The urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is growing internationally. What part will energy efficient buildings play in the wider campaign to curb energy demand and global warming?
In the U.S., buildings are one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions. According to studies done by the U.S. Green Building Council and others, buildings now account for nearly 40 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and for almost 70 percent of electricity usage.
As more existing buildings are retrofitted and stringent environmental regulations are established for new buildings, demand is also rapidly increasing for highly-trained technicians to operate and maintain technologically-complex, “high performance” buildings. In turn, education and training must prepare technicians to manage multiple building systems including HVAC/R, lighting, building automation, energy management, security, and indoor air quality. Technicians are also becoming essential to ensuring occupant health, energy conservation, and financial savings.
To prepare technicians to manage building systems and energy use, the BEST Center will
- spur a national forum on the role of technicians in energy efficiency
- advocate for advanced technical education and high- performance building operations
- facilitate the dissemination and adoption of exceptional curricula and technical programs in sustainable building performance
The BEST Center addresses these critical needs by providing model curricula, professional development for instructors, career pathways for students & career-changers, and dissemination of research to advance building technician education.
By leveraging resources from schools, non-profits, industry, and government, our goals are to
- build and transform community colleges in the field of building systems technician education
- engage industry stakeholders with community colleges by creating a network of industry advisors and research laboratories
- strengthen the national STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) pipeline for educating building technicians and engineers