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Green Certifications for Facilities Managers

May 29, 2012 | 0 comments

Green labels and certifications for facilities aren’t big news anymore. The next big step for facilities professionals is pursuing industry accreditations for themselves. Although they’re certainly not necessary, these certifications and designations can help bridge the gap between the building professional and the property.Here are some of the green accreditations you might want to pay attention to:

LEED Professional Credentials

Originally administered by USGBC, LEED Professional Credentials are now offered by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). In 2009, LEED AP without specialty credentials was retired; today, there are several LEED AP credential options.

LEED Green Associate is the least technical and covers many disciplines. LEED AP Building Design + Construction is for building professionals involved in design and construction phases of sustainable buildings. LEED AP Building Operations + Maintenance is for building professionals improving performance and increasing efficiency of existing buildings. LEED AP Interior Design + Construction is for professionals in the design, construction, and improvement of commercial interiors. The last option is the LEED Fellow credential. LEED Fellows are nominated by peers based on how their leadership and vision have shaped the built environment.

  • Earn it: pass one or two exams (depending on credential)
  • Maintenance: varies based on credential (15 to 30 credit hours every two years)
  • Prerequisites: yes; depends on credential
  • How many certified: 25,000 LEED Green Associates
  • Exam content: depends on  credential

Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP)

This training and assessment program, unveiled in 2011 by IFMA, covers three areas: strategy and alignment for sustainable facility management, managing sustainable facilities, and operating sustainable facilities. The program is built around ways to integrate sustainability efforts into energy, water, materials and resources, workplace management, indoor environmental quality, quality of services, waste, and site impact. It also helps professionals learn how to present a business case for sustainability, evaluate initiatives from a financial viewpoint, and track and report green actions.

  • Earn it: complete self-study program on three focus areas; pass three assessments with a score of 75%+
  • Maintenance: renewal every three years
  • Prerequisites: none
  • How many certified: not available
  • Exam content: strategy and alignment for sustainable facility management, managing and operating sustainable facilities

Certified Energy Manager (CEM)

The Certified Energy Manager credential has become widely accepted within the energy management field since it was established in 1981 by the Association of Energy Engineers. The designation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Office of Federal Energy Management Programs (FEMP), and the U.S. Agency for International Development, as well as by state energy offices, major utilities, corporations, and energy service companies.

  • Earn it: attend CEM training seminar; pass four-hour, open-book exam
  • Maintenance: 10 CEU/PDH credits every three years
  • Prerequisites: combination of experience and education
  • How many certified: 10,000+
  • Exam content: energy accounting and economics, energy audits and instrumentation, lighting, boiler/steam systems, maintenance and commissioning, HVAC, codes/standards, etc.

High-Performance Building Design Professional (HBDP)

Established in 2008, ASHRAE’s High-Performance Building Design Professional certification offers facilities engineers and managers a well-rounded understanding and knowledge of how HVAC&R design is integrated into high-performance buildings.

  • Earn it: read guidebook, complete application, and pass an exam at a testing center
  • Maintenance: 45 hours of ASHRAE CEUs every three years
  • Prerequisites: combination of experience and education
  • How many certified: 200+
  • Exam content: sustainable HVAC&R design and maintenance

Do you have a green certification or designation? If not, why haven’t you pursued one? If so, what has this professional accreditation done for you?


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