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March 14, 2016
This spring the Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI) and Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) will introduce the Healthy Home Evaluator (HHE) credential to the nation's home performance, weatherization and healthy housing workforce, with the goal of breaking the link between unhealthy housing and unhealthy families through home performance interventions.
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 & 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 leads 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 Indoor Environments Division. "BPI's new credential is a welcome addition to the expansion and sustainability of proven healthy homes interventions."
Registration Now Open for HHE Pilot Exam
BPI will pilot the HHE certification exam beginning April 4th 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.
To take the pilot exam at any BPI Test Center, find a Test Center near you.
To register for the pilot exam contact BPI at email@example.com.
HHE Certification Background
Critical technical and financial support for the development of the HHE credential was provided by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). To develop the new credential, a team of subject matter experts in public health, building science and healthy housing convened to create the certification blueprint and job task analysis. The blueprint defines the general requirements of the HHE credential: prerequisites, exam structure and recertification requirements. The job task analysis defines what tasks the HHE will be required to perform. The certification blueprint was produced in accordance with the ISO 17024 standard.
About the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative
GHHI is a national nonprofit dedicated to breaking the link between unhealthy housing and unhealthy families. Formerly known as the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, GHHI replaces stand-alone housing intervention programs with an integrated, whole-house approach that produces sustainable green, healthy and safe homes. This project later became the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative directed by the Coalition that addresses the health and energy efficiency needs of a home through a holistic intervention model.
About the Building Performance Institute
BPI is the nation's premier building performance credentialing, quality assurance and standards setting organization. BPI develops technical standards using an open, transparent, consensus-based process built on sound building science. BPI is approved by the American National Standards Institute, Inc. (ANSI) as an accredited developer of American National Standards and as a certifying body for personnel credentials.
For more information on GHHI, visit www.greenandhealthyhomes.org.
For more information on BPI, visit www.bpi.org/pros.