Construction, GPRO, Lighting

Local 3 Electricians, Gensler and the new EITC

No Comments Posted on 19 October 2011 by Brian Wennersten

Brian Wennersten, LEED BD+C, O+M, GPRO:CM is an Instructor and Principal of SKYed Eco Education & Consulting, and a certified GPRO Instructor. The following is derived from an interview with Anthony Brower, LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, Sustainable Design Director at Gensler.

GPRO continues to expand its reach in teaching green building practices to those working in the construction field with its recent release of GPRO Electrical Systems course.

Local Union 3, I.B.E.W NYC, longstanding supporters of GPRO, will continue their commitment to green building practices by teaching GPRO Electrical Systems and Operations & Maintenance Essentials to their apprentices and journeymen this fall. Topics will include: fundamentals of green building and sustainability in electrical systems, lighting, heating and cooling, renewable energy, green job management and other work practices that will assure high building performance.

The electricians union will also soon begin construction on their new Electrical Industry Training Center (EITC) building in Long Island City, which is aiming for LEED certification.  The space will provide an innovative and technologically advanced learning environment for union members to continue their professional development. In addition to GPRO courses, Local 3 will offer hands-on training for solar and wind power at their custom designed training installation on the roof of the new building.

Local 3 electricians joined in the integrated design process with the architects at Gensler which enabled the team to provide a more holistic approach to the project.  We had the opportunity to speak with Anthony Brower, Sustainable Design Director at Gensler.  Mr. Brower said that from an electrician’s perspective, reducing energy consumption was at the forefront in the design of the building.  He noted that the training center will allow end users to learn about the latest technology in Advanced Lighting Control systems as well as benefitting from improved indoor environmental quality.   With all of these energy efficient features, GPRO students will not only be able to learn in an amazing setting, but they will be taught by example from how the building was designed and constructed while continuing to meet the increased demands to train electrical professions in energy efficient technologies.

Construction, GPRO, Initiatives

1,000 Green Supers and GPRO: Greening NYC’s Building Trades

No Comments Posted on 20 July 2011 by Brian Wennersten

Brian Wennersten, LEED AP+, GPRO:CM is an Instructor and Principal of SKYed Eco Education & Consulting, and a certified GPRO Instructor. Tom Chartier, a 32BJ 1,000 Green Supers instructor, was interviewed for this story.

New York City’s building service workers have been incorporating green building and maintenance practices into residential and commercial building projects, area theaters and stadiums since at least 2005.  It was then that the joint labor-management Thomas Shortman Training Fund secured funds to incorporate these practices into their curriculum.  The fund was originally created to provide continuing education for building service professionals who are members of SEIU Local 32BJ, the largest property services workers union in the country.  In 2009, the program evolved into the 1,000 Green Supers.  The goal?  Train 1,000 superintendents in one year and further their positive environmental impact on New York City buildings.

During the development stage, Urban Green Council worked closely with 32BJ to incorporate their GPRO certificate program into the 1,000 Supers curriculum.  Earlier this year, GPRO’s Fundamentals of Building Green and Operations and Maintenance Essentials courses were adopted as key components of the 40-hour training.  By participating in the courses and passing a multiple-choice exam, students earn the GPRO: O&M certificate.  “Having incorporated GPRO into the 1,000 Supers curriculum, our students now leave with two credentials in lieu of the one BPI certification originally included. Also, the 1,000 Supers original focus was mainly on NYC issues; by incorporating GPRO, the bigger picture of climate change has been expanded upon,” said Tom Chartier, 32BJ 1,000 Supers Instructor.

In January 2010, the U.S. Labor Department granted almost $3 million to 32BJ’s Thomas Shortman Fund through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.  The renewed funding has expanded classroom training to reach an additional 1,000 supers enrolled in the program.  This past May, hundreds of NYC superintendents celebrated at their graduation with keynote speaker Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy. This first wave of graduates is only the beginning of 1,000 Green Supers’ success story.

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