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Commercial Building Science: Moisture Management (BSP712)

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:

  • Describe how moisture management plays a role in each of three basic LEED categories for defining a sustainable building
  • Explain how designing a building with an integrated design approach is a good compliment to the problem of moisture management
  • Describe how climate and microclimate influence moisture management and building designs
  • Explain what hygrothermal analysis focuses on and how its results have a practical impact on moisture management
  • Describe some of the considerations that inform a moisture management strategy in a sustainable building
  • Briefly describe four key mechanisms of moisture flow in buildings
  • Describe some of the properties of building materials that play an important role in how the exterior building envelope handles moisture
  • Describe the roles of water resistive barriers and vapor retarders in overall moisture management strategies
  • Describe some specific considerations that inform moisture management in four important roofing systems
  • Describe some key activities of LEED professionals on LEED building projects
  • Briefly describe moisture management requirements for these three LEED systems: LEED for New Construction, and LEED for Schools

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