There are many skills that are shared by both home inspectors and energy auditors, and in fact many professionals are fully trained and certified in both of these fields. But for many who are looking for a career change, or to add a new service to their current business, it’s not clear what the difference is. Kaplan Clean Tech and Kaplan Real Estate have put our heads together to provide this information in a simply, easy to understand way.
In order to answer this, let’s have a short recap on what BPI stands for. The Building Performance Institute, or BPI, is an organism certifying energy efficiency efforts or energy audits in a house. For any individual working in this field, a BPI training and thus certification is a proof that knowledge and competences have been verified by an independent third party. BPI then oversees everything related to residential energy efficiency, home’s energy flow and energy conservation. Read the rest of this entry »
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If you have not sought certification as a building analyst or energy auditor, then now is the perfect time to enroll in an energy auditing course so you can get started working as a certified energy auditor. Even more reason to obtain your energy auditor or BPI certification is the passage of the North Carolina Energy Conservation Code, which sets regulations for minimum energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings. Now that North Carolina buildings have to meet these requirements, the demand for energy auditors who provide recommendations for building improvements should see an increase.
Hopefully this North Carolina law will help change the climate for green building practices. For North Carolina energy consumers, the law will reduce their energy costs considerably, while the energy auditors who will be more appealing to hire for energy improvement projects will see an influx of new customers, with the commercial building customers providing a large share of profits for building improvements. If you work in renovation or provide building retrofits, then you should certainly pursue an energy auditor certificate or BPI certification so you can work as a building analyst.
The energy conservation code is just one example of a state government interceding in building practices to make commercial and residential properties less expensive to operate and to set standards for energy efficiency in buildings. Building professionals with BPI certification and certified energy auditors position themselves well to take on more customers thanks to the eco-friendly climate created by legislation such as the energy conservation code.
BPI certification paves the way toward large-scale building improvement projects that promise higher returns on investment than private home energy improvement projects. The way to become BPI certified is to take an energy auditor training course so you can take and pass the BPI exam for building analysts.
Vice President Joe Biden and the Department of Energy (DOE) have developed a tool to easily visualize a home’s relative energy performance. The program is currently in a pilot phase at 200 sites across the country, and should be rolled out nationwide late 2011.
The Home Energy Score is a simple 1-10 rating of the current energy efficiency followed by a second, higher rating that homeowners may achieve after the recommended steps such as adding insulation, weather-stripping, and programmable thermostat.
Those responsible for conducting the ratings, known as Energy Assessors, will need to have either BPI or RESNET certification, as well as additional training provided by the Department of Energy.
Cathy Zoi, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE) compared the program to the miles-per-gallon (MPG) system in the automobile industry. The goal is to make the Home Energy Score as standard for home efficiency as the MPG is for automobile efficiency.
“The Home Energy Score will help make energy efficiency easy and accessible to America’s families by providing them with straightforward and reliable information about their homes’ energy performance and specific, cost-effective energy efficiency improvements that will save them money on their monthly energy bills,” said Secretary Chu.
by Robert Gluck
Joining the ever-increasing global ‘go green’ team is the MySpacing & E-texting college youth.
We all know how savvy and opinionated today’s youngsters are; well, they display their maturity and responsibility by combining their efforts in turning dorms across the nation into green residences.
Fertilizing flowers with watermelon rinds, going vegan with food choices and taking applaud-able earth-friendly steps like paying up to $10.50 a quarter to buy renewable electricity are just some of the ways that portray the involvement of college youth in “going green” and sticking to it.
According to an article titled “Eco In the Halls of Academe”, written by Lini Kadaba and published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, across all regions and the country, the green movement has taken up residence on college campuses.
Kadaba reports that new or renovated dorms have organic suites at Drexel University, green roofs at Princeton, geothermal cooling and heating at West Chester, and eco-friendly furniture at Villanova.
Known as green dorms, they are building in popularity as economics make more sense and eco-wise collegians expect and demand it.
This is also immensely important as college youth can move onto ‘green jobs’ from here and get ‘green jobs training’ too.
In her piece Kadaba quotes Paul Rowland, executive director of the Lexington, Kentucky-based Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
“More and more students are saying, ‘We want to know how green the campus is before we come there,’ “ Rowland told Kadaba.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which gives its seal of approval, LEED, to new buildings that meet its standards, has certified 76 dorm projects since it first offered the rating in 2000. An additional 307 are registered to pursue certification.
“Since 2006, the number of green dorms that have registered for LEED certification has doubled each year. In 2008, a record 127 projects applied. Through August of this year, 87 more projects had been submitted,” Kadaba writes. “The data doesn’t reflect renovations, popular with colleges and arguably more environmentally conscious.”
Also quoted in Kadaba’s piece is Amy Seif Hattan, director of the Advancing Green Building in Higher Education program at Second Nature, a Boston-based organization.
“In most cases, a dorm is just a shell in which to throw your stuff and sleep,” Hattan told Kadaba. “A green building is an ecosystem. It’s a pleasant place, it promotes health, it encourages dialogue.”
While environmentally conscious housing can trim the campus energy bill, it also offers less prosaic advantages, Kadaba writes.
“Green dorms expose students to the science of sustainability in practical ways and instill a way of life.”
“You’re getting a generation of kids who will be green natives,” Marie Coleman, a communications associate for the USGBC told Kadaba. “It’s what they know.”
Examples of what the students are up to at the dorms include timed showers with a 10-minute maximum, composting food scraps, hanging laundry to dry, and using lights with certain stinginess.
A green meter installed in a common room displays real-time consumption of electricity while another device shows water usage.
All college students interested in sustainability and energy efficiency can surely benefit from the wide array of “green” courses offered at Cleanedison.com.
They have a variety of options so that they choose whatever interests their ‘green-focused’ individuality – Energy Audit Training, LEED AP Certification, solar training, Nabcep Certification, BPI certification and many more.
We can all do with many more ‘green’ professionals.
So the ‘green-minded’ college youth will now be keeping their phone chargers unplugged and computers and electronics when not in use – switched off and lights turned off when they leave the place.
These precious but slight efforts will go a long way in ensuring a ‘green’ future for the times to come.
by Robert Gluck
Building designs that are green minimize environmental impacts as well as the impacts on people.
But this may be a definition that’s too broad.
In her article titled “Modern Building Design-Is it Green Yet?”, freelance writer Mary Smith says that when buildings are designed with the “green” ideals in mind, the amount of energy spent constructing the building and operating the building during its lifetime can be minimized.
“The past few decades has witnessed the development of a wide variety of building practices, hi-tech materials and innovative techniques needed to fulfill these ‘green’ goals,” Smith says.
“The use of sustainable materials is one important characteristic of a green building design. Materials that qualify as sustainable include those that are available locally or those that are recyclable. Non-toxic materials as well as those that are reusable or renewable are often chosen as well.”
“Orientation of the building on a site is another common characteristic of a green design or basically a characteristic of a LEED AP building design and construction. Building orientation can minimize unfavorable local weather conditions or take advantage of the sun (solar certification or solar training can make a difference here) to save a considerable amount of energy over the lifetime of the building.”
Smith says the specific techniques and methods of construction chosen by the building designer can minimize the impact of the construction process on the environment; in other words a LEED AP certification or a BPI standards building design (by a BPI analyst training certified professional) will take care of all ‘green’concerns of your building
Use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power (solar courses or solar certification and wind energy certification – professionals with these qualifications can aid you immensely with the correct environment-friendly choices) may be part of a green building design or a LEED certified building.
High efficiency water, waste and energy systems can reduce both the energy required, and lead to an environmental impact over the lifetime of the building.
A BPI certification usually provides ‘green’ minded home/building owners with a peace of mind as certified professionals work on it accurately and perfectly.
In spite of the recent global economic problems, sustainable building is projected to increase.
In part the ‘green’ growth or the ‘green building’ revolution is fueled by a growing number of government initiatives and by increasing public demand for green products and services.
More and more often the public prefers, and even expects, to do business with “green” companies. Hence the popularity of LEED courses and LEED training.
Dozens of green building standards currently exist due to the public demand for everything green. The best known of these standards, created by the US Green Building Council, is of course LEED (for the uninitiated LEED stands for – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
But more is necessary.
“The problem is that there is no national standard yet,” Smith says.
“The lack of a strong national green building standard has led to some problems. Some buildings that claim to be green are in fact not green at all. Some companies feel they cannot compete without a claim to one standard or the other. In the worst cases, the issue of sustainable or green practices and materials has never even been considered, much less implemented.”
The importance of green building design has taken many years to catch on.
But the question is – what happens next?
As a writer who follows green building & the building sciences closely, Smith knows it has now become an important global trend.
“Some experts believe the trend towards green buildings will continue to grow. Others say green building design and practices will become less discretionary and more mandated. I think it will become standard practice. We’re not there yet, but governments and the building industries are moving quickly in the right direction,” she concludes.
If you’re interested to know much more about ‘green’ buildings (a building science course or a BPI training maybe) or be a LEED green associate, then just come to our website –