• [ May 17, 2013 ]
  • Iowa Building Energy Efficiency Training Needs Assessment Report: May 2013

The Iowa Energy Center conducted a survey earlier this year in order to identify the latest training needs of Iowa building professionals. From February 6 until March 8, the Energy Center offered an online survey for professional groups and associations in order to gather enough information to assist these groups in organizing more effective training activities in the future. The Energy Center believes that educating and training building professionals is crucial in keeping them up-to-date with the latest technologies, standards, and information so they can better design, build and operate buildings in an energy-efficient manner.

After meeting with the Iowa State University Survey and Behavioral Research Services in September 2012, the Energy Center designed an online survey to explore the needs of Iowa’s building professionals. The questions revolved around who they are, which building technology groups they belong to, and which topic areas/building technologies are they most interested in receiving training. The survey was available for approximately a month, resulting in 222 completed responses.

From the responses of the 222 participants, the study concluded:

  • 80% of the 222 participants are affiliated with or have received training from building professional groups.
  • Many participants are affiliated with or receive training from American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Iowa Association of Energy Efficiency (IAEE), U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Iowa Energy Center (IEC), American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Iowa utilities.
    • The survey results likely to be most useful to these organizations’ chairs or training/program chairs.
  • 38% think it’s very important to participate in training to obtain Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Professional Development Hours (PDHs), while 24% may not have requirements for CEU or PDH, so it is not primarily the reason they participate in training.
  • 76% of the participants attend trainings with the goal of improving the energy efficiency of their buildings.
  • Survey indicates that participants prefer face-to-face training at a centralized location, while real-time online webinars fall behind at a close second.
  • Participants prefer day time training Monday – Friday.
  • Des Moines is the favorite training locations.
    • Other high scoring locations are Ames, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.
  • In general, the respondents like to receive training in Building Energy Performance, Energy Codes and Standards, Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality, High Performance Building – Mechanical System Design, Building Controls, and Human Behavior Comfort and Energy Use.

The goal of this survey was to accurately obtain enough information for Iowa building professional group leaders to effectively plan future training sessions. The Energy Center will now work with the Iowa building professional groups to create a centralized, dynamic, and coordinated Iowa energy efficiency training calendar. This calendar will be on the Iowa Energy Center website for easy access to state-wide training opportunities available to energy efficiency professionals and the general public.

To download the full survey report click here.