Not only may individuals need to be BPI certified, but companies may need to be accredited. The latter is a third-party under which a sample of a company’s work is inspected to make sure it is being completed to acceptable standards.
She points out there are a number of certifications available through BPI. “The certification most people get first is the Building Analyst certification. It’s a good introduction to the house as a system, and it provides the diagnostic skills you need to conduct an energy audit,” McDowell says.
Health and Safety, Too
“It also looks at health and safety issues such as mold and appliance zone testing,” she adds, “because when you seal up a house you want to make sure there are no gas leaks or carbon monoxide issues.”
BPI’s building envelope certification is the second level of certification often sought by those interested in making home performance part of their remodeling skill set. “It’s really about prescribing improvements needed to tighten the whole building envelope, control air leakage and optimize comfort,” McDowell says.
Residential Building Envelope Whole House Air Leakage Control Installer, or RBEWHALCI, is BPI’s fastest-growing certification. It certifies applicants have the skills needed to implement measures needed to tighten the building envelope and reduce pollutants and allergens. Other BPI designations are targeted toward HVAC professionals in context of whole-house retrofits.
Like Zarker, McDowell sees a moment when remodelers come away from the certification process with the realization of how essential the whole house as a system is to solving their customers’ problems and creating a better business model for themselves.