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ZEB Introduction to Building Science, Airtightness, and Assembly Details CESA 1050

Centre for Energy Systems Applications Course

Course details

This course introduces the fundamental principles of building science while helping students advance their construction knowledge and skills with respect to building envelope design, construction and performance verification for airtightness and advanced thermal performance of residential buildings (Part 9 Buildings). Building science demonstrations including heat transfer, vapour diffusion, air flow, and moisture management will be employed to better understand the effect of thermal loads on the building enclosure performance. Student hands-on work will focus on specific strategies to ensure airtightness of final assembly with an emphasis on detailed solutions for managing critical control barriers in various assemblies. The course will present building enclosure assemblies, construction methods, and solutions for managing control barriers with a focus on improved thermal performance of residential buildings (Part 9 Buildings). Students will develop their knowledge of building science, airtightness strategies, and assembly details to meet the BC Energy Step Code.


  • No prerequisites are required for this course.



Not offered this term
This course is not offered this term. Please check back next term or subscribe to receive notifications of future course offerings and other opportunities to learn more about this course and related programs.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Develop an understanding of the BC Energy Step Code
    • Recall the energy and airtightness requirements for part 9 buildings per the BC Energy Step Code
    • Recognize how local climate affects performance metrics
  • Describe building enclosure strategies for controlling heat, air, and moisture transmission
    • Explain the five critical barriers and their respective roles
    • Indicate the location of the five critical barriers of a building enclosure assembly at details and interfaces on line drawings
    • Discuss building science principles seen in simple experiments/demonstrations
  • Practice installation of an air barrier system
    • Install elements of an air barrier system installation under supervision of the instructor
    • Discuss typical challenges encountered during installation of an air barrier system
    • Adapt to penetrations made through a completed air barrier assembly
  • Practice detail installation of interfaces and assemblies using an interior and an exterior insulated approach
    • Discuss typical installation challenges and sequencing issues

Effective as of Winter 2019


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