Registrations/Certifications: Certified Commissioning Authority; Johnson Controls, Inc. TechEDGE; GE Fanuc Systems Design and Engineering; Landis and Gyr Powers HVAC and DDC.
Professional Affiliations: ASHRAE, AABC, USGBC, BCxA
I like what I do because… It ensures that clients are getting the building that they paid for. As the cost of energy keeps increasing, properly tuned buildings can help manage that cost and save money in the long run.
My favorite piece of advice for building owners is… Do not VE out controls! Building Automation can be a great tool to save money in the long run if set up correctly and commissioned by a third party.
My favorite mode of transportation is… Fast cars that are fun to drive.
Aaron Frees, PE, CxA, LEED Green Associate, Associate/Satellite Manager
Education: Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Graduated Cum Laude
Years in the Industry: 14
Registrations/Certifications: Professional Engineer in CA; LEED Green Associate; CxA through AABC Commissioning Group
Professional Affiliations: ASHRAE, ACG, NCEES
I like what I do because… The relationships I develop with my clients are genuine win-win, mutually beneficial relationships. It is rewarding for me to provide a service to my client that truly creates value for their asset portfolios that, in most cases, far outweighs my team’s financial impact on the client.
The most interesting building I’ve worked on is… The Hollywood Casino located in Lawrenceburg, IN. The main casino (gambling) floor had the unique challenge of requiring it to be built floating on the Ohio River to comply with local gaming laws. The construction type, equipment used, and even operation personnel was sometimes pulled from the traditional building industry and other times from the Marine industry. All of the systems and ancillary, connected, buildings functioned as one seamless facility to meet the clients, and client’s customers, entertainment needs!
My favorite mode of transportation is… Sailing! I enjoy the freedom of sailing; it brings me closer to nature and away from the hustle and bustle of major cities. It is the amazing to me that one of the most sustainable modes of transportation that exists today is still one of the oldest ever created!
Education: Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering Technology, A.S. Applied Mathematics, Oregon Institute of Technology
Years in the Industry: 21
I do what I do because… I believe in the partnerships we have with our clients. I believe that the knowledge and experience at EEI truly helps our clients realize their goals and expectations of their projects.
I like what I do because… It allows me to interact with persons of various trades and backgrounds. I learn something new on every project regardless of size or duration. I find the conversations with clients, engineers and contractors on a project really enrich my experience and help my growth.
The most interesting place I’ve traveled for work is… Washington, D.C.
The most unusual project challenge I’ve run into is… How to prevent surface condensation inside a large glass façade building like the Amazon Spheres.
The most interesting building I’ve worked on is… The Amazon Spheres in Seattle
My favorite tool in the field is… My phone camera. It allows me to document what I see in the field and communicate that with my clients.
My favorite piece of advice for building owners is… Be clear of your needs and expectations at the beginning of the project and confirm that the construction team delivered at the end of the project.
The best question I’ve ever been asked about energy savings is… How the client(s) will use the energy and analytics data that are being delivered to them by the building systems.
One fact about me that always surprises people is… That I was born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal and that English is my second language.
My favorite non-work-related hobby is… Photography and vinyl records collecting.
My biggest inspiration is… My father.
My favorite place in the world to be is… Kathmandu, my home.
My favorite mode of transportation is… My Salomon QST 99 skis!
Education: A.S. Energy, University of Washington; A.S. Energy Modeling, Edmonds Community College; A.S. Electronics, Chanute Air Force Base
Years in the Industry: 32
Areas of expertise: Data analytics, master planning, building automation/energy management, technical integration
I do what I do because… I believe that saving energy is important. This means we need to control our built environment with a sense of responsibility and take continuous action.
I like what I do because…We are changing how our jobs is done with cutting edge technology.
The most interesting place I’ve traveled for work is…Either Dubai or China. Both cultures were so new to me and offered an amazing learning experience
The most unusual project challenge I’ve run into is… Pioneering control strategies for controlled atmosphere for apple storage.
The most interesting building I’ve worked on is… Either Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project (it has cool architecture), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Care (a super high-tech building), or Benaroya Concert Hall (which is a building in a building).
My favorite tool in the field is… 12 in 1 screwdriver.
My favorite piece of advice for building owners is… Build a plan, sell it up and down the food chain, track the success, learn from the failures, advertise to the stake holders. Believe in what you do.
The best question I’ve ever been asked about energy savings is… Why does it cost money to save money? Basic economics my friend.
One fact about me that always surprises people is… I can’t tell you because then it would not be a surprise.
My favorite non-work-related hobby is… Sailing or skiing.
My biggest inspiration is… My dog, she is happy every day (as long as I feed her!)
My favorite place in the world to be is… On a mountain somewhere, anytime.
My favorite mode of transportation is… My sailboat.
Education: Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Years in the Industry: 28
Registrations/Certifications: Professional Engineer in WA and OR; LEED AP; CxA through ACG
Professional Affiliations: ASHRAE; BCxA; ACG; ASME; IPSE; ASME; WSSHE
I do what I do because… In high school I had two career interests; I became concerned about the environment and wanted to do something that could help improve our impact on the earth. I also like to know how things work and really liked to test them… mostly destructive testing.
Early in college, I became interested in building systems and how they worked. Soon after, I began working in the construction management department at the University of Missouri as a student intern, and that was when it began to click. I soon discovered that buildings had controls and those controls directly affected the energy use of the building. In many of the buildings, there was lots of opportunity to get them to work better, which in turn would have a positive impact on the environment.
The most interesting building I’ve worked on is… The Spheres; simulating a rainforest at 10,000 feet in Seattle is no small feat!
My favorite tool in the field is… My pockets; I’ve found I can get myself into trouble if my hands aren’t in there!
My favorite piece of advice for building owners is… The best way to save energy is to turn it off.
My favorite non-work related hobby is… I began racing bikes in college, which was a lot of fun, I had plenty of time to train… as my professional career began there was less and less time, then marriage and children which take more time. Recently, I began commuting on my bicycle to work, riding about 15 miles a day, which is great training for bike racing. For the last three years, I’ve been participating in cyclocross races around the Puget Sound area. I’ve really enjoyed pushing myself and learning what it takes to improve.
My favorite place in the world to be is… My uncle’s dairy farm in the summer sitting on the fence looking at cows.
Brandt Metts, BSC, LEED® AP BD+C, Senior Project Manager
Education: Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Ohio University, Athens, OH; Bachelor of Science, Meteorology, Ohio University, Athens, OH
Years in the Industry: 20
Registrations/Certifications: LEED AP BD+C; BSC through NEBB
Professional Affiliations: USGBC, NEBB
I do what I do because… I love it! I love making buildings and systems work properly. I particularly love working in buildings that have never worked properly and fixing them. It is very rewarding to me.
The most interesting building I’ve worked on is… OSU CBEC lab. 225 lab fume hoods, 360,000 CFM supply and exhaust, the largest 600ºF (200 psi) steam station I have experienced. Complex sequences of operation and the lab spaces needed to be setup perfectly to ensure labs were properly pressurized. Systems were partially on emergency power which was a challenging setup from a Cx perspective. A very fun project.
My favorite tool in the field is… My phone. I can document my visit there, look up project info there, take photos, and yes…sometimes make calls.
One fact about my that always surprises people is… In addition to a Mechanical Engineering Degree, I also have a Degree in Meteorology.
My favorite non-work-related hobby is… Home renovation projects. Particularly bathrooms and kitchens.
My favorite place in the world to be is… In front of a grill or smoker. I really enjoy cooking.
Professional Affiliations: AABC Commissioning Group, BCxA
I do what I do because… It gives me the opportunity to make a positive impact on interesting and complex projects working with teams made up of diverse teams all trying to accomplish a common goal.
I like what I do because… We get to make a project successful by making other members of the project team successful. We often are one of the only entities that are looking specifically at how equipment from each trade integrate with each other. We can be the “good guys” in a project by preventing problems and finding solutions instead of just pointing out what is wrong.
The most interesting building I’ve worked on is… The University of Washington’s West Central Utility Plant (WCUP). The project involved providing a new utility plant to provide critical facilities with dedicated chilled water and emergency power. Additionally, we were able to be heavily involved in the development and refinement of the control sequences and testing of additional capabilities of the chilled water plant. In doing so we were able to successfully test and implement a means for this new chilled water plant to be easily reconfigured to serve the rest of the campus and serve as a supplement or backup to the existing main campus chilled water plant.
My favorite tool in the field is… My infrared camera. It helps quickly identify both structural/architectural issues (missing wall insulation, air & water leaks, etc.) as well as mechanical & electrical issues.
My favorite piece of advice for building owners is… Get your key facilities & department folks involved in the design meetings, commissioning meetings and controls summits. The design team, construction team and facilities/department personnel often have very different interpretations of what is intended by the plans and specifications.
One fact about me that always surprises people is… I’m a West Point graduate and spent time in the active army and national guard.
My favorite non-work related hobby is… Mountain biking and kayaking and learning how to fix things with the house and cars.
My biggest inspiration is… My parents who emigrated from Bolivia to the US. Even though they left everything they knew behind and started with almost nothing, they were excited to learn a new language, adapt a new culture and thrive in a new country.
My favorite place in the world to be is… Hanging out with family and friends.
Education: Bachelor of Science, Architectural Engineering, Environmental Systems, University of Colorado
Years in the Industry: 41
Registrations/Certifications: Professional Engineer in AK, CA, CO, NY, OH, OR, SC, WA, WV; Certified Energy Manager (CEM); Commissioning Process Management Professional (CPMP)
Professional Affiliations: ASHRAE, AEE, BCxA, NCEES
I do what I do because… I like the challenge and diversity in helping others. It never gets boring because every engagement is special and unique. I value helping others to do what is right, based on having the best information available, even when we don’t always have everything right at hand! That’s where experience counts.
I like what I do because… There are always new lessons to be learned and new approaches to our service delivery. If you are not adapting, you are not staying in step with the industry. In other words, embrace change!
My favorite non-work related hobby is… Travel. As a kid, my family toured most of the United States by station wagon, packed with our trustworthy Sears wax-coated canvas tent and Coleman gas stove, and visited most of the National Parks in the continental US. I enjoy going to new places and learning about history, culture, and cuisine of the region.
Pete Sabeff, PE, LEED AP, Technical Advisor and Founder
Education: Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Arizona State University
Years in the Industry: 50
Registrations/Certifications: Professional Engineer in AZ, CA, CO, LA, MO, NC, ND, SD, WA, WI
Professional Affiliations: ASHRAE, NCEES, USGBC
I do what I do because… I love to make things work properly. Restoration and taking systems to new levels of performance is both satisfying and truly sustainable.
My favorite tool in the field is… Communication. Curiosity and asking pertinent questions always leads to very interesting and enlightening conversations, permitting all parties to gain new insights and levels of success normally not achieved nearly as quickly.
One fact about me that always surprises people is… How hands-on I can be – from the boiler room to the board room.
My favorite non-work related hobby is… Restoration projects – home, buildings, wood, metal, anything!
Education: Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University; Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Years in the Industry: 36
Registrations/Certifications: Professional Engineer in CA, CO, HI, KY, MI, OK, TX, UT, WY; LEED AP BD+C
Professional Affiliations: ASHRAE; ASES; BCxA; USGBC
The most interesting place I’ve traveled for work is… Mexico City to work on a project for Abbott Pharmaceuticals.
The most interesting building I’ve worked on is… The Gateway Visitor Center of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii, because it is cooled by deep seawater (which is also used to condense moisture for irrigation).
My biggest inspiration is… My parents – scientists and professors, but moreover, fascinated by the world around them.
My favorite mode of transportation is… Bicycle, obviously.