|Flying Car - Ingenious|
This particular paradigm “hiccup” has been cited by more than one project attempting to implement integrated project management. In the most progressive of big rooms, design, engineering and estimating are all done "real time." The engineering expertise needed is not for a person who already has determined what needs to be done and doggedly pursues the doing of it, but for one who knows how to explore the possible solutions given the project parameters. It requires a mastery of the basic rules, experience of what has worked (or not) in the past, and a bit of that “ingenuity” to explore new options.
In a similar accreditation discussion for energy simulation aided design, the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) has rallied the call for an ASHRAE Standard, to “define minimum requirements for providing energy design assistance using building energy simulation and analysis.” This builds on the previous work of defining a Building Energy Modeling Professional (BEMP) certification. Certainly, this effort is to be commended, since this new energy modeling field was a bit of a rodeo, with the public having no way to differentiate between a cowboy and a clown. But beyond the point of competence to pass the exam, how does one encourage the necessary ingenuity to support innovative solutions? For this is the area with the design and construction which has the most room for innovation with the greatest influence on the environmental impact of the construction industry. How can one recruit and foster the skills for ingenuity.
One solution employed by this group has been to develop a very active list-serv and discussion page. There might also be lessons learned from the old apprenticeship programs, by differentiating the certifications by levels of mastery. A mentorship phase is common in architecture, and increasingly required in licensure for contractors. Given the relatively few members in this energy modeling field, mentorship groups might be established through the internet, with a stated expectation of sharing case studies and collaborating on solutions.
This new standard (209) will apply to new commercial buildings or major renovations. At this point, the committee is looking for members. Residential of three stories or fewer, (essentially those covered under the IRC) are not covered by this effort, and indeed energy modeling for residential is still very scarce. It is caught between the services of the full fledged, 4 year college accredited energy engineers, who work on the higher paying commercial construction jobs, and the energy auditors who are more likely to come from the field. In between is the need for “Energy Simulation Aided Design” for the residential market. Calling for competence…