CIV_ENV 395-0-26: Building Science: Fundamentals and Applications for Sustainable Buildings

Quarter Offered

Fall : TTh 2:00-3:20 ; Chinazzo
Winter : TTh 2:00-3:20 ; Chinazzo


The course aims at providing the fundamental knowledge of the physics related to buildings, with a focus on heat and mass transfer, moisture, sound/acoustics, illumination and the energy consumed in buildings to guarantee the comfort of their occupants.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the environmental parameters and the building components features that affect the energy consumption of a building
  • Describe the heat and mass transfer through building assemblies
  • Calculate the peak load of an enclosed space
  • Calculate the annual energy consumption of a building Describe the indoor environmental parameters for occupant comfort
  • Describe sustainable solutions for energy-efficient and comfortable design

Course Assessment:

  • Homework and attendance – 15%
  • Weekly exercises, due in class, in the first half of the course
  • Midterm – 25%
  • Technical exercises on the content presented in the first half of the course.
  • Report + final presentation – 30%
  • Report on a sustainable technological solution, to be presented in the last week of the course.
  • Final exam – 30%


Pinterić, M. (2017). Building Physics: From physical principles to international standards, 1st edition, Elsevier. (Available online through Northwestern library)

Course Outline, Outcomes, and Goals