U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Building Technologies Office
Commercial Building Workforce Development and Training
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Building Technologies Office (BTO) facilitates the development of industry-created commercial building workforce guidance and conducts training sessions for commercial building operators on specific topics. These resources help individuals identify opportunities to enhance their professional skills, enable industry to identify an appropriately skilled workforce, and allow training providers to ensure that they are providing the highest quality product possible.
BTO identified six career fields as key to achieving the highest levels of energy efficiency in commercial buildings. Industry experts then developed workforce guidance for each of these career fields.
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Service Providers: Increase your value to potential clients by identifying relevant training to further enhance your professional skills in the commercial building industry
Building Owners: Increase your confidence in the cost savings of energy efficiency upgrades by ensuring service providers have the technical expertise to maximize the energy performance of your buildings
Property Management Companies: Ensure your staff continues to provide clients with the highest quality service
Policy and Program Administration: Spur the economy and job creation by encouraging workforce development that cultivates the skills required to improve commercial building energy performance
Financial Institutions: Increase investment confidence in energy efficiency projects and long-term building performance by validating the technical capabilities of an organization's workforce.
Unions: Help your members advance their careers by identifying training opportunities in the commercial building energy efficiency industry.
Training Organizations: Ensure your training curriculum is aligned to industry needs and imparts core competencies to provide high quality service to the commercial building energy efficiency industry.
The DOE, through its contractors at the Pacific Northwest National Lab, has developed a series of re-tuning, or light commissioning, training curriculums. The two modules provide students with classroom and hands-on experience that enables them to re-tune their buildings on a constant basis, thereby maximizing savings potential. These modules cover two general sets of buildings — those with building automation and those without — in order to serve a broad base of needs. The DOE has been using a "train-the-trainer" approach engaging its Better Buildings Alliance market partners as well as setting up training centers in association with the National Institute of Science and Technology. These revolving training programs will provide cohorts with trainings on a continuing basis in order to build a competent green workforce to provide this vital service to building owners not affiliated with the Alliance. DOE will continue to announce opportunities to engage with this program and for other entities to benefit from its resources.
Learn about how a leading commercial real estate company trained facilities staff and implemented re-tuning at one of its properties to realize low-cost energy savings.
DOE has produced a "How-To Guide for Energy Performance Based Procurement in New Construction" that was developed out of a series of new construction projects at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and ongoing collaborations between NREL and industry. Through these projects, the authors of the guide found that high-performance, energy-efficient buildings can be procured within typical construction budgets. Specifically, this guide leverages NREL's recent campus expansion to provide best practices and lessons learned so other building owners can replicate these experiences to construct market-viable, world-class, energy-efficient buildings. The guide identifies and explains in detail the key steps necessary to implementing this type of performance and has been written to allow the maximum number of audience members to benefit from it.
Job / Task Analysis
DOE convened commercial building professionals to develop six Job/Task Analyses (JTAs), which analyze the tasks performed by individuals in a given occupation and identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform those tasks. This information can then be used by industry to develop better training and better workforce certifications. The JTAs for Commercial Building Energy Auditor, Commercial Building Energy Modeler, Commissioning/Retro-Commissioning Authorities, Energy/Sustainability Manager, Facility Manager, and Operating Engineer/Building Technician are all available in draft form. As a next step, DOE is investigating ways it can support private sector workforce certifications based on these JTAs.