Building Science Fundamentals

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Course Overview

Learn the basic knowledge needed to design, build and commission durable, energy-efficient, affordable and healthy buildings. This course will introduce you to building science principles (such as control of heat, air and moisture and IAQ) and show you how to apply them to low-energy enclosure design, building enclosure commissioning, advanced HVAC systems, forensic investigation, and the repair and retrofit of existing buildings. 

Who Should Attend?

This popular course has been attended by over 1,500 building professionals. This course will provide valuable information and guidance to owners, builders, architects, building science consultants, building code officials, facility managers, building enclosure commissioning providers, building product manufacturers and government officials.

Course Outline

Day 1

Environmental Separation
Definition of a Building
Applicable Physics
"The Perfect Wall"
Effect of Climate

Rain Control
Rain Screens
Diagnostic Testing
Systems and Materials
Brick, Stone and Stucco

Heat, Air and Moisture Movement
Modeling and Other Lies
Myth of Dew Point

Walls, Roofs and Thermal Bridges
Critical Elements
Vented and Unvented Roofs
Low Density vs. High Density Foam
Avoiding Stupid Mistakes


Day 2

Pressure and IAQ
Buildings as 3-D Airflow Networks
Controlling Pressure and Pathways
Pollutant Sources
Stack Effect and Compartmentalization

Ventilation Rates
Part Load Humidity Control
Central System vs. Distributed Systems
Diagnostic Testing

Retrofits and Mass Buildings
Interior vs. Exterior Approaches
Deep Energy Retrofits
Freeze Thaw
Foundation Approaches

Slabs and Flooring
Wood and Tile Systems
Negative Side Vapor Control
Vinyl Composition Flooring

Note - for additional course offerings, course details and enrollment information, click here.


Joseph Lstiburek

Joe Lstiburek, PhD, PEng, is a forensic engineer who investigates building failures, and an internationally recognized authority on moisture-related building problems and indoor air quality, including rain penetration, air barriers, vapor barriers, air quality, durability, and construction technology. He is the former chairman of ASTM E241–Increasing the Durability of Building Assemblies from Moisture-Induced Damage and a reviewer of Chapters 21 and 22 of ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals. He is an ASHRAE fellow and member of ASHRAE 62.2–Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. He has appeared on PBS’ NOVA (“Can Buildings Make You Sick?”). He is the author of the US Department of Energy Handbook on Moisture Control and a special contributor to the EPA guidance document on Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers.

Upcoming dates (0)

Take this course when it’s offered next!

Program Director

Dave Peterson

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