What is building science?

The building science industry deals with how residential and commercial buildings are built. This takes into account the materials used in the construction of the building envelope, what kind of utilities are present, as well as renewable energy resources. All of this ties back to the climate zone that the building exists in.

Intellectual Ferret offers several online courses that deal specifically with building science. We can help you pursue several certificates that can help you in the industry of building science, energy efficient building and design, as well as code enforcement.

What is a HERS Rater?

A HERS Rater is a third-party, independent building inspector. They have been trained to inspect the minimum rated features of a house, assess if any correction is needed, and to model the building enclosure in a variety of energy modeling software.

The work of a HERS Rater is monitored through a quality management process codified by RESNET, a non-profit professional organization. This process includes a field review of each Rater, in-depth review on energy modeling files, and more.

Additionally, every HERS Rater must complete 18 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) over the course of three years. This mandatory requirement can be met by completing certified courses taught by instructors, attendance to RESNET-approved conferences, or by successfully passing the HERS Rater exam again.

What this means is every HERS Rater should be a building science expert.

How do I become a building science expert?

If you’re interested in being certified as a HERS Rater, check out our paths to becoming a HERS Rater.

What software does a HERS Rater use?

A HERS Rater uses software tools to generate reports that show compliance to the different building code paths, various building programs like ENERGY STAR, and the federal tax credit.

Each software tool must be accredited by RESNET, and starting in 2016 they must meet a new calculation standard approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

The most popular tools are:

  • Ekotrope
    • Web-based program
    • Accessible on mobile and desktop platforms
    • Can use in the field to generate a HERS Index immediately
  • EnergyGauge
    • Desktop-based program
    • Windows-compatible only
    • Has a smart system to automatically check data
  • REM/Rate
    • Desktop-based program
    • Windows-compatible only
    • Can import and export XML files
What is RESNET?

RESNET stands for the Residential Energy Services Network, a non-profit organization that provides standards for certification, calculation, and quality management of HERS Raters. RESNET has a staff of an Executive Director, Steve Baden, Deputy Director, Kathy Spigarelli, Conference Coordinator/Quality Assurance Manager, Laurel Elam, and the RESNET-ANSI Standards Manager, Rick Dixon, that serve the Board of Directors.

RESNET’s Board of Directors represents the various stakeholders in the energy rating industry, including builders, manufacturers, training providers, quality assurance providers, and many more. The officers include:

  • Roy Honican, Board President
  • Andy Gordon, Vice-President
  • Kelly Stephens, Secretary
  • Lee O’Neal, Treasurer
  • Jim Petersen, Immediate Past President

There are also several standing committees that report to the Board of Directors, each covering specific sections of the RESNET Standards.

Why are CEUs required?

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are required by RESNET for one simple reason: to provide you with the most knowledgable experts.

It has been proven in various studies that continuous education requirements support industry growth and development. Additionally, many business managers reward employees who continue to develop themselves over the course of employment with promotions and raises.

These CEUs can be earned in a variety of courses taught online and in-person. These courses may offer additional certifications for HERS Raters, like the NATE HVAC Verifier and the RESNET Green Rater. Certifications also allow HERS Raters to participate in building programs like ENERGY STAR and LEED for Homes. At the end of the day it means a HERS Rater with multiple certifications has undergone continuous training to improve themselves.