Building Science (BC Energy Step Code Module 3)


This course meets the BC Energy Step Code Module 3: Building Science mandatory training for builders as required by BC Housing (as of Oct 2022).

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of BC Housing through the Building Excellence Research & Education Grants Program.

Intermediate Level

2 Sections

9–12 Hours

Bundle and Save!

Blue House Energy provides 3 modules for builders needing competency training to renew their license. To suit your training needs, you can purchase them separately or in any combination of two, or all three.

One Module

Purchase any single Module for $110

Two Modules

Purchase any two Modules for $200

Three Modules

Purchase all three Modules for $285

Course Overview

This module builds on basic building science principles and applies building science principles to design and construction practices required to meet the “envelope first” approach.

The training goals for this course are:

  • To apply building science principles to help in the selection of durable building components, assemblies, and construction approaches in the diverse British Columbia climate and market.

  • To use industry resources to determine appropriate enclosure components and assemblies, mechanical components, and construction approaches that can be used to meet the current and future requirements of the BCESC and achieve best practices.

Important Details

  • This course takes 9-12 hours to complete (including reviews, quizzes, etc.)

  • The course is made up of an introduction and 2 sections. A downloadable study guide can be found under the ‘Resource’ Tab in your training plan

  • There is a review and quiz at the end of each section. You can review any section as many times as you like.

  • Once you have completed all of the sections, you can take the final test (you may only take it once)

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

  • Like all BHE courses, you have access for 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


*Usually called Modules


Health Comfort & Moisture Management

Key Characteristics of Building Assemblies

Related to Moisture Issues Related to Air Flow Issues

Related to Heat Loss issues

Section 1: Building Science Principles

Heat Flow Principles




Air Flow Principles

Wind Effect

Stack Effect

Combustion & Ventilation Effect

Neutral Pressure Plane

Moisture Flow Principles

Water Vapour


Solar Vapour Drive

Ice Damming

Indoor Air Quality

Occupant Comfort

Passive Solar


Natural Ventilation

Heat Loss/Heat Gain

Control Layers

Vapour Barriers

Air Barriers

Dew Point

Section 2: Best Practices & Building Science

BCESC Compliance

Effective R-values



Moisture Durability


Exterior Insulated Assemblies


Performance Characteristics



Ratings Programs

Code Compliance

BC Climate & Market

Durable Components

Construction Approaches

Impact of Building Assemblies on Energy Performance

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

Section 1

  • Identify the key characteristics of typical building assemblies that impact the energy performance of the building

  • List the key enclosure selection criteria that affect the building construction cost and schedule

  • Use building science principles to guide the evolution of the design and construction of building enclosures with increased R- value in the “envelope first” approach, accounting for BC’s five climate zones and diverse building types and occupancies

  • Assess and mitigate the potential impacts of solar heat gain on occupant comfort, including a basic understanding of the solar heat gain coefficient, low-e coatings, window operability, and influence of mechanical systems

Section 2

  • Differentiate between enclosure elements and construction practices for achieving airtightness and those intended for vapour control

  • Find typical ranges of assembly R-values associated with wood- frame, below-grade concrete and wood-frame roof assemblies

  • Be mindful of prescriptive code items that still apply to building enclosures even if they are used as part of performance-based compliance and of design approaches that may require design professional involvement/sign-off during assembly selection

  • Consider the five key design and construction criteria of cost efficiency, constructability, air- tightness, moisture durability, and sustainability in selecting an appropriate enclosure assembly

  • Assess the benefits of an exterior-insulated assembly compared to an interior-insulated assembly in terms of building science principles

  • Evaluate a window product based on key characteristics including NAFs rating, energy, durability, design options

  • Evaluate industry resources, product documentation, and training programs for their suitability as tools for builders in the context of the BCESC, including for diverse builder teams and building design perspectives

Credit Values

Completing this course qualifies you for:

BC Housing: 2.5 CPDs