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Introduction to Building Envelope and Mechanical Systems BSCI 5120

Building Science Course

Course details

​The course provides an introduction of foundational concepts and techniques in building envelope and mechanical systems design that are essential for energy modelers. Each week's lesson includes a three-hour lecture. In the course, students are expected to learn the basic features and design concepts of various types and configurations of building envelope, and mechanical systems. This course is constituted of two parts – the building envelope part and mechanical system part. Topics to be covered in building envelope part include: building enclosures in general, structure and configuration of wall assemblies, window systems, floor/slab, and roof assemblies in typical residential or commercial buildings. Topics to be covered in mechanical system part include: basic heating and cooling load analysis, air conditioning process on psychrometric chart, HVAC system's fan and pump sizing, working principle and features of mechanical systems of various types and configurations (e.g. PTAC, PTHP, PSZAC, PSZHP, WSHP systems, air-side economizer, heat recovery ventilation systems, electric or hot water baseboard heating systems, domestic hot water systems and etc.), introduction of basic controls in building application (BMS and DDC systems).​


  • No prerequisites are required for this course.





Course offerings

Winter 2023

Below is one offering of BSCI 5120 for the Winter 2023 term.

CRN 90878


Wed Jan 11 - Wed Mar 29 (12 weeks)

  • 12 weeks
  • CRN 90878
  • $1040.55
Class meeting times
Dates Days Times Locations
Jan 11 - Mar 29 Wed 18:00 - 21:00 Online

Wei Chen

Course outline

Course outline TBD — see Learning Outcomes in the interim.



Important information
  1. Internet delivery format.
  2. Departmental approval needed
  3. Please contact Program Assistant, at for approval to register for this course. Please include your A# .

In Progress

This course offering is in progress. Please check back next term or subscribe to receive email updates.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Conduct heating and cooling loads calculation for various types of the building.
  • Apply thermodynamic analysis to major components/devices present in HVAC systems.
    • Quantify required heating and/or cooling capacities of the boiler, furnace, heat pump, heating and cooling coils in air handling unit, HRV and economizer.
    • Assess the thermodynamic properties of moist air during the process of air conditioning.
    • Calculate the flowrate and head loss in ductwork and size the fan.
    • Calculate the flowrate and heat loss in hydronic piping and size the pump.
  • Interpret the principles, basic features of various types of HVAC systems.
  • Communicate system design decisions with personnel of other building design disciplines both verbally and in writing in a clear and understandable manner.
  • Apply the basic concept in building envelope assemblies design to various types of the building.
  • Calculate, to the appropriate level of accuracy, the thermal properties of the envelope systems both manually and computer based.
  • Recommend procedures to obtain the necessary thermal performance both quantitatively and qualitatively.​

Effective as of Fall 2022

Related Programs

Introduction to Building Envelope and Mechanical Systems (BSCI 5120) is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Construction and the Environment

  1. Building Energy Modelling and Performance Analysis
    Advanced Certificate Part-time


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