Ed Brooks Awarded as Energy Savings Hero

UVA Today is highlighting the winners of the 2012 Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Awards, the highest U.Va. honor staff receive for their dedicated service to the University. Today: Ed Brooks of Facilities Management. To see all of the stories, click here.

May 15, 2012 — "Ed smiles every time he saves energy," said Mark Roach, associate director of the utilities department, who nominated Norman Edward Brooks for a Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Award.

Better known as "Ed," he is more than an energy engineering technician in Facilities Management, where he has worked for more than 30 years.

Brooks is the leader of Delta Force, with the special power to save energy for the University. One of his secret weapons is pressure-independent control valves.

"Ed has developed an extraordinary ability to walk into a building or mechanical room and identify areas where equipment is not working properly," said Armando J. de Leon, sustainability programs manager for U.Va. Facilities Management.

"Delta Force" takes its name from "delta temperature," a commonly used measure in the energy industry to gauge improvements in efficiency and capacity of heating and cooling systems.

Brooks developed and continues to work on procedures to monitor and retrofit U.Va. buildings. The efforts have resulted in reduced heating and air conditioning costs, water usage and carbon dioxide emissions. From 2008 to 2011, the Delta Force swept through seven buildings for a full-scale tune-up. The cumulative savings in avoided energy costs have surpassed $3.5 million, de Leon said.

Brooks also set up training sessions for employees to teach them how to install energy-saving products, said Paul Zmick, mechanical trades superintendent.

And that's not all. Cheryl Gomez, director of energy and utilities, said Brooks' ability to visualize and act on an opportunity, and his willingness to coach and mentor others – and build teams – clearly set him apart.

Several supporters made a point of saying that when they first started their jobs, Brooks was there to show them the ropes and answer questions.

"I am positive that Ed's investment of time helped me learn and become a productive member of the team much quicker than I normally would have," wrote Mark Roach, associate director of the utilities department.

"When I think of the words 'persistence,' 'dedication,' 'commitment,' 'character' or 'friend,' I think of Ed," Roach said.

— by Anne Bromley