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Publications mail agreement #40934510 Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | Fall 2014 In this issue: In the footsteps of a leader: ELIS Leadership Program makes its mark in the education sector Keeping ahead of the curve: E.D. Feehan Catholic High School undergoes a modernization The do’s and don’ts of educational social media Taking it to the web:

The Educational Business Administrator magazine

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The Educational Business Administrator magazine is the official publication of the Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials (SASBO). This issue features social media procedures in schools, a preview of the LEADS conference, and so much more.

Text of The Educational Business Administrator magazine

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    Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | Fall 2014

    In this issue:In the footsteps of a leader: ELIS Leadership Program makes its mark in the education sector

    Keeping ahead of the curve: E.D. Feehan Catholic High School undergoes a modernization

    The dos and donts of educational social media

    Taking it to the web:

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  • January 26, 2015 at 8:00 am - January 30, 2015 at 5:00 pmand June 3-4, 2015 at 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.

    This program consists of two segments one in January 2015 and the final two days are in June 2015.

    The Education Leadership Institute of Saskatchewan (ELIS) is an initiative of the Centre for Continuing Education, University of Regina in partnership with SASBO and the Ministry of Education.

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    Copyright 2014. Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the publisher.

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    table of contents

    Message from the Minister of Education, the Honourable Don Morgan, Q.C. ......................................................... 6

    Message from the executive director of SASBO, Philip Benson ............................................................7

    To infinity and beyond: SASBO member profile on Dean Biesenthal ........................................................ 8

    All in a days work: SASBO member profile on Ryan Bruce................................................................. 9

    In the footsteps of a leader: ELIS Leadership Program making its mark in the educational sector ..........................10

    Navigating our future sharing the vision .........................................12

    Working together to improve outcomes for students.........................13

    Keeping ahead of the curve: E.D. Feehan Catholic High School ......14

    Taking it to the web: The dos and donts of educational social media ........................................................16

    Saskatchewans own pathway to the stars: DIWC ...............................18

    Reliable Controls leverages BACnet capabilities in three-in-one product .....................................................21

    High-efficiency DHW in schools: IBC Boiler .....................................24

    Energy performance contracting: Johnson Controls .........................27

    Modus Building modular excellence!................................................32

  • Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com6

    On behalf of the Government of Saskatch-ewan, I would like to thank you for your dedication and commitment as leaders in creating a learning environment that

    supports Saskatchewan students to reach their full po-tential.

    The return to school marked a new beginning for our sector, as many of you are aware for the first time, all 28 school divisions in our province entered the 2014-15 school year as one team; unified in vision and focus through the Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) to better meet the needs of students.

    Great work is already underway on the priorities for this year: the reading improvement strategy, and the Following Their Voices First Nations and Mtis student achievement initiative. Programs with proven results like Help Me Tell My Story and Help Me Talk About Math are being expanded. As well, a number of First Nations schools are partnering with school divi-sions through Invitational Shared Services agreements to provide the same supports for all students regardless of where they go to school.

    Our Student First advisors have also recently handed over their findings from the Student First engagements to the ministry and the provincial leadership team so we can use what theyve learned to inform our work moving forward and continue supporting student success.

    I know each sector partner, including SASBO, is creating their own strategic plan that will feed into the priorities identified in the larger sector plan, and its en-couraging to see us all working together to meet the tar-gets in Saskatchewans Plan for Growth and ensure we continue to put the student first.

    As Minister of Education, Ive seen the great work already being done by teachers and administrators in our province and I look forward to working together to build on those successes and focus on what matters most the student.

    Don Morgan, Q.C.Minister of Education

    The Honourable Don Morgan, Q.C.

    message from the minister of education

  • Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2014 7

    message from the executive director of sasbo

    Philip Benson

    I would like to welcome you all back to the 2014/15 school year. I sincerely hope that your summer va-cations were relaxing and you found time to spend with family and friends. As you read through this

    issues stories, you will find an article profiling the Edu-cational Leadership Institute of Saskatchewan. It is hoped that each of you in receipt of this magazine and have not taken the course will give it due consideration as it is a great learning and succession planning opportunity.

    Our association is quickly becoming a well-respected partner of education in this province. This is due in part to the expertise many of you have provided when acting on the various working committees, whether they are at the school board association or ministry level. Since the province has undertaken the new Education Sector Stra-tegic Plan (ESSP), the Provincial Leadership Team (PLT) has worked hard to develop A-3s that are meaningful, attainable and relevant to all working in the educational environment. Our executive has also embarked on a new strategic sector plan, and with the help of the members, will align our plan with that of the province. Our new SASBO Sector Plan, once implemented, will provide the evidence that our membership is engaged and have the

    expertise necessary to support the PLT in developing and successfully implementing the new ESSP.

    Another key development, which will be of great value and offer SASBO and its members additional visibility in the educational sector, will be participating in the upcom-ing joint conference being held in November 2014. This will be the first time that school board members, direc-tors, learning superintendents and employees, from what has traditionally become known as the business side of school division operations, will be at one event all to-gether. The conference will provide the opportunity for all involved in school division operations to listen to ex-ceptional speakers, discuss educational issues, share best practices, and emphasize to the students, parents and governments of this province that we are all in when it comes to creating a successful educational environment where all students in this province can achieve success.

    So, as you read this message and glance through the ar-ticles, please give serious consideration to attending ELIS and the upcoming joint SSBA/LEADS/SASBO educa-tional conference. I am sure both will provide great value to you and your school division.

    Thanks for making SASBO your association of choice. All the best for the forthcoming school year.

  • Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com8

    sasbo executive member Profiles

    By Jillian Mitchell

    Dean Biesenthals life motto is two-fold: make a personal investment in the big picture, and say no to fear.I am still learning, creating, reflecting

    and refining each day, says Biesenthal, su-perintendent of human resources, North East School Division (NESD). But, if you want people to make a personal invest-ment in the big picture, it must start with meaningful conversations, honest discus-sions about a shared vision everyone can understand, refine and find their personal connection to. This is when people dis-cover newfound courage and feel moti-vated to act.

    Part of the vision and admittedly, the hardest part is getting over the fear of being wrong. There are many paths to success; not just one. Realizing that frees you to move forward and get things done in the best way that you can, he adds. Once you start executing and realizing that you can make reasonable decisions that lead to successful outcomes, you gain the confidence to keep going.

    Biesenthals own path to success was fostered by his passion for education. Already in his career, the University of Regina business administration graduate has successfully completed the require-ments for the Canadian Management Professional (CMP) designation, the Reg-istered Professional Recruiter (RPR) des-ignation, the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation, and a masters degree in Educational Adminis-tration (M. Ed).

    For approximately 15 years, he has been employed in the human resources field with direct experience in public service, the cooperative sector, and for the past nine years in Saskatchewans K-12 educa-tion sector. With a small, but mighty staff complement of four, Biesenthal oversees the payroll human resources functions for the division. His current role in the NESD is one that keeps him on his toes.

    I never have the same day twice, he says. One minute I could be helping an educational assistant enter a leave on AESOP , and in the next hour, facilitat-ing a personality profiling assessment to a school staff.

    Interestingly, Biesenthal has the Sas-katchewan Association of School Busi-ness Officials (SASBO) to thank for intro-ducing him to his wife Tanya, at the time employed with Chinook School Division. The couple met in 2010, after Biesenthal joined the association. It wasnt until the SASBO spring conference of 2011 that the romance blossomed.

    At [the] spring conference of 2012, Tanya and I got engaged, and the rest is history. So I guess in the end, Tanya and I have SASBO to thank for breaking down another silo in education, he chuckles.

    Since his induction into SASBO, Bie-senthal has become increasingly involved with facets such as the Teacher Locally Determined Terms and Conditions Com-mittee (LDTC), the Educational Leader-ship Institute of Saskatchewan (ELIS) ad-visory committee, and most recently, the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) compensation data warehouse initiative, to name a few.

    In addition, since the inception of the HR/Payroll functional group, he has oc-cupied the position of deputy director; in 2013 he accepted the position of director for the SASBO group.

    Naturally, his involvement in SASBO speaks to his lifes motto. Our sector is infamous for creating silos vertically and horizontally throughout, he says. SAS-BOs transformation to the functional group model and its provincial breadth breaks down these silos, develops com-munication channels for members to understand what is impacting their work, and creates avenues to connect across all functional groups.

    Biesenthal is very proud of his depart-ment. Specifically, he boasts of the ex-cellent teamwork displayed through the NESD HR/Payroll department restruc-turing of 2012 that bridged two locations situated an hours drive apart. Although restructuring happens regularly in school divisions, I am particularly proud of the culture and team we have built together, he says. The success I feel is because of the team that works with me and supports the work we accomplish every day.

    1 AESOP is a substitute placement and absence

    management system used in the educational


    To infinity and beyondSASBO member profile on Dean Biesenthal

  • Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2014 9

    Over 4,800 students are transported to and from school each day in the Sas-katchewan Rivers Public

    School Division (SRPSD) No. 119. At the helm of this operation ensuring the di-visions fleet of 155 school buses, 15 pas-senger vans, and various other division vehicles are well maintained is Ryan Bruce.

    Busing thousands of kids to and from thousands of different points, with doz-ens of transfer points affecting hundreds of kids, leaves little room for error, says Bruce, who has been with the division since 2010 as manager of transportation services. When I go home at night, I feel successful. Knowing that my bus driv-ers have done another exceptional job of ensuring the childrens safety is a feeling most people dont get to experience. I try to celebrate the little successes SRPSD has every day.

    Many experiences served to shape

    Bruces positive outlook, including sever-al years in the customer service sector (at one time, he owned two Dollar Stores), and he implements these skills daily at his current position with SRPSD.

    Someone somewhere has probably said this more eloquently, but here goes: treat everyone fairly, value your staff s in-put and well-being, and try to have them discover solutions themselves, he says of his philosophy. If I follow these rules I find that at the end of the day everyone has learned something and is more suc-cessful. Oh, and happy wife, happy life.

    SASBO has been an integral part of Bruces life for the last four years. In the short time hes been involved, he has earned his place as deputy director of the Transportation Functional Group in 2013, and finally director in 2014.

    I felt SASBO would allow me the op-portunity to learn from those smarter than me and its paid off, says Bruce, citing the roundtable discussions as a ma-jor association perk. The support and advice I receive from them is incredible. I know that if a challenging situation has

    me stumped, someone in the organiza-tion will have almost certainly already faced it and come out on top.

    For Bruce, SASBO fills an invaluable in-dustry need, providing a voice for indus-try. We can put our expertise to good use when conversations shaping the future of student transportation in Saskatchewan are taking place, he adds.

    In 2014, Bruce took his turn as chair-man of the Canadian Pupil Transporta-tion Convention planning committee. He cites this years event one that welcomed approximately 200 attendees from all over North America as a great success.

    Outside of work, Bruce is a self-pro-fessed family man. Together, he and his unbelievably supportive wife Jodi have two children a 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter. The kids, he admits, keep the couple busy. Swimming lessons, music lessons, hockey keeps us hopping most weeks, he shares. Never-ending renovations around the house, yard, and cabin seem to fill up the days pretty quickly as well.

    By Jillian Mitchell

    sasbo executive member Profiles

    All in a days workSASBO member profile on Ryan Bruce


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  • Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com10

    elis leadershiP Program

    What constitutes an effec-tive leader? According to Laura Soparlo, mas-ter facilitator of the Ed-

    ucation Leadership Institute of Saskatch-ewan (ELIS), the answer is threefold.

    An effective leader is a role model, champion, and a coach all at the same time, Soparlo says. Leadership is about engaging with others in a way that moti-vates and inspires them to do things dif-ferently. It is a way of being that exudes passion, integrity and a sense of vulner-ability which fuels continuous improve-ment in oneself and others.

    The Education Leadership Institute of Saskatchewan (ELIS) is Canadas first leadership program in the educational administrative sector. Modeled after the provinces Health Leadership Institute (SIHL), ELIS was founded by the Univer-sity of Regina, Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials (SASBO), and the Ministry of Education.

    A unique and powerful learning op-portunity, participants in the program can gain mastery of leadership competen-cies and confidence through the develop-ment of core skills and supervised coach-ing practice that are aligned with industry standards. Based on contemporary lead-ership theory within an education con-text, the curriculum is designed to devel-op skills and competencies of leadership in six core areas: Life Balance & Personal Development, Visioning & Planning, Conflict & Collaboration, Policy & Poli-

    tics, System Thinking, Community De-velopment, and Cultural Awareness.

    Distance education is the foundation of the five-month program, though the pro-gram includes two in-person gatherings a five-day retreat in January and a two-day retreat in June. At the retreats, partici-pants will put what theyve learned to the test through group project presentations and personal leadership challenges, and will be exposed to interactive discussion panels and teleconferences/webinars in-volving discussions with leaders and con-tent experts.

    To date, a total of 34 individuals have completed the ELIS program. As SASBOs executive director Phil Benson reports, of the 34 individuals, two have already re-ceived promotions within their organiza-tion and another has been chosen to pilot

    a new project in their division.We believe this is the succession plan-

    ning tool that will allow school divisions that employ individuals who have the skills, but perhaps not the confidence to move ahead to higher roles within the division, thus keeping the current culture and corporate memory in the school divi-sion, says Benson.

    The University of Reginas Career and Professional Development coordinators echo Bensons sentiments.

    The University of Regina strives to be a benchmark of excellence for career and professional development courses, says a spokesperson at the universitys Centre for Continuing Education, and to de-liver exceptional courses by building on the strengths and collaborating with the resources of the community to meet the

    In the footsteps of a leader

    By Jillian Mitchell

    ELIS Leadership Program making its mark in the educational sector

  • Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2014 11

    adult learners evolving career needs.Year three of the ELIS program will

    continue to build upon its successes to date. Soparlo confirms that ELIS will con-tinue to modify and improve upon the

    programs agenda based on the feedback from the participants each year.

    This year we are continuing to engage more participants from the entire educa-tion sector to participate in the program,

    both the administrative and academic components, she says. In addition, we will focus the group projects around the priorities arising out of the education sys-tem provincial strategic plan.

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    Unsure if the ELIS program is for you? Take a look at some of the feedback given by participants.

    The ELIS training program was fantastic. When I applied to attend, I wasnt completely sure that this was going to be the right thing for me, but it turned out to be exactly the right thing. The leadership competency focus was powerful for me, as it created an opportunity to self-reflect with a different lens and make some decisions that could be incorporated in my role. This is an ongoing process that I have adopted because of the leadership program. Being able to attend ELIS was a privilege for me and one that I will be forever grateful for.

    Danielle J. Sun West School Division

    I completed the ELIS Program in June 2014 and to say it was life changing is an understatement. A colleague of mine had participated in the program previously and said it changed her life, so I was definitely excited to participate.

    I found the presentations to be engaging and interactive. I learned what my strongest colour was and how to work with people who are different colours. It was enlightening and I now understand myself and others better, not only in the workplace, but in my personal interactions as well.

    The personal project I chose was to work on listening to oth-ers. My coach Herman is exceptional at this, and he and the mentor I chose taught me several practices that Ive now con-sciously implemented into my daily work and personal life.

    Our group project was also fantastic. There were many dif-ferent personalities in the group, so it was great to network, learn and gather perspective from those people and how they work in their colour. We were all from different school di-visions, so our meetings were conducted weekly online. Our project involved creating a website that would engage and ex-plain the new Education Sector Strategic Plan to various stake-holders in the province and divisions. It was met with great enthusiasm by those who attended our closeout presentation, and weve been asked to present it to other groups around the province.

    While it is several days out of the office, the work and experi-ences that happen with ELIS are life changing and invaluable. I would highly recommend it to anyone who works in education.

    Thank you for the opportunity.

    Roxan Foursha, communications officerSun West School Division

  • Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com12

    saskatchewan school boards association

    Navigating our future sharing the vision

    The Saskatchewan Association of School Business Offi-cials (SASBO) is a valued and important partner in edu-cation in Saskatchewan.As the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) works to achieve the objectives identified in the associa-tions Vision 2025 strategic plan, the membership of SASBO will continue to be called upon to inform and support boards of edu-cation.

    The SSBA plan is focused on several strategic themes, includ-ing Alignment at All Levels which calls for shared, collaborative plans and resources. In short, this theme is about sharing infor-mation and strengthening partnerships.

    One concrete example of such inter-organizational partner-ship and sharing in action is the first-ever joint conference of the SSBA, SASBO and LEADS (League of Educational Administra-tors, Directors and Superintendents) to be held in Saskatoon in November 2014. All three organizations have contributed to the development of this conference. According to SSBA president Ja-net Foord, When we first entered into discussions with SASBO and LEADS about the potential of such a joint conference, it seemed like an impossible feat. Now, two years later, the confer-ence is just around the corner.

    The concept of a joint conference comprised of the member-ship of SASBO, LEADS, and the SSBA makes a lot of sense. A special relationship exists among our organizations and a com-mon thread binds us all together the students of Saskatchewan. Thats why the theme for this conference is so fitting: Navigating our FutureSharing the Vision.

    Locally elected school board members across the province are unwavering in their commitment to ensuring that all students, no matter where they live in this province or their personal circum-

    stances, have the resources and supports they need to succeed. Today, more than ever, it really does take a village to raise and to educate a child. The contributions and dedication of all members of the school division team are critical to the achievement and well-being of Saskatchewan students. The SSBA values and ap-preciates the work of all SASBO members and looks forward to Navigating our Future together.

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  • Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2014 13


    Navigating our future Working together

    Ten years ago, if we were to be asked to envision a Sas-katchewan of 2014, very few of us would have predict-ed the shift and growth in population, along with the diversity of students we see today. In 2006, my school

    division projected the 2014 enrolment to be under 18,000 stu-dents. Currently, we are at 22,000 students. Our province is evolv-ing in a way which we have not seen. How are school divisions responding? HiringmoreEnglishasanadditionallanguageteachers; Supportingteachers indeveloping lessonswhichaddress the

    increased diversity of students; Reachingouttoexternalagenciestobuildamorecollaborate

    approach in supporting students and families; and Buildingmoreschools.

    Further to this, the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with all 28 school divisions, has launched the Education Sector Strategic Plan. Divisions have created strategic plans which align with the provincial plan. The intent is to create focus across the sector with six key strategies, which will positively impact stu-dent success in the years to come.

    Indeed, the pace of change is increasing. The question is, how do we respond? How do we respond to ensure our students see the benefit of our work? How do we help our students become more literate? Become better at math? Become more confident learners? Transition into a career or post-secondary after high school?

    Collaboration! No one group of people, whether its the League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents of Saskatchewan (LEADS) members, SASBO members, STF members, CUPE members, or any other association, can do this work alone. We need to work together! A perfect example is the upcoming joint conference being held in November. Members from SASBO, LEADS and the SSBA have been planning a joint conference called Navigating our Future Sharing the Vision. As a member of the planning committee, I have been impressed with the desire of the committee to provide an opportunity for the members of each organization to share thoughts and perspec-tives, to learn side by side.

    At our August Short Course a few months ago, LEADS mem-

    bers were provided an opportunity to network with other agen-cies, such as the Ministry of Social Services and the Ministry of Justice. It was an excellent opportunity to share common experi-ences and highlight best practices with supporting students and their families.

    LEADS members are proud to work alongside our SASBO colleagues. The ongoing collaboration and networking is more important than ever. We look forward to continued successes in the future.

    Mike Walter is the LEADS president and deputy director of school services at Regina Public Schools.

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  • Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com14

    e.d. feehan catholic high school

    For several decades, E.D. Fee-han Catholic High School was the only Catholic high school in Saskatoons west side. At its

    busiest time, it was home to 1,400 stu-dents and mobile classrooms were used to accommodate the high student popu-lation. Bethlehem High School opened its doors in 2007, easing the enrollment numbers at E.D. Feehan Catholic High School.

    We have about 450 students now, which is considered a small school for Saskatoon, says principal Brandon Stroh. I think these are glory days for the school. We have the opportunity now to work more closely with 450 students. Our

    students have a sense of belonging.That sense of belonging is important to

    them. In fact, the school has a motto, I belong to the Feehan family and who I am makes a difference. Stroh says that hav-ing a smaller student population helps the faculty, staff and students to build stron-ger relationships and increases student engagement.

    Community and engagement are hot-button words for E.D. Feehan Catho-lic High School too. The school is work-ing hard to meet the education goals put out by their school district, Greater Sas-katoon Catholic Schools (GSCS), and the province of Saskatchewan.

    With 15,000 students, Greater Saska-toon Catholic Schools (GSCS) is the larg-

    est Catholic school division in Saskatch-ewan. GSCS and their 44 schools employ more than 1,900 full- and part-time teaching, service and support staff in Sas-katoon and surrounding rural districts. When E.D. Feehan Catholic High School first opened its doors in 1967, it was the first high school in the school division.

    Were working towards some of the same goals that other schools are, which is to improve graduation and retention rates, increase literacy rates, increase the graduation rates of our First Nations and Metis students, and to increase student engagement, says Stroh. I think student engagement is the first step, and the rest will follow.

    E.D. Feedhan Catholic High School office.

    Keeping ahead of the curve

    By Ashlee Espenell

  • Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2014 15

    Opening new doorsThe school has made several changes

    in the last couple of years to help deliver a better learning experience to their stu-dents. Amongst those changes is a multi-million dollar renovation that trans-formed the school from its original layout to a more modernized design.

    When you walk into the school you come into a new, open common area with our administrative offices. Where our students congregate now is also where our staff congregates, says Stroh. It gives everyone a feeling of family and connec-tivity. When you walk in you know that this place is a community that shares and cares together.

    The renovations had a $6.1 million price tag, $4.4 million of which was con-tributed by the Government of Saskatch-ewan, and were completed in November 2013. Other changes included the addi-tion of a new construction garage and a 45-space child care centre, as well as up-grades to the schools existing computer lab and practical arts areas. The sprinkler system received an upgrade as well, and both the library and the cafeteria were re-located and refreshed.

    The library is very open now and its a place where students actually want to go. It has high ceilings and windows,

    says Stroh. It feels welcoming and gives students a place to spend time working independently while still being part of a collective group.

    E.D. Feehan Catholic High School has a diverse student population, with 40 per cent of their students of First Nations an-cestry, and a high percentage of students speaking English as a second language. Stroh says that since the renovations, the school has been more able to host com-munity events, engage with community groups, and celebrate the diversity of their rapidly growing city.

    Engagement through technologyEvery classroom in the school has a

    smart board. They have a PC lab, a Mac

    lab, and computers in the library. But engaging students through the use of technology isnt just for computer labs. The school believes its important to give students the opportunity to see how tech-nology can be used day-to-day as a work tool whether that be learning to build a website for an aboriginal entrepreneur course, or learning about industry ad-vancements in construction & carpentry classes.

    Technology is engaging. Its not neces-sarily in the curriculum, but its what we use to engage students, says Stroh. We have to make sure that the technology we use in the classroom is engaging students in learning.

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  • Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com16

    social media Procedures in schools

    Taking it to the web

    By Jillian Mitchell

    The dos and donts of educational social media

    Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube the ever-present and ever-growing medium of social media has established it-self as here to stay. A window into todays world, social media has earned its keep in the educational sector, and school of-ficials, much like the students they teach, are continually venturing deeper into the digital rabbit hole.

    Whos using it?Everybodys using social media in the

    educational sector, says Jason Caswell,

    IT manager for Living Sky School Divi-sion No. 202. The schools are there; the offices are there. Even looking at some of my friends who kind of shun social me-dia, theyre using it and they dont know theyre using it.

    Living Skys learning consultant Donna DesRoches echoes Caswells sentiments. I see the division and some of our schools attempting to use it as a communication tool. Some of our school libraries have a Twitter and/or Facebook account which has been well received by their stakehold-ers, and as well, a number of teachers are

    using it very effectively as a classroom learning tool, she says, citing that there are still a select few with reservations to the online platforms.

    Which platforms?Learning more about each social media

    platform can help schools use their social media presence more effectively. Frank Collins of Saskatoon-based web design and marketing company Danger Dyna-mite weighs in.

    Every social platform has a specific function and purpose, and not every pro-fessional (business, school, etc.) needs to use every social media platform, he says. It is important to identify which plat-forms are best suited to leveraging, and then focus resources appropriately.

    A Facebook account, for example, is best suited for publishing notices, events, media releases and general information. Conversely, Twitter shines in the manage-ment of open public dialogue and in stay-ing on top of relevant and important news topics. The ever-popular Instagram is ide-al for publishing images. Obviously there will be some overlap between various platforms, but the focus of each method of use varies significantly, Collins adds.

    How to use it effectively (and avoid common mistakes)

    According to Collins, the purpose of social media is twofold, namely to inform and to stimulate social interaction. Ac-cording to the social media professional, this dual purpose is best complemented

  • Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2014 17

    by three methods of online interaction informing (an article that is informa-tive and relates to the target audience), entertaining (a funny Happy Friday! music video or meme relating to the or-ganization), and sampling (a post relat-ing directly to what the organization does and includes things like notices, photos or events). Social media is also a sought-after medium for soliciting information, asking questions, or taking polls.

    Our expert explains that the most com-mon mistake schools make is treating social media like a bulletin board. It is important to keep in mind how a social network works to ensure it is being prop-erly leveraged, Collins says. Its not about mindlessly putting information out there, but rather creating social interaction.

    Living Skys Caswell concurs. The problem is people are overloaded, he says. What you really have to do is estab-lish even a trivial amount of dialogue in a public space.

    For colleague DesRoches, the word so-cial holds the key.

    Weve got to realize that theres a social aspect [to social media]; thats a really im-portant part of the term, she says. I think youre not using social media effectively if all youre doing is sending out informa-tion a school football game or a position available in a school. The user must create a positive digital footprint.

    As the Living Sky team can attest, on-line conversations are taking place wheth-er schools are involved or not, thus its best to join in especially since anyone can sign up under any name. You better own your own profile in this space or someone else may do it for you, says Caswell, ad-vising professionals to stay visible on their account, thereby avoiding confusion from an online doppelganger.

    Responsible useAs social media is conducted in public

    forums, legalities can become top of mind. Subsequently, the Saskatchewan govern-ment is currently developing a digital citi-zenship document entitled Digital Citi-zenship in Saskatchewan Schools: A Policy

    Planning Guide for School Divisions and Schools to Implement Digital Citizenship Education from Kindergarten to Grade 12, which highlights appropriate social media protocol in schools, including profession-al vulnerability and legal implications. Ac-companying the guidelines is the Digital Citizenship Continuum from Kindergarten to Grade 12, a document that outlines what students need to understand, know, and be able to do to use technology safely and responsibly.

    Living Skys DesRoches is encouraged by this development. I think that having that kind of solid, concrete continuum that includes social media is really going to help us move forward, she says, add-ing that the Saskatchewan Teachers Fed-eration has cautioned teachers about be-friending students online. Although the division does not have specific guidelines governing teachers or students use of so-cial media, our recently updated respon-sible use procedure guides both teachers and students behaviour when using tech-nology.

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  • Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com18


    Saskatchewans own pathway

    to the stars

    One of Saskatchewans best kept secrets is having an impact on stages and mov-ie sets across the country

    and around the world.Its also touching the hearts and minds

    of school children from across southern Saskatchewan.

    Do It With Class Young Peoples The-atre (DIWC) is a youth theatre company unique to Saskatchewan, which fosters

    the development of high-level performing arts skills in children and youth ranging in age from eight to 18. The company has been training triple-threat performers for more than 20 years. It offers performance opportunities in full-scale productions, which take place on stages at Reginas Conexus Arts Centre and the University of Reginas Riddell Theatre.

    The company offers both evening per-formances and student matinees. DIWC

    offers reduced ticket pricing for school groups. Nearly 1,000 school students take in a Do It With Class school matinee per-formance every year.

    With alumni Tatiana Maslany (BBCs Orphan Black), Paul Nolan (Guy in Once, currently running on Broadway, and Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway in 2012), Amy Matysio (Tina in WolfCop, and Kenny in Single White Spenny), Jacqueline Burtney (Erma in


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  • Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2014 19

  • Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com20

    Roundabout Theatres 2013-2014 inter-national touring production of Anything Goes) and many others whove graced professional stages at the Stratford and Shaw Festivals and across the country, this is a company worth watching.

    Over the past 20 years the company has produced more than 100 shows in-cluding: Titanic, Bugsy Malone, Romeo and Juliet, Seussical, Les Miserables, Willy Wonka, A Midsummer Nights Dream, The Wiz, Into the Woods, The Wind in the Wil-

    lows, Cats, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as well as Alice in Wonderland, Snow Queen, and Little Prince, which were written and composed for DIWC by artistic director Robert Ursan.

    In 2014-2015, its 21st season, the com-pany will produce Dear Edwina (October 22-24), As You Like it (Feb 25- 27), and Peter Pan (March 31-April 1), showcas-ing the talents of 48 children and youth performers from Regina and southern Saskatchewan.

    Do It With Class Young Peoples The-atre, is a non-profit organization run by a volunteer board of directors. It was cre-ated in 1993 by the companys former ar-tistic director Andorlie Hillstrom.

    School matinee tickets are available for all three DIWC season performances. To purchase school matinee tickets, contact [email protected], or for evening performance tickets call (306) 525-999. For more information visit www.doitwithclass.ca, or call (306) 530-9862.


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  • Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2014 21

    reliable controls

    Reliable Controls leverages BACnet capabilities in

    Reducing inter-departmental inefficiencies while increas-ing functionality, the BACnet B-OWS-listed MACH-ProWeb

    controller provides the capability to quickly and easily publish building automation

    system information to the web with mini-mal demands on IT.

    As Internet technology and building management systems rapidly advance, facility managers are often caught in the middle between satisfying facility man-

    agement needs and adhering to IT securi-ty requirements; bridging the gap between two inter-departmental worlds with very different priorities. Reliable Controls pro-vides a practical and professional device to resolve this cross-functional concern:

    three-in-one product

  • Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com22

    the Reliable Controls MACH-ProWebTM (MPW) controller.

    The device features a unique combination of elements, amal-gamating a BTL-listed BACnet Building Controller, a BTL-listed BACnet Operator Workstation (B-OWS), and a powerful web server into a single package with the installed footprint of a typi-cal building controller. The first three-in-one device of its kind, the MPW provides the capabil-ity to quickly and easily publish building system information to the web, with minimal demands on IT. This product combines the field controller, configurable web server, and browser-driven workstation all into a single de-vice thats simple to use, flexible to engineer, and economical to acquire.

    The MACH-ProWeb allows

    the facility management team to program and implement building controls process-es just as it normally would, but instead of having to purchase server equipment and potentially infringe on sensitive IT pro-cedures, the controller features its own built-in server that resides right inside the controller, and does not require a sep-arate rack-mounted server in the IT de-partments domain. This efficient set-up allows each department to independently manage their own equipment and proce-dures. The only requirement from IT is a local IP address on a subnet unique to the building management department. The controller ships with default port settings typical for the industry and often doesnt need additional configuration; the con-figuration of the controller makes set-up a very intuitive process.

    Providing the basis from which to grow the smart building industry while continuing to use proprietary hardware, BACnet allows for interoperability be-tween different manufacturers products as it enables networks from multiple vendors to be bound together. BACnet defines a basic set of rules for how and what building controllers can communi-cate, which promotes the protection of investments in building controls. In the past, building owners were forced to re-place entire systems when only a simple expansion was required, and were often unable to obtain competitive quotes for new projects because they were locked into a manufacturers proprietary system.

    By leveraging the BACnet protocol and by allowing IT and facilities manage-ment to keep equipment and procedures separate, the Reliable Controls MACH-ProWeb provides the ideal, flexible and synergistic solution, perfect for stream-lining web access to the building automa-tion system. Your building automation system will begin paying dividends im-mediately through energy savings, and improved comfort. Future-proof your fa-cility by insisting on native BACnet Con-troller products.

    Inspiring Students Helping School Districts Prosper.Students in well-maintained schools score up to 10% higher on standardized tests.

    Johnson Controls helps school districts create and maintain quality learning environments, and lower energy and operating costs - so money and focus can be put back into the things that matter: A quality environment. A strong curriculum. And student achievement.

    Building equipment, controls, security, integration, automation, management, and financing for better building efficiency.


  • Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2014 23

    About Reliable ControlsSince 1986 Reliable Controls

    has been designing and manu-facturing building controls and specializes in Internet-connect-ed green-building solutions. The companys design philoso-phy delivers building control that is simple, flexible, and competitively priced. All designs utilize the ASHRAE-standard BACnet protocol and ship with a five-year warranty.

    Would you like to know more?To learn more about Reliable

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  • Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com24

    ibc boiler

    High-efficiency DHWin schools

    When schools upgrade their heating systems, an update of the domestic hot water supply de-serves to be considered as well, even when the larger load is where the big savings are.

    There are two major strategies for improving DHW efficiency. One is to have the DHW served by the same high-efficiency heat source that provides the space heating, while the other is to install a stand-alone high-efficiency appliance. Further alternatives are

    available using heat pump and solar thermal systems; well be us-ing boilers as the basis of the following discussion.

    Adding a DHW load to a network of boilers that is otherwise dedicated to space heating uses existing equipment effectively. The space-heating boiler network is typically sized for the coldest day of the year and often for a certain degree of redundancy. If it is acceptable to the engineer that the space-heating redundancy be shared with the water-heating redundancy, then the DHW

    By Brad Poulsen

    Boiler network with domestic opt-out piping.

  • Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2014 25

    load can usually be inserted into the off-time of one or more of the networked boilers without the system having to be signifi-cantly upsized.

    It is interesting to compare this scenario with a residential ap-plication, where typically a single boiler is handling both space-heating and DHW. The residential control strategy of priority switching puts the space-heating on pause for the duration of the DHW call, allowing the boiler to dedicate its full energy to the quickest possible restoration of the tank temperature. The more mass there is in the space-heating emitters, the less likely it would be that anyone would even notice this pause. Under priority control, the boiler is properly sized not by combining the space-heating the DHW loads, but simply by the larger of the two. As houses tend to get smaller and building insulation methods im-prove, it has become more and more common that it is the DHW load that ultimately decides the boiler size.

    Of course in a typical school, the space-heating loads dwarf the DHW consumption, but the main difference between the two setups is that a larger scale means longer recoveries, so in schools it is less acceptable to rely on priority switching. Fortunately with a multiple-boiler system, a select boiler or boilers can be piped to opt out of the space-heating network to satisfy the DHW without interrupting the space heating at all. This can be easily achieved when the boiler software has the ability to turn off the

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    pump contributing to the common heat-ing load and turn on a pump for the heat exchanger that serves a DHW storage tank.

    The second major strategy for high-ef-ficiency DHW supply in schools is to use appliances dedicated to the purpose. On-demand water heaters achieve high effi-ciencies through their wide temperature rises. Whereas a boiler supplying 165 to an indirect tank in order to achieve 140F domestic water is not the best way to achieve condensing operation, on-de-mand water heaters have entering water temperatures at for instance 45F, and this does bring us reliably into fully condens-ing territory.

    On-demand water heaters have the primary advantages of high efficiencies, a modest installation cost, and smaller boil-er-room footprints than storage tanks. Their disadvantages lie primarily that their output is limited to a particular flow rate: sizing the water heaters to matching

    peak demand might result in units that are needed only infrequently, as well as create a more a costly installation.

    One solution to meeting peak demands with on-demand water heaters is to em-ploy a storage tank or tanks. While this does require a larger boiler room foot-print, it dramatically extends the work-ing range of DHW consumption without oversizing.

    Whether using a boiler or an on-de-mand water heater, recirculation lines will be installed where the wait time for hot water delivery must be kept at a minimum. It is critical that the associated recirculation pumps not be oversized. Oversized pumps are not only wasteful, but also risk premature wear on pipes from excessive water velocity; often all is necessary for effective recirculation of hot water to the furthest fixture is a well-insulated three-quarter-inch line with very low gpm. Timers on these pumps are essential for those majority of schools

    without DHW use during long stretches of the day. A written record of the desired schedule is a good detail to have posted near the pump, and maintenance includes confirming that the current time setting remains correct.

    In weighing the advantages of a boiler network versus an on-demand water heater, one of the most significant con-siderations is meeting the stricter safety standards of the school setting. In the case of DHW, protection against the possibil-ity of backflow of the heating fluid into potable drinking water must be reduced to an impossibility. To this end, double-walled heat exchangers with leak detec-tion will be required with the DHW stor-age tanks. The safety insurance of double-wall heat exchangers carries a price not only literally, but also in efficiency. These have to be weighed against the advantages of employing a single heat source for both loads.


  • Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2014 27

    Johnson controls

    Energy performance contracting

    Energy Performance Contract-ing (EPC) is a well-established and proven approach which helps to minimize traditional

    barriers that can prevent organizations from pursuing deep energy savings op-portunities.1 The EPC approach now ac-counts for billions of dollars in building renewal projects across North America.

    The core business value of EPC is built on a specialized form of building sys-tem engineering which integrates all the relevant factors needed to understand and manage building systems energy consumption: how a building and its occupants consume electricity, gas, oil, diesel, steam, and water. EPC is built on a foundation of energy end-use knowl-edge, which allows EPC firms to provide a range of services, including (a) opti-

    mizing energy consumption designs, (b) selecting and installing the most suitable equipment and operating systems needed to minimize energy waste, (c) commis-sioning and retrocommissioning building systems for optimal operation, (d) moni-toring and managing energy consump-tion, and (e) educating building occu-pants about sustainability best practices.

    This distinctive energy engineering analysis takes into consideration all the unique characteristics of each facility. This information, combined with years of proven experience, is then combined to develop energy engineering outcomes. These provide a reliable basis for predict-ing how and where a facility consumes or wastes valuable energy dollars.

    How does energy performance contracting work?

    The data developed from the energy engineering analysis provides a reliable baseline (units of energy consumed) against which future building system en-ergy consumption can be formally moni-tored and tracked. This baseline provides the starting point for determining the financial feasibility of upgrading the ex-isting building systems, in an effort to eliminate energy waste. By determining the various building renewal upgrades that meet the owners financial feasibility requirements (typically a payback term), an energy service company (ESCO) then typically guarantees the energy savings so that the building owner can use this savings stream to finance and secure an EPC project. When provided by an expe-rienced ESCO, this guarantee is intended to transfer all project performance liabili-ty to the ESCO, and away from the owner. If the savings arent guaranteed, its not an EPC project!

    As this process has evolved to meet the expanding needs of the market, leading ESCOs now provide a robust set of ener-gy management tools which offer owners the chance to track energy performance, conduct continuous diagnostic analysis on equipment performance, manage pre-dictive and preventive maintenance, and produce monthly reports to support en-ergy management decisions and expand awareness.

    Tangible value simplified and refreshed

    By Wayne C. Cole

  • Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com28

    But, does it really pay for itself?The Conference Board of Canada re-

    cently completed a study2 showing that $350 billion needs to be invested in the electricity sector alone over the next 17 years thats over $20 billion per year, all of which will need to be repaid by rate payers. However, a kWh of electricity preserved from waste is indistinguish-able from a new kWh generated, in that both are equally capable of meeting new demand. In fact, SaskPower reports that 38.2 per cent of all its power outages are related to its aging infrastructure.

    Over the typical 50-year design-life of an average building, every dollar in an-nual energy waste that exists in the ini-tial building system costs the owner $98. In more practical terms, this means that a typical 65,000-square-foot office, or school building, in Canada will cost the owner $3.4 million in energy waste alone over the first 50 years! This troubling level of unnecessary financial waste is caused primarily by the lowest-first-cost mental-ity that has dominated the construction industry since the post-war era, along with a puzzling and indefensible resis-tance to investing in long-term paybacks.

    In fact, Canada has one of the poorest environmental records of all industrial-ized countries. When scored on 25 of the top environmental indicators, Canada is ranked a dismal 28th among 29 OECD na-tions. Weak energy efficiency undermines a countrys international competitiveness, because using more energy generally means goods and services are produced at a higher cost.3

    But beyond the obvious economic and environmental penalties associated with energy waste, there is also a significant loss in financial value to building owners, and to the Canadian economy. For ex-ample, a 65,000-square-foot building that currently spends $1.55 per square foot on annual energy costs will most likely have to pay at least $2.8 million to its util-ity providers over the next 20 years. A 33 per cent improvement in the energy effi-ciency of this same building today would support a capital investment of $510,000 paid off entirely from energy savings over

    the next 20 years. It all boils down to one of two simple choices:1. Continue to pay this money to the util-

    ity providers for energy waste, or;2. Invest the capital needed to redirect

    this money into building improve-ments, which eliminate energy waste, and thereby extend the useful life of the building components.

    So why dont I see more EPC projects happening?

    In the 70s and 80s, which saw the birth of the ESCO industry, projects were primarily defined by the ESCOs mandate of reducing energy costs (typically the low-hanging fruit), and therefore take pressure off escalating operating bud-gets. In the late 90s, the ESCO business model moved more toward using longer payback energy savings as a means of creating capital, to help reduce the grow-ing backlog in building maintenance and repair. Today, it is about dealing with the combination of constantly escalating en-ergy costs,4 enormous backlogs,5 and lack of capital. However, most organizations are facing large barriers in their effort to take appropriate action to deal with these issues through EPC, including:1. The mistaken belief that EPC is too ex-

    pensive, too complicated, or too hard to manage

    2. A lack of capital, or access to borrowed capital, as a result of governments fis-cal restraints

    3. Limited access to the qualified techni-cal skills needed to design and execute projects at low risk; this means limited staff time to plan, tender, select ven-dors, and manage projects

    4. The deteriorating condition of facili-ties, and the significant backlogs that reflect the seriousness of this problem

    have grown so large that political solu-tions to the issue are becoming more complex and discouraging

    5. Public sector borrowing now all rolls-up to the top, and the debt-to-GDP6 ratio is managed carefully by govern-ments, which in some cases, avoid debt even as public infrastructure rapidly crumbles without disclosure7

    6. Federal and Provincial stewards at the ministry level are imposing more cen-tralized control over access to capital and the ability to borrow even against guaranteed savings while offering no robust alternative

    7. In some cases, stewards of public sector assets lack the decisiveness, or political will, to champion the EPC solutionHowever, leading organizations have

    found practical ways to plough through these barriers, they now realize the sig-nificant financial benefits of EPC, and are actively embracing it. Overcoming bar-riers takes planning and determination, especially in the public sector, where the value opportunity is often the highest.

    I already work with some very qualified people who can help me cut energy costs; so what added value can I get from an ESCO?

    Typically, facility departments develop good working relationships over time with local engineering and construction vendors they have come to trust. In many cases, these firms have a comprehensive knowledge of the mechanical-electrical systems, they understand how building owners prefer to have their buildings op-erate, and are able to provide reliable local support. Many facility departments are blessed with highly qualified and experi-enced staff as well. The engineering and project management processes required

    Either Pay Now, or Pay Later

    Aging infrastructure places a clear burden on energy consumers: either eliminate energy waste now, or pay a much higher cost for energy later.

  • Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2014 29

    to select, install, and commission build-ing system components are therefore an existing function, and these firms can develop basic energy savings projections, while internal staff manage the project.

    The compelling dividing-line at which energy engineering analysis needs to shift to EPC firms occurs when the owner re-quires a guarantee on the projects perfor-mance. That is, when the owner wishes or needs to shift project performance risk to a qualified third party. This is not an area where local firms are comfortable accept-ing liability. In part, this is because the type of comprehensive energy engineer-ing which results in a guaranteed savings is a specialized field, and the accountabil-ity for risk goes beyond the scope and fi-nancial capacity of most local firms.

    While most firms are prepared to speak confidently about the projected outcomes of their work, unlike experi-enced ESCOs, they are not prepared to accept the financial liability for their pro-jections. The simple fact is, the capabil-ity and confidence for accepting savings performance risk is a reflection of energy engineering skills and project implemen-tation experience. Seasoned ESCO firms generally have both, and they rely on this interactive combination to manage proj-ect implementation risk, including meet-ing savings projection obligations. It is a question of how to secure the best finan-cial value.

    It is also worth mentioning that expe-rienced ESCOs will likely have an interest in sub-contracting work to local engi-neering firms and contractors who are al-ready familiar with the owners facilities, because this adds more confidence to the analysis and smoothes out the design and

    installation processes; all the while real-izing good value from local relationships.

    How much should an energy savings guarantee cost?

    The manner in which an ESCO man-ages the financial risk associated with being accountable for energy savings guarantee says a lot about its engineer-ing culture and business philosophy. An experienced and confident ESCO should be able to incorporate this risk into a care-fully planned and rigorous engineering analysis, design process, sub-contracting framework, quality assurance process, commissioning discipline, and compre-hensive project management strategy.

    Other ESCOs prefer to charge the owner a risk premium to help compen-sate for any errors that might be made in these activities. The typical premium for this risk is between three to five per cent of the project costs, and must be paid as an extra cost to the project8, even when the savings targets are met.

    There are two common business mod-els used by ESCOs. In the first model, the ESCO will minimize the depth of engi-neering in favour of being able to charge a risk premium; typically between one to five per cent of the total project value.

    In the second model, the ESCOs will increase the depth of engineering ap-

    plied to the design, project implementa-tion, and quality assurance to the level required to eliminate the need to charge a risk premium. These ESCOs also have a well- disciplined corporate governance process that engages senior executives in a careful review of the facility improve-ment measures selected, savings guaran-tee calculations, implementation plans, and quality assurance.

    Therefore the owner can either (a) se-lect an ESCO that provides a more rigor-ous engineering and project implementa-tion path, or (b) pay a risk premium to protect the ESCO from any errors made in meeting the energy savings guarantee.

    In both cases, the ESCO will implement a monitoring and verification process (M&V) that will set a calculated baseline for the pre-project consumption, in terms or units of energy being used. This M&V process (IPMVP of ASHRAE)9 will then track post-project consumption to moni-tor the change in units of energy used, and track this new consumption pattern for a specified period to verify that the projected savings, in units of energy, were actually realized.

    It is not uncommon for an ESCO with deeper energy management experience to evolve this M&V process into a com-prehensive building energy management process to help owners to secure ongoing savings. This process includes fundamen-tal tools such as continuous diagnostics, carbon and energy reporting, energy per-formance monitoring, and custom ana-lyzer. Such tools help obtain, manage and use data to make better, faster decisions, and they improve operational efficiency and sustainability. This approach helps to ensure that energy savings dont slip away over time.

    Pay for Risk, or Pay for Engineering?

    The dynamic connection between these two factors means that as engineering and governance

    goes up, risk goes down.

    Do I really need an ESCO?

    So why not just use the engineering and contracting resources I already know and trust,

    and rely their savings projections?

    Its all about risk and value.

  • Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com30

    What is the optimum payback/financing term for an EPC?

    Utility expenses are already a fixed cost that must be included in the annual operating budget, so investing capital that has been reclaimed from guaranteed sav-ings simply transfers that fixed cost to a loan payment. This has a net-zero cost to the owners operating budget, even if the capital is borrowed. It is a practical way of diverting utility dollars into badly- need-ed facility renewal capital.

    Of course, if you are borrowing capi-tal, the actual savings payback term will be shorter than the financing term to al-low for the cost of the borrowed capital. Based on the current borrowing costs, a simple rule-of-thumb for calculating the payback period is take 80 per cent of the financing term. This means that the typi-cal financing terms and payback terms would be (a) 10-year financing and eight-year payback, (b) 15-year financing and 12-year payback, and (c) 20-year financ-ing and 16-year payback. The key finan-cial determinant for real value is all about how much of the diverted energy savings can be converted into facility renewal capital the savings dollar retention rate.

    The choice of financing/payback term is naturally driven by several variables: (1) energy savings payback period, (2) borrowing term, (3) projected annual energy cost escalation rate, (4) interest rate, (5) discount rate on future cash flow, and (6) the return on investment (ROI).

    But, if you wish to determine the term that will produce the highest net financial value to your organization, you will need to look beyond ROI and dig deeper into a full cost-value analysis.

    The table10 below shows the results of a cost-value analysis done for a school divi-sion with a million square feet of facility space, and compares the financial cost-values for each payback option at the end of a comparable 20 year period.

    Securing tangible financial value from an EPC is not about getting the lowest cost on engineering and project manage-ment services or equipment and sub-con-tracts; it is about realizing the highest lev-el of energy savings in the shortest period of time. This has proven true in project after project, where the lowest first cost has been consistently trumped by higher financial value.

    The importance of these two key fac-tors makes it difficult, if not impossible, for most facility departments to under-take significant energy savings projects at a lower risk, and at a higher net financial value than the EPC option.

    Given that EPC value is about lowering energy costs and converting these oper-ating dollars into badly needed facility renewal capital, highest financial value must always be the most important mea-sure of success.

    In the Canadian K-12 market for ex-ample, the first reality is that 80 per cent of all schools that students will occupy 20

    years from now already exist. The second reality is that interest rates are now at their lowest rate in over 50 years, energy costs are now increasing at the non-stop average rate of 2.5 per cent per year, and facility renewal backlogs are growing at alarming rates. It follows then, that un-dertaking facility renewal projects driven by energy efficiency savings should be based on a comprehensive 20-year pay-back no matter how they are financed. This holds true throughout the public sector.

    How do I develop the best EPC project, and pick the best vendor?

    EPC projects typically use some form of public tendering to meet purchas-ing requirements in the public sector. Until recently, this process has required the owner to determine what buildings include, what scope of work will be con-sidered, what form of scoring protocol to use, and then to organize an internal committee to help select the winning ESCO. Given the level of work involved in this process, the limited flexibility it of-fers, and the high cost of making adjust-ments to the scope during construction, a more flexible EPC model11 has recently been introduced into the market.

    This new EPC model is based on a clear set of objectives the owner wishes to meet; it requests bidders to demonstrate the qualifications of their organization in areas such as history, financial stability,

  • Educational Business Administrator | Fall 2014 31

    engineering skills, project management skills, approach to performance guar-antees, and a basic pricing structure. To make the pricing structure reliable and predictive in the absence of well-defined scope, parametric estimating12 is used, along with a firm quote on per diem rates, published price list discount rates, exter-nal labour and material mark-up rates, and most importantly unit costs. Bid-ders are also asked to apply this costing framework to a sample set of projects to demonstrate a practical application.

    After selection, the actual scope of work is then defined by the owner in col-laboration with the selected ESCO.

    This new approach provides better business value for the owner because it offers the flexibility needed to adjust the project focus and scope, as required, to meet changes in standards, energy costs, access to funding, borrowing rates, and building utilization forecasts. It also stim-ulates a collaborative relationship with the selected ESCO, allowing both players to respond better to changing circum-stances and needs. This approach sub-stantially reduces the risk, tendering, and speculative costs for both the owner and the ESCO, speeds up the implementation process, avoids wasted engineering as-sessment, and allows project implemen-tation to be paced at a digestible rate for all participants.

    When the Calgary Board of Education applied this new model to a 102-school project in 2014, they included a 10-year service requirement on all project-in

    stalled components for each school, along with a 10-year monthly energy manage-ment reporting protocol for each school. They also applied a rolling-forward en-ergy savings guarantee to ensure that all project- related energy savings were captured, and contributed toward pay-ing down their 20-year capital borrowing. This large project is intended to be paid for entirely from energy savings over a 20-year financing period.

    What is the best way to manage an EPC project?

    Projects conceived and managed around the notion of a partnership of purpose have a history of producing the best long- term value, the highest cus-tomer satisfaction rates, and the type of flexible scope definition that is needed to meet the process of continuous change common in every organization. Well-defined accountability is essential for success in any venture, and is an impor-tant element in an EPC project. As the industry and the market move away from the old model where the ESCO was per-ceived to be taking the keys and driving the project to completion, the emerging model where active collaboration is the order of the day works better because it leaves control with the owner.

    Using this new concept to design, se-lect, and implement an energy efficiency program is the best way to manage an EPC project because it focuses on assign-ing clear accountability and securing the highest values from the most important key performance indicators all while al-lowing for a constantly changing environ-ment.

    Wayne C. Cole is the senior business development executive, public sector for Johnson Controls Canada. He can be reached at [email protected]

    Resources:1 See SaskPower description, 2014.2 Canadian Electricity Association,

    Generation West Conference, Decem-ber, 2013.

    3 Canada vs. the OECD: An environ-mental Comparison, 2001.

    4 Energy costs are expected to escalate at an year-over-year rate of 2.5 per cent, Energy Shop, 2011.

    5 In the 2005 article, Infrastructure Renewal & Financing, published by The Canadian Institute, it estimated that the capital investment needed in public infrastructure was $125 billion and growing.

    6 Generally, government debt as a per cent of GDP is used by investors to measure a country ability to make fu-ture payments on its debt, thus affect-ing the country borrowing costs and government bond yields.

    7 In 2013, the Public Sector Account-ing Board published SORP-3, which recommends that governments and government organizations prepare and present a report on the physical con-dition of their tangible capital assets, including leased tangible capital assets.

    8 EPC toolkit for higher education, 2009.

    9 International Performance Measure-ment and Verification Protocol (IPM-VP) or the American Society of Heat-ing, Refrigerating, & Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

    10 Johnson Controls Canada, Solutions Group, financial modelling process.

    11 See the Calgary Board of Education RFP 2014PRO0474, issued June, 2014.

    12 www.galorath.com/images/uploads/ISPA_PEH_4th_ed_Final.pdf

    Optimizing Collaborative EPC Value

    With this new model, picking the right ESCO becomes easier, less costly, and connects better to providing a continuous stream of tangible business

    values for the owner.

  • Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials | www.sasbo.com32


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