At Third Man Records, the vinyl is always spinning – the electric meter, not so much.

Detroit is humming. You can hear it in District Detroit, where Little Caesars Arena — the beautiful new home for the Detroit Red Wings and Pistons — has revitalized the area. In the gentle purr of the QLINE light rail system, in the hustle and bustle around Campus Martius Park, in concerts at the new Beacon Park near DTE Energy’s headquarters, and in all the activity around Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center. Situated between these last two entities on West Canfield is Third Man Records. For lovers of vinyl records, this is a must place to visit. Stop by. And listen to yet more sounds of a city reborn.

Third Man Records was founded by Detroit musician Jack White in 2001 as a label imprint and a means to control his music rights. In March, 2009, he opened a recording studio, record store and music complex in Nashville. But the Motor City kept calling him home, so in 2015 he opened a second location in Detroit.

“Jack was always interested in getting back to Detroit, and by 2015, recognizing the resurgence in the city, he partnered with Tom Kartsotis, founder of Shinola, a Detroit manufacturer of watches and other high-end products, and purchased the building here in the Cass Corridor,” said Roe Peterhans of Third Man Records in Detroit.

This Joint Rocks

Opening the door of Third Man Records, you’ll be blown away by the dazzling displays and beautiful fixtures. Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that much of the building’s original charm has been retained, but it has been thoroughly modernized with energy efficiency improvements and comfortable amenities.

“We started with a full-blown energy audit,” said Brandon Chrzanowski, operations manager of Third Man Records. “We installed LEDs throughout the building, including in the stage area. This allows us to change the background color to enhance the artist’s performance. Because LED lighting generates less heat than other types, our cooling requirement during the warmer months is reduced. Our utility bills are very manageable since LED lamps use much less energy than other types of stage lighting.”

When you visit, pay attention to the windows at the front of the store. They’re from the old Packard plant. “We had high-efficiency custom panes created for the windows. They look cool and are practical too,” said David Buick, a Third Man Records representative. “We added 4 to 5 inches of insulation to the plant walls and ceiling, along with acoustic tiles and foam in the rooms housing our boilers and chillers to prevent noise pollution. It’s a very pleasing environment for the employees and our customers,” Chrzanowski explained.

The boilers and chillers supporting the vinyl presses generate a lot of noise, but the insulation and acoustic enhancements provide great sound deadening, so visitors at the front of the store and nearby neighbors hear virtually nothing.

A Wealth of Energy-efficiency Measures
Additional Third Man Records energy efficiency measures include:

  • A high-efficiency boiler that provides heating for the facility and steam that melts the PVC puck from which the records are pressed
  • A steam generator that delivers greater than 82 percent energy efficiency
  • A high-efficiency centrifugal chiller that provides chilled water for the vinyl presses, and air handling units that serve both the climate-controlled air conditioning unit and the vinyl presses
  • A cooling tower that chills the water, providing free cooling for the presses during colder months

These and other energy efficiency measures earned Third Man Records nearly $10,000 in cash incentives from DTE. Getting money back from DTE was a simple process, according to Chrzanowski. “I completed the application myself,” he said. “I had experience with the incentives in a previous position, so I was familiar with the requirements.”

An Audit That Puts Money in Your Pocket

Third Man Records began its energy efficiency project with a thorough energy audit — an effective strategy employed by companies hoping to identify opportunities to reduce energy usage and save dollars. The audit provides an extensive energy assessment of the building, locating points of air leakage and infiltration. The building’s insulation level is evaluated, the combustion efficiency of heating and cooling equipment is tested, and a safety check is performed.

When the building and its systems have been thoroughly analyzed, a report is generated that identifies areas for improvement and highlights the available incentives. Small businesses that would like to begin more modestly can request a free DTE Business Energy Consultation. An energy expert will visit your place of business, install free energy efficiency equipment and explain how you can save more.

Do it today. Energy efficiency rocks. Just ask Jack White.

Business Energy Consultation (BEC)