By Celis Brisbin, Programs Manager
At the Chapter, we are always looking for the latest cutting edge tools and information to support our community of green building practitioners. The latest curriculum from Urban Green (USGBC New York), the GPRO series, is the best resource on the market for educating building operators and facility managers on the operation of high performance buildings.
GPRO: Green Professional Building Skills Training, is a series of courses and certificate exams that teach the people who build, renovate, and maintain buildings the principles of sustainability combined with trade-specific green construction knowledge. GPRO Certificate Holders will be poised to work in accordance with new regulations and to meet the expectations of owners and tenants who want healthier, environmentally sustainable, and energy-efficient homes and offices.
The principal assumption is that participants already know their trade, whether they are plumbers, electricians, or building operators, and this course will give them the additional knowledge they may not have experienced on conventionally-built projects.
Each candidate will take a 4-hour course in Fundamentals of Building Green, which presents the basic issues applicable to citizens and most trades. They will then take a course of 6 – 8 class hours in their field. This is followed shortly by an exam, and if they pass, they become a GPRO Certificate Holder. This certificate will demonstrate that an individual understands green building as it applies to his or her trade and will enhance that person’s ability to compete for and participate in green jobs. One goal is to make the GPRO credential a common requirement on LEED and sustainable jobs throughout the country.
THE GPRO BENEFIT
- An Unparalleled Curriculum. Over two years in the making at a cost of over $500,000, GPRO provides engaging, comprehensive instruction on the core issues of sustainable construction, including user-friendly manuals, teaching aids, and a certificate exam specifically designed for the adult learner. Rigorous instructor training and evaluation will ensure high-quality course delivery.
- An Inclusive Process. GPRO was developed in partnership with leading umbrella organizations representing trades and contractors to ensure that industry needs were being met. The curriculum committees included highly experienced construction managers, building trades, building operators, architects, and engineers, with assistance from theNatural Resources Defense Council.
- A National Certificate Program. Built for a national audience to address a national need, GPRO provides one multi-state, third party certificate program for the full range of construction professionals. Starting with the core collection of trade-specific courses, GPRO will be distributed and supported through a consortium of U.S. Green Building Council Chapters across the country.
- Industry Buy-in. In addition to national contractors already participating in the program,Urban Green Council will leverage relationships with major developers to promote demand for workers with GPRO certificates.
The Massachusetts Chapter recently partnered with Boston Properties to offer the GPRO Operations and Maintenance Essentials course. Here is what they had to say:
“We recently introduced more than 20 of our building engineers in the Boston region to the GPRO Operations and Maintenance Essentials course. While I was initially apprehensive about the time commitment required of our operating team to complete the coursework, the feedback we’ve received has been fantastic. The instruction and course material exceeded our expectations. Operations and Maintenance Essentials elevated our awareness of asset-level sustainability performance improvement measures and provided actionable knowledge that will strengthen our sustainability efforts at the ground level. We plan on continuing the GPRO certification process with additional courses this fall and integrating the courses into our ongoing training program.”
Director of Engineering , Boston Properties –Boston Region
At the Chapter, we are looking forward to offering these GPRO courses to the professional community of building operators and facility managers. If you and your team are intersted in learning more about GPRO, please email Celis Brisbin at [email protected].