October 31, 2014

Facilities team earns awards for energy savingsDid you know that nearly thirty thousand dollars has been saved a year just by introducing energy efficiency programs in two of Multnomah County's office buildings? By working with building occupants and upgrading building systems, a team at county Facilities and Property Management (FPM) has reduced utility costs and received awards recently for their efforts.

“County Facilities has consistently supported the county’s Climate Action Plan, energy efficiency and sustainability,” said Peggidy Yates, strategic projects manager for FPM.  “We really appreciate the efforts of our facilities team as well as our building occupants who are working with us to reduce energy costs.”

In 2013, Eric Winn, FPM’s energy and utility specialist, entered the county’s Multnomah and Mead buildings into the regional Building Performance Partnership's “Kilowatt Crackdown Competition” in the “Highest Performing Building” categories. Of 45 buildings entered in the competition, the Multnomah Building placed second and Mead was a finalist. The buildings all had at least 50,000 square feet of space.

“The competition was based on using the least amount of  energy per square foot of space,” explained Winn. “So the recognition is based on objective results.”

“The county has done a good job of maintaining all of our buildings and upgrading systems for energy savings,” Winn said. “Our employees have been key to helping us achieve greater energy savings. We’re using more automated systems that manage energy for heating, cooling and lights when the building is used the most, and reducing energy use during off hours.”

FPM entered building and energy information into the U.S. EPA's Portfolio Manager, conducted a day- and night-walk of the facilities with third party energy engineers, and made efficiency adjustments to the mechanical systems and operating schedules.  The Multnomah and Mead buildings earned a 91 and 88 Energy Star Rating for office buildings,​ respectively.

The facilities project team included:

John Lindenthal, capital program manager

Eric Winn, energy and utility specialist

Gary Henderson, building automation specialist

Kevin Hendley, HVAC engineer

Mat Brady, property manager for the Mead Building

Mike Crank, property manager for the Multnomah Building

And all the County staff who work in these buildings that supported these efforts.

“Opportunities exist to save energy when we can match the times when our buildings are heated and cooled with the times that they are open to the public or have people working in them,” said Yates. “When we save energy we save money that can be better used in program delivery to county clients as well as contribute to the county’s commitment to the Climate Action Plan.”