Envelope Fundamentals


Basic Level
7 Modules 12-18 Hours

The house works as a system made up of different construction components and assemblies that are affected by heat, moisture and air flows. Take a deeper dive into the components and dynamics of the building envelope.

Course Overview

Envelope Fundamentals focuses on how the building envelope affects the comfort, health and safety of the people who use the building.

The condition of the building envelope - the foundation, walls, floors, windows, doors, and ceiling or roof that enclose the conditioned space of the house - affects everything from occupant health to structural safety. How a building envelope behaves, or performs, impacts energy efficiency, durability, comfort and indoor air quality. 

Anyone in the home renovation or new construction industry can benefit from BHE’s cheap and cheerful online training. Envelope Fundamentals is especially good for insulation installers. Learn on your own time!

Listen to a Demo...

Important Details

  • Envelope Fundamentals (EF) takes 12-18 hours to complete (including reviews, quizzes, etc.)

  • The course consists of 7 modules. There is a review and a quiz at the end of each module

  • Each module includes a downloadable study guide

  • After you complete all 7 modules you can take the final test (you may only take 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 hard to see all the detail on a phone!

  • Sales within Canada are subject to GST/HST

If you are registering a group of 2-5, receive 20% off by using the discount code EFGROUP20 at checkout. For larger groups please go to our on-demand course plans.



House as a System

Healthy Indoor Environment

  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Healthy Housing
  • Ventilation

Building Envelope

  • Fundamentals of Air Sealing
  • Strategies for Air Sealing

Module 1: House As A System

Heat Flow

  • Convection
  • Conduction
  • Radiation

Air Flow

  • Wind Effect
  • Stack Effect
  • Combustion/Ventilation Effect
  • Neutral Pressure Plane

Moisture Flow

  • Humidity
  • Liquid Water
  • Water Vapor

Module 2: Indoor Air Quality


  • Airborne
  • Moisture-Related


  • Occupant
  • House Structure


  • Eliminate
  • Filtrate
  • Ventilate

Module 3: Healthy Housing


  • Construction Assembly
  • Finishes

Combustion Spillage

  • Signs
  • Risks
  • Remediation


  • Identifying
  • Testing
  • Controlling 

Module 4: Ventilation Requirements

Why Ventilate?

  • Controlling Air Flow
  • Air Filtration
  • Occupant Impacts

Ventilation Standards

  • Overview
  • Requirements
  • Calculation Methods


  • Exhaust Only
  • Supply Only
  • Balanced Whole House

Module 5: Fundamentals of Air Sealing

Purpose of Air Sealing

Types of Barriers

  • Weather Barriers
  • Air Barriers
  • Vapor Barriers


  • Interior Air Barriers
  • Exterior Air Barriers

Air Sealing Materials

Module 6: Strategies for Air Sealing

Air Sealing Issues

  • Thermal Bypasses
  • Solar Vapor Drive
  • Ice Damming


Walls & Floors

Ceilings & Roofs

Module 7: Fundamentals of Insulation

Properties of Insulation

  • Dew Point
  • Wind Washing


  • Nominal R-Value
  • Effective R-value

Insulation Materials

  • Fibrous Types
  • Foam Types

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Apply the House as a System Concept

  • Interpret the role of sustainable development in construction

  • Explain how building science affects building durability and occupant comfort

  • Categorize the signs, symptoms and solutions for good indoor air quality

  • Recognize building envelope details and how they control or contribute to heat, air, and moisture flows

  • Discuss, at a high level, the properties and features of residential mechanical systems

Credit Values

Completing this course qualifies you for:

BC Housing: 16 CPDs

BPI: 16 CEUs