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Education and the Cloud

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There’s no doubt that cloud-based software packages are becoming more common and affordable. School districts can utilize the real-time data provided by the cloud to reduce business complexity, improve employee productivity, and create learning opportunities for students.

Recently, Harvard Business Review (HBR) released a study correlating the early adoption of new technologies with better business outcomes. According to HBR, business agility is the primary advantage of cloud based technology. The survey reported that:

  • Almost 75% of executives say the cloud will reduce business complexity
  • 61% of respondents say it will increase employee productivity
  • 33% say that the cloud creates a better delivery of internal resources
  • 31% report that it allows new ways for employees to work, connect, and collaborate

One example of increasing business agility can be seen in the facilities management arena. Bruner Corporation recently executed an energy conservation and renovation project with a local school district, Dublin City Schools. They chose to implement a cloud-based software, JadeTrack, to help them manage their utility data and consolidate that data to one centralized location.Keeping the data in the cloud maintained information security, yet also made the data more accessible to appropriate parties. This reduced business complexity by increasing transparency, the constant flow of data, and communication to multiple groups. Also, the facilities management team was able to leverage this tool to evaluate their new mechanical and lighting systems. The real-time data was more accurate and consistent, making them more productive.

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By using cloud based software your information is available with the tap of a finger—on your phone, tablet, laptop and home computer. Beyond convenience, this accessibility allows for unique educational opportunities. On the Dublin project, high school science students were able to use the data as part of their curriculum.

Students monitored a 512 gallon hot water tank powered by a solar panel on the school’s roof. The students were given access to the cloud and pulled data to support conclusions on energy savings vs. utility costs, as well as report on the school’s progress towards its energy savings goal.

Having a cloud-based software platform enabled Bruner Corporation and JadeTrack to easily provide current information to the students as needed. This project yielded an unexpected educational resource that students can use later in life, potentially when they buy their first home.

HBR states that organizations “need to be more adaptive and make innovation part of their culture. The whole innovation cycle—from generating new ideas to refining and implementing the best—has to be a continual process that taps into an ecosystem of employees, partners, customers, and suppliers.” Change is hard, but as cloud-based technology becomes more available and cost-effective it seems like a path worth wondering.

For more information about Bruner Corporation, JadeTrack, and how this cloud-based software might be of use in your district, please email info@brunercorp.com.

Continuing Education Vital to Team Chemistry

Placing a high value on continuing education not only improves your education, but also cultivates a strong professional network rooted in collaboration. All industries have specific designations to showcase professional credentials. For example, doctors have Ph.D, architects have AIA, educators have Ed.D and engineers have LEED. These letters not only indicate a specific wealth of knowledge, but also give insight into an individual’s values.

Designations indicate that the person is driven and motivated to learn new things. On any project it’s important to surround yourself with like-minded people that support the team effort. Team chemistry is integral to success, not to mention piece of mind.

In the energy services realm, solution providers have the CEM designation, which translates to Certified Energy Manager. This designation is accredited through the national Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and is a widely recognized energy management certification. “The CEM is being requested more and more by building owners,” said Stephanie Drenten, CEM.

Stephanie CEM

“The designation shows that you have an extensive knowledge of energy management and a comprehensive understanding of various types of systems.” Drenten received her CEM certification this year after being an Energy Manager in Training (EMIT) until she reached the required years of experience necessary to achieve the CEM.

Drenten explained that in our energy conscious society there are many professionals out there selling energy related projects, but they may not fully understand the ramifications of the improvements they suggest. The CEM provides energy professionals with an enhanced knowledge of a building’s infrastructure: the different types of systems in any given building, the functionality and intermingling of those systems, and where true energy costs are originating. It helps energy professionals continue to learn and grow in their field.

The CEM also helps energy professionals learn the nuances associated with various funding options. It’s no secret that energy conservation projects are expensive, but it helps that our federal and state governments have embraced the need for change. In May 2008, Ohio enacted clean energy legislation that mandates that utility giants reduce consumption by 22% by 2025. Because of this commitment to energy efficiency there are several funding options out there to help finance an energy project—not to mention ample rebate dollars available for the taking. CEMs are well versed on clean energy policy and pockets of funding, as well as ways to incorporate renewable energy into projects.

While continuing education is vital to success in all professional areas, it is critical when putting together a collaborative team. Constant learning and the expansion of your skills only makes you more efficient and effective. Sharing your challenges, learnings, and knowledge with others builds a powerful network rooted in collaboration—and that is the environment where the best projects thrive.

 

These HEARTS were made for WALKING!

For the 2nd year in a row, Bruner has teamed up with Elford to join over 30,000 people at Columbus Commons on the morning of Saturday, August 23rd to participate in the 2014 Heart Walk.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014
Columbus Commons, 55 E. Rich St.

8:30 a.m. Opening Ceremonies
9:00 a.m. Official Start of Heart Walk

Last year, Team Bruner walked in memory of Bobbi Newman, who suddenly passed away months before the walk. This year we’re extending that support to Elford, as they’ve recently lost Greg Keener, a member of the Elford family, to a sudden heart attack. Being so closely affected by heart disease, our team will take a stand against heart disease and help make this event a great success. This year Team Bruner walks in special memory of Bobbi Newman & Greg Keener and dedicates our 2014 walk to each and every Bruner or Elford employee who has been affected by heart disease.

The Heart Walk, the American Heart Association’s signature community event, is a fun, family event and a great team building opportunity where participants of all ages join in a noncompetitive 1- or 3-mile walk to generate passion for the cause and raise funds for lifesaving heart and stroke research. With over 20 of us representing Team Bruner at last year’s walk, we had a BLAST and surpassed our fundraising goal by raising over $4,000 to help the American Heart Association build a healthier community and put an end to our country’s No. 1 killer.

Team Bruner’s 2014 goal is to raise $5,000 and have 25 walkers join Elford on August 23rd! We hope you will get involved however you can by:

  • joining the team
  • making a donation
  • inviting friends and family to walk with us
  • sending a few emails to ask for a donation

Every little bit helps! All of Bruner’s fundraising efforts will feed into Elford’s team goal of raising $15,000.

Sign up today!

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2013 Bruner Team

Check out Bruner’s company page to join the race or make a donation today! We encourage you to invite family and friends to join as well! There is no registration fee for this heart healthy event, but if you can’t make it to the race, please consider supporting the Bruner Team by making a small donation. All you need to do is select “join team” next to our company name. Once you have registered, I encourage you to personalize your heart walk page, make a personal donation or reach out to friends and family for support.

Someone dies from a heart attack every 38 seconds and heart disease kills more people than the next 5 leading causes of death combined; together, we can all make a difference and fight these deadly diseases.

Savings Clients 2.5 GWH

Bruner Corporation has earned the prestigious second place award from AEP Ohio’s Energy Efficiency Program. The coveted energy program rewards companies that provide the most energy savings for their customers throughout the year in 2013. Bruner was in AEP’s top 10% of its solution provider network and recognized as a platinum solutions provider for earning their customers over 2.5 GWH of electricity savings last year. Bruner is a proud participant of this energy program provided by AEP Ohio, which provides cash incentives to help clients purchase and install energy efficient equipment. Incentives are available for common commercial and industrial measures including lighting, HVAC, motors and drives, refrigeration and food preparation and storage equipment.  AEP has saved 2280 GWH of electricity through their energy efficiency program since 2009, enough energy to run 190,000 homes for 10 years!

Much of Bruner’s success with AEP Ohio’s energy efficiency program is due, in large part, to a five year project with Dublin City Schools. Since 2009, Dublin City Schools has saved 8,504,257 kWh in electricity and earned $288,001 in incentives from AEP Ohio. This was done so by replacing inefficient lights and steam boilers, installing a multitude of controls (lighting, HVAC, vending, etc.) implementing a district-wide energy management system and much more.

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.

Bruner Achieves National Designation for Energy-Saving Excellence

ROCKVILLE, MD – The Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA) announced that Bruner has been awarded the MSCA GreenSTAR designation, which recognizes qualified contractors who have met stringent guidelines for offering energy-saving solutions to their customers. MSCA is the nation’s leading trade association for air conditioning, heating and refrigeration contractors with over 1,400 members across the United States and Canada.

MSCA GreenSTAR was created by MSCA to recognize mechanical service contractors who have developed the skills and expertise necessary to deliver energy-efficient, cost-effective indoor environmental solutions to their customers. MSCA has been recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its leadership and stewardship of sustainable practices in the HVACR industry.

According to Barbara Dolim, MSCA Executive Director, MSCA GreenSTAR helps MSCA members demonstrate their commitment to enhancing energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.  “By attaining MSCA GreenSTAR status, Bruner has demonstrated their dedication to environmental issues by becoming their customers’ true energy solution partner and promoting sustainability throughout their entire organization. We congratulate Bruner as a leader in sustainable service.”

“We’re very proud of our MSCA GreenSTAR status,” said Eric Kuhns, VP of Sales and Marketing, Energy Solutions for Bruner. “MSCA GreenSTAR provides our customers with the knowledge and satisfaction that they are working with a company that has been recognized nationally for our expertise and skills in providing energy and cost-saving products and services.”

For more information about the MSCA GreenSTAR, contact MSCA Executive Director Barbara Dolim at bdolim@mcaa.org, or 301-869-5800.

Meet Bruner’s Service Estimator Team!

Similar to our employee spotlight that we have each month, this month we will be highlighting two of Bruner’s service estimators – Lowell McElroy and Steve Price. Both Lowell and Steve estimate equipment repairs for the service department based on site visits, call-in business, and preventative maintenance or service call recommendations from a technician’s suggestions. They have also worked with engineers to help strategize for job preparation and execution. Let’s dig a little deeper in to each of their individual fun facts!

Lowell McElroy:

Lowell is going on his 14th year here at Bruner, and his favorite part of the job is that most days are different and he gets to meet and talk to new people. In his free time, he enjoys a little R&R, travel baseball, boating, and spending time with his family and friends. When it comes to food, he “likes it hot!”. Lowell cheers for the Steelers and his favorite season is fall. Surprisingly, his favorite vacation spot is home, but he also enjoys traveling to Tennessee and on occasion the beach.

Steve Price:

Steve has been with Bruner for 4 years, and his favorite part of the job is that it has allowed him to morph into many roles. Another aspect that he enjoys are the great co-workers that he gets to work with every day. Steve is currently enrolled as a full time student as well, working towards earning a degree in psychology. While he has been in customer service positions for half of his life, he can’t wait to get into psychology because it is something that has always been a dream of his. Steve’s favorite sports team is the Ohio State Buckeyes, and his favorite day of the week is Saturday. Lucky for him, his favorite holiday is just around the corner as it is Halloween. On a final note, Steve believes trust is an important value and is sure to instill this in is daughter as he watches her grow up.

The Inside Scoop on one of Bruner’s General Foremen: Kevin Hanson

Kevin takes a “whatever it takes” approach to his work here at Bruner, as he is challenged to complete many different types of projects. His favorite part of his job within the past 8 years has been designing plans, executing them, and ultimately using his problem solving skills. He has been in the plumbing and pipefitting industry for 22 years!

When he’s not at work, Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. They spend a lot of time traveling, camping, and tailgating for his favorite sports team – Ohio State. He also noted that his favorite vacation spot is Maui, Hawaii. A fun fact about him is that he has been a USN Search and Rescue Diver for four years! Surprisingly, Kevin’s favorite day of the week is Monday. I’m sure Kevin is getting excited for football season, as his favorite season is fall.

Employee Spotlight: Andrea Scott

Andrea Scott has worked with Bruner for a total of 9 years and her title is currently A/P Coordinator. In her position she is responsible for taking care of and managing all vendors, subcontractors, and employee expenses. Andrea’s favorite part of her job thus far is being involved with Bruner’s vendors and subcontractors because it is the exact opposite of being in direct contact with Bruner’s customers. However, she says she likes to treat Bruner’s vendors as though they are customers while trying to assist and maintain a positive relationship with them as much as possible.

Outside of work, Andrea likes to be creative with home projects and always has something she is working on. She loves a girl’s night out, but also enjoys spending time with her children. Andrea has two “babies”, Hannah who is 17 and is graduating high school this year, and Mark Allen who is 14 and is an awesome cross country/track runner. Her favorite sports team includes anything that her children are involved in.

Every summer Andrea and her girlfriends do a long girls weekend and visit wineries surrounding the Lake Erie area making it her favorite vacation spot, but her dream is to vacation in Paris. Her favorite food is a “fabulous filet mignon”, and her favorite day of the week is Saturday. She is currently in the process of purchasing her first home, and is very excited about it!

Welcome to the Bruner Blog!

Thank you for visiting the Bruner Corporation blog!

Here, you will be able to find a multitude of resources, including energy saving tips and industry news. Our blog will also provide us an opportunity to share with you a more in-depth view of our company. Check back frequently for employee profiles, community events, and project updates.

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