Automated building operations can generate significant energy and cost savings, but not all building operators are trained to implement these energy-saving options. Two Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) researchers were asked to share their expertise in automated building operations as part of a new, national training course intended to teach building managers advanced operations that yield energy and cost savings. Staff scientist Srinivas Katipamula and technical advisor Ron Underhill provided a training module for the course, which was developed by industry partner Slipstream with support from the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
Katipamula and Underhill were approached by Slipstream to participate to share their findings from the Building Re-tuning™ project, a multi-year project funded by the state of Washington. “Fifteen years ago, we started the Building Re-tuning work that documented up to 30% savings with better building controls,” said Katipamula. The Building Re-tuning effort spurred development of an advanced toolkit for building operators and award-winning training materials supported by the Department of Energy Building Technologies Office in 2013.
“For the new Slipstream-developed training course, we created a condensed training module based off of the Building Re-tuning work that is focused on energy saving operations in large commercial buildings,” said Underhill.
The training module developed by Katipamula and Underhill teaches building operators how to identify opportunities for energy and cost savings. “There are lot of things that we point out about what can go wrong in buildings that makes them consume more energy than is necessary,” explained Katipamula. “If those operations are automatically detected and corrected, building operations can dynamically respond to changes in occupancy patterns or outdoor conditions to save energy.”
The training developed by Slipstream is available online to energy managers, building operators, and facility engineers and ranges from short beginner training modules to advanced building controls and re-tuning.