Task Group: Criteria on Excellence in Building Science Education Curricula
KSA’s and Proficiency Levels for Key Disciplines
- Example of Core Competencies (KSA’s) for building scientists (engineers, technically-skilled architects);
- Matrices (PDF)of disciplines vs. key subject areas
Draft Lists of Teaching Resources for Task Group Review (texts, lecture notes,
supplemental materials) – under development, initial draft lists on Enclosure and HVAC bibliographies listed below – needs to be expanded for all subjects listed below, and reviewed
- Building Science for Building Enclosures, Moisture Physics, Hygrothermal Analysis;
- HVAC & IAQ;
- Design/Construction Documentation – detailing, scopes-of-work, specifications, etc.;
- Building Performance;
- Building Science 101/Building Science Fundamentals;
- Quality Management/Integrated Design/Project Management Process; Commissioning
- Systems Engineering/Systems Management (e.g., Building America 101);
- Material Science for Buildings;
Definition of “Building Science”
“Building Science”, as used by the “Joint Committee on Building Science Education”, and its Task Group on “Criteria for Excellence in Building Science Curricula”, is defined broadly and in the context of building science education and the educational requirements for quality, high performance buildings. As broadly defined, “Building Science” would include building science (physics) and technologies, and the advanced design and construction management practices required to routinely plan, design, analyze, build, and commission quality, high performance buildings that are durable, safe, healthy, comfortable and very energy efficient.” This broad definition is holistic recognizing the need for systems engineering and systems management competencies.
Traditional building physics (science) is at the core of the educational requirements for designing and building quality, high performance buildings. However, its focus on building enclosures might not be sufficient. Regarding the desired outcome of quality, high performance buildings, the Task Group recognizes the definitions of “high performance buildings” set forth by the US Congress and further defined in the 2008 National Institute of Building Sciences “Assessment to the US Congress and the US Department of Energy on High Performance Buildings”. The Task Group also adopts a requirement for a “quality, high performance home that is very energy efficient” as meeting or exceeding, in the case of residential buildings, the requirements of the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home. For commercial buildings, the Task Group finds that “very energy efficient” means that energy efficiency levels significantly exceed the energy efficiency requirements of current codes and standards, and that energy consumption levels are at least 30% below ASHRAE 90.1-2016, if life-cycle cost-effective (see “Energy Efficiency Standards” for Federal Buildings, final rule). The Advanced Energy Design Guides (50% level below ASHRAE 90.1-2004) provide a useful reference for new construction.
Though the initial focus of the Task Group was on residential buildings, the Task Group recognizes that the student’s business model requires proficiency in the design and construction of both residential and commercial buildings, and that housing ranges from small, single family homes to large, multifamily structures which could include retail and office space. Therefore, the work of the Task Group will be relevant to both housing and commercial buildings.
The Task Group recognizes that there are additional definitions of “building science” and related terms, such as “building physics” and “building engineering physics”. The attached draft papers discuss some alternative definitions, and suggest a possible composite definition.
DOE Task Force on Building Science Education
The Task Force held or participated in the following meetings:
- Sept. 24, 1-4:30 p.m., Phoenix, AZ
- Oct. 28, Washington, DC
- Dec. 2, evening, Clearwater, FL
On December 4, Sam Rashkin, manager of the DOE Task Force, issued a request to review and provide comments on a draft matrix of Building Science Education Classifications, Core Competencies and Proficiency Levels. Below are the attached draft and other DOE Task Force on Building Science Education documents.
To post and review comments on the matrix, a formal public comment tool (click here) was created for Task force members. Task Group members are asked to register and submit all comments or questions by close of business, Friday, January 10th. DOE and Task Force staff will collect and review all feedback and determine what changes to incorporate. Additionally, in the attached User Guide, you will find background information on the matrix, relevant terms and definitions, and instructions on making a comment/request using the online tool.