Employees Wanted

Appin is seeking several new employees on a full time, part time and casual basis. Skills in mechanical engineering are needed, specifically related to Control Systems and/or HVAC.


BACnet Success Stories
Central Permit Facility Libertyville, Illinois

Appin Associates were instrumental in the planning and implementation of the Lake County Central Permit Facility - a green building with virtually all building systems integrated into a common BACnet Internetwork.

Click here for a full description of this project by BACnet.

photo Grant Wichenko as teacherAppin offers a variety of courses designed for different levels of staff responsibility in the Facility Management area.  The purpose of these courses is to enable staff in their current positions to provide more efficient and cost effective services and to facilitate the movement of qualified staff into more responsible positions.

Our Introductory Course is the most basic. Taught with visual aids, overheads and actual equipment parts, it is intended to enable the students to identify easily the various pieces of HVAC equipment with which they may have to work.  It also gives them a preliminary understanding of the way this equipment works, the part it plays in the overall HVAC system and what is required for basic cleaning and maintenance.  While many employees are required to have a certain level of qualification, our experience has shown that they still need to learn to apply this in a practical way to the equipment they will be administering to in their work.

For students who have passed the Introductory Course, or where supervisors believe they do not need such a basic course, Appin offers a Mechanical Course that takes students to the next level in the functioning of an HVAC system.  Systems are explained in simple language with visual aids to enable the course participants to understand the way in which equipment functions as part of a whole building system or a zone of the building or providing service to a room only.  Students successfully completing this course should be able to diagnose simple HVAC problems and do some elementary “triage” to determine what level of service and/or maintenance assistance will be required to correct a problem.

Not all students are able to absorb all the offered information in one session. For those that need a “refresher” or a second session, Appin offers a Make-up Mechanical course.  This is often helpful when students use English as a second language.  It repeats the material provided in the Mechanical Course with additional time spent on the areas that have caused difficulties and with more time provided for one-on-one explanations.

For employees with the responsibility to write work orders, Appin offers a Work Order course.  This course can be designed to work with whatever Work Order system is used in a client’s facilities.  This is not just a writing course.  It re-caps the work from previous courses that demonstrates whether equipment services the building, a zone or a room.  It also goes over the material relating to diagnosis and triaging of problems.  It then provides instruction on how to effectively write a Work Order that reflects the true urgency of a problem and provides adequate information to bring the correct service providers to fix the problem.  For example, it is important to know if water dripping through a ceiling tile is caused by a roof leak or by condensation dripping off a pipe.  This course is taught using examples of work orders from the facility in which the students work in order to make it more real.  Appin requires access to a client’s Work Order system to deliver this course as it is customized using actual past Work Orders from the facilities in question.

Two courses are offered for more senior members of the Facilities Management team, a Condensing Boiler course and a Building Automation Systems (BAS) course.

The Condensing Boiler course is a half day course that describes the way to operate a condensing boiler in order to maximize energy savings in any building and minimize equipment maintenance.  It also describes the differences between condensing boilers and other types of heating equipment.  This course provides invaluable information on operation and maintenance that should enable employees to extend the life of equipment by operating it in a way that decreases the possibility for accidental damage.

The final course in the series relates to employees in facilities with Building Automation Systems.  It is a basic course in the operation of a BAS system.  This course requires the teaching space to be connected a HVAC BAS system.  Using the actual facility system and screen shots from other systems, it explains the graphics of various controls suppliers.  It also covers information on how the various suppliers identify different pieces of equipment, in addition to how to operate HVAC equipment through the BAS system to maximize energy savings while maintaining the comfort of building occupants.

Appin can deliver these courses customized to meet the requirements of the client. They can be taught in a client’s facility, using the actual equipment which students will be operating for demonstration purposes.  Alternatively, we can create “virtual” facilities, using photographs, floor plans, building operating manuals and BAS screen shots of the building in which students work.  These virtual facilities can be used repeatedly to teach the different levels of courses to employees in the same management system. They are particularly helpful for situations where staff may be moved around between buildings, such as in a School Division, as they enable students to look at their own system and others that they may have to work on at some future date.  Where Appin creates “virtual” facilities for courses, they can be provided to the client either as a laminated board for the maintenance or boiler room or electronically to assist staff in applying what they have learned in the courses.  These “virtual” boards are also particularly helpful for staff that are re-assigned to a new building in the facility or for those who operate as locums, moving from building to building as a part of their job description.

With the exception of the Condensing Boiler and BAS course, these are all one day courses. They involve writing a test during the last period of the course, generally a multiple choice test that does not rely too heavily on their writing ability. 

The Work Order test is slightly different from the others as it requires students to re-write some poorly written work orders, write new Work Orders to address a hypothetical problem in their own building and then to write New Work Orders to address hypothetical problems in another building that they may have to work on in the future.  Appin relies heavily on the visual aid of a “virtual” building for this part of the test.  Part of the score for this course is dependent on an improvement in actual work orders over the six months following the course.  Appin will follow the work of these students to assess the impact of the course on their output.  This requires sustained access to a client’s system for this period.

The Condensing Boiler course and the BAS course do not involve a test.

Tests and test scores are handled with privacy in mind and are delivered to the client in a manner that suits any collective agreements that may be in place.