Overview

Continued and rapid construction is adding to the number of buildings in the GTA every day. Building design is increasingly focused on intelligent, energy efficient and high performance technologies that improve energy performance and reduce building operating costs. Optimizing building performance requires an understanding of how to successfully integrate independent systems.

Seneca's Building Environmental Systems programs are designed to train technicians in the operation of today's complex buildings. These programs focus on the concept that "buildings are systems", in which heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, ventilation, electrical power, lighting, water and air supply are not isolated, but connected and interdependent.

Students will gain knowledge and understanding of how all systems function in commercial, office, institutional and residential buildings, and how they can be operated and maintained more efficiently.

Three certificates are offered:

  1. Building Environmental Systems Operator Class II is the entry level credential for a career in Commercial, Office, and residential buildings.
  2. Building Environmental Systems Operator Class I equips graduates to operate larger institutional buildings.
  3. Building Environmental Systems Facility Manager prepares graduates to become supervisors of building operations staff.

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Accelerated Stream for Internationally Trained Professionals

Information Session

New students are invited to attend an information session.

Career Opportunities

Building Operators are technicians who oversee building health and play a strategic role in increasing the efficiency of building operations. They are not necessarily experts with respect to each technology or system, but must have an understanding and level of competency in all areas, including: Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, Boilers, Electrical, and Mechanical Systems.

Class II Building Operators perform minor, routine and preventative maintenance and repairs, perform and log building checks and test environmental or safety and security systems. They often report problems and recommend changes to improve efficiency, reduce waste and operation costs or comply with environmental, building or safety codes. They must be aware of the requirements of tenants, and act on tenant requests for things like air quality. Some may be involved in general property and grounds maintenance.

Virtually all buildings outside of single family residences require some type of building operator, such as condominiums, multi-story residential towers, multi-story office complexes, strip malls, and other commercial buildings

Sample job titles:

  • Building Operator
  • Building Systems Operator
  • Building Maintenance Worker
  • Building Systems Technician

Filter Classes: In Class     Online     Correspondence     Hybrid     Availability   


Curriculum

BES Operator Class II (7 Courses)

BES700
Building Systems: Practical Overview
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

Preferably Post-Secondary diploma but not mandatory or mature student status (19 years of age or older)

This practical course is designed to offer an overview of building systems, enabling students to relate to the operation of a building in a safe, energy efficient and environmentally conscious manner.




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BES701
Heating
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

BES700 is recommended but not required

The Heating course of the Building Environmental Systems program is designed to prepare students to operate heating systems in buildings in a safe, energy efficient, and environmentally conscious manner.
Access to a computer with internet connection is required to complete this course by correspondence.




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BES702
Air Conditioning
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

BES700 is recommended but not required

The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration course is designed to prepare students to operate air-conditioning and refrigeration systems in buildings in a safe, energy efficient, economical and environmentally conscious manner.
Access to a computer with internet connection is required to complete this course by correspondence.




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BES703
Air Handling
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

BES700 is recommended but not required

The Air Handling course (incorporating waste management) is designed to prepare students to operate air handling systems in a safe, energy efficient, and environmentally conscious manner as well as to manage waste in a safe, efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly manner.
Access to a computer with internet connection is required to complete this course by correspondence.




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BES704
Electrical
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

BES700 is recommended but not required

Covers the design, operation and maintenance of electrical systems in buildings in a safe, energy efficient, economical and environmentally responsible manner.




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BES705
Controls
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

BES700 is recommended but not required

This course covers the key concepts of commercial building pneumatic HVAC controls.




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BES706
Water Treatment
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

BES700 is recommended but not required

This course covers the key concepts of the field of water treatment as applied to the protection and operation of building systems to provide the best use of energy for conservation and safety practices.




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Professional Development Courses

BES101
Building Environmental Systems Practical Skills
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

BES700, BES701, BES702, BES703, BES704, BES705, BES706

This course provides hands-on exposure to equipment and systems used in the field of Building Operations. Students will be prepared to use diagnostic and troubleshooting skills in the work environment. Tours of Seneca College building systems and facilities will be included so that participants better understand the breadth of the field of Building Environmental Systems.




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Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students are able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of all the systems and system components which make up the operation of a building
  • Discuss the design, components, purpose and operation of each of the following building systems: heating, air conditioning, air handling, electrical, HVAC controls and water treatment
  • Operate each system in a safe, comfortable, energy efficient and environmentally conscious manner
    • Manage waste
    • Work safely and protect the safety of building occupants
    • Perform calculations to achieve a desired outcome for a specific building system
    • Use a physchrometric chart
    • Identify factors which contribute to building safety, comfort and energy efficiency
    • Interpret and analyze charts and graphs commonly used in building operations
    • Troubleshoot and maintain building systems

Accelerated Stream

Are you new to Canada? Do you have an international education?

If so, learn more about the BES Operator Class II accelerated stream:

  • A Seneca College certificate and BES Operator Class II designation in only 6 Months
  • Bursaries and tuition support based on financial need that may cover up to 100 percent of tuition and textbook costs
  • One-on-one support from employment consultants and job developers
  • Access to Seneca's robust employer network
  • Targeted training in job search, intercultural communications, and self-marketing

Credit for Prior Learning

Prior Learning Assessment

Earn college credits for what you already know!
Prior Learning Assessment is a method of assessing and recognizing learning that is equal to college level learning, but has been gained outside a traditional classroom (through work experience, volunteering, outside study, etc.). If you can prove that the knowledge you have gained meets the outcomes of a Seneca course, then credit will be awarded.

How does the PLA process work?
Prior Learning is demonstrated through a "challenge" process. The process measures learning through a variety of methods which may include tests, portfolio assessment, interviews, demonstrations, essays, and work samples. The method used will be determined in consultation with a Program Coordinator.
For more information and to determine if you are eligible for PLA, please call the Program Coordinator.

The process may take from 6 to 8 weeks.

Note: Not all courses can be challenged. For more information go to PLA website or contact your Program Coordinator.

Transfer Credit (Advanced Standing)

Many students who enter Seneca College will have earned academic credits in post-secondary educational institutions which they may be able to apply toward completion of a Seneca College program.

Requests for Transfer Credit must be for a specific course and must be accompanied by an official transcript and course outline. A minimum grade of "C" (60 percent) is generally required for a course to be considered for Transfer Credit.

Download a Transfer Credit Request form. An official copy of your transcript and applicable detailed course outlines should be attached and submitted. Please note it may take 4 to 6 weeks for a Transfer Credit decision.

More Information

Please visit the Degree and Credit Transfer Office.

Graduation/Convocation

When you meet all program requirements and become eligible for a certificate, diploma, or degree, you must inform the Registrar by completing a Graduation Application form and paying the graduation and alumni fee. Certificates, diplomas, and applied degrees are issued twice a year in the Fall (October) and Spring (June).

For further information including deadlines and fees, please visit the  Convocation website or contact the Convocation Office at 416-491-5050 ext. 77461.

Methods of Delivery

Traditional Classroom Delivery:
Classroom instruction includes both theory and practice in a multi-skills approach. Delivery methods include use of up-to-date results-oriented print materials and case studies. This comprehensive energy efficiency training program for building operators and technicians is available for individual registration or institutional partnering.

Correspondence Delivery:
This method of independent study provides you with materials to learn on your own and contact information of an instructor who can assist with questions you may have. For further information about Correspondence learning options, call The Centre for Flexible Learning at 416-491-5050 x24140.

Online:
As a supplement to the correspondence materials which are shipped to you, this course involves delivery through the internet. This could include the use of online materials, group discussions and consultation with your instructor via email. Students will be responsible for completing all online activities as well as working through textbook questions, as required.

IFTAC Certification

To apply for IFTAC certification, students need to fill out the application form. and mail to:

Seneca College
Energy Training Office
1750 Finch Ave. East
Toronto, On
M2J 2X5

Program Contacts

Cherry Langlois
Program Assistant
Cherry.Langlois@senecacollege.ca
416-491-5050 ext.22523


Desmond Duke
Part-time Program Coordinator
Desmond.Duke@senecacollege.ca
416-491-5050 ext.26134


Information Session

New students are invited to attend an information session.