Paul Christner

Paul Christner CEM

Building Operator

CSEP Distinction Silver


City of Kitchener


Municipal/Institutional Sector

What Paul says about his career


What is my role as a Building Operator?

Maintaining the building automation system (BAS) in 32 buildings. Providing a safe and comfortable environment for the staff and the public. Identifying energy-saving opportunities and implementing required changes. Utilizing available incentive money, such as utility incentive programs, to improve return on investment. Monitoring energy usage, identifying problems and troubleshooting causes of increased consumption. Identifying mechanical issues with HVAC equipment utilizing the BAS and assisting the maintenance team with solutions. Promoting a positive energy-minded workplace through example.


How did I reach this position?

Through continuously improving skills and education. I started in plant maintenance, earning Industrial Mechanical Millwright (IMM), and then moved to the utility and service sector, earning G1 and 313A. Then, I joined the municipal government staff as a HVAC technician, earning Environmental System Operator Class 1, and finally moved to a Building Operator position, earning the Building Operator Certification (BOC) and Certified Energy Manager (CEM) designations.



How does CIET training help me in my work? 

In this time of continuous improvement, energy savings and carbon emission reductions, to have a resource like CIET is invaluable. It has given me the skills I need to look at situations and always consider the environment in the solution. The designations that come with completion of the training also give me some legitimacy when proposing an expenditure item on an energy project, for example.


What skills are key to my work?

A good knowledge of building systems and what it takes to maintain them. The ability to step back and look at the big picture when deciding on courses of action. Good communication with maintenance staff, management, building occupants, contractors, and consultants. A good knowledge of energy flow and the math to work out the actual conditions of a system or building.


What is the best career advice I have ever received? 

From my parents, “Get an education. It doesn’t matter what field. No one can take an education away from you and it will never hurt you when looking for a job.”



Learn more about
Building Operations & Maintenance

Typical positions in Building Operations

  • Building Operator
  • Chief Engineer
  • Facility Manager
  • HVAC Technician
  • Maintenance Manager/Supervisor
  • Operations Manager/Supervisor
  • Power Engineer
  • Property Management Supervisor

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