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09/30/2009 11:43 AM     print story email story  

NYC To Train Green Supers

SustainableBusiness.com News

New York City plans to train 1000 building superintendents over the next year on energy efficiency practices.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined building owners and union leaders last week to launch the ambitious green buildings program, called One Year, One Thousand Green Supers.

"One Year, One Thousand Green Supers provides a low-cost way to make our buildings more energy and cost efficient, and our environment cleaner, all while saving our city millions of dollars," said Mayor Bloomberg.

One Year, One Thousand Green Supers, which is approved by the U.S. Green Building Council and the Building Performance Institute, is part of the Thomas Shortman Training Fund--a labor management partnership that offers training to more than 80,000 32BJ union members working in the property services industry.

The program is a 40 hour class that provides building service workers with the latest, state-of-the-art practices in energy efficient operations. The curriculum trains workers to identify and address wasted energy, create a green operating plan and perform cost-benefit analysis for building owners and managers.

"With most building service workers employed at RABOLR buildings and represented by 32BJ, this labor-management partnership is uniquely positioned to give tens of thousands of workers the skills they need to cut waste and costs at buildings across the city," said James Berg, President of the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations (RABOLR)--which represents building owners and managers in New York City.

Energy savings from buildings is the lowest-cost method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. In addition, greener buildings could save the New York real estate industry as much as $230 million a year in operating expenses.

With a growing demand for greener buildings, smarter management practices could reduce energy use in buildings by 20%-40%, according to a report from the Department of Energy.

The One Year, One Thousand Supers curriculum combines classes and field exercises with elective courses, including renewable technologies, green roofs and water reuse.

"What really makes a building efficient are the people running it," said Patrick Long, 32BJ member and a Resident Manager at Related owned building in Manhattan. "If we are going to make buildings more energy efficient, workers need to understand green technologies and practices, learn new skills and maintain complex equipment."

To date, supers and resident managers from 40 different buildings have completed the pilot program. Thomas Shortman Training Fund expects to train some 300 building service workers by the end of the year.



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