The UA's Green Initiative
The United Association (UA) is a multi-craft union representing Plumbers, Pipefitters,
Sprinkler Fitters, and HVACR Service Technicians throughout North America.
The USGBC’s LEED® rating system standards for Storm Water Design, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, and Indoor Environmental Quality transform are architectural and engineering concepts that are transformed into reality by the knowledge and hands-on skills of UA workers.
The design and installation of sustainable water and energy systems in our buildings and homes are just the starting point of energy efficiency and sustainability. If a building or home is to remain “green over time,” it must be maintained and serviced by workers who feel ownership in the Green Building Movement. From installation and startup, to scheduled or emergency service, UA workers are involved at every stage in life of an industrial, commercial, or residential building.
Environmental systems in the commercial and residential structures, in which these new workers would live and work, became more and more complex, our national educational system reduced or eliminated essential training in hands-on skills and related craft areas.
The UA skilled trades training programs were never reduced in size or scope. Since we could no longer assume that entry level students were familiar with shop safety, basic physics, mechanical principles or the use of hand tools, we made sure that our training programs provided the foundation for the more complex training to
come. In a sense, our union became the repository of the hands-on knowledge no longer provided by high school shop programs.
UA Skilled Trades Training
Today, UA Training Department programs proudly graduate “knowledge workers” with technology skills plus hands-on skills and Associate Degrees in Construction Supervision and Sustainable Technology ─ with majors in Plumbing, Pipefitting, Sprinkler Fitting or HVACR. UA pipe trades industry workers are the heart, lungs, brain, and circulatory system of the Green Building Movement.
The UA is very proud of its leadership role in Skilled Trades Training. For the past three years we have been training instructors to certify our members in Green Systems Awareness. The program is also open to our Employer Partners as well as to the general public.
The UA Green Systems Awareness program has recently been recognized by the United States Green Building Council’s Educational Provider Program. The UA’s Green Systems Awareness Certification program has met the following criteria established by the USGBC for educational programs:
- Are preeminent in green building education and align with USGBC’s educational mission.
- Offer courses at all learning levels to supplement USGBC’s core educational offerings.
- Are thoroughly reviewed and meet USGBC’s criteria for instructional design and content quality.
The United Association is honored to have one of our educational programs in the field
of Sustainable Technology receive this recognition by the United States Green Building
Some new green developers naively start off by asking “What is the minimum amount of training necessary for a person to build, inspect and maintain green buildings”? Well, the fact is that, at the UA, we don’t have “minimum training.”