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Jun 2, 2022

Building Science Institute, Ltd. Co. Receives Recognition by the EPA as an Energy Star Home Certification Organization

The Building Science Institute has been recognized by the EPA as an ENERGY STAR Home Certification Organization. This means they can provide oversight for the ENERGY STAR New Homes program, offering quality management and certification. Homebuilders and verification organizations now have a choice for professional quality management oversight in the energy rating industry. ENERGY STAR homes are designed and built for energy efficiency, improved comfort, and environmental responsibility. The Building Science Institute aims to improve the quality, consistency, and impartiality of the energy efficiency certification industry. They partnered with HouseRater to develop comprehensive software solutions to support their mission. Their ENERGY STAR certification program is guided by a Quality Council, comprised of industry experts, who oversee the program independently.

Picture of northeast townhomes in the winter.

The Building Science Institute, Ltd. Co. has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Home Certification Organization with responsibility to provide quality management and certification oversight for the ENERGY STAR New Homes program. For the first time since 1995, verification organizations and homebuilders have a choice for professional quality management oversight in the energy rating industry.

ENERGY STAR certified homes and apartments are designed and built to deliver peace of mind, improved comfort, enduring quality, and energy efficiency. The ENERGY STAR label is a symbol of trust, quality, and responsible environmental stewardship recognized by consumers, manufacturers, and homebuilders.

Home Certification Organizations, such as the Building Science Institute, Ltd. Co., are independent organizations recognized by the EPA to implement an ENERGY STAR certification program based on the ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction program requirements for single-family and multifamily homes and apartments.

“We deliver greater consistency, transparency, and confidence to our clients through our robust quality management system based on internationally recognized standards,” said General Manager Brett Dillon. “We are thrilled to offer the industry a choice for the first time in almost 30 years.”

Brett is the former chair of the committee responsible for writing the American National Standards for Energy Rating Index calculations, inspections, and testing.

The Building Science Institute, Ltd. Co. was created to improve the quality, consistency, and impartiality of the energy efficiency certification industry and, as members of the American Society for Quality, the team is focused on improving the process to deliver professional quality management.

To ensure consistency in the home certification program, the Building Science Institute partnered with HouseRater, a software development company based in Minnesota. HouseRater uses EnergyPlus, a calculation engine developed by the Department of Energy at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, to produce the code compliance calculations and the Energy Rating Index (ERI) for the ENERGY STAR home certification program.

“At HouseRater, we’ve worked closely with the Building Science Institute’s Quality Council to develop the tools to support BSI’s mission. We’re excited to offer the first comprehensive software solution. From project creation, scheduling site visits, performing inspections, generating and sending inspection reports, to final ENERGY STAR verification, BSI’s clients can do it all in HouseRater.” said Erik Straite, business development manager for HouseRater.

The Building Science Institute’s ENERGY STAR certification program is guided by the Institute’s Quality Council, a group of industry experts charged with independent oversight of the program.

The Quality Council members are Col. Kevin Burk, US Army (Ret.), CEO of RK Burk Consulting, Inc.; Amber Wood, Director of Buildings at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE); Brian Christensen, Product Director and Chief Building Scientist of Residential Energy Management Services; Erik Straite, Business Development Manager, HouseRater, LLC; and non-voting chair Brett Dillon, General Manager of the Building Science Institute, Ltd. Co.

Col. Kevin Burk served in the US Army for 28 years, retiring as a colonel of Military Police before starting his business in the building science and home energy rating industry. He is a certified energy rater and International Code Council-certified Residential Energy Code Plans Examiner and Inspector.

Amber Wood directs the Buildings Program at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Amber holds a Master of Science in engineering systems from the Colorado School of Mines and is a registered professional engineer.

Brian Christensen has worked in the field of residential building science for over 20 years, applying his background in physics and mechanical engineering. He now develops software products that aim to serve the unique needs of home performance verification businesses.

Erik Straite began working in the energy rating industry as a financial auditor, then moved into roles in utility program design, implementation, and quality assurance. Erik continues his work on utility programs and provides technical support for HouseRater’s users and energy code guidance for its developers. He holds a degree in economics from Arizona State University.

Building Science Institute, Ltd. Co. is a privately held company headquartered in the San Antonio, TX area.

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