What are Building Science and Building Engineering?

Building science and building engineering are fields of study concerned with the technical performance of buildings, building materials, and building systems. The area is broad enough to include construction technology, material science, urban design, architecture, heat and mass transport physics, meteorology, mycology, and structural design, to name a few. The field can be seen as the specialization of infrastructure engineering applied to building systems.

Design, construction, and maintenance of yet-to-be-built and existing buildings and structures represents a significant portion of the gross domestic product for countries of the developed world. In Canada, new construction accounts for almost 14% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and buildings account for almost 65% of that. Operating costs (energy, maintenance, cleaning and repairs) are also a multi-billion dollar expenditure. Building scientists and engineers seek to improve the manner in which buildings are constructed and maintained to ensure long building life, to improve building performance through out the expected service life, and to allow demolition, reuse, and recycling.

Building science and engineering are applied to the design of new buildings, the repair and maintenance of the increasing stock of existing buildings, and the development of new building materials and technologies. The issue of sustainability, pollution, energy use, and health are becoming increasingly important.