Paper Conference

Proceedings of eSim 2020: 11th Conference of IBPSA-Canada


Knowledge and skills gaps of Canadian building performance modellers and recommendations for professional certification

Nina Doré 1, William O'Brien 1, Umberto Berardi 2, Ian Beausoleil-Morrison 1, Sebastián Carrizo 3
1 Carleton University, Canada
2 Ryerson University, Canada
3 RWDI, Canada

Abstract: Building performance simulation (BPS) has been referred to as a “wild west” practice, where formal and standardized training is lacking, and practitioners undertake ad hoc training that varies in quality and scope. Consequently, the consistency, reliability, and reproducibility of models has been questioned. Large-scale initiatives in the USA have attempted to unite this distributed workforce with a standardized body of knowledge (e.g., IBPSA-USA BEMBook) and certification programs (e.g., ASHRAE BEMP), but these have not gained traction as anticipated, particularly in Canada. Accordingly, IBPSA-Canada surveyed nearly 100 BPS practitioners to (1) understand knowledge and skills gaps and (2) assess the demand for a Canadian-based training and certification program. Findings confirmed that practitioners have diverse backgrounds and that personal networks and mentorship are central to skills and knowledge development. There is substantial interest in a training and certification program, with an emphasis on establishing best practices, standardizing skill levels, and building credibility. The most desirable training topics include specific tool how-to instruction, building systems (independent of software), and application of building codes and standards.