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BEST | Building Efficiency for a Sustainable Tomorrow Center


Building Efficiency for a
Sustainable Tomorrow Center
Oakland, CA

Peter Crabtree
Principal Investigator (PI)
(510) 464-3218
Technicians inspect a commercial chiller to repair or replace components before failure occurs.

Skill requirements for new technicians are evolving, expanding, and deepening rapidly to keep pace with modern building technologies.

BEST Supports Programs in Building Automation & Energy Efficiency

Professional development workshops and mentoring have enabled 10 colleges across the country to launch new programs in building automation systems (BAS) and to develop new courses and content in energy management. Through participation in the BEST Center network, colleges have access to model courses and curricula online, design specifications for high-quality instructional laboratory installations, and heavily discounted lab supplies and equipment.

Through its partnership with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, BEST provides its network of faculty with access to cutting-edge research in advanced lighting technology, whole building energy analytics, and the role of technicians in sustainable operations.

Industry Collaboration Benefits Instructional Programs & Labs

Partnership with industry is critical to achieving BEST’s mission. From technician credentialing to curriculum development, BEST’s strategic efforts aim to transform the building technician workforce:

  • “Knowledge Map” for High Performance Building Technicians, based on a national curriculum development meeting sponsored by the Department of Energy, is helping BEST create the foundation for development of a technician certification. The certification will be designed for community college graduates from BEST-network colleges that will align their curricula with nationally validated skill standards.
  • BEST leads a California-wide effort to provide advanced, high-performance technician training to industry incumbents. The project is also supported by the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities and recognizes California’s national leadership in enacting policies to produce zero net energy buildings.
  • Workshop sponsorships, donations, and equipment discounts help BEST network colleges invest in their instructional labs. Companies are also collaborating with BEST to develop internship programs that ensure students receive hands-on experience with the most current technologies.