Jan 13, 2022
BPA Board Chair Paul Francisco Says Equity is Key to Future
Paul Francisco is the chair of the Building Performance Association's Board of Directors. He is optimistic about the association's potential to serve the industry and believes a focus on equity is key to building a skilled workforce. Francisco has over 25 years of experience in housing research and is an ASHRAE Fellow. He is also the Associate Director for Building Science at the University of Illinois' Applied Research Institute and is the Director of the Indoor Climate Research & Training group.
Paul Francisco is now six months into his two-year term as the chair of the Building Performance Association (BPA)’s Board of Directors, and he’s optimistic about the association’s potential to serve and further our industry. As the chair, Francisco serves as the board’s contact point on board issues, sets goals and objectives, and ensures those goals are met.
“From an organizational standpoint, thanks to our excellent and dedicated team, we are poised to emerge from two years of pandemic stronger than before,” he says.
Francisco is the Associate Director for Building Science at the University of Illinois’ Applied Research Institute and is the Director of the Indoor Climate Research & Training group and IREC-accredited weatherization training center. He is also a Sr. Research Associate at Colorado State University’s Energy Institute.
He has been performing housing research for over 25 years with a focus on energy efficiency and indoor air quality. Francisco also trains building performance practitioners on building diagnostics, ventilation, healthy homes, and indoor air quality. He is an ASHRAE Fellow, was the chair of ASHRAE 62.2 for five years, and has chaired ASHRAE’s Environmental Health and Residential Buildings Committees.
From an industry perspective, we are at a crucial juncture. “We are faced with supply chain problems and workforce shortages, while at the same time our industry is being looked at as an important part of multiple policy directions including economic recovery, poverty alleviation, and climate change,” says Francisco. “We have already seen some legislation passed that will infuse billions of dollars into our industry and we have broad support for other initiatives such as Hope for Homes.”
Given this, he asks, how will our industry rise to the occasion given the resource challenges we’re facing? “A focus on equity is key,” says Francisco. “Not only is it the right thing to do; the only way we are going to be able to build a sufficient workforce of qualified and skilled professionals is to expand our appeal and our reach into communities that have not traditionally been part of the building performance field. Therefore, one of my major endeavors as chair will be to make sure that everything we do considers equity. Together, we will make meaningful change that will position us to grow and strengthen our industry and our members.”