BOLD Building Innovators Receive Awards In Los Angeles

Five facility and real estate professionals who intertwine sustainability and technology are recognized for their work with the 2nd Annual BOLD Awards.

Many facility management and real estate professionals are actively creating the “workplace of tomorrow” with green building issues also in mind by raising efficiency, sustainability, and comfort standards. On the evening of October 5, 2016, this industry trend was in the spotlight during the 2nd Annual BOLD Awards, held in Los Angeles, CA. Hosted by industry technology firms Aquicore, Comfy, Enlighted, and View, the 2016 Bold Awards recognize five standout building professionals, in five categories — The Champion; The Mentor; The Innovator; The Unsung Hero; and new for 2016, the People’s building

Facility Executive magazine was the exclusive media partner for this year’s awards, and we’re pleased to share the winners here.

This judges’ panel for the 2016 BOLD Awards included Jigar Shah, Co-Founder of Generate Capital, Founder of SunEdison and co-host of Energy Gang Podcast; Dr. Nils Kok, CEO, GRESB B.V.; Cliff Majersik, Executive Director at IMT; and Gautami Palanki, Director of LEED Dynamic Plaque.

The Champion: Aaron Binkley, director of sustainability programs, Digital Realty

The Champion award recognizes a leader who developed innovative systems or processes with cutting-edge technology, solutions, or strategies to solve difficult commercial real estate challenges.

Binkley has completely transformed the way Digital Realty, which owns data centers in 14 countries, does business, and is transforming the data center industry as a result. Data centers are typically not known for being proactive on sustainability, but Binkley is changing that single-handedly, and has solidified his place as an industry disruptor. He created the first data center green bond and the first data center off-site Power Purchase Agreement in 2016.

The Mentor: Sylvia Golisano, engineering & sustainability coordinator, Granite Properties

The Mentor Award recognizes a senior leader whose support of innovative ideas, technologies, and programs positively impacted the efficiency and sustainability of their built environment.

Golisano is the leader of sustainability at Granite Properties and sits on a number of boards including the Dallas 2030 District. She is a LEED AP O+M and has been integral in helping Granite Properties improve efficiency of the buildings in its portfolio. Golisano is highly respected within the sustainability world of commercial real estate.

The Innovator: Peter Rumsey, founder and CEO, Point Energy Innovations

The Innovator Award recognizes an individual who pioneered unique and creative programs or initiatives with the goal of increasing tenant engagement, satisfaction, and retention.

When Rocky Mountain Institute settled into its new Basalt, CO Office at the beginning of 2016, Rumsey’s first major installation of his company’s Hyperchair was keeping each individual staff member comfortable in a building without a central heating system. While avoiding the two biggest, and often simultaneous complaints in buildings, “I’m too cold!” and “I’m too hot!,” the chairs provide an extra boost of heat (or cooling), fine-tuned to personal needs, for a fraction of the environmental cost of central heating.

The Unsung Hero: Kevin Devine, director engineering, Southern California region, Brookfield Properties

Sometimes the people creating the most important change operate under the radar. The Unsung Hero award highlights an individual who is instrumental in accelerating the adoption of technology in buildings, but largely does so behind the scenes.

Devine oversees 80 engineers for Brookfield Properties in the western region who are responsible for operating eight million square feet of commercial office space. Through training, implementing energy conservation programs, and partnering with vendors, Devine ensures all engineers receive hands-on training in the latest technology and energy savings programs to operate high-rise buildings efficiently to reduce the impact on the environment.

People’s Choice: Jessica Diaz-Avelar, environmental risk management and sustainability director, PYSIR and LatAm sustainability consultant, Prudential Global Investment Management

Chosen by popular vote on October 5, 2016, Diaz-Avelar received more than 525 votes. She created Smart Blue, a proprietary environmental management and green building certification platform for emerging the Mexico markets to prepare Prudential Global Investment Management (PGIM) assets for a future third-party certification, such as LEED, as the demand for green buildings in emerging markets matures. SMART Blue has certified nine buildings totaling 151,417 square meters (approx. 1.62 millions square feet) of building area. During 2015, more than 900 professionals were trained in different SMART Blue sustainable areas. SMART blue has produced an annual per project of 5% energy reduction, 500 cubic meters of water (approx. 130,000 gallons) and incorporated 127 tons of recycled steel and diverted more than 20.8 tons of material from landfills.

Meanwhile, Facility Executive has opened nominations for our 15th Annual Facility Executive of the Year Award. If you know or are an outstanding facility management leader who has implemented a strategic initiative, major renovation or new construction, or other impactful program for their organization, consider submitting his or her story to the competition. Nominations are open until November 22, 2016 at

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