Technical certifications valuable to building systems projects

Changes in the construction industry, along with the evolution of related building and energy codes, demonstrate that additional certifications reflecting expertise and experience in specific areas of practice not only are valuable, but some may become required. For building systems professionals, there are a wide range of certifications covering areas such as commissioning and energy. The awarding technical society or related organization will review the submitted qualifications, may provide additional training and typically will administer a test to verify the applicant’s proficiency and knowledge.

There are a number of reasons why Hanson’s commissioning and energy specialists have memberships in these organizations and pursue certifications:

Commitment: For our clients requiring commissioning and energy services, it’s important that we have employees involved in related organizations and societies and support their certification by these organizations. Our clients recognize the efforts we make to train, qualify and certify our employees and their adherence to adopted guidelines, standards and recommended practices.

Recognized proficiency: These certifications recognize expertise and experience in building automation, HVAC system controls, facilities operations, utilities management and building construction — critical assets in evaluating, testing and troubleshooting building systems.

Continuing education: Training, seminars and conferences enhance our specialists’ personal development and typically count toward the continuing education units required to maintain professional licensure and many technical certifications.
RFQ requirements: Many clients recognize the importance of having firms and individuals experienced in the specific services that are applicable to their projects. They include required certifications and experience in their qualification solicitations. They associate membership and certification through specific organizations as important credentials in their selection process.

Codes and ordinances: Building systems commissioning has been incorporated as a requirement in numerous energy, sustainability and building codes. Some entities require verification of qualifications and experience from those individuals assigned to perform this work. Similarly, some municipalities and/or government agencies mandate energy benchmarking for public, commercial and institutional facilities, followed by periodic energy reporting and auditing. While their requirements may vary, they often dictate the criteria (or certifications) for the individuals performing the work.

The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) is working with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to coordinate an industry-driven process to develop national guidelines for commercial building workforce credentials, known as the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines. According to the DOE/NIBS, the purpose of the guidelines is to reduce the confusion and uncertainty around workforce credentialing, lower costs and support better credentials, better workers and better buildings.

For additional information about our commissioning specialists’ and energy engineers’ technical certifications, contact Bob Knoedler at

Posted on February 13, 2015