APRIL 17, 2012, New York, NY – The TFM Forum kicked off this morning as TFM’s 2012 Facility Executive of the Year (FEY) Robert Wengel presented the keynote address about the environmental initiatives being undertaken at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, IL. As vice president of facilities, Robert has worked diligently to implement operations and maintenance strategies that increase the facility’s overall operations, along with sustainability. In 2010, Wengel was tasked with creating a comprehensive five year plan for the facility, and his talk today focused largely on the sustainability aspect of that plan. The results that he and his team have delivered, and the continuing activities, were the primary reason for his being recognized as the 2012 FEY.
“In starting out, I wanted to create a team that would allow us to take a holistic look at building and creating a comprehensive facility plan,” said Wengel. “Our facility is a dynamic place and there are always changes happening, but we needed a plan that was constant in moving us toward the goals we would set.” Ultimately, representatives from multiple departments of the aquarium made up the team. “In order to implement plans to support what our 250 employees are doing, it was important to include a variety of perspectives, and in keeping with the aquarium’s team based culture, regular meetings are part of the ongoing progress.”
With water being such a huge part of operations at the Shedd Aquarium, that has been a major focus, and conservation efforts have reduced annual water consumption there by 2.5 million gallons. The facility recently encountered another incentive to improve water use efficiency when Chicago’s mayor ended the city’s practice of allowing non-profit organizations to use city water free of charge (sewage charges were not under that policy). In addition to finding new ways to reuse the water removed from the animals’ habitats, Wengel’s facilities team began submetering water usage to identify where waste may be occurring.
Other areas that have been addressed by the facilities plan so far are lighting, chiller equipment, and materials selection. “Planning for sustainability will never stop,” said Wengel. “And for some of the problems will will face,
we may run out of solutions. Recognizing this fact, we’ve decided to form partnerships and reach out to other facilities to discuss what they are doing to become more sustainable. And we can share our experiences with them.” To that end, he networks with other facilities management professionals, visiting other aquariums, zoo, and even automakers to see what best practices he can observe in their operations.
SPONSORS AND DELEGATES MEET ONE-ON-ONE
After the morning’s keynote address and conference sessions, attendees participated in one-on-one meetings with product and service providers to discuss the solutions available to improve their facilities. The pre-scheduled meetings took place between sponsors — who represent an array of facility management product and service providers from across North America; and delegates — facility executives who are searching for products and services for their projects. Personal schedules were created for all participants according to their individual interests and project requirements.
Delegates met one-on-one with the following sponsors during The TFM Forum:
- Benjamin Moore & Co.
- The Blue Book Building & Construction Network
- Dyson B2B, Inc.
- Excel Dryer, Inc. / Newton Distributing
- Lasertech Floorplans
- Lutron Electronics
- The Millenium Group
- SYLVANIA Lighting Services
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE NEW YORK CITY LIGHTING UPGRADE MANDATE
NEMA, The TFM Forum Platinum Sponsor for 2012, invited its members to learn about how to take advantage of the lighting mandates enacted for commercial facilities in New York City. The 22,000 largest buildings in the city–concentrated largely in Manhattan–account for roughly 45% of total energy consumption there. Representatives from four NEMA member companies presented information on the lighting laws pertaining to facility managers, which include Local Law 973-A, Article 310 (“lighting upgrade law”); Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State (ECCCCNYS 2010); and Local Law 48.
After providing an overview of the parameters of each piece of legislation and where in a facility these would apply, the speakers presented lighting technologies that facility managers can use to meet the mandates. Luminaires, lamps, ballasts, and controls were the focus of this section, with replacements for soon to be phased out incandescents as part of the discussion. One of the messages of the presentation was that lighting legislation and building codes are only expected to become more stringent, so facility professionals may want to start looking at how to make changes in their buildings now.
In addition to the NEMA session, other educational sessions throughout the day included:
- eFM – Taking Facility Management Out Of The Black Box And Into The Age Of The Internet, Wayne Washington, President, Facility Management & Engineering (FME)
- FM Conquers Social Media, Jim Elledge, CFM, FMA, RPA, Facilities Manager, Summit Alliance Companies
- Disaster Recovery Incident Command In The Real World, Ernest Schirmer, Director of Technology Consulting, Acentech, Inc.
- Wet Paint: Communicating The Critical To The Mundane In Organizations, Charles Carpenter, Facilities Manager, Harte-Hanks
- Beyond Green Clichés—Show Me The Money! Developing Basic And Advanced Energy Management Strategies, Jeff Crane, P.E., LEED AP, Regional Property Manager, Childress Klein Properties
- Professional Development For Facility Managers, Pepe Alicea, Business Services Director, Compassion International; Kevin Borg, Director of Facilities and Project Management, UCLA Intercollegiate Athletics Department