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Autodesk BPA Certificate: Free Online Course Launches

Stephanie Egger
September 9, 2013

Who this is for: Anyone interested in education for building science and building performance analysis. The BPA Certificate program described below is designed with students in mind, but has seen some uptake from professionals.

Takeaway: Autodesk is investing in creating free online courses to help people understand how to use, and get the most value from, our building performance analysis tools. A major course called the Autodesk BPA Certificate Program just launched. Registration is free and open.

By: Adam Menter, Sustainability Education Program Manager



This is a quick post to introduce you to a new education offering that launched on August 30th: the Autodesk Building Performance Analysis Certificate Program.

The BPA Certificate Program is a free, self-paced online course that teaches building science fundamentals and Autodesk building performance analysis tools. It covers a range of topics including energy literacy, climate analysis, whole building energy analysis, solar studies, and daylighting. The lessons for each of these topics include articles, videos, tutorials, quizzes, and software exercises. The tools covered are Revit, Vasari, and Green Building Studio. We have been piloting it for about a year.

  • Our goal is to help drive an industry-wide transition to performance-based sustainable design. This free online course is a significant step to removing the barriers from learning skills.
  • This course is supplemental and synergistic to other Autodesk offerings (like Revit Certification and the Education Expert Program), and other non-Autodesk programs (like LEED).
  • This course is targeted to students, and we have some shorter courses targeted to professionals planned for later in 2013 (as described in this previous blog post: Survey Results: Professional Education Needs for BPA).
  • We’ve also launched a complementary student design competition in partnership with Architecture 2030 and the AIAS (Transformation 2030). Completing the BPA Certificate is a competition requirement.
  • The course content comes from the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop and Autodesk product Help, and was written by a combination of external consultants and internal subject matter experts.
  • We’ve structured the program so that educators (or BIM managers) can administer, and track the progress of, groups of their own students.

Screen shot of the course, from the Sun and Shadow Studies module.

You can learn more here: (or, for even more, the FAQ page)

We’ve seen strong uptake so far, with 950 registered users from around the world in the first week, including 48 educators. Most of the registrants so far have been from architecture (20% minority of civil and mechanical engineering), and about 25% of total registrants are professionals.

Continuous improvement has been important to the creation of this program, and we will continue to iterate and improve on it. We’ve built-in user feedback loops and are using flexible, modular platforms. We plan to update the course continuously as the tools evolve.

Tell us what you think:

Do you think this is a good approach and a valuable program?

Have you signed up for the course? What do you think so far?

Stephanie Egger

Stephanie Egger is a building scientist and engineer, and passionate about reducing building energy use through education. She works on the Autodesk Building Performance Analysis Team where she exposes customers to the latest high performance building design tools and provides training on to how best use them. Previously she co-authored and launched a series of online courses that educate the next generation of designers. These courses and related certificate programs (Autodesk Building Performance Analysis Certificate) teach architects and engineers the basics of sustainable design and building performance through simulation and analysis tools. Stephanie pairs the creation of these educational offerings with the commitment to continuous improvement of building-design technology to enable designers to create sustainable and meaningful designs.

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  1. AvatarSYED



    decent work.