ASHRAE: Building Energy Modeling Professional Certification

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Thank you Jeff for sharing your perspective on the exam.
Anyone considering an ASHRAE certification, should also consider the ASHRAE Continuing Education (ACE) credit requirements for recertification.
Non-governmental certifications & accreditations (ASHRAE, USGBC, AEE) can be more specific than many professional license maintenance requirements.
For equal time, does anyone care to weigh in on AEE's BESA - Certified Building Energy Simulation Analyst?

Paul Riemer's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
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"For equal time, does anyone care to weigh in on AEE's BESA - Certified
Building Energy Simulation Analyst?"

This is the first I've heard of BESA. From the link, it is a new
certification and I'm guessing no one is certified yet. You have to take
the training course first, which costs $1350 plus travel and lodging.
Then you have the $200 exam fee and $200 renewal every three years. My
guess is that there will be far fewer certified as BESA than ASHRAE
BEMP. I think BEMP will be exclusive enough where it still has meaning,
but might grow large enough that it is recognized by architects and
engineers that don't do energy modeling. (Full disclosure - my boss is
the new ASHRAE President.)


William Bishop, PE, BEMP, LEED(r) AP

Bishop, Bill2's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
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Personally, I think the AEE is too expensive. I go to their local meetings
sometimes and they are good but as far as joining, too expensive. I agree
with Bill that the BEMP certification will be much better. In interests of
full disclosure, it was my idea and I think Lynn rocks!


cmg750's picture
Joined: 2010-10-05
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Does the BEMP work in conjunction with the Certified Energy Plans Examiner (CEPE) credential in California?


V. Robert Salcido, P.E., LEED AP


I can't speak to the LEED NC exam, but I can say that anyone who takes and passes the ASHRAE BEM Certificate really has to know something about building energy modeling, and probably much more. The ASHRAE Building Energy Modeling (BEM) exam was developed by ASHRAE in cooperation with IBPSA USA. IBPSA USA and ASHRAE have also developed a BEM workshop to assist in reviewing for the BEM exam, which I'd highly recommend as well. Dates for these workshops can be found on the ASHRAE web page, as well as the IBPSA USA web page, and other places.

As someone who has taken and passed the exam, I can say that it was one of the hardest exams I've taken in a long time. It really tested my knowledge of building energy simulation and, with so many questions, and so short a time, it really tested my ability to sit through such an rigorous ordeal, and answer questions one after another, in rapid fire. I was humbled by the experience, and I've taught simulation since the early 1980s.

Finally, it is my biased opinion that the building energy performance industry will soon begin to see the value in having "ASHRAE BEM Certified" simulators. Hence, I would strongly recommend giving this some serious consideration as a career enhancing opportunity.

Jeff S. Haberl, Ph.D.,P.E., FASHRAE

PS: I'd also consider taking the ASHRAE BEM workshop...a good warm up for the exam.

Rob Salcido's picture
Joined: 2011-10-02
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I am a CEPE, but not yet a BEMP (but I've been reading this thread with
Looking at the flavor of expertise tested on the BEMP exam, and contrasting
this with California's CEPE, I would say that the two are not a good fit.
The CEPE test was almost entirely focused on the Title 24, and how that
specific code considers various elements within energy modeling. For
example, there are questions about how much low-efficacy lighting is allowed
in kitchens and bathrooms, and under what conditions. So, it is less about
energy modeling itself, and more about how Title 24 wants you to review
plans and compose energy models.

Thus, I think I would find *both* certifications useful, but for different

--Luke Morton

Luke Morton's picture
Joined: 2011-10-02
Reputation: 200

I agree, that was a tough exam, especially for somebody 10+ years out of school :) , and especially when no reference material is allowed (unlike PE exam).

I did pass on first attempt, but here are some thoughts I had on the exam.

I thought the questions were fine. The test had good questions, and definitely tested our ability to understand very pertinent issues regarding building energy modeling.

And, now for my gripe :)

What made the test the toughest was how many questions had to be answered in the 2.5 hour period. I felt very hurried on that exam and therefore quite frustrated when I finished. I think it was like 115 questions in 2.5 hours. That's not even 1.5 minutes per question, only 1.3

I answered the vast majority of what I attempted correctly, but did not have time to finish all of the questions.

My recommendation would be to extend the total test time to 3 hours from 2.5 hours, giving slightly more than 1.5 minutes per question.

Delaying us getting to happy hour on a Friday by one half hour won't hurt anybody and give future testers a bit more breathing room to finish all of the questions.

Regards, :)

James A. Hess, PE, CEM, BEMP

James Hess's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 401

Thank you James. To extend the conversation... is HBDP still relavant, or
does BEMP take place of the certification for all practical purposes, for
energy modeling professionals?


harakh laal's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
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