In early October, the Building Performance Institute (BPI) announced the nationwide launch of the Healthy Home Evaluator certification program.
The Healthy Home Evaluator (HHE) is a credentialing program that was developed via a partnership between BPI and the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) with the goal of creating healthier homes and healthier people by identifying conditions that may adversely affect occupant health and safety. Driven by our mission is to promote sustainable and healthy homes, workplaces and communities, our staff provided critical subject matter expertise to assist BPI in developing the certification blueprint, job task analysis and the bank of HHE test questions.
The HHE certification will connect homeowners with the home performance, weatherization and healthy housing workforce to conduct home assessments focused on the indoor environment’s impact on health. Evaluators will identify risks to occupant health and safety such as asthma triggers from dust mites, moisture and mold, radon and carbon monoxide. Southface staff members were key to developing these assessments with BPI. Several of our staff members challenged the HHE certification exam, and are now certified Heathy Home Evaluators.
In the coming months, Southface’s Southeast Weatherization and Energy Efficiency Training (SWEET) Center will begin offering a preparatory course for the Healthy Home Evaluator exam, training professionals to perform these important assessments to families in need, many of whom are in low-income communities across the Southeast. Southface also contributed to the development of the curriculum for the HHE course in partnership with Healthy Housing Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of National Center for Healthy Housing. This curriculum will be made available nationally to Partners of the Healthy Housing Training Center and to BPI Affiliates.
According to the Georgia Asthma Control Program, 11 percent of Georgia children have asthma, and the respiratory illness tends to occur more frequently in African-American boys. Additionally, most asthmatic children tend to live in lower-income communities, in older houses that contain a multitude of triggers, leading to more hospitalizations where attacks can be prevented.
A future where Georgia residents don’t have to spend hard-earned income on respiratory-related hospitalizations starts with healthier homes and ends with healthier, happier families.