Important Changes to the Educational Requirement of the Building Science Specialist of Ontario (BSSO) Designation

OBEC is continuously looking to improve access for all members who wish to obtain their BSSO designation. OBEC is now introducing a series of professional examinations which will allow members to demonstrate that they meet the educational requirements of the BSSO designation.  While there are a number of reasons for this change, the primary reason for developing these standardized exams is to provide opportunities for OBEC members across Ontario to achieve the BSSO designation.  To further broaden access to the educational foundation for the BSSO, OBEC is also working with colleges and universities across Ontario to provide more options for building science education in other parts of the province.

How many exams are there?

There are three exam sessions each offered once per year.  The 2017 exams are scheduled as follows: 

Building Science Theory   February 10th, 2017, 1-4pm
Building Envelope Systems May 12, 2017, 1-4pm
Materials & Mechanical Systems October 20th, 2017, 1-5pm (2 two-hour exams)

A minimum final exam mark of 65% must be achieved in each of the above-noted exams to be considered a "pass".

What will the exams cover and how can I prepare for them?

Detailed learning objectives and reference material posted on the OBEC website list everything you need to know to self-study for the exam. 

For an in-class experience, the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto will continue to offer the Building Science Certificate program, which teaches the fundamentals of building science and building envelope design and can help you prepare for the exams. OBEC has collaborated with the School since 2009 to create courses that are relevant to industry standards and can assist learners in achieving their professional designation.

Where can I write the exams?

Exams will be written simultaneously at centres in Toronto, Ottawa and Waterloo (see the BSSO Exam Application for specific exam centre locations and addresses). Additional locations will be added based on demand throughout the province.  

What if I’ve already started the Building Science Certificate program at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies? 

You may continue your studies as planned or choose the self study option.  See “BSSO Designation Options until July 2018” for details on the various paths to achieving your BSSO during the phase-in period from January 1, 2017 until August 1, 2018.  From August 1, 2018 onwards, the OBEC exams will be the only way to achieve the educational requirement of the BSSO.

For more details on exam registration, fees, cancellation and marking, please see: BSSO Exam Application

BSSO Overview

Individual Members of the Ontario Building Envelope Council (OBEC) are entitled to seek accreditation as a Building Science Specialist of Ontario and, if successful, to use the designation BSSO.

Accreditation is subject to the member being in good standing and having satisfied the BSSO educational and experience eligibility requirements. To keep the BSSO designation, members must adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct for Building Science Specialists Ontario, maintain an up-to-date Professional membership in OBEC, and provide proof of required continued education annually from the year of accreditation.

The Building Science Specialist of Ontario designation will provide members of the industry, including building designers, specifiers, developers, contractors, and owners, the confidence that any designation holder has a high level education and understanding in the field of Building Science as deemed by the BSSO Advisory Committee, composed of key industry figures.


Video Testimonials on Becoming a BSSO

Why did you choose to become a BSSO?
How has the accreditation process prepared you to become a BSSO?
What benefits do you feel a BSSO brings to each project?

Introducing OBEC Corporate Members