for the future? Let’s take a look.

How effective is geothermal energy?

Well, we’ll answer that question with another question: How much do you know about the earth’s core? Probably enough to know that it’s really powerful and really hot.

Geothermal energy taps into the essentially limitless power of our planet’s core. So whether we’re talking geothermal or solar power, harnessing the renewable potential of heat is a great way to effectively produce energy.

We’re certainly not the first to examine and implement geothermal power. 19 out of every 20 buildings in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city, use geothermal fuel. It’s no coincidence that it’s one of the greenest cities on earth.

The benefits are green in multiple ways. According to research, a correctly-installed geothermal energy system reduces a building’s utility costs by up to 60%. That’s an eye-opening number.

Is geothermal power here to stay?

It sure looks like it. Geothermal energy doesn’t require much additional real estate, meaning its small footprint is well equipped to power crowded urban areas. It has exciting job creation potential for engineers, electricians, geologists, and more. It’s highly scalable, low on carbon, and getting easier to harness every day.

Perhaps most exciting of all, its constant core temperature allows for a more efficient heating and cooling system than conventional HVAC systems. Add that to the fact that the cleanliness of geothermal power makes the system easy to maintain, and it’s easy to see that switching to renewable is more cost-effective over the long term than traditional energy methods.

A better future is being built, and it’s truly exciting.

Want to learn more about Lamp, Inc.’s green efforts?

5 Ways to Get Away from Scope Creep

At Lamp, we pride ourselves on our ability to manage multi-million dollar building projects, keeping them on time, within budget, and with designated quality standards. This is especially important considering the potential on large construction projects for scope creep—where the original scope of the project increases, but budget, resources, and the schedule cannot keep up. We have put together tips to keep scope creep from happening, which we apply to facilitate all aspects of a large building project.

1. Communicate. One of the biggest contributors to scope creep is a poorly settled upon scope at the beginning of a project. Before a project begins, the project vision should be clear and equal for all parties involved, and priorities and expectations should be outlined. If everyone agrees on the end result, it’s much less likely to creep into something bigger. At Lamp, we offer a Design/Build system, which is regarded as the first choice in construction, primarily because of a “Single Source of Responsibility and Control.” This process offers our clients cost savings with no surprises, right from the initial planning phase. With our involvement in coordinating the architectural and engineering design of the project and overseeing all construction activities, your project will reach successful and efficient completion.

2. Expect and Plan for Changes. With budgets, timelines, and the inevitable unexpected, every project needs the proper accounting for special factors. As everyone in construction knows, Murphy’s Law will strike. When outlining the scope of a project, plan for surprises, prepare for changes, and most importantly, be flexible.

3. Use a Properly Trained Team. The team you use must be capable, knowledgable of the project, and able to coordinate effectively. At Lamp, we provide a properly trained and licensed work force who are committed to doing the work right the first time, efficiently, and safely. We also provide full time, on-site leadership while we are performing and coordinating all portions of the work who knows the project, scope, and will efficiently coordinate, as well as resolve conflicts or disputes.

4. Stay Organized through Excellent Documentation. Large construction projects have a lot of intricate moving parts, and changes throughout the project will be required. One of the biggest contributors to scope creep is ineffective management of changes. Project managers at Lamp Incorporated use a software program called ProCore. This program keeps track of all project documents involved, including change orders, submittals, requests for information, contracts, insurance, daily reports, meeting minutes and more. This system keeps the information organized and ensures all requests for information are answered, all change orders are processed and nothing slips through the cracks. This web-based system can be accessed from anywhere in the world and gives full access to all project information in an easy to understand format. ProCore is used to help many public entities in presentations to keep their constituents informed of progress.

5. Problem Solve with Accountability. Every construction project runs up against problems. The key to staying on top of a project is to meet them head on, make someone accountable to solve it, and follow through. At every project meeting at Lamp, minutes of the meeting are taken and distributed electronically within 48 hours. Each item from a meeting is assigned a number, a person who is responsible for providing a solution, and a deadline for that solution. We also monitor written communication and submittals through our shop drawing tracking software. Every submittal is logged into our project management software and tracked through every stage, until material has arrived on the project site. Monitoring both written and verbal communication will highlight any potential informational slowdowns, which might affect a project’s performance.

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Join Us for the 100th Annual Elgin Open!

As we leave the summer behind and move into fall, we can’t help but get a few more rounds of golf in before winter hits us. With that in mind, we are proud and honored to be the host of the centennial edition of this year’s Annual Elgin Open.

The 100th Annual Open will open with nine holes on September 26th at Wing Park and eighteen holes on September 27th at The Highlands of Elgin. These rounds act as a qualifier for the flighting to the field. The final rounds will be on October 3rd and 4th at Bowes Creek.

We are pleased to support this tradition dating back to 1910 when E.W. Wing won the title. For more information on the event and to hear thoughts on the event from some esteemed Elginites, read the full article from Elgin Courier-News.

To apply as a participant in the open, download the form here, and mail it to The Highlands (875 Sports Way) or Bowes Creek (1250 Bowes Creek Blvd.) in Elgin, Illinois before September 16. The application deadline is September 18 at 5:00pm.