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DOE, National Institute of Building Sciences Release Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines

March 18, 2015
The guidelines provide a national framework for certification agencies across the country to roll out consistent programs.

To enhance and streamline commercial-building workforce training and certification programs, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institute of Building Sciences (Institute) recently announced new Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines.

“As building technologies become more advanced, professionals need better training and certification options to increase the quality and scalability of our nation’s energy workforce,” Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency, said. “Employers, building owners, and program administrators can also use these established guidelines to identify qualified workers who are trained to deliver energy savings.”

The guidelines provide a national framework for certification agencies across the country to roll out consistent programs.

The DOE and the Institute worked with industry trade associations, governing credential boards, and energy-efficiency advocates to develop professional-certification and certificate-program guidelines for four key energy-related jobs: energy manager, building energy auditor, building operations professional, and building commissioning professional.

“The Institute established the Commercial Workforce Credentialing Council (CWCC) to help lead development and implementation of the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines,” Institute President Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA, said. “The CWCC consists of private and public-sector industry stakeholders, so we were able to have everyone involved provide input into the process. This is particularly important when the goal is training the next generation of skilled clean-energy workers, who will be responsible for leading the charge in optimizing commercial-building performance.”

The DOE will recognize competency-based certification programs that successfully implement the new guidelines and achieve third-party accreditation. Currently, the DOE and the Institute are working with industry stakeholders to strengthen outreach, education, and adoption of the guidelines, which are available on the Institute’s website.

The Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines support the goal of doubling American energy productivity by 2030 while motivating corporate and public-sector leaders to certify professionals under a national framework. The guidelines also support the Better Buildings Initiative goal of making commercial buildings 20 percent more energy-efficient over the next 10 years.

About the Author

Scott Arnold | Executive Editor

Described by a colleague as "a cyborg ... requir(ing) virtually no sleep, no time off, and bland nourishment that can be consumed while at his desk" who was sent "back from the future not to terminate anyone, but with the prime directive 'to edit dry technical copy' in order to save the world at a later date," Scott Arnold joined the editorial staff of HPAC Engineering in 1999. Prior to that, he worked as an editor for daily newspapers and a specialty-publications company. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Kent State University.