Few people have heard about, even fewer understand it. To make matters worse, it seems that nobody really agrees what it covers and entails. This collection of definitions tries to give you some resources to get the idea, and then we are happy to help and provide our understanding.


Building science is the collection of scientific knowledge that focuses on the analysis and control of the physical phenomena affecting buildings.

Building physics, architectural science and applied physics are terms used for the knowledge domain that overlaps with building science.

Whole Building Design Guide

Building science is a field of knowledge that draws upon physics, chemistry, engineering, architecture, and the life sciences. Understanding the physical behavior of the building as a system and how this impacts energy efficiency, durability, comfort and indoor air quality is essential to innovating high-performance buildings.

[ Building Science Concepts | WBDG – Whole Building Design Guide ]

Department of Energy

Building science skills are the difference between buildings that will work or fail. Yet, there is no consistent platform for ensuring consistent building science skills across all workforce professions engaged in the buildings sector. The Building Science Education (BSE) Solution Center provides professors, trainers and students with accurate, easy-to-access training materials on the fundamentals of building science.

Building Science Education Solution Center (energy.gov)


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sees Building Science as a central focus: It involves the study of how natural hazards effect structures, while FEMA employs leading industry professionals in architecture, engineering, and seismology to bring solutions to these challenges our county’s infrastructure faces.

[ FEMA’s Definition of Building Science ]

Green Built Alliance

Building science is simply applying what we know about physics and other sciences to buildings, with a focus on moisture and heat.

As such, building science touches on concepts from material science: the engineering discipline that studies the physical and chemical properties of materials (e.g. brick, plywood, insulation, drywall, anything buildings are made out of that might interact with moisture and heat in ways that may need to be considered), thermodynamics: dealing with methods of heat transfer, phase changes, pressure dynamics, and mechanical engineering: which gets into all the nitty-gritty of airflows and motors and equipment that generates heat, cools air, or produces or removes moisture, and even touches some on health and biology with respect to indoor air quality and mold growth (a natural consequence of moisture.)

The Importance of Building Science – Green Built Alliance


Building science‘ or ‘building physics’ is a broad term that refers to our knowledge of the physical behaviour of buildings and their impact on energy efficiency, comfort, health, safety, durability and so on. It is the application of the principles of physics to the built environment.

[ Building science – Designing Buildings ]


Building science is an integrated blend of technical disciplines, including physics, chemistry, biology, climatology, and even ecology. It involves understanding everything from molecules and materials to mock-ups and models.

[ What Is Building Science, Anyway? | BuildingGreen ]


Building science can be defined as a body of knowledge that draws upon the disciplines of engineering, architecture, chemistry, physics, biology and the life sciences to understand the physical behavior of a building as a system. 

[ The VERTEX Companies ]