Building Science: Quiz

Home | Fire Safety | Skyscrapers

Home Emergencies | Glossary

1. Define building science.

2. Define embodied energy.

3. With respect to energy use, describe the difference between external-load-dominated and internal-load dominated buildings.

4. Describe the difference between lightweight and heavy weight building construction, as associated with:

a. Embodied energy

b. Energy use 5. Explain how thermal insulation restricts the flow of heat.

6. List some of the ways in which the heat loss of a building can be controlled.

7. Why is limiting of window areas important in keeping the heat loss low?

8. Based upon governmental recommendations, identify the recommended R-values for new house construction in the geographical location at which you reside.

9. Climates with high daily temperature swings (i.e., Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado) benefit from the thermal mass effect for space heating while climates with low daily temperature swings experience little benefit. Why?

10. What is indoor air quality?

11. Describe the three categories of indoor air contaminants.

12. Describe the four types of biological contaminants.

13. Identify indoor air contaminants that are produced by combustion.

14. At what concentrations is carbon monoxide (CO) fatal?

15. What does the term sick building syndrome mean?

16. Radon levels in a building interior are recorded at 8 pCi/L. What are the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommendations for this level?

17. Identify problems related to building related illness.

18. Identify methods used to improve indoor air quality.

19. Describe two methods of controlling moisture in a building.

20. Describe the purpose of ventilating a building.

21. Describe the two basic types of ventilating a building.

22. Describe the three basic categories of moisture problems in buildings.

23. Identify and describe the four modes of moisture movement into and through building assemblies.

24. Describe water vapor permeability and permeance.

25. Describe the purpose of a vapor diffusion retarder (VDR).

26. Identify materials that can serve as a non-permeable VDR.

27. Identify materials that can serve as a semi-permeable VDR.

28. What is the difference between a non-permeable VDR and a semi-permeable VDR?

29. Why does bitumen-impregnated kraft paper work effectively as a VDR?

30. How can moisture problems associated with water intrusion be reduced?

31. How can moisture problems associated with vapor dif fusion be reduced?

32. How can moisture problems associated with airborne water vapor infiltration be reduced?

33. What is a building air barrier, and where and why is it used in a construction assembly?

34. Describe the airtight drywall alternative to a VDR.

35. What is an ice dam and how can it be prevented?

36. Describe a dynamic buffer zone (DBZ) ventilation system.

Design Exercises

37. For single-family dwellings in Denver, Colorado, the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) offers the following minimum R-value ranges for the construction assemblies shown (depending on option).

Convert these R-values to the metric equivalent thermal resistance (RSI).

a. Ceiling: 38 to 49 hr °F ft2/Btu

b. Wall cavity: 17 to 19 hr °F ft2 /Btu

c. Basement wall: 9 to 13 hr °F ft2 /Btu

d. Floor (above crawl space): 21 to 30 hr °F ft2 /Btu

e. Slab-on grade: 5 to 13 hr °F ft2 /Btu

38. For multifamily dwellings in Denver, Colorado, the IECC requires the following minimum R-values for the construction assemblies shown. Convert these R-values to the metric equivalent thermal resistance (RSI).

a. Ceiling: 38 hr °F ft2 /Btu

b. Wall cavity: 17 hr °F ft2 /Btu

c. Basement wall: 9 hr °F ft2 /Btu

d. Floor (above crawl space): 21 hr °F ft2 /Btu

e. Slab-on grade: 5 hr °F ft2 /Btu 3-39. For a three-story, 100 000 ft2 office building in Denver, Colorado, the IECC requires the following minimum R-values for the construction assemblies. Convert these R-values to the metric equivalent thermal resistance (RSI).

a. Ceiling: 25 hr °F ft2 /Btu

b. Wall cavity: 13 hr °F ft2 /Btu

c. Basement wall: 9 hr °F ft2 /Btu

d. Floor (above crawl space): 17 hr °F ft2 /Btu

40. For single-family dwellings in Denver, Colorado, the IECC requires window assemblies to have minimum U-factors in the range of 0.35 to 0.45 Btu/hr °F ft2

Convert these U-factors to:

a. The thermal resistance (R-values), in units of hr °F ft2/Btu

b. The metric equivalent thermal resistance (RSI), in units of °C m2 /W

c. The metric equivalent U-factor, in units of W/°C m2 3-41. For multifamily dwellings in Denver, Colorado, the IECC requires window assemblies to have a mini mum U-factor of 0.45 Btu/hr °F ft2

Convert this U-factor to:

a. The thermal resistance (R-values), in units of hr °F ft2/Btu

b. The metric equivalent thermal resistance (RSI), in units of °C m2 /W

c. The metric equivalent U-factor, in units of W/°C m2 3-42. For a three-story, 100 000 ft2 office building in Denver, Colorado, the (IECC) requires window assemblies to have a minimum U-factor of 0.70 Btu/hr °F ft2 (for IECC climate zone 5).

Convert this U-factor to:

a. The thermal resistance (R-values), in units of hr °F ft2 /Btu

b. The metric equivalent thermal resistance (RSI), in units of °C m2 /W

c. The metric equivalent U-factor, in units of W/°C m2 3-43. A conference room is designed with seating for 20 occupants. Determine the minimum outdoor air (ventilation) rate for this space, in cfm. A classroom is designed with seating for 32 occupants. Determine the minimum outdoor air (ventilation) rate for this space, in cfm, based on:

a. The International Mechanical Code

b. ASHRAE Standard 62.1 3-44. An auditorium-like lecture room is designed with seating for 300 occupants. Determine the minimum outdoor air (ventilation) rate for this space, in cfm, based on:

a. International Mechanical Code

b. ASHRAE Standard 62.1 3-45. A 64 000 ft2 warehouse is designed to store electronic equipment in a big box retail store. Determine the minimum outdoor air (ventilation) rate for this space, in cfm.

46. A 7000 m2 warehouse is designed to store electronic equipment in a big box retail store. Determine the minimum outdoor air (ventilation) rate for this space, in liters per second.

47. A restaurant has an 800 ft2 cocktail lounge and a 3800 ft2 dining room, which are served by a single rooftop HVAC unit. Determine the outdoor (ventilation) air requirements for this unit based upon the selected occupancies.

48. A restaurant has a 90 m2 cocktail lounge and a 420 m2 dining room, which are served by a single rooftop HVAC unit. Determine the outdoor (ventilation) air requirements for this unit based on the selected occupancies.

49. A building has indoor air conditions of 70°F dry bulb temperature and 40% relative humidity. Determine the direction of water vapor flow under the following outdoor air conditions that represent a dry, heating climate:

a. 32°F dry bulb temperature and 40% relative humidity (winter conditions)

b. 90°F dry bulb temperature and 20% relative humidity (summer conditions)

50. For the conditions in the previous exercise, describe a good strategy for use of a vapor diffusion retarder.

51. A building has indoor air conditions of 70°F dry bulb temperature and 50% relative humidity. Determine the direction of water vapor flow under the following out door air conditions that represent a cooling climate that is warm and humid:

a. 60°F dry bulb temperature and 60% relative humidity (winter conditions)

b. 90°F dry bulb temperature and 70% relative humidity (summer conditions)

52. For the conditions in the previous exercise, describe a good strategy for use of a VDR.

53. A building has indoor air conditions of 70°F dry bulb temperature and 40% relative humidity. Determine the direction of water vapor flow under the following out door air conditions that represent a climate that is warm and humid in the summer and cold and dry in the winter:

a. 32°F dry bulb temperature and 30% relative humidity (winter conditions)

b. 90°F dry bulb temperature and 70% relative humidity (summer conditions)

54. For the conditions in the previous exercise, describe a good strategy for use of a VDR.

Prev: Moisture / Water in Buildings
Next:

top of page | Home