TO BRING LOCAL construction professionals into the green economy while creating a new construction services niche and generating export opportunities, Barbados Coalition of Service Industries Inc. (BCSI) has launched a new project.
With support from the German Agency for International Cooperation and the Caribbean Export Development Agency, service providers ranging from architects, engineers, contractors, interior designers, urban planners, real estate developers and policymakers will benefit from support to gain their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Associate and Accredited Professional designation.
BCSI executive director Lisa Cummins noted that as more countries embraced the conversion to a green economy, professionals involved in major building projects were required to have a LEED credential and to undertake construction in a sustainable way.
“With very few professionals on island with the credential, we found that a large percentage of the market – both actual and potential – was closed off to our service providers.
“Additionally, they were unable to bid on major and residential projects with large overseas firms because too few of our service providers had the certification. This project was developed to address that challenge, create new opportunities and enable our construction services providers to enter that green building market space confidently and competitively,” she said.
The executive director further noted that “these are extremely difficult economic times and we have to look at innovative ways of securing our existing market share even while expanding our market base in order to stimulate economic growth, promote business development, and support exporting”.
She said that BCSI was committed to doing its part, particularly in the non-traditional sectors where there is high growth potential, and was therefore appreciative of the unwavering support of its development partners who have continued to invest in efforts to promote private sector development.
“Supporting our construction professionals to gain LEED certification is part of a much bigger process which will roll out later this year,” Cummins added.
The entire CARIFORUM region has bought into the five-year project and the BCSI is leading not only Barbados, but also the region in developing a critical mass of professionals who can compete with their counterparts around the world on an equal footing.
Thirty-five professionals from across the region will take the LEED Green Associate exam each year for three years and 35 more will take the specialized Accredited Professional programme.
Participants will benefit from online preparation for the LEED exams, provision of all training materials, study guide and support for successful applicants to take the qualifying exam. Two years of the project will be dedicated to credential maintenance