PennTAP to host Building Re-Tuning and Operations Conference on March 3

February 07, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Managers and employees overseeing the success of school and municipality building performance will gather at Penn State on Tuesday, March 3, for a full-day conference to learn about low- and no-cost opportunities to enhance building performance to optimize energy efficiency.

“We want to provide attendees a well-rounded experience by offering both traditional educational sessions and a hands-on walk-through of a building going through its own re-tuning process,” said Tanna Pugh, director of the Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP), which is hosting the conference. “We’re excited to be able to provide this opportunity to individuals from across the commonwealth to improve the viability and health of our state’s vital buildings.”

The Building Re-Tuning and Operations Conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 3 at the Nittany Lion Inn. The conference welcomes managers and employees working at a school or municipal building who are looking to enhance their building’s energy performance.

“Over time, wear and tear, improper operation, lack of maintenance, and changing use can lead to energy inefficiencies and increased operating costs in institutional, commercial or industrial buildings,” said Alanna Colvin, PennTAP technical adviser who leads building re-tuning (BRT) training and education across the state. “This event will provide a one-stop opportunity for individuals to fulfill their annual building operator certification (BOC) and network with others working toward the same goal of making their building more energy efficient.”

The morning sessions of the conference will feature educational seminars broken out into three tracks, including technology upgrades, project funding available to implement projects, and BRT topics for people new to energy sustainability. Over lunchtime, a panel of past BRT training participants will give firsthand feedback about how this training positively impacted their building and bottom line. Panelists include representatives from State College Area School District and the Delaware Valley School Facility Managers Association.

The afternoon will feature a walk-through of Rec Hall on Penn State's University Park campus to put the morning’s learning into practice while concurrent educational sessions help participants wanting to learn more about BRT specialty topics.

Throughout the year, PennTAP offers training and education tailored to help those involved with building operations learn how to operate buildings more efficiently, reduce operating costs, and provide energy savings. Building re-tuning is a low-cost approach to re-commission a building to restore or exceed its original performance.

Ken Pitts, assistant director of operations for Lower Merion School District, attended a series of BRT workshops in the Delaware Valley region hosted by PennTAP in 2017.

“The BRT program holds a lot of value for facility managers both old and new. Even with decades of experience, there is always some new twist, trend or insight someone else has noticed that can help you,” said Pitts. “If you are new, the value is even greater because facility operations is not something you just pick up your first year no matter what your background or training is. The sessions provided excellent information and speakers that are great references and valuable in themselves, but the interactive nature with fellow facility staff and the opportunity to visit other facilities and see firsthand their challenges and have group discussions on how to deal with them is pure gold.”

The conference also features an opportunity for attendees to network with vendors, including leading organizations such as the United States Department of Agriculture, Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, National Sustainable Structures Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology, and more. Individuals who attend the event will be able to earn 4 BOC points and 0.6 CEU credits.

The Building Re-Tuning and Operations Conference is hosted by PennTAP with funding made possible by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Visit the PennTAP Building Re-Tuning and Operations Conference webpage to register and view the agenda.

Last Updated February 07, 2020