Jim Vallort
1621 18th Street, Suite 400
Denver , CO 80202
United States
(630) 846-9574
Region: VI, IX
Honorarium: None

Jim Vallort has spent his career focusing on energy: ranging from measuring energy usage, optimizing the systems, integrating automation to control energy and the impact of commissioning on energy consumption. Jim brings a unique perspective having been on the engineer of record, 3rd party commissioning and contracting sides of project delivery.

Jim is the Commissioning Program Manager for Mortenson, a Top 20 US Contractor. Jim also served as an ASHRAE Society Vice President for the 2015-2016 Board of Directors. He currently serves as a member of Technical Committee (TC) 7.9, Building Commissioning and Guideline Project Committee 1.6, Commissioning of Data Centers . Jim previously served on the Board as a director-at-large in 2005-08 and as Region VI director and Regional Chair in 2001-04.

Jim has over 20 publications and numerous presentations under his belt on topics ranging from Energy Efficiency, Automation and Commissioning to Underfloor Air Distribution. He has been an invited speaker at multiple fortune 500 companies educating their staff on building automation, energy efficiency, existing building commissioning and new construction commissioning. He brings a unique perspective on the constructability and real world aspects of our industry having been a union pipefitter, spent years in the field commissioning projects, combined with the experience as a mechanical designer, building automation designer and energy modeler.

Jim’s greatest joy at work is teaching and mentoring others on the mix of art and science that is required to solve today’s challenges in the engineering community. Vallort is the recipient of the ASHRAE Exceptional Service Award, ASHRAE Distinguished Service Award and an Excellence in Engineering Award from the ASHRAE Illinois Chapter in 1998.

Jim Vallort plays a large role in organizing one of ASHRAE’s largest, best-attended, and most profitable Conferences held in Chicago every three years. Vallort served as advisor to the most recent 2015 ASHRAE Winter Conference; co-chaired the Chicago meetings in 2012, 2006, 2003 and 1999; and served as chair of the ASHRAE Centennial Meeting in 1993; he organized the Technical Tours and was on the Entertainment Committee for the 2009 Chicago Winter Conference. His earlier service includes Technology Council, the Planning Committee, the Standards Advisory Committee and a presidential ad hoc Committee on Certification. He also served as chair of the CIBSE/ASHRAE 2000 Joint Conference Steering Committee, the Member Council ad hoc Committee on Young Engineers (YEA) and the Society Program Committee and vice chair of the CIBSE/ASHRAE 2003 Joint Conference Steering Committee. He was president of the Illinois Chapter in 1999-2000.

Achieving a Green Data Center: More than a Good Design Is Needed

The concept of a Green Data Center is difficult to perceive with a building full of computers consuming electricity.  So the goal for a green data center is to minimize the energy consumed by the facility that does not go into computing power.   To achieve this reduction the site selection, facility program, design, installation and operations all play an equal role.  I will discuss some current trends and design strategies for high performance in various climates.  Also I will present some keys to maintaining the edge of a high performance site such as Cx at turnover, seasonal testing, operations plans for changing IT loads, EBCx as operations change, Cx of added equipment during the life of the data center and most importantly -  annual monitoring and operational adjustments.  These concepts, success stories and some common pitfalls will be presented.

Intelligent Buildings – Technology is changing what is possible in the built environment

There is a lot of buzz around Intelligent, or Smart, Buildings, but what is an Intelligent Building? This presentation will examine the answers to this question and how you can put your building on its path to a “higher education”.

Advancements in technology have given the engineer the ability to aggregate and share data across disparate systems thereby creating opportunities to increase energy and operational efficiencies, improve occupant comfort, safety, productivity, and enrich the visualization capabilities for the organization’s numerous internal and external stakeholders.  The intelligent building platform will result in a more efficient, secure and productive asset that has the capacity to continuously improve over its lifetime.

Building Automation System Master Planning - Take Control of Your Facility’s Future

This presentation will explore ways a Building Automation System Master Plan can prepare for future technological advancements and enable today’s facility managers to harness the power of their building systems, to better utilize energy and to increase energy efficiency, reduce utility costs and improve occupant comfort.

Many building owners and operators currently face issues associated with their existing building control systems. These issues can include, but are not limited to: Outdated or obsolete technology, limitations of older generations of automation systems, multiple disparate control systems functioning in the same facility and concerns related to expansion or renovation plans 

These issues lead to underutilization of the control system, robbing the users of the opportunity to maximize their investment in their automation technology.  I will discuss how to improve the efficiency of building systems with the ultimate goal of reducing utility and energy costs.

Primary Heating/Cooling Plant Strategies & How to Maximize the Energy & Financial Savings

This workshop focuses on strategies to improve efficiency of central heating and cooling plants applicable to single building as well as multiple buildings in a campus setting. You will learn about various configurations of equipment arrangement, operating parameters, piping distribution systems, primary utilities and environmental regulations associated with primary heating and cooling plants.

The workshop further discusses low temperature chilled water systems application that can operate with high overall efficiently, use smaller distribution piping network, and save the end users significant fit out costs when compared to traditional temperature systems.

Also included in this workshop is critical commissioning (Cx) activity that focus on ensuring the proper operation is achieved either at time of turn over or through the life of the system. By focusing on large elements of your building like the central plant, the benefits of Cx can be huge! The big energy consumption for your building is from the central plant. The cost and level of effort for Cx is focused on the number of system pieces and number of sequences, therefore the best place to start is in the central plant; best bang for your buck. Cx can ensure that the central plant is capitalizing on all available economizer options, reset schedules and load following optimization. Studies have shown that a new building without Cx may consume 20% more energy than designed and that an average existing building can save 30% after three years of operation. So quit throwing those operating dollars out through your central plant and bring them back into your budget.

Critical Facilities New Construction Commissioning and Existing Building Commissioning

This presentation will explore the fundamentals of new construction (Cx) and existing building commissioning (EBCx) for critical facilities.  The initial topic covered will be the introduction to commissioning as defined by ASHRAE Guideline lines and Standards.  This will be followed by a review of the challenges with bidding Cx and EBCx projects and real world guidance on how to bid and select commissioning firms for projects. The process for Cx will be broken down into a step by step flow with details and examples provided at each step.  Case studies will be presented for Cx projects with best practices, lessons learned and some specific benefits produced by following the ASHRAE Commissioning Process.  The process for EBCx will also be detailed and new case studies presented to demonstrate the need for maintaining a buildings edge over time with ASHRAEs suite of Commissioning Guidelines and Standards. 

ASHRAE Chapter Note: The presentation consists of three major areas: the introduction, new construction and existing buildings.   The presentation can be tailored to the audience by stressing either new construction or existing building to meet the common 50-minute format or can be a longer presentation that covers both in detail.