National BEM Certification Program

IBPSA-USA’s Certification Committee is focused on improving quality control of building performance analysis for code compliance and beyond-code programs.  The committee was formed to address issues currently faced by our industry where compliance-based modeling programs and regulations are handled independently by individual authorities using a wide range of different approaches.  This situation leads to:

  • Inefficient program development and maintenance (due to redundant efforts) and under-supported programs (including many programs that do not get widely utilized to the barrier of entry).
  • Inefficient and confusing processes for building energy modelers.
  • Inefficient for software developers needing to comply with several approaches.
  • An overall lack of rigor in the quality assurance and review processes for building performance software and modeling practices.

IBPSA-USA’s Certification Committee seeks to improve the credibility of building performance simulation in these types of applications by implementing certification programs for software, modelers, and model reviewers. These certifications will contribute to developing a scalable solution to promote wider adoption of performance based compliance and incentive programs and to better support the increased use of building performance simulation to meet aggressive emission/energy goals.

Committee Activities

The committee has developed three certification frameworks: 

  • Building energy modeling (BEM) software certification
  • Modeler certification
  • Model reviewer certification

The framework documents are available below, along with links to forms where you can provide feedback to the committee.

BEM Software Certification

The majority of compliance programs reference ASHRAE Standard 90.1 and the software requirements included there. There is currently no national program-neutral process for the BEM tools to demonstrate compliance with these standards. So a BEM tool certification should initially focus on verifying BEM tool compliance with the existing 90.1 simulation tool requirements to make the certification applicable to most modeling-based programs.

Program Scope

Develop a software certification program for software meeting the requirements of (A) Chapter 11 – Energy Cost Budget Method (ECB); (B) Appendix G  – Performance Rating Method (PRM); or (C) Both Chapter 11 and Appendix G of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016, 90.1-2019, and 90.1-2022 that include by reference ASHRAE Standard 140-2014, 140-2017, and 140-2020, respectively. Include ASHRAE Standard 140-2023 with acceptance criteria in anticipation of its requirement in the future. When investigating the Standard 90.1 software requirements determine if certifications could be backwards compatible (i.e., if a software certified for Standard 90.1-2022 it would be considered certified for earlier versions of Standard 90.1). The program should be called the IBPSA-USA Software Certification Program v1.0 for referencing purposes.

ASHRAE Standard 140-2023 Acceptance Criteria Web Portal

The 2023 edition of ASHRAE Standard 140 Method of Test for Evaluating Building Performance Simulation Software introduced acceptance criteria which determines if a software’s results for a subset of the 140 tests are within an acceptable range. The IBPSA-USA 140 web portal gives software vendors an opportunity to upload their Standard 140 results and have them automatically checked versus the acceptance criteria. A list of the software and their versions that meet the acceptance criteria is then made public.

Software Listing

Software Vendors Login

ASHRAE Standard 90.1 Software Requirements Web Portal

A web portal for software vendors to upload documentation of meeting the software requirements of ASHRAE Standard 90.1 is in the planning stages. You can read the planning documents and submit comments below.

Software Certification Consensus document

Comment Submission form

Modeler Certification

Only a few jurisdictions in the U.S. currently mandate qualifications for modelers performing energy models for commercial energy code compliance or other rating programs. Neither ASHRAE 90.1 nor IECC incorporates provisions pertaining to modeler qualification. The Modeler Certification initiative endeavors to explore a qualification framework that can be upheld by a Certifying Body and potentially adopted by various jurisdictions.


The framework defines energy modeler responsibilities and ethics. Additionally, it outlines the authorities and duties of a Certifying Body tasked with hosting and maintaining this framework. A Qualification Score System is established, necessitating modelers to achieve a predetermined threshold of points for qualification. Notably, this scoring system prioritizes project experience over mandatory licensure or certification, with said experience necessitating proficiency in whole-building energy simulation using acceptable tools. Moreover, the framework contemplates a continuous education mandate, ensuring modelers remain updated on evolving modeling requirements while enabling the Certifying Body to sustain this framework.

Modeler Certification Framework Seed documentation

Comment Submission form

QA/QC Provider and Model Reviewer Certifications

Based on A National BEM Certification Scoping Study, establishing a network of third-party quality assurance and quality control providers (QA/QC Providers) is one of the key focus areas for improving public’s trust and market penetration of compliance modeling and creating a successful market-based certifying body. Responsibilities of QA/QC providers include establishing a submittal review process, overseeing submittal reviewers, facilitating submittal reviews, and maintaining files and records for reviewed projects. 


As a first step in creating such provider network, IBPSA-USA Certification Committee developed a Commercial Performance-based Compliance QA/QC Provider and Submittal Reviewer Accreditation Framework Document that includes the following:

  • Examples of a possible engagement between rating authorities and jurisdictions, the Certifying Body and the accredited QA/QC Providers. 
  • QA/QC provider roles and responsibilities
  • QA/QC provider accreditation process including initial accreditation, termination and renewal
  • Application to become an accredited QA/QC provider
  • Submittal reviewer qualification requirements
  • Informative appendix describing possible variation in the target submittal review rigor that rating authorities and jurisdictions may adopt.

BEM QA/QC Provider and Model Reviewer Certification document

Comment Submission form


The efforts of the Certification Committee have been propelled by the generous support of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Development of the certification framework documents was supported by DOE funding, with technical efforts led by IBPSA-USA and its subcontractor teams:

  • Software Certification Framework documents: TESS
  • Modeler Certification Framework documents: Cyclone Energy Group
  • Model Reviewer Certification Framework documents: Karpman Consulting

DOE also funded preliminary research activities to investigate the feasibility of forming a national certifying body that will establish and oversee the quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) framework for code and beyond-code programs that use building energy modeling.  A report was developed that discussed lessons learned from past certification efforts, and identified opportunities to follow RESNET’s successful approaches in the residential sector and apply them to the commercial sector.