A lot has changed since MEEA began administering the Building Operator Certification program (BOC) 20 years ago - just think about all the changes in technology in your everyday life, not to mention changes in corporate policies and goals, fuel sources and more. Thanks to our dedicated instructors and coordinators who continually impress us with their knowledge and expertise, BOC has adapted and grown immensely in our region since we started.
St. Louis’s Lambert International Airport, servicing more than 250 flights per day, recently underwent a significant boiler replacement project for its operations building. The project was spearheaded by operations staff in efforts to not only modernize the equipment, but also save energy and lower costs. As a result of its success, along with skills and knowledge attained through BOC training, the airport’s operations staff strives to achieve energy efficiency while decreasing energy costs.
It’s that time of year to begin preparing your building for winter weather. We spoke with our BOC instructors from across the Midwest about adjusting your building for the changing seasons. Follow these tips to make sure your building is running as efficiently as possible this season.
Minimize outside air
Every cubic foot of air that is brought in from the outside must be conditioned. In summer it needs to be cooled and dehumidified, and in winter it needs to be heated. Therefore, every cubic foot that leaves the building that has been heated is now wasted energy. Minimize the uncontrolled air leakage and use CO2 levels to determine the controlled air exchange.
Here at MEEA, we think our Building Operator Certification instructors are everyday rock stars. They are at the frontlines, teaching building operators how to cut costs and energy usage in their facilities. Our amazing pool of facility and energy managers are why BOC has the reach and impact it does in the Midwest.
We sat down with one BOC instructor who has gone above and beyond this year. Doug Lafever has been an instructor since 2014 and continually impresses us. This year alone, he has instructed eight classes in four states: Indiana, Kansas, Michigan and Nebraska.
2018 marked the first time that a Building Operator Certification (BOC) series was held in the Bluegrass State. Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) provided funding that subsidized the cost of tuition for students in 2018 while helping MEEA get the training off the ground and established in the state.
As the effort to improve building efficiency continues, the effects these changes have on indoor air quality can easily be forgotten. Tighter buildings mean less energy wasted on space heating but can also result in decreased fresh airflow throughout the building, a necessary component to keeping the indoor environment safe.
Research has shown that energy efficiency can improve community health, but what issues should building occupants be aware of when it comes to their homes and workplaces?
October 16-20 is “Careers in Energy Week” for the state of Illinois. Governor Rauner has recognized that a strong and diverse energy workforce is critical to support the large demand for safe, reliable and affordable energy to support Illinois families, communities and businesses. Energy efficiency is a key component to ensure affordability and reliability for years to come.