The Graduate Certificate in Building Energy Modelling is an interdisciplinary program aimed at architects and engineers with background and motivation to pursue a career in the emerging field of building energy modelling.
Well-trained energy modelling professionals with relevant knowledge and skills are in a prime position to inform capital decisions towards energy efficient and innovative building solutions, and lead the profession as it matures as an engineering specialty.
The Graduate Certificate in Building Energy Modelling trains competent energy modellers who are accurate and consistent forecasters, capable of confidently advising stakeholders on decisions affecting the energy performance of buildings. The program will provide the energy modelling industry with a professional credential for both current and recent new-to-practice energy modellers.
The certificate builds on the strengths of the Graduate Program in Building Science at BCIT, with an emphasis on developing a solid understanding of the physical principles underlying building performance, and using these principles to systematically guide the synthesis, analysis, and interpretation of building energy models for optimized building life-cycle performance.
Graduate Certificate Structure and Length
The Graduate Certificate in Building Energy Modelling is comprised of eight courses totaling 22 credits. Five of the courses are regularly scheduled courses offered by BCIT’s Master of Applied Science in Building Engineering/Building Science degree. Three additional new courses have been developed for this credential. Students can expect to complete the requirements in one academic year if they fast-track by registering in multiple courses per term, or in two years if they take a lesser course load. The coursework is structured in three core areas: building science, building energy, and management and communication skills.
Please see the Program Map PDF for details.
Students in the program develop knowledge to guide the synthesis, analysis, and interpretation of building energy models, and capacity to systematically inform design decisions and recommend actions to improve building energy performance. Following are some examples of how building energy models can support capital building decisions:
- Calculate energy and cost trade-offs in the evaluation of alternative heating, cooling and ventilation systems
- Compare building enclosures based on energy-efficiency and indoor environmental quality
- Evaluate the payback of clean energy technologies such as solar panels, photovoltaics, wind turbines, and geo-exchange technologies
- Compare building systems based on life-cycle costs and carbon emissions
- Compare alternative building energy retrofits
- Help detect anomalies and inefficiencies in the operation of building systems, subsystems, and components
Building energy modelling is central to support compliance with green building certification programs. In North America, the LEED green building rating system, as well as other similar systems around the world, rely on building energy simulations to demonstrate improved building energy performance for certification.
Building energy modelling also supports performance-based compliance with energy codes and standards. The city of Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan includes “Green Buildings” as one of five strategic industry clusters; “Clean Technologies” is another cluster. Building energy modelling supports the integration of clean energy technologies in buildings and therefore supports both clusters; as such, a job in building energy modelling is “a true green job”.
Current job opportunities for well-trained building energy modellers include the following:
- Building Energy Modeller or Building Energy Simulation Professional position at architectural, mechanical, or building science firms
- Energy/Sustainability Manager position at building construction management firms
- Energy Efficiency Engineer at firms that provide consulting on buildings’ energy efficiency
- Energy Systems Engineer at firms that verify the energy performance of buildings
- Building Official, Energy Specialist, Project Engineer, or Project Manager working for cities, school districts, or municipalities
- Facility Manager for various types of buildings
Program Head, Graduate Certificate in Building Energy Modelling
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