“Coaching Them Up”

For those of us who are sports fans or may have played a sport at one time in our lives, we’re familiar with the term, “coach them up.” In sports vernacular this speaks to the process of working closely with the athletes to teach them new plays and practice existing ones until they’ve perfected them.

When you stop and think about it, the same principle applies to HVACR professionals. There are always new technologies and techniques to learn about and everyday routines that can be improved and perfected.

That’s what they do at Xylem’s Bell & Gossett Little Red Schoolhouse® – the instructors “Coach Them Up”. This week, the Little Red Schoolhouse started a unique eight-week program aimed at providing a group of professionals a thorough hands-on hydronic training experience.

While the courses cover a wide range of topics tailored to different occupations in the industry, the focus is on the application of pumps and related products to enable water and energy conservation, and the improvement of building system efficiency.

One of the unique aspects of the Bell & Gossett Little Red Schoolhouse training is it is approved by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) as a provider of continuing education for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEEDTM) professionals.

Classes such as Large Chilled Water Design Seminar and Modern Hydronic System Design Basic Seminar are the first such courses to be approved by GBCI to provide credit toward the credential maintenance requirements of the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP certifications.

And speaking of LEED certification, the eight-week course covers more than just classroom instruction. The students also enjoyed a tour to one of the first school buildings to achieve LEED certification from US Green Building Council (USGBC) in the US.

Niles West High School, just a short distance from the Little Red Schoolhouse in Skokie, Illinois, is a marvel in energy efficiency and sustainability and was awarded the Energy Star in 2010 by the US EPA and the LEED EBOM Certification in 2011. Since 2001 all additions have been designed and built according to Energy Star and LEED specifications. The 800,000 square foot facility utilizes green roofs, refillable bottle drinking stations, solar technology, BIM software, energy efficient HVAC systems, light delamping and many other green features. Occupying 72 acres of land, the facility not only reduces the operational expenses, but also helps raise student and public awareness about environmental and energy issues.

Visit the Niles West High School building energy dashboard to learn more about this impressive installation.

The value of classroom and field-trip training is evident when speaking to the contractors, engineers and architects in attendance. They value gaining certification through training that provides them the necessary insights into transforming the way buildings are designed, built and operated.

Upon leaving the tour, the school football team was practicing for an upcoming game so it was a good reminder that you are never too young or too experienced to be “coached up”.