Building operators are responsible for day-to-day maintenance and operation of large buildings with complex heating, mechanical and electrical systems.
Fanshawe College’s Maintenance Services & Utilities department took part in the Building Operator Certification (BOC) program to increase their knowledge of energy conservation and how to detect opportunities for savings.
We had a chance to gather feedback from the BOC participants. Here’s what they had to say about the training and what changes they saw at Fanshawe afterwards:
I really enjoyed the course and became much more aware of all aspects of energy conservation. Three things really stood out for me:
- The technical side of energy management. For example, the energy consuming devices and systems that use energy efficiently or inefficiently.
- The organizational side, such as the structure and management systems that can support or hinder the achievement of energy efficiency goals.
- The behavioural side, including personal values, attitudes and practices of individuals in the organization which may have an impact on energy use.
As for the items that may help in our fight for savings and conservation, I’ve come across a few things in our facility:
- There’s an opportunity to insulate some of the steel garage doors.
- On a daily basis I’m finding classrooms with the projector screen left on. A timer may help avoid this situation.
- I’ve come across some roof top HVAC units with very dirty condenser coils.
Facilities Maintenance Technician, Maintenance Services and Utilities
We’ve been moving forward on our energy conservation and improving on our selection of new equipment. As we install new equipment and sensors to turn things on and off, we have to test the equipment annually to ensure things are operating as designed.
On the Christmas break I was called into work for an issue and decided to look to see if all our fans were off, using the vacation schedule. Well, 30 fans remained on just because the program was looking at the wrong panel to take the schedule from, or it was missing from the program.
Little things like this go undetected and waste energy. Over and over the BOC course mentioned “recommissioning” and the importance of verifying the accuracy of sensors. Never assume that something will save you money forever once it is put in place. As I walk through the college, I will definitely keep my eyes open to see if there are opportunities to save dollars…this goes for my house as well.
HVAC Technician, Maintenance Services & Utilities
The Building Operator Certification program has been developed to enable facilities personnel to transform workplaces to be more comfortable, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. The competency-based training and certification aims to improve job skills and increase knowledge over eight modules.
The BOC workshop has been designed to incorporate classroom training with practical project assignments which are completed at the participants’ facility. The real-life example approach gives participants the skills they need to transform their workplace.