Building Science Basics


Basic Level

3 Modules

12-16 Hours

Building Science Basics (BSB) is the introduction to the house as a system with respect to energy efficiency. This system is made up of the building envelope, surrounding environment, and occupants. If you're looking for building science courses online, this is the one to begin with. 

Course Overview

This course introduces the science behind energy efficiency, occupant comfort, health, and safety.

The house functions as a system, made up of many different components and systems:

  • The envelope (foundation, walls, floors, ceilings and attics, doors and windows)
  • Heating, cooling and ventilation equipment and distribution
  • The surrounding environment
  • The occupants and their behaviour in the house

Each of these components is affected by the interactions of heat, air and moisture flow in, out, and around the house. All of the interactions impact indoor air quality and the need for ventilation.

Upon completion, you will know how these components are affected by the interactions of heat, air and moisture flow in a house, and how those interactions impact indoor air quality and the need for ventilation.

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Important Details

  • This course takes about 12-16 hours (including reviews, quizzes, etc.)

  • The course has 3 modules. Each module has a quiz at the end

  • You need at least 70% in each quiz to proceed to the next module (you can take the quiz as many times as you like)

  • After you pass the third module you take the final test (you may only take once)

  • A grade of at least 70% earns you a Blue House Energy Certificate of Achievement

  • Like all BHE courses, you have access for a full 12 months

  • The course is best viewed on a laptop or desktop. It works on tablets, but it’s really hard to see all the detail on a phone!

  • Sales within Canada are subject to GST/HST

  • Download course outline


Module 1: House As A System

  • Heat Flow
  • Air Flow
  • Moisture Flow

Module 2: Indoor Air Quality

  • Sources
  • Symptoms
  • Solutions

Module 3: Ventilation Requirements

  • Why Ventilate?
  • Ventilation Systems
  • Combustion Spillage
  • Radon

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, you will understand:

  • Concept of the ‘House as a System’ and how it relates to building science

  • Various ways that heat, air and moisture flow affect a house

  • Neutral pressure plane

  • Factors that impact indoor air quality

  • Methods of evaluating a house for indoor air quality

  • Methods of controlling moisture and pollutants in a number of situations

  • Need for ventilation

  • Three types of ventilation systems

  • Signs of combustion spillage

  • Radon mitigation procedures

Credit Values

This course is approved for the following Credits/Points:

BC Housing:  12 CPDs

BPI:  9 CECs