New Commercial Building Job Titles Emphasize Energy Efficiency
To start, the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines will begin with a separate job task analysis for five newly created commercial building job titles; all of these have a strong focus and emphasis with energy efficiency. They include:
• Energy Manager
• Building Energy Auditor
• Building Operations Professional
• Building Commissioning Professional
• Federal Facility Manager
As the first step in developing the job task analyses, subject matter experts were tasked to review and modify the draft job descriptions for the five newly created commercial building job titles. Next, competency-based professional certifications and assessment-based certificate programs will be developed by qualified industry certification bodies using these guidelines as they create both performance-based and assessment-based certificate programs. The Energy Department will recognize accredited programs implementing the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines.
The activity by DOE with these newly created commercial building job titles is really starting to gain national attention both among private agencies as well as public educational institutions. Commercial real estate owners and managers will benefit from these identified skills, knowledge, and abilities as new programs are created or existing programs retooled.
In California, there are efforts currently underway as part of the California Community Colleges Economic and Workforce Development Program Strategic Plan in collaboration with investor-owned utilities (IOU), and BOMA California. For example, the “High Performance Building Operations” training specification, a statewide program being developed, upgrades workforce skills for building operators. A “High Performance Building Operations Professional” (HPBOP) training specification will be created and used for building technicians and building operators towards shifting the emphasis from primary component-level repairers to system professionals – conducting performance monitoring, collecting and interpreting data, and acting as innovative and creative energy-efficiency problem solvers.
As you can see from the efforts and activities occurring in California as well as through DOE, workforce change is in the air and will be extremely beneficial to building owners and managers as we begin this comprehensive approach. There still needs to be a significant effort towards industry integration with certain energy-efficiency goals and practices being adopted and introduced by many disparate trades within the commercial real estate industry. Efforts are underway in this area also, working towards collaboration with various building union trades, the Contractors State License Board, and various other large trade associations.
Carlos Santamaria is BOMA California Energy Chair. He is also managing principal with the Executive Institute for Energy Efficiency. He can be reached at email@example.com.