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  • Writer's pictureCorey L. Wilson

ENERGY Certifications for Facilities and Managers

Updated: Nov 29, 2023



There are a number of energy efficient building rating systems that have more similarities than differences. While there is no legal or clearly articulated definition of what a “green building” is, these organizations offer standards for green buildings, albeit in slightly different ways. The other green building standards you may want to consider in addition to the ENERGY STAR Building Certification are LEED, Green Globes, Living Building Challenge, WELL Building Standard, Passive House, Net Zero Energy Building, BOMA 360 Performance Program, CHPS and others. In terms of LEED alternatives, a growing number of state and local governments are adopting different green building standards that aren’t tied to LEED, such as California’s statewide CALGreen building code that took effect last year. In addition, several other rating systems are cropping up and gaining momentum, such as the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes, which is touted as a simpler and less expensive rating system. Green Building Certifications, Rating Systems and Labels In addition, some governments are adopting building codes that apply green standards outside of the LEED blueprint. CALGreen represented the first statewide green building code in California, and it eschews outside (third-party) evaluations like LEED’s. ENERGY STAR Building Certification ENERY STAR was originally developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a voluntary labeling program to promote energy-efficient products and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the late 1990s, EPA partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to increase the scope of the ENERGY STAR program by launching a whole building program, ENERGY STAR for Buildings. ENERGY STAR for Buildings includes specifications for Existing Buildings, Commercial New Construction, Industrial Energy Management, and ENERGY STAR for Small Business. The program includes three tools as follows for assisting and encouraging organizations in their efforts to reduce energy use and limit resulting greenhouse gas emissions:

  • ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager – This software tool allows organizations to measure, track, and compare their energy use to other buildings. It is the backbone of the ENERGY STAR for Buildings program and a key verification component of the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance rating system.

  • ENERGY STAR Task Manager – This no-cost online tool allows architects and building owners to set energy targets and receive an ENERGY STAR energy performance score for projects during the design process.

  • ENERGY STAR Energy Performance Scale – A score between 1 and 100 indicates building performance relative to similar buildings nationwide. Buildings with an energy performance scale score of 75 or higher achieve the ENERGY STAR Building Label, indicating that they perform in the top 25% of their building type.

Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system and standard. It delivers third-party verification that a space or building was designed and built using best-in-class strategies to address its entire life cycle. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators with a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions. LEED can be applied to all building types and even to entire neighborhoods. LEED rating systems are groups of requirements for projects that are pursuing LEED certification. Each group is geared towards the unique needs of a project or building type. Non-residential building projects can earn any of four levels of LEED certification based on the number of points they achieve, and those 4 levels are: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. There are four LEED rating systems: LEED for Building Design and Construction (BD+C), which includes residential design and construction; LEED for Interior Design and Construction (ID+C); LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M); and LEED for Neighborhood Development (ND). LEED for Cities/Communities is a pilot rating system that addresses performance in existing cities and communities. Within each of these rating systems are different solutions to fit various project types and scopes. Living Building Challenge (LBC) The Living Building Challenge (LBC), administered by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), is far more stringent than Energy Star or LEED and must produce at least as much energy as it uses. They are comprised of 20 imperatives to guide projects into the realm of sustainability. LBC is performance-based and, therefore, its outcomes are indicators of success. WELL Building Standard The WELL Building Standard focuses on the health and wellness impacts that buildings have on occupants. The standard is arranged into seven areas of concentration, called Concepts and standard can be applied to a variety of building types, including commercial tenant spaces, existing commercial buildings, hospitality, sports facilities, restaurants, and residential. Passive House The German PassivHaus, or Passive House, rating system is designed to cut energy use by 90 percent. It has none of the other requirements of a Living Building Challenge approach and is all about energy consumption, or the lack thereof. Net Zero Energy Building The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) provides a certification option for a Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) under its umbrella of the holistic Living Building Challenge (LBC) certification. Such buildings have 100% of their energy needs supplied by on-site renewable energy on a net annual basis. BOMA 360 Performance Program The program is sponsored by Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International. The BOMA 360 Performance Program, intended to be an overarching evaluation of building operations, recognizes buildings that meet industry best practices in building operations and management, safety and risk management, training and education, energy performance, environment and sustainability, and tenant/community relations. Green Globes The Green Building Initiative developed Green Globes as a cheaper, simpler Web-based alternative to LEED. The standards are fairly similar; however, Green Globes is primarily focused on energy efficiency rather than some of the product sourcing criteria in LEED. Green Globes also is more flexible than LEED and allows a greater degree of self-reporting. Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) CHPS Verified™ and CHPS Verified Leader™ will ensure that a school project is well-designed, operated, and maintained K-12 educational facilities that enhance student performance; positively impact student, teacher, and staff health and wellness; make education more enjoyable and rewarding; and promote positive environmental stewardship. Facility & Property Management Credentials/Certifications The following facility and property management related credentials in some way or form help their users, and ultimately their facilities and properties, to become more efficient, economical and/or sustainable. As part of that process, energy management and cost savings are an integral part of their success and contribute to energy savings and efficiency. The most popular and recognized credential and certification programs are from the following organizations. International Facility Management Association (IFMA)/Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (IFMA/RICS) The IFMA-RICS collaboration also provides additional educational resources to help FMs find proven solutions to industry challenges, increase their knowledge base and stay informed about industry trends. The IFMA-RICS suite of credentials and professional qualifications provides opportunities for entry into and advancement in facility management. These options represent a full spectrum of professional development for every career stage, from new entrants to experienced practitioners. Their suite of credentials and professional qualifications are as follows: Facility Management Professional™ (FMP®) – IFMA’s FMP is a knowledge-based credential for FM professionals looking to increase their depth-of-knowledge in the core FM topics deemed critical by employers. Certified Facility Manager® (CFM®) – IFMA’s CFM is an internationally recognized credential that sets the standard for ensuring the knowledge and competence of practicing facility managers. It is a competency-based certification that requires ongoing professional development and periodic renewal. Sustainability Facility Professional® (SFP®) – IFMA’s SFP is an assessment-based certificate program delivering a specialty credential in sustainability. By earning your SFP credential, you will develop and gain recognition for your expertise in sustainable FM practices while impacting your organization’s economic, environmental and social bottom lines. RICS Chartered Qualification (MRICS) – A chartered qualification demonstrating regulated, FM professional and strategic advisory expertise and ethics for FMs with a combination of academic and/or professional credentials, as well as experience. RICS Associate Qualification (AssocRICS) – A qualification demonstrating regulated, technical FM expertise and ethics for technical and commercial experts with four years of FM experience or a credential recognized by RICS. Essentials of Facility Management® – The Essentials of Facility Management is a series of training workshops that describes the field of facility management and its organizational value. Building Owners and Managers Institute (BOMI) International BOMI International is the educational arm of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA). All certificate programs provide the fundamental knowledge you need to better understand your job responsibilities and are a good way to begin your journey toward earning a BOMI International designation. A certificate that fits your needs is listed below: Property Administrator Certificate (PAC) —Ideal for those who manage the overall operations of a building or a portfolio of buildings. Property Management Financial Proficiency Certificate (PMFP) —Ideal for those responsible for analyzing, managing, and investing in real estate assets. Facilities Management Certificate (FMC) —Ideal for those who manage the ongoing operation and maintenance of facilities. Building Systems Maintenance Certificate (SMC) —Ideal for those who operate and maintain multiple building systems. Building Energy Certificate (BEC) —Ideal for those in operational and system maintenance roles. Certified Manager of Commercial Properties™ (CMCP™) —Ideal for those looking to take the first step in building a successful career in commercial real estate. Association for Facilities Engineering (AFE) The AFE is a professional membership organization serving all professionals working in the built environment. AFE defines the term-built environment as the surroundings people construct to provide settings for human activity and interaction, ranging in scale from buildings to parks, often including their supporting infrastructure such as water supply and energy networks. Certified Plant Engineer (CPE) – Designed to validate your skills as an experienced facilities engineer who possesses the expertise and the technical knowledge required to successfully ensure the optimal performance of any facility, including project and maintenance/equipment engineering. Certified Professional Maintenance Manager (CPMM) – Designed to validate your skills as an experienced facilities professional who possesses the basic technical and management expertise and knowledge required to successfully lead a maintenance organization in reducing costs while increasing operating efficiencies through designing and implementing effective maintenance programs utilizing the latest methodologies. Certified Professional Supervisor (CPS) – Designed to validate your skills as a competent facility team supervisor who possesses the required professional demeanor and expertise to be a leader among other facilities management professionals, capable of motivating and training front-line maintenance technicians to specialized engineers; and to rise above your peers in the necessary elements of administrative, organizational and technical tasks to move to the head of the line for job advancement. Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA) APPA represents more than 18,000 educational facilities professionals from over 1,300 learning institutions worldwide. APPA’s community represents the broadest coalition of educational facilities professionals possible, ensuring a diversity of experiences and situations, and availability of best practices. Certified Educational Facilities Professional (CEFP) - Is a certification designed for both aspiring and existing educational facilities professionals with eight years of combined education and professional facilities management experience. Earning the CEFP demonstrates that you have a mastery of professional expertise and is a mark of superior proficiency in the core competencies for education facilities professionals. Pathway to Professionalism (P2P) – A new program designed to help educational facilities organizations and their institutions keep pace with accelerating rate of change, while providing continuous learning opportunities for their staffs and schools. LEED Professional Credentials – US Green Building Institute (USGBI) A LEED credential denotes proficiency in today’s sustainable design, construction and operations standards. More than 203,000 professionals have earned a LEED credential to help advance their careers. Showcase your knowledge, experience and credibility in the green building marketplace as a LEED professional. LEED Green Associate – A foundational professional credential signifying core competency in green building principles. LEED Accredited Professional (AP) – An advanced professional credential signifying expertise in green building and a LEED rating system with specialty in Building Design + Construction, Homes, Interior Design + Construction, Neighborhood Development and Operations + Maintenance. Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) IREM® is an international force of nearly 20,000 individuals united to advance the profession of real estate management. Through training, professional development, and collaboration, IREM® supports their members and others in the industry through every stage of their career. Certified Property Manager (CPM) – For property and asset managers of any property type who are ready to achieve their desired endgame of lifelong career success. Accredited Residential Manager (ARM) – For residential property managers newer to the profession and aspiring to take the next step in their careers, and gain control over their future. Accredited Commercial Manager (ACoM) – For commercial property managers newer to the profession and aspiring to take the next step in their careers, and gain control over their future. Accredited Management Organization (AMO) – For real estate management firms with a CPM in an executive position and ready to achieve and display company-wide excellence. Association of Energy Engineers® (AEE®) The AEE® is a nonprofit professional society of over 18,000 members in more than 100 countries. The mission of AEE is to promote the scientific and educational interests of those engaged in the energy industry and to foster action for Sustainable Development. Certified Energy Manager (CEM) – Is an individual who optimizes the energy performance of a facility, building or industrial plant. American Hospital Association (AHA) The AHA is the national organization that represents and serves all types of hospitals, health care networks, and their patients and communities. Certified Healthcare Facility Manager(CHCM) – Is a health care administrator who has passed the prestigious CHFM exam through the American Hospital Association (AHA). Today is the thirteenth of 15 installments of the 15 chapters of the second edition of ENERGY Cost Savings For Facilities, by Corey L. Wilson, that will will be presented each week in this newsletter. Each chapter is approximately 3 to 4 pages long covering essential info every FM should know about concerning energy cost savings for their facilities. If you can't wait until the last chapter, you can purchase the guidebook right now by following the instructions below.

ENERGY Cost Savings For Facilities Available in epub, pdf, and paperback versions for $7.99, $14.99 and $24.99. Excellent resource and textbook for facilities and operatons managers, energy industry professionals, sustainability workforce development, educators and students. CHAPTERS 1 – An ENERGY Savings Introduction For Facilities 2 – Your Facilities’ Electrical ENERGY Future is Now 3 – Electrical ENERGY Saving Systems For Facilities 4 – Potential ENERGY Cost Savings For Facilities 5 – Sustainable ENERGY Buildings Plans For Facilities 6 – ENERGY & Buildings Management Software For Facilities 7 – ENERGY Surveys, Inspections, Audits & Commissioning For Facilities 8 – Facilities ENERGY Benchmarking Using Portfolio Manager 9 – ENERGY Efficient Lighting For Facilities 10 – ENERGY Efficient HVACR Systems For Facilities 11 – California’s Time-of-Use ENERGY Rate Changes For Facilities 12 – ENERGY Code Compliance Measures For Facilities 13 – ENERGY Certifications for Facilities and Managers 14 – Utilizing an ENERGY Savings Plan Budget For Facilities 15 – Implementing an ENERGY Storage System For Facilities

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