Task Group Working File

Task Group: Criteria on Excellence in Building Science Education Curricula

 KSA’s and Proficiency Levels for Key Disciplines

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

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 Standardsfor 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.

Working File

KSA's & Proficiency Levels
Teaching Resources
DOE matrix review


Recent Handouts and Reports

Toronto Workshop

Building Science Education

April 6, 2014

 ASC Conference, Washington, DC

Sustainable High Performance Buildings Session

March 27, 2014

 The Sustainable High-Performance Buildings Panel represents a range of industry stakeholders providing insights regarding opportunities and barriers as they relate to the high-performance buildings industry. The panel speakers cover the technical, economical, ecological, and legal perspectives of builders, performance contractors, design specialists, and government stakeholders, who all share the need for highly educated construction elite of the future.  Closing the presentation, the Joint Committee identifies new requirements for construction management faculty in preparing their students.

 Session Program (PDF)

Closing Presentation (PDF)

Matrix handout (PDF)

Core Competencies Example  (PDF)

BUILDINGS XII Dec 2 2013 copyBUILDINGS XII - Building Science Education Update - Clearwater Beach, FL

On Dec. 2, 2013, a meeting and open forum was held which provided updates on DOE, ASTM E06.55 and university building science education efforts. Updates were provided by the by Sam Raskhin on the work of the DOE Task Force on Building Science Education, including an update on the DOE Challenge Home Student Design Competition. Patrick Huelman provided an update on the work of the Joint Committee on Building Science Education’s Criteria Task Group, and the Joint committees Awards Committee. Dan Lemieux provided an update on the ASTM E06.55 /NIBS development of a certification for building enclosure professionals, and plans for the April 6 Building Science Education workshop, April 6, 2014, in Toronto. Paul Totten gave an overview of BETEC Education Committee work and current cooperation with the Joint Committee. Over the next few days following the meeting, numerous side meetings were held seeking comments and input from university professors on building science teaching resources.


 Phoenix, AZ – September 24, 2013

On September 24, 2013, an update on the work of the Criteria Task Group was presented during the meeting of the DOE Task Force on Building Science Education (adjunct to the EEBA Conference).   Handouts and discussions addressed: definition of “building science”; core competencies and proficiency levels; and other subjects.  

The presentation and handouts by Pat Huelman, Criteria Task Group, are below: