Building Science Principles Certificate of Knowledge

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. Register to take the 100-question online exam.

Building Trade

Build trust. Improve your bottom line.

Who should have this certificate?

You advise homeowners, but don’t need the hands-on technical skills required of BPI Certified Professionals at this time. The knowledge you’ll acquire to earn this certificate will allow you to educate your customers about potential building performance problems, and 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


Launch your career in energy efficiency and building sustainability.

Who should have this certificate?

You’re interested in green buildings, sustainable design and energy efficiency. You’re wondering how to apply your interests toward a career. Earning the Building Science Principles certificate proves your worth to potential employers, in the college admissions process, 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.

Who should have this certificate?

You may be a home inspector who needs to identify potential building performance problems in homes. Or you may be 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. Earning the Building Science Principles certificate proves you have the knowledge necessary to carry out your work effectively.

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

Policy and
Program Managers

Improve Your Results. Reduce Risk.

Who should have this certificate?

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 personnel
  • Managers of state, local or utility home energy efficiency incentive programs
  • Contract administrators of incentive programs
  • Government regulators of incentive programs

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.


  • BSP Online Exam - $99
  • Web-based Digital Reference Guide - $99
  • Printed Reference Guide - $119 plus shipping
Note: Candidates who fail to pass the exam and wish to re-take it must pay the $99 exam fee again.

Scheduling: Because the exam is an online knowledge-based exam, it may be taken at any time. Candidates have one year to take the exam after registering online. Once you login and start the exam online, you have 2 hours to complete the exam. Click here if you prefer to take the exam at a BPI Test Center.

Get a sneak peek at the reference guide.

Purchase your exam and/or reference guide package.

The Building Science Principles certificate is not a BPI Professional Certification. The certificate is your first step into the world of home performance. The knowledge demonstrated by passing this test does not replace the knowledge, skills or abilities of BPI Building Analysts or other Certified Professionals. BPI Certified Professionals pass rigorous written and field practical exams to achieve BPI certification. They earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and re-certify every three years in order to keep up with the latest best practices in building science. Only BPI certified professionals may claim to be BPI certified. To learn more about BPI professional certification, check out our available certification types.

Look Inside! Get a sneak peek at the reference guide!
Vince DiFrancesco

Not everyone in this industry needs to be an energy auditor, but everyone should have the foundation of knowledge that the Building Science Principles certificate verifies. For students interested in a career in sustainability or green buildings, this certificate is a must have.

- Vince DiFrancesco, CEO of Everblue

Daniel Lea

The BSP is an ideal resource for technical representatives and salespeople in insulation, HVAC, and similar fields. [The BSP Reference Guide] is extremely readable and well-illustrated, a powerful resource for reminding yourself how buildings work and to fill in gaps in your knowledge.

- Daniel Lea, Executive Director, Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association

Rick Kincel

The book was very well written, my compliments to the author. My thoughts are to align ourselves with BPI to train our contractors with your materials and your building science principles. This could develop sales of higher end equipment, tools, and test equipment for us, while raising the bar for installations, resulting in less warranties for our organization to process. Industry wins, Contractors win, We win, Homeowners win...

- Rick Kincel, HVAC Trainer/ Developer, Coburn Supply

For students interested in a career in sustainability or energy efficiency, a foundation is critical and the Building Science Principles certificate lays that foundation.

- Boe Norwood, Assistant Principal
Pinellas Technical Education Center

What are the key building science principles you should know? View the webinar.
House as a system

Learn how all of the home’s systems interact to affect energy efficiency and the health and safety of occupants.