News & Updates

July 20, 2011

DOB Launches Sustainable Contractor Designation Program

Good News! GPRO: Construction Management has been named as one of the acceptable credentials for the NYC Department of Buildings’ new Sustainable Contractor Designation Program. Later this year, more GPRO courses will be listed as the program is expanded to include more professions. Notably, consumers will be able to search the DOB database to determine if the contractor they are considering hiring has the credentials to build green. Here’s details from the DOB:

On July 19th, New York City Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri launched the new Sustainable Contractor Designation Program. This initiative recognizes those individuals with expertise in environmentally friendly construction who are working to meet today’s increased demand for new, green technologies and reduce the City’s carbon footprint. The program identifies contractors who demonstrate knowledge in sustainable practices through third-party certifications/credentials.

Contractors who choose to participate in the program agree to promote the use of green technologies to their customers and report these projects to the DOB. Additionally, the program allows consumers to search for and identify contractors with expertise in green practices. Those licensees who the DOB indentifies as sustainable will have an icon in the shape of a green leaf displayed next to their names in the Department’s Buildings Information System (BISWeb).

Currently, only general contractors for 1-, 2- and 3-family homes can participate in the program. Later this year, the program will be expanded to allow master plumbers and electricians to participate.

The DOB has identified a list of acceptable credentials that will qualify a General Contractor for this designation. These credentials include GPRO Construction Management Certificate, LEED-AP (Homes or Interior Design and Construction), Certified Passive House Consultant, BPI Certified Professional, Energy Star Home Builder and several others.

April 14, 2011

GPRO Courses Now Offer AIA and GBCI CE Credits

GBCI and AIA credits are now available for all GPRO courses. Every hour of a GPRO course is equal to one CE hour.

Please click here to request a document certifying that you attended a GPRO course.
Please note:

  • Taking the GPRO exam is not required to obtain a certificate of attendance.
  • A certificate of attendance is not a GPRO Certificate.  To earn a GPRO Certificate, you must take and pass the GPRO exam with a minimum score of 70%.

The following GPRO courses are approved for GBCI credits (non LEED-specific) which count toward the CMP (Credential Maintenance Program).

  • Fundamental of Building Green (4 hours)
  • FUND + Construction Management (10 hours)
  • FUND + Operations & Maintenance Essentials (12 hours)
  • FUND + Electrical Systems (10 hours)

The following GPRO courses are approved for AIA Credits, which includes general LU’s (Learning Units), HSW (Health, Safety, & Welfare), and SD (Sustainable Design).

  • Fundamental of Building Green (4 hours)
  • FUND + Construction Management (10 hours)
  • FUND + Operations & Maintenance Essentials (12 hours)
  • FUND + Electrical Systems (10 hours)

You can see more detail about GBCI and AIA CEU’s in this document.

January 19, 2011

A Report from the Field: GPRO in Action

Pat Gallagher, VP of Estimating, BP MechanicalPatrick Gallagher is Vice President of Estimating at BP Mechanical Corporation

A little over a year ago, The Subcontractors Trade Association (STA), formed the Green Building Committee, which I chair. The Committee’s mission is to promote sustainability in the construction industry and to educate and support the STA membership in understanding the benefits and implementation of green building practices.

We believe that what subcontractors need most is education on what sustainability actually means, and their role on a green job.

In early committee meetings it was always stressed that we should help subcontractors understand how to execute green practices and why these practices are important. We also think it’s critical to educate ourselves about the impact our industry has on the environment.

We all agreed that the only way green building practices will grow into common building practices is to develop a passion for what we do. By limiting the impact construction has on the planet, we will maintain a livable economy for future generations of builders, and a sustainable environment for our children and our children’s children.

We have been fortunate over the last year to work with Urban Green Council in launching GPRO.

The course that’s most relevant to STA members is GPRO: Construction Management, which is designed for experienced CMs, GCs, site superintendents, project managers, projects engineers/clerks, facilities managers, commissioning agents, and others involved in the construction process.

My own firm, BP Mechanical, was one of the first organizations to test the program. We offered Construction Management along with the prerequisite, Fundamentals of Building Green, and I must confess I was quite nervous on how it would go over—but it was fantastic!

A class of 18 project managers, supers and estimators were engaged and excited to share their experiences with green building and learn what more they can do on green jobs. I strongly recommend that all subcontractors bring GPRO to their companies.

January 19, 2011

GPRO Training: A Closer Look

Deb Kleinman is the Executive Director of the USGBC Colorado Chapter, which is one of the first GPRO Delivery Partners outside of New York City. Deb talks to Urban Green Council ED Russell Unger about the genesis and potential impact of GPRO:

Deb Kleinman: How did GPRO come to be?

Russell Unger: A few years back, when we scanned green building education, we saw a glaring lack of attention to the people who actually construct and operate buildings. The green building movement didn’t seem to be thinking past getting developers on board and having architects and engineers design green buildings. We reached out to the Building Trades Employers’ Association and the Building Construction Trades Council, the umbrella organizations representing contractors and trades here in New York, and after a few months of discussion GPRO was conceived.

DK: Why is GPRO so important?

RU: To create higher-performing buildings, the teams that build them need to adjust to the cultural shifts taking place in the construction industry. This evolution towards green building requires not only that technology and building systems be well-integrated, but also that construction teams work more closely with each other than in a conventional job. Construction roles are changing and GPRO will help workers navigate this transformation. For example, in green buildings contractors are now regularly being asked for their input during the design phase, building operators are now considered an extension of the construction team, and the various building trades on green sites are more aware of what the other trades are doing. GPRO is a critical step towards making all buildings in this country greener.

more »

January 16, 2010

GPRO Goes Public in NYC

After three years of hard work and an investment of over $750,000, Urban Green Council has launched GPRO: Green Professional Building Skills Training. GPRO is a comprehensive national training and certificate program that teaches the people who build, renovate and maintain buildings the principles of sustainability combined with trade-specific green construction knowledge.  You can see the full announcement here.

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