How Vanguard Building Solutions Is Leveraging its Engineering Team

Each month, we highlight a different division helping Vanguard Building Solutions deliver high-caliber service to our clients. This month we’re looking at our engineering department. Our work as a renewable energy company is only possible with the talented team of engineers led by Director of Engineering Brian Theordor.

From the initial project stages of auditing and design through a project’s conclusion, including commissioning and measurement and verification, his team is actively involved in ensuring projects meet and exceed all of their objectives. For our latest blog, we talked to him about the engineering team and the processes they follow to deliver optimal results across a wide range of sectors in New York, New Jersey, and nationwide. 

SEE MORE: How Vanguard is Changing the Energy Landscape

Selecting a Well-Grounded Engineering Team 

With the help of CEO Mike Sherman (who is also an engineer by education) and COO Greg Santore, all engineers go through an extensive interview process before joining the team. The goal was to have a well-rounded group built for growth rather than hires that met immediate needs. 

Some of the experts leading our projects on our engineering team include Darrin Scardelli, Matt Lima, and Ralu Aseme. Multiple team members are AEE Certified Energy Managers, which is the standard certification requirement for numerous state incentive and energy benchmarking programs. Each boasts their own field of expertise, allowing Vanguard to deliver a wide range of services and develop optimized solutions that are tailor-made for every client.

For example, Matt is a subject matter expert on air quality projects and the New Jersey School and Small Business Ventilation and Energy Efficiency Verification and Repair Program (SSB-VEEVR). Darrin is both a fantastic lighting designer and the company’s authority on all lighting incentive programs for LED retrofits throughout the US. Ralu, through his years of experience in the public housing sector, is an expert at identifying energy conservation measures, particularly those that are low-cost and offer tremendous financial benefits. These experts will lead various teams of engineers and project managers to insure a successful outcome.

To promote professional development, there is a strong focus on lessons learned from active projects as well as team-developed training seminars on subjects that match their expertise. On top of that, our engineers constantly meet with industry-leading manufacturers and vendors about their cutting-edge technologies to ensure that clients are receiving state-of-the-art products.

Elevating Services Through Well-Established Processes 

Every Vanguard project starts with a kick-off meeting between the client and the lead engineer assigned to the project so they may define the objectives and review the process ahead. All project stakeholders, including those with and without technical backgrounds, are consulted and educated. 

This simple yet overlooked step is critical in understanding the driving forces behind every project and making sure a client’s true needs are met. Project kick-off is immediately proceeded by site visits to conduct targeted energy audits of the existing facility based on the project objectives and interviews with the building staff. Combined with detailed historical utility and weather analysis, those audits form the basis of every engineering analysis.

Every project has a lead engineer and single point of contact, but there is a tremendous amount of intra-team collaboration behind the scenes to ensure success. Once the engineering analysis is complete, all requested deliverables – from detailed proposals and scopes of work to executive summaries and slide-based presentations – are delivered. By reviewing these deliverables in a final presentation, or as many meetings as required, we ensure that all project stakeholders have a clear understanding of the proposal and no question is left unanswered.

While the bulk of the engineering teams’ activities are focused on proposal development during the first few weeks of a project, subsequent work keeps them involved from beginning to end. Engineering design, submittal review, measurement and verification (M&V), and operator training are just some of the tasks that involve Vanguard energy engineers.

Our Wide Range of Engineering Services

Our strong team and trusted processes let us offer a much more extensive service portfolio than other companies. Our specialties include LED lighting upgrades, commercial solar systems, building electrification utilizing VRF heat pumps, HVAC upgrades, and building management system optimization.

For those interested in solar energy, we are proud to offer a wide variety of solutions, from battery storage and roof-mounted arrays to thin film and building-integrated products. We are also able to offer flexible funding options to finance potential projects, including power purchase agreements (PPAs).

While all Vanguard projects include a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed work, additional analysis for compliance with energy benchmarking or other local laws and regulations, such as Local Law 97 (“the carbon tax”) in New York City, is commonplace.

When working with our expert engineering team, you’ll find it easy to reduce overhead costs and embrace a more energy-efficient future. Let us develop a tailor-made solution that meets your building’s unique needs. For more information, call us or fill out our contact form.