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CIUS (Photo: Jose Pillich)
                 Training Facilities for
               Advanced Building Automation Systems (ABAS)

Acquiring and structuring data from multiple, varied sources is a relatively new aspect of facilities operation that calls for training.  Mastering software and skills for using the data is an important mutual challenge for management and labor.

It is widely acknowledged that BAS functions, nationally, are often under-utilized and that operator skills with BAS have generally not kept pace with development of system capabilities.  The Lab is addressing this gap for New York City.  The goal of building ABAS lab facilities is provide locations for hands-on training for building operators in cutting-edge performance management functions that are supported across the BAS industry.

Fostering industry participation

Identification of these industry-wide performance management functions is the focus of an industry advisory panel convened by the project in collaboration with the NYC locals of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE).  We are seeking the panel's thinking thought about functional directions of the industry, independent of vendor-specific features, architectures or codes.  The goal is to develop a consensus view of areas that all BAS systems will need to address and the operator skills required to take advantage of such capabilities, for example –
  • undefinedData Acquisition & Usability: data-logs, multi-variate  trending, interval metering, data mining & visualization
  • Enhanced Energy Operation: retro - and continuous-commissioning, fault detection and diagnostic (FDD) tools, system optimizations, demand response, power quality monitoring
  • Integration with Other Operational Considerations: indoor air quality, emergency response, power quality, preventive and predictive maintenance
  • Building Performance Feedbacks: energy-use databases, metrics and benchmarking, measurement and verification (m&v),  performance-based monitoring, quantified tenant satisfaction 

      The principles and objectives of this task are:

  • To focus on a consensus-based, cross-platforms set of functions that are independent of vendor-specific architectures or codes
  • To incorporate leading innovative concepts as they are being developed by the industry and in academic research institutes
  • To provide “living lab” opportunities for senior operators to work with advanced software, test and gain skills that will support and encourage utilization in their own facilities.

Training the workforce for a rapidly evolving industry

A facility is being planned with the IUOE Local 94 Training Center that will incorporate and embody the findings of the industry advisory panel.  The Operating Engineers Union provides stationary engineering staffing to the commercial and institutional buildings sector. The Training Center is supported by major real estate owner and management firms.  New staff in unionized buildings are required to complete a mandatory sequence of courses.  Electives support the career pathway that leads up to Chief Engineer and management positions. The Local 94 Training Center thus represents an invaluable resource for transferring new skills  and knowledge into the industry.  

undefinedThe advisory panel, consisting of major BAS system vendors and integrators, will identify an agreed-upon set of functions common across proprietary platforms and necessary for operators to understand in order to fully utilize BAS capabilities. 

A training lab, building out the existing and under-utilized Computer Training Room, will then be equipped with appropriate hardware and software, for use with simulated data and also imported real building data.  The goal is to give operators, especially senior engineers, the opportunity to try out and learn a wide variety of emerging applications to support transfer into the marketplace and their specific buildings.

Training opportunities on CUNY's campuses

A parallel effort is underway within CUNY’s Office of Design, Construction and Management (DCM) where web-based metering and a BACnet-based supervisory system are being implemented to collect data from the individual BAS across CUNY’s nineteen campuses. Since early 2007, the Lab has worked with CUNY DCM to design data analysis projects, continuous improvement tracking, and operating staff training.

Lab interns have gained valuable experience on the CUNY DCM wireless metering project, and one went on to work for DCM after graduation.

Support for the web-based metering comes from the New York Power Authority and for the BACnet supervisory system from Siemens Building Controls


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