Why Is Certification Important?
Building Inspection Engineering is a 50-year-old specialty within the engineering community. This specialty deserves a board-certified endorsement of the engineer who has been tested in the special skills and knowledge about inspection, assessment and evaluation of buildings of all types. This special knowledge adds insight and judgment to the critical thinking skills acquired through a four-year baccalaureate degree in engineering or architect, many years of practical experience, and the experience and test validation necessary to achieve the P.E. or R.A. designation. A board-certified engineer has obtained the most rigorous credentials and experience. This certification conveys a breadth of knowledge and competence, two criteria most respected by the public we serve.
What Is a Board-Certified Building Inspection Engineer?
A Board-Certified Building Inspection Engineer has presented his/her credentials for review and approval of experience, formal preparation in an accredited engineering program in a college or university, and evidence of a state license (P.E. or R.A) awarded by at least one state’s professional engineering board. In addition, the building inspection engineer has passed a written examination that includes questions on the following 23 major topics in building inspection engineering:
- History of building and construction, including historic preservation
- Building materials
- Construction detailing and techniques
- Structural analysis and theory of structures
- Thermal systems
- Surveying engineering
- Timber and wood-framed structures
- Steel structures
- Concrete and masonry structures
- Plumbing/waste management
- Life safety
- Building electrical systems
- Integrated building system design
- Geotechnical engineering
- Building mechanical systems (e.g. vertical transportation)
- Site features, including security
- Building codes and standards, including ADA compliance
- Engineering economics (e.g. cost estimation, financial analysis)
- Investigative methods and forensics
- Environmental issues
- Written communication for building inspection engineers
- Standards of practice
- Professional practice/ethics
Who Is Eligible to Become a Board-Certified Building Inspection Engineer?
The only board-certifying process for building inspection engineering specialists requires the following proven qualifications:
- Professional Engineers (P.E.) or Registered Architects (R.A.) who have a minimum of four years of experience in responsible charge of building inspection work
- P.E.s ande R.A.s who hold an earned bachelors degree from an accredited college or university with a major in engineering
- P.E.s and R.A.s who have passed a written examination given by a state board of registration for licensure
Read More: Eligibility Section 6.4 – Requirements for Certification.
What Does the Certification Program Do?
- Provides evidence of competence to inspect buildings, their systems, weaknesses and strengths of the structure and to ensure the safety and health of the building’s occupants.
- The holder of certification has demonstrated competence in both the art and science of building inspection engineering.
- Certification also is evidence that the certified building inspection engineer is able to apply the principles and practices learned in engineering school to judgments about the complexity of buildings and how building systems relate to each other.
- Provides a clear distinction between a certified building inspection engineer and those without proven experience and educational preparation in a school of engineering or architecture.
Who administers the Building Inspection Engineer Certification Program?
The Building Inspection Engineers Certification Institute (BIECI) governs the certification program through its own bylaws and Board of Governors. It is independent of all other organizations, including NABIE.