"Many of the homes in this country were built before energy and building codes were established, and often suffer from issues such as excessive energy consumption and poor indoor air quality. As we spend more and more of our time inside, there is a growing concern that the indoor environment may be negatively impacting occupant health. The main goal of this new certificate is to help health professionals, product manufacturers, contractors, technicians, students, and countless others recognize risk factors and use this knowledge to fix issues before they lead to major health problems," said Larry Zarker, BPI CEO.
The comprehensive Healthy Housing Principles (HHP) Reference Guide digs into the eight principles of healthy housing: keep it clean, dry, pest-free, contaminant-free, safe, ventilated, comfortable, and maintained. Each chapter focuses on a different principle – describing with instructional language and diagrams how to pinpoint and address any issues. This reference guide is conveniently available in both a print and digital flipbook version. Once review of the guide is complete, challenge the 100-question online exam to earn the certificate.
Kevin Kennedy, the principal author of the reference guide, says, "We didn’t plan to produce this guide in the middle of a national pandemic, but with everyone spending so much time in their homes, now is a great time to learn about ways our homes can both compromise and enhance our health."
Anyone interested in the connection between human health symptoms and the possible home issues that could be causing them should purchase the HHP reference guide and earn BPI’s Healthy Housing Principles Certificate. BPI Certified Professionals will earn eight (8) CEUs for successfully completing the exam for the HHP Certificate of Knowledge. For additional information on the HHP, visit www.bpi.org/hhp.
With the addition of the new HHP Certificate, BPI now offers a total of 14 certifications and2 certificatesto those interested in expanding their building science, healthy housing, and energy efficiency knowledge and skills.
BPI and Industry News
BPI and Industry News
There's been a change to the prerequisites for the Energy Auditor certification: When applying for the Energy Auditor certification there are requirements that need to be submitted before you can take the exams. Applicants were previously able to submit experience or any of the additional prerequisites within the last 3 (three) years. The change that has been made is increasing the time frame to 5 (five) years. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to BPI at HEPcertification@bpi.org. In summary, the Energy Auditor Scheme committee has updated the Energy Auditor prerequisites to:
Experience: Proof within the last 5 (five) years may be submitted.
Additional prerequisite categories (building trades experience, certifications and training): Proof within the last 5 (five) years may be submitted.
In case you missed the launch, BPI's Find a Contractor locator tool is up and running! The newly designed locator tool is fully interactive and allows users to find BPI GoldStar Contractors, Companies with Certified Professionals, and BPI Certified Professionals like you that service their areas. We ask that you check the locator tool and ensure that all of your information is showing correctly. If you need to update your information, please do so through your online account. The new tool is meant to be intuitive to the user, straightforward, and user friendly.
Home performance industry professional, Bill Spohn, and his wife Marilyn built a Net Zero home just north of Pittsburgh. It runs solely on solar and high performing windows, doors, and appliances. Click here to read and watch a video about their journey!
BPI is proud to annouce this year's recipients of the Jon Siemen Memorial Scholarship: Valencia Baymon, Robert Owens, Felicia Robinson, and Travis Tate. These recipients have shown that they meet the necessary prerequisites – work with a Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) or they are a U.S. military veteran – and have a passion for residential energy efficiency and safety. Congratulations to all! Click here to learn more about how to apply for the scholarship.
EFI is now offering health and safety gear and products (like facemasks, shields, nitrile gloves, and suits) on their wholesale website at great prices.
The 2020 National Home Performance Virtual Conference is fully online! Sessions cover great educational topics like Business Operations, Sales & Marketing, IAQ & Healthy Homes, Building Envelope, Diagnostics & Audits, HVAC Strategies, the Smart Home, Fundamentals, and more! The 100+ educational sessions will be available for a full 12 months, allowing you to earn CEUs and learn at your own pace. Learn more and register at events.building-performance.org.
Here's your feel good bit for the season:Read about Noah Lawrence, an energy efficient expert at Foster Lawrence Enterprises, LLC, and his transition into home performance work after many years of schooling (that he, like many, thought was the right and only path for him to take after high school).
BPI Business Tips
Preparing to Safely Re-open Your Business During the COVID-19 Pandemic
I don't have to remind you of how much the world and our home performance industry have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. You are out there living it. Times were tough with the complete pause on non-essential work, but the world is opening back up. Are you ready to head back to work in homes? Are you confused or a little unsure about protocols for working during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Luckily, there's a 4-hour online course you can take that will give you plenty of information and resources to feel confident heading back out on the job. I've taken it and can attest that it is chock full of helpful information.
The "COVID-19: Workplace Safety" course was developed by an OSHA trainer and other experienced home performance professionals, and comprehensively addresses all aspects of your work - like protocols for office staff, assessors, crew leaders, and crews. Contact Amanda Hatherly at email@example.com for more information and to sign up.
Topics covered in the course include:
Basic information about coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19
Common symptoms of COVID-19
How COVID-19 is spread
Why COVID-19 can be particularly dangerous for our clients
Simple measures that can be taken to enhance your safety
Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and recognizing when they should be used
Why physical distancing measures are important when working
Clear and unclear communication between workers that may impact safety
The importance of clear communication with clients
Safety protocols that might apply in different situations
The course is made up of short videos with many quick quizzes for recall and reinforcement of the information. It costs $75 for one person or $50 for 5 or more people. For more information, and to see for yourself how this course provides "good knowledge on how to get handle getting crews back into the field," contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
BPI is proud to offer 2 CEU credits for completing this course.
When it comes to certifications, we announced about a month ago that BPI is working with our stakeholders in different ways where needed, to help keep your certifications active and current. As a result, we have deferred some of our Test Center exam procedures and have allowed them to provide remote proctoring on a temporary basis. Anyone who is up for renewal now will have the opportunity to do so, by reaching out to our Test Center network, as there continues to be testing options available during this time.
If your certifications are expiring in the next few months and you are having issues getting recertified, please reach out to us at email@example.com to see if you qualify for an extension. As always, we are also here to help you with any general issues you may have during the certification or recertification process.
We hope that you are staying safe and healthy during these ongoing uncertain times.
Product Spotlight: ESS Energy Products, Inc.
Quarterly, BPI will feature a manufacturer and product from its Product Listing program, which highlights tools, products, and materials that meet industry standards for diagnostic evaluation and installation of energy upgrades to the home.
The Energy Guardian® Pull Down Ladder Covers are a fast, easy, and effective way to insulate and air seal attic entrances. These prefab kits have been a distinguished choice for home performance contractors, weatherization assistance, and utility programs throughout the USA and Canada since 2004.
Key features include:
20 Year Warranty
No modification needed to the existing hatch or pull-down ladder
ASTM E283 air leakage tested at barrier level, not floor level for pull-down ladder
Removable side for easy attic access
Covers for attics that have trussed roof as well as open attics
Key component to improve Indoor Air Quality
The Energy Guardian® Pull Down Ladder Covers provide a rigid barrier that is installed around the opening. The combination of the rigid barrier and ASTM E283 tested air seal, keep allergens, insulation, and other harmful material from the attic out of the living space.
Saving on energy costs, improving indoor air quality, and making homeowners more comfortable, are three important parts of the services provided by the home performance and weatherization industries. The Energy Guardian® Pull Down Ladder Covers are a cost-effective way to deliver these results to every customer. These products are available throughout the USA and Canada from a number of regional and national distributors.
Check out this article, written by Matthew Redmond, showing the benefits of prefabricated attic access covers vs. site-built covers. It mentions The Energy Guardian® covers!
Stump the Chump
Let's Play Stump the Chump!
Our last stumper from Tom Andrews was tricky and had a few nearly correct answers, but none that quite hit the nail on the head.
As a reminder, the house is a tight 1200 square foot ranch style home sitting on a slab with a detached garage. The water heater worked fine when tested under depressurization (-2.5 pa – baseline adjusted – CAZ door closed/forced air system blower on). But there are other times, on laundry day for example, that the CO alarm sounds and there appears to be a problem. What is going on?
Tom offered up the answer: The issue is that when the blower is NOT operating, the pressure in the main body of the home drops to about -6 pa (-5 pa baseline adjusted) due to the cumulative effect of all the exhaust fans. There is a return duct leak to the exterior which is pressurizing the main body when the forced air furnace blower is operating, and it is “hiding” the total effect of exhaust fan operation. So, when laundry is being done and other exhaust fans are operating, the water heater can struggle to vent. This scenario was not discovered because, in initial testing, the blower was operating when the CAZ door was opened for the last pressure measurement.
Thank you to everyone who submitted a response!
Send in a Stumper and Earn 2 BPI CEUs!
What an easy way to earn credits toward your next recertification! If you submit a stumper, you'll get an opportunity to share your technical knowledge, free individual and company advertising with a link to your company website, and 2 BPI CEUs. Also, we will choose one submission at random to win a Home Depot $100 gift card! For more information and to submit your Stump the Chump, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can You Solve the New Stumper?
At a home located in Hudson Valley New York, a home energy assessment was performed on a spring day in a 1985 ranch-style home. The assessor detected a mysterious foul odor during the blower door test. The home has three bedrooms and two bathrooms (one with a full bath with tub/shower and the other with a stand-up shower). The residents of the home are a retired couple with family living elsewhere, so they travel and are way from home periodically. Their main hobbies are wood-working and baking, and they mentioned that the smell seems to worsen while baking when the kitchen exhaust hood is running. They wondered if it could be a leak in the natural gas piping causing the smell, but no combustible gas was found during testing. Upon further inspection, the auditor was finally able to find the issue and rectify the problem.