Mechanical Engineer

Washington, D.C
Dec 09, 2022
Dec 14, 2022
Full Time

Efforts include monitoring contractor progress, coordination among engineering disciplines (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, building automation controls, security, and elevator systems), submittal review, responding to contractor requests for information, providing engineering advice and guidance, troubleshooting engineering issues, inspection, cost estimating, and limited mechanical and plumbing design.

The individual selected for this position will perform the following duties with major emphasis on technical advice and guidance and contractor oversight:

Design and Development
  • Directs leading-edge design for a variety of mechanical systems focused on heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, plumbing, energy and water conservation, Building Automation System (BAS) and indoor air quality (IAQ).
  • Ensures adherence to design schedules, material deliveries and construction schedules and reviews job progress and conformance to specifications.
  • Coordinate and serves as a design expert for project managers and others to analyze design requirements where there are conflicting and inadequate guidelines and ensures that all technical areas are covered
  • Assists with the development design concepts, calculations, field reviews, preparation of final drawings and performs construction oversight and coordination as required on each assigned project.
  • Conducts research to develop improved designs of mechanical equipment and systems.
  • Coordinates with building superintendents and their staff to schedule construction projects.
  • Participates in commissioning reviews for building systems and equipment, from those associated with small in-house designs, to large projects which have assigned commissioning agents.
  • Prepares Statements of Work (SOW) for a wide range of engineering projects, either in the form of an invitation for bid or a purchase requisition. Determines the requirements for equipment to be procured through the bidding process, obtains pricing and submittal data and determines the successful bidder based on the technical adequacy of the submission.
  • Determines proper HVAC performance of a completed project, as required during the investigative portion of a project or, as assigned.
  • Prepares, revises and maintains Computer Aided Design (CAD) graphic data for use in mechanical equipment and systems design.
  • Coordinates with other building system disciplines, such as electrical, fire protection, and structural.

Technical Advice and Guidance
  • Collaborates with management and planning personnel, and other building systems disciplines in preparing requirements and criteria for complex or high value projects concerning a variety of HVAC and plumbing engineering, automatic controls and energy conservation issues in sizes and complexity from small up to major.
  • Serves as a mentor and provides guidance to entry-level engineers.
  • Performs complex calculations and designs and specifications or directs and advises other engineers and technicians in the design and specification of individual systems, components and details in HVAC and plumbing engineering.
  • Serves as a staff expert for energy and water conservation, HVAC, direct digital controls and plumbing projects of major size and complexity.
  • Participates in planning conferences with project engineers to provide necessary information pertaining to HVAC and plumbing.
  • Reviews or directs the review of the mechanical features of scopes of work, plans, specifications and analyses of design, as submitted by contracted and/or in-house engineers for technical competency and approves such plans, specifications and analyses where the authority is The Fire Protection and Mechanical Engineering Branch.
  • Responds to request for information from contractors.

Contractor Oversight for Projects
  • Serves as a Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR), guiding and evaluating contractor efforts and assessing technical performance in relation to the established schedules and resources allotted.
  • Reviews plans, specifications and cost estimates for adequacy.
  • Reports progress and/or problems. Directs necessary changes, resolves controversial problems, ensures conformance to plans and specifications.
  • Evaluates the compliance of contractor proposals with contract plans and specifications.
  • Monitors contract specifications for progress and technical requirements.
  • Assists in generating project bulletins and evaluating change orders.

Project Management
  • Serves as the technical authority (Project Manager and/or Task Leader) for HVAC, plumbing, Direct Digital Control (DDC) controls and conservation projects of major size and complexity.
  • Reviews or directs the review of the mechanical features of plans, specifications and analyses of design.

Report and Documentation
  • Gathers information and formulates mechanical engineering reports relating to significant issues and presents or explains the agency decisions in terms of policies and priorities.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be able to pass a drug test.
  • Your resume and question responses must demonstrate the job-related KSAs.
  • You must meet the definition of specialized experience.
  • You must meet the education requirements.

*** This position is temporary in nature and is not to exceed 2 years. This is strictly a temporary appointment where there is no permanent need or permanent funding available for the work involved. This position is subject to the project needs of the Agency. Therefore, the appointment could be terminated at any time due to shortage of work or shortage of funds without any advance notice. If project work continues however, it could be extended beyond the 2-year time frame at the sole discretion of the Agency. As a non-permanent employee, you may also be separated for failure to meet management's expectations, with no advance notice. ***

To be employed by the Architect of the Capitol in a paid position, an individual must meet one of the categories below:
  • A citizen of the United States;
  • A person who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence and is seeking citizenship as outlined in 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3)(B);
  • A person who is admitted as a refugee under 8 U.S.C. 1157 or is granted asylum under 8 U.S.C. 1158 and has filed a declaration of intention to become a lawful permanent resident and then a citizen when eligible;
  • A person who owes allegiance to the United States (nationals of American Samoa, Swains Island, and the Northern Mariana Islands, and nationals who meet other requirements described in 8 U.S.C. 1408); or
  • A person who is currently an officer or employee of the Government of the United States.


You must meet the United States Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) qualification requirements (including specialized experience and/or educational requirements) for the advertised position. You must meet all eligibility and qualifications requirements by the closing date of the job announcement. Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions. It is available for your review on the OPM web site at OPM qualification standards

Specialized experience is experience that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level.

Candidates for the GS-12 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower (GS-11) grade level in the Federal service.

Specialized experience for this position includes the following:
  • Designing and/or leading mechanical engineering projects focused on heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, plumbing, energy and water conservation, Building Automation System (BAS), and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).
  • Developing requirements and providing technical advice on the design, installation, testing, acquisition and evaluation efforts for mechanical systems and equipment.
  • Serving as a Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR) or equivalent and/or performing contract/construction administration to ensure adequate oversight of contractor performance.


In addition to meeting the specialized experience requirements, applicants must have the following:

Basic Requirements:

A degree in Professional Engineering. The curriculum must:

(1) be in a school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; or

(2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: a) statics, dynamics; b) strength of materials; c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; d) thermodynamics; e) electrical fields and circuits; f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.


Combination of education and experience -- college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished

(1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering, and

(2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by one of the following: (a) current registration as a professional engineer by any State, the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico; (b) evidence of having successfully passed the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) examination or the written test required for professional registration; (c) successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences that are fully acceptable toward meeting the requirements of a professional engineering curriculum; or (d) successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in engineering technology or in an appropriate professional field.

Special Instructions for Foreign Education :

Education completed outside of the United States must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional/accredited U.S. education programs to be acceptable for Federal employment.

Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part of foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree.

You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing if selected.

Additional information

Welcome Veterans. The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) gives veterans' preference rights in the legislative branch to certain veterans as applied by the Congressional Accountability Act. Veterans' preference is applied on this vacancy announcement. If you are a veteran and have been separated under honorable conditions, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility; SF-15, if applicable; and Department of Veterans Affairs documentation of disability, if applicable. For more information, please visit OPM vet guide

If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System. If you are exempt from registration under Selective Service Law, you must provide appropriate proof of exemption. Please visit the Selective Service System website for more information.

DRUG TESTING: The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is a Drug Free Workplace. As part of the AOC's suitability assessment, a candidate tentatively selected for a position who is not currently an AOC employee is required to submit to screening for illegal drug use. Satisfactory completion of a drug test is a condition of employment with the Agency. A candidate must test negative prior to being eligible for appointment into a position. We will schedule, provide and cover the cost for the drug test.

The selectee(s) under the vacancy announcement for this position is subject to a criminal record check by the U.S. Capitol Police and satisfactory adjudication to be eligible for employment at the Architect of the Capitol.

The Architect of the Capitol is an E-VERIFY Participant. E-VERIFY is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment authorization in the United States. If you are selected for this position, the documentation that you present for purposes of completing the DHS Form I-9 will be verified through the DHS "E-VERIFY" electronic system. For more information on E-Verify, please visit

The Architect of the Capitol is an Equal Opportunity Employer and prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information and/or disability.

This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Moving expenses are not authorized.

Relocation expenses are not authorized.

Probationary Period - A newly appointed selectee is subject to the completion of a one-year trial/probationary period, regardless of whether or not a trial/probationary period has been completed previously with the Architect of the Capitol or another Federal agency.

This vacancy announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies in any of the jurisdictions of the Architect of the Capitol.

All application materials become the property of the Architect of the Capitol.