U.S. Department of Energy Recognizes Building Science Institute, Ltd. Co. as National Home Certification Organization for Zero Energy Ready Home



Building Science Institute, Ltd. Co.

Connor Dillon, Quality Manager

(830) 308-8505



August 4, 2023

[SAN ANTONIO, TX, 08/04/2023] — The Building Science Institute, Ltd. Co. has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as a Home Certification Organization for Zero Energy Ready Home with responsibility to provide quality management and certification oversight for the Zero Energy Ready Home program. Now verification organizations and homebuilders have a choice for professional quality management oversight in the home energy rating systems industry.

Zero Energy Ready Home certified homes and apartments offer an unparalleled cost-effective, high performance package of energy savings, comfort, health, and durability to today’s housing market. The Zero Energy Ready Home label signifies a home is so energy efficient, all or most of the annual energy consumption can be offset with renewable energy. This is the home of the future demanded by consumers, manufacturers, and great homebuilders today.

The Zero Energy Ready Home program leverages more than 25 years of research from the DOE’s Building America program, and participation in the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® New Homes and Indoor airPLUS programs.

Home Certification Organizations, such as the Building Science Institute, Ltd. Co., are independent organizations recognized by the DOE to implement programs to oversee Zero Energy Ready Home certifications for single-family and multifamily homes and apartments.

“We are thrilled to partner with the DOE to provide professional quality management oversight for Zero Energy Ready Home certifications. This program is designed to build the home of the future today and we are excited to work with the DOE to ensure housing is built for comfort, health, durability, and future applications of renewable energy so we can reduce the impact of housing on climate change.”, said Brett Dillon, general manager of Building Science Institute, Ltd. Co.

Brett is the former chair of the committee responsible for writing the American National Standards for Energy Rating Index calculations, inspections, and testing. 

The Building Science Institute, Ltd. Co. was created to improve the quality, consistency, and impartiality of the energy efficiency certification industry and, as members of the American Society for Quality, the team is focused on improving the process to deliver professional quality management.

To ensure consistency in the home certification program, the Building Science Institute partnered with HouseRater, a software development company based in Minnesota. HouseRater uses EnergyPlus, a calculation engine developed by the DOE  at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, to produce the code compliance calculations and the Energy Rating Index (ERI) for the Zero Energy Ready Home certification program.

“HouseRater is excited to continue offering the only fully integrated energy modeling platform through the Building Science Institute, the newly DOE-recognized Home Certification Organization for ZERH. BSI users can take projects from projected model through inspection scheduling, mobile data collection, reporting, confirmed energy modeling results, certification – now including ZERH – and quality management using a single tool, HouseRater, while providing unparalleled transparency and accountability.”, said Erik Straite, business development manager for HouseRater.

The Building Science Institute’s oversight of Zero Energy Ready Home certifications is guided by the Institute’s Quality Council, a group of industry experts charged with independent oversight of the program.

The Quality Council members are Col. Kevin Burk, US Army (Ret.), CEO of RK Burk Consulting, Inc.; Amber Wood, Director of Buildings at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE); Brian Christensen, Product Director and Chief Building Scientist of Residential Energy Management Services; Erik Straite, Business Development Manager, HouseRater, LLC; and non-voting chair Brett Dillon, General Manager of the Building Science Institute, Ltd. Co.

Col. Kevin Burk served in the US Army for 28 years, retiring as a colonel of Military Police before starting his business in the building science and home energy rating industry. He is a certified energy rater and International Code Council-certified Residential Energy Code Plans Examiner and Inspector.

Amber Wood directs the Buildings Program at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Amber holds a Master of Science in engineering systems from the Colorado School of Mines and is a registered professional engineer.

Brian Christensen has worked in the field of residential building science for over 20 years, applying his background in physics and mechanical engineering. He now develops software products that aim to serve the unique needs of home performance verification businesses.

Erik Straite began working in the energy rating industry as a financial auditor, then moved into roles in utility program design, implementation, and quality assurance. Erik continues his work on utility programs and provides technical support for HouseRater’s users and energy code guidance for its developers. He holds a degree in economics from Arizona State University.

Building Science Institute, Ltd. Co. is a privately held company headquartered in the San Antonio, TX area.