The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building America Program recognizes that the education of future design/construction industry professionals in solid building science principles is critical to widespread development of high-performance homes that are energy efficient, healthy, and durable.
The Building Science Education Roadmap, developed by DOE and leaders of the building science community, outlines the following goals:
- More consistent education for design and installation professionals in the building industry
- Increased interest and enrollment in building energy efficiency and building science job opportunities
- Decreased energy use in residential and commercial buildings through improved building science education and awareness.
DOE has established four strategies to address these gaps:
- Guidelines for Building Science Education (GBSE): These guidelines are based on collaborative efforts of DOE and its stakeholders to develop a framework for organizing critical building science skills with key job classifications. These guidelines include the details of this framework and quick checklists for each career path, all of which are fully coordinated with a more rigorous certification and accreditation process provided in DOE’s Better Building Workforce Guidelines.
- Building Science Education Solution Center (BSESC): Currently in beta form, the BSESC provides professors, trainers, and students with accurate, easy-to-access training materials for a full range of building-related professions included in the GBSE. This resource is intended to provide stakeholders with content needed to provide training consistent with the GBSE.
- U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon: This collegiate competition, comprising 10 contests, challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. The Solar Decathlon Buildings Education Series is a no-cost educational video series that provides students and working professionals the principles that are paramount to designing high-performance, energy-efficient buildings.
- Building Science to Sales Tool: DOE has worked extensively with housing industry representatives and building science experts to compile a new building science glossary that translates technical jargon into an improved consumer experience. Users can explore sales themes related to high-performance homes and create customized sales worksheets for their company or project. The Sales Tool is available on the Building America Solution Center.
Visit the websites below to find information about building high-performance homes.
- Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines—DOE worked with the National Institute of Building Sciences and industry stakeholders to develop the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines. These voluntary national guidelines help improve the quality and consistency of commercial building workforce credentials for four key energy-related jobs: building energy auditor, building commissioning professional, building operations professional, and energy manager.
- Building America Solution Center—This site offers best-practices information on hundreds of high-performance design and construction topics, including air sealing and insulation, HVAC components, windows, and indoor air quality.
- Building America Publications—Find the latest Building America reports and case studies here as part of the Building America Solution Center. References also include reports from other research and best-practices organizations. A database of Building America publications from 1995 to present is available in the Publications Archive.
- DOE's Residential Building Energy Codes Program—This site offers tools that facilitate energy code compliance, development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement.