Energy Efficiency Leadership TeamApril 27, 2016
When it comes to implementing a resource efficiency project, there can be dozens of parties involved: From the building's eventual tenants to its landlord, building designers, contractors, software designers and even the state- and federal-level policy makers, energy-efficient construction is truly an interdisciplinary task. No one party can operate effectively without cooperating with and understanding the perspectives of other members of the project. Through the application of integrated design principles, Benningfield's Energy Efficiency Leadership team ensures all specialties successfully collaborate to develop and operate sustainable built environments.
At Benningfield Group, that cohesion of ideas is reflected in everything we do, from the way we approach day-to-day problems to the strategic approach we take in achieving clients' holistic goals. Central to all of these efforts is a leadership team that truly personifies the collaborative nature of excellence in energy-efficiency:
Ben Rupert, our new VP of Operations, is our in-house policy and commercial/industrial energy efficiency program expert. With years of experience working in both the private and public sectors, Ben was responsible for managing and developing some of the most unique performance-based commercial energy efficiency programs in Washington state. His public sector experience also allows him to share insight into how policy is created and implemented in a variety of environments.
Our VP of Energy Efficiency Services, Russell King, M.E., augments our perspective with that of an engineer. His analytical mind and ability to break problems down into actionable solutions provides a clear roadmap for how the team can go about maximizing efficiency at every stage of a project.
Phil Barnes, VP of Program Services, is our resident authority on all things contracting. No matter the project or its scope, Phil makes sure our solutions are feasible from a boots-on-the-ground perspective, balancing Ben and Russ' approaches to policy and implementation with understanding of their real-world application.
More than the sum of its parts
Combining their diverse perspectives, these three bring to every project a solution that is worth far more than the sum of its parts. As effective as they may be individually, their ability to combine their backgrounds in differing industries to create comprehensive programs is what makes them so effective.
"Our backgrounds are varied and our skills are definitely compatible," says Ben. "Between the three of us, we're like a three-legged stool," he added, meaning they can lean on one another to support projects none of them could on their own.
"When a customer's needs change, we have the staff to adapt without losing ground."
Not only do they specialize in different aspects of energy efficiency at the program level, but their experience also covers the full spectrum in terms of building sectors. In total, they have spent decades working on everything from industrial and commercial projects to residential and multifamily building – a factor, Ben notes, that makes them effective in a variety of environments.
Because of its versatility, the leadership team can be creative in the way it approaches and executes complex problems, even in volatile environments. "We are nimble and adaptable," Ben explains, "When a customer's needs change, we have the staff to adapt during the project without losing ground, something larger engineering companies cannot tackle as effectively."
Impacting our culture
This agile and collaborative mindset is indicative of how Benningfield Group operates at every level of its business.
"In terms of the overall culture of business and how everybody takes care of everybody," notes Phil, "it is very unusual to have so many different kinds of people all get along so well together. You don't find that at very many businesses."
"The energy efficiency leadership team is a crucial resource for our entire staff.'
As a result, our entire energy efficiency staff naturally takes an interdisciplinary approach to its projects. "Having a diverse background gives our support staff a certain amount of confidence that they may not have otherwise," explains Russ. "Knowing that the person they're working directly under can always connect them with someone else's expertise helps make them more effective."
Whether they're working on specific projects together or assisting project managers and support staff on a more individual level, the energy efficiency leadership team is a crucial resource for our staff's continual professional development. Not many companies can claim to have experts in such a wide range of energy-related disciplines working on projects together, never mind committing themselves to helping everyone in the company become more effective as well.