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Education and the Cloud


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.


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

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.

AHA Logo

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!


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.

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?

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.

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!


Alternative Energy and Its Impact on Infrastructure

Ohio’s alternative energy portfolio standard and the shale gas boom have helped to drive investment in Ohio’s clean energy infrastructure, creating job growth and investment opportunities.

Bruner, in partnership with OCCAEE, hosted an event where representatives from the alternative energy and power distribution sectors discussed their current and future development plans.  Topics included solar power, wind power, downstream natural gas applications and cogeneration.


Mark Gundelfinger, Manager, Alternative Energy Resources, AEP
Matt White, Legal Counsel, IGS Energy
Dave Dwyer, Project Engineer, Solar Planet
Monica Jensen, Vice President, Development, Windlab

conceptual recycling symbol

During the conversation it was very clear that Senate Bill 58 was top-of-mind. The bill calls for a revision of Ohio’s clean energy legislation.

On one side, the energy providers, AEP Ohio and IGS Energy, were proponents of the bill, as it would partly compensate the utility companies for power sales that they will lose due to the reduction mandate of 22% by 2025.

On the other side, the renewable providers, Solar Planet and WindLab, were opponents of Senate Bill 58. The State of Ohio regulates that half of renewable power must come from Ohio sources, making Ohio a desirable state for this industry. Senate Bill 58 would eliminate this part of Ohio’s clean energy laws and undercut renewable energy growth in Ohio.

Since the luncheon, Senate Bill 58 has been put on hold and will be revisited in 2014. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Senator Bill Seitz, has not been able to garner enough support to put the bill to a full chamber vote. Seitz responded by saying that he’s “just begun to fight,” so the dispute is far from over.

Black Friday: A Plumber’s Holiday?

Not only does Black Friday resonate in the minds of cost-conscious shoppers, but it’s the single busiest day of business for residential plumbers, according to Roto-Rooter.

Bruner Corporation would love to spend Black Friday with our clients, but in the best interest of your pipes, we thought we’d share some tidbits on how to keep them free and clear during the holiday weekend. Click the link below to view Roto-Rooter’s tips.

Avoid a Pipe Disaster!

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)