Building Science Basics Online Course

Building Science Basics Online Course


  • BSB takes about 9 hours to complete (including reviews, quizzes, etc.)
  • You have 8 weeks to finish BSB from when you first begin (…but you can contact us if you need an extension)
  • At this time the course is not available for tablets or smartphones.
  • All prices are in Canadian dollars plus GST/HST for sales within Canada.

Product Description

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, you will understand:

  • Concept of the ‘House as a System’ and how it relates to building science
  • Various ways that heat, air and moisture flows affect a house
  • Neutral pressure plane
  • Factors that impact indoor air quality
  • Methods of evaluating a house for indoor air quality
  • Methods of controlling moisture and pollutants in a number of situations
  • Need for ventilation
  • Three types of ventilation systems
  • Signs of combustion spillage
  • Radon mitigation procedures

Course Outline

Module 1: House As A System

Heat Flow

  • Convection
  • Conduction
  • Radiation

Air Flow

  • Wind effect
  • Stack effect
  • Combustion/ventilation effect

Moisture Flow

  • Liquid water
  • Water vapor

Module 2: Indoor Air Quality


  • Airborne
  • Moisture related


  • Occupants
  • House structure


  • Eliminate
  • Filtrate
  • Ventilate

Module 3: Ventilation Requirements

Why Ventilate?

  • Controlling airflow
  • Air filtration
  • Occupant impacts

Ventilation Systems

  • Exhaust only
  • Supply only
  • Balanced systems

Combustion Spillage

  • Causes
  • Signs
  • Risks


  • Identifying
  • Testing
  • Controlling


Building Science Basics (US) is the US version of BHE’s introduction to the house as a system with respect to energy efficiency. BSB (or the challenge test) is the prerequisite for other Blue House Energy courses.

This system is made up of the building envelope, surrounding environment, and occupants. Upon completion you will know how these components are affected by the interactions of heat, air and moisture flow in a house, and how those interactions impact indoor air quality and the need for ventilation.

BSB can be taken on its own or can give you a strong foundation for detailed, practical learning in subsequent courses on how to improve the energy efficiency of a house while addressing existing problems. These additional courses cover areas such as air sealing, insulation, and doors and windows.

The course has three modules. At least a 70% grade in the quiz at the end of each module is required to proceed to the next (no limit to quiz attempts).

Once you pass the third module you take the final test, which you may only take once.

A grade of at least 70% earns you a Blue House Energy Certificate of Course Completion in both PDF and laminated wallet-sized formats.

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