FINALIST: Justin Farnsworth for
the Wingcrest Buildings (UT)

Category: The Smooth Operator

Who led the charge


Justin Farnsworth
Vice President of Asset Services
Newmark Grubb Acres

With over 14 years of experience in real estate finance, investment, and management, Justin Farnsworth brings insight into a range of aspects of sustainable renovation. An engaged member of his local green building community, most recently, Justin has been named president-elect within BOMA, Utah. In this role, Justin will be very active in representing the commercial real estate industry in legislative issues and sustainability initiatives. 


Sometimes the low-hanging fruit is the sweetest: how this Salt Lake City project added 40 points to its ENERGY STAR score.

To achieve energy savings that were, as one EBie juror put it, “Herculean,” this project’s team plucked low-hanging fruit from every branch of the tree. The focus was on a “low cost or no cost” approach that could be used across other buildings in Newmark’s portfolio.

Basic but essential fixes like LED retrofits to the parking lot and exterior lights cut energy use by over 80%, and a boiler tune-up optimized combustion efficiency to reduce wasted energy. In terms of controls, the team found that occupancy sensors in high-impact areas like public spaces and offices minimized energy waste while a Smart Rain system kept the irrigation system in check.

Like all good retrofits, it wasn’t just the first blush that got attention. “We spent a lot of time making adjustments to our system,” says team member, Brandon Nelson, who continued to uncover efficiency and cost savings beyond the initial upgrades.


  • Performed a complete LED retrofit
  • Installed occupancy sensor switches on all common areas and offices
  • Implemented weather-sensitive Smart Rain water monitoring on irrigation systems
  • Overhauled the HVAC system with Allerton controls, an air handling system, variable air volume (VAV) boxes, and rooftop exhaust fans