U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Building Science Topics

Building codes and standards are sets of regulations governing the design, construction, alteration and maintenance of structures and equipment. Building codes and standards specify how buildings and equipment must be constructed or perform, and are written in mandatory, enforceable language. Usually, states and local governments adopt and enforce building codes and standards for their jurisdictions.

Although often used interchangeably, within the building profession, disaster resistance refers to the ability to resist the onset and impact of a disaster, and disaster resiliency refers to the ability to absorb the impact of a disaster. This module will provide information on how building science can help ensure that buildings remain standing during disasters while being energy efficient.

This module provides content for trainers to teach students about fenestration in buildings.

This module describes essential concepts related to heat transfer in buildings.

This module describes basic components, basic installation and ratings of HVAC systems.

Sizing and selection for air source heat pumps specified to operate efficiently in cold climate regions. DIscusses sizing systems for cooling, heating, and dual fuel operation.

Combustion safety for natural draft appliances using indoor or outdoor air for combustion, and how to make upgrades to these systems to improve on combustion safety.

Covers the importance of duct leakage testing and how to perform Total Duct Leakage and Duct Leakage to Outdoor testing. 

Electrical panels and how to work with them. How electrical panels can be read and analyzed for their capabilities in relation to heat pump water installation.

How to sell air source heat pumps. How to build rapport with a customer, promote the benefits of air source heat pumps, and how to close the sale and follow up to verify satisfaction. 

Introduction to heat pump systems, including heat pump basics, sizing and design, and customer and business benefits from using/selling heat pumps.

Teaching material on HVAC preventative maintenance procedures, including system inspection, cleaning, and corrective actions.

Training module for the assessment of smart diagnostics tool usage in HVAC installation, commissioning, and maintenance. The module highlights the importance of a high quality installation and how smart diagnostic tools can facilitate it. 

A look into thermostat control strategies for heat pumps. How to wire and navigate the setting of smart thermostats for heat pump and dual fuel HVAC systems.

This training module describes how to identify and minimize pollutants to improve indoor air quality in buildings.

This training module describes how to use life-cycle analysis to provide energy, carbon, or cost or other information over the life of a product.

This training module covers the importance of lighting, appliances and miscellaneous electric loads in building science.

This training module provides information about moisture transport in buildings.

Plumbing is the system of pipes, drains, fittings, valves, and fixtures installed for the distribution of potable water for drinking, heating and washing, and waterborne waste removal.  This module focuses on domestic water systems.

This training module describes the simultaneous consideration of various building components in the design and construction process.