Years ago, I had to take a colorblind test as part of the military draft test, and I failed it. Many who know me also know that I started out to be an artist and not to be an engineer (a story for another time), so failing the test was not a good thing for a budding artist. In 1976, I was encouraged to try writing in lieu of painting as a creative outlet, which has proven to be a lot of fun, as well as a means to continue to learn more about the building industry.

As we kick off 2005, I continue to fill my spare time writing about what we do in this business, what we need to do better, and how to provide quality control in the process.

It was 1991 when I had the opportunity to take over this magazine's monthly column originally titled, "Energy Engineering." Having inherited the title, we soon changed it to "Today's Engineer" to provide me with a broader platform to present topics of interest. After a few years at it, I requested the column be changed again to present a more visionary appeal to what we should be doing now and in the future. It is this look-to-the-horizon angle that continues to keep me keenly interested in questioning what we do and how can we do this better, more efficiently, and more cost-effective.

My biggest concern for 2005 is the need for careful assessment regarding energy and environmental engineering (a.k.a. LEED™ jobs). Will our silver, gold, and platinum certified projects miss their mark when up and running? This year, my column will continue to study this topic and draw upon others in the business to share their experience on the subject matter. I believe it is important to get the written word out ahead of time, so that we are not duped into thinking everything will be green just because the scorecard projected the job would be a success.

Another reason I continue to write is that I enjoy sharing my experience in a forum designed to educate others. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the industry as well as learn from some of the "not the best," which is also a way of learning how-not-to. Starting last year, I had the opportunity to team up with Amanda to package the "Back to Basics" with her "HVACR Designer Tips" and the quarterly "Application Scorecard." My other daughter, Kim, does the "Back to Basics" flow diagram as part of this writing team effort.

Frequently, people ask me how I find the time to write. Well, I don't find the time, I make the time, and it is more of a hobby than a task. It is a means to question the process, revisit what worked and didn't work, and ask the question, Why not? Many other people simply have other priorities and hobbies. I think you have to recognize what is important to you, your family, and your career, and fulfill your commitment. Writing falls into the category of "important to you," (or in my case, important to me) and has given me a voice in the building industry.

Because of this unusual monthly opportunity to reach people, I take this role very seriously while injecting some humor as I strive to challenge others to lead and contribute. It's a great business to be in, and it continues to change, so no one will ever master the building design, construction, and facility industry. With such a "moving target," in 2005 we shall continue to challenge the readers, question the process, and share some current event experiences.

With my son's help, I have been able to link to my monthly columns to complement the messages published in this magazine. With limits on how much you can squeeze on to one page each month, the website offers another platform to share my vision, ideas, and business tools for the 21st century. This year, I hope to be able to introduce some truly unique technical tools to further advance how we do business, and you will read it here first.

I also will continue to encourage others to make the time to share their experience in writing a feature article in this magazine. John Fortin and Danny Beaudoin's article this month is an example of this, and, more importantly, their story is a great case study on how one college is proactive in improving building management while contributing to a better environment.

So why do I continue to write? Well, since I'm colorblind, being an artist is out, so I've gone to plan B as a writer, columnist, and perceived authority. ES