Use the links below to see when and where the publicly available training events I am involved with will happen, including links to additional information. If you are interested in a private training class focusing on your organizations specific needs as they pertain to commissioning, control systems, or the technical side of HVAC systems, please contact me or Facility Dynamics and we will get in touch with you to see if there is a good fit between our capabilities and your needs.
COVID along with the need on my part to slow down a bit in my life led to what I would like to think is a positive change in the way we deliver the classes at the Pacific Energy Center. More specifically, we learned how to deliver them via webinars, using SketchUp models to provide virtual field experiences.
As a result, you can attend most of these classes from anywhere in the world, all-though we still have retained several face to face field sessions for the year long existing building commissioning workshop. Currently, all of the classes are offered free of charge and some offer PDUs or CEUs.
Part of the transition for the classes I am working with has been to move towards the "flip the classroom" approach. The idea is to provide self study resources that folks can access ahead of time so they can pick up the basics on a topic via a series of video self study modules. The resources you will find on our On Demand Training page are examples of some of this content.
This allows us to devote the class to questions and answers on the fundaments behind the class and interactive exercises that apply the concepts. We have also started using break-out sessions in some of the classes to facilitate the involvement of the attendees with the exercises.
Some classes are available as "On Demand" classes, and
Some classes are prerequisites for other classes. For example,
You need to complete the RCx 101 class to gain access to registration for the year-long Existing Building Commissioning workshop series. And
yyou need to complete the EBCx Workshop series (or demonstrate equivalent experience such as Marriott's Advanced Engineering Program or CERL's EBCx Practicum) to gain access to the EBCx Project Review Workshop.
The links below take you to more detailed descriptions of the classes.
Design, Performance and Commissioning Issues Series
The Design, Performance and Commissioning Issues classes are intended to provide a technical overview of the targeted system with a field orientation by providing a layman's perspective on the engineering and operational issues. The classes typically include interactive exercises that use SketchUp Models and common/free software based tools and other free resources to illustrate basic energy and assessment calculations. They are complemented by self study materials and are intended to inform those who would like to know a bit more about the subject systems and to support students taking or planning to take the Existing Building Commissioning Workshop Series.
The information on the Pacific Energy Center Design, Performance and Commissioning Issues Classes page of the website offers downloads of the material from the latest session of the class and will give you a sense of the topics we cover. We are always adding to the list; for example we recently created a series on heat pumps given how electrification is driving the industry more and more in that direction.
Existing Building Commissioning Workshop Series
The Existing Building Commissioning Workshop class is a year-long series of all day sessions during which the students attend a monthly webinar hosted by the Pacific Energy Center to learn about the technical skills needed to perform existing building commissioning. As of this April of 2018, we started our 18th year!
Students are required to have a facility they can use to practice their skills on over the course of the class and ultimately need to have identified energy savings measures and assessed the savings potential in order to successfully complete the class.
The class also includes two field weeks where the attendees visit the project buildings of current and former attendees. The facilities serve as a "living lab" to allow the class to practice and develop commissioning skills and techniques. While the focus of the class is existing building commissioning, the technical skills learned will also apply to new construction commissioning and ongoing commissioning/daily operations.
The class has limited space and to participate, you need to meet a number of requirements, including attended the RCx 101 course offered annually at the Pacific Energy Center. This is a very intense class and will involve significant self-study and work outside the classroom to complete it. But most students report that the effort is worth it.
If you would like a little more information, the left link below will let you download a brochure Ryan created which includes a bit more information, testimonials, and the anticipated schedule for the upcoming year. The link on the right will let you download a paper Ryan presented at ACEEE that includes an overview of the training series, training modules examples, and examples of student projects, including the energy savings data associated with them. And this link takes you to a blog post that describes the class in a bit more detail.
Series 14 EBCx Workshop Series Flyer (ebcx-flyer-year14.pdf)
The first session of the series is typically during April and the RCx 101 prerequisite is typically offered a month or two before that. So, if you are interested in the class, you will do well to get it in your calendar well in advance and also to get in touch with Ryan Stroupe at the Pacific Energy Center as soon as possible so you can get on the mailing list for the class.
You can reach Ryan at R2S2@pge.com. I would suggest that you include something like Interested in attending the EBCx Workshop Series in the reference line of the e-mail.
Existing Building Commissioning Project Review Workshop
Graduates of the Existing Building Workshop Series as well of graduates from similar programs like the Marriott AEP program and the Army's RCx Practicum program are eligible to attend the quarterly Existing Building Commissioning Project Review Workshops. These are informal sessions offered by the Pacific Energy Center as a web conference.
The class is divided into two components. The morning is devoted to an interactive lab session that I usually lead. The topic is selected by the attendees in a previous session.
For example, in the upcoming session this month (June 29, 2023) we will be exploring the technique you can use to determine an appropriate set point for the high limit setting for an air side economizer and how you can use that information, along with TMY data to understand the cost/benefit of that approach vs. the gold standard of differential enthalpy.
In the afternoon, students present current projects to share what they are learning and also receive input from the other students and instructors. The general idea is to foster the exchange of ideas, challenges, and solutions between the students and instructors in the context of real-time, real-world project work.
As I mentioned above, these sessions are not open to the general public but are offered to graduates of the EBCx workshop series and similar programs. If you think you may have enough experience to qualify for the class even though you have not taken the EBCx workshop, please reach out to Ryan or I so we can discuss the possibility with you. We enforce the prerequisite requirements simply to allow us to assume you enough experience to allow us to pursue more advanced concepts with out having to spend a lot of time on the fundamentals.
You can reach Ryan at R2S2@pge.com and me via the contact page of this website. I would suggest that you include something like Interested in attending the EBCx Project Review Workshop Series in the reference line of the e-mail.
University of Wisconsin Department of Engineering Professional Development
Direct Digital Controls (DDC)
This is a class that I support along with two other senior staff from Facility Dynamics; Jay Santos (one of the two founding Principals at FDE), and Steve Briggs, one of our senior electrical engineers.
Jay is the lead instructor and covers the "nitty-gritty" of DDC theory, design, specification and commissioning, with a strong focus on logic diagrams as a mechanism to develop and communicate the sequence of operation.
Steve covers network topics like BACnet, LON, cyber-security and open protocols. My role is to look at the topic from the perspective of the controlled systems; i.e. how the machinery and systems interact with the control hardware and software that manages them.
Unlike some of the other classes I am involved with, there is a fee associated with this class. The fee for the course and its' four-and-a-half-day agenda make it a significant commitment for anyone attending, but the reviews tend to indicate that people find it to be worth the cost and effort. Upon successful completion, the attendees can receive Continuing Education Units (CEU) or Professional Development credits.
Note that when the word "Tentative" follows the title of the class, it means that while the indicated dates are firm, the class will only be held if registration reaches the level required to make the economics of the class work out. Generally, this happens several months before the class is scheduled to occur and I can't actually remember a time that a class was canceled due to lack of interest.
Building Commissioning Association Pre-Conference Workshop
I am a Building Commissioning Association member and usually attend the annual conference, often times presenting or supporting a workshop. I also sometimes support web-based training sessions for them.
The conference evolved from the National Conference on Building Commissioning (a.k.a. NCBC, which some of us old folks still refer to it as). If you want to know more about the conference or the organization, you can visit their web site by following this link.
These classes are not regularly scheduled, recurring events like the classes at the Pacific Energy Center. But when one is scheduled, I will post the information here and also mention it in a blog post.
Portland General Electric
I occasionally do training for Portland General Electric. The calendar below lists any upcoming training events. These classes are not regularly scheduled, recurring events like the classes at the Pacific Energy Center. But when one is scheduled, I will post the information here and also mention it in a blog post.
Electric League of the Pacific Northwest
I occasionally do training for the Electric League of the Pacific Northwest. These classes are not regularly scheduled, recurring events like the classes at the Pacific Energy Center. But when one is scheduled, I will post the information here and also mention it in a blog post.