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Miami-Dade County, University of Miami and Urban Green Council launch certification training to help make buildings more sustainable

Industry professionals will learn practices to reduce energy and water use, cut down on waste and make buildings healthier and safer for occupants

MIAMI ( March 29, 2019 )

A new green building certification program, offered through a unique collaboration involving Miami-Dade County, the University of Miami and the Urban Green Council, will teach industry professionals leading-edge techniques to reduce waste and pollution, make buildings more efficient, lower operating costs and leave a better green footprint.

Customized for South Florida’s specific climate and regional needs, the Green Professional Building Skills (GPRO) Certificate Program is the only authorized program of its kind in the State of Florida. In Miami-Dade County, where buildings are the second most common source of pollution and they waste an average of 30% of the energy and water they consume, this program is particularly critical.

The 14-hour non-credit certification program (12 hours of instruction followed by a two-hour exam) will be taught by GPRO-certified University of Miami faculty and Miami-Dade County staff. The program will be held on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus in April.

Program participants who attend all instructional hours and pass the exam will earn their GPRO credential. Graduates will also earn certificates of completion from the University of Miami and can receive 12 continuing education credits (CEUs) that are accepted by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI).

GPRO training and credentialing were developed by the Urban Green Council, an affiliate of the U.S. Green Building Council, which reviews projects around the world for LEED certification.
Miami-Dade County’s Office of Resilience, part of the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources, was a crucial collaborator in designing the GPRO Certificate Program. The program's curriculum aligns with the County’s resilience and sustainability initiatives, including the Building Efficiency 305 (BE 305) Program, which promotes improvements in building performance through programs and policies that increase energy and water efficiency in existing large buildings.

“Monitoring and increasing efficiency can have a significant long-term effect on our climate and resource consumption,” said James Murley, Chief Resilience Officer of Miami-Dade County. “Owners and investors may also be interested in the cost benefits and increased desirability of resource-conscious buildings.”

“GPRO training is both timely and an essential part of the building and construction industry,” said Esber Andiroglu, Ph.D., PE, LEED AP, associate professor and director of the Master of Science in Construction Management program. “Anyone from property and facility managers to building superintendents, engineers and government officials will benefit almost immediately from the training. Participants will be empowered to integrate green practices into their everyday work and to better advocate for efficient and healthy buildings.”

“Demand for talented professionals in South Florida with knowledge of building sustainability measures is expected to increase rapidly,” said Desiree Young, executive director of the Division of Continuing and International Education's professional advancement certificate programs. “Understanding real-world sustainability practices is invaluable both for those who are entering and those who are currently working in the field. By offering the GPRO Program, we will actively usher South Florida professionals into the next phase of green building.”

Many municipalities across the country already require building owners to track and benchmark water and energy consumption, and trained professionals are needed to gather and interpret the data.

Developed for professionals who build, renovate or maintain high-rise commercial and multi-family residential buildings and condominiums, GPRO is recognized as North America’s top program for teaching both the principles of sustainability and resilience and the techniques needed to implement those principles immediately. 

Tuition for the GPRO certificate program is $1,995, with an additional $195 for course materials and the certification exam fee. Professionals can register for the program online.

Custom training for organizations and discounted tuition waivers are available for large groups.