Berkeley Lab Developing Building-Efficiency Curriculum

A group including U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) scientists and educators from a California community-college district are working together to develop a new curriculum for students training to be heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration technicians. The program, which incorporates a sophisticated building-operations simulation tool, is intended to boost graduates' knowledge of ...

03/01/2005


A group including U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) scientists and educators from a California community-college district are working together to develop a new curriculum for students training to be heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration technicians. The program, which incorporates a sophisticated building-operations simulation tool, is intended to boost graduates' knowledge of the latest techniques for maximizing energy efficiency in building operations.

The program draws on expertise from the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of the DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory , along with a focus group and follow-up interviews with about 40 industry stakeholders. Building commissioning is a key component of the training.

A new simulation tool will allow students to experience progressively more complex building-operating scenarios to increase knowledge about individual building systems and how to diagnose problems with them, as well as boost understanding of the interconnectedness of various building systems with one another.

The program is now focusing on programs offered by the Peralta Community College District in Oakland, Calif . However, the Berkeley Lab's Center for Science and Engineering Education also intends to educate faculty at schools across the country that offer environmental-controls technology associate degrees in ways to incorporate the new curriculum into their own offerings.





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