British Columbia Institute of

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BSCI 9240 - Modelling of Heat and Mass Transfer in Buildings

Building Science Part-time Studies Course

School of Construction and the Environment

BCIT is planning for a substantial return to on-campus activity for the fall 2021 term as informed by BC Public Health Officer guidelines. Refer to each course listing for details.

Course Details

This course leads students to proficiency in the mathematical and numerical modelling of heat and mass transfer for the hygrothermal design of buildings, building zones and building components. Some applications include ventilation flows, thermal stratification, interior moisture buffering, interstitial condensation, and driving rain absorption. The course covers the mathematical models for discrete/continuum, steady-state/transient, and potential/non-potential heat, air and moisture transfer. Through the translation of physical phenomena into mathematical equations, students are exposed to the underlying limitations and simplifications of numerical modelling. Control volumes and finite elements for spatial discretisation and finite differences for temporal discretisation are presented. Their accuracy, reliability, efficiency and suitability are discussed. Linearization approaches, such as the Picard and Newton-Raphson methods, are introduced and complemented with exercises in convergence criteria. Verification of developed code by comparison to analytical or other numerical solutions are addressed, along with model validation by comparison to experimental data. Students practice implementation and application of numerical models and discuss efficient programming. Some ready-made numerical simulation platforms are introduced.


BSCI 9110



This course isn't currently offered through BCIT Part-time Studies. 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:

  • Outline the need for numerical modelling in engineering practice.
  • Justify the simplifications and limitations inherent to numerical modelling, and the consequences for the applicability and reliability of the resulting knowledge.
  • Construct mathematical models describing heat and mass transfer in buildings, building zones and/or building components.
  • Develop algorithms for the solution of spatially discretised – by control volumes or finite elements – continuum systems.
  • Develop algorithms for the solution of temporally discretised – by explicit, implicit or Crank-Nicholson schemes – continuum systems.
  • Evaluate spatial and temporal discretisation errors and their effect on the applicability and reliability of the resulting knowledge.
  • Construct iteration procedures and convergence criteria for non-linear problems.
  • Outline different algorithms for solutions of (large) systems of algebraic equations.
  • Develop efficient program code for heat and mass transfer models in a MATLAB programming environment.
  • Assess the accuracy and reliability of the developed numerical model by means of verification exercises and validation experiments.
  • Evaluate the suitability of the different mathematical and numerical methods for the modelling and solution of heat and mass transfer in buildings, building zones and/or building components.
  • Select the most suitable software platform for the modelling, implementation and /or solution of heat and mass transfer in buildings, building zones and/or building components.

Effective as of Fall 2011

Related Programs

BSCI 9240 is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Construction and the Environment

  1. Building Engineering/Building Science
    Full-time/Part-time   Master of Applied Science
  2. Building Science
    Full-time/Part-time   Master of Engineering


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