Posted by: lcowie | November 16, 2010

What is BPI?

There are multiple Building Performance Institute (BPI) designations out there, but the most common ones right now are Building Analyst and Envelope Professional. Others include Manufactured Housing Professional, Heating Professional, and A/C or Heat Pump Professional. These are for 1-4 residential units. The multifamily (5+ residential units) has four other designations.

BPI Building Analyst and Envelope Professional are important because they are the basics of building science and serve as an introduction to the “house-as-a-system” approach. After you earn these two designations, and gain more experience in the industry, it should be easier to attain the other designations.

Energy auditing has only recently exploded, what with the Home Star legislation in Congress. The BPI Building Analyst and Envelope Professional designations are achievable by persons who have no experience in the industry. It is absolutely possible for a person with no building experience to become a certified BPI Building Analyst. All it takes is sufficient training. I enrolled in a BPI training course that lasted 4 days and passed the Building Analyst written exam with an 81.

BPI Energy Auditing training is addictive. You learn the basics of building science to earn your Building Analyst credential, and you supplement that knowledge by learning about duct blasting and zone pressure diagnostics to earn your Envelope Professional. At that point, you are fairly knowledgeable about the “house-as-a-system” approach and want to learn more. The educational gap between Building Analyst and Envelope Professional is quite small. I can only wonder if the gap is as small between the other designations. If that is the case, and you are a professional in the industry, why wouldn’t you take the extra step to earn a more targeted designation? Different occupations benefit from different designations. If you’ve gone as far as attaining your Envelope Professional designation, you might as well go the next step to learn all the material (and to become an expert) in your exact field.

Leave a comment letting me know your thoughts on the other BPI designations.



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