Dale Brigham is excited about his new assignment as system planner for an HVACcontrols project at the Ft. Lewis Army Base near Tacoma, WA. He’s part of project team developing an integrated controls system for the base which will tie control systems in individual buildings into a networked system for monitoring operation across the base. Brigham’s background as an electronics technician for DDC controls prepared him well for the assignment, but he also decided to attend BOC as a way to “get out of the tunnel vision mode of [my] own trade.” This is important for teamwork which is the way of doing business in the Public Works Department which handles facilities maintenance and operation for the base. Building staff work in teams comprised of expertise in electrical, plumbing and HVAC to serve the needs of facilities on the base. “BOC helps you see how the systems you work on overlap with others, and how it ties in with energy efficiency,” said Brigham.
The controls project is funded under an energy savings performance contract (ESPC) which allows the base to pay for the work over time through the energy savings resulting from the project. Once completed, the controls systems will allow building managers to baseline energy consumption and optimize operation of energy intensive equipment such as lighting, and heating and ventilation equipment for the base.
In a recent example, Brigham was involved on a project team to prepare an older building for a new tenant. Their initial inspection identified problems with the lighting system and electrical requirements, and a number of ventilation issues. Members of the team worked collectively to develop a strategy for resolving the issues. As a team member, Brigham found BOC training gave him “the competence and confidence to step out of [his] boundaries” to explore energy efficiency opportunities. The outcome was a set of recommendations which addressed the new tenant’s needs while also saving energy and reducing the likelihood of service orders in the future.
Brigham was one of five public works department staff to attend BOC training in 2002. Following completion of training, he and his boss, John Timmers, “lobbied base command to bring BOC to Ft. Lewis.” The lobbying was successful and, with financial help from FEMP, the Public Works Department is currently hosting a Level I course series on site for 25 public works employees.
In addition to Brigham and Timmers, three other Ft. Lewis building operators have completed BOC to date. They include Kennith Chambers, Allyn Hartwig, David Krohn.