ATLANTA - Energy use in buildings can be reduced by 10 to 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) is designed to help 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 will help earners demonstrate their knowledge of the management of facility operations and maintenance and its impact on HVACR system 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.

Individuals must meet certain eligibility qualifications to take the exam. For more information, an exam content outline, and available resources for exam preparation, visit

The fee for the OPMP program is $275 for ASHRAE members and $395 for non-members. For additional information, e-mail

Publication date:09/08/2008