Tool Lending Library helps Oregon facilities check out building performance


Improving your building’s energy efficiency starts with understanding how equipment and building systems are actually operating.

Energy Trust of Oregon has partnered with the Smart Buildings Center, a regional resource for energy efficiency, to give commercial and industrial building owners and managers free access to diagnostic tools that gather performance information on their systems and buildings. By borrowing the tools at no cost (with free shipping thanks to Energy Trust), users can get a baseline level of building performance and actionable information to finetune their system without the steep investment of purchasing tools that are only used once or twice a year.

The Tool Lending Library offers 85 different types of tools for loan—more than 1,000 pieces of equipment—including data loggers, power meters, lighting loggers, infrared cameras, liquid and air flow measurement devices, and much more. Borrowers also get help with proper tool use and access to an online library of tutorials.

JELD-WEN, manufacturer of energy-efficient doors and windows, is a believer in the library’s value. Energy is in high demand across the company’s 80-acre Klamath Falls campus to power buildings, mechanical equipment, compressed air systems, motors and more. As participants in Energy Trust’s Strategic Energy Management offering, the company is committed to reducing energy use and improving operational efficiency. JELD-WEN’s internal energy team has leaned on the library’s resources to help them identify energy-saving opportunities throughout their facilities.

Jim Knolle, plant electrician, and Kyle Grant, swing shift lead, have worked side-by-side on JELD-WEN’s energy team to implement the company’s energy-saving initiatives. Over the past year, they’ve relied on the Tool Lending Library to help them gather deeper information on system operations and identify areas of improvement.

Recently Knolle borrowed data loggers to help evaluate real-time power consumption and performance in the company’s dry kilns “In some cases, we were shocked to learn how much energy we were using, and in other cases, how little.”

Data collected about temperature swings and fan speeds in the dry kilns helped Knolle address a problem with over-drying wood that was causing unnecessary product loss. The evaluation led JELD-WEN to upgrade the kiln system controls, which has helped to streamline the drying process, improve schedule efficiency and reduce waste.

Knolle is so pleased with the Tool Lending Library that he’s recommended it to others. “It is a great place to get resources that most companies don’t have. As we continue to seek energy efficiency improvements, we’ll take advantage of the library’s tools to help us do so.”

To borrow tools for your site, visit www.smartbuildingscenter.org/tool-library.