USA Insulation Building Science


Intermediate Level
10 Modules 16-18 Hours

Improve your delivery of whole-home insulation solutions by learning about building science, the house-as-a-system approach to retrofits

Course Overview

Improve your delivery of whole-home insulation solutions by learning about building science, the house-as-a-system approach to retrofits. Understanding the science behind energy retrofits is the key to success when your job is to help people live comfortably in their homes and save money on energy bills.

Anyone in the home renovation or new construction industry needs to know the basics. BHE’s cheap and cheerful online training is designed for busy people by an experienced industry professional. We know what you need to know!

Important Details

  • This course takes 16-18 hours  (including review time and quizzes)

  • This course has 10 modules. Each module has a quiz at the end.

  • You need at least a 70% in each quiz to proceed to the next module (no limit on attempts)

  • 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


Module 1: What is Construction Technology?

Construction Technology

  • Introduction

Building Science

  • House As A System


  • Energy Efficiency
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Environmental Responsibility

Module 2: Building Components & Systems


  • Basement Types
  • Crawlspace
  • Slab On Grade

Walls & Floors

  • Framed Walls
  • Masonry Walls
  • Floor Systems
  • Panelized Systems
  • Roof System Types

Module 3: Moisture Management

Keeping Moisture Off, Out, and Away

  • Foundations
  • Walls
  • Roofs

Module 4: 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 5: Indoor Air Quality


  • Airborne
  • Moisture-Related


  • Occupant
  • House Structure


  • Eliminate
  • Filtrate
  • Ventilate 

Module 6: 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 7: Strategies for Air Sealing

Air Sealing Issues

  • Thermal Bypasses
  • Solar Vapour Drive
  • Ice Damming


Walls & Floors

Ceilings & Roofs

Module 8: Fundamentals of Insulation

Properties of Insulation

  • Dew Point
  • Wind Washing


  • Nominal R-Value
  • Effective R-value

Insulation Materials

  • Fibrous Types
  • Foam Types

Module 9: Strategies for Insulating

Below Grade

  • Slabs
  • Walls

Above Grade

  • Rim Joists
  • Walls
  • Exposed Floors


  • Flat Ceilings
  • Sloped Ceilings

Module 10: Ventilation Requirements

Why Ventilate?

  • Controlling Air Flow
  • Air Filtration
  • Occupant Impacts

ASHRAE 62.2 Standard

  • Calculation Methods
  • Indoor Air Quality


  • Exhaust Only
  • Supply Only
  • Balanced Whole House

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 mechanical ventilation systems