Training Catalog

Building Science Fundamentals

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Take the mystery out of tight homes and moisture management by gaining confidence in your energy-efficient design and construction practices while optimizing your investment and reducing liability through superior building performance.

This course explores how properly designing and constructing a building's envelope, or thermal and moisture barrier, is essential for a comfortable, healthy, durable, and energy-efficient home. The course provides an exploration of the fundamental laws that govern the dynamic flows within a building in order to understand the interconnectedness of house systems. These fundamentals are necessary tools to use when making design, construction and operation decisions that affect the sustainability of projects. Students will analyze best practices for managing thermal, air, and moisture flows to create a house that is healthy, safe, energy efficient, and durable.

Course Features

  • Day 1: Guest speaker presentation
  • Day 2: Two site visits to certified green homes
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Learning Objectives
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  • Explain the natural laws that drive the thermal, air, and moisture flows within a house
  • Develop strategies for analyzing how dynamic flows affect the performance of a house
  • Calculate the overall R-values of various house assemblies and analyze potential efficiency improvements
  • Calculate wall assembly U-factors and evaluate the optimum orientation of a house
  • Understand how improving building performance affects indoor air quality
  • Describe potential water management strategies
  • Select appropriate design features and assemblies according to project objectives
  • Integrate building envelope details into plans and specifications

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This course has primarily been designed for Builders/Contractors/Remodelers, Architects/Designers, & Raters, but will also provide valuable information for Appraisers, Consultants, Educators, Engineers, Home Inspectors, Program Staff, Real Estate Professionals, & Students.

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"This course was very informative, well-organized, and well-paced. The course materials and experienced instructor provided a wealth of useful knowledge, which will help us improve our green building practices and push the profession to a more sustainable future. I highly recommend this course to anyone in the design/construction industry."

— Keyan Mizani, Architect, SHP  |  eMZed Architecture LLC


"I am very pleased with being received in to the Earth Advantage Building Science Fundamentals courses. I have gained a level awareness that dwarfs my previous 20+years of building experience. I am pleased to learn how far the industry has come to building, insulating, sealing and venting commercial and residential structures. It is good to know that we are steadily growing our knowledge-base to better meet the current and future challenges of conserving and efficiently using our God-given resources. Thank you to the team at Earth Advantage." 

— Darryl Rice, Youth Construction Trainer, Habitat For Humanity of the Mid-Willamette Valley

"The class was fabulous. Stephen absolutely cleared my thinking about moisture control, particularly vapor in walls. I feel encouraged and ready to move forward in the direction of passive house in all projects where I can apply these techniques."

— Joseph Engum, Builder/Remodeler  |  Housecraft Building & Renovation

"I've always wanted to be a scientist, and I have worked in the building industry. Earth Advantage and its Instructors have allowed me to explore my Inner Building Scientist."

— Tom Lucas Jr., Builder  |  Lucas Construction

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CEs & Cost
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Continuing Education
AIA: 14 LU/HSW  
BPI: 7 units 
CCB: 14 CEs
CPHC: 14 CEs
OCHI: 14 CEs
Living Future Accred: 7 CEs (available upon request)   
OR Real Estate Agency: 14 CEs 
EA Broker Renewal: 14 CEs 
AGA Renewal: 14 CEs 

Course Fee
$275 | General Admission
*Energy Trust Trade Ally Reimbursements may apply. 

Want to learn more? This Building Science Fundamentals course forms Module 2 of our interactive 6-month Sustainable Homes Professional (SHP) accreditation course.

Questions? Contact Heather Kendall at or (503) 968-7160 x20