Building As A System and Building Science

This course stresses the evaluation of the house/building as system using principles, such as, the basic concepts of building science and thermodynamics. Students examine the various factors which affect the energy inputs and losses to the system. Basic concepts of temperature, types of heat, heat capacity, expansion of solids and gases and heat transfer are studied. A comparison of the components of the system is required to determine how air, water and water vapour leakage and building movements contribute to maintaining a healthy indoor environment. This course studies all the aspects of a building as a system in order that the students can appreciate the relative significance of each component. Students also learn how the entire system/structure interacts to produce the overall effect/impact and, in doing so, are exposed to the fundamental science involved constructing buildings for Canadian climatic conditions including durability, energy use efficiency, healthy living conditions and to some basic concepts of sustainable design. The students study the fundamentals of energy loads on the building. The students are introduced to the concepts of embodied energy of building components. Associated policies such as R2000, LEED, BOMA BESt and EnergyStar will be introduced and developed in greater detail in subsequent courses.