By Caitlin Forbes
Beginning his career as a mechanical design professional, Chris’s transition to SMMA’s Commissioning Group Leader stemmed from the growing importance of sustainability in the design community. In 2006, as the USGBC was gaining in momentum, Chris was exposed to commissioning and its significance to the LEED process. Since commissioning matters at each stage of LEED, Chris sees it as a critical component for maintaining healthy buildings.
This hands-on, comprehensive approach defines Chris’s goals for the future – he is passionate about communicating and educating the public, a goal he sees the USGBC as critical in maintaining. Only the people on the ground can commit to truly sustainable design practices; they are the ones left to maintain what designers implement. For Chris, commissioning, and its focus on training the right people for system’s maintenance, complements and informs future sustainable practices.
While working at SMMA, Chris acts as the chief liaison with clients, and guides SMMA’s commissioning approach on a day-to- day basis to ensure coordinated responses. He has provided commissioning services for a variety of sustainable schools and commercial buildings, but he cites his work for the Lilla G. Frederick Middle School as one career milestone. A 144,000-square- foot building, constructed in 2001, the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School was chosen by the City of Boston’s Environment, Energy & Open Space Cabinet and its utility partners—Eversource and National Grid—to undergo a retro-commissioning study. Working in tandem with SMMA’s sustainability group, Chris and his commissioning team were able discover the systems responsible for energy spikes and comfort control issues. Discoveries like these highlight the importance of retro-commissioning and post-occupancy analysis for future energy savings.