Organization to honor office buildings with awards
By Marilyn Bowden
The 17th annual TOBY Awards, an event that honors the county's best-run office buildings, is scheduled for March 25 at Hotel Intercontinental Miami, according to officials of the Building Owners and Managers Association.
The theme of this year's gala dinner and awards ceremony, said Dan Calello of Jantrex Building Services, co-chairman of the event with Donna DeMichael of Cardinal Management, is "Live From Miami." About 600 members and guests are expected to attend.
TOBYs - an acronym for The Office Building of the Year - are awarded in a variety of categories based on building use including historical, corporate, industrial, medical and government. Suburban office parks and rehabilitated buildings are also considered. This year, Mr. Calello said, the Miami association will add the Earth Award, a category introduced by the international group a couple of years ago.
"The Earth Award recognizes excellence in environmentally sound office-building management - green buildings and green management teams," he said. "The judges will look at things like environmental risk hazards, waste management, hazard communications programs, energy conservation and indoor air quality."
The environmental award competition is open to any office building more than 2 years old, he said. Entrants in other categories must have received a certificate of occupancy at least three years ago.
TOBYs in all categories are awarded in size increments ranging from 100,000 to more than 1 million square feet.
In addition, categories such as Engineer of the Year, Property Manager of the Year, Principal of the Year and Associate of the Year recognize the men and women who make their buildings competitors.
As Friday's deadline nears, Mr. Calello said, 30 buildings have been entered for competition. A team of judges will inspect the entrants during the last two weeks of February, he said, rating them according to criteria established by BOMA International. They will assess operational standards, building standards, community involvement, training for building personnel, emergency evacuation procedures, compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, energy management and relationship with tenants. Accounting firm BDO Seidman will tabulate the results.
"Winners at the local level will go on to compete for regional TOBYs, to be held in Jacksonville in May," Mr. Calello said, "and regional winners will go on to enter the BOMA International contest in Toronto in June."
Founded 97 years ago, BOMA International has about 300,000 members. The 300-member Miami-Dade chapter, which includes building-support services as well as representatives of building management and administration, is among the most active in the nation, Mr. Calello said, and has fielded numerous international awards.
The group advocates for the commercial real estate industry and offers educational and certification programs for its members.
Tickets to the event are $100, payable in advance.
Details: (305) 530-0083.