32BJ SEIU Celebrates Green Supers Training Program
Earlier this month, Local 32BJ SEIU
, the nation's largest building service workers union, held a forum that celebrated the achievements of the 32BJ Training Program's Green Supers training
program. Over 100 union members and guests turned out on November 11th to hear how Green Supers have succeeded in making their buildings more efficient while saving money and winning over the support of building residents.
Kyle Bragg, Secretary-Treasurer for 32BJ SEIU, moderated the forum and kicked it off with testimonials from two Green Supers on how the training impacted their work and their buildings. Victor Nazario, the Resident Manager for The Whitney Condominiums, recounted how the training opened up his eyes to a new perspective on his building and instilled in him an obligation to make his building more efficient not only for the residents but also for future generations by helping to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Marat Olfir, the Resident Manager for The Future Condominiums, spoke about how training helped him rise from handyman to resident manager. He credited Green Supers training with helping him and the previous manager, Sean Wade, make many improvements at the Future that resulted in real energy and cost savings.
Steven Winter Associates then presented their findings from an evaluation they did of the program. Mark Zuluaga, Vice President of Multifamily Services, and Grant Salmon, a Senior Energy Consultant, reviewed the main strategies that Green Supers employ in improving their buildings and examples of the kind of impacts they have on building energy use and savings. The Steven Winter report concluded that 5% to 20% energy savings are achievable by improving operational efficiency through strategies promoted by the Green Supers training.
The event was co-hosted by the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations
(RAB) and Urban Green
, the New York chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Linda Nelson, the Director of the 32BJ Training Fund
, and Jeffrey Brodsky, the President of Related Management and Chair of Urban Green, made opening remarks.
You can see a full video of the forum and access the Steven Winter report here
Sunday: Talking Transition Event on Residential Sustainability
For the first time in 12 years, New Yorkers will have a new mayor. A new initiative, Talking Transition
, is facilitating an open conversation about the future of New York City to help shape the next Mayor's goals and strategies. This Sunday, November 17th, from 10-11:30am, Urban Green Council
and its co-hosting partners will host a session at the Talking Transition tent at Canal Street & 6th Avenue. It is open to the public, and the topic is how to make NYC homes and apartments more sustainable, healthy, and resilient.
The program will begin with a brief introduction, followed by 30 minutes of moderated table discussions within small groups, who will then report back to the full assembly. Attendees will sit at tables of 10 and be asked to reflect on three questions:
- What are the challenges to making more energy efficient, healthy, and resilient homes?
- Why has such a small proportion of apartment and single-family homeowners engaged on these issues?
- What can the new Mayor do to better engage them?
After the table discussions, representatives of each group will briefly present their ideas and thoughts. Urban Green Council and the co-hosts will compile this information and submit it to the Talking Transition Team, which, in turn, will be compiling and presenting to our new Mayor the results of a multiplicity of different issue-focused programs that are taking place over the course of the next two weeks.
Join Talking Transition
to share your questions, stories, and ideas for the city's future. By making your voice heard, you can help inform the mayor-elect's agenda for the next four years and make sure that City Hall prioritizes the issues most important to you. Click here
to learn more.
Assessing the Impacts of the Green Supers Program
32BJ Training Fund retained Steven Winter Associates (SWA) to complete an assessment of the impacts of the Green Supers Program. SWA conducted an exhaustive study, including:
- Interviews with 38 program graduates
- Analysis of 902 surveys conducted by 32BJ Training
- Visits to 18 buildings operated by program graduates
- Building energy consumption analysis for 43 buildings
- 4 whole-building case studies of energy efficiency improvements implemented by program graduates
- 5 isolated energy conservation measure case studies showcasing implemented sustainability strategies
SWA coordinated with 32BJ Training staff throughout the assessment to capture the diversity of ways in which the Green Supers program has impacted property service workers and the buildings in which they work. SWA's measurement and verification evaluation showed parallel conclusions to the EPA/DOE study: 5% to 20% energy savings are achievable by improving operational efficiency.
Over the course of the assessment, SWA worked with 32BJ Training staff to identify 38 program graduates to participate in phone or in-person interviews to discuss their perception of the program. These property service workers were selected based on 32BJ Training's recommendations for program participants that were most engaged and showed the most sophisticated understanding of the concepts related through the program.
Green Supers: Time to Recertify?
For many 32BJ Green Supers their BPI Multifamily Building Operator (MFBO) certification may expire soon. This 3 year certification is an industry standard that means a building operator is grounded in the basic strategies of an energy efficient building operator. There are two ways to renew your MFBO certification - you can retake the BPI certification exams or you can apply to waive the exams if you have taken relevant courses and have relevant work experience. You must apply to waive your exams no later than 30 days before your certification expires. You can retest anytime regardless of your certification expiration date. Retaking the Exams
The 32BJ Training Fund offers a Recertification Quick Course to union members who are eligible for the training benefit. The seminar is 4 sessions long. The first 2 sessions are a quick review of the Green Supers training course while the last 2 are for the written and the field exams. The next seminar is scheduled for February 4th. You can sign up for it on-line here
when registration for the winter trimester begins on November 19th. If you are not eligible to take classes at the 32BJ Training Fund, you can look up another training program in your area on the BPI website here
. Waiving the Exams
There is a $300 fee to apply to waive certification exams. The written and field exam have different criteria for waiving. To waive the written exam, you need to document that you have earned 30 BPI approved Continuing Education Units (CEUs) since you were originally certified. Many 32BJ Training courses have already been approved by BPI as CEUs. A list of the 32BJ courses that are pre-approved by BPI for CEUs is available by emailing 1000Supers@32bjfunds.com or calling (212) 388-3220.
To waive the field exam you need to document that you have 3,000 hours of relevant experience. You will need to get a signed statement from your supervisor on letterhead confirming that you have worked the required amount of time in a job that is related to building operations.
You can print out the application to waive the exams here
. The application includes a template for the letter confirming your work experience. You should also send certificates of completion for the classes you have completed if you are applying to also waive the written exam.
You can read more about BPI policies for renewing a certification here
. If you have any questions, call 32BJ Training at (212) 388-3220 or BPI at (518) 899-2727.
Stay competitive. Stay certified.
Green Supers Forum on Tuesday, Nov. 12th
A forum on the successful "Green Supers" Training program is scheduled for Tuesday, November 12th, at 6:00pm. This joint labor/management initiative was launched as an innovative training program to give building operators a comprehensive approach to energy management in multifamily buildings. The training targeted building superintendents, handypersons and other building service workers as catalysts for change. The course covered basic concepts and efficiency strategies on building envelope, lighting, HVAC, as well as Indoor Environmental Quality. It culminated in a Green Building Plan and testing for the BPI Multifamily Building Operator Certification
and Urban Green Council's certificate for Green Professional in Operations and Maintenance
(GPRO). Over 2,000 union members have gone through this training. Steven Winter Associates, Inc. completed an evaluation of the Green Supers Training Program and reported that it is not only a proven model in New York City but also scalable nationwide.
Below is the schedule for this forum. RSVP by emailing 1000Supers@32bjfunds.comGREEN SUPERS: THE CRITICAL ROLE OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY TRAINING
November 12, 2013 - 6:00pm to 8:30pm - Hosted by Local 32BJ SEIU
& Urban Green CouncilSCHEDULE:
6:00 - 6:30 Registration and Reception
6:30 - 8:00 Panel Discussion and Q&A
8:00 - 8:30 Reception (continued)LOCATION:
25 West 18th Street (5th Floor Auditorium)
New York, NY 10011WELCOME:
Linda G. Nelson |Director of the 32BJ Training Fund
Jeffrey Brodsky |President of Related Management; Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Urban Green CouncilMODERATOR:
Kyle Bragg | Secretary-Treasurer for 32BJ SEIU SPEAKERS:
Victor Nazario | Resident Manager for The Whitney
Marat Olfir | Resident Manager for The Future
Steven Winter Associates, Inc.:
Marc Zuluaga | Vice President
Grant Salmon | Senior Energy ConsultantContinuing Education Credits may be available from GBCI, AIA & BPI
Green Supers: The Critical Role of Energy Efficiency Training
To all 32BJ 1,000 Green Superintendents participants, supportive employers and guests:
You are invited to the following event:
Green Supers: The Critical Role of Energy Efficiency Training
Join us in celebrating the achievements of the 32BJ Green Supers Training Program. This joint labor/management initiative provided more than 2,000 members with the skills to operate and maintain their buildings efficiently.
Hear success stories from Green Supers and a report on the impact of the overall program by Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
What: Green Supers: The Critical Role of Energy Efficiency Training
When: November 12, 2013 (Tuesday), 6:00pm-8:30pm
Where: 32BJ SEIU, 25 West 18th Street -5th Floor Auditorium
Please RSVP be emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
This green event will be hosted by 32BJ SEIU and Urban Green.
Beer, wine and light refreshments will be served at a reception before the event.
See you there!
Building Energy NYC - Oct 15-16
The building, sustainability, and resilience sectors will come together at the second annual BuildingEnergy NYC (BE NYC). The program is sponsored by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA
). BE NYC is one of NESEA's newest programs, presented in partnership with its New York chapter, GreenHomeNYC
. Hosted at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, BE NYC features dozens of local experts and building owners presenting two days of accredited educational sessions, as well as a high-level trade show and a wide range of networking opportunities with the hundreds of owners, managers, architects, engineers, designers, developers, planners and policymakers who will be creating the future of our built environment.
32BJ SEIU members can received a discount of $85 off registration - just use the code BENICE when you register at the event website here
Benchmarking - Connecting the Operator with Building Data
NYC is in its third year of benchmarking the energy use of buildings around the city. Buildings over 50,000 square feet are required to annually report their utility use to the NYC Department of Finance. Although the city is a trailblazer with benchmarking and has completed detailed analysis of benchmarking data, benchmarking can prove little more than a paperwork exercise for most building managers and operators.
A new report by Friends of Benchmarking, a coalition of organizations promoting benchmarking, has diagnosed the problem - indigestible information. The group calls on NYC to continue the momentum on benchmarking with an initiative to "design and sustain a coordinated information campaign about what benchmark data means." The study prescribes several strategies, including mapping building performance across the city and enhancing benchmarking data by taking into account other factors that impact building performance, such as occupancy and activity in the building.
A recent article in the NY Times bore this out - when the city assigned grades to buildings based on energy use, some building managers responded that the scores were not taking into account the type of energy use that was driving up their score. For example, the reporter asked the management at the Solaire, a LEED Gold building in Battery Park, about their poor grade for high energy use and they pointed out that they have their own water recycling plant and enhanced HVAC systems. NYC does note in its report that high energy use does not always mean energy waste.
You can see the NYC benchmarking data on buildings and the city reports here
. You can read the Friends of Benchmarking report here
. You can find useful tools on the NYC benchmarking program here
. And you can see the NY Times article here
Join the Green Supers Newsletter
About 1,000 Green Supers
The 32BJ Training Fund aims to provide free training to 1,000 32BJ superintendents in one year. This program is a cooperative effort between property managers, 32BJ members, union staff, and our city’s greenest superintendents. Participating property managers send their supers to a rigorous 40-hour core course that covers all aspects of green building operations and maintenance.
NYC Buildings with Green Supers
View NYC Buildings with Green Supers in a full screen map
Greening NYC's Buildings
Check out this report released by The Urban Green Council and 32BJ Thomas Shortman Training Fund on the importance of operations and maintenance (O&M) on building energy consumption. It shows how training superintendents can improve New York City's energy efficiency, reduce operating costs, and help address our climate crisis. This blueprint for greening NYC's buildings ensures that property managers stay out of the red.