Energy Trainer for Energy Managers HVAC Module

Energy Trainer for Energy Managers HVAC Module logo.

Highly interactive, multimedia training tool on CD-ROM. The Energy Trainer for Energy Managers (ETEM) HVAC module is the first in a series of planned and proposed modules. It contains about 4 hours of instruction on HVAC energy efficiency, and focuses on HVAC system operations and maintenance in existing buildings. The module includes 4 major lessons: fundamentals (with 5 main sub-topics), HVAC components, HVAC classifications, and four interactive, goal-oriented, problem-solving exercises using an example dual-duct HVAC system.

ETEM HVAC is based on training materials in courses offered by US DOE Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) and by the various branches of the armed services. Future HVAC modules are expected to address both major retrofits and the design of HVAC systems for new buildings. A module that focuses on lighting quality and energy efficiency began development in early 1999.

ETEM HVAC engages the user via numerous animations and interactions such as mouse-overs, 'more info' drill-down options, radio button choices, sliders, drag-and-drop exercises, fill-in-the-blank exercises, etc. The goal-oriented, problem-solving exercises let the user compete with the experts in trying to identify and fix multiple operations and maintenance problems with an existing HVAC system. In the main exercise the set of quite typical problems will, when fixed, reduce heating and cooling energy cost by more than half in most locations. Entry-level users have access to hints, while more advanced users must solve the exercise without the hints, making the exercise much more difficult.


training, HVAC, operation and maintenance, existing buildings



Expertise Required

Basic knowledge of use of Windows 95, 98, or NT required.


Several hundred.


Entry-level, energy managers of federal and private buildings, building owners, developers / construction agencies, design professionals, contractors, commissioning agents, O&M personnel, and students.


Only required inputs are the user's name and ID number. No other input is required. The goal-oriented, problem-solving exercises require a few user choices, but most have defaults and/or immediate feedback available.


Over 130 screens, or pages, of graphically-oriented content including numerous animations and user interactions. Some of the pages are quite rich in layered information via database-driven 'drill-down' content and/or radio button options that can be explored at length.

Computer Platform

PC computers with at least 486 CPU speed (Pentium recommended), 16 Mbytes RAM, 5 Mbytes hard disk space, 2x CD-ROM drive (4x recommended), 16bit sound card and speakers, at least 800x600 screen resolution, at least 256 colors.

Programming Language

Macromedia Authorware 4, MS Access 97, SQL.


Best used as a self-directed entry-level learning course in HVAC fundamentals and in HVAC operations and maintenance (O&M) for existing buildings. It is also useful as a study aide when taking the HVAC portions of the various Federal courses on Energy Training for Energy Managers (FEMP, Army, Navy, Air Force).


HVAC training content developed to date does not adequately address HVAC retrofit or new building HVAC design considerations. Also, it is not intended to do energy analyses for specific buildings. The interactive, goal-oriented, problem-solving exercises have been developed for training purposes. While these exercises can be used with local weather and costs, the analysis models have been simplified to facilitate training objectives. These exercises should NOT be used for designing O&M or retrofit programs for specific existing buildings. Experienced design professionals with appropriate energy analysis tools should be consulted instead.



The Deringer Group


1349 Addison Street
Berkeley, California 94702
United States


(510) 843-9000


(510) 843-9005




For subscribers to National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Construction Criteria Base (CCB) CD-ROM set, the Energy Trainer HVAC module is included in the subscription price. It is included in all versions of the NIBS CCD after March 1, 1999. Contact: NIBS, 1090 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005-4905 tel: (202) 289-7800, fax: (202) 289-1092, email:

For all others, it is currently available in CD format from The Deringer Group (see above). The price of the CD to students and educational institutions is $59. The price to others is $99.