Issue #67  Building Science & House As A System June 13, 2007

Contents: Issue #67 Building Science & House As A System

  1. Basics: Glossary, How Homes Work, Builders Benefits
  2. Issues: Comfort, Health, Energy, Combustion Safety
  3. Forces: Air Flow, Heat Flow, Moisture, Relative Humidity
  4. Plan: Design For Climate, Building Products & Processes
  5. Renovate: House As A System, Energy, Renovator Guide
  6. Training: Vancouver Seminar, Online Courses, In-House
  7. More: Books, Forums, Docs & Software, Theory, Shows
  8. Ken’s Top Pick: If you have time to surf only one site

1. Basics: Glossary, How Homes Work, Builder Benefits

Glossary Of Building Science Terms 
From the experts at Building Science Consulting, here is an alphabetical glossary of common building science terms with brief descriptions, examples, and some related information.

How A Home Works 
Canadian Office of Energy Efficiency gives a basic overview of how a home works, building envelope, heat flow, airflow, the house as a system, and retrofit factors to consider.

Builders Benefit From Systems Engineering  
Building America explains benefits of systems engineering, where teams produce houses incorporating energy and material saving plans from the start of the building process.

2. Issues: Comfort, Health, Energy, Combustion Safety

Comfort & Indoor Environmental Quality 
To find out how indoor environmental quality affects comfort, the theories of human physiology and comfort, and sources of more information, visit this Healthy Heating resource site.

Building Science & Occupant Health 
The Health House site explains building science as it relates to the health of occupants. They cover introduction, basic performance principles, moisture issues, and ventilation.

House As A System & Energy Efficiency 
Colorado E-Star energy efficiency program describes House As A System, issues, background, and offers tips for home design, building components, and construction techniques. 

Combustion Gases in Your Home 
This fact sheet from CMHC presents concerns of combustion gases, understanding venting and spillage, spotting problems, testing for leaks, and recommendations for corrective action. 

Evil Outside Chimney & Backdrafting
Woodheat, an industry resource site, discusses backdrafting problems of both masonry and metal chimneys on outside walls, and why to consider placing them on the inside.                  

3. Forces: Air Flow, Heat, Moisture, Relative Humidity

Air Flow & Air Barriers
Focused on large buildings, but relevant to houses, this Whole Building Design Guide air barrier paper covers air infiltration & exfiltration, problems, air pressures, and design suggestions. 

Heat Flow & Thermal Control In Buildings
Building Science describes methods of heat flow, insulation, thermal bridging, heat loss to the ground, air leakage, solar radiation through windows, and interior heat gains.

Fundamentals Of Moisture In Houses 
This Home Energy magazine article explains relative humidity, mould & mildew, diagnostic tests & tools, controlling moisture, condensation, and identifying common building problems. 

Moisture Sources In Houses
A good overview of the many different sources of moisture in houses, and amounts they produce, is provided in this paper from the Canadian Institute for Research in Construction.

Relative Humidity
Building Science Corporation discusses issues around relative humidity, humidity limits, condensation, surface humidity & building assemblies, dust mites, and wood shrinkage. (PDF)

4. Plan: Design For Climate, Building Products & Process

Designs That Work – By Climate Region 
Who else but Building Science Consulting would offer design recommendations for different climates, hygro-thermal regions map, and building science & energy analysis for each design? 

Building In Marine Climate Zones 
For those on the Wet Coast, Building America shows owners, builders, marketers, planners, designers, and trades how to increase efficiency, comfort, and durability of homes. (PDF)

CDs On Building Better Homes 
For your in-house use, Building Better Homes CDs are an industry educational program outlining the Whole-House Systems Approach to building higher performing homes. 

Online Videos On Building Science 
Oklahoma Energy Office offers free online videos on building science for HVAC, DHW, windows, design, enclosure, lighting & appliances, water & moisture, foundations, and more.

More Online Videos On Building Science 
Code College, a Louisiana resource site, has free online videos on House As A System, foundations, framing & roof, mechanical, insulation, plumbing & electrical, tips, and more.                   

5. Renovate: House As A System, Energy, Reno Guide

House As A System When Remodeling 
This training slide show from NAHB Research Center includes house as a system and energy efficiency considerations when remodeling, plus some software simulation programs. (PDF)

Energy Efficiency & House As A System 
Home Energy magazine article describes consideration of the house as a system, and the steps to take when remodeling a home for better comfort, health, and energy efficiency. 

Renovators Technical Guide
CMHC sells a guide for renovators detailing the House-As-A-System concept, how all systems in a house interact, and how changing one system impact performance of other systems. 

6. Training: Vancouver Seminar, Online Course, In-House

Building Science Fundamentals 2007, Vancouver Seminar
In November, Dr Joe Lstiburek and Dr John Straube present a building science advanced course, on topics ranging from fundamentals to applied sessions on disaster management and building investigations.

Online Course On Building For Performance 
This Build IQ online course teaches ways a home must be designed, constructed, and operated as a system, the forces that impact a home, and design, materials, and construction methods that enable a home to withstand these forces. 

Online Courses On Building Science & Technology 
CertainTeed, a product supplier, has online building science courses that are accredited by several organizations for their continuing education credits. Free registration is required.

Workshops On Building Science – At Your Location 
If you want in-house workshops, Building Science Consulting can deliver sessions at your location. Topic options include moisture, building enclosures, building science, and IAQ.

7. More: Books, Forums, Docs & Software, Theory, Shows

Book On Building Science For Cold Climate
NRC book explains how principles of physical science apply to building in Canada, and how building approaches and materials affect the performance of buildings and their parts. Click on “General Interest” link on the left panel. 

Builders Manual
This popular Canadian Home Builders Association manual covers principles and techniques for building science & design, building envelope, and mechanical systems. 

Discussion Forums
Journal of Light Construction online Building Science Forums discuss a wide range of topics including building and material performance, moisture, ventilation, wood, and much more.

Documents & Analysis Software
Building America researches systems engineering for design and production of energy efficient houses, and has documents & analysis software resources for building scientists. 

Design Theory On Building Science 
Square One site covers theory of sun control, human comfort, climate & thermal analysis, passive systems, sustainability, light & lighting, acoustics, and more. Links are on left panel.

Conference & Expo – New Construction 
Energy & Environmental Building Association hosts its annual Excellence In Building conference featuring presentations and displays on building science with a focus on new construction.

Conference & Expo – Existing Homes & Buildings 
Affordable Comfort, the annual US conference for the home performance industry, covers a wide range of building science topics, mostly relating to existing houses and buildings.

Conference & Expo – Design Professionals 
National Building Envelope Council chapters host the annual Canadian Building Science & Technology Conference for building scientists, architects, engineers, property managers, contractors and others in the building industry.

8. Ken’s Top Pick: The Building Science Site

The Building Science Seminars Site
This new site by Dr Joe Lstiburek & Dr John Straube provides digests, primers, reports, presentations, and commentary on building science, building physics, thermal control, moisture control, air flow control, climate, acoustics, and light.

Dittie For Today: On Character

I would rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the one who sold it. 
     - Will Rogers

 © Copyright 2007               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved
ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada
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