Successful Past, Better Future: Building Performance Institute Celebrates Two Decades

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Twenty years ago, the first Building Performance Field Manual set the bar for contractors to both renovate and build homes. The Building Performance Manual developed basic standards for home performance contracting. In the following years the Building Performance Institute (BPI) constantly revised these original standards set in 1993. Without the BPI, it’s safe to say we would not have the vast knowledge on effective insulation and air sealing that we have today.

Today, the manual includes standards for everything from health and safety procedures to air sealing and insulation. These standards are constantly upgraded as we learn more about effective methods for insulation and air sealing.

One familiar example of the requirements that the BPI puts out is the mandatory use of a blower door before we can do certain procedures. For example, a blower door test must be performed before we insulate your attic, insulate a wall in your home that makes up at least 15% of your total building shell, or before we do any air sealing. The manual also describes how to properly go about this test, along with the required airflow for ventilation.

With that brief background on some of what the BPI does for the industry, we already see that they unite all legal contractors under rules to ensure the highest quality and most effective insulation and air sealing in your home. But as we mentioned, the BPI is still young—just celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

The BPI started 20 years ago with a vision for being independent, third party certification of contractors in the weatherization industry. After hundreds of hours of collaboration, BPI developed the standards that set the bar for quality in your home.

In their first year, the BPI came out with the industry’s first authoritative manual. Only two years later, the BPI developed a test house in Glen Falls, New York, for workers to develop their skills through training in a real life setting. One year after that in 1996, BPI issued its first official certifications for installation contractors. Year after year, BPI continued to play a huge role in the advancement of the weatherization and home performance industry.

Today, BPI-certified professionals account for over 42,000 active certifications working in the United States, U.S. territories, and in seven foreign countries. Their reach continues to expand as the bar continues to rise. BPI quickly turned into a powerhouse for guiding the industry. It developed quickly in its first two decades, and will continue to do so in years to come.