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BEST Center Building Automation Workshop: Advancing Technician Education Through Immersive Learning

July 20, 2023
Collage of photographs taken at the BEST Center BAS XII Workshop. From left to right: two participants examining technical equipment, participant listening attentively in lecture, (top right) classroom of participants in lecture, (bottom right) group photo of attendees.

Last month, CIEE’s partner program, the Building Efficiency for a Sustainable Tomorrow (BEST) Center, hosted a Building Automation Systems (BAS) workshop at the Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska. Founded in 2012, the BEST Center supports publicly-funded 2- and 4-year colleges with building technician education programs in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R), controls, building automation, and energy/facilities management. In 2021, the BEST Center joined forces with CIEE and continues to advance professional workforce and leadership development nationwide.

Over the course of four days (June 6-9), participants engaged in immersive, lab-based sessions that focused on troubleshooting HVAC systems using BAS technology. “I found every aspect of the workshop to be beneficial,” noted one participant, “but it was on the second day of the lab where I truly gained the most valuable knowledge as it provided a practical representation of how things work in the field.” 

The event also featured guest speakers, including Michael Bobker of the City University of New York (CUNY) Building Performance Lab and Jon Dunlap, the Area Director of Comprehensive Energy Solutions for Trane Technologies. Twenty-two faculty attendees, representing programs in HVAC, energy management, facility maintenance, and engineering technology, joined from 18 community colleges and one public university across the U.S.

Thank you to all the participants, guest speakers, and organizers for your contributions!

Learn more about the BEST Center