Train-the-Trainer: Helping Staff & Occupants Get the Best Out of Their New Building

October 12, 2020

Commercial tenants and residents expect a new building or home to be comfortable, healthy, and efficient, but without a structured hand off, expectations sometimes go unmet. This hand off period, which occurs between late construction and early occupancy, is called 'Transition to Occupancy,' and it is often fraught with risks as building staff and occupants adapt to new, potentially unfamiliar equipment and systems.

As a sustainability consultant with a mission to integrate sustainable building expertise, thoughtful analysis, and a collaborative approach to catalyze positive outcomes, O'Brien360 facilitates this transition and provides building staff and residents with user-friendly resources to operate and care for their new building and the features that contribute to sustainability goals.

A major component of this transition is our Train-the-Trainer session, a one-hour (or longer) instruction for a multifamily property's leasing and maintenance staff. This training accompanies the materials O'Brien360 provides, including a Green Living Manual for residents, a One-Sheet overview for residents, and Tour Talking Points for the on-site staff. As with all our trainings, these sessions are interactive. We explore the documents directly and weave in stories and demonstrations to help the information stick. The documents highlight the green building features that contribute to LEED® or NGBS certification, offer tips and tricks for helping the residents use their new home efficiently, and provide general information about green building rating systems, their building's features, and green living practices.

Train-the-Trainer provides useful information that helps staff and residents understand the many green features of their building. The materials provided during training offer residents guidance on using the appliances and fixtures in their homes and educate them on the many green building features around the apartment. The materials also provide context-setting basics for residents – including where we source our water, how we produce our energy, and where our wastewater and solid waste go – relevant information for locals and newly-transplanted residents alike. It also contains tips for keeping the indoors as healthy as possible and making responsible purchasing and transportation choices. 

O’Brien360’s Train-the-Trainer instruction bridges a critical gap between construction and occupancy, improving the likelihood that a building performs as intended and that residents get the most out of their new green home.  It also ensures that the building staff is better positioned to serve residents and maintain the building.

Since the COVID stay at home order, O'Brien360 has been conducting Train-the-Trainer instruction virtually for the safety of our staff, clients, and partners. While performing these trainings remotely has presented some challenges, such as not being able to physically walk through a sample unit and practice the demonstrations, it has provided some positives such as more flexible scheduling.  Our project teams have adjusted well to this new normal, and we've had six months' experience to gear up and hone our online techniques to make the best of the current situation to the benefit of our team and clients.

Curious about Transition to Occupancy? Our current related services include:

  1. Develop or enhance
  • Current Facilities Requirements (CFR)
  • Operations and Maintenance (O&M) plans
  • Trainings and signage
  1. Set up resource tracking, including but not limited to Energy Star Portfolio Manager and the Arc platform
  2. Building walk-throughs to identify opportunities
  3. Technical assistance

And of course, if your property wasn't commissioned during construction, our team can assist with existing building assessment and determine what services make the most sense to meet your goals.


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