Defining Building Science
In the past, designers and builders considered each aspect of a home – foundation, walls, windows, roof, plumbing, electrical, all the parts that make up the home – individually. Today, we know all aspects of a home work together as a system to create a comfortable, durable, healthy living environment. Balance all these components together and your home will be far more energy efficient than a home in which these aspects are not working together in harmony.
The study of homes as a system is called Building Science.
Your home interacts with the surrounding environment and those who live in your home. The following components have an effect on the overall system:
- Outdoor temperature, wind, rain, air quality, and dust
- Everyone living in the home, including pets
- The materials that make up the envelope of the home like the foundation, exterior walls, windows, roof, and floors
- Interior aspects that remain fixed in the home
- Appliances, equipment, and furniture
- The mechanical and electrical system, ventilation and heating, plumbing and electrical components
Each component will affect the overall performance of your home in terms of energy efficiency, durability, and longevity. When the systems in your home are not working together, the overall health of your family could be compromised through poor indoor air quality, mold growth, and poor ventilation.
Think about your current home. Do you see any concerns?
- Condensation on windows
- Rotting windowsills
- Damaged drywall
- Bubbled or flaking paint
- Musty smell
- Mould on walls
- Mouldy drapes, carpets or furniture
- Mould in closets
Think About This
Building to the standard BC Building Code is not enough to ensure your home is a healthy place for you and your family. It is the minimum standard, but by no means a healthy standard.
If you are considering building a new home, ensure your builder is well qualified to build a healthy home. This is probably going to be the biggest investment of your life. Make it a healthy one!
For more information on healthy living environments, download a copy of “Moisture and Air Guide”, by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Council.