BPI Building Science Principles Certificate of Knowledge

10 Hours / 12 Months / Self-Paced

Course Overview:

Are you considering a career in green buildings, sustainability or energy efficiency? Do you already work in the residential building trades? If so, basic building science knowledge is critical to your success. 

Earning the Building Science Principles certificate is your first step into the world of energy efficient home performance. Building science demonstrates how various components of the home interact to affect the home’s overall performance. Understand the relationship between the building envelope, heating, A/C, insulation, mechanical ventilation, lighting, appliances and other systems of the home. Learn how all of these systems affect the comfort, health and safety of occupants and durability of the home. Discover why improving the energy efficiency of the home is the first step toward solar, geothermal or other renewable energy improvements. 

The second edition features an extended renewables section, an entire chapter dedicated to the Home Energy Score, and will be available in Spanish.

Check out the Building Performance Institute (BPI) reference guide sneak peak!

Course Outline:

Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Home Performance – systematic approach to improving comfort, health, safety, energy efficiency and durability of a home
  • Building Science – based on physics, chemistry and thermodynamics
  • ‘House-as-a system’ – holistic view of building, mechanicals, environment and occupants
  • Construction Basics – attic, ceiling, foundation, framing
  • Summary and Test Your Knowledge questions
Chapter 2: Heat and Insulation
  • Heat, Air and Moisture including the laws of thermodynamics
  • Measuring Heat
  • Sensible and latent heat
  • Change in temperature
  • BTUS
  • Heat Transfer - Convection, Radiation and Conduction
  • Building Envelope and Thermal Boundary
  • Types of Insulation
  • R-Values
  • Summary and Test Your Knowledge questions
Chapter 3: Air and Air Sealing
  • Airflow
  • Air Exchange Rate
  • Stack Effect
  • Wind Effect and Mechanical Effect
  • Air Sealing
  • Framing Types
  • Products used for air sealing
  • Blower Door
  • Summary and Test Your Knowledge questions
Chapter 4: Moisture and Moisture Control
  • Sources of Moisture
  • Moisture Cycle
  • Relative Humidity and Dew Point
  • Air Temperature and Moisture Capacity
  • Condensation
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Moisture Transport
  • Measuring Moisture
  • Controlling Bulk Moisture
  • Summary and Test Your Knowledge questions
Chapter 5: Mechanical Systems
  • Space Heating and Cooling
  • Types of Heating Systems
  • Input/Output and Efficiency
  • Cooling Systems
  • Heating and Cooling Loads
  • Ductwork
  • Water Heating Systems
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Venting
  • Depressurization and Draft
  • Summary and Test Your Knowledge questions
Chapter 6: Conversation Strategies
  • Energy Audits and Customer Education
  • Cost/Benefit Metrics
  • Interactive Savings
  • Energy Modeling
  • Energy Star
  • Electricity Conservation
  • Water Conservation
  • Windows and Doors
  • Window Styles and Frames
  • U values
  • Weather stripping
  • Renewable Energy
  • Summary and Test Your Knowledge questions
Chapter 7: U.S. DOE Home Energy Source
  • The Home Energy Score tool
  • What DOE Qualified Assessors look for
  • What homeowners learn
  • Summary and Test Your Knowledge questions
BPI Building Science Principles Certificate of Knowledge Exam

The BSP exam is a 100 question multiple choice exam and the passing score is 70%. If an individual is successful on the exam they will receive a BPI BSP Certificate of Completion as proof of success.  

The price of this course includes one attempt at the BPI BSP Certificate of Knowledge exam.  If the student fails the exam, the student would need to purchase an additional code to attempt the exam again.

All necessary materials are included.


System Requirements:

Internet Connectivity Requirements:
  • Cable and DSL internet connections are recommended.

Hardware Requirements:
  • Minimum Pentium 400 Mhz CPU or G3 Macintosh. 1 GHz or greater CPU recommended.
  • 256MB RAM minimum. 1 GB RAM recommended.
  • 800x600 video resolution minimum. 1025x768 recommended.
  • Speakers/Headphones to listen to Dialogue steaming audio sessions.
  • A microphone to speak in Dialogue streaming audio sessions.
Operating System Requirements:
  • Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 9, 10
  • Mac OSX 10 or higher.
  • OpenSUSE Linux 9.2 or higher.
Web Browser Requirements:
  • Google Chrome is recommended.
  • Firefox 13.x or greater.
  • Internet Explorer 6.x or greater.
  • Safari 3.2.2 or greater.
Software Requirements:
  • Adobe Flash Player 6 or greater.
  • Oracle Java 7 or greater.
  • Adobe Reader 7 or greater.
Web Browser Settings:
  • Accept Cookies
  • Disable Pop-up Blocker.


**Outlines are subject to change, as courses and materials are updated.**