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Chief Engineer

The American Institute of Architects Washington, DC
  • Posted: over a month ago
  • Full-Time
  • Benefits: Vision, Medical, Life Insurance, 401k, Dental

This is a professional managerial position in the Facilities department, reporting to the Senior Director, Facilities Management. The Chief Engineer is responsible for the daily overview and assessment of all building operating systems. These systems include HVAC (chillers, boilers, cooling towers, air handling units, air compressors, thermostats, motors, pumps, filters, chemical treatment), plumbing, electrical, elevators, fire-life safety systems, and any system impacting the safety and comfort of occupants. The goal of the Chief Engineer is to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of those systems.

The role of the Chief Engineer will work closely with AIA staff and AIA building tenants and requires a proficiency in customer service; working collaboratively and have the ability to see multiple faces of an issue impacting the building systems and it’s tenants.

This position is considered a core staff position. In order to provide AIA members and customers with services during weather events or similar extraordinary circumstances, the Chief Engineer is an on call position for such events and is expected to work

Job Duties:

  • Set parameters and/or start/stop boilers; raise or lower primary temperature settings in coordination with humidity levels; coordinate the use of chillers, pumps, air compressors and drain condensate; determine/set the use of free cooling; check chemical levels to insure towers are clean; inspect all equipment, motors, pumps, filters, maintain, and keep code compliant all building life safety systems etc.
  • Supervise Maintenance Engineer and Building Engineer . Set daily agenda; provide adequate cross training; prioritize requests received; train maintenance staff to be sensitive to the needs of tenants and the building. Direct daily housekeeping duties (clean and fully stock bathrooms, replace light bulbs, etc.)
  • Direct the maintenance requirements of the building, and act as soon as practical to resolve emergencies to provide a safe working environment. Minimize emergency situations and consistently monitor work performed for Preventive Maintenance. Assess equipment and schedule and/or participate in repairs, as needed. Advise the Sr. Director, Facilities Management of opportunities to increase safety, efficiency, and environmental sensitivity, or to reduce costs.
  • Closely maintain the Preventive Maintenance Schedule and Equipment Log.
  • Arrange special services such as required elevator and boiler inspections and fire-life safety systems inspections (i.e.. fire alarm systems, fire extinguishers, emergency fire pumps) with appropriate government officials. Service all equipment and have adequate procedures to ensure that all code requirements are consistently met.
  • Administer engineering contract performance and negotiate for best price and quality of service for items such as (but not limited to): elevators, fire annunciator, sprinklers, extinguishers, boilers, cooling towers, energy management system, air handlers, radios, uniforms, etc.
  • Maintain adequate inventory of supplies for building operations (tools, lamps, filters, chemicals, etc.)
  • Reviews all engineering related invoices.
  • Assists and advises the Sr, Director, Facilities Management on matters relating to the building operating budget.
  • Participate in decisions regarding replacement, overhaul or removal of equipment, as well as capital expenditures and cost-saving measures.
  • Ensures that appropriate and timely response is provided for after-hours emergencies,
  • Uses previous direct experience and judgment with building emergencies as well as diplomatic and/or sensitive situations, , to ensure safe and complete outcomes.
  • Maintains a daily journal of the building equipment operations.
  • Handles calls for the Sr. Director, Facilities Management during his absence; works closely with contractors to do major overhauls and rebuilds of mechanical and electrical equipment. Acts as back up to the Sr. Director, Facilities Management for building services such as security, cleaning, etc.
  • Assigns contractors to complete minor repairs throughout the building.
  • Oversee the maintenance and repair of the Octagon Museum to include HVAC, plumbing, fire life safety, access control, cleaning and general maintenance.

Frequent contacts:

D.C. Government and Regulatory agencies

Mechanical and engineering contractors

Building tenants

Vendors and contractors

Job Requirements

Third class steam engineer’s license and three to five years experience in a pressure environment. Required skills include construction (including trades), OSHA, ADA, etc.

Must have working knowledge of drawings. Excellent communications and interpersonal skills and a commitment to customer service are required.

Demonstrated proficiency in customer service and working with tenants.

Demonstrated experience working in a collaborative work environment and possess to the ability to see multiple facets of an issue impacting the building systems and it’s tenants.

High school or equivalent preferred with a minimum of five years related experience. Position requires a D.C. Steam Engineer, Class 3 license.

Supervisory Requirements: Maintenance Engineer and Building Engineer report directly to this position.

The American Institute of Architects

Why Work Here?

Great benefits and work environment

The AIA, in existence for more than 150 years, works to advance the value of architects and architecture and increase the living standards of people by improving their built environments. The AIA, with a membership of over 80,000, is the largest voice of the architectural community.


1735 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC

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