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Course Outlines

BLDC 3050

Building Envelope Performance

School School of Construction and the Environment
Program Architectural and Building Technology
Course Credits 3
Minimum Passing Grade 50%
Start Date September 11, 2021
End Date November 06, 2021
Total Hours 36
Total Weeks 9
Hours/Weeks 4
Delivery Type Lecture/Lab
CRN 43189

Acknowledgement of Territories

The British Columbia Institute of Technology acknowledges that our campuses are located on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish Nations of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam).

Instructor Details

Name Christopher Black
E-mail Instructor to provide
Location By Email
Office Hours Instructor to provide

Course Description

This course provides a practical introduction and application of building science fundamentals for the evaluation, design, and construction of durable and energy efficient buildings. The role of climate and the theory of heat flow, vapour flow, air flow, and the application of each principle to the evaluation of building envelope assemblies will be discussed. Best-practice assembly design and detailing fundamentals for above and below grade wall assemblies, roofs, and windows will be covered with examples and case studies. Current energy code requirements for the building enclosure will also be introduced. BLDC 3050 provides the prerequisite building enclosure design fundamentals which are applied in BLDC 3060, which is an interactive hands-on building enclosure construction and interface detailing course.

Course Learning Outcomes/Competencies

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

  • To develop an introductory understanding of the fundamentals of heat flow, vapour flow, and air flow and how to apply these fundamentals to the evaluation and design of building enclosure assemblies.
  • To develop an introductory understanding of the evaluation, design and detailing of durable and energy efficient building enclosure assemblies including above and below grade walls, roofs, floors, and windows for both new and existing buildings.
  • To understand the role of building science and the building enclosure within the fields of architecture, engineering and construction.

Learning Resources

Required Course Textbook:

Building Enclosure Design Guide - Wood-Frame Multi-Unit Residential Buildings, 2018 Second Edition. Available from BC Housing ( and BCIT bookstore.

Other Useful Reference Textbooks and Guides (Not Required):

Building Science for Building Enclosures by John Straube and Eric Burnett, 2005.

Guide for Designing Energy-Efficient Building Enclosures, 2013. Available from FP Innovations. - Free

Building Science for a Cold Climate by Neil Hutcheon and Gustav Handegord, 1983-1995. Available from the National Research Council of Canada at or by email:

Building Envelope Guide for Houses, Part 9 Residential Construction.

High Performance Enclosures, John Straube.

Evaluation Criteria

Assignment 1

Assignment 2


Assignment 3

Final Exam








- Students are required to complete and hand in all three assignments and must pass the final exam in order to pass the course.

- Students unable to take the final exam due to illness must submit a medical certificate to the instructor. The certificate must state the time period in question and state that student was unable to attend class due to medical reasons.      



Attendance Requirements

Attendance: In case of illness or other unavoidable cause of absence, the student must communicate as soon as possible with his/her instructor, program head or chief instructor, indicating the reason for the absence. Students who suffer a prolonged absence of three or more consecutive days of in-class sessions must have a BCIT-approved medical certificate submitted to the department, substantiating the reason for absence. Absence in excess of that described in Policy 5101, section 3.2, may result in failure or forced withdrawal from the course or program.

If absences are the result of a disability, notification from Disability Resource Centre (DRC) personnel will be accepted in lieu of a doctor's note, on an interim basis.

Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each session. Students not present at that time will be recorded as absent.

Safety equipment or protective clothing

Not Required for BLDC 3050

Other information

Illness: A doctor’s note is required for any illness causing you to miss assignments, quizzes, tests, projects, or exam. At the discretion of the instructor, you may complete the work missed or have the work prorated.

Academic Integrity: Violations of academic integrity, including dishonesty in assignments, examinations, or other academic performances are prohibited and will be handled in accordance with the 'Consequences of Academic Misconduct' section of Policy 5104.

Attempts: Students are allowed a maximum of three attempts to successfully complete a course. Students who have not successfully completed a course within the allowed number of attempts will not be eligible to graduate from their respective programs unless special permission is granted by the program dean. A student, who has attempted a course twice, will only be allowed to attempt it a third time with written permission from the associate dean, who will detail any special considerations or conditions in a written contract with the student.

Ethics: BCIT assumes that all students attending the Institute will follow a high standard of ethics. Incidents of cheating or plagiarism may, therefore, result in a grade of zero for the assignment, quiz, test, exam, or project for all parties involved and/or expulsion from the course.

Course Outline Changes: The material or schedule specified in this course outline may be changed by the instructor. If changes are required, they will be announced in class.

Statement for prior learning assessment

Transfer Credit

Equivalent Part-time Studies courses may be transferable to the Architectural and Building Engineering Technology diploma program based on the recommendations of the diploma instructor and the program head. In order to be considered for a course credit, students must already be accepted into the diploma program and are required to demonstrate competency of the subject matter by having earned a minimum final grade in the equivalent course. Please refer to for current information regarding transfer credits into the full-time diploma program.

Course Schedule and Assignments


Outcome and Material Covered



Introduction to Building Science

- The role & functions of the Building Enclosure

- Environmental loads

- A history of Building Science in British Columbia

Building Enclosures and Building Materials

- Common building enclosure materials and assemblies

- Introduction to building enclosure detailing fundamentals

Assignment #1:
Handed Out


Heat Flow

- Conduction, Convection, and Radiation

- Calculating R-values

- One and two-dimensional heat flow

Vapour Flow

- Vapour diffusion principles and calculations

- The psychrometric chart

Assignment #1:

Assignment #2:
Handed Out


Vapour Flow (Cont'd)

- Vapour retarders and vapour barriers

- Condensation control

Air Flow

- Air tightness and air leakage

- Stack effect and wind loads

- Air Barrier systems


Rain Penetration Control and Related Damage

- Role of climate in enclosure design

- Driving rain and rain penetration control

- Wood decay, mould, corrosion, and other damage mechanism


- Design for heat, moisture and airflow control


Midterm (Classes 1 through 5)


- Above and below grade wall design fundamentals

- Rainscreen wall design and detailing

Assignment #2:



- Fundamentals, terminology, and detailing

- Insulating glazing units (IGUs)

- Specifying and detailing windows for performance

- Curtainwall and window wall

Assignment #3:
Handed Out



- Sloped Roofs and Attics

- Low-slope/flat and inverted roofs

- Balconies and decks


Energy Efficiency, Codes, and Standards

- Understanding energy consumption in buildings

- Concepts for energy efficient house design

- Building code requirements

- ASHRAE 90.1, NECB, BCBC Part 9.36, and VBBL Part 10


Final Exam

Assignment #3:

BCIT Policy

Any student who needs special assistance in the event of a medical emergency or building evacuation (either because of a disability or for any other reason) should promptly inform their course instructor(s) and Accessibility Services of their personal circumstances.

Human Rights, Harassment and Discrimination:
The BCIT community is made up of individuals from every ability, background, experience and identity, each contributing uniquely to the richness and diversity of the BCIT community as a whole. In recognition of this, and the intrinsic value of our diversity, BCIT seeks to foster a climate of collaboration, understanding and mutual respect between all members of the community and ensure an inclusive accessible working and learning environment where everyone can succeed.

Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion is a supportive resource for both students and employees of BCIT, to foster a respectful learning and working environment. Any student who feels that they are experiencing discrimination or harassment (personal or human rights-related) can confidentially access this resource for advice and support. Please see Policy 7507 – Harassment and Discrimination and accompanying procedure.

Students should make themselves aware of additional Education, Administration, Safety and other BCIT policies listed at

Guidelines for School of Construction and the Environment

Students must successfully complete a course within a maximum of three (3) attempts at the course. Students with two attempts in a single course will be allowed to repeat the course only upon special written permission from the Associate Dean. Students who have not successfully completed a course within three attempts will not be eligible to graduate from their respective program.


I verify that the content of this course outline is current.
Christopher Black, Instructor
August 10, 2021

I verify that this course outline has been reviewed.
Rohi Nath, Faculty
August 10, 2021

I verify that this course outline has been reviewed and complies with BCIT policy.
Michael Currie, Associate Dean
August 11, 2021

Note: Should changes be required to the content of this course outline, students will be given reasonable notice.