Online Course - System Solutions

BSP744:A Systems Approach to Effective Basement Design

  • Length: 1 Hour
  • Credit: 1
  • AIA
  • HSW: Yes

Course Description:

There is probably no single factor that plays such a decisive role in the health of a building over its life cycle as how liquid water and water vapor are managed by the materials and structures that make up the building. This course examines moisture management in the context of a sustainable building, and includes material that informs LEED professionals about specific LEED system requirements pertaining to moisture management. After a brief review of three specific categories of green building design, and how integrated design is particularly appropriate for a whole-system topic like moisture management, the course looks at the role of climate in moisture management and four significant moisture flow mechanisms. Moving on to the core of the course, the focus is on effective moisture management and building materials, external wall structures, and roof structures. The course concludes with a review of the specific LEED systems in which credits are awarded for fulfilling specific moisture management requirements.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  • • State four key properties of an effective basement
  • • Describe the various interactions between water, heat, and air that must be addressed for effective basement design
  • • Explain two processes by which liquid water can penetrate the foundation.
  • • Explain various ways that water drainage is accomplished rooftop to foundation
  • • Describe two basic ways of enforcing a water separation plane and why it is necessary
  • • Explain the two physical processes by which water vapor can penetrate the foundation, and the use of vapor barriers to block them
  • • Describe the two targets of air sealing, and how they affect energy use, air quality, and comfort.
  • • Explain how condensation occurs and some of the problems that it causes in basements.
  • • Describe the kinds of insulation products used externally and internally on the foundation.
  • • Explain why interior vapor retarders should be used with caution.

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