ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After implementing significant health and safety measures to Empower Field at Mile High amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Broncos have been selected as the 2020 winner of the Facility Management Achievement Award from the Denver chapter of the International Facility Management Association.
The honor, which was announced on Dec. 3 during the Denver IFMA's annual holiday gala — hosted virtually, of course — is given to facility managers or teams that show tremendous effort and innovative ideas that make a large impact on their organization. This award was officially given to Engineering Manager Brett Seibel and the Broncos' engineering and operational team.
"In 2020, Brett and his team, in conjunction with their vendors and contractors have accomplished an astonishing amount of projects," said Lorie Libby, the president of Denver's IFMA chapter. "In response to COVID-19 and in addition to all the normal projects the facility team manages from April 1 to Sept. 1, the team of 11, along with their vendors and contractors, went to task to get the 1.9 million square feet building ready for football season. They had to quickly make modifications and make the stadium safe for players, staff and ultimately the fans that would return to the building. The team took the challenge seriously and went to work to research the best practices that could be implemented in the stadium and ultimately completed over 170 projects in just a short amount of time."
Those projects included the removal and replacement of more than 1,500 sinks and toilet bowls with antimicrobial porcelain units; the installation of nearly 3,000 touchless devices for faucets, toilets, soap dispensers and paper-towel dispensers; the addition of UVC lighting disinfectant technology to all escalator handrails; the installation of HVAC bipolar ionization units in 24 air handler units throughout the stadium, 230 bipolar ionization units in heat pumps, 100 stand-alone bipolar ionization units in public restrooms and the addition of MERV 13 air filters in all units in common areas, offices, clubs and locker rooms; and much, much more.
"In what has felt like a very dark time in our world, the team went to work to bring some sense of normalcy back to Broncos Country," Libby said. "For this team, this year was more than just doing the job; it was about doing everything possible within guidelines to allow the opportunity to get back to the game. They worked hard and fast to support Broncos Country and all of those who supported them as the greatest fans in the NFL. They took the challenges presented by COVID-19 and quickly became the frontrunner in the league with their innovative ideas and meticulous execution on all of these projects."
The stadium's engineering and operations team also took on a number of sustainability and efficiency projects, too. That included the replacement of the stadium's bulk CO2 system and the two dry sprinkler systems (converted to nitrogen); the refurbishment of the cooling tower and flat plate; the re-routing of duct work in 10 suites to improve energy efficiency; the replacement of about 800 fluorescent fixtures with LED substitutes; and more.
Considering the scale of these many projects, Seibel recognized each department that contributed during his acceptance speech for the honor.
"We humbly accept the award, and this award goes to the folks in the trenches that truly did all the work," Seibel said.