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Building Operator Certfication
Get Certified as a Building Operator
Building Operator Certification & Training
For commercial customers interested in energy efficiency, we sponsor Building Operator Certification (BOC) training. A total of six courses are currently offered (five "Level 1" courses and one "Level 2" course). This certification not only gives you improved job skills, it trains you to operate more comfortable, efficient facilities.
Specific addresses and directions will be provided to registered students before classes begin. For more schedule information, please refer to the Training Schedule page on the BOC Web site.
Participants earn certification by demonstrating a thorough knowledge of and an ability to apply the essentials of energy efficient operations and maintenance.
Certification is offered at two levels. BOC Level 1 ("Building Systems Maintenance") emphasizes energy efficient building operation and maintenance practices while BOC Level 2 ("Equipment Troubleshooting & Maintenance") emphasizes equipment preventive maintenance and troubleshooting.
Earning Level 1 certification requires attendance at seven Level 1 classes (56 hours,) and successfully completing open-book exams and application projects. Classes are held from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and are available at many locations throughout Southern California.
The BOC Level 1 certification program is designed for operators with two or more years experience in building operations and maintenance who want to take their knowledge to the next level.
Individuals interested in earning Level 2 certification in Equipment Troubleshooting & Maintenance must have met any one of these three qualifications:
- Technical degree and three years of experience working in operations and maintenance of a commercial or institutional facility,
- A union membership at journey level and three years of experience,
- BOC Level 1 certification and four years of experience.
The class series is registered with IFMA, which allows certified facility managers (CFMs) who attend to earn certification maintenance points. The series is also recognized by:
Building Owners & Managers Institute (BOMI),
- National Association of Power Engineers (NAPE),
- Local chapters of the American Society of Hospital Engineers (ASHE)
- National School Plant Managers Association (NSPMA)
Registration Procedures & Deadlines
For your convenience, please find the BOC Training Series Registration Form in Adobe Acrobat (PDF).
Mail your registration form along with a check (see registration form for fees), purchase order or credit card information to:
BOC Program, NEEC
157 Yesler Way, Suite 409
Seattle, WA 98104
Completed registration forms may also be faxed to 1-206-292-4125.
Students should submit their registration information and payments three weeks prior to the scheduled start date, however, we will make every effort to accommodate last minute registrations as well.
Recent Graduates: BOC Success Stories
The four gentlemen profiled below were among the initial group of students to complete California's first BOC Level 1 course. When asked what they thought of the BOC program, the response was resoundingly positive, as evidenced by the fact they unanimously felt the BOC program increased their job skills, and they want a seat in the Level 2 course.
Jim Roberts, of California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB), is responsible for managing the CSUMB's physical plant operations, which spans 500,000 square feet, in addition to supervising a staff of 13 mechanics.
When asked to identify the best thing he gained from the BOC program, Jim said, “I learned to focus on how individual buildings function in terms of energy and how one can very easily, and with little investment, save energy. There's ample opportunity to conserve.”
Jim reached this conclusion from completing the BOC program's Occupancy Profile assignment. This assignment led Jim to observe the occupancy rate at one of the smaller facilities on the campus that normally operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Jim monitored when the building's systems came on in the morning and went off at night, and when people came and went from the facility. He found that people usually left the building by 7 PM and that there was no reason to have the building's systems functioning on a 24-hour basis. As a result, he had the controls that operate the facility's mechanical units reset.
Jim has turned his BOC class project into a pilot program. He is continuing to track the building's occupancy level and energy usage in order to validate the accuracy of his initial snapshot. So far, the feedback from the building occupants is positive and Jim estimates that resetting the controls has saved 5,700 kilowatt-hours and $456 in energy costs annually. Jim plans to branch out and survey other buildings on the University's campus in the future. He estimates he could save over $16,500 per year if he applies this energy saving approach to all 58 buildings he manages.
Having a structural engineering background, Jim found the idea of participating in the BOC program a little spooky at first, thinking that his background would make it difficult to participate in a course with other attendees who are more experienced with maintaining mechanical systems. Jim soon discovered that the BOC program could help strengthen the personal relationships he shares with the building operators at the University. “I was able to see first-hand what mechanics face every day. The BOC program helped increase my vocabulary and helped me develop a better relationship with the people providing preventative maintenance here.” In fact, Jim believes the operators on his staff would also benefit from participating in the BOC program.
In order to maintain the certification gained from completing the BOC program, participants must complete five hours of continuing education each year. Jim has realized that all of the classes offered at the Pacific Energy Center (PEC) will qualify for his continuing education requirements. “I have never participated in the PEC courses, but you can bet I'll be at the table in the future.”
Randy Monohan, is a Certified Energy Manager with Tetra Tech EM Inc, a firm that provides energy management services for Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Pendleton and other Federal Agencies in Southern California.
Randy focuses on coordinating efforts to address demand reduction and energy conservation programs throughout MCB Camp Pendleton. Randy conducts training, analyzes systems and methods of operation, and identifies and develops new opportunities to reduce energy demand and consumption. Randy also focuses on behavior, operation and maintenance, and efficiency upgrades to reduce energy use, help the environment, and save money.
He found the BOC training program to be a refresher on a variety of topics and is recommending that three of his colleagues complete the program. Randy says, "The challenging part to energy conservation on Military installations is effectively managing the number of ongoing, energy intensive activities that are mission-critical, and the shear size and complexity of operations”.
Thom Coffey is the Facilities Manager at Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary in Whittier, California. Rose Hills is known to be the largest single-operated cemetery in the world with property spanning 1,400 acres, where he is responsible for approximately 550,000 square feet of chapels, administration, and office areas.
Thom says the BOC program is good for supervisors who are responsible for overseeing all of the systems at a company. Participating in the BOC program gave him a “good basic knowledge of various types of systems” and improved his ability to communicate with the resources he contracts with to repair and maintain Rose Hills' systems.
“Now when an HVAC technician comes to me and says he needs to replace something, I can ask meaningful questions and know what they're talking about.” The program also helped Thom better understand his utility bills, and to identify actions he can take to save energy and money at Rose Hills. In fact, as a result of completing the program, Thom now feels confident that he can determine how an upcoming rate change will impact Rose Hills.
As the Facilities Supervisor for Fair Isaac and Corporation in Irvine, California, Tom Wishart is responsible for overseeing operational performance of a 63,000 square foot single-tenant office building.
Tom says the BOC Program made him more aware of the energy conservation measures he could look for that may be costing Fair Isaac money, and more cognizant of the preventative maintenance schedule he could employ.
As a result of participating in the program, Tom:
- Immediately had all of Fair Isaac and Company's supply vents cleaned, which helped improve the indoor air quality; regular cleaning is now part of the Company's preventative maintenance routine
- Increased overall knowledge of HVAC mechanical operations, which has assisted him in trouble shooting repair needs and helping him with preventative maintenance on the two 60 ton units
- Adopted a more cost effective “group relamping” process in place of the spot relamping process.