Building the Efficiency Workforce: Preprint

Sarah Truitt, Juliana Williams, Madeline Salzman

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Demand for high-performance homes and buildings is growing due to their marketability, environmental benefits, and increasing affordability. Growth for energy efficient technologies and building upgrades has driven expansion across many traditional industries including construction trades (which added almost 21,000 jobs) and professional services (which added 35,000 employees) in 2018, according to the 2019 U.S. Energy Employment Report (USEER). As buildings become more automated, digitized and interconnected, the workforce that supports the design, build, operations and maintenance of these buildings must evolve. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) has engaged NREL to provide a framework upon which BTO can develop their next generation workforce development strategy. The strategy will be designed to increase quantity of workers with the skills to adequately design, install, maintain and operate high- performance buildings across all building sectors (residential, commercial, industrial). This paper will summarize past BTO workforce development efforts, identify current skills gaps and hiring challenges, and present anticipated future workforce needs based on new technologies currently being developed by labs and industry. Through a literature review and a series of industry and academic workshops, NREL will present a framework that includes multiple options to best prepare the next generation workforce.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2020
Event2020 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings -
Duration: 17 Aug 202021 Aug 2020


Conference2020 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-75497


  • buildings
  • energy efficiency
  • high performance buildings
  • workforce development


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