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Award Winning Safety

On March 19, 2014, Bruner Corporation was recognized by the Safety Council of Greater Columbus for safety achievement by receiving:SCGC_color-medium

  • 100% Award one year without a lost-time accident
  • Special Award – over a million hours without a lost-time accident! 

At the award banquet this year, former Buckeye Maurice Clarett spoke to the safety driven audience about perseverance and the power of change. His message was “It’s never too late to change the direction of your life.” With safety as such a critical component of the construction process, this program reminded the audience of how easy it is to be led astray. Work must be performed in a safe manner to eliminate injury and illness to our employees, our customers and their employees, and the public.

Bruner regards safety as an integral part of our culture and maintains an award winning safety program. We are proud to say that our firm is  consistently recognized for both safety achievement and safety innovation in the construction industry.

In addition to the awards listed above, Bruner also received a Safety Achievement award and a Safety Innovation award from the Builder’s Exchange of Central Ohio this year. The Safety Achievement award is for outstanding injury and illness statistics and the Safety Innovation award is for companies that have implemented unique and exciting practices to increase safety awareness or solve a particular safety challenge. 

Safety 2013-63 - small

Banger Tool

For Bruner’s Innovation award, Mark Carlisle, Senior Project Manager, invented a tool that reduces strain on a worker while installing bangers. This tool stands 3.5 ft. tall and was used to install over 20,000 bangers on a new hospital tower.

By the old process, workers repeatedly bend over with their back hunched to physically hold the banger and use a hammer for attachment. The workers’ ergonomic risk is tremendous and often can result in pulling or straining back muscles from overuse. Fingers and hands are also at risk for laceration and crushed-by injuries.

This new tool allows the worker to perform the operation standing upright, and eliminates the need to physically hold the banger and use a hammer. The physical strength required to install the bangers is significantly less and the ergonomic strain, risk of pulled muscles and struck-by hazards are eliminated.

Before - After

Before                                                           After

Innovations such as these support Clarett’s message. There are always new and exciting innovations out there to heighten safety. Bruner is proud to a leader in this effort and will always look for more ways to provide a safer job site experience.

Keepin’ it GREEN

You’ve heard of, “Keeping up with the Joneses,” right? Or maybe you’ve heard of the more modern, “Keeping up with the Kardashians?” In its basic form, the phrase refers to the natural process of comparing yourself to others. Coined during the post WWII consumerism explosion, the phrase referred to buying things to be viewed as more financially secure than your neighbors. We wanted to, “Keep up with the Joneses,” because they had everything.

So, what does this have to do with being “green”?

By using this theory, we can challenge organizations to lower energy consumption. Just last month, Bruner was awarded 2nd place for its energy conservation program. Turns out, we saved our clients 2.9 GWH of energy in 2013. This energy savings puts us in the top 10% when compared to other energy contractors in the area. Through this Business Incentives program, AEP Ohio encourages businesses to compete with each other for the most energy savings, which in turn helps clients/consumers reduce operating costs and helps reduce consumption overall.

Two weeks ago, Bruner’s Energy Engineer, Stephanie Drenten spoke to students at The Ohio State University about this topic and phenomenon. As a guest lecturer for the College of Engineering’s Sustainability Seminar course, Drenten spoke about creating a sustainable world by conserving energy. She started the conversation by sharing global statistics on energy consumption from the Energy Information Administration, which states that global energy consumption will increase 56% by 2040.

Now, think of the Joneses.

In our world today, we have developed nations and developing nations. The developed nations continue to use the majority of energy resources available, while the developing nations, or third-world, is left behind. These nations are trying to keep up with modern niceties. Drenten explained that as they develop, the energy needs of these nations will skyrocket. The world will be consuming more energy than it can produce. We might need more planets to accommodate the growing population and its energy demands1.

In lieu of packing up our belongings and heading to Mars, Drenten shared a different idea. Why don’t we use behavioral science to urge others to keep up with the green movement? In the TED Talks video “How Behavioral Science Can Lower Your Energy Bill” Alex Laskey, founder/president of Opower, uses this “Keeping up with Joneses” technique to save utility customers more than $250 million and 2 terawatt hours (Twh) of energy in one year—enough to power two moderately sized cities! To do this, he told utility users how they were matching up when compared to their neighbors, in terms of energy consumption.

World UsageThere’s nothing better than a little friendly competition. Laskey said, “If something is inconvenient, even if we believe in it, moral suasion, financial incentives, don’t do much to move us — but social pressure, that’s powerful stuff.” By using this social mindset energy conservation efforts will be more effective. Drenten shared metrics comparing the United States to its neighbors. In the last twelve years, the United States has dropped energy consumption by 18%, but it’s no match for Germany and France, each of which use about 45% less energy per capita than the United States.

After sharing that statistic, Drenten challenged the engineering students to identify solutions for this growing energy problem and they had great ideas on how to bridge the gap. Some of the ideas included cutting oil consumption, limiting the transportation and use of coal, more incentives for residential energy reduction, and recycling efforts. “It was refreshing to see the students so engaged and empowered,” said Drenten.

Now the real question: Do you use more energy than your neighbor?

That’s A Wrap 2013!

100_2152Another New Year has begun! We’ve given our toasts, drank some bubbly, and made resolutions. And now, it’s time for reflection.

Community giving was a shining theme of 2013. Whether it’s weeding gardens, refreshing a park, or walking for a cause, we lent a hand.

Over the years, Bruner has partnered with the United Way of Central Ohio to bring compassion and aid to residents in need. Most recently, in our Warmest Wishes campaign, Bruner donated to the St. Vincent Family Center and Habitat for Humanity MidOhio, but we’ve also donated our time and efforts throughout the year—not just around the holidays.

To spark our United Way Ice CreamCampaign each year, Bruner hosts a Kickoff Week to spread the word about volunteer opportunities and get everyone excited about the year’s events.

This year, the “Pathway out of Poverty” Kickoff Week was filled with fun surprises. The CD102.5 ice cream truck even dropped by to provide frosty afternoon treats for employees.

Our first event, Community Care Day,100_2148was held at a Volunteers of America transitional housing complex for our military heroes. These homeless Veteran’s, feeling forgotten by society, are given a place to call home at Volunteers of America’s Veteran’s Resource Center—a place for which they can be proud. Bruner had twelve volunteers help landscape and beautify the Veteran’s Resource Center. By giving this housing complex a little facelift, volunteers were able to provide valuable community service to those in need.

Another notable event, the Bruner Golf Outing, was a huge success. By prompting employees, vendors, and suppliers we were able to raise a substantial amount of money for the United Way of Central Ohio—and also have a bit of fun!

From spring until winter, Bruner identified and participated in various other charitable events to engage our employees and give back to our community.


NCH Wagon Donation

Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Wagon donation in honor of Ian Richey
and family (pictured left)

Mount Carmel Golf Invitational
In support of scholarship funding for
Mount Carmel College of Nursing

Columbus Marathon
In support of Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Great job John Herold, on your time of 3:23:26!

Mid-Ohio Foodbank
Over 80,000 lbs donated to Operation Feed in the last 4 years13B 167

The Ohio State Four-Miler
Benefitting the Buckeye Cruise For Cancer
and the Urban and Shelley Meyer Fund

Creative Living – A Bouquet of Flavours
Funding for Creative Living’s Resident
Assistance Program

Columbus Tutoring Initiative
Beacon Elementary School

9 Bruner employees donate their lunch hour
to tutoring 1st graders in readingIMG_1028

American Heart Walk –
In Loving Memory of Bobbi Newman
Surpassed our goal of $2,500
and had 21 walkers!
(pictured left)

American Red Cross Blood Drives

SMPS and Turner Golf Outings
In support of A Kid Again

Abercrombie Challenge
Goal: to reach $100 Million in donations
for the Wexner Medical Center

Donations to Kokomo, IN
Tornado Devastation

 

Bruner is proud of our great employees, who have dedicated their time and effort to make these great contributions to the Central Ohio community. We’re also blessed to have such great suppliers and vendors working with us. Partnership is at our core and we value all of our relationships, whether long-standing or newly created.

The importance of philanthropy is fully integrated into Bruner’s culture. We truly value the opportunity to work on projects that impact the lives of others.

 

Now that’s a wrap for 2013–can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring!

 

CEM in the House!

John Herold, Project Manager, is officially a Certified Energy Manager (CEM)! John is part of Bruner’s Performance Solutions Group, that works to optimize HVAC service plans, conduct energy master planning, and make efficiency improvements to client facilities.

The CEM designation, accredited through the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), is the most widely recognized energy management certification in the world. Bruner currently employs three energy professionals that hold the CEM certification, with John being our newest CEM, and one professional that holds the Energy Manager In Training (EMIT) certification.

*The EMIT certification is for energy professionals that demonstrate the technical strengths needed to hold a CEM certification, but need more field experience. 

Energy professionals that pass the CEM exam have a high level of knowledge and experience within the energy industry. Herold, having over 15 years of experience in this industry, has always worked to provide efficient solutions for clients. We are very proud of his achievements and new certification—great job, John!

AEE has been a leader in developing Energy Managers for over 30 years and Bruner is proud to be a partner. AEE describes the CEM designation as “an individual who optimizes the energy performance of a facility, building, or industrial plant. CEM® is a systems integrator for electrical, mechanical, process and building infrastructure, analyzing the optimum solutions to reduce energy consumption in a cost effective approach. CEM’s are often team leaders and help to develop and implement their organizations’ energy management strategies. CEM’s have gained increased recognition within the energy industry and by companies looking to strengthen their competitive position by having a CEM on staff.”

Interested in learning more?

Attend the next Ohio Capital City AEE event:

OCCAEE sponsors a panel discussion on
Alternative Energy and Its Impact to Ohio’s Infrastructure

November 20, 2013

11:30 AM – Networking
12:00 PM – Panel Discussion

Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center

2201 Fred Taylor Drive
Columbus, OH 43210

*Event presented by Columbus SMPS Chapter (Society for Marketing Professional Services)

 REGISTER NOW

 

Strategic Project Management in a Construction World

The Columbus chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) hosted Senior Project Manager, Evan Williams, at its August monthly meeting in German Village.

The meeting, held at Lindey’s, had great attendance and participation from NAWIC Columbus associates and other members of the A/E/C community. There were also quite a few Bruner guests in the crowd, in support of their friend and coworker, as Williams discussed strategic project management.

Throughout the presentation, he emphasized the importance of using strategy in the project management process and shared many insights on how to be successful from a project’s start to its finish. Williams explained that by focusing on strategy before the project, in what he calls the “Critical Strategic Zone,” it helps ensure success. Activities necessary during this zone include: conceptual analysis, engineering and design, site logistics planning, schedule development, pre-construction planning, early procurement, resource allocation and job cost setup.

Williams explained how having all of these steps completed and organized at the beginning of the project helps keep total project cost down—which always makes for a happy customer.  After all, knowing what will make the customer happy and providing it to them will really make you stand out from the crowd.

Williams emphasized the crucial power of communication between all members of the project team—even once the project and close-out activities are completed. He reminded the audience that the Project Manager’s final client impression occurs during the close-out activities. Past performance on jobs is one of the best sellers of potential new jobs. There were multiple questions and comments when the presentation was concluded, leaving the NAWIC members truly appreciative of all he had to share. For more information on the presentation, please leave a comment below or reach out to us via our website or social media channels.

NAWIC has been empowering women in the construction industry for over 50 years. Monthly meetings are held on the third Wednesday of every month at various restaurants in the Columbus area. Along with its monthly events, NAWIC Columbus believes in serving its community. NAWIC sponsors an annual scholarship supporting a student studying in a construction related field and do various other volunteer activities nationwide. Bruner Corporation is proud to be a partner of NAWIC and support this great organization. If you’re interested in becoming a member or contributor of NAWIC Columbus, please visit www.nawiccolumbus.org.

Preparing for an HVAC Emergency

It is 4 a.m., and the phone rings. The building’s boiler has failed, and it is 20 degrees outside. Technicians will not be able to repair the failure in a few hours. It will be days or weeks until repairs are complete or a new boiler is in service, assuming one is available for installation and delivery. Now what?

It is essential to have emergency-preparedness plans that include HVAC equipment failure. While many organizations have general emergency-preparedness plans designed, they must not forget about HVAC equipment failure! With a plan, the above situation could have been much easier to resolve and would have limited system downtime to just a few hours, minimized disruptions to building occupants and operations, and eliminated almost the entirely the risk of damage to the building and its systems.

What insight does Bruner have on this topic for you? We asked our operations manager for some tips on this situation and he suggests “Hopefully, you have a preventative maintenance program in place and as a result, already have the funds set aside for this inevitability. Your service provider should have noted the boiler’s condition on their last several maintenance summaries and during a quarterly meeting should have relayed that it was a major cause for concern that needed immediate attention. Preferably, your service provider and trusted partner should have identified the specific concerns and had contingencies in place so that this didn’t happen to begin with. Ideally, identifying redundancy or areas where it is missing should be a part of every comprehensive maintenance program so that you don’t find yourself in this situation.”

Boiler failures aren’t the only HVAC emergencies that can occur – don’t forget to address central chillers, individual-area HVAC systems, and also to be aware of temporary changes in the way occupants use a building which can create conditions where the existing HVAC system no longer can meet the needs of the application. As always, Bruner can help your organization develop a comprehensive maintenance program to avoid and prepare for an HVAC emergency.

5 Workplace Trends in 2012

As the workplace continues to evolve, be sure to keep up with your competitors by considering the following new trends in the workplace! For most companies, these new trends have potential to evolve into growth of your company.

1. Movement from management to leadership values – Employees can determine when an organization’s walk doesn’t fit the talk, and they are getting impatient working for managers who are less self-aware than they are. Instead, individuals today must lead with values such as collaboration and shared purpose. By engaging the workforce in a compelling shared vision and engaging their hearts as well as their minds, leaders can reap the best results.

2. A focus on workplace culture as a means to grow the business – Dedicating time, energy, and resources into creating a sustainable culture can eliminate money spent on marketing (think Google, Panera). Customers patronize businesses that care about their employees, and will even pay more if they believe their values are shared by the company.

3. Diversity makes a comeback – Today, organizations have a renewed interest in diversity, and it has to do with the customer and shareholders. From a customer relations perspective, companies need people inside their organizations who are representative of the people they are trying to reach outside.

4. Rise of virtual work relations – Although they can make it seem like you’re connected to the workplace 24/7, sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn makes it easier to retain relationships with current and past co-workers. This allows for greater amounts of information and expertise to be shared and leveraged which is always a benefit!

5. Organizations are getting flatter – Instant access technology means that employees are not as dependent on the hierarchies of the past for information. With that being said, managers can expect a new definition of team work. Instead of playing your individual role in the team, it’s all about what everyone is chipping in to accomplish what is needed.

Discover the Value of HVAC Preventative Maintenance

In a way, HVAC preventative maintenance can be compared to that of your car. If you spend $30 on an oil change in your car, you would save $3,000 on a new engine. If you don’t change the oil and replace belts and filters, the engine will lock up and the vehicle won’t operate. Proper preventative maintenance for HVAC equipment will basically do the same thing. Maintenance isn’t expensive compared to what you might need to spend if your system degrades, and therefore ultimately fails. An example is provided by Anthony Shaker, vice president of operations at UNICO Newton, MA:

If you have a piece of equipment that costs $10,000 to maintain and has a forecasted life of 10 years if properly maintained, you will spend only $20,000 from first cost to replacement cost at the 10-year mark, assuming it would cost $10,000 again to replace it at the end of its lifecycle. However, if you did not properly maintain the unit and it failed at the 5-year mark, you would need to spend $10,000 to replace it after 5 years and then replace that same unit again in another 5 years if you continued to not perform maintenance. Your total cost would be $30,000.

Bruner agrees there are a few key concepts to pay attention to. First, HVAC system maintenance isn’t expensive compared to what you might spend if your system degrades. Second, the first place to turn when building a successful HVAC maintenance plan should be the manufacturer’s operating and maintenance manual. Don’t overlook these maintenance manuals because they provide a concrete blueprint for the steps you need to take to maintain chillers, boilers, motors, air-handling units—every piece of equipment in a building’s HVAC system! Next, by tracking different system indicators such as oil temperature, RPM speed, etc. you can pick up on many emerging problems before they reach a crisis situation. Finally, it’s important to do a life-cycle cost analysis when determining if you should repair or replace an aging HVAC system component. Ideally, the ratio of spending for HVAC systems should be 70% preventive maintenance and 30% corrective maintenance.

Bruner’s planned, predictive, and preventive approach to HVAC system maintenance results in your ability to control costs, extend the life of the facility and its systems, thereby improving operations and cash flow.

Ready to get started? You can trust Bruner, the #1 Heating and Cooling company in Central Ohio, to get the job done.

 

 

Source: http://www.buildings.com/tabid/3334/ArticleID/3183/Default.aspx#top

INFOGRAPHIC: Business First Book of Lists Top Heating & Cooling Companies

In the 2011 Book of Lists published by Columbus Business First, Bruner topped the “Top Heating & Cooling Companies” chart. This is a distinction that we have earned several years running and we continue to aim to live up to the expectations this award sets. Our position is in no way secure, however, with such excellent competition in the central Ohio area.

INFOGRAPHIC: Top Heating & Cooling Companies

Looking for some HVAC tips from the top heating and cooling company in central Ohio? Check out our e-book containing 9 Tips to Keeping Your Mechanical Systems in Tip-Top Shape!

Contractors: Learn How to Boost Productivity and Lower Expenditures

“Companies that manage their labor and their inventory effectively are among the most profitable,” says Ruth King (@RuthKing) in HVACR Business Magazine. King used her wealth of knowledge and 25+ years of experience in the HVACR industry to share with HVACR Business readers how the contracting business can increase profits without increasing prices. The solution: productively manage your labor force.

Here are ten ways to do so:

  • Lock up your warehouse and parts room
  • Make sure that charges for nitrogen use, silver solder, vacuum pump (and the oil change after each use), reclaim units, and leak testing are included in your flat-rate pricing or added to the invoice
  • Add a charge of $0.50/pound for refrigerant disposal
  • Say thank you to your installers and service technicians by bringing them a soda or hot drink on the job
  • Create a sheet and have the customer sign off that they understand how to use a programmable thermostat
  • Use tickler files
  • Say, “It’s time for your prepaid maintenance check” instead of spring/fall tune up
  • Keep the second call of the day open
  • Use the camera in your phone or keep a digital camera in your truck
  • Track productivity

For further explanation of these guidelines, visit HVACRBusiness.com.