BOMI Introduces High Performance Designation

  July 13, 2016

By Edward Sullivan

Caption: From left: Gabriel Eckert, Executive Director of BOMA Georgia; Andre Kearns, RPA|HP, vice president, facilities management, Metro Atlanta Chamber; Judi Sponsel, RPA|HP, vice president of property operations, America’s Capital Partners; Susan Hammer, RPA|HP, LEED AP O+M, general manager, Riverview Realty Partners; and Jeffrey Horn, president and CEO, BOMI International. Kearns, Sponsel, and Hammer were among the first individuals to earn BOMI’s new High Performance designation.

As interest in high performance buildings continues to rise, there is a growing need for facility and property managers who understand the principles, practices, and investments that support high performance. To meet that need, BOMI International has introduced the High Performance (HP) designation to help professionals who are responsible for high performance initiatives.

The designation is one new aspect of BOMI’s High Performance Sustainable Buildings program. Another new element is a course, High Performance Sustainable Building Investments. To qualify for the certificate, professionals must complete that course along with two others, HP Building Principles and HP Practices.

The new designation — and the knowledge it represents — brings great value to facility and property managers, say three of the first severn professionals to have earned the designation.

Susan Hammer, RPA|HP, general manager, Riverview Realty Partners, says she has always been interested in the environment. And that interest has carried over into her professional life. She is responsible for AMA Plaza, located at 330 North Wabash in Chicago, which has done extensive retrofits — including mechanical systems, lighting, and elevators — to improve performance and has engaged tenants in such sustainability efforts as recycling and composting. “When this designation came up, it was just a natural fit for me,” she says. She described the program as being “very comprehensive, very detailed, very practical.” For example, case studies offer ideas that professionals may be able to implement in their own buildings.

AMA Plaza meets high performance criteria in several ways. It is on its third recertification under the BOMA 360 program. And it won the 2016 TOBY (The Office Building of the Year) Award from BOMA for buildings over 1 million square feet.

Andre Kearns, RPA|HP, vice president, facilities management, Metro Atlanta Chamber, already has his Real Property Administrator (RPA) designation from BOMI. He looked to the new HP designation to help meet the challenges of managing a special events facility in a prime Atlanta location that may host 30,000 visitors each year. “It’s not like having employees who come to work 12 months a year and you can tell them the rules,” he says.

The property has some unique challenges, like the need to condition outdoor rooftop space. He has to find creative ways to be efficient while keeping people comfortable. And that was one of the things he liked about the High Performance program. “It didn’t just talk about efficiency,” he says. Rather, the courses also considered how a space relates to individuals — how it makes them feel — an essential consideration for his facility.

For Judy Sponsel, RPA|HP, vice president of property operations for America’s Capital Partners, the HP designation is the latest step in a process of lifelong learning. “I’m always looking for ways to expand my knowledge,” she says. “The day you think you know everything is the day you need to find another career.”

Sponsel was president of BOMA Georgia in 2012, as that chapter was helping BOMI develop the High Performance program. The HP program has real professional value for her.

“I run a portfolio of Class A office buildings,” she says. “I wanted to learn about high performance to add value to my owners.” Three of the six buildings in the portfolio have earned BOMA 360 recognition. High performance is of great value to both the management of the company and the Chilean investors in the portfolio. “To them it has so much value,” she says. “They want high performance. Who wouldn’t? I’m learning how to manage their investment to the highest performance level possible.”

This Quick Read was prepared by Ed Sullivan, editor in chief of Building Operating Management magazine, ed.sullivan@tradepress.com. Read more about high performance buildings.


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