ME Group

Innovation is hard because

"solving problems people didn't know they had"

& "building something no one needs"

look identical at first.

-Aaron Levie*

*This quote is shared for educational purposes only
  and is not an endorsement of our firm.

.

Innovation is hard because "solving problems people didn't know they had" & "building something no one needs" look identical at first.
-Aaron Levie*
*This quote is shared for educational purposes only.

.


Our Work


Why building science?

The building industry continuously changes.  Each project is unique, integrating new technologies, striving for greater energy-efficiency, sustainability, and seeking to improve human experience.  These changes can create great opportunity, but can also create risks for designers, builders, and owners.

Building Science is an evidence-based approach to quality assurance.  Our clients rely on us to lead a QA/QC process with a focus on optmizing their building performance and human experience.  We have research and data that help designers make decisions and communicate value to owners.  We conduct thorough testing that validate proper building performance and troubleshoot issues.  We take on the cost of adopting the latest innovations that will help you more quickly and cost-effectively incorporate them in your projects. 

The following papers feature a small sample of our research and work.

Alliesthesia in the Built Environment


Working closely with our architectural partners and clients we are able to identify opportunities to incorporate alliesthesia into the program. Since most architects have already embraced "active design", we’re introducing alliesthesia in a complementary way to ensure that occupants in these buildings will feel a variety of thermal and airflow conditions as they move through different spaces. Download PDF to learn more about the Alliesthesia.

We believe that utilizing alliesthesia as a design strategy can increase occupant comfort, productivity, and lower operating costs for our clients.

Pete Jefferson, Principal at Forte Building Science

Better Buildings for Everyone


If people who own, operate and design buildings are not thinking about people with autism, they will be soon. Individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD have the same rights to functional, accessible spaces that the non-ASD world enjoys. Download PDF to learn more about design with Autism in mind.

 

 

Through spaces that afford control of stimuli, inhabitants can learn to manage sensory overload…

Stuart Shell, AIA, Project Manager at Forte Building Science

Using Design-Build to Deliver Innovative Projects


ARCO/Murray partnered with Forte Building Science to optimize the energy performance of the design; guide the team through the LEED Certification process; validate the functional performance of the building systems through a commissioning process; and perform measurement & verification. Download PDF to read more about benefits to Design-Builders.

As a design-builder, we appreciate having a single partner to help evaluate the cost/benefits of energy-efficiency measures, navigate changing code and incentive structures, QC design, perform commissioning, and manage LEED Certification when needed. With one point-of-contact it saves us time and improves our ability to coordinate all the disciplines more effectively.

Lee Stellakis, Principal at ARCO/Murray

The WELL Building Standard


The WELL Building Standard is the world's first building standard focused exclusively on human health and wellness and can be applied across many real estate sectors. WELL marries best practices in design and construction with evidence-based medical and scientific research; harnessing the built environment as a vehicle to support human health and well-being. Download PDF to read more about WELL.

“WELL Accredited Professionals will be at the forefront of this healthy building movement” 

Paul Scialla, founder of IWBI.

Bioclimatic Design from One End of the Spectrum


In taking a bioclimatic approach to a project, theoretically one should see very different approaches to design across the climate zones in which they work. As part of a team that includes RTA Architects (Colorado Springs) and GWWO Architects (Baltimore, MD) we are working to identify solutions that respond to the local climate and ecology for a new Visitors Center and High Altitude Research Lab on the summit of Pike Peak, elevation 14,115 feet. Download PDF to learn more about Bioclimatic Design.

In applying bioclimatic principles to many projects, I’m excited to be partnering with clients in very different climatic regions that are committed to projects that are born of their climate and place.

Pete Jefferson, Principal at Forte Building Science.

Supporting a Global Commitment to Sustainability


For over 10 years, Prologis has engaged the building science division of M.E. GROUP (now called “Forte Building Science”), to help implement sustainable design and construction standards in their developments globally and earn LEED® certifications for core and shell, tenant improvements, and build-to-suit projects. Download PDF to read more about benefits to Developers.

“(Forte) has been a proactive partner, suggesting enhanced best practices and new approaches to addressing challenges. This includes ways to reduce costs, manage risk, and establish consistent standards that make our projects more efficient and cost-effective.”

Greg Bauer, Senior Vice President, Prologis


Project Management


Achieve performance outcomes for both buildings & people

Want to implement a building program that not only manages costs but also manages performance? Work with our building scientists to realize buildings that advance your organizational mission and purpose.  Manage projects through a more holistic lense of budget, schedule, quality, and performance.  Leverage a team of high performance building experts to craft more detailed performance targets, support the design and construction procurement process, provide peer reviews, monitor schedule and budget, and perform quality field inspections.

Read more


Cx & Testing


Validate Performance with Testing and Trouble-shooting

Are you getting the savings you expect from more energy-efficient systems? One of the most common issues found during commissioning is that equipment is running improperly. This results in higher energy bills, added maintenance costs, and comfort issues. Work with our commissioning authorities to be your quality control agent.  They will save you money in the long run and make certain your interests are protected. As building experts they not only identify potential failures, they proactively prevent them, which will help keep your project on budget and schedule.

Read more


Research & Analytics


Promote performance with an evidence-based approach

Do you want a space that makes people happier, healthier, and more engaged? There is now clear research that proves our space has a direct impact on our well-being. We have physiological connections to elements like natural light, movement, air, and sounds. We have psychological connections to elements like nature, colors, and social structures. By working with our building scientists you can be more certain that your space is better serving your people. They are able to evaluate spaces, align them with occupant needs, and provide you with measurable outcomes.

Read more


Certifications


Earn Industry-Leading Certifications with Confidence

Do you want greater certainty that your project meets industry-leading standards? Buildings continue to evolve and achieve greater performance. Green building standards are being demanded by both private and public organizations. Health & wellness is emerging as the latest trend in high-performance buildings. Work with our proven consultants to navigate the emerging trends with less risk and lower costs. They will own the process and guide your project teams through all the various programs.

Read more


Project Managers


PARTNERS WHO TAKE YOUR SUCCESS PERSONALLY

Want people who respond quickly, know the right questions to ask, and can see challenges before they arrive? Meet our team of Project Managers that will serve you. They also know a thing or two about architecture, engineering, social science, construction, and building operations.

 Pete Jefferson, PE, WELL AP, LEED AP, HBDP
 Practice Leader


Pete is one of the first in the country to obtain WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP™) credentialing and leads a team that specializes in Building Physics, Commissioning, LEED/WELL Consulting, and Post Occupancy Evaluations. He offers a whole-systems perspective and a deep knowledge of sustainable solutions to his projects to achieve high-performance buildings. Pete draws from his background in mechanical engineering to look at the building as an integrated system, where climate, architecture, and systems must work harmoniously to yield the best outcomes for clients and for the people who occupy a building. Over the last fifteen years, Pete’s work has resulted in numerous LEED-Platinum and Net-Zero Energy achievements. As a result, the Department of Energy, AIA, and ASHRAE have sought him out to contribute his experience in their ongoing Net-Zero Energy initiatives. During his time in Colorado, Pete was a founding member of Colorado Green Schools Advocacy Committee, was appointed by two different Governors to serve on State Board positions as the “high-performance engineer,” and also served as a consultant for the State’s Governor’s Energy Office. Pete moved to Pittsburgh in 2014 and is a current member for the AIA Pittsburgh Committee on the Environment (COTE) and Build Pittsburgh Steering Committee. 

 Nate Maniktala, MBA, LEED AP
 Director


For 15 years, Nate has provided consulting, certifications, commissioning, and post-occupancy evaluations for clients. He founded M.E. GROUP's Building Science practice in 2006 and has helped building developers across 42 States and 4 Countries realize their fiscal and operational goals. Nate has a strong understanding of building construction and operations that began at the age 14 while working for his family’s engineering firm. He went on to consult with multiple Fortune 500 companies on the implementation of corporate wellness, sustainability, and capital improvement programs. Today, as Director of Building Science, Nate is responsible for the development of the practice's expertise and ensuring client satisfaction. “I believe that innovation requires seeing the spaces in-between problems, understanding how they are connected to future goals, and using creativity to find solutions that get there.”

 Ryan Tushner, PE, CxA, LEED AP BD+C
 Project Executive


Ryan leads the delivery of commissioning and certification services for clients. He has been with Forte Building Science since 2008, during which he has been the lead commissioning agent on over 35 projects and has been directly responsible for the certification of over 30 LEED projects. Ryan is a diligent advocate for his clients interests and develops trust with his thorough and reliable work. This trust has led clients to take him with them to serve their projects throughout North and South America. Ryan is a licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer and draws from a foundation of building controls expertise and a Master’s degree in Architectural Engineering.

 Marcel Harmon, PhD, PE, WELL AP, LEED AP O+M
 Project Executive


Marcel leads projects with an emphasis on ensuring the occupant’s perspective is accounted for from early planning through post occupancy. He has been with Forte Building Science since 2007. In addition to his B.S. in Architectural Engineering and Electrical P.E. license, Marcel holds a Ph.D in Anthropology with an emphasis on the built environment. His research on the physiological, psychological and social/cultural impacts of the built environment helps facilitate an evidenced-based approach to projects. Marcel is passionate about engaging building occupants, gathering their stories and personal narratives, and ensuring that projects account for their wants and needs. His work also brings a quantifiable capability to analyzing the built environment’s impact on occupant productivity/performance and health, as well as the occupant’s impact on building performance.

 Jereme Nollett, PE
 Project Executive


Jereme leads the delivery of commissioning, building physics and certification services for clients.  He is a licensed Professional Architectural Engineer, with over 10 years experience in building analytics, design and testing.  His diverse background brings a unique perspective and understanding of building systems and their operations.  Jereme is an advocate for his clients’ interests and develops trust with his thorough and reliable work. He is passionate about occupant comfort, satisfaction and productivity, as well as their interaction with the building and impact on the buildings performance.

 Justin Magill, PE, CxA, LEED AP BD+C, NEBB, BET
 Project Manager


Justin manages complex commissioning projects for both new and existing buildings. He started his career as a sheet metal contractor then went on to work for 10 years as a NEBB Testing & Balancing Supervisor before becoming a Professional Mechanical Engineering. For the last several years, Justin has commissioned and retro-commissioned numerous facility types, including health care, education, government, industrial, and pharmaceutical. His combination of engineering and field experience gives him the ability to effectively work with both management and trade contractors. He is professionally certified in Building Enclosure Testing, Building Systems Commissioning, and Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing.

 Stuart Shell, AIA, WELL AP, LEED AP
 Project Manager


Stuart manages projects that seek an evidenced-based process to building optimization. He helps create spaces of preference by drawing on knowledge in psychology, architecture, physiology, and engineering. Prior to building science, Stuart spent over 10 years as a project architect with an emphasis in schools. Stuart holds an architectural degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and a Masters in Architectural Engineering from the University of Nebraska. His research in occupant satisfaction with indoor environmental quality forms a basis for his competence in acoustics, air quality, thermal comfort, and lighting. His thesis innovates the structure of occupant surveys and revealed patterns in how teachers base their appraisal of the indoor environment on measurable variables. Stuart is an ambassador for the International Living Future Institute, an advocate through Mode Shift Omaha and an instructor for League of American Bicyclists.

 Ryan Baumgart, CxA, WELL AP, LEED AP BD+C
 Project Manager


Ryan Baumgart manages the commissioning and certification of new and existing building projects. Prior to joining the firm in 2013, he specialized in commissioning and HVAC system balancing and has since complimented those skills with a holistic understanding of green buildings. His work has included the commissioning of complex manufacturing, university, office, and national security projects. Ryan has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and supports the firm's research with acoustic and thermographic investigations, operational data analysis, and facility procedure reviews.

 Carrie Nakamoto, CxA, WELL AP, LEED AP
 Project Manager


Carrie manages the firm's complex commissioning projects with an emphasis in healthcare facilities. Her healthcare commissioning career spans well over a decade and has included projects throughout the United States. Beyond HVAC, hot water, and lighting systems, Carrie has led the commissioning of power, low-voltage, communication/paging, life-safety, and medical gas systems. She believes that our buildings can achieve even the most ambitious goals without compromising functionality, comfort and health. Carrie is passionate about advocating for the needs of her clients through constructive communication, innovative solutions, and comprehensive validation. Carrie has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is a Certified Commissioning Authority.

 Anand Parthasarathy, AIIA, WELL AP, LEED AP BD+C
 Project Manager


Anand manages a variety of projects that require building performance modeling, building enclosure & MEP commissioning and certifications. After practicing architecture for multiple years, Anand's passion for innovative projects brought him to the University of Texas where he earned his Masters in Sustainable Design. He went on to lead green building projects throughout Asia and teach college courses on building enclosures. Anand uses his skillset related to building physics and sustainable design to advocate for his clients. His curiosity and ability to analyze complex data help clients differentiate from their competition by more efficiently achieving their sustainability goals.

 Andres Rodriguez-Burns, WELL AP, LEED AP BD+C
 Project Manager


Andres manages occupant experience, sustainability, and certification projects for clients. His technical background includes both Energy Technology and User-Oriented Collaborative Design from Creighton University.  His work on green building projects in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil has shaped his global understanding of sustainability and wellness across different cultures. While he is hyper-analytical, Andres makes a tangible impact on his clients work by implementing human-centered solutions that align organizational and environmental goals.

 Katherine Osterman, LEED AP BD+C, ENV SP, Greenroads STP
 Project Manager


Katherine manages the sustainability and certification process of projects for institutional and corporate clients.  She  is passionate about finding synergies in the built environment that enhance the management of resources.  Katherine’s degrees in Mathematics and Applied Physical Analysis have led to her roles that include experience in Commissioning and MEP Construction Management. She is completing an Executive Master’s degree in Natural Resources from Virginia Tech’s Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability, and is also a member of the USGBC Nebraska Flatwater Advisory Board and the Green Omaha Coalition Board.

 Adam Bertonaschi, CxT, CPHC, LEED AP BD+C
 Project Manager


Adam manages sustainability and commissioning projects for clients.  His experience includes energy modeling and construction management where he earned his certification as a Certified Passive House Designer Consultant, Certified Commissioning Technician, and a Passive House Trainer.  As a civil and environmental engineer, Adam broadens the knowledge of our building science team.  He is passionate about sustainability and enjoys getting "hands-on" implementing home energy conservation measures in his personal time.

 Robin Kozisek, LEED AP
 Project Coordinator


Robin manages the firm's resource and project planning process and has been with Forte Building Science since 2007. She loves working with her internal and external teams to ensure deliverables are delivered on schedule and project scopes are fully executed. Robin previously worked in finance where she developed her organizational and analytical expertise. She utilizes that expertise to ensure our team efficiently meets the needs of our clients.


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WE CAN HELP

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