This on-line course package consists of a set of 7 modules. These modules support the teaching of an introductory course in Building Science for College and University-level students studying Architecture or Engineering. Basic principles and applications of building science including the control of heat, moisture, air movement and solar energy are presented. It is an open education resource that can be re-used and/or by a teaching team in their own course.
These modules are intended to supplement existing lecture-based course materials. However, given that the course package is comprehensive, the modules could also be used as a substitute for traditional lectures. Whether used as lecture supplements or as a substitute for lectures, instructors are encouraged to support these on-line materials with hands-on tutorial and laboratory activities. To provide feedback for the self-guided learner, a series of knowledge-checks have been provided throughout.
Four universities and two colleges worked together using a collaborative development approach, fully supported by the Education Technology Office at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering (FASE). The University of Toronto, and in particular the FASE, is committed to the development and sustained delivery of open access modules.
Course Learning Outcomes
The modules are designed to provide students with an understanding of the key concepts of Building Science including how to control heat, air and moisture movement in buildings. Based on supporting numerical calculations, students will learn how to use these concepts to design better buildings.
Are you a prospective student?
While you can view the content online, this is not an online course. To take this course at UofT, you need to be enrolled in a program that offers this course (e.g. Civil Engineering). You can view the modules online, but you cannot recieve credit for them unless you are enrolled in the course officially. If you are interested in enrolling, please contact the appropriate UofT Engineering Registrar for your circumstances.
Getting Started with Building Science Fundamentals
In this module, the instructors are introduced and an introduction to the course layout is provided along with acknowledgements of all the people who contributed to these online resources.
In this module, the requirements for human comfort are introduced followed by a discussion of how climates are characterized and finally how building operation is related to energy use and climate impacts.
In this module, the concepts of heat and thermal energy transfer are explored along with the governing equation for one-dimensional steady state heat flow. To understand how materials actually resist heat flow and what material properties affect thermal resistance, the fundamental heat transfer mechanisms of Conduction, Convection and Radiation are presented.
Then, the transfer of heat across the building envelope is examined and a method of computing the combined thermal resistance of building materials arranged in series is presented.
In this module, the properties of moist air, and moisture transport through building materials are examined. Then, the movement of moisture through building assemblies is explored and a method of calculating the composite permeance of an entire wall assembly consisting of a series of elements is presented.
In this module, the fundamentals of air movement are described. The driving forces including wind, natural stack action, and mechanical ventilation that lead to air movement are introduced. Then, air movement in and around buildings is presented.
In this module, solar radiation and the resulting effects on buildings are studied. The module begins by examining the fundamentals of solar geometry including how solar geometry varies with position on the earth, and how it varies from hour to hour, from day to day and from season to season. Then, the interaction between solar radiation and buildings is explored including solar gains and shading.