Inside a BCxA In-Classroom Training

By Nicole Gardner, BCxA Marketing and Events Manager

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a Building Commissioning Association in-classroom training in Chicago.

I sat in on the New Construction Commissioning, led by Craig Hawkins of McKinstry, and Existing Building Commissioning, led by Craig and John Villani of Grumman/Butkus Associates.

Being new to the industry, much of the content was very interesting but overwhelming. However, as I sat in a room of CxPs, I was encouraged by the amount of questions asked and open discussions. Questions like “how would I get the Owners Project Requirements,” and “what tips do [the instructors] have for a Cx Design Review,” helped me understand more about the commissioning process.

BCxA’s on-site trainings are held in a relaxed space, and attendees are encouraged to interject and question. The trainers help bring lessons to life with real field experiences, with stories and examples from past jobs that many in the room will face at some point. Craig’s presentation during the NCCx training included a montage of his photos from the field where, for example, 2x4s were keeping dampers open, ducts suddenly ended uncapped or made a nonsensical maze, and valves that couldn’t be reached.

Although a good portion of the training is lecture and PowerPoint, attendees were also tasked with real life scenarios where they can apply the lessons and problem-solve, both as a team and independently. The group was instructed to partner up and perform a design review using a provided set of drawings, then regrouped to discuss their findings.

Jim Feeney, BCxA Central Chapter President and Commissioning Project Manager at Grumman/Butkus, hosted social hours for the NCCx and EBCx trainees where all were invited to network and connect with other industry professionals and share ideas and insight.

The DLR Group, Chicago office, graciously allowed the class to take over a conference room for the duration of the trainings. They also coordinated and invited the training attendees to participate in a Lunch & Learn sponsored by Schneider Electric where our group and DLR employees filled the break time to participate in the presentation.

I still have a lot to learn about commissioning, but attending this training was invaluable and makes me that much more excited to be a part of the BCxA family.

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