Federal Government To Teach Employees How To Use Green Buildings
Well, this is timely. Just yesterday, I wrote an article about consumer relationships to their green homes, pointing out the education gap that contractors should fill. It appears that the federal government already decided it was a good idea to educate users on how green buildings function.
According to the Federal Times, the House and Senate have each passed a piece of legislation that requires certification of employees who manage federal green buildings. The 2010 Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act requires the General Services Administration to identify the “core skills needed to manage a federal building” and to create a certification process for employees.
According to the Federal Times:
Those skills include understanding building performance measures, which stem from the government’s multibillion-dollar investment in energy-efficient high-performance green buildings. They also include energy management, sustainability, water efficiency and safety, including electrical safety.
The training requirements will apply to both federal workers and contractors. They will be developed in consultation with private industry, trade groups and other stakeholders, according to the bill. The legislation directs GSA to hire a contractor to provide training.
You can read the fine print of the law, by following this link. It appears that this Act will also apply to any contractors working with, or on, the building:
(f) Applicability of This Section to Functions Performed Under Contract- Training requirements under this section shall apply to non-Federal personnel performing building operations and maintenance, energy management, safety, and design functions under a contract with a Federal department or agency. A contractor shall provide training to, and certify the demonstration of core competencies for, non-Federal personnel in a manner that is approved by the Administrator.
Again, green building management, training and education has been an unknown. In many ways, it might be one of the failures of the LEED building system.
I believe that LEED could benefit from instilling a “liaison” program, whereby LEED contractors commit to educating newly certified buildings for a period of 6 months, essentially “certifying” an in-house manager at each building.
For now, this new legislation will certainly help. Contractors working with federal buildings should take notice, as additional training and certification will be required of them in the next few years.
Sustainable Cities Collective