Building Science Basics  

Education Type: 
2 Hours


Sponsored by BASF - RPM Building Solutions Group

Building science is a field of knowledge that draws upon physics, chemistry, engineering, architecture, and the life sciences. Understanding the physical behavior of the building-as-a-system and how this impacts energy efficiency, durability, comfort and indoor air quality is essential to innovating high performance buildings. This introductory course is intended to outline the fundamental background needed to pursue subsequent continuing education in building enclosure performance design. It assumes that participants in this course possess a suitable entry level of knowledge about building design and construction. Technical education in architecture / engineering / construction and/or related industry experience are generally considered sufficient to successfully engage this course.

Learning Objectives

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the role of building science in today's architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry;
  • Identify the elements comprising the building as a system, its essential performance requirements, and how the elements are properly integrated;
  • Describe the role of the building enclosure (envelope) as the primary moderator of the environment with respect to the control of moisture, heat, airflow, and solar radiation;
  • Select the appropriate envelope design strategies based on climate, exposure, indoor climate class and building type;
  • Apply the principles of enclosure design accounting for imperfect materials, workmanship, operation and maintenance;
  • Understand the contribution of the building enclosure toward the sustainability of buildings;
  • Consider how to suitably integrate the building enclosure and the HVAC system to achieve high performance; and
  • Access additional sources of information about building science.