Videos and Quiz Questions 

The Solar Decathlon Building Science Education series is designed to educate students and working professionals on building science principles that are paramount to the successful design of high-performance, energy-efficient buildings. Instructional content is presented in modules, covering specific topics. Altogether, this series aims to educate viewers on:

  • Where/how energy is used in buildings
  • How to define zero energy buildings
  • How to apply the fundamentals of thermodynamics to building envelope design 
  • How to explain the science of how/why buildings use energy 
  • How to apply this knowledge to design comfortable energy efficient buildings.

Download the Learning Objectives to see more details about each module. Students and working professionals can use this educational information at no cost to complement academic curriculum and continuing education activities. Watch all video content within each module before taking the module quiz. Please note, you will have to log in or create a FREE account on Digital Chalk to take the quizzes. 


Dr. Paul Torcellini provides an introduction and welcome to the Solar Decathlon Building Science Education Series. (1 video - 3 minutes total)


Module 1: Buildings and Energy

The fundamental physics of power and energy are described, and we discuss how and where buildings use energy. (6 videos - 75 minutes total)

Take the Module 1 Quiz on EEBA Academy. Please note, this will require you to make a FREE account on Digital Chalk. 

Module 2: Measuring Power and Energy

Zero energy buildings, as well as the various terminology that is used to define them, are introduced and discussed. (7 videos - 70 minutes total)

Take the Module 2 Quiz on the EEBA Academy. 

Module 3: Energy Flows in the United States

Thermodynamics and the laws of heat transfer are discussed, and then we apply these concepts to buildings to show how, where, and why heat flows through walls. (16 videos - 162 minutes total)

Take the Module 3 Quiz on the EEBA Academy. 

Module 4: Buildings and the Electricity Grid

Beginning with a discussion of various efficiency metrics, the presenter explains why and how to provide heating, ventilation, and air conditioning to buildings. (10 videos - 110 minutes total)

Take the Module 4 Quiz on the EEBA Academy. 

Module 5: Lighting 

An introduction to lighting technologies and a discussion of the history, relevant terms, and practical applications of lighting. (4 videos - 37 minutes total)

Take the Module 5 Quiz on the EEBA Academy. 

Module 6: Plug Loads

Plug, process, and other miscellaneous loads in a building are discussed, and we explain why they are an important part of the design problem. (2 video - 27 minutes total)

Take the Module 6 Quiz on the EEBA Academy.