SHP Certification Course Frequently Asked Questions
Who should sign up for the course?
The Sustainable Homes Professional course has been designed with builders, remodelers, architects, and designers in mind. It’s also appropriate for consumers and other professionals seeking an expansive, in-depth understanding of green building practices.
What’s the value of SHP Certification?
Building professionals with the Certified SHP designation can:
- distinguish themselves from other building professionals using marketing strategies and support provided by Earth Advantage Institute
- clearly communicate Passive House and Net Zero techniques when speaking with anyone from a customer to a Passive House Consultant
- count on having greatly enhanced their network of other green building professionals
- understand what it means for a home to be energy efficient and how a home should function as a system
- discern between various green building labels and certifications
- explore the full breadth of sustainable building practices
- secure projects that are planned to be built green
- refer potential clients to their SHP listing on the Earth Advantage Institute website
- describe what it means for a home to be energy, water, and resource efficient while maintaining a safe, comfortable, healthy building
- explore the full breadth of sustainable building practices from site layout to flooring selection
- utilize their hands-on final project to put principles into practice over the course of 6 months using a real-life examples
- easily refer to their SHP Manual and Resource Guide, as well as the course textbooks during future projects
- take advantage of discounts on other Earth Advantage Institute courses and events
- participate in SHP Graduate LinkedIn online group forum
Is the course approved for continuing education units?
Yes. The six-month course is approved for:
- AIA: 84 learning units for all 6 modules, 14 learning units for modules 2, 3, 4 or 5
- CCB: 80 elective hours and 4 core hours (codes) for all 6 modules; 2 core hours (codes) and 12 elective hours each for modules 2 and 3; 14 elective hours each for modules 4 and 5
- BPI: 42 continuing education units for all 6 modules, 7 units for each individual module
- OR Real Estate Agency: 84 hours for all 6 modules, 14 hours for each individual module (with principal broker approval)
- Clackamas Community College: 6 college credits (100-level) for all 6 modules, 1 credits for each individual module
How long are the classes?
Each two day module meets once per month. Classes meet on Friday and Saturday from 9am – 5pm.
Can I see the course outline? How technical is it?
Please contact us if you’d like a copy of the course outline. Basic knowledge of residential construction and basic math skills are needed to take this class. Beginning level computer skills are also needed to compose and submit homework, access online quizzes, and participate in the online group forum. A CCB license is not required.
Do I have to build anything?
No. At the core of this curriculum is a Final Project and Presentation in which you bring together the knowledge and insight you gain from the modules and integrate these into your professional work. The final project encourages you to: apply the techniques for setting design goals and objectives; select appropriate certification tools; have the information you need to make informed design and construction decisions; plan for durability, performance and comfort and assure you get the desired outcome; optimize the use of resources – including raw materials, time and money; and work toward obtaining the information and documentation you need to get the recognition you deserve for your work – from a green building program, from your customers and from the community.
Who are the instructors? What are their qualifications?
Currently, Stephen Aiguier instructs the course in Portland. His full bio can be found on the SHP course page.
Are there site visits?
Yes, the six-month certification program includes site visits of innovative certified homes, including Passive House, Net Zero, Living Building Challenge, LEED for Homes, Earth Advantage, and ENERGY STAR. Generally, each two-day module includes two site visits.
What if I can’t come to every class because of other obligations?
Participants may miss a total of two days of the SHP certification course and still receive credit for the course if all coursework is completed. Participants may also attend a future SHP course within a 24-month period to make up the portion of the class which was missed. Continuing education credits and professional designation will not be issued until attendance requirements have been met.
What if I decide to drop out or have an emergency that keeps me from completing the program?
If you discontinue your participation in the six-month certification program, you will only receive clock hours for continuing education for actual course attendance. You will be eligible to resume taking the course within a 24-month period to make up the portion of the class which was missed.
Can I take classes individually? How much do they cost? Will I get certified by attending individual classes?
Modules 2, 3, 4 and 5 can be taken as individual classes and each two-day module is approved for continuing education credit (see SHP course page for specific allocations). Each module includes expert instruction, materials (textbooks not included), and two site visits of green homes for a course fee of $295. Attending modules 2, 3, 4 and 5 only will not earn you the designation of a Certified SHP.
How much homework is there?
Monthly homework assignments, in the form of a short paper, will be applied to your Final Project. The homework is designed to help you integrate lessons learned into your professional work.
Do I need to pass all my coursework before I can take the certification exam?
Not necessarily. Your final course grade will be based on your performance in several areas. There are a possible 364 points to earn towards achieving a passing overall course grade of 75%. This means you need to earn a minimum of 273 points to earn an overall passing course grade. Points are earned through your Final Project and Presentation, the Certification Exam, attendance, homework assignments and quizzes.
How do I take the certification test?
The online, closed-book certification exam is composed of 100 multiple choice questions, and it is scheduled for the second day of Module 6. Successful completion of the exam will contribute to your earning the Certified SHP designation. Should you need to retake the exam, your course fee includes one retake of the certification exam.
Is there an “SHP Lite” course I can take?
EAI can help you meet your educational needs whether you are interested in an introduction to green building, are considering a new green career path, or would like to differentiate yourself through a green professional certification,. We have assembled some of the top experts in green building and real estate to educate professionals and homeowners who are involved in all stages of the green home process. Course topics range from designing, building, and remodeling green homes to marketing, selling, financing, and appraising them. See our Education Catalog for details.
Are there discounts or scholarships?
Group discounts and custom classes can be created on an individual basis; contact Earth Advantage Institute (EAI) for details. Currently, there are grants available for the amount of $590 that can be used to either to offset the entire course cost or individual modules 2 & 3. See the SHP course page for more information.