As a first small step toward achieving excellence in building science education, select curricula, key courses, teaching methodologies, and content are shared to aid in the development and improvement of university building science programs. Initially, the focus of the shared curricula would include schools of: engineering (e.g., civil, mechanical, architectural), architecture (skilled in building performance), construction management, and others (e.g., material science, EU building physics). Key courses would, for example, address high performance enclosures, including hygrothermal analysis, systems engineering, quality management, indoor air quality, advanced detailing, and other subjects.
Resources provided to support the development and enhancement of building science curricula include:
- Shared University Curricula
- Building Energy Software Tools
- Bibliography and Online Building Science Education Publications
- US Government and other Resources Useful for Building Science Education.
Below you will find examples of building science or building physics curricula for universities and 2-year colleges. Curricula include specific building science and building performance courses, and standard courses incorporating advances in building science and quality management. A “criteria for excellence in building science curricula” is being developed which will guide the selection of curricula included below.
- University of Waterloo – The Building Engineering Group is a multidisciplinary research team that undertakes research, development, and demonstration for the building industry. The curricula adapt advances in building science particularly from the research of Building Science Corporation and other Building America teams. View a listing of current and past courses.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology - The MIT Building Technology Program is an interdisciplinary program jointly sponsored by the departments of: Architecture; Civil & Environmental Engineering; and Mechanical Engineering. Building Technology includes teaching and applications of the fundamentals of technology as well as research in technology for the next generation of buildings. Many courses pertinent to building science are featured on MITOPENCOURSEWARE for: Architecture, Civil & Environment Engineering, Mechanical Engineering; and Construction Management.
- Green Building Educators Toolkit –The National Association of Home Builders Green Building Educator’s Toolkit includes an appendix highlighting the Purdue University Curricula. The Toolkit, developed under a grant from the National Housing Endowment, is based on input from 14 universities, and includes links to “green” curriculum from several schools of construction management.
- Cornell University — The Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future offers over 200 courses in the Cornell Sustainability Curricula, many of which focus on building science. The Collaborative Sustainable Building Practice course was adapted from the Model “Building Science 101 Course Modules (and resources developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (formerly the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges).
- University of Minnesota – To Be Added
- NY SUNY – To Be Added
- NIBS-BETEC Education Committee – database of building science education courses and information
- Additional University Resources
Building Energy Software Tools
The Building Energy Software Tools Directory profiles over 400 building software tools for evaluating energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability in buildings. Tools are also organized by subject, platform, and country. Included in the directory is a link to DOE Sponsored Tools, such as THERM and EnergyPlus. THERM is 2-D heat transfer program which has been used in estimating the temperature profile and condensation potential of envelope assemblies.
The following print publications provide information related to building science:
Building Science Textbooks and Related Printed Publications
- Straube, J.: Burnett, E.: Building Science for Building Enclosures. First edition. Building Science Press, 2005; 542 pg. This text focuses on the building enclosure, including walls, windows, roofs, below-grade construction, and the relevant building science. A new Edition is expected to be printed.
- Straube, J.: High Performance Enclosures. Building Science Press, 2012; 336 pg. This text focuses on multifamily, commercial and industrial building enclosures reflecting current advances in building science.
- Hens, H.: Applied Building Physics. Wilhelm Ernst & Sons, October 2010; 308 pg. This book examines the rationale and requirements of heat-air-moisture performance.
- Hens, H.: Building Physics – Heat, Air and Moisture: Fundamentals and Engineering Methods with Examples and Exercises [Paperback], Date: September 24, 2012 | ISBN-10: 3433030278 | ISBN-13: 978-3433030271 | Edition: 2
- Lstiburek, Joseph, Carmody, John; Moisture Control Handbook: Principles and Practices for Residential and Small Commercial Buildings; Wiley; 1996; 232 pg.; ISBN: 978-0-471-31863-7
- Rose, William B., Water in Buildings: An Architect’s Guide to Moisture and Mold, Wiley, 2005, 288 pg., ISBN-10: 0471468509, ISBN-13: 978-0471468509
- Szokolay, S.V.: Introduction to Architectural Science, The Basis of Sustainable Design, 3rd Edition, Routledge, 368 pg, January 2014. Categories: Structure, Materials and Detailing, Architectural Reference, Sustainable Architecture. NOTE: 2nd Edition is available now via Amazon and other online resources.
- ASHRAE Handbook Committee. ASHRAE Handbook — Fundamentals. 2017; ISBN: 978-1-939200-57-0 (I-P); 978-1-939200-58-7 (SI); This reference is the recognized repository of current engineering procedures and practices in the fields of heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration. It addresses building loads and heat and mass transfer. Chapters 25-27 & 36 address hygrothermal performance.
- Principles of Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning. 7th Edition, 2013 (ISBN: 9781936504572), Ronald H. Howell, William J. Coad, Harry J. Sauer, Jr. American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc., 1791 Tullie Circle NE, Atlanta GA 30329
- Understanding Psychrometrics, Third Edition [Hardcover], Donald P. Gatley, ISBN 978-1-936504-31-2, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc., March 2013, 402 pages
- Rudd, Armin (2011). “Ventilation Guide – Fully Updated.” Building Science Press, Somerville, MA. September. ISBN-10: 0-9755127-6-5
- See additional teaching resources — “Preliminary Listings” under Resources drop down menu, then “Supplemental Teaching Resources”
Building Science/Technology, Construction and Design Handbooks and Guides
- Rashkin, S.: Retooling the US Housing Industry: How It Got Here, Why It’s Broken, and How to Fix It, Cengage Learning, Aug. 2010, 320 pg., Five critical components of our housing industry are examined –land development, design, home performance, production, and sales–to show readers the precise shortcomings that have contributed to the current crisis and outline steps to resolve it.
- U.S. Department of Energy, PNNL 20890 (2011), Building America Best Practice Series: Vol. 16. 40% Whole-House Energy Savings in the Mixed-Humid Climate – NOTE: Climate specific guides are available for other North American climates.
- Lstiburek, J.: Builder’s Guide to Mixed-Humid Climates, Building Science Press, 2009, 498 pg., Practical information is provided on how to apply building science principles to structures as systems in mixed-humid climate regions. Builder’s Guides are also available for other North American climate zones.
- Lukachko, A., C. Gates,and J. Straube. Strategy Guideline: Advanced Construction Documentation Recommendations for High Performance Homes,December 01, 2011. doi:10.2172/1031403
The following online resources offer information related to building science:
- Building America Publications Library features a database of Building America publications from 1995 to present.
- Building America Meetings and Webinars
- Building Science Publications – search tool under the Building America Solution Center.
- DOE Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) Resources
- Home Innovation Research Labs Reports - provides information on design/construction documentation and related work on quality management. See “Quality Resources” and “Scopes of Work” [Includes resources from former NAHB-RC ToolBase].
- Building Science Information: Building Science Corporation, on their Information site, provides extensive online resources for educators and building professionals about building physics, system design concepts, and sustainability for design and construction of energy efficient, healthy, durable buildings.
- Building Science Reading Lists and Presentations — RDH-Building Science Consulting, Inc. and their Building Science Labs research division, provide resources for students, educators and building professionals. See their “Library”, including the “Net-Zero Housing Reading List” and their “Presentations”. Also, RDH has a listing of guideline documents.
- DOE Building Energy Codes Resource Center: provides tools and training resources to facilitate energy code compliance, development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement.
- Whole Building Design Guide issues building-related guidance, criteria and technology from a whole buildings perspective from the National Institute of Building Sciences. (For example, see design recommendations within the WBDG Building Envelope Design Guide, including Wall Systems guidance)
- BRIK Enclosures Research - The NIBS/AIA Building Research Information Knowledgebase (BRIK) offers online access to peer-reviewed research projects and case studies in all facets of building, from predesign, design, and construction through occupancy and reuse.
- Efficient Windows Collaborative gives information on the benefits of energy-efficient residential windows, descriptions of how they work, and recommendations for their selection and use.
- Windows for High Performance Commercial Buildings – Tools & Resources
Tips for Daylighting, Jennifer O’Connor, Eleanor Lee, Francis Rubinstein, and Stephen Selkowitz.
These guidelines provide an integrated approach to the cost-effective design of perimeter zones in new commercial buildings. They function as a quick reference for designers through a set of easy steps and rules-of-thumb, emphasizing “how-to” practical details.
- Foundation Design Handbook - Final Draft
- “Best of Building Science Online Training” – Developed by the Oklahoma State Energy Office
- Center for Green Schools – Resources (USGBS Partner)
- EEBA, the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance, delivers unique and relevant, multi-platform educational resources in the design, marketing and execution of the building process.
- IIBHS FORTIFIED Performance Requirements
- FEMA Building Science Resources
- NRC Canada Publications - Includes NRC Publications Archive, construction innovation and technology, and some access to IRC reports.
- BChydro Resources – including “Building Envelope Thermal Bridging Guide”
- NIST Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility – see Project Details
- ACCA has a number of free online and discounted Resources for Educators and schools. Also, see: Quality Standards; Speed Sheets; and Q-Tech.
US Department of Energy Building Science Education activities
- Building America SOLUTION CENTER - The Building America Solution Center provides residential building professionals with access to expert information on hundreds of high-performance design and construction topics, including air sealing and insulation, HVAC components, windows, indoor air quality, and much more.
- Building America Building Science and the Building Science Education Solution Center.
- US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon
- January 2011 Excellence in Building Science Education Workshop
- Additional US Government Resources & Activities