Fernando Salazar, STACK Real Estate

Fernando Salazar, STACK Real Estate

The other thing that’s great about Enertiv is the team behind it. Our client success manager is very helpful, he responds quickly, and I can tell he really wants to help us, he wants us to be successful. 

I know some engineers think “oh no, another app, another thing,” but I think the Enertiv team has made a difference because they really care.

E: Can you give a specific example?

F: Sure! I remember being in a mechanical room and knowing that we had replaced one of the motors two years ago, but no one could remember which one!

More recently, I went with one of the technicians to the roof of one of our buildings to do an inspection. We noticed that a belt was cracked and needed to be replaced and we logged it right there in the app. Going forward, there will always be a record of exactly which rooftop unit had its belt replaced, when and why.

E: How much time did that save you?

F: It’s not really about the time it takes in terms of minutes and hours, it’s about where the information lives.

For example, when I needed to figure out which motor was replaced, I started digging through my emails, but then I’d get a call and need to address an issue. I’d come back later and start looking through the spreadsheet I used to keep track of replacements, but wouldn’t find the information I needed before the next emergency. All in all, it would take a week before I got the answer to my question.

Now, I know exactly where to look. It means decisions get made much faster.

E: What do you wish the broader commercial real estate industry appreciated more about the work of on-site engineers?

F: I want owners to know that I am on top of my responsibilities.

This isn’t easy. When you don’t have experience, you’re not as efficient. Over time, as you learn, you gain more confidence to implement solutions.

I have a great boss here at STACK. It always good to be recognized for how you’re getting better. It motivates me to keep learning.

It takes about two years to build up that experience. You have to see something a few times before it’s internalized.

That’s why I tell my technicians that while technology is valuable for us, it’s also a big responsibility. I want to make sure that the person who is reviewing the data for the whole portfolio can rest assured knowing that we are doing what we are supposed to be. We have a responsibility to use the app to the full extent possible.

E: How has the focus on energy efficiency and sustainability changed over the years?

F: I have always been conscious about it, but there’s always more that can be done.

We had an energy auditor come to our properties about 6 months ago. He taught me a lot and made me much more aware of how important it is, and what we can do.

Fortunately, my technicians are very capable and know how to program their building automation systems. We’ve started getting more sophisticated about how we set schedules and start up times depending on the season. We also caught some instances of heating the buildings when it was hot outside.

In one property, we were able to reduce gas consumption by 50%. That made me feel good, I know it’s important both for the portfolio and for the planet.


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