BCA Blog: State of the Association – Letter from the President

Wood Harbinger’s own Bruce Pitts, CPMP, CSBA, LEED AP, is President of the Building Commissioning Association (BCA) International Board of Directors. He recently penned a “Letter from the President,” recapping the BCA’s 2016 efforts and looking ahead to what’s in store for 2017. Read the full letter below or on the BCA’s website here.

BCxA Members, Staff and Leadership have had a busy 2016. I’d like to take a moment of your time to summarize the progress we’ve made this year toward improving the commissioning profession as a whole for BCxA members, and share with you the initiatives for next year’s focus.

2016 in Perspective

Standardization, Accreditation, and Certifications. 2016 brought to fruition nearly 3 years’ work to establish the BCxA and sister organization Building Commissioning Certification Board (BCCB) as the true leaders of the commissioning industry. In July this year, the Certified Commissioning Professional (CCP) certification received ANSI accreditation and prestigious designation as a Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines Recognized Program. The CCP is the first and only Cx Certification to receive both distinctions.

Much work by our staff and leadership led up to this great position. In 2014, the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and US Department of Energy (DOE) convened the Commercial Workforce Credentialing Council (CWCC). The BCxA was invited to join and help create the Job Task Analysis (JTA), and Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines (BBWG) for commissioning. The BBWG goal is to improve the quality and consistency of commercial building workforce credentials in four energy-related jobs, including Building Commissioning (Cx) Professional.

BCxA waited to review the JTA and certification schemes in order to revise their CCP training and certification program to align with these guidelines. The revised certification program was developed to align with ANSI ISO 17024:2012 standards. US DOE had determined that greater standardization among the multitude of commissioning certifications developed over the past decade was necessary, so that federal agencies can more objectively determine competency among providers competing for federal work. DOE chose to standardize around ANSI ISO 17024:2012 standards because of the highly rigorous criteria and international acceptance.

Best Practices. BCxA’s Best Practices Committee revised the BCxA New Construction Commissioning Best Practices documents, including planning, design and implementation resources, and updated field templates for providers. The goal of this revision was to make the Best Practices document easier to read and understand, and therefore more accessible to a wider audience. Our membership base includes not only experienced professionals, but those still learning what commissioning is all about. The Best Practices document also helps us teach owners the value of commissioning; the more they understand the value, the more likely they are to include commissioning in their projects. The new Best Practices, including numerous sample forms and checklists, are electronically accessible and regularly updated.

BCA University. We launched the BCxA University in May 2016 with an extensive online and laboratory-based training program covering new and existing building commissioning. BCxA members who are recognized as national subject matter experts provided the knowledge to build the program’s training modules. BCxA also now offers two-day New Construction and Existing Building Commissioning classes to serve the broader market four times per year in venues around the US, Canada and South America.

Since 2008, the BCxA has hosted a popular Spring and Fall Webinar Series. These live webinars, led by well-known industry professionals, provide 90 minutes of up to date technical information and offer continuing education credits. Past webinars can be purchased at www.bcxauniversity.org. These recorded webinars are an excellent way for member firms and other organizations to provide educational training at a time and place of their choosing.

BCA Scholarship Foundation. The Foundation recognized the years of leadership provided by Michael Chelednik and, in his passing, named the annual Foundation Golf Tournament in his honor. With additional funds and the success of the tournament, we raised enough funds in 2016 to award four scholarships. The BCA Scholarship Foundation was created three years ago to bring the next generation of professionals into the field of quality assurance for high performance buildings. It is a 501.c.3 nonprofit organized exclusively to provide scholarships for qualified applicants who pursue education related to building commissioning. Whether you are a current student or pursuing continuing education, this scholarship is for you.

A Look Ahead to 2017

Annual National Conference. 2017 represents the 25th anniversary celebration of the longest running educational conference on building commissioning, the National Conference on Building Commissioning (NCBC) produced by BCxA. Each year NCBC connects commissioning, design, construction and operation professionals with advancements in the business, tools and science of delivering quality building performance. In 2017, for the first time ever, NCBC will be held in October, instead of May. This move was made to allow more members to attend and avoid conflicts with other spring conferences.

Owner Outreach. In 2017 we will focus on developing a strong outreach to owners through our Owner Member Committee, education, and advocacy. Our business goals this year include developing strong value proposition messaging that will resonate with various types of Owners to help build more commissioning business.

BCA Chapter Outreach. We have heard that chapter presidents are eager for more and better connection between the nationwide chapters of the Association’s leadership and staff. The International Board has developed the Chapter Presidents Advisory Committee as a means to bring together chapter presidents to work across regional lines, provide educational opportunities, and support stronger relationships. This advisory committee will serve as a relay point to help share the successes of one chapter with others so that they can be emulated. For example, we are encouraging other chapters to try Central Chapter’s successful TechTalks – short 5 minute presentations.

Here and Now

Board Elections and Membership Drive. October is the beginning of the election cycle for both the International Board of Directors and the regional chapter leadership. The request for nominations has been published and we are beginning to solidify our slate of candidates. At the risk of sounding cliché… “We Want You!” We encourage all of you to get more involved and to put your name in the hat for leadership positions. That includes you, young folks! Bring us your fresh perspectives and new ideas. If you’re not ready to take on the full weight of becoming a board member, there are also open committee positions through which you can be more involved. Talk to Liz or Sheri if you have a desire to use your talents on one of our standing committees.

Our membership drive is kicking off with our re-member program: by signing up now for 2017, you get the rest of the year free!

Thank you for your membership and commitment! This is an exciting time to join the only association dedicated to the commissioning profession. The best advertising is word of mouth – share the value of the BCxA with your colleagues.


Bruce A. Pitts

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