So Many Tools; So Little Time (Unless You Happen to Live in the Bay Area and are Looking for a Job Working with Them)

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The picture above is a panorama shot of the tool lending library at the Pacific Energy Center.  As I took the picture, I was literally thinking so many tools, so little time, wishing I could spend some of my day learning more about some of the hardware arrayed before me that I was not familiar with.  If you follow the blog you likely have heard me mention the lending library before and you can find a description and a link to their tool inventory on our Commissioning Resources web site. 

And if the picture causes you to think something like Wow, that would be a cool place to work, well, keep on reading.

The library currently has over 5,000 tools in it’s inventory, ranging from something as simple as a $15 diameter tape, which is a specialized tape measure that is applied to the circumference of a pipe but reads out in pipe diameter, to an $8,000 plus  FLUXUS F601 transient time ultrasonic flow meters, one of the devices that the tape helps you apply properly.  If you are a California public utility customer, you can borrow anything in their inventory free of charge, no matter if you are going to use one of the FLUXUS flow meters to optimize a 5,000 ton central chilled water plant or borrow a HOBO U12-012 RH/Temp/Light/External Input Datalogger to teach your kids or grandkids about wet bulb depression, as illustrated below.

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So, you can quickly see that the library is a wonderful resource, for someone in the California public utility service territory. 

But the truth is that it is a great resource for anybody wanting to learn about the tools and instruments associated with Building Science because their online inventory includes not only a listing of the instruments available, but also includes the replacement cost of the equipment, links to the manufacturer’s website, data, and software, and many times, application notes that fill you in on how to apply the device.

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As a result, I frequently point people all over the country to the site as a resource for learning about tools and making decisions about building their own tool inventory. 

But my real reason for putting up this post is to share information about an opportunity to get hands on with the inventory.  It came up as the result of the retirement of Bill Pottinger, formerly the coordinator for the library.  The job title is Energy Audit Equipment Specialist, and the successful applicant will work with Mary McDonald, who formerly held the position but has moved up to fill Bill’s former role. 

As a Energy Audit Equipment Specialist, you will support  the day to day operations of the lending library, include working with customers and professionals to provide energy and building measurement tools for energy efficiency, demand reduction and demand response projects in California.  You can download the full job description from the Tool Lending Library page on our commissioning resources website and apply for the position at this link.

So bottom line, if you live in the Bay Area and like tools and are looking for a way to break into the technical side of the commissioning industry, this could be a great opportunity.  Not only would you be meeting a steady stream of the people working in the industry, you would be getting paid to play with a vast array of the equipment and instrumentation they apply to improve building performance and efficiency.  And in doing that, you would be making a contribution to the process yourself, all of which would leave you feeling pretty good at the end of the day I think.

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David Sellers
Senior Engineer – Facility Dynamics Engineering
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