One of the main goals of Smart Energy in Offices’ (SEiO) Operator Campaigns is to put a spotlight on building operators, the people behind the scenes of an office building. Jeimy Acosta of CBRE in Greenville, SC is one of those people.
Jeimy puts in countless hours working to ensure that employees in the building are safe and comfortable in their offices. We asked Jeimy a few questions about himself, his role as building operator, and his experience with SEiO thus far.
What is your role at CBRE?
JA: I am a building engineer at CBRE’s Liberty 1 building in downtown Greenville. I have been with CBRE for 10 years, working on this building specifically for the past three years.
So, what does that entail exactly…what are you responsible for?
JA: As a building engineer, I provide solutions to the tenants’ needs, make sure the building operations are consistent from a safety perspective and look constantly for opportunities that result in a more efficient building. I am in charge of all of the preventative maintenance for the building. I am also responsible for upgrades and for fixing any electrical, HVAC, plumbing, lighting, building systems, security problems. This involves a lot of troubleshooting and working with a team of vendors to fix any problems that I cannot get to. An additional component of my job is to keep all compliance inspections up to date, which is obviously very important as well.
Wow, that’s a full plate! Do you have a big team to tackle all of that?
JA: I have a counterpart, Jason Enlow, who is a building engineer at the Liberty 2 building; it’s just the two of us between the two buildings—plus our facilities manager, Steve Campbell and the rest of the CBRE facilities team in Downtown Greenville. Although I spend 90% of my time at the Liberty 1 building, there are two weeks out of every month that I’m also responsible for after-hours emergencies at both buildings.
What is the biggest energy efficiency improvement project that you’ve completed at your building in the last five years?
JA: In terms of capital investment projects, last year we replaced an old chiller—this investment resulted in huge monthly savings. Something more in line with SEiO’s “trust but verify” principle that we’ve been doing recently is putting more emphasis on preventative maintenance. Even though we have outside contractors help us with this, we are now paying more attention to the reports that they give us—and requesting reports more often—to ensure that we fully understand any issues going on in the buildings.
What do you see as the biggest opportunity for behavioral energy efficiency improvements?
JA: Benchmarking, definitely. This has been such a big improvement for us since we started the SEiO program. We now know our baselines, which is so helpful for interpreting data. We also are taking advantage of the fact that the HQ shows us when peak demand times are, which is helpful for us when it comes to coordinating the HVAC schedule and preventative maintenance. Benchmarking through SEiO also allowed us to get an ENERGY STAR® rating for both buildings!
If you would like to participate in an Operator Campaign, please contact your Smart Energy in Offices Engagement Manager ([email protected])