The 2011 BetterBricks Awards event honored Puget Sound’s leading green building professionals who own, design, build and operate commercial buildings at the Hyatt Olive 8 hotel last Thursday evening. Dana Schneider, Vice President, Sustainability Services Market Lead for Jones Lang LaSalle, spoke to over 250 attendees about her role in transforming the Empire State Building in New York City with a landmark energy efficiency retrofit. She also discussed how her global real estate services firm is replicating this significant success in its commercial portfolio across the country.

The BetterBricks Awards celebrate the champions of energy efficiency whose forward-thinking business practices set the industry standard for sustainability in commercial real estate. The Awards recognize architects, engineers, developers, building owners, property managers, building operators, facility managers and other building professionals for their leadership in reducing the use of energy and other resources in our commercial.

“Northwest green building professionals lead the country in their commitment to energy efficiency,” said Claire Fulenwider, Executive Director of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA). “Our high caliber winners this year are making impressive strides in both the private and the public sector. They demonstrate that through innovation and collaboration, significant energy savings can be accomplished.”

Winners and finalists were selected in the following categories:

  • Owner/Decision Maker: Winner — Daniel Coxall, Senior Project Executive, Hammes Company Winner — Brian Fritz, Vice President of Development, AvalonBay Communities, Inc.
  • Architecture: Winner — Ron van der Veen, Principal, DLR Group
  • Design Engineer: Winner — Dick Moeller, President; Norm Brown, Principal; and Finn Jakobsen, Associate, CDi Engineers, Lynnwood; Finalist — Scott Rushing, Principal, Rushing Company
  • Facility Manager / Building Operations: Winner — Stephen J. Grose, Administrative Director, Virginia Mason Medical Center; Winner — Edward Krause, Chief Operating Engineer, Providence St. Peter Hospital
  • Property Manager: Winner — Unico Properties Puget Sound Property Management Team; Finalist — Jeff Myrter, General Manager and Jeff Kasowski, Director of Engineering, Wright Runstad & Company
  • Service Contractor: Winner — David Nieman, Senior Building Performance Engineer, & MacDonald-Miller Building Performance Group, MacDonald-Miller
  • Emerging Leader: Winner — Chris Flint Chatto, Associate Partner, Sustainable Designer, ZGF Architects LLP; Winner — Jason Twill, Senior Project Manager, Sustainability, Vulcan, Inc.
  • Advocate: Winner — Peter Dobrovolny, Green Building Specialist, City of Seattle; Winner — Kathleen O’Brien, President, O’Brien & Company

To achieve high performance buildings, award winners used and promoted a variety of best practices such as maximizing local climate in the design, employing early design decision-making and energy modeling, supporting building commissioning, educating tenants and brokers about sustainability and implementing better building operations. Their projects have achieved substantial energy savings, reduced building operation and maintenance costs and enhanced productivity of building occupants among other benefits.

Winners were selected by a panel of judges comprised of industry professionals, utility representatives and green building experts. Each category was sponsored by a NEEA industry partner and highlights the fact that to design, build and operate a high performance building takes many different professionals working together: American Institute of Architects (AIA) Seattle sponsored the architect category; Puget Sound American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) the sponsored the design engineer category; Cascadia Region Green Building Council, sponsored the advocate category; Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Seattle/King County the new property manager category; Urban Land Institute (ULI) sponsored the owner/developer category; International Facility Management Association (IFMA) sponsored the facility manager/operator category and Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC) sponsored the service contractor category.

Utilities also play a key role in high performance buildings by providing technical assistance and incentives for high efficient equipment. Through its BetterBricks initiative, NEEA partnered with Seattle City Light, Puget Sound Energy, Tacoma Power and Snohomish County PUD to both judge and sponsor the 2011 Puget Sound BetterBricks Awards.

BetterBricks is the commercial building initiative of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), which is supported by Northwest electric utilities.  Through BetterBricks, NEEA advances ideas to accelerate energy savings in new and existing commercial buildings.  BetterBricks education and training, online resources and recognition of industry leaders guide and inspire building professionals to embrace best practices, improve energy performance and achieve their sustainability goals.  Visit to connect to these powerful energy ideas and more.

Puget Sound Energy offers a full array of commercial rebates, custom grants and services that support energy efficiency in your buildings and business practices. We offer financial incentives for small and large businesses and for building owners. For more information, contact a PSE Energy Advisor at 1-800-562-1482, or visit www.PSE .com. Puget Sound Energy. The energy to do great things.

Seattle City Light partners with commercial and industrial customers to conserve electricity. Saving electricity is the most cost-effective way to meet our future energy needs. To encourage adoption of energy-saving technologies, Seattle City Light offers free site facility energy surveys and technical advice, and rebates to promote energy-saving upgrades. Energy efficiency programs are available for both existing buildings and new construction.  Visit or call 206-684-3800 for more information.

Snohomish County PUD offers commercial and industrial customers a variety of energy programs and technical services including financial incentives for the installation of efficient equipment in both existing buildings and new construction.  For details, visit us at or call 425-783-1700.

Tacoma Power offers our New Construction program for commercial and business customers. We provide rebates, prescriptive incentives and custom incentives for a winde range of energy efficiency measures. Additional incentives are also available to building designers and owners with efficiency projects that beat the energy code by 30 percent or more. For more information, call 253-502-8619, or visit

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