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Program Overview

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Program Overview

On a day-to-day basis, buildings of various uses and sizes are run and maintained by building operators and managers, who look to ensure that issues are resolved, and tenant satisfaction remains high. Whether in a commercial, institutional, or industrial facility, Building Operators are typically the ones that ensure that a building’s heating, cooling, mechanical and electrical equipment is running effectively. Building Operators are also commonly responsible for preparing a facility for seasonal changes, performing repairs and maintenance checks, ensuring things are up to code, and being vigilant of safety hazards. Although a Building Operator may have a diploma or certification, CIET’s Certified Sustainability Building Operator designation has been created to give both new and established Building Operators and Managers who have limited knowledge of the impact of building mechanical and electrical systems on energy use, operational costs, and on GHG emissions.

This 5-day certification program offers participants a holistic view of sustainable building operations. Through the CSBO program, participants will have the opportunity to improve their technical expertise, job skills, and awareness of core areas including HVAC systems, controls, electrical and mechanical systems, building energy performance, O&M best practices, GHG emission-reduction strategies, the incorporation of smart technologies and more. By completing and passing the end-of-course exam, this training will also give participants the opportunity to earn an impactful designation that certifies their understanding of a sustainable approach to Building Operations.

Building Operations teams that have been exposed to CIET training have reported significant operational savings, improved tenant satisfaction, reductions in GHG emissions, and better transfer of skills and knowledge from more senior building operators to other colleagues. Moreover, the CSBO program is a great way to ensure that important technical and sustainable O&M concepts are embedded and re-enforced within the building operations team. The program also serves to ensure that energy and GHG retrofit, and management project successes will continue to be supported by staff, as opposed to fade over time.

  • Earning the CSBO designation is based on an examination consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions.
  • Participants will have up to 3hrs to complete the examination.
  • The examination will be issued on the afternoon of the 5th day of the course. 


Key learning objectives:

  • Optimize electrical and mechanical systems, and their controls
  • Understand building energy loads and end-use consumption
  • Apply basic benchmarking concepts for building energy analysis
  • Identify opportunities for improving efficiency by utilizing best practices and tools (BAS, data analytics)
  • Assess, prioritize, and apply sustainable O&M strategies
  • Understand building GHG emissions and strategies to achieve net zero
  • Comprehend smart grids, smart buildings, and AI technologies, and their applications in buildings



  • New and existing Building/Facility Operators
  • Building Supervisors & Managers
  • Building maintenance staff
  • Technologists, specialists, and tradespeople (lighting, HVAC, others)
  • Building engineers
  • Service providers to the commercial building industry
  • Third-party building management vendors

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1. Fundamentals of HVAC Systems & Controls

  • Overview of HVAC systems
  • Understanding building load
  • System controls & strategies


2. Facility Electrical systems

  • Overview of the electrical grid
  • Review of how electricity enters the building
  • Understanding grip efficiency
  • Exploring of key systems, including: Lighting, motors, transformers, heat pumps, cooling/heating systems, standard plug loads
  • Power factor & power quality


3. Measuring and benchmarking energy performance

  • Understanding billing structures:
    • Utility analysis
    • Cost per sf
    • End-use analysis
    • Key performance indicators
    • Simple payback


4. Types of tools used: Portfolio manager and RETScreen Expert

  • Key operation & maintenance (O&M) practices for sustainable buildings
  • Sustainability building operations 3.0
  • O&M framework for everyday building operations
  • Sample building systems O&M strategies
  • Passive vs proactive building operations
  • Preparing for a building renovation 


5. Operational strategies to encourage energy efficiency

  • Winter/spring systems & strategies
  • Fall/summer systems & strategies


6. Common opportunities for low-cost operational improvements

  • Seven Steps to understanding energy use and finding savings​
  • Using BAS and consumption data to find opportunities
  • Operator driven improvement ideas (low/no cost)
  • Generating opportunities and taking action


7. GHG emissions and net-zero strategies for buildings

  • Overview of emissions scope 1, 2, and 3
  • Emission factors
  • Real-life examples
  • Value driven high-performance buildings
  • Integration of renewables
  • Net-zero strategies
  • Electrification


8. Smart Buildings & AI technologies

  • SmartGrids & distributed resources
  • Microgrids
  • Resiliency
  • Demand response
  • SMART buildings and grid
  • AI & ML
  • XR
  • Mobile and tablet applications
  • AR demo & VR demo

Eligibility Criteria

  • Two years of experience in day-to-day building/facilities operations and maintenance
  • A Certification in Building Operations & Maintenance from a College or professional designation program

The course includes...

Access to a private SharePoint website with additional training material, references, and links.

Policies and FAQ

Click here, to see our course postponement and cancellation policy.

Do you have questions? Consult our FAQ for answers. 

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