New BCIT Graduate Certificate in Building Energy Modelling

We are pleased to inform you that BCIT is offering a new Graduate Certificate in Building Energy Modelling starting September 1, 2015.

Energy Modelling is an important area of specialization of Building Science; as such, the Graduate Certificate in Building Energy Modelling builds on the strengths and success of the Building Science Graduate Program at BCIT with a focus on the fundamental heat, air, and moisture transport principles, and their application to building systems integration. Emphasis is placed on mechanical systems design, operation, and control; and their integration with the building envelope.

Students can expect to complete the Graduate Certificate in one academic year if they fast-track by registering in up to three courses per term, or complete the credential in two to three years if they take a lesser course load.

Please see below for more information. Admissions will be opening for applications soon. To be notified, please send an email to buildingscience@bcit.ca

Graduate Certificate in Building Energy Modelling

Driven by an exponentially increasing computing power, over the years building energy models have become powerful tools to support integrated building design, facility management, building performance optimization, and clean energy technology integration. Competent energy modelling professionals are therefore in a prime position to influence decisions towards building sustainability, and lead the profession as it matures as an engineering specialty.

Building energy models are computer representations of buildings describing relevant abstractions of the geometry and properties of building systems and components, interrelated through mathematical models of underlying heat, air and, moisture transport processes. Building energy models are used to simulate dynamic energy flows in buildings and calculate building performance as affected by climate, occupancy, and processes.

The Graduate Certificate in Building Energy Modelling at BCIT offers a unique physics-based interdisciplinary curriculum that emphasizes on understanding the fundamental physical principles underlying building energy performance, and the application of these principles to the integration of systems and technologies to optimize system, subsystem, or whole-building performance. Students in the program develop knowledge to guide the synthesis, analysis, and interpretation of building energy models, and capacity to systematically inform design decisions and recommend actions to improve building energy performance.

Following are some examples of how building energy models can support capital building decisions:

  • Calculate energy and cost trade-offs in the evaluation of alternative heating, cooling and ventilation systems.
  • Compare building enclosures based on energy-efficiency and indoor environmental quality.
  • Evaluate the payback of clean energy technologies such as solar panels, photovoltaics, wind turbines, and geo-exchange technologies.
  • Compare building systems based on life-cycle costs and carbon emissions.
  • Compare alternative building energy retrofits.
  • Help detect anomalies and inefficiencies in the operation of building systems, subsystems, and components.

Building energy modelling is central to support compliance with green building certification programs. In North America, the LEED green building rating system, as well as other similar systems around the world rely on building energy simulations to demonstrate improved building energy performance for certification.

Building energy modelling also supports performance-based compliance with energy codes and standards. The city of Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan includes “Green Buildings” as one of five strategic industry clusters; “Clean Technologies” is one other cluster. Building energy modelling supports the integration of clean energy technologies in buildings, and therefore supports both clusters; as such, a job in building energy modelling is “a true green job”.

Program Structure and Length

The Graduate Certificate in Building Energy Modelling is comprised of eight courses totaling 22 credits. Five of the courses are regularly scheduled courses offered by the BCIT’s Building Science Graduate Program for its Master of Applied Science in Building Engineering/Building Science and Master of Engineering in Building Science degrees.

Three additional new courses have been developed for this program. Students can expect to complete the program in one academic year if they fast-track by registering in multiple courses per term, or in two to three years if they take a lesser course load. Intakes are only accepted in September of each year.

Program Matrix:

Level 1: Sep-Dec (15 weeks) Credits
BSCI 9000 Building Science 1 3
BUSA 9000 Management Skills and Applications 3
COMM 9000 Applied Communications for Building Engineers 1
Level 2: Jan-Apr (15 weeks)  
BSCI 9170 Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality 3
BSCI 9150 Mechanical Systems and Controls 3
BSCI 9130 Building Energy Performance 3
Level 3: May-Aug (15 weeks)  
BSCI 9250 Advanced Energy Simulation 3
BSCI 9230 Measurement and Verification 3
Total Credits 22

Energy modelling is often mistakenly perceived as simply using software tools to predict building energy performance. Many so-called energy modellers today often use sophisticated software tools to simulate building energy performance without having a good understanding of their underlying modelling principles and limitations, which results in highly inaccurate simulation results. A program for training competent building energy modellers was long overdue.

Energy Modelling is an important area of specialization of Building Science; as such, the Graduate Certificate in Building Energy Modelling builds on the strengths and success of the Building Science Graduate Program at BCIT with a focus on the fundamental heat , air, and moisture transport principles, and their application to building systems integration. Emphasis is placed on mechanical systems design, operation, and control; and their integration with the building envelope.

The Graduate Certificate in Building Energy Modelling also recognizes the importance of the Measurement and Verification (M&V) of building operations to quantify and verify actual building energy performance, and compare it with the one predicted by building energy simulations. As such, M&V is also used to fine-tune and validate building energy models so that these can be further be used to inform decision-making on energy conservation measures during the building service life. 

Pre-Requisites

Program prerequisites are the same as for the Master of Applied Science in Building Engineering/Building Science. Read complete pre-requisites here.

Post-secondary: one of the following:

  • A 4-year Bachelor’s degree in an engineering field or architecture with a GPA of 2.8 out of 4.0 (70%)

or

  • A 4-year Bachelor’s degree in a related Science field with a GPA of 2.8 out of 4.0 (70%), preferably with an Architectural and Building Technology (ABT) diploma (Building Science option) or equivalent building science industry experience.

Math: Differential Equations and Linear Algebra at the post-secondary level

Further Studies

Students completing the Graduate Certificate in Building Energy Modelling have the opportunity to further deepen their knowledge and increase their career prospects in building science by enrolling in the BCIT Building Science Graduate Program. Students will need to meet the entry requirements for their chosen degree. Credit will be given for every BSCI course taken as part of the certificate.

More Information

Email buildingscience@bcit.ca or check www.bcit.ca/buildingscience for updates.

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