The Real Secret to Energy-Efficient Buildings? Operations & Maintenance Training

Over the lifespan of a building, operations and maintenance staff arguably have the biggest impact on system performance and energy efficiency. With the right training, staff can keep a building running as it was designed to run and “create the change” to reduce energy usage, reduce repairs, and upgrade vs. replace equipment.

So how do project teams create O&M training programs that achieve all this?

In this episode, producer and guest host Dylan Martello chats with Luis Aragon and Heather Nolen—two O&M training experts at SWA—about balancing in-person and digital education, accounting for every learning style, breaking down language barriers, sustaining the training for the long term, and much more.

Episode Guests

Luis Aragon

Luis Aragon, Senior Building Systems Engineer on SWA’s Building Operations, Decarbonization, and Efficiency (BODE) team

Luis focuses on Passive Building commissioning as well as commissioning for energy code compliance. Luis also provides training for multifamily building operators on, ventilation, air sealing, hydronic heating and domestic hot water distribution.


Heather Nolen

Heather Nolen, Building Systems Director on SWA’s Building Operations, Decarbonization, and Efficiency (BODE) team

Heather focuses on using data to design long-term capital plans for energy conservation. She works with multifamily property owners and managers to evaluate, manage, and improve building energy consumption across their portfolios.


Dylan Martello

Host: Dylan Martello, Senior Building Systems Consultant on SWA’s Passive House team

Dylan has experience working on high-performance projects ranges from Passive House consulting on large scale multifamily, commercial, institutional projects; net zero consulting on mid-rise multifamily; and envelope commissioning on mid-sized commercial projects.


Episode Resources

Episode Sponsor

The Passive House Network Conference 2023. Dtream Big. Passive House is the Platform.

The Passive House Network Conference 2023

September 28 and October 4+5

The Passive House Network Conference 2023 is a hybrid event for builders, designers, and community members to connect, learn, and plan for a decarbonized future. Over 2.5 days and thirty sessions, attendees will reflect on how Passive House bolsters climate resiliency, environmental justice, and everyday health. Share your ambitions. Bridge the connections. Register now, join the conversation, and start building your Passive House Network today:

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About Buildings and Beyond

Buildings and Beyond is the podcast that explores how we can create a more sustainable built environment by focusing on efficiency, accessibility, and health.

Buildings and Beyond is a production of Steven Winter Associates. We provide energy, green building, and accessibility consulting services to improve the built environment. For more information, visit

Hosts: Robb Aldrich | Kelly Westby

Production Team: Heather Breslin | Alex Mirabile | Dylan Martello | Tricia Carr

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