“Everyone’s managing their assets with limited budgets, and every- one’s assets are aging,” she said. Clients have a surplus of data and don’t know what to do with it. More- over, clients are finding themselves at important crossroads, hence the need to contact people like Herndon. This, Herndon said, is what cli- ents are saying about themselves: We need to manage ourselves more strategically. We can’t get by without a plan anymore. This conversation is taking place a lot, because Herndon and her grow- ing team are busy. “There’s so much work out there,” she said. “Right now, we have more work than we can do.” A Conversation with Emily Herndon C+S: What will be your top priority as a board member of the NIBS Facility Maintenance and Operations Committee? Emily Herndon: I’m really looking forward to bringing a fresh new perspective to the committee. My first priority is to work with the board to develop our strategic plan where we will outline the commit- tee’s short- and long-term goals, what we plan to accomplish over the next 3-5 years and how we plan to get there. The Facility Maintenance NIBS was established by the U.S. Congress in 1974 as a nonprofit, non-governmental organization and is responsible for standards, including the Whole Building Design Guide, Integrated Resilient Design Program and buildingSMART Alliance. – Woolpert WOOLPERT SENIOR STRATEGIC CONSULTANT SELECTED TO SERVE ON BOARD OF NIBS FACILITIES COMMITTEE Woolpert Senior Consultant Emily Herndon, LEED AP, has been selected to serve on the board for the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), Facility Maintenance and Operations Committee (FMOC). NIBS is a group of industry, government, and agency experts who identify and solve issues that would otherwise hamper the construction of safe, affordable structures throughout the U.S. The FMOC works to improve the performance and longevity of buildings through effective maintenance and operation, improved total cost of ownership, and life-cycle strategies for the nation’s built environment.
and Operations Committee has an incredible purview that addresses over 75 percent of the building’s total cost of ownership and everything we can do to enhance life-cycle performance improves the overall in- dustry. C+S: From your vantage point, what do you see as the greatest chal- lenge to sustainability in terms of asset management. EH: Asset management is inherently a practice in sustainability. By managing your portfolio in a strategic, comprehensive and holistic manner, your assets will operate more efficiently. I think we are chal- lenged a bit in the perception that sustainability has fallen off the radar and is not generally made a priority by leadership. As sustainability professionals we need to understand that sustainability concepts should be incorporated into every business plan and not be viewed as a stand- alone initiative. Perhaps one of the largest sustainability opportunities across an asset portfolio is to improve operations and maintenance per- formance, thereby reducing natural resource consumption, improving building life-cycle and, ultimately, improving the value of the invest- ment. C+S: You have worked with some large and important public-sector clients like the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Centers for Disease Control, and the EPA, among others. What does it take to effectively manage a project with such cumbersome government agencies? EH: While it may seem that large government agencies are challeng- ing projects, I’ve found that our clients are passionate, creative and innovative. Our federal clients lead the nation in developing and imple- menting cutting edge asset management programs across some of the most complex and unique asset portfolios. I feel really privileged to have the opportunity to work on these projects. With a $264 billion portfolio, USACE Civil Works is a great example. Their efforts were recently identified by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) as a comprehensive and strategic approach to asset management and they represent one of the nation’s largest owners. C+S: What motivates you to tackle such big projects? I guess it’s all I’ve ever known. I began my career at Booz Allen Ham- ilton where my first client right out of college was the Environmental Protection Agency. From day one, I’ve been engaged with large clients who come to us with complex problems to solve. Every client engage- ment is a challenge, and while they are all tackling similar issues of aging portfolios and limited budgets, each client brings a unique set of circumstances and operating parameters. C+S: You were at Jacobs for nearly 12 years before taking a posi- tion with Woolpert. While Woolpert is a large and influential firm with around 800 people, it’s not quite a mega-firm like Jacobs with nearly 80,000 employees. Why the change after 20 years in the business? EH: As I mentioned above, I started my career at Booz Allen Hamilton, a large management consulting firm, followed by 12 years at Jacobs. Two very large firms with so much to offer their employees. I’m ex-
csengineermag.com january 2020
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