Industry News & Announcements

>>ASHI, NAR and USGBC Recognize BSP Certificate for Continuing Education
Three organizations representing the home inspection, real estate and sustainable building industries have recognized BPI's Building Science Principles (BSP) Certificate of Knowledge for the basic principles of residential energy efficiency, health and safety it brings to the continuing education of their membership. The BSP Certificate is earned by passing BPI's 100 question, multiple choice online exam on the principles of building science behind house-as-a-system energy upgrades. 

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has approved the BSP Certificate for five Continuing Education credits for its member home inspectors. The National Association of Realtors' (NAR's) Green Resource Council has approved the BSP Certificate as an alternative training program credit for Realtors to earn NAR's Green Designation. The U.S. Green Building Council's Green Building Certificoration Institute (GBCI) awards six Continuing Education hours for studying the BSP Reference Guide and passing the online exam.

The BSP exam is a 100-question multiple choice exam that can be taken anytime online. Candidates prepare for the exam by first studying the companion reference guide that walks you through the major systems of the home. 

BPI will release the 2nd edition of the reference guide this summer. New features include an expanded solar section, a chapter on offering customers energy ratings of their homes using the U.S. Department of Energy's Home Energy Score, and a Spanish-language edition of the guide and exam. Learn more here. 

>>International Societies Form Indoor Environmental Quality – Global Alliance
A newly formed alliance seeks to serve as a global source for information, guidance and knowledge on indoor environmental quality. A memorandum of understanding creating the Indoor Environment Quality Global Alliance was signed June 29, at ASHRAE’s 2014 Annual Conference in Seattle, Wash. Other groups joining the Alliance are the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC), the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA), the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) and the Federation of European Heating and Air-Conditioning Associations (REHVA).

The Alliance was formed by an ad hoc committee appointed by ASHRAE 2013-14 President Bill Bahnfleth to explore ways in which industry groups could work together to address all aspects of indoor environmental quality and health.
>>Energy Department Invests $6 Million to Support Commercial Building Efficiency
The Energy Department's Building Technologies Office (BTO) announced up to $6 million in funding to deploy and demonstrate four emerging energy-saving technologies in commercial buildings across the country. These projects will help businesses cut energy costs through improved efficiency, while also reducing carbon pollution. Last year, commercial buildings consumed about 20 percent of all energy used in the United States at an estimated cost of nearly $180 billion, and are responsible for 18 percent of total U.S. carbon emissions.
See the full list of projects.
Learn more about BTO's work in commercial buildings.
>>ACCA and BPI to Co-Present 3rd Annual Building Performance Forum 
Home and building performance contractors from all over the country will convene in Charlotte, N.C., for the 3rd Annual Building Performance Forum on October 7-8, 2014. Registration is now open; early bird pricing ends August 15.
>>112 Teams Compete in EPA’s Energy Star Battle of the Buildings
More than 5,500 competitors (112 teams) have entered the 2014 Energy Star Battle of the Buildings: Team Challenge. The competition specifically targets wasted energy in commercial buildings, and will motivate businesses to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon pollution, and save money.
Competitors will measure and track their building's monthly energy consumption using EPA's Energy Star online energy measurement and tracking tool, Portfolio Manager. Over the course of the competition, building teams will work to optimize or upgrade equipment, retrofit lighting, and change occupants’ behaviors -- all with help from Energy Star. 
EPA will maintain a website devoted to the competition, featuring a listing of competitors and their starting, midpoint, and final standings, a live Twitter feed where competitors will post updates on their progress, and an interactive map of the competitors’ locations. Midpoint results will be posted in October. The winner will be announced in April 2015. Learn more here
>>A Smart Investment: Energy Efficiency and the Tech Industry
By now, you’ve likely heard about smart technologies that "learn" your habits and automatically adjust the energy use of your home. Companies like Nest and Opower as well as terms like the "Internet of Things" were completely unfamiliar just a few years ago, and are now working their way into everyday conversations. There’s a lot of information out there -- let’s take a look at a few of the factors contributing to the surge of big investments in energy efficiency technology. Read more here.