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BPI & HERS Training
BPI & HERS and Building Science Training

With more than 30 years of experience in building science, Heyoka staff teaches the BPI Building Analyst courses as well as several other locally developed building science and residential ventilation courses. The major certification programs are provided by the Building Performance Institute or BPI and the Residential Energy Services Network or RESNET that offer HERS (Home Energy Rating System) ratings.  As the national programs develop, they will rely on Certified Energy Raters to perform the testing, create work orders for homeowners, and check that the work has been done properly.  Good, comprehensive training is vital to making sure that the right work is done and done correctly.  It is one of those subjects that take a short time to learn but a lifetime to master.  Every house poses a new set of challenges.



RESNET offers a computerized rating system working toward a Zero Energy home with a rating of zero as the ultimate goal and an average home with a rating of one hundred.  The home being modeled is compared to a similar home based on comparable specifications that is “built” by the computer software while the information on the subject home is entered in the software.  The system is very carefully quality controlled with each home being logged into a data base and quality controlled through third party verification and testing.  


HERS raters are taught how to measure the homes and enter the data in the software.  They are also taught how to use blower doors to test for building pressures as well and duct testers to measure the leakage in the ducting.  Until recently the majority of the HERS rated homes have been new homes, and because of that the HERS ratings have not been concerned with combustion safety.



BPI, on the other hand, has been more focused on existing homes with health and safety as a central tenet of the programs.  BPI Building Analyst training is the core certification, the foundation for all of the other certifications including Building Shell/Envelope, Manufactured Housing, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump, Heating, Multifamily Building Analyst, Energy Efficient Multifamily Building Operators, Multifamily Heating System Design, and Multifamily Advanced Heating.


Analysts must be able to recognize different types of heating systems and their associated distribution systems.  They are taught to test all of the gas supply connections from the source to each appliance and to verify any suspect gas leak with a “bubble fluid” and mark the connection for repair.  They are taught to recognize the Combustion Appliance Zones or CAZ throughout the house, and they are taught how to put the house into the worst case condition when the appliance will have to work the hardest to establish draft in the flues and work properly.  They have to be able to test for spillage, test the draft in the flues, and measure undiluted carbon monoxide (CO) in both the heating appliances as well as in other appliances such as ovens and ranges.


Like HERS Raters, BPI Analysts are taught how to use blower doors, and in the Building Shell/Envelope certification, they are taught to use a pressure pan to test the leakage in the ducting.


Many of the students coming into the programs have little or no background in construction or building science.  They are provided with a great deal of information in a very short time – at most two weeks but more typically six days and sometimes as little as three days.  During that time they are introduced to the fundamentals of building science and thermodynamics and to all the test equipment that is now being used to test homes for performance and safety.  They are introduced to a mélange of trade terms including ASHRAE, AHAM, NFPA, HVI, ACCA, and many others.  And with the enormous pressure to get a vast number of homes worked on (a number of 5.8 million in 28 months), there simply isn’t enough time to go into depth on any specific issue like mechanical ventilation.


Building Analysts and HERS Raters are taught to consider houses as systems and to recognize that any change they make will affect the house and potentially the health and safety of the occupants.  We can have an enormous impact on the energy loads generated by homes, and that will be good for the occupants, the country, and the world.  It is a learning process for all involved.


Contact us for more information on where you can get training in your area.  [email protected]