A panel of expert judges will select the best new energy optimization products or services.
Facility managers have many responsibilities, but one item can be found near the top of most priority lists: optimizing energy use. To help facility managers get a handle on changing technology and new service offerings, Building Operating Management is proud to introduce the Apex Award for Energy Optimization. The Apex Award competition will highlight significant new products and services, and will recognize the best of the best among the new offerings.
The past few years have seen an accelerating pace of innovation in products and services designed to optimize energy use. The plethora of new products introduced every year — in HVAC, lighting, controls, and roofing, among other areas — presents opportunities to improve the way that energy is used. Meanwhile, service providers are debuting innovative offerings to help optimize energy use. Energy optimization goes beyond efforts to reduce the quantity and cost of energy consumed. It also takes into account the way that energy is used, which means that things like occupant comfort are prime considerations.
Today, the sheer volume of new energy optimization products and services makes it challenging for busy facility managers to keep up. It takes a lot of due diligence to cut through the marketing hype and the allure of bells and whistles. That's why the Apex Award for Energy Optimization was developed.
The award is open to products or services introduced between July 1, 2013, and July 15, 2015. The competition will be judged by a panel of five facility managers who have extensive experience with energy optimization in many different types of facilities:
• Jim Cooke, AIA, is president/CEO, The J. Fisher Group.
• Bob Holesko, C.E.M., is corporate director of engineering, The Kessler Collection.
• Nathan Mitten, Ph.D., is manager of energy services, Kimco Realty Corp.
• Scott Offermann, C.E.M., is managing director, critical operations manager, Cushman & Wakefield.
• Peter Strazdas is associate vice president, facilities management, at Western Michigan University.
Those judges helped to develop criteria to evaluate products and services entered in the competition. Entrants will submit documentation to back up their claims of performance and ROI, as well as other evidence relevant to the evaluation. The criteria aim to help answer one question: Will the product or service deliver on its promises of energy optimization?
"Facilities guys, we're all looking for the better mouse trap," says Holesko. "The criteria will sift out and identify those better mouse traps." He adds that the Apex Award evaluation "helps the facility managers out there because it's been vetted by people like me who would buy it and use it."
All companies entering the competition will become part of the Apex Award A-List, a short list of companies that believe their products and services are worthy of national recognition, and are willing to prove it by putting their new offerings under the judges' microscopes.
"Any organization that submits themselves to this level of scrutiny, whether they win, place, or show, deserves a closer look by the community," says Offermann.
The A-List companies will be highlighted in the September 2015 issue of Building Operating Management. From the A-List, the judges will select the best of the best: a winner and four finalists. Those companies will be announced Sept. 10 and the top products or services will be featured in the October issue of Building Operating Management.
— Edward Sullivan, editor