While it’s no secret that building professionals such as plumbers, framers, and electricians are in short supply across the U.S., another type of construction-related labor shortage is just as pressing but often overlooked: the lack of young people who are interested in building science.
As the average age of code officials and other performance-driven construction pros rises, the need for young building scientists has become more serious. A recent National Institute of Building Sciences study for the International Code Council revealed a “mass exodus” of building safety professionals from the industry, with 80% of respondents saying they plan to retire within the next decade.
Organizations are working to spark interest in building performance–related careers. RESNET’s two-year-old Emerging Leadership Council recruits and mentors pros who are passionate about home energy use, codes, and energy policy. The group has developed a toolkit for rating providers to use to speak to schools about their work. In addition, the ICC aims to attract interest in the building safety industry by expanding its technical training, developing a mentor program, and reaching out to veterans and building professionals who are looking for a career change.
Click through the links below to meet five young professionals who represent the next generation of research-based building practitioners. From a federal researcher to a private home builder, these young leaders rely on science to shape their thoughts on the future of home building.
Green building consultant aims to make certification simpler and stronger.
RESNET program director sets his sights on efficiency.
Results-minded researcher pushes the envelope on energy efficiency.
Self-confessed "energy nerd" looks at homes from the ground up.
Building failure expert looks to high-performance solutions.