Building Operations & Maintenance
Those who work in this sector are responsible for the day-to-day operations and maintenance of buildings and their services (often including tenant needs/comforts). They often have a direct link to energy controls and settings for buildings, as well as a mandate to run the building as efficiently and cost effectively as possible, both inside a building’s walls and in consideration of the full building envelope.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
My role is to direct the transitions of facilities management accounts from their current state to a C&W services structure. By onboarding key managers and operations personnel during transition, my role provides the blueprints and results-oriented model for our new team to follow. I create reporting structures to relay weekly and quarterly progress to our clients in operational efficiency, capital requirements and sustainability reporting. In my project management consulting role, I provide building asset audits for mechanical and HVAC efficiency with the goal of providing energy project retrofits to the client’s building. We direct energy savings produced from the installation of efficient equipment and systems to fund their recapitalization.
My 30 years’ experience in mechanical engineering and facilities management provided the insight and background to perform my tasks. Continuous learning through IFMA, the University of Toronto FM Program and CIET gave me the confidence to know how to apply proven technologies.
The education and certification as Energy Manager, Auditor and Verification Professional provided the structure to support our clients with approved reporting formats and international credibility. These recognized certifications opened many doors to amazing opportunities and savings of thousands of kW and BTUs from the North American power grid that would have otherwise still be inefficiently burning our planet’s future.
Discipline, time management, prioritization and investing in the details of a building’s sequence of operation. Soft skills of understanding people’s motivation to save energy and how to direct the client decisions to the most cost-effective solution in a win-win end goal are priceless.
Find a career that you absolutely enjoy, and you will never work a day in your life.
Managing Director where I could focus only on operations and cost-effective solutions for the client. By growing the current size of FM clients, the book of business will soon be large enough to backfill my transition director role.
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