I joined Cornell Cooperative Extension to learn about the basics of building sustainable residences with maximum energy efficiency. So for me, the entire summer boiled down to this past week. The Energy Corps had done training and reading having to do with building science, but this class was the cherry on top of an efficiency sundae.
I walked into class (late) on Monday morning to find the largest age range of committed young people trying to board the green jobs train our world is begging for. There were a few older adult contractors looking to upgrade their business, and by their side were some kids who had just graduated middle school. This made me feel comfortable in knowing that we were all part of something bigger and current that everyone needs to be a part of. Patrick Griffin (of Phi Global http://bit.ly/qP2SYN) started the class by discussing the importance of a BPI contractor. There are 100k certified auditors needed in order to accomplish the goal to make every residence in the US energy efficient, and as of recently, there are only around 25k. There is a high demand for these types of green jobs, and the youth is seeing this as an opportunity to ensure a profession after education, something even college graduates are struggling so hard to find.
The class combined tons of reading material with intense field work, where the students performed mock energy audits. This is where all of the reading and information began to make sense. Once everyone had finally gotten out of the classroom and into the jungle of a housing system, it was clear that we were all going to pass the certification. Everyone of us was dedicated and almost enchanted by unveiling the residential puzzle of houses and all the opportunities for saving energy. The house we audited had sections that were over 200 years old, which lead to many suggestions. The blower door couldn’t even generate enough power, and there was a mini hurricane in the living room with all of the air being rapidly sucked out.
Together the class trucked through a years worth of training and knowledge in only five days, and the end result was nearly 100% pass rate. The youngest member of the group scored the highest, by the time he is ready to graduate, he will already have his own green business!
-Aaron Diamond (@donzodiamond)