These folks are getting a bit more recognition these days: whole building energy professional. It's not cosmetic. Now engineers to installers, techies to traditionalists have a name that fits their value. And so does their club: ASHRAE - the organization formerly known as the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers- is now just ASHRAE but with an aspirational tag line: Shaping Tomorrow's Built Environment Today.
Every time I take a team on a tour of their own building, anyone who sees the boiler room or basement for the first time is made different by the experience. Oh I don't understand even a 10th of this specialized profession, and most who see that basement for the first time may never get in there again, but we all know and respect what goes on there, and from then on we include those Guys and one Gal in our work.
In my mantra for going green at your museum, the last line is "first thing you do, get an energy audit". That's how important it is. That's how important the HVAC Guys and one Gal really are. So if you haven't had that energy audit yet, if you haven't been down in your basement for a year, call your whole building energy professional and crawl around, stroll around, climb around your system. It matters.