Building Science of Commercial Buildings


March 15, 2017 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Philadelphia - Delaware Valley Green Building Council
2401 Walnut St #103
Philadelphia,PA 19103



The purpose of this course is to introduce building staff and management to the primary systems in commercial buildings that use energy.  This course will explain how the HVAC, lighting, and building envelope operate, interact, and use energy.  The attendees will learn examples of and good practices for energy efficiency opportunities, overview and tools for making sound economic decisions related to energy efficiency upgrades, and understand when to use nationally recognized energy efficiency tools and their expected level of effort and cost.

Intended Audience

  • Onsite operations and maintenance (O&M) staff looking to increase their knowledge of building science and how to identify energy savings opportunities
  • Building management seeking to become more familiar with how their buildings operate, which variables have the biggest influence on energy costs, and how and when to make energy efficiency upgrades that meet their economic criteria


  • High-level descriptions of and understandings of the following topics:
    • Building envelope
    • HVAC systems
    • Lighting systems
    • Plug load management
    • Building automation systems (BAS)
    • Building metering with tariff analysis
  • Specific examples, rules-of-thumb, and energy efficiency opportunities for each of the systems described above. These will focus on energy end-use strategies to minimize energy costs, energy demand charges, and overall energy usage.
  • Overview and tools for economic decision making process to include local efficiency incentives available and the application process.
  • Demonstration of the importance and use of nationally recognized energy efficiency tools. Understand when to use each of the tools and the expected level of effort and cost for each.
    • EPA Portfolio Manager
    • DOE Energy Asset Score
    • LEED-EBOM process

Learning Objectives

  1. Have a general knowledge of the primary energy end-use systems of commercial buildings, and how they operate.
  2. Know at least two energy conservation measures (ECMs) for each primary system
  3. Know which energy efficiency screening/documentation tool is best for a given energy upgrade scenario