Even if you don’t have a certification or designation to maintain, professional development and education can help any building owner or manager learn better, faster, and more efficient ways to implement energy management programs and green building practices.
It can be hard to find money in the budget to devote to training, especially if you have a big facilities management team. But good news: There are several free training and educational options available, all focused specifically on energy management and green building. Here are just a few …
Focused on helping professionals get ready for LEED exams, Green-Buildings.com is a valuable, free resource. The website offers expert advice on green buildings; once you sign up, you have access to free LEED AP BD+C, LEED AP EBOM, LEED AP ID+C, and LEED GA practice exams. The organization also offers free webinars and videos to help facilities professionals prepare for LEED exams. A Q&A service is also available for any commercial building manager or owner who has questions about LEED or green buildings.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program offers free web-based education on a variety of energy management topics, including:
- Portfolio Manager 101, which explains how the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool works, and how it can be used to your advantage.
- How to Apply for ENERGY STAR, which maps out the ENERGY STAR application process, and also outlines the value of ENERGY STAR certification. The webinar also provides tips to help buildings earn the certification quickly.
- Engaging Employees with Energy Treasure Hunts, which is exclusively for ENERGY STAR Partners. Attendees learn from two case studies explaining how “energy treasure hunts” have successfully engaged employees in finding no- and low-cost savings opportunities.
FacilitiesNet.com offers free webcasts on several energy management and green building topics: integrating lighting controls, assessing building automation systems, optimizing HVAC for efficiency, saving energy in data centers, etc.
The same organization also offers free in-person training with its annual two-day conference and tradeshow, held in Las Vegas and Baltimore. NFMT (the National Facilities Management & Technology Conference/Exposition) offers free education on topics like: planning for long-term energy efficiency, calculating the value of regular maintenance, LEED certification advice, using LEDs and lighting controls to save energy, green cleaning and recycling, the important importance of measurement and verification, etc.
Buildings.com offers a variety of free webinars, accessible any time. The webinars are split into several tracks – sustainability, energy, HVAC, MEP, roofing, etc. – and once you have a username and password, you can browse topics like financing for energy retrofits, controlling cooling costs in data centers, energy-efficient lighting for high-bay areas, sustainability certification programs for furniture, and efficient elevator modernization. The webinars are led by a variety of consultants, manufacturers, and other facilities professionals.
What free resources have been useful in learning about green building and energy management?