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Solar Energy International (SEI) Breaks Ground in Accrediting Architects in Renewable Energy Technologies

published: 2014-09-17 11:00

Architects attending the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in New Orleans from October 22-24, 2014 can learn more about how to receive continuing education credits through Solar Energy International (SEI). Inspired by their new course, Inspecting Solar Heating Systems in New York State, developed in collaboration with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), SEI is extending continuing education credits (CEUs) not only to building code officials, but also to the designers and architects who are building the homes where renewable energy systems are installed.

SEI's Inspecting Solar Heating course is the first approved for 6 AIA learning units for Health, Safety, and Welfare (LU/HSW). SEI is currently working on registering their PV 101 course, which introduces students to solar photovoltaic design and installation. Architects need 18 learning units per year, 12 of which must be under the HSW category. These classes, focused on energy efficiency, electrical systems, national code, and methods and systems, will help architects stay current in their field and certifications.

Architects will not only learn the important safety and design concerns involved in renewable energy systems, but will also learn key technologies to help address energy use and the resulting carbon dioxide emissions (carbon dioxide is the leading contributor to atmospheric climate change) in the built environment.

According to an August 2014 press release by Architecture 2030, member organizations at the International Union of Architects (UIA) World Congress unanimously adopted a declaration to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions in the built environment by 2050. The UIA represents over 1.3 million architects in 124 countries worldwide. The "2050 Imperative" was also signed by the regional Architect Councils of Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa, something that is unparalleled in the 65-year history of the UIA.

"We have made great strides towards a sustainable built environment, but we still need to advance the industry to make sustainable design the de facto standard for all construction projects," said AIA President, Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, in a recent statement supporting zero emission standards.

"It's important to understand how rapidly changing solar technology has expanded opportunities for seamless and cost-effective options to integrate solar into all types of construction in almost any location, " says SEI instructor and curriculum developer Rebekah Hren, who is also a co-author of books on sustainable home design and renewable energy. "There are so many opportunities."


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