Building science is complex. It takes time and experience to understand and integrate physics, chemistry, climatology, and ecology into building enclosures. Understanding the complex interplay of heat, air, and moisture flows within and across building enclosures— while paying attention to the conditions that occupants impose on the indoor environment—is integral to building success.

In this 60-minute video lesson, you will learn 3 essential building science specifics:

1) How to distinguish between air barriers, vapor retarders, and drainage planes

2) How to explain the role of vapor permeance in labels such as vapor barrier and vapor retarders

3) Several different materials that can be used as drainage planes

Enroll in our free Residential Building Science 101 course to learn more. Designed for residential architects, builders, trade contractors, and energy raters who want to learn the fundamentals of building science, including how to:

  • Calculate the necessary amount of ventilation air
  • Explain the pros and cons of balanced, exhaust-only, and supply ventilation
  • Describe various types of ventilation equipment

Looking to dive deeper into building science? Join Allison Bailes, one of the leading voices in the industry, in a 7-week online learning opportunity. Building on the BPI and HERS trainings, Mastering Building Science is a rigorous, highly-interactive course designed for professionals with a good handle on the fundamentals of building science. It provides an in-depth focus on the analysis and control of physical phenomena affecting buildings, incorporating building materials and building envelope systems. Review the full course outline here. The course is capped at 50 with 30 discounted seats. 

About Allison Bailes:
Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, is founder and owner of Energy Vanguard in Decatur, Georgia. Like many in the field of building science and green building, he is multi-faceted: His academic credentials in physics (BS, MS, MST, and PhD all in that field) give him a solid foundation in the science that underlies buildings. Having taught physics at the high school and college levels, he’s adept at explaining technical concepts in a way that people new to green building can understand. In addition, he has practical, hands-on experience. He built a high-performance home out of structural insulated panels, doing much of the work himself, and ran a home performance contracting business. You can read more about his work on his blog