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Building Science

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Building Science

Many community colleges in California integrate Building Science principles in their construction certificate and degree programs to meet higher industry standards such as LEED and EnergyStar. In this initiative, the EE&U Sector Team gives support to all community colleges across the state to advance Building Science in their construction certificate and degree programs to meet these high industry standards for the construction of energy-efficient buildings.

Building Science programs are typically taught in individual colleges, localized to meet the needs of the college’s regional construction industry partners. The Sector Team works with colleges and industry experts to cultivate statewide and regional Building Science collaboratives to collectively raise curriculum, capacity, and faculty proficiencies in this field.

 Download this flyer to read more about Building Science and the colleges that are preparing students for Building Science careers.

What is Building Science?

Building science includes the detailed analysis of building materials, building envelope, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, natural and electrical lighting, acoustic, indoor air quality, passive strategies, fire protection, and renewable energies in buildings.

Building science is the architectural-engineering-construction technology discipline that concerns itself with energy efficiency responses to naturally occurring physical phenomenon such as:

  • The weather and subterranean conditions
  • Characteristics of materials, physics, chemistry and biology that impact building performance over time
  • Human physiology, such as comfort and sensory reaction, energy consumption, environmental control-ability, building maintenance considerations, longevity and sustainability

Building Science programs in community colleges are typically embedded in construction, architecture, and engineering certificate and degree programs. The goal is to develop student and incumbent worker competencies in the integration of energy efficient design and construction. Programs typically cover these topics:

  • Fundamentals of Heat, Moisture, and Air
  • Heat Transfer and Building Assemblies
  • Introduction to Low-e Glass
  • Low-Energy Building Design

The practical outcome of building science knowledge is reflected in the design of the architectural details of the building enclosure, and ultimately in the long-term performance of the building's exterior, or “skin.”