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Building Science Principles Course


The Building Performance Association (BPA) has developed a Building Science Principles course to support educators and trainers. This introductory course, presented in slideshow format, is designed to be a starting point for those interested in any career in residential energy efficiency. The foundational principles included in this course will help guide a career seeker into the exciting world of home efficiency, comfort, and indoor air quality.

Note, an updated copy was made available on December 6. If you've previously downloaded, we recommend accessing the latest version.

Concentrated adult students of different nationalities with teacher studying in classroom

Course Overview

This course provides learners with basic information on how homes work through the lens of building science.

Building science demonstrates how various components of a home interact to affect the home’s overall performance.

By learning about the relationships between the building envelope, heating, A/C, insulation, mechanical ventilation, lighting, and appliances, learners will understand how these systems work together to affect the comfort, health and safety of occupants and durability of the home.

Discover why improving the energy efficiency of the home should be the first step toward solar, geothermal, or other renewable energy improvements.

This course is made up of four modules.

Module 1
Building Science Basics

Module 2
Building Science Systems & Equipment

Module 3
Energy Assessments

Module 4
Career Pathways

Digital drawing of a home that shows all of the systems like the HVAC system, roof, washer and dryer

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

Recognize the importance of the “whole-building approach” to energy efficiency.

Describe how building systems and equipment affect energy use.

Recognize how building science applies to home performance, occupant health, safety, and comfort.

Be able to identify market opportunities and understand how energy efficiency applies to them.

Feel prepared to take the Building Performance Institute's (BPI) Building Science Principles exam.

Who Should Take This Course

High school students | Trade school students | Working professionals | Seasoned contractors | Builders | Inspectors | Anyone with a job that may impact the use of natural resources in a home or building

How to Use The Course Materials

BPA’s Building Science Principles courage materials are available for educators and trainers who will present in a classroom setting. You should be comfortable presenting this material using the slideshow presentation and instructor notes included within. To begin using this material:

  1. Complete the form on this page.
  2. You'll get access to a PDF download of this presentation and a PDF of instructor notes for each slide.
  3. Present the content. This course includes an example 8-hour scheduled training day; however, you may choose to break up the content and present it in a 2-day session.
  4. Consider having your students earn BPI's Building Science Principles Certificate of Knowledge by challenging the 100-question online exam.

Download Your Copy

Updated copy made available on December 6, 2023. 

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Disclaimer and Usage Guidelines The Building Science Principles course produced by the Building Performance Association shall be used in its original format only. Making any changes or edits to the slideshow is strictly prohibited. You may not reproduce this content in any way. Educators and trainers may not make any profit from using the Building Science Principles course. This resource is free to anyone who wishes to use it. This means you may not charge a fee for any courses you offer using the materials or sell the materials in any way. If you have any questions regarding the use of this course material, please contact