BetterBricks Honors Two Willamette Administrators for Green Building Efforts

The 2008 BetterBricks Awards, which celebrate champions in the Northwest for green building, honored two Willamette administrators Friday as finalists in the facility manager/building operations category.

Gary Grimm, manager of maintenance and operations, and Jan Gardner, project manager, were recognized for their work reducing Willamette's energy consumption and reusing materials in renovation and new building projects at Waller Hall, Kaneko Commons, Kresge Theatre, the Carnegie Building and the Ford Hall academic building.

BetterBricks, the commercial building initiative of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, advocates for changes to energy-related business practices to focus on efficiency, and its awards recognize architects, engineers, developers, building owners and operators, facility managers and other professionals.

"Jan and Gary have been sincere and gifted advocates for high performance buildings on campus," according to BetterBricks. "Since 2004, they have promoted sustainable design not only for economic and environmental benefits, but as a learning opportunity for Willamette University's students, particularly in cases when green design considerations may not always lead to quick returns on investment."

Gardner and Grimm are two of three finalists in the facility manager/building operations category. The award-winners in that category are David Furr and Kathleen Hill with Salem-Keizer Public Schools.

Under Grimm and Gardner's leadership, Willamette's average electrical energy consumption for buildings larger than 5,000 square feet is 10.75 kWh per square foot a year, significantly below the national average of 19.6 kWh per square foot a year. This was accomplished through lighting retrofits, installation of variable frequency drives on HVAC systems, electric motor upgrades and increased attention to HVAC and lighting schedules. Grimm used credits and refunds from Energy Trust of Oregon and Business Energy Tax Credits to pay for the high efficiency lighting retrofits, producing additional savings. The two men also helped the university reuse more than 95 percent of materials resulting from demolition of existing buildings and salvage about 75 percent for facilities remodeling projects.

This honor adds to the recent recognition Willamette has received for its sustainability efforts. In the nation's largest survey of colleges and universities to date, the National Wildlife Federation named Willamette as first in the country for sustainability activities. In September, a 2009 report card from the Sustainable Endowments Institute gave Willamette an "A" and named it a leader for its efforts in green building, food and recycling and investment priorities.

Read more about these awards and the university's activities at For more about BetterBricks, visit