Electrification Training Series


The Building Electrification Training Series consists of seven online courses related to the electrification of buildings in the residential and commercial settings. These trainings are available to be taken on-demand through SWA Academy to offer flexibility to fit your schedule. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for AIA, BPI, NYS PE, and PHIUS are available for each training.

Who Should Take These Courses: Architects | Engineers | Developers | Contractors | Consultants | Building Operators | Researchers | Policy Professionals | Students | Other Industry Professionals

Special Offer: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is offering these courses free of charge to New York State residents and employees of companies that have an office in New York State. If you fall in this category, you may select the ‘NYSERDA Enrollment’ option below.

How To Enroll: Select the enrollment option below that applies to you and create your account. The enrollment process is quick and easy. Those using the ‘NYSERDA Enrollment’ option will be asked additional questions to confirm their affiliation with New York State.

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Course Descriptions

Expand the accordions below to learn more about the Commercial and Residential courses! Additional info on SWA Academy and the process for obtaining CEU credits can be found at the bottom of the page.

“RT” denotes Residential Track
“CT” denotes Commercial Track

Net-Zero HVAC Strategies for Multifamily Buildings - CT

Commercial Track (4 hours)

This module will take an in-depth look into the mechanical systems typically employed in high performance, net zero buildings including heating, cooling, domestic hot water, and ventilation. Discussion topics include reasons for, and issues with full electrification and central-plant considerations. Instructor will also outline control strategies.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this module attendees will be able to:

  1. Understand where and when electrification is recommended
  2. Identify the factors that are crucial to heat pump performance
  3. Explain the importance of pump sizing
  4. Understand why low-temperature hydronic systems make good candidates for electrification
  5. List the major steps involved with sealing and balancing a ventilation system

Common Commissioning Issues in High Performance Multifamily Buildings - CT

Commercial Track (4 hours)

High performance buildings are complex. They include systems and components that require a greater attention to detail in order to ensure that they are designed and functioning in accordance with the operational requirements of the building. This module will provide an overview of the commissioning requirements for common HVAC systems found in high performance buildings and explore the steps and considerations crucial to avoiding common issues with system performance.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this module attendees will be able to:

  1. Discuss the role and importance of clean energy technologies in a low carbon future
  2. Describe the commissioning tasks required by the NYS Energy Code for a variety of mechanical systems
  3. Prevent or minimize problems through a proactive commissioning process
  4. Verify systems are installed and working properly and benchmark initial operational performance
  5. Position commissioning as an integral function of high performance building construction

Refrigerant Management in Design, Construction, and Operations for Multifamily Buildings - CT

Commercial Track (2 hours)

The greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigerants associated with most heat pump technologies are significant contributors to global warming when leaked into the atmosphere. Management of these gases are therefore crucial when designing and operating a net zero building. This module focuses on refrigerant management and the considerations that need to be made during design, commissioning, and daily operation. Topics Include:

  • The primary reasons for switching to all electric buildings
  • GWP of common refrigerants
  • The importance of future proofing with regulations to reduce environmental impact
  • The importance of preventing refrigerant leaks and methods of

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this module attendees will be able to understand:

  1. The history and impact of refrigerants
  2. Refrigerant based high performance systems (both packaged and field-piped)
  3. Refrigerant management considerations in design, installation, commissioning, and operations
  4. The advantages and disadvantages of refrigerants on the horizon

Heat Pump Retrofit Primer for Multifamily Buildings - CT

Commercial Track (2 hours)

Heat pump conversions of existing multifamily buildings are an important part of many climate action plans for metropolitan areas around the United States. Retrofitting mechanical systems in multifamily buildings can be complex, and while multiple effective solutions are commercially available, the integration considerations are not widely understood across the market. This module will provide an overview of the technology options currently available and discuss retrofit strategies for a variety of multifamily building typologies.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this module attendees will be able to:

  1. List applicable heat pump technologies for major multifamily retrofit applications
  2. Identify the factors that determine if a heat pump can be installed as a central system or as a unitized alternative
  3. Describe opportunities to implement a heat pump retrofit in phases
  4. Summarize the major considerations and barriers to consider when converting multifamily buildings

Electrifying Homes - RT

Residential Track (4 hours)

Residential electrification is a crucial step in the pathway towards widespread decarbonization, and with the recent advancement and increased availability of electric appliances now may be the best time to ditch the gas meter. In this module we will explore the benefits of electrification, provide an overview of the considerations when going all-electric, discuss a variety of technology options and best practices for incorporating heat pumps for both domestic hot water and space heating.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this module attendees will be able to:

  1. Summarize the benefits of building electrification
  2. Discuss the major considerations when electrifying residential homes
  3. Understand how heat pump systems operate and where they can be applied
  4. Describe the various options available for non-fossil fuel water heating
  5. List the options for electrifying a variety of residential end-uses

Heat Pump Design and Installation Best Practices for Homes - RT

Residential Track (2 hours)

Air source heat pump (ASHP) design and installation practices have a major impact on system efficiency and performance – and can affect customer comfort and satisfaction. This module provides an overview of the design and installation considerations as well as homeowner education to help ensure efficient air-source heat pumps and happy customers in cold climates.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this module attendees will be able to:

  1. Understand heat pump technology and applications
  2. Determine the most appropriate system size and configuration
  3. Recognize the signs of a quality installation
  4. Properly commission new installations

High Performance Ventilation for Homes - RT

Residential Track (2 hours)

As new home envelopes have become more and more airtight, most in the homebuilding industry have come to understand that proper ventilation is critical. But, how much air do we need, and what systems should we install? This module will discuss the health impacts of ventilation, different ventilation rates, and explore various ventilation systems: pros and cons, costs and benefits, and tips for installing the best systems for your project.
This course focuses on single-family homes and apartment-level systems. It doesn’t cover central ventilation in larger buildings.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this module attendees will be able to:

  1. List the key reasons for and purposes of ventilation
  2. Apply ventilation codes and standards
  3. Appreciate the benefits and limitations of energy recovery ventilation
  4. Navigate the challenges associated with each ventilation strategy
  5. Develop a successful ventilation system upgrade/integration plan

About SWA Academy

SWA Academy is a user-paced learning platform developed by Steven Winter Associates, Inc (SWA) that provides education for building design, construction, and operations professionals and students. Since 1972, SWA’s building science professionals have led the way in the development of best practices to achieve high performance buildings.

SWA has a long history of industry education, from providing CEU-accredited courses for architects, engineers, and developers — to classroom training for operations and maintenance personnel. SWA Academy provides a forum for these vital trainings to reach more practitioners while allowing flexibility through asynchronous learning.

CEU Guidance

Once you have completed a course, you will receive an email with a link to your certificate of completion. Alternatively, you can access all your certificates by clicking on the ‘Transcript’ button on your learner dashboard. The certificate of completion will contain all the necessary information to obtain CEU credit. The process for CEU reporting is as follows:

  • AIA – Your credit will be reported directly to AIA on your behalf as long as you provide a valid AIA member number when registering. If you need to edit your AIA number, you can do so in your learner profile. Please allow up to 2 weeks for the credit to appear on your AIA transcript.
  • NYS PE – NYS PE members self-report credits earned using your certificate of completion.
  • PHIUS – PHIUS members self-report credits earned on The 5-digit code is located at the bottom of your certificate of completion.
  • BPI – BPI members self-report credits earned using your certificate of completion. If needed, the course ID number is located at the bottom of your certificate of completion.


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