A new online training platform aims to make the business of home performance fun and entertaining.

Game of Homes, a new, free gamification-based training platform from EnergyLogic, trains home energy pros in ways to make homes efficient, safe, and durable. Users can also earn continuing education units as they play.

The program takes a departure from traditional classroom and online training courses by applying gaming designs and concepts to learning scenarios that are interactive, engaging and entertaining. The scenarios are complex and challenging, and test and train good decision making, according to EnergyLogic. In playing the game, building pros gain valuable professional development with CEUs, which they can apply toward the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and the Building Performance Institute (BPI).

Game of Homes is geared to reach the approximately 35,000 home performance professionals in the U.S., as well as more than 100,000 home inspectors.

“Game of Homes offers users a fresh approach to the ‘death-by-PowerPoint’ training that plagues our industry,” says Matt Thornberry, training and education manager for EnergyLogic. “We believe that excellent training is critical to the success of the building science industry – and a more sustainable world. But our industry is historically guilty of offering training based on boring presentations and lectures. That’s not how people learn. People learn by doing,” he adds.

Game of Homes users are faced with decisions they must make about the home’s systems – from ventilation systems to furnace equipment to insulation materials – that simulate a home’s performance. These scenarios are developed based on real-world situations that experienced professionals have encountered in the field. For example, one situation involves a serious mold condition; another is based on a career-threatening condition in the home of a vocal coach. The game features actual products the pros use, making for a realistic online experience.

Gary Nelson, president of The Energy Conservancy, a partner in the game's introduction, recognizes the value of Game of Homes for advancing the home performance industry. “We’re in alignment with EnergyLogic’s approach to training and growing the quality and caliber of professionals who work in this industry,” he says. “Putting training into a gaming package makes perfect sense to us. It is clearly working as a fun and effective way to get pros the development skills they need.”