Understanding Key Building Systems from the Experts Themselves

Written by: Fiona Dearth

As a member of BOMA San Francisco, Waypoint Energy stays in the loop on the latest developments in the CRE market, particularly as they pertain to driving value through improvements in energy efficiency. On February 23rd, Waypoint Energy analysts attended BOMA San Francisco’s Young Professionals seminar, “Understanding Key Building Systems” to get a refresher on some of the finer points of systems engineering and operations.


Among the familiar faces from the San Francisco CRE community at the event was the keynote speaker, Tim Danz. In 2015, Waypoint collaborated with Danz, Chief Engineer for 345 California Center in downtown San Francisco, to identify and implement targeted energy conservation measures for the building through Waypoint’s PG&E Connect program. Danz was in his element as he shared his expertise on the ins and outs of commercial building systems.


Danz began by laying out the basics of air distribution, electrical, and heating and cooling before moving on to discuss more nuanced insights into systems management. For example, Danz explained how San Francisco’s uniquely temperate coastal climate is ideal for circulating outside air into commercial buildings and reduces the need for energy-intensive heating or cooling. By optimizing the design and operations of key systems, building engineers play a critical role in boosting a building’s energy performance, in addition to improving its functionality and level of tenant comfort. Tenants are not the only ones that can reap the benefits of increased energy efficiency. Energy use is the single largest controllable cost in building operations and property management also stands to gain as efficient buildings become increasingly valuable and competitive in the market.


For Waypoint, engineers like Danz are invaluable partners when identifying opportunities for energy efficiency improvements and presenting property management with a strong case for implementing efficiency measures. At 345 California Center—San Francisco’s third-tallest high-rise tower—Danz took the lead in recommending key energy conservation measures with the potential to reduce the building’s annual electric consumption by an estimated 8% and save an estimated 9% of its average electric expense. Danz leveraged the business case Waypoint built in its Connect Program reports to recommend a series of lighting and HVAC projects to property management, which qualified for a total of roughly $33,000 in utility incentives. Several of these projects are planned to be carried out this year.


Each stakeholder in the CRE market has an important role to play in improving a building’s value and performance, and Waypoint is pleased to work with building engineers such as Danz to continue to drive energy efficiency in commercial buildings across the country.