A Day in the Life of a DTMB Facility Supervisor

Office of Performance and Transformation's Communication Representative Monica Drake will be following different State of Michigan employees throughout the year.

Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) Facility Supervisors are the “landlords” of state buildings.

Most state agencies don’t own their office space. Instead, they rent from DTMB’s Building Operations Division. So, just like when individuals rent an apartment or home, state employees don’t need to worry if the roof leaks, the locks are secure, a light burns out, the trash needs to be taken out, the grass needs mowing, or the parking lot needs plowing. Facility Supervisors, like Scott Davis, and their staff have it covered.

“The typical facility supervisor oversees building operations and maintenance for all the DTMB managed facilities,” said Davis. “We also coordinate with DTMB’s Real Estate Division, which handles the installation of new furniture and the design. Customers come to us to request the reconfiguring of their office space.”

Davis and his 22 maintenance employees cover “Zone 6” at the Secondary Complex in Dimondale – 1.3 million square feet of building space occupied by about 1,500 customers from DTMB, Department of Transportation, State Police, and Treasury.

 “Our customers are the tenants. Essentially, my job is to make sure the customers’ work space is usable and comfortable when they come into work each day,” he said.

For Davis, his job is a little different than most facility supervisors. For him, one of the buildings he oversees is the Energy Conversion Center. The Secondary Complex has its own energy center because it’s cheaper, in the long run, than receiving all of the utilities from a public provider.

There was a three-year reconstruction period at the Energy Conversion Center from 2012 to 2014.

“We looked into newer technology to save the taxpayers money,” said Davis. “In 2012, we installed the Cogeneration system, which uses natural gas as a fuel source to generate electricity and heat. Additionally, in 2012 we installed absorption chillers.  In 2013, we installed cooling towers and ‘free cooling’ heat exchangers, and, in 2014, we installed 54 thermal storage units that create the air conditioning.”

Davis said these changes have made the system more efficient and has significantly decreased waste.

“We lowered the electrical demand charge by more than 50 percent. That’s a big savings every month,” he said. 

Davis began working at the Energy Conversion Center in 2002 as a Maintenance Mechanic. He was then promoted to Building Trades Crew Leader, then Supervisor, and finally, Facility Supervisor in the fall of 2012. Davis knows every job at the Energy Conversion Center.

“I started from the bottom and worked my way up,” he said. “As Facility Supervisor, I’m glad I can still work at the Energy Conversion Center. I love the environment here.”

His favorite part about the job is “the ability to offer solutions to customers.”

“We’re problem-solvers. Customers come to us with a lot of different requests, and it’s very fulfilling to be able to make it happen,” he said.

His labor force has a large skillset – plumbers, mechanics, painters, power plant operators, laborers, refrigeration mechanics, and low and high-voltage electricians.

“The staff is very knowledgeable; they’re self-starters and independent workers. We have the best group of employees. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”