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Building Science Principles Certificate


Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you considering a career in green buildings, sustainability or energy efficiency?
  • Do you already work in the residential building trades?
  • Do you conduct home inspections?
  • Do you own a home or are you considering purchasing one?
  • Do you work in a call center or answer phones where you get questions about energy audits and/or efficiency?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then basic building science knowledge is critical to your success.

What is the Building Science Principles Certificate of Knowledge?

Earning the Building Science Principles (BSP) Certificate of Knowledge is your first step into the world of energy efficient home performance. You will learn some of the widely-used industry terminology related to building science. Building science demonstrates how various components of a home interact to affect the home’s overall performance. Understanding the relationships between the building envelope, heating, A/C, insulation, mechanical ventilation, lighting, appliances and other systems of the home will enable you to assist yourself and others. Learn how these systems affect the comfort, health and safety of occupants and durability of the home. Discover why improving the energy efficiency of the home should be the first step toward solar, geothermal, or other renewable energy improvements.

The second edition of the BSP guide features an extended renewables section and an entire chapter dedicated to the U.S. DOE Home Energy Score. The guide and the exam are available in English or in Spanish, based on the user's preference.

The BSP Certificate of Knowledge can be earned by studying the guide and then challenging the BSP online exam from your computer. The BSP exam is a 100-question multiple choice exam with a passing score of 70%. Once you successfully complete the exam, you can print your personalized BSP certificate from a computer connected to a working printer. Register here to take the 100-question online exam.

How Do I Get Started?

  • Training: Hands-on training is not required, although our companion web-based or printed Reference Guide will help you gain the knowledge you need to prepare for the 100-question online exam.
  • Cost: Choose from a digital or print edition of the BSP Reference Guide and take your exam online.
    • Web-Based Digital Reference Guide (Not mobile-friendly; recommended for desktop only) -  $109 
    • Printed Reference Guide - $129
    • BSP Online Exam - $109 
    • Note: Candidates who need to retake the exam for a passing score must pay the $109 exam fee for each attempt.
  • Scheduling: Because the exam is an online knowledge-based exam, it may be taken at any time from a computer connected to the internet. Candidates have one year from the date of BSP exam purchase to complete the exam. A BPI Proctor is not required to be present or record the BSP exam session. Click here if you prefer to take the exam at a BPI Test Center.

Who Should Get the Building Science Principles Certificate?

Building Trade Professionals: Build Trust, Improve Your Bottom Line, and Be Able to Speak to Consumers in Everyday Language

If you advise homeowners, but don’t need the hands-on technical skills required of BPI Certified Professionals at this time, the BSP is for you.

The knowledge you’ll acquire when earning this certificate will allow you to educate your customers about potential building performance problems, and help you to know when to call in an expert BPI Certified Building Analyst or Envelope Professional to conduct diagnostic testing.

  • Energy-related product manufacturers and their distributors and sales reps
  • Remodelers
  • Insulation/ HVAC/ window sales reps and installers
  • Solar, geothermal heat pump and other renewable energy system sales reps and installers
  • Non-hands-on employees of home performance contractors, including sales reps and administrative personnel

Students: Launch Your Career in Energy Efficiency and Building Sustainability

If you’re interested in green buildings, sustainable design and energy efficiency and you’re wondering how to apply your interests toward a career, the BSP is for you.

Earning the Building Science Principles certificate proves your worth to potential employers and helps prepare you for internships and other work. This certificate demonstrates your knowledge of residential energy efficiency and the importance of house-as-a-system building science.

  • Community college students interested in a career in the building trades
  • Vocational/technical trade students
  • Secondary school students interested in environmental sustainability

Home Inspectors, Appraisers, Realtors: Get the Whole House Perspective Your Clients Need

Are you a home inspector who needs to identify potential building performance problems in homes? Are you an appraiser or financial officer who needs to value green features of a home? Perhaps you’re a realtor who wants to be able to find, understand, and market homes with sustainable features. The BSP is for you.

  • Home inspectors
  • Appraisers
  • Realtors
  • Mortgage and energy efficiency financing officers

Policy and Program Managers: Improve Your Results and Reduce Risk

You shape the policies and programs that impact the performance of homes and the comfort, health and safety of occupants. Whether you’re a state regulator, a government or utility program manager, or a contract administrator, you need to understand the building science behind the policies you promote. Make more informed decisions and reduce your program’s risk when you know how the house works as a system.

  • Federal, state and local government energy office and call center personnel
  • Managers of state, local or utility home energy efficiency incentive programs
  • Contract administrators of incentive programs
  • Government regulators of incentive programs

Click here to get a sneak peek at the Building Science Principles Reference Guide.

Click here to purchase your exam and/or reference guide package.

BPI Certified Professionals can earn six (6) BPI CEU credits by passing the BSP exam and uploading their BSP Certificate of Knowledge through BPI's CEU Account.