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The requirements for someone who wants to become a building analyst, also known as an energy auditor, include specialized training in both the classroom and field. Once these training courses are completed, professional certification is provided by the Building Performance Institute (BPI). Coursework typically lasts a week and provides the necessary knowledge of techniques and tools used. An initial written test and field examination are required before full certification. Many cities, towns, and municipalities provide training and provide their own certification to become a building analyst.
For those who want to become a building analyst professional, the first step is the completion of the multi-day, comprehensive Building Performance Curriculum. This course includes training that leads to certification for conducting door-blower testing, air quality testing, and combustion appliance testing or repair. Coursework also includes training to conduct airflow and duct testing as well as carbon monoxide testing. The course typically requires about 40 hours of combined classroom and field training. Rather than taking the time to complete the full BPI curriculum, some applicants spend a week of concentrated study and training in a preparation course.
Upon completion of the BPI training course, students must pass both a written exam and a field exam. The written exam consists of 100 questions covering just about every aspect of the building analyst job. Applicants must achieve a score of 70% or better in order to pass this written test. A one-on-one, two-hour field exam, which is proctored by an approved course instructor, is also required. While taking the formal Building Performance Curriculum is not required before taking the examination, BPI highly recommends it. Re-certification may also be required every three years either by re-taking an exam or providing proof of continuing training and education from a BPI approved program.
Some of the people who want to become building analysts have previous experience working within the building or construction industries. While there are no prerequisites for those who train to become a building analyst, regulations and requirements for this position may vary widely in different parts of the world. Be sure to consult local authorities for specific building analyst certification information.
The three different types of BPI certification include building analyst, which is a basic energy auditor; shell specialist, which is concerned with the outer covering of a building; and heat specialist. Building analyst certification classes are currently offered in over 18 cities across the U.S. Consult local training facilities to find out about the fees to take both the written and field exams.