In January 2017, BPI rebranded and developed our new logo versions, which are digitally-friendly and clearer.
There are updated logos for BPI Certified Professionals, Home Energy Professionals (HEP), Test Centers, BPI GoldStar Contractors, and CEU Providers to use in your marketing. Active BPI Stakeholders received the links to download these logo versions in February 2017.
Please use the new logo versions digitally and for print as of January 1, 2018.
Please note: The standalone BPI logo (or seal) is not to be used for promotion. Only BPI can use that logo.
Enjoy reading our December newsletter and have a great holiday!
Hannah C. Wood
About the Author
Hannah is the Marketing and Communications Director for BPI.
BPI and Industry News
Building Performance News and Discussion
By Quinn Korzeniecki, BPI
BPI Client Relations and Operations Updates
"You've asked us (the BPI stakeholders) to update our logos by January 1, 2018. Why are the BPI logos on the portals/accounts logos not changed yet?"
BPI is working on a new database, which incorporates the Portals/Accounts. This database system will (tentatively) launch sometime in the spring of 2018.
Once you have access to it, you will be able to use a new, updated, and user-friendly Account. And, the old logos will no longer appear.
Note: BPI is also working to replace our old logos on conference materials, including our booth stand and brochures.
BPI Company Updates
BPI CEO, Larry Zarker, was the guest speaker on the Building HVAC Science Channel podcast, discussing the future of the home performance industry, healthy homes, and BPI's Healthy Home Evaluator credential. Listen here.
BPI is currently seeking applications from individuals interested in serving on the Single Family Standards Technical Committee (STC). The BPI STC develops standards in an open and fair manner in accordance with ANSI - American National Standards Institute approved BPI standards development procedures. Interested parties should submit an application by Monday, December 18, 2017.
BPI is proud to announce that its partner, Credential Engine, publicly launched its tools and services last week. Credential Engine is a nonprofit is dedicated to the mission of promoting transparency and credential literacy in the marketplace, to reveal the world of credentials and inform the public. Credential Engine has now officially released a first-of-its-kind centralized credential data platform, the Credential Registry.
Earn 2 BPI CEUs for contributing to the BPI homeowner blog and/or submitting a Stump the Chump segment for a future newsletter. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in writing on home performance topics for a homeowner audience or submitting a building science challenge for other contractors to solve.
Don't miss out on upcoming Home Performance Coalition (HPC) conferences in New York and Philadelphia! The registration and agenda is available for HPC New York in Saratoga Springs, NY on February 13-14, 2018 and registration is open for HPC National in Philadelphia, PA on April 23-26, 2018.
Homeowner Blogs and Other Marketing Resources
Building science applies to the whole home, including your baby's nursery. According to studies, babies and small children are particularly sensitive to risks from toxic chemicals and poor indoor air quality. Learn how you can clear the air and make sure your baby is healthy and safe in this blog post from #BPI's Director of Marketing and Communications, Hannah C. Wood: http://bit.ly/2BfJvaT.
Now that the fresh, outside air can't circulate inside and clear out some allergens in our indoor air, it is more important than ever to be sure we are tackling them head on. Did you know that even your window treatments could be trapping dust and mites that could be making you and your family sick? Check out this latest blog post by guest poster, Katie Laird, of Blinds.com, on the different places you forget to dust that could be affecting your Indoor Air Quality and triggering allergies: http://bit.ly/2zPkVAO.
According to the ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, Minnesota ranks as the ninth most efficient state in the nation. A major reason for the state's success is its availability of utility rebates and incentives, loan programs, and its Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Check out our latest blog post written by the Minnesota Department of Commerce for more specifics on how Minnesotan homeowners can get help with the cost of energy audits and energy upgrades: http://bit.ly/2AD1UhW.
About the Author
Quinn is the Senior Communications Associate for BPI. Would you like to write articles to engage homeowners about home performance? Contact Quinn to contribute to BPI's Homeowner Blog.
Alaska Weatherization Program and BPI Quality Control Inspectors Face Unique Challenges
By Jimmy Ord, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation
This month, BPI features Alaska and the unique challenges the home performance and weatherization professionals face in the "last frontier."
If you think making energy improvements to your home is hard, try making them in rural Alaska where the closest hardware store is hundreds of miles away! Extreme weather, transportation challenges, and other factors make weatherizing homes in rural Alaska even harder.
The Alaska Weatherization program, administered by the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC), is up to the challenge. The program has 62 weatherization workers directly employed across the state.
Program providers must balance the needs and habits of rural Alaskans with the weatherization work. Is it hunting and fishing season? Many rural Alaskans live a subsistence lifestyle, hunting and fishing for their food supply, which limits when program providers can do the work on their homes. Another factor that limits work is spring break-up, the annual time every spring when the ice on rivers and lakes begin to break-up and flow down river to the ocean. This allows shipping barges the opportunity to navigate up river with food and other supplies, like weatherization materials. If materials didn’t make it on the shipping barge, they will have to be flown in by an Alaskan bush pilot.
It is all worth it though. Mike Carlson, a BPI Healthy Home Evaluator and Quality Control Inspector, and weatherization specialist, spends most of his time traveling to rural Alaska making sure weatherization improvements are done right. He hears all the time from program participants about how the improvements have made their lives better. Mike says his favorite comment to hear from participants is, “I don’t have to wear my shoes in the house anymore.” He's heard it so many times that he’s lost count.
Weatherization improvements provide many benefits, especially in Alaska where winter temperatures can dip below minus 50 degrees. One of the biggest benefits is reduced energy bills. Most homes in rural Alaska are heated by expensive fuel oil. Reducing energy costs by 30% or more has a big impact. Another benefit is the improvement to indoor air quality. Alaskans spend most of their time indoors during winter, so it is important to have healthy indoor air.
The most common measures in the Alaska Weatherization program are:
Blower door assisted air sealing
Attic insulation and baffles
Floor insulation/rim joist insulation
So, the next time you think about making energy improvements, know that if program providers in Alaska can overcome their extreme logistics, you can, too.
For more information about Alaska and its Weatherization program, visit www.ahfc.us.
About the Author
Jimmy Ord is the Energy Program Information Manager at the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation.
Stump the Chump
Let's Play Stump the Chump!
Thank you to everyone who sent in a response to last month’s stumper! We had a bunch of close responses, but one nailed the mysterious "insulation" right on the head!
As a reminder, BPI Building Analyst Wayne Thompson, of Vermont Gas Systems in South Burlington, VT, sent in the images below of 1.5" thick pebble insulation that he found on a 1956 single-story ranch home in South Burlington, VT.
The best response came in from Shaun Wright, BPI Building Analyst and Executive Director of Community Homeworks in Kalamazoo, MI.
Shaun went above and beyond in his spot-on answer to the question about the mysterious "insulation":
"I believe that the 1.5" thick pebble insulation is not insulation at all. It appears that it may actually be gravel from the home's original flat roof, which was covered with a sloped roof sometime in the future. Many flat roofs have one to two inches of gravel placed on them to protect the membrane below and prevent wind damage.
The reason I believe this to be the case is the age and description of the home - a 1950's single story ranch in Vermont. During this time, Frank Lloyd Wright "Usonian" style homes were popular, with several official structures built in New York. It would be easy to believe that someone built a similar style home in Vermont in 1956.
Although Usonian homes were popular in design, they have always been plagued with roof leaks and other issues, especially in colder climates like Vermont and where I live in Michigan. It was not uncommon for future owners to build a gable roof directly over the old flat roof to solve these issues. To remove the gravel would have been unnecessary extra work at the time, since the roof was already designed for the added weight and the low slop of the new gable does not lend itself to storage."
Can You Figure Out December's Stumper?
This month's stumper comes from a homeowner of a new home (constructed less than a year ago). After some concerns about air leakage in his home, he called in a BPI Certified Professional to perform a blower door test.
Prior to testing, the company came and turned off all the furnaces and hot water heater. The gas dryer and stove were not running. During the blower door test run at 50 Pa, I began smelling natural gas. The test was immediately stopped and the smell dissipated. The natural gas hand-held detectors were unsuccessful in detecting a leak with the blower door turned off. The operators then turned the blower door back to 25 Pa, and behind one of the walls the detectors isolated the area of the leak. The problem however is that there are no gas lines located behind this particular wall where the leak was detected.
The plumber who originally installed the gas lines later came out and without the aid of the blower door, said confidently he couldn't detect any leak with his detector.
What could be happening in this home?
Send us your answer to this month's stumper! Email email@example.com to enter to win the contest, and be featured in the next issue of BPI's newsletter.
Send In a Stumper and Earn 2 BPI CEUs!
The Stump the Chump segment in BPI’s newsletter is the most popular part of the monthly publication.
To keep these challenges interesting and relevant for you, our stakeholders, we need your input!
You know – that problem house, symptom, or combination of issues that challenged your building science knowledge. Send along a description of the problem and the solution to us. If it's a genuine stumper, we’ll publish in our next newsletter, which goes out to nearly 20,000 industry stakeholders.
What 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*!
Check out these links for an idea of stumpers we’ve featured in the past:
*BPI must accept and publish the stumper for the individual to receive the 2 CEUs. Individual must send the issue and how they solved it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and reply to all follow-up emails. Individual must hold an active BPI certification to receive CEUs. Stumpers must be: original content (not republished); include location, kind of house, a little about the residents, and a lot about the building science issue; grammatically correct; and on a relevant and applicable topic. Reference: CEU Policies and Procedures.
About the Author
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, BPI creates national standards for residential energy efficiency work and, from those standards, professional certifications for home contractors.