Plumbing and Mechanical

BPI introduces building science certificate for home performance, energy upgrade industry

February 3, 2013
The Building Performance Institute launched its Building Science Principles Certificate of Knowledge and companion Reference Guide, responding to strong demand for a method of verifying basic building science knowledge in the home performance and energy-efficiency retrofit fields.

House-as-a-system building science demonstrates how various components of the home interact to affect the home’s overall performance. To perform optimally, the building envelope, heating, air conditioning, insulation, mechanical ventilation, lighting, appliances and other systems of the home must be considered together as one system.

“The Building Science Principles certificate is a first step into the world of home performance,” said Larry Zarker, BPI CEO. “It’s for those in the residential building trades and anyone interested in a career in sustainability who needs to know how homes work but don’t need the hands-on technical skills required of BPI-certified professionals.”

Earning the BSP certificate is based on passing a 100-question online exam that verifies a basic knowledge of building science. The BSP certificate’s companion Reference Guide helps prepare candidates to understand how various systems of the home interact to maximize energy efficiency, enhance building durability, and protect occupant comfort, health and safety. The Reference Guide can be used alone or as a complement to online or classroom training, should candidates require it.

Because the BSP is a knowledge-based exam, it requires no hands-on field testing with diagnostic equipment. For those considering a career in home performance contracting, it serves as an introduction to BPI’s technical certifications, including the Building Analyst, Building Envelope, Heating and AC/Heat Pump professional designations. The BSP certificate is not a BPI professional certification, and certificate holders are not BPI-certified.

BPI certified professionals will earn three Continuing Education Units by taking this exam and achieving a passing score.

BPI has received strong interest in the certificate from manufacturers on behalf of their dealers and distributors; from home inspectors, appraisers and realtors; from educators; and from program managers in government and utility energy-efficiency programs.

“The BSP certificate will be a major asset for the management and sales teams of successful dealers/distributors who need to grasp crucial home performance principles,” said Bill Spohn, CEO of energy-auditing and -testing tool manufacturer TruTech Tools. “When they feel confident about their knowledge of home performance, they’re better able to communicate the benefits of whole house solutions to customers.”

Vince DiFrancesco, CEO of training group Everblue said: “Not everyone in this industry needs to be an energy auditor, but everyone should have the foundation of knowledge that the Building Science Principles certificate verifies. For students interested in a career in sustainability or green buildings, this certificate is a must-have.”

For more information on the certificate, to purchase the Reference Guide or to register to take the exam, go to www.bpi.org/certificate.