MALTA, N.Y. — The Building Performance Institute Inc. (BPI) announced it is introducing the Healthy Home Evaluator (HHE) credential to the home performance, weatherization, and healthy housing workforce, with the goal of breaking the link between unhealthy housing and unhealthy families through home performance interventions.
Developed in partnership with the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), the credential builds upon the BPI Building Analyst or Energy Auditor certifications to verify the competencies required to conduct in-depth healthy home environmental risk assessments. The Healthy Home Evaluator assesses home-based environmental health and safety hazards and provides a prioritized list of recommendations to address those hazards.
“From identifying asthma triggers and risk of lead poisoning to testing for CO and other health hazards, tremendous opportunity exists to incorporate healthy home measures into whole house home performance assessments,” said Larry Zarker, CEO of BPI. “With their expertise in whole house building science, BPI Building Analysts and Energy Auditors are uniquely qualified to do this work.”
“Momentum is building for a national credential that bridges the knowledge gap between energy efficient buildings and healthy housing,” said Ruth Ann Norton, GHHI president and CEO. “GHHI works with BPI Building Analysts in 25 cities to conduct healthy home assessments and interventions. Combining BPI certified professionals’ expertise with healthy homes training in the HHE credential provides the workforce with a high quality, portable credential that can be recognized everywhere.”
GHHI is leading the national effort to integrate healthy homes and weatherization into energy efficiency work. Supported by a grant from the JPB Foundation, GHHI is working with state, county, and city governments to bring whole home assessments and interventions to 300,000 low and moderate income families, by coordinating existing state and local programs and funding streams.
There is growing evidence of demand for healthy home assessments in the marketplace, particularly in the area of asthma prevention, according to a 2014 nationwide survey by the National Center for Healthy Housing. Thirteen states reported that some Medicaid reimbursement was in place for home-based asthma education, while seven states reported that one or more private payers in the state provide or reimburse for home-based asthma education. States also reported on other financing mechanisms, including hospital community benefits, social impact bonds, and state-funded programs to provide services.
“With the growing demand for preventative healthy home interventions, building a home assessment workforce that combines strong building science expertise with healthy homes principles will lead to improvements in public health, and also enhance the credibility of efforts to secure sustainable financing for such interventions,” said David Rowson, director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Indoor Environments Division. “BPI’s new credential is a welcome addition to the expansion and sustainability of proven healthy homes interventions.”
BPI will pilot the HHE certification exam beginning April 4 at the 2016 ACI National Home Performance Conference in Austin, Texas, or at any BPI Test Center nationwide. The 50-question written exam builds upon the knowledge, skills, and abilities already demonstrated by the BPI Building Analyst or Energy Auditor certifications, which are prerequisites for the HHE exam. There is no HHE field practical exam. The results of the pilot test cycle will be used to set passing scores for the national exams.
For more information on BPI, visit www.bpi.org/pros.
For more information on GHHI, visit www.greenandhealthyhomes.org.
Publication date: 3/29/2016