The Guiding Light
(Green Technique, Phoenix AZ – Part One)

Byron Borgas of Green Technique is a cheerful optimist in the midst of the nasty building slump that has hit his company's home base of Phoenix, Arizona considerably harder than other cities. “I actually get more work outside of Arizona,” he admits. As for the other three corners, “In Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico it's picking up. In those three states, things are really doing well.”

Green Technique supplies a variety of product lines, of course: ThermoCore SIPs, Heatizon radiant flooring, Rainguard coatings, and the LiveRoof green roof system, to name a few. But these days, Borgas is most excited about LED lighting systems. “We move more lighting than anything,” he declared. “Lighting is my niche, and I really enjoy doing it.” In fact, Byron is becoming widely known for his expertise throughout North America. He does consulting work for Underwriter Laboratories in developing new lighting efficiency test procedures, and he's also busy working with the Canadian Standards Association.

The building slump has altered the priorities of many traditional clients. Short term cost savings have become a priority for many builders and developers. Despite the long disadvantages, many designers are opting for traditional lighting than the new long-life energy saving alternatives. “I'd rather see people go with fluorescents than not make any energy efficient choices at all,“ he said. “But we really want them to consider LEDs, because the technology continues to change and improve. We show them what they'd spend on CFLs and how much they would end up saving on LEDs, based on their ROI over a multi-year period.”

It takes time, but the approach has brought in some prestige sales. Borgas has just earned the commitment of a new museum in Arizona, and his closing in on a national banking chain as well. And while that's a healthy trend, Borgas is itching to promote energy efficiency on a national scale. “I get excited about how efficient we can all be with our energy use, so we won't have to invest in finding more coal or oil or anything like that,“ he says, earnestly. “We can become less dependent on imported energy when we can use renewable sources.”

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