ATLANTA - Energy use in buildings can be reduced by 10-40 percent by improving operational strategies in buildings, according to a study by the Energy Systems Lab at Texas A & M University. A new certification program from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) helps building owners know they are hiring and retaining employees and consultants who know how to take advantage of such strategies.

The Operations and Performance Management Professional Certification (OPMP) program helps earners demonstrate their knowledge of the management of facility operations and maintenance and their effect on the HVACR systems’ performance. The program will launch at the ASHRAE Winter Meeting in Chicago in January and will be available via electronic testing centers worldwide starting in March 2009.

“With buildings using 40 percent of all energy in the United States, it is essential that their energy consumption be reduced,” said Bill Harrison, ASHRAE president.

“Every building, new or old, must be operated at its own optimum level. To do so, we must apply advanced knowledge and skills to building operations. ASHRAE’s OPMP certification helps professionals attest that they are well prepared to manage and maintain buildings to fully achieve reliability and their potential energy savings.”

Developed with input from the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers (APPA) and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the OPMP certification program is intended for those working in facilities operations, management construction, design, or consulting; and for those who have experience in facility operations and performance. By earning OPMP certification, those certified will demonstrate a well-rounded understanding and knowledge of the management of facility operations and maintenance and the affect of operation and management on HVACR systems’ performance. Individuals must meet certain eligibility qualifications to take the exam.

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Publication date:09/15/2008