Building Performance Contractors Association

3 Building Science EVents

with Joseph Lstiburek, Ph.D., P. Eng. &
John Straube, Ph.D., P. Eng.

October 8-9, 2009 -- Albany, NY



National Grid

Workshop 1

Building Science Workshop
Thursday, October 8, 2009
8:00am - 5:30pm

BPI Recognized TrainingThe Building Science Workshop is a one-day seminar that teaches the basic knowledge needed to design and build durable, energy efficient, affordable and healthy buildings.

Dr. Joseph Lstiburek will discuss building science principles (such as the control of heat, air and moisture and IAQ) and show you how to apply them to low-energy enclosure design, advanced HVAC systems, forensic investigations, and the repair and retrofitting of existing buildings.

Building Science Workshop - 2009 will focus on commercial, institutional and multi-family buildings. However, residential topics relating to unvented roofs/attics, basements and crawl space construction will also be covered and examples relating to single-family construction will be presented. See full seminar agenda below.

The Building Science Workshop produced by the Building Performance Contractors Association of New York State has been attended by over 1600 builders, architects, engineers, building science consultants, building code officials, developers, facility managers, building product manufacturers and government officials in New York State in the last two years.

Cost: $400 (50% rebate from NYSERDA. Click here for details.) 8 CEUs

Local Sponsor

Regional Dinner Forum

"Figuring Stuff Out"
Thursday, October 8, 2009
6:00pm - 8:30pm

BPI Recognized TrainingJoseph Lstiburek will provide an entertaining and provocative examination of building investigation approaches based on a lifetime of experience..."stuff you don’t find in books."

A client has a problem. The client wants to hire you to figure it out. Where do you start?  How do you do a building investigation?  What do you do when you can’t find what you are looking for?  What happens when you find something else?  It is not unusual that the problem you often are hired to fix is not the problem you find. What are dumb tests?  What are clever tests? How not to test?  How to test? What do the tests mean?  How to "game" stupid tests? The scientific method vs. human psychology - guess what wins? How not to look stupid in court? How to make others look stupid in court?

  • How do you do a water leakage investigation?
    (my windows are leaking, my walls are leaking, my roof is leaking, my foundation is leaking...)
  • Are you even sure it is a water leakage problem?
    (humidified hospitals, art galleries and swimming pool enclosures)
  • How do you do an indoor air quality investigation?
    (my building makes me sick, my building smells...)
  • How do you do a comfort and energy investigation?
    (my building is too hot, my building is too cold, my building is too dry, my building is too wet...)
  • How do you do a mold investigation?
    (my building is moldy, my building smells moldy, is my building moldy?...)
  • How do you do a flooring investigation or a finish investigation?
    (my floor tile keeps popping, my flooring is getting stained, my wood floor is buckling, my carpet has weird marks, my paint keeps falling off...)

Joseph Lstiburek will provide an entertaining and provocative examination of building investigation approaches based on a lifetime of experience - "stuff you don’t find in books." Dr. Lstiburek, in the course of his career, has been involved in almost all of the key commercial and residential "failure cause célèbre" issues over the past three decades: carbon monoxide poisoning, radon, hardboard siding, OSB siding, fire retardant treated plywood, EIFS, the mold litigation explosion, IAQ failures, floor finishing failures, vinyl wall coverings, building papers and housewraps, celebrity architects and now LEED. He has concluded that people are weird, women are different than men, folks don’t always tell the truth, but physics never lies, and that none of this matters to juries.

Cost:  $50 -- 1.5 CEUs

Local Sponsor

Workshop 2

Designing, Constructing & Retrofitting Low Energy Buildings: Tools, Techniques and Technologies
Friday, October 9, 2009
8:00am - 5:00pm

BPI Recognized TrainingIn this one-day seminar, John Straube will examine challenging techniques for heating, cooling and ventilating low energy buildings, including: natural ventilation, radiant heating and cooling, and passive design approaches for commercial and advanced residential building enclosures.

Low-energy use buildings are back in fashion given the rise of energy prices and the concern about global climate change and the environment in particular. This seminar will investigate some specific—and so-called "advanced"—topics in heating, cooling, and ventilating low-energy buildings.

To start, we will approach these topics with an understanding of the underlying physical principles. We will investigate what range of temperature, humidity, radiation, and airspeed conditions are needed to provide human comfort. The inadequacy of the "72°F thermostat setting" will be explored along with explanations of "Why Italian cathedrals feel comfortable in 95°F sunny weather with no air conditioning," and "How the Empire State Building was used in steamy New York City without air conditioning."

We will follow this discussion with an overview of the basic approaches to providing ventilation, cooling and heating. A heating, cooling, and ventilation load analysis of an example office building will be presented, in detail, to describe the science and explain the origin of a range of rules of thumb for mechanical systems. The impact of highly insulated enclosures, exterior shading, heat recovery, and other technologies will be progressively explored to demonstrate the potential paradigm-bursting impact on normal thinking about HVAC systems. We will discuss the relative importance of glazing, occupancy, ventilation, climate, and enclosure airtightness and insulation.

Next, the physics behind radiant cooling, radiant heating, and chilled beams will be described and discussed. The use of these technologies in leading edge ultra low energy buildings will be presented along with their potential, their limitations, and several important warnings.

Everyone seems to want to do naturally ventilated buildings. Why they want to do this is not always so clear. The reasons why and the science behind them, will be explored, . Finally, the interaction of the exterior climate zone, interior activities, and human comfort requirements will be discussed.

Cost: $400 (50% rebate from NYSERDA. Click here for details.) 7.5 CEUs

Local Sponsor

Workshops Include

  • A light continental breakfast, lunch and two coffee breaks are included.

General Information


Holiday Inn
205 Wolf Road
Albany, NY 12205



You can register for one of the events, all three, or any combination of two of the events. There is a $200 Training incentive rebate from NYSERDA for both workshops 1 & 2. Click here for details. Here are the costs:

Event Cost
Building Science Workshop #1 $400
Regional Dinner Forum $50
Low Energy Buildings - Workshop #2 $400
Building Science Workshop #1, Regional Dinner Forum, & Low Energy Buildings - Workshop #2 (then the Dinner forum is free) $800
Building Science Workshop #1 and Regional Dinner Forum $450
Low Energy Buildings Workshop #2 and Regional Dinner Forum $450

Pay by Check

If you plan to pay by check, use the registration link above and simply select Check as your Payment Method.  Thus, you do not need to fill in any of the credit card information.  Make check out to BPCA/NYS and send your check to:

21 North Street
Baldwinsville, NY 13027

Payment is required, in advance.  Your registration is not complete until payment is received.

For more information about the workshop, contact: