Building Science Basics (Canada)


This course qualifies for 10.5 BPI Continuing Education Credits (4.5 for completing the course, 6 for passing the final test)

This course introduces you to the basic premise of building science and energy efficiency: understanding the house as a system. There are many components in this system: the building envelope, the surrounding environment, the occupants. The aim of this course is to help the learner develop a working knowledge of how these components are affected by the interactions of heat, air and moisture flow in a house, and how those interactions impact indoor air quality and the need for ventilation.

Building Science Basics can be taken on its own or can give you a strong foundation for detailed, practical learning in subsequent courses on how to improve the energy efficiency of a house while addressing existing problems. These additional courses cover areas such as doors and windows, ventilation requirements, mechanical overview and mechanical upgrades. Building Science Basics is a prerequisite for all Blue House Energy courses.

The course is comprised of three modules. You must pass the quiz at the end of each module with a grade of at least 70% before proceeding to the next. There is no limit to the times you may take the quiz at the end of each module. When you have successfully completed the third module you will be directed to the final test. You may take this test only once. When you have passed the final test with a grade of at least 70% you will be issued a Blue House Energy certificate of course completion as a PDF. You will also be mailed a laminated wallet-sized certificate of course completion.

The course is comprised of three modules with an estimated 9 hours to complete for initial and subsequent module reviews, module quizzes, final test and review of the downloadable resources.

The course is available for use for eight (8) weeks from the date of purchase. Please contact us if you would like to request an extension.

At this time the course is not available for tablets or smartphones.

All prices are in Canadian dollars plus GST/HST for sales within Canada.


Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, you should be able to:

•   Explain the concept of the ‘House as a System’ and how it relates to building science
•   Describe the various ways that heat, air and moisture flows affect a house
•   Describe the neutral pressure plane
•   Describe the factors that impact indoor air quality
•   Explain methods of evaluating a house for indoor air quality
•   Explain methods of controlling moisture and pollutants in a number of situations
•   Describe the need for ventilation
•   Describe three types of ventilation systems
•   Recognize the signs of combustion spillage
•   Describe radon mitigation procedures

Course Outline

Module 1: House As A System

Heat Flow

  • Convection
  • Conduction
  • Radiation

Air Flow

  • Wind effect
  • Stack effect
  • Combustion/ventilation effect

Moisture Flow

  • Liquid water
  • Water vapor

Module 2: Indoor Air Quality


  • Airborne
  • Moisture related


  • Occupants
  • House structure


  • Eliminate
  • Filtrate
  • Ventilate

Module 3: Ventilation Requirements

Why Ventilate?

  • Controlling airflow
  • Air filtration
  • Occupant impacts

Ventilation Systems

  • Exhaust only
  • Supply only
  • Balanced systems

Combustion Spillage

  • Causes
  • Signs
  • Risks


  • Identifying
  • Testing
  • Controlling